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Tickets for the 7th Annual Chris Patterson Memorial Foundation Motorcycle Ride, scheduled for August 12th, 2023, are now available. This yearly event in August brings together the “For God and For Country” aspects of the foundation’s mission.

“We started this fundraiser, the Motorcycle Ride, as a way of connecting Chris’s love of the Arts with his love for the military. Every year, 2 organizations are selected to be the recipients of the money raised through this event with a focus on organizations that support those causes. It will be a fun day for everyone and we hope to see you there,” stated Robert Patterson, Chris’ father and board member of the Foundation.

Join us on Chris’ Last Ride, a scenic 50-mile journey through the countryside, passing by significant locations such as West Aurora High School and Immanuel Lutheran Church. The ride will be fully police-escorted, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all. Registration will start at 8 am on the day of the event, with kickstands up (KSU) at 10 am.

This year, the event will begin at Pollyanna Brewing in St. Charles, where we will also have an after-party from 12 pm to 2 pm. The after-party will feature live music, raffles, and delicious food from Mission BBQ. Please note that the after-party is included in the ride tickets, but standalone tickets are also available for those who only wish to attend the after-party.

“I believe that this is exactly what Christopher would be doing. He would have disliked the spotlight of an event honoring him, but he would be riding in other memorial rides to honor the fallen,” stated Social Media Director for the foundation, Rachel Bailey. “It is through events like this ride that the foundation supports programs that are meaningful to who Christopher was and his legacy.”

A portion of the proceeds of this year’s motorcycle ride will be going to K9s for Veterans and Immanuel Lutheran School music program in Batavia.

Register now at: https://chrispattersonmemorial.org/product/7th-annual-motorcycle-ride/

Ride Tickets are $35 per person for riders or passengers and include lunch at the after-party. Register before August 31st and save $5.

After-Party Only Tickets are $20.

Performing Arts Award

The Chris Patterson Memorial Foundation is excited to announce the 2023 recipients of the Chris Patterson Performing Arts Award.

West Aurora High School

From West Aurora High School, the recipient was Rebecca Evans!

The Winning Submission

The Performing Arts have always played an important role in my life. I have been heavily involved in choir and drama at Goodwin Elementary School, Jewel Middle School, and West Aurora High School and can confidently say that the lessons learned while participating in the performing arts have significantly and positively influenced my success in all areas, not only of my education but in my personal development. As a Senior this year at West Aurora High School, I can now look back at how the performing arts have helped shape the student and person that I have become.

In terms of my participation in the Performing Arts, I was a member of the Goodwin and Jewel choirs and drama productions every year that I was eligible. I am a four-year choir student at West, have performed in 8 theater productions, directed a show for our Winter One Acts, and will bring my time there to a close by performing the role of Bea in Something Rotten! I am also the current Drama Club president and have been a student assistant for Mr. Brian Smith in the choir department and Mr. Kenneth Ruffalo in the drama department. Outside of school, I take voice lessons and was honored to sing the National Anthem for the Christopher Patterson Annual Motorcycle Ride in 2022 and was able to hitch a ride and participate in the amazing 50-mile journey.

From the very start, performing has taught me the values of courage, confidence, and responsibility. It takes courage to audition for a role in a play or a solo in a choir. I learned that I needed to jump in and try my very best. It takes confidence to perform on stage in a show or lead your section in a song. The Performing Arts taught me to value myself and appreciate what I could bring to the group. To succeed in all of this requires practice and attention and through my participation in the Performing Arts, I learned that it is my responsibility to put in the time and effort to get the work done.

The values of courage, confidence, and responsibility that I learned through participation in the Performing Arts have helped me in all other areas of my education. Whenever I struggled in class with a certain topic or felt the stress of a project, I knew I would need to just jump in and get started, know that I can handle it, and put in the work to accomplish the task. No matter if it is a math or science class, English or history, I have been able to use lessons learned in choir and the theater to succeed. I plan to go to Illinois State University this fall and major in Elementary Education. My goal is to apply these lessons I have learned, as a teacher and I hope to teach students to appreciate the Arts and to be courageous, confident, and responsible — just like me.

