Betty and Herschel Thomas of Breese recently made a donation to the Veterans Tribute Project being constructed on the main campus of Kaskaskia College. Thomas served in WW II, fighting in the Argonne Forest and the Battle of the Bulge before being wounded by a mortar round. Thomas has been a member of the VFW for more than 60 years and served as Post Commander for a period of time. He was also a Grand Commander and Grand Master of the Masonic Order for the State of Illinois, and was instrumental in developing Little League Baseball in the Centralia area as well as coaching basketball for St. Mary’s School for a number of years. “He has not sat idle,” said Betty Thomas.
Jim Beasley, KC Board member and Co-Chair of the Veterans Tribute project, also credits Thomas with helping to establish KC’s Patriotism Award that is presented at each graduation, for establishing an endowed scholarship for KC students, and for being an upcoming guest speaker at the College’s Enduring Freedom Celebration in the fall.
“Kaskaskia College owes its very existence to the support of people like the Thomas’s,” said Beasley. Herschel Thomas attended Centralia Junior College, later known as KC, on the GI bill after the war, and Betty Thomas is a former employee of the College. This donation is the Thomas’s second for the Veterans Tribute project.