From 1945 to 1995, Kup’s Purple Heart Cruise was a highlight of the summer to honor our wounded veteran’s. Under the leadership of Eli’s dear friend, Irv Kupcinet, the cruise demonstrated the community support for those who have served our country.

We are delighted to see the tradition return under the leadership of David Kupcinet, Kup’s grandson, who has created an outstanding day for our veteran’s on Tuesday, July 31, 2007. Eli’s was proud to be be a part of every Purple Heart Cruise and we will be represented onboard by Louise Cruetz who will bring Eli’s treats for those enjoying the day.

The Chicago Sun Times and Kup’s Column Sponsored the Cruise
Eli with Kup at Eli’s the Place for Steak .

 

Kup’s Purple Heart Cruise Returns

 

WLS

July 31,
2007
– Former Chicago Sun Times Columnist Irv Kupcinet’s Purple Heart Cruise began in 1945, in the wake of WWII, and in response to the
severely wounded and battle scarred veterans returning home with life-altering injuries. Kup felt that this nation could not exist if those who defended it could not come home to supportive family, friends, and community.

Now, we have a whole new generation of troops returning home, and there must be a new generation ready to greet them, welcome
them home, and embrace them for the sacrifices they have made.“This is why we have decided to re-launch a Chicago tradition: Kup’s Purple Heart Cruise. It will set sail again on Tuesday, July 31st, 2007,”
said David Kupcinet, Kup’s grandson.
This being our first year, the goal is to show veterans that, not only the great City of Chicago, but also the whole state of Illinois, is
supportive of them and proud of their efforts. To achieve this goal, we have selected three esteemed Honorary Chairmen for this year’s Cruise. They are: Illinois Senator Richard J. Durbin,

Illinois Senator Barack Obama, and Illinois Lt. Gov. Patrick Quinn. The Army, Coast Guard, Navy, and the U.S.O. will be providing assistance.

Entertainment will include several local bands and singers, stand up comics arranged by Zanies Comedy Club and a special band called the
Voice of Veterans, a band comprised of Vietnam veterans who battled Post Traumatic Stress and turned it into a band. One particular veteran will also receive a very special surprise on the cruise. He has no idea, as it’s been planned by his wife. He was in WWII and got a purple heart and then lost it. He’s been trying to replace his purple heart for 60 years and never successful. Kup’s Purple Heart Foundation received a replacement thanks to the Dept of Defense. It’ll be a great surprise.

FACT SHEET AND TIMELINE
KUP’S PURPLE HEART CRUISE
TUESDAY, JULY 31, 2007
There will be 450-500 veterans attending.
Location: West wall of Navy Pier, East Grand Avenue, Chicago, Illinois

The cruise, set for July 31st, 2007, is scheduled to begin at approximately 7:45 AM, with a short program.

7:00 AM: Navy Training Vessel Manatra (YP671) (85′) arrives on site. USCG Cutter Biscayne Bay (154′) arrives on site from Travers City,
Michigan.

6:45 – 7:15 AM: Veterans arrive by car and by bus. Veterans check in and receive tickets fro the cruise.

7:30 AM: Begin boarding disabled / handicapped veterans.

7:40 AM: Great Lakes Navy Color Guard presents Colors.

7:41 AM: Father Jim Keating, Navy Chaplan (ret.) presents invocation

7:43 AM: Great Lakes Navy Band performs National Anthem, accompanied by the vocal styling of Kari Kupcinet-Kriser

7:45 AM: DOD Aviation Support performs Jet Fighter fly-over

7:46 AM: Great Lakes Color Guard concludes presentation of Colors

8:30 – 8:45 AM: Odyssey prepares to depart Navy Pier.

9:00 AM: Odyssey departs Navy Pier, escorted by Manatra, Biscayne Bay and USCG Cutter Biscayne Bay.

9:15 AM: Flotilla of ships passes by the Chicago Fire Department ship positioned at the breakwater between Navy Pier and Lake Michigan. Fire ship
will perform water canon stream salute.

9:30 AM: USCG Helicopter from Travers City will perform USCG salute to veterans aboard the Odyssey.

9:31 AM – 2:00 pm: Purple Heart Cruise sails north past Belmont Harbor and then South to just past Museum Park.

On the ship, veterans will be treated to food from donors around the city including Lou Malnatti’s Pizza, Phil Stefanis Tuscany, Brockway Chophouse, Mr. Beef, Eli’s Cheesecake, Dippin Dots Ice Cream and
more.

2:00 PM: Odyssey returns to West Wall of Navy Pier.

Upon disembarking, veterans will receive Kup’s Purple Heart Cruise gift bags. Each bag will contain a variety of donated gifts from local
and national companies.

Each bag will have:

 

  • Kup’s Purple Heart Cruise T-shirt
  • Fleece sweater donated by Horseshoe Casino Hammond
  • A metal bank of candy donated by Tootsie Roll
  • A Beanie Baby
  • A disposable camera from Walgreens
  • A series of gift certificates and special coupons for veterans from several local businesses.

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