Batavia High School

From Batavia High School, the recipient was Morgan Hutchens!

The Winning Submission

Music has assisted my learning in nearly every core subject. I took dance lessons and piano in grade school. In fifth grade, I learned to play the flute. Those experiences led me to be interested in learning other instruments like the piccolo, tin whistle, accordion, bari saxophone, ukulele, and guitar. From improving my math skills by learning complex counting and rhythms to knowing the history behind the music and being able to tie it to historical events. Music has never left my side from the moment I was introduced to it. Although, some moments stand out more than others. Being involved in music and having a love for it meant I became very interested in musicals and movies at a very young age. Additionally, many of these musicals are staged during an important time in history.

The play “Hamilton” was staged all throughout the American Revolution and told the stories of important men and women throughout history. This musical became popular just at the time of learning about the American Revolution and taking the Constitution test in seventh grade. My parents would not allow me to see the play due to some bad language. They bought me the soundtrack, with the swear words taken out, for my birthday. I then remember using the songs by singing them in my head to recall facts in two additional history and government classes. Surprisingly enough, in my junior year English class, we had an actual unit on the “Hamilton” musical and analyzing lyrics. I played the soundtrack on my CD player many times throughout the years and had every bit memorized, which made the unit a breeze to accomplish.

Another musical that comes to mind would be the musical and movie “Hairspray”. As a little kid, I watched this movie over and over for years. Although it does get cheesy at times, the movie taught me at a very young age about segregation and civil rights. Whenever the topic came up in history classes, I would always think back to different moments in the movie and be able to tie it back to what we were learning.

My love for music, movies, and playing many different instruments has brought me here to you, to apply for this generous scholarship and to pursue a career in Music Education. Thank you for considering my essay.

East Aurora High School

From East Aurora High School, the recipient was Kennia Pineda!

The Winning Submission

With Performing Arts taking such a huge place in my life, since late elementary school, I’ve learned so much from the arts that have become applicable to other parts of my education. I’ve been in band since 5th grade, where I had dreams to get as far as I could with the band and to be the best I could be. However, somewhere in between I began to lose that love and passion for the band and the Performing Arts in general. I wasn’t sure about what the band program could provide for me, and I had begun to lose hope in gaining anything from the band program. However, the people I met in the band program made it something I wanted to keep pursuing and something I wanted to hold onto. The Performing Arts taught me leadership skills, passion, and dedication which then turned into the mantra I began to follow for everything school related.

I became section leader for the 2022 to 2023 school year and that made me realize I had leadership skills I never knew I had in me. The people I had seen as just peers had now become the kids I had to look after, the kids that gave me back the passion I once had for band, these kids were now looking up to me and I knew I had to give it my all to not just band but to school to show these kids that there was so much more the band program had to offer besides music. With the leadership skills I had unlocked I was able to lead different groups in school be it projects or presentations. I was able to become a person who was reliable and able to lead people and it helped improve my social skills and voice my opinions to my classmates.

The newfound dedication made me realize that I wasn’t a single person most of the time and that I was an extension of a group. I learned to dedicate my time to becoming a team player. It wasn’t an easy task, however band helped with the task, I had a section that I had to lead and I was no longer just me I was now part of something bigger a group that I consider a family. This was one of the biggest advantages the band gave me as I learned to be a team player and not just a person who wants to spend all my time avoiding group work. Instead, I embrace it now and I’m more open to being a small part of the bigger image.

I also discovered what passion was. Before I never truly felt like I had anywhere I truly belonged and I never gave my all to anything, I had no drive, no motivation, and no perseverance. Band gave all those feelings back. Before I had fallen into a typical burnout student role where nothing felt right, but after taking a bigger role in band I realized that the passion I had locked away was more useful now than ever, as a senior I needed that passion, and without band, I would have never had that passion resurface and I would have continued to average Cs and not the student I am now.

So, although I never felt like the Performing Arts was a major part of my school life, I realized that band was the foundation of who I was, and the student I present myself as, and it’s something that I am so glad I didn’t leave it behind because I’m the student I am because of it.

