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Glancer Magazine

TO GIVE, TO INSPIRE | Non-Profit Foundation Honors West Aurora High School Student’s Legacy


NORTH AURORA–A 2009 graduate from West Aurora High School, SPC Christopher Alexander Patterson participated in everything he could in the performing arts, from singing with the choirs and music groups to performing with the marching band and in various theater productions. After graduation, he majored in vocal music education at Valparaiso University in Indiana and toured with the school’s premier vocal ensemble while also composing and arranging music for the A Capella group VuVox and the STUDy Hall Choir. Coming from a strong military family, Chris also felt compelled to enlist with the Indiana National Guard based out of the Valparaiso Armory. In November of 2011, his unit was deployed to the Kandahar Province of Afghanistan. On January 6th, 2012, Chris’s convoy was struck by an Improvised Explosive Device that killed him and the three other soldiers in his truck. He was twenty years old.

In 2016, Chris’s family created The Chris Patterson Memorial Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit foundation to honor his legacy as an actor, singer, musician and veteran. The performing arts are supported by $1000 cash awards to graduating seniors at West Aurora High School and four other area high schools. “We started this foundation to try and keep our son alive by honoring the ideals he stood for, For God, For Country, For Music,” says Robert Patterson, Chris’s father and Chairman of the Memorial Foundation.

The foundation’s annual Motorcycle Ride focuses on the For God and For Country with a portion of the proceeds split between Immanuel Lutheran Church Performing Arts (Chris’s

home church) and a Veteran organization. Past organizations have included Midwest Shelter for Homeless Vets and Freedom Farm for Vets. This year’s ride is being held on August 13 and will support Gold Star Siblings. The route is called Chris’s Last Ride due to a portion following a trip Chris took from the funeral home to the church, while covering over 50 miles of journeying through the countryside and passing several important locations, including West Aurora High School, Immanuel Lutheran Church and River Hills Memorial Cemetery. The Ride concludes at the Polyanna Brewing Co. in St. Charles with music, food from Mission BBQ and the Illinois Fallen Heroes Traveling Memorial Wall. Cars and trucks are also welcome on the ride which is fully escorted by North Aurora Police. “As our Motorcycle Ride passes through the community, it would be great to see people out supporting us,” says Robert.

For more information on the foundation and to register for the Chris Patterson Memorial Motorcycle Ride or to volunteer or sponsor the event, visit:


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