Pat Gavros Taking on Biggest Patriotic Challenge Yet
Mar 25, 2015 08:36PM ● Published by Steven Jack
You remember Pat Gavros, right? She’s pretty hard to forget.
Gavros could easily be described as Oswego’s most patriotic citizen, except that she moved to Florida in October 2013. Relocating to the Sunshine State hasn’t stopped her patriotic ways, and in about a month Gavros will embark on her biggest salute to members of our military yet.
She’s calling it the Patriotic Challenge, and it will be a 21-day trip, across 5,000 miles and 19 states.
Gavros will set out by car from her new hometown of Dade City on Saturday, May 2, on her way to points as far north as Boston and as far west as Oklahoma City. Along the way she’ll visit VA Hospitals, meet with Gold Star families who have lost loved ones in service to their country, honor local fire and police departments and stop at landmarks, including The Statue of Liberty, The Lincoln Memorial and the World War II Memorial.
“This truly is a journey of gratitude and discovery,” Gavros said Wednesday from Florida. “But this isn’t just my journey, this journey belongs to everyone and is my way of saying thank you to all that have sacrificed so much for our freedoms. Imagine if someone knocked on your door and said they had driven thousands of miles to say thank you. Well, I’d be speechless.”
For those not familiar with Gavros’ past projects, she was the organizer of Oswego’s 10-year Sept. 11 anniversary memorial in which she and a team of volunteers lined Washington Street and Hudson Crossing Park with nearly 3,000 pairs of shoes to commemorate the lives lost on 9/11.
Gavros also organized several Oswego July 4 tributes to Illinois' fallen heroes, and she’s the author of Final Tributes – Incredible Ways Americans Are Remembering Our Fallen Troops along with several other books.
Gavros will return to Oswego during the Patriotic Challenge May 13 and 14 and plans to honor the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office and speak at a Rotary Club of Oswego meeting. She’s also hoping to honor local Patriot Guard Riders with a small ceremony at Hudson Crossing Park.
“Oswego will always be my hometown,” Gavros said. “It’s where I lived for many years and where my son went to school.”
Even though Gavros will travel by herself, she can’t pull off the trip alone. She’s currently seeking donations and sponsors. To find out more about the Patriotic Challenge or to contact Gavros, check the project’s website.