Kaneland High School

From Kaneland High School, the recipient was Mya McIntire!

The Winning Submission

Something I take great pride in is my love of patterns. Call it childish or strange if you wish, but I love them. Patterns give everything a reason; they keep everything in order and open the door to many possibilities. Some of my favorite patterns are in music; there are endless possibilities of melodies and rhythms, yet somehow, amidst all the chaos, I hear patterns. It happens in pop music, the same chord progressions are used in so many songs, so once you learn one on whatever instrument, it is easy to figure out many more songs.

My love for musical patterns carries over to my schoolwork, as well. I can recognize patterns faster than some of my classmates, which makes learning material easier. In math, I can memorize equations based on how they relate to each other, much like how voice parts build off each other to create beautiful choral music. In English class, I can identify how an author wants the work to be read and compare it to how I interpret it, much like actors must do when they are reading their lines and building character.

Something I had to learn the hard way from participating in the Performing Arts is how to manage my time better. Believe it or not, pushing schoolwork off until I have a break was not a good way to manage my time. Between daily rehearsals and occasional performances, spare time does not come easily. I do my schoolwork when I am offstage at rehearsals and start it right away when I get home. Procrastination is not an option in the world of the Performing Arts, and failing to do schoolwork is not beneficial to anyone. I develop a pattern in my day-to-day life for dealing with and completing homework and find ways to shape the work into activities that are a little more enjoyable than schoolwork usually is.

My participation in the Arts has taught me many lessons that I apply to my academic life to make that part a little less intimidating. My pattern recognition and time management that I acquired from the Performing Arts enable me to remain a good performer, as well as a reliable student.

Geneva Community High School

From Geneva Community High School, the recipient was Kyra Kopec!

The Winning Submission

Participating in Performing Arts is something I fell into and has only made me a stronger and more confident person in the classroom. As a student with a reading disability, I never had the opportunity to take exploratory classes like band and choir. I enjoy a variety of music genres and singing for fun with my choir and band friends. I attend local theater productions at the Paramount or a girl’s trip into the city to see a musical or play annually.

So, when people suggested I join I wasn’t sure at first if I could handle being a part of the after-school program with the amount of time my classes took for me to complete outside of the school day. I was so wrong! Instead, I learned Theater allowed me to express the artistic side of myself while also practicing my reading, and communication and improving my time management skills. Years later now instead of being afraid of being called on to read things aloud in class, I seize my moment. I use the skills learned from theatre to perform in class which has helped me be an active participant and lifelong learner in my education.

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The Chris Patterson Memorial Foundation is excited to share that our Social Media Director, Rachel Bailey has recently been hired by another non-profit, in the position of Administrator. The Waupaca Community Arts Hub in Wisconsin provides music lessons and art programs for their town and the surrounding area, primarily focused on youth experiences in the Arts.

Bailey has been managing our social media for the past 5 years and will continue in that role. Her knowledge of online media and promotion will surely make her an asset in her new job, as she has been for our organization. Added to that, her passion for the Arts and Arts education for youth makes her an ideal spokeswoman for both of these non-profits. We wish her the best in her new job.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see everything Rachel posts for us!

Recently hired as the Waupaca Community Arts Hub’s new administrator, Rachel Bailey will be the new face all students and their parents will greet when they arrive for art and cooking classes, or for music lessons. Bailey will handle the day-to-day operations at the Arts Hub, as well as marketing and support tasks.

Bailey also is the social media director for another non-profit, The Chris Patterson Memorial Foundation, and has a long history of participating in the Fine Arts as a French Horn player for her high school and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse marching bands. “Fine Arts education had a large impact on who I grew to be as an adult. The Arts wing of my high school definitely was where you could find me partaking in most everything that was offered,” Bailey said.

Bailey said that she has experienced first-hand how being involved in the Arts gives youth outlets for self-expression, creates a sense of community for them, and teaches lessons that reinforce those learned within the academic classroom. “I am excited to be joining the Arts Hub and I’m looking forward to helping the Arts Hub grow and move forward by strengthening community partnerships that help us reach even more members of the Waupaca community, especially our youth.”

