Proceeds Of Cantigny 5k Donated To Homeless Veterans

by The Chicago Times Staff

November 20, 2021

WHEATON, IL – On November 11th Cantigny Park presented a $11,000 check to the Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans in Wheaton.  The donation is the net proceeds from the 17th annual Cantigny 5K Run/Walk that took place on November 6.

The check totaled $3,285 in cash donations from 800 participating runners and walkers, as well as, money contributed from the required entry fee.  MSHV co-founder Bob Adams accepted the donation last night at the First Division Museum in Cantigny Park, as part of the museum’s Veterans Day celebration.  Magan Ascher, Director of Visitor Services at Cantigny, presented the check.  With this year’s donation, the Cantigny 5K has now raised $140,000 for MSHV since 2008.

MSHV also receives funding from Cantigny Post 556 of the American Legion, which is located at Cantigny Park’s First Division Museum.  During the 5K, the legionnaires hosted a pancake breakfast, which raised $484 in direct donations to the shelter.  MSHV is Post 556’s primary community service activity.

The Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans provides veterans and their families with housing and supportive services that lead to self-sufficiency.  MSHV operates three facilities in downtown Wheaton.

The next Cantigny 5K will be held on November 5, 2022.  Cantigny Park is part of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation which invests “. . . in people and organizations across Chicago and Illinois to develop educated, informed, and engaged communities.”


Museum invites visitors to share their personal military history in a professional space

Wheaton, Ill., October 14, 2021 – The First Division Museum at Cantigny Park is celebrating Family History Month—and every month—by inviting local veterans and their families to share their stories of military service.

The museum’s Community Connection Case, or CCC, is a place for individuals or families to become a part of the military history narrative. Managed by Museum Specialist Jessica Waszak, the exhibit changes monthly and features military-related memorabilia, photographs and the written remembrances of veterans and family members. The case is in the museum lobby.

Waszak says the goal is to enrich our community’s appreciation of armed forces service and history, and to strengthen the museum’s bond with visitors from the area. Professional curation by the First Division Museum staff ensures eye-catching and compelling displays. Donors may also be interviewed so their stories can be featured on the museum’s social media pages.

October’s CCC exhibitors are Ralph and Linda Grieco from Winfield. Ralph’s family military history goes back to Italy in WWI when his grandfather served with the Royal Italian Army and was a POW. Ralph is a retired Colonel and spent 26 years with the Army Corps of Engineers beginning in 1970. Kevin Grieco, Ralph and Linda’s son, served in the Navy and Army National Guard before being killed in the line of duty in 2008. 

Content for the Community Connection Case is invited for 2022. Potential exhibitors should contact Waszak at or 630.260.8183. Submissions are also accepted via the First Division Museum websitea link is at the bottom of the home page.

The First Division Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 10 am to 5 pm (4 pm close in November and December). Entry is included with Cantigny’s parking fee. Face coverings are currently required inside the museum, regardless of Covid-vaccination status. More information is online

About the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park

The First Division Museum, part of the Robert R. McCormick Foundations, promotes public learning about America’s military heritage and affairs through the history of the “Big Red One”—the famed 1st Infantry Division of the U.S. Army. The museum’s main exhibit hall, First in War, transports visitors to the trenches of World War I, the beaches of World War II and the jungles of Vietnam. A second exhibit hall, Duty First, explores the 1ID’s history in more recent times. The Robert R. McCormick Research Center, open to the public, houses the museum’s library, archival and photo collections. Outside, tanks from every era are interpreted, along with artillery pieces and a personnel carrier. Solemn memorial markers and commemorative statuary invite quiet reflection. 


Cantigny Park

Wheaton, Ill., May 17, 2021 — Cantigny’s popular summer concert series officially begins on June 13 with a performance by classic rock band VOYAGE, at 3 pm. The Sunday afternoon concerts at the Cantigny bandshell have been on hiatus since 2019 due to the pandemic.

“Our summer events calendar is filling up fast, thankfully, but I think the concerts are what visitors have been missing the most,” said Matt LaFond, Cantigny Park executive director. “So many people have been asking about them so it’s exciting to announce that live music is returning to the park.” 

Concert logistics, naturally, are a bit different this year. The shows remain free, but for now people must acquire tickets online via Eventbrite. Tickets will be required for entry, with no walk-ups allowed. Full details are posted on, including health and safety guidelines.

The park also announced it will host Cruise Night Tuesdays, starting May 25. Visitors are encouraged to bring their classic or restored vehicles to the park from 5 to 8 pm and mingle with fellow car enthusiasts. On some Tuesdays, the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park will display military vehicles from its historic motor pool. 

Cantigny Park is open daily from 7 am to sunset, and open one hour past sunset on Wednesdays. Parking is $5 per car and free on the first Wednesday of the month. The summer parking fee on Saturdays and Sundays is $10, effective June 5.

Cantigny Park members receive free parking, invitations to exclusive events, and other benefits. More information is online at

Cantigny Park


Cantigny Park

Extended hours on Wednesdays start May 5; First Division Museum, too!

Wheaton, Ill., April 26, 2021—Cantigny Park plans to stay open late on Wednesdays beginning May 5 and through the summer. The “Stroll After Sunset” program, new for 2021, aims to satisfy higher public demand for outdoor pursuits and introduce more guests to the park’s recent enhancements, including new pathways and lighting.

Cantigny’s usual closing time is sunset. On Wednesdays, it will now be one hour after sunset. In early May that means about 9 pm, but as the days grow longer the park will be open as late as 9:30 pm.

“The work we’ve completed through Project New Leaf makes this possible,” said Matt LaFond, executive director of Cantigny Park. “One of our key goals for the project was to make the park more accessible in every way. Stroll After Sunset is just the beginning of our ability to now host additional evening events and programs in the gardens.”

The later close on Wednesday includes the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park, which will keep doors open until 8 pm. Due to the pandemic, the museum currently operates on a timed-entry system—tickets are free, but advance registration is required via the museum’s website.

Main attractions during Stroll After Sunset will be the Cantigny gardens, accented by the park’s new lighted fountain, and the First Division Museum exhibits and tanks. McCormick House is closed for renovation until 2022. 

Magan Ascher, director of visitor services, sees potential for “pop up” attractions, too, such as a strolling violinist.

“Nothing is currently planned, but I like the idea of adding elements of surprise, especially on warm summer nights,” Ascher said. “Pop ups could add to the fun.”

Cantigny Park is open daily from 9 am to sunset (7 am starting May 1). Parking is $5 per car and free on the first Wednesday of the month. Cantigny Park members receive free parking, invitations to exclusive events, and other benefits. More information is online at

About Cantigny Park

Cantigny Park, part of the Chicago-based Robert R. McCormick Foundation, is the 500acre Wheaton estate of Robert R. McCormick (1880-1955), long-time editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. It is home to the McCormick House, First Division Museum, display gardens, picnic grounds, walking trails and a Visitors Center with retail shop, banquet, and dining facilities. More information, including hours, directions and upcoming events is online at Cantigny Golf, adjacent to the park, features a 27-hole championship golf course, full-service clubhouse, Cantigny Golf Academy and the 9-hole Cantigny Youth Links. For more information, visit

Cantigny Park