When Ray Holloway died in August of 2010, the Village of Romeoville lost a beloved friend. And the Romeoville American Legion Post #52 lost one of its own.
Holloway was a Vietnam veteran who had retired from his job as Romeoville’s village clerk and announced plans to redouble his commitment to working with veterans through the American Legion. Then, he was struck by the cancer that took him away all too quickly, according to Christopher Benigno, American Legion Post #52 commander.
To keep his memory alive, Benigno and others at the post announced plans in 2011 to build a veterans home in Ray Holloway’s name in Romeoville. And, now two years later, those plans are beginning to take shape.
“We just recently received a $20,000 grant from Sam’s Club, and that’s going to help a lot with seed money,” Benigno said. “We’re in the process of putting together our business plan and hope to have that by the end of the year.”
Benigno said American Legion Post #52 members anticipate spending $6.5 million before all is said and done on a one-of-a-kind project that will combine a Post meeting facility with veterans housing—all in one state-of-the-art complex.
“We would love in the next couple of years to be breaking ground,” Benigno said. “But that’s all dependent on if we can find a location that has a convertible building or if we’ll be building from scratch.”
Benigno is encouraging residents who would like to support American Legion Post #52 efforts to attend a Nov. 9 fundraiser for the Ray Holloway House at Stone City Saloon, 721 N. Independence Blvd., Romeoville. The fundraiser will run from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and 15 percent of all dine-in and take-out orders will go to the American Legion post.
“It’s a Blackhawks night, so we’re hoping to get a big turnout,” Benigno said.
The Hawks face the St. Louis Blues at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9, and the game will be televised at Stone City. Benigno said fundraiser attendees must download the American Legion flyer from the organization’s website or Facebook page and present it to Stone City Saloon employees on the day of the fundraiser in order to help with the cause. He said the flyer will be available in both places by the end of the week.
Ray Holloway twice was elected to the position of Village Clerk in Romeoville. He was the Transportation Education Coordinator in Valley View School District 365U and served in the Marine Corps. Following his death, his wife, Dr. Bernice Holloway, took over his position as village clerk, later ran unopposed for re-election and still holds down the position today.