Patti founded Central Illinois Gold Star Families in 2014 from heartfelt gratitude to those who carry daily the sacrifice of loss in exchange for our freedom. As a double blue star Mother of two US Marines, Patti has served as an advocate for all survivors of fallen military heroes for over seventeen years. Between the two of them, her sons served three tours of duty in Iraq between 2005-2007. Thankfully both returned home safely but their deployments were a very harrowing experience that left her forever changed.
Under Patti’s leadership, the organization significantly expanded to provide services and programs to Gold Star Families across the nation This led to the rebranding of the organization to America’s Gold Star Families, along with national partnerships.
Patti earned her Masters of Business Administration degree from Bradley University. She was also an award-winning high producer in the real estate business. Several years ago, while her sons were on active duty, she and a dedicated group of volunteers sponsored Operation Santa, a project that shipped over 200,000 Christmas stockings to deployed troops around the globe.
She has attended numerous ceremonies in Washington, DC including an invitation to breakfast on the White House lawn, laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a Christmas party at the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s home and a Presidential Inauguration.
Patti’s favorite song is our National Anthem and is often invited to perform for community, military, patriotic and sporting events. One of those highlights was performing for the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field for thirteen years.