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Donations sought for Christmas Day feast for Navy recruits

Updated: January 20, 2013 6:14AM



A group that helps prepare a Christmas Day feast in Tinley Park for Navy recruits is asking for donations for the event.

Some 20 to 40 recruits from Naval Station Great Lanes will be treated to dinner on Christmas Day at the Bremen VFW Post 2791, 17147 S. Oak Park Ave., Tinley Park.

This is the second year organizer John Bartosiewicz, who served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, has put together the “Adopt a Sailor” program in Tinley Park, providing dinner for those who might be far from home.

“We looking for basically anything you’d have for Christmas dinner: Hams, turkeys, potatoes, sweet potatoes, salads, pastries and so forth. If anybody wants to donate money, we’re looking for that, too, because we plan on giving each sailor a Christmas card with money in it to spend on the base,” Bartosiewicz said.

The Burbank resident hosted a similar event in Berwyn five years ago, and decided to try it closer to home last year. It was a success, he said.

The event is cosponsored by the VFW and the American Veterans Motorcycle Riders Association, of which he is commander of Chapter X.

Volunteers will leave the VFW around 7:30 a.m., drive up to Great Lakes, pick up the recruits, and return to Tinley Park around 10:30 a.m., he said.

“We’ve have snacks for them and we’ll probably serve dinner around 1 or 1:30 p.m.

Illinois School Bus has donated use of a bus for the day, he said.

Bartosiewicz, 65, knows how it is to celebrate Christmas far from home. He served two tours of duty in the Navy during the Vietnam War. His son, Ken, who now lives in Memphis, also served in the Navy. Ken will be home for Christmas and plans to volunteer for the event, his father said.

To make a donation or for more information, contact Bartosiewicz at (708) 917-3275.



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