BYRON, Ill. - On the eve of our country's Independence Day, local resident Ron Colson is putting the final touches on a fundraising concert that he hopes will raise enough money to refurbish a pair of military monuments on the Ogle County Courthouse square. Exelon and ComEd have joined in the effort to restore the historic sites.
"We have well over 100 military veterans currently working at Byron Station and countless retirees who also served," said Site Vice President Dan Enright. "They would be proud that the site can help Mr. Colson and the county in this undertaking."
The monuments getting a touch-up include the classic Lorado Taft sculpture that was initially commissioned in 1916 to commemorate veterans of the Civil War. That memorial was later expanded to honor all veterans through World War I. The other monument that will be refurbished is the memorial created by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, which will see two statues added. This memorial honors Ogle County's Congressional Medal of Honor veterans as well as those who served from World War II to the present.
Colson's vision was to refurbish these two monuments without dipping into government funds. That brought about the idea for the concert, which will take place July 10 at the Byron Middle School Theater. Groups performing include the Copper Creek Band, the Acoustic Circus, Ray Rose and the End of the Road Band and Chip Messiner with special guest Ken Drucks.
"The musicians of our area have gotten behind this cause and are donating their time to help restore our monuments," Colson said.
Honoring military personnel is important to the staff of Byron Station, which is in the early stages of constructing its own military wall of honor at the plant.
Two performances will take place on July 10. Tickets for a 2 p.m. matinee show for active military, seniors and students cost $15. Tickets for the 7 p.m. show cost $30. Tickets can be purchased at Stillman Valley Bank locations in Stillman Valley, Byron, Oregon, Rochelle, Rockford and Rockton/Roscoe. Tickets are also available at VFW posts in Dixon, Oregon and Rochelle.