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State Rep. Tom Bennett pays tribute to his nephew, State Sen. Scott Bennett, at a memorial service at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on Monday. Bennett died unexpectedly due to complications stemming from a brain tumor on Dec. 9. His uncle spoke about his love for his nephew and their ability to stay close despite their differing political views.

SPRINGFIELD — State Sen. Tom Bennett, R-Gibson City, is carrying on a practice that his late nephew, state Sen. Scott Bennett, D-Champaign, had started: inviting people to donate handmade Valentines for residents at long-term-care facilities.

Tom Bennett, who was recently appointed to represent Illinois’ 53rd District following the retirement of Jason Barickman, said he wants “to make sure that no one feels forgotten on Valentine’s Day, especially those who are living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. A few minutes of your time can make a big difference.”

Sen. Scott Bennett, who passed away in December, had started the practice to support long-term-care facility residents living in Vermilion County.

Tom Bennett decided to continue with the gesture and is asking students, scout groups, churches and other groups to consider creating homemade cards that will be delivered to nursing homes, assisted-living facilities and other long-term-care facilities throughout the 53rd Senate District.

Cards can be mailed or dropped off from now until Feb. 7 at Bennett’s district office, 1715 N. Division St., Morris, IL 60450. There will be a drop box inside the office during normal business hours, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. There will be a small mailbox outside where cards can be dropped after hours.

For questions, contact mmays@sgop.ilga.gov.

Our County Editor

Dave Hinton is editor of The News-Gazette's Our County section and former editor of the Rantoul Press. He can be reached at dhinton@news-gazette.com.

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