Lake County prayer breakfast brings communities together
Mark Ellis of Beach Park leads the Pledge of Allegiance during the Lake County Exchange Clubs "One Nation Under God" annual prayer breakfast held at the Village Church of Gurnee. Ellis served in Afghanistan from 2005 to 2006 in the Navy Reserves. | Thomas Delany Jr.~Sun-Times Media
America’s service club is a group of men and women who work together to improve communities through service programs in Americanism, community service, youth activities and preventing child abuse. There are seven Exchange Clubs in Lake County and more than 700 across the United States and Puerto Rico. The service club was founded in 1911.
Updated: November 26, 2012 1:40PM
The seven Exchange Clubs in Lake County pulled together Tuesday at the annual “One Nation Under God” prayer breakfast to honor veterans and country.
The event, held the week of Thanksgiving for 32 years, was held at the Village Church of Gurnee, drawing upward of 180 attendees, according to event chairwoman and Gurnee Exchange President Betty Fallos.
Gurnee Police and Fire departments presented the colors and students from Round Lake High School’s Panther Voices performed “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The Lake County Bar Quartet also performed patriotic songs.
Members of the seven exchange clubs of Lake County — Gurnee, Grayslake, Round Lake, North Chicago, Waukegan, Libertyville/Mundelein/Vernon Hills, and Antioch/Lake Villa/Lindenhurst — offered the breakfast free of charge and funded it using proceeds from their various fund-raisers throughout the year.
“The timing is wonderful to come together as a community and give thanks for all the wonderful things we have in Gurnee,” said Mayor Kristina Kovarik.
Lake County Circuit Court Judge John Phillips was one of the featured speakers, telling the crowd about the county’s Veteran’s Treatment and Assistance Court, which started about a year ago.
“Service to the country sometimes has collateral consequences,” Phillips said.
The specialty veterans court connects veterans with treatment for addiction, medication and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The first 20 veterans to go through the special court will graduate in January.
“It is going to be a big deal. Right now, it’s all men. They are doing well with assistance,” Phillips said. “It’s a court that came out of the slogan that it’s the right thing to do.”