After graduating with a degree in archaeology, Rachel married her college sweetheart, and Waupaca native, Eric Bailey. They relocated from La Crosse to her hometown area of Lake County, IL, where she worked in the museum education field developing and teaching youth programs.

Bailey began working for the CPMF when it was created to honor her cousin, Christopher Patterson after he was killed while serving with the Indiana National Guard in Afghanistan. The Foundation seeks to honor his legacy by supporting the arts, particularly through the local schools near where Chris grew up, where $21,000 in cash awards have been presented to local high school seniors who participated in the fine arts.

During her time in Illinois, Bailey and her husband had three sons and dreamed of returning to Wisconsin. They were able to make that happen early in the fall when Eric was hired as the Director of the Waupaca Public Library. Bailey said that her family is looking forward to starting this new chapter of their lives here in Eric’s hometown of Waupaca, where they are living in his childhood home. “One of our sons has already started in his father’s footsteps by playing hockey with WAYHA on the same rink that his dad played on from his childhood through his high school years,” Bailey said.

“We are so pleased to have someone of Rachel’s caliber, skills, and passion helping us grow our programs and make the arts more accessible to everyone in our community,” said Arts Hub Chairman Laura Reynolds. A program of the Waupaca Community Arts Board, the Arts Hub is critical to the Arts Board’s mission of creating community through the arts, said WCAB President Marci Reynolds. “We look forward to working with Rachel as she helps us make the Arts Hub what we always have dreamed it could be,” said Marci Reynolds. “We just love her.”

Waupaca Arts Hub Press Release March 2023

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The 7th Annual Spc. Chris Patterson Memorial Motorcycle Ride will be held Saturday, August 12th, 2023. Keep an eye on this site, our Facebook page, or sign up for our email list for more information. It’s sure to be a blast!

Have you completed your submission for the 2023 Performing Arts Award? The due date is quickly approaching, and all submissions must be postmarked by Friday, April 7th, 2023.

Who is eligible:  You must have participated in the performing arts (this includes Band, Choir, Orchestra, Drama or Stage Crew) and be a graduating senior at a participating school.  2023 participating schools include West Aurora High School, Batavia High School, East Aurora High School, Kaneland, and Geneva High School.

Submission Requirements: Submit a 100 word, or more, essay on how participating in the performing arts has assisted you in your core educational classes. Each submission must have two (2) endorsements from any of the performing art instructors at your school. (Band/Orchestra Directors, Choral Directors, and Drama Teachers) Click the link to download the Award Endorsement Form

We chose only 100 words because Christopher hated having to write essays and we know that those seniors going on to higher education are already writing a lot of essays.


Mail (USPS) your essay, completed endorsement page, and contact information to:

Chris Patterson Memorial Foundation
Attn: Performing Arts Award ( Your school name )
610 Cherrywood Dr.
North Aurora, IL 60542-1032

The 2023 Red Tie Gala will be held on March 4th, 6-10 pm at the Cantigny in Winfield, IL. Featuring live music, private museum access, silent auctions and more! It is sure to be a fantastic evening!! We hope to see you all there!    

Join us as we put the “FUN” back in Fundraising! This is our major fundraiser.  It is a semi-formal, exclusive night and always includes amazing music, food, and auction items. The proceeds from this event go towards funding our yearly Performing Arts Awards.  Currently, we offer these awards at 5 area high schools. Each is a $1000 cash-award given to a graduating senior who has participated in the Performing Arts.  For more information about these awards and how to apply visit our Awards Page

Registration is now open for the 6th Annual SPC Chris Patterson Motorcycle Ride on August 13th, 2022.

Always guaranteed to be a fun event, this year we are starting at Fox River Harley Davidson, and finishing at Pollyanna Brewing in St. Charles after a 50 mile ride through the countryside. Following the ride we will be holding a 2 hour after-party with music from Tin Fiddle, food from Mission BBQ, and of course beer from Pollyanna. Come out for the ride (cars are welcome) or just the after party and join us as we raise funds for the Foundation, Immanuel Lutheran Arts Program, and Gold Star Siblings.

