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Homer Glen State Farm Agent Michelle Kerfin Hosts Free Monthly Veterans' Breakfasts

Updated: Jan 5, 2022

HOMER GLEN, IL – History comes to life on the first Monday of each month at the Blueberry Hill Breakfast Café in Homer Glen. Veterans from all eras gather for breakfast, to share memories and enjoy the camaraderie.

Michelle Kerfin, a Homer Glen State Farm agent, sponsors the breakfast each month, inviting area veterans to dine on her dime.

The free breakfasts are held on the first Monday of each month from 7 a.m. until 8:30 a.m. and are open to all active, inactive and retired military personnel.

Homer Glen State Farm Agent Michelle Kerfin sponsors free veterans' breakfasts each month at the Blueberry Hill Cafe. Veterans from all eras enjoy the camaraderie, food and conversation.

“I’ve heard about others hosting events like this and I wanted to do something for our local veterans,” Kerfin said of the three years she’s been hosting the breakfasts.

“This is a small way to thank them for their service and to give them a place to gather, meet other veterans and enjoy sharing stories,” she said.

Kerfin credits the owners and staff at Blueberry Hill for making the monthly event possible.

“Everyone at Blueberry Hill has been wonderful. The owners did not hesitate when we asked about hosting the breakfasts there and the staff is outstanding. They all make the veterans feel welcomed and honored,” Kerfin said.

“When you look around the room and think of the many eras represented in this room, it’s living history,” said Ed Kerfin, Michelle’s husband, a U.S. army veteran. “We’ve come to know many of these vets and have some great friends who come have breakfast with us each month."

Community involvement is important for the Kerfins. “We like to get involved and help at local events,” Ed Kerfin said. “Homer Glen has many events that bring the community together and we’re happy to be a part of them.”

Michelle Kerfin’s cousin operates more than 100 micro pantries and Kerfins do their part to help those in their area. “We do an annual food drive to help fill the local micro pantries,” Michelle said.

Michelle Kerfin is a past president and board member for the Lincoln-Way Business Women’s Organization, a group committed to raising funds to help females go to college or return to school. She is a Heritage Corridor Business Alliance board member for the Homer Glen and Lemont Chambers of Commerce and a heritage sponsor for the Village of Homer Glen.

Her agency has helped a multitude of events and groups in the Homer Glen area.

“We’ve helped with 5Ks, golf outings, village events, community events, veterans’ events, scouts, hospice programs and homeless shelters – you name it, we support it,” she said smiling.

On a recent Monday morning, veterans gathered at The Blueberry Hill Café included those recently discharged on up to World War II Veteran Rich Olund of Palos Park.

World War II Veteran Rich Olund of Palos Park met retired NBC 5 Meteorologist Andy Avalos at a recent veterans breakfast. Avalos is also a veteran.

Homer Glen State Farm Agent Michelle Kerfin (standing) hosts a free monthly breakfast for area veterans on the first Monday of each month at the Blueberry Hill Cafe in Homer Glen.

Olund, who turned 97 on November 2, 2021 landed on Utah Beach in July, 1944. The U.S. Army veteran served 28 months in the military, serving in France, Holland, Belgium and Germany, as embroidered on the side of his WWII Veteran cap that sits atop his head.

Olund returned to Normandy for the 75th Anniversary in 2019. “The Gary Sinise Foundation and the World War II Museum sent veterans on an 11 day cruise for the anniversary,” Olund said, smiling as he added, “I was there with President Trump.”

“I enjoy meeting all of the other vets. Everyone has a story and it’s a great bunch of guys,” he said of the monthly breakfasts.

Vietnam Era Veteran Larry Killmer of Homer Glen has been attending the breakfasts since they began. One of the 18 founders of the Homer Stallions Football Program, Killmer served in the United States Navy from June, 1966 through September, 1970.

“What you did or didn’t do doesn’t matter,” Killmer said. “It’s good conversation and good food,” he said smiling.

Mike McCullough recently returned to Illinois from Dandridge, Tennessee to be closer to his family. The 20 year career Marine, a native of Kankakee, retired from the Marine Corps in 1995.

“I had just moved to the area and didn’t know anybody. I was looking for a State Farm agency and found Michelle and the girl in her office told me about the veterans’ breakfast,” McCullough said.

Lou Zemke, who will be 86 in December, served in the United States Army from 1954 until 1956. Zemke, who has also been attending the breakfasts since they began, said, “It’s warm that someone would take the time to do this for the vets. They’re great supporters.”

Zemke is a resident of Marian Village, now home to the only American Legion post in Homer Glen. American Legion Post 2011 is named for Pfc Michael C. Olivieri, a young Homer Glen husband who was one of five killed in Baghdad in June, 2011.

Zemke said that the American Legion post is welcoming new members and encouraged veterans to call Marian Village for more information. “Ours is the only post housed in a retirement community,” he added.

“We can see that the veterans enjoy spending time with each other and I know that they look forward to coming back each month,” Michelle Kerfin said. “It’s fun to hear them share stories about their service.”

A sign on the wall at The Blueberry Hill Café summarizes the monthly breakfast, “Good Food. Good Friends. Good Times.”

“It’s different than meeting someone for the first time,” McCullough said, adding, “Veterans have an immediate connection regardless of the era. It doesn’t matter.”

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