Get your tickets Today!

Performing Arts Award

The Chris Patterson Memorial Foundation is excited to announce the 2022 recipients of the Chris Patterson Performing Arts Award.

West Aurora High School

From West Aurora High School, the recipient was David Simpson!

The Winning Submission

After months of preparation, performing on stage gives a rush of adrenaline and a sense of accomplishment. However, acting and singing in choirs at West Aurora High School also gives me skills that I use daily, even in classes that aren’t fine arts-based. One crucial factor for performing, whether that’s in a play or musical, or concert, is working with those around you. This is a major part of performing, trusting in, and becoming confident with those around you. This is something I use in all my classes, especially when working on a group project. The companionship and trust I learned from being on stage also translate to the classroom.

Additionally, another way that performing arts has helped me is feeling comfortable asking questions. As simple as it sounds, asking questions can sometimes be difficult, especially in a core curriculum class. However, in my fine arts courses, I find myself asking questions all the time checking on a note or my blocking, or just seeking clarification. Without realizing it, throughout my four years in high school I have become less afraid or worried to ask questions in core classes. The confidence that performing instills in me is a huge asset to me in the classroom.

This confidence shows up in other ways as well. I also have become less nervous when presenting or giving speeches in front of the class, because of my experience in the performing arts. Having that prior experience helps to calm your nerves and have fun when presenting a speech or project. Without even realizing it, the performing arts have given me so many additional valuable talents and confidence that apply to all parts of my life. This helps me under the lights on the stage or in the classroom when prepping for a project or test.

As I look ahead to college where I plan to continue my studies with a major in Musical Theatre at Illinois State University, I will carry these ideas and experiences with me. The performing arts are a part of my life, on and off the stage, whether I had realized it or not, and I am better because of it.

Batavia High School

From Batavia High School, the recipient was Julianna Anderson!

The Winning Submission

I have been in Orchestra since I was in fifth grade. It has been around eight years that I have been participating in music, and for some years I participated in dance competitions. Therefore, I have spent over ten years in the performing arts, and I have always considered it a part of my life that I will never get rid of. Without the performing arts, I do not think that I would have the success I do today in my academic life.

In elementary school, I struggled with most subjects and even took additional speech classes that my other classmates weren’t taking. For some time, I was even on an IEP due to my difficulty in learning and catching up with my age group. Once I started playing cello in fourth and fifth grade, I started to have more success in my classes. Starting in seventh grade, I started to maintain a 4.0 GPA and maintain straight A’s throughout the rest of my years at middle school. Then, once I got to high school, I started to take more rigorous classes such as AP subjects, Dual Credit classes, and Honors classes.  Music is most definitely the biggest factor in my academic success. Without it, I do not believe that I would be able to maintain the time management and complex thinking skills that I have today.

I believe that music has made me into an amazing student that is able to pick up concepts better than I ever could before. Because of music, I have a hobby that I can look forward to, relax, and de-stress from studying in my core subjects. It has also allowed me to continue my French education so that, eventually, I will be bilingual. I am excited to be able to further my education in college, and I know that it will be thanks to the fact that I am a performing artist.

East Aurora High School

From East Aurora High School, the recipient was Daniela Velazquez!

The Winning Submission

Ever since the 5th grade, I have always been actively involved in both band and choir. Once I got to high school I joined as many ensembles as I could. I joined and auditioned into my school’s top band and choir; I played in both Jazz Bands; I was in the marching band as a member and a section leader; I was part of the pit for our musical; I auditioned for ILMEA and got to perform with the honors Choir twice. I did all this while taking all honors and AP classes. Doing so much has led to classmates calling me a “try-hard” and “extra” but while they laughed at me for being an overachiever, I learned important skills such as time management and refinement which have transformed me into a student who always gives it their all inside and outside of school.

The countless hours I spent practicing inside of the practice rooms, whether it be playing runs on the flute or singing difficult harmonies, taught me how to effectively look at music in different ways to help me achieve the product I desired. I have seen this translate into my classwork as I look at different ways to approach writing assignments and as I choose what words to use in a well-thought-out essay. Like the music I play, I took a step back and looked at it as a whole. I tried to convey emotion and story through my words in the same way I did my music. I found myself mirroring my legato and expressive playing in my long and poetic writing. My staccato rhythms and accented notes transformed into the scribbling of my pencil as I wrote sentences and clicked my pen. The creativity I learned from my playing directly translated into my poems for class.

Aside from that, the sight-reading I did in band and choir taught me how to be quick on my feet which has proven to be useful in most if not all of my classes. It’s helped me prepare for timed tests in math, literature, and history. It’s taught me to accept my mistakes in pretests and learn to appreciate the growth I show in final tests just like seeing the improvement from my first sight read all the way to my concert performance.

I’ve loved and enjoyed every performance I got to be a part of and cannot imagine who I would be without music. I mean it when I say that performing has taught me discipline and application. It’s also most importantly taught me how to enjoy school and all the opportunities given to me. I only hope that I can continue to fill my life with my love for music and education as I continue to grow as a musician and into adulthood.

Kaneland High School

From Kaneland High School, the recipient was McKenna Goss!

The Winning Submission

I’ve loved performing arts since elementary school. I always felt like I truly came alive the second I stepped on that stage. Being in the performing arts has taught me that fortune favors the brave. David Walsch once said, ” Life starts at the end of your comfort zone”. Performing arts has pulled many valuable traits out of me that have helped me in high school, and that I know will help me as I move forward in life beyond high school.

Being a performer means ignoring your fears, getting up time and time again to perform even if you’re shaking. Pushing myself past my fears repeatedly has made me confident in my education because everything pales in comparison. When it comes time in my AP Spanish class to present and I get the normal jitters, I feel comfort knowing all the times that I’ve gotten through the fear just fine.

A couple of years ago I was talking to an upperclassman in theater, and he said something that stuck with me. Sitting on the floor in the music hallway, he talked about how he kept auditioning and performing because he learned to love the fear and the rush that comes after. He said that eventually, that fear left him and now it’s second nature. Ever since, I have continued to ruthlessly throw myself at opportunities to reach this level of homeostasis, if you will. The performing arts have given me the priceless trait of being confident in myself in the face of adversity.

Performing arts has also taught me to be insanely open-minded and accepting of fellow students in school. Putting myself in the shoes of various characters has allowed me to empathize more with the people in my life similar to those characters. Diving into the psychology of different characters has also taught me more about myself.   In English class, I analyze characters from our books the same way I would analyze a role. Character analysis definitely is a skill that I use both in theater, the classroom, and in life. In the future, I will use the things I’ve learned to approach the world with empathy.

The valuable lessons I’ve learned from theater have enriched my high school education and I am confident they will enrich the rest of my life. We never know how long we will have on this earth, so with the time we have, I am so grateful that I have had such a loving, impactful environment that has helped me grow in many areas of my life. I look forward to the future where I can continue to perform and inspire others to become their best selves as well.

Geneva Community High School

From Geneva Community High School, the recipient was Hannah Thill!

The Winning Submission

In the midst of a chaotic school day, I place my viola on my shoulder and draw my bow across its strings. For 50 minutes, I am transported out of the school, completely enthralled in the world of orchestra. I have always been an honors student, with a schedule packed with courses designed to challenge every area of my mind, but orchestra is a release. Challenging as it may be, music provides a release, a chance for me to express whatever emotions I may be feeling into art. Recharging for the school day, music leaves me more focused and ready to tackle the concepts of my core classes.

As I play a Bach fugue, I notice the patterns in the music, and how the melodies and counterpoints interact between sections and seamlessly transform over time. Seamlessly threaded together, a pattern can be found in this art. Finding patterns in life is necessary; from geometric sequences to sentence structures, patterns dictate how we live. Identifying these patterns in music has translated into my academic courses, translating the creativity I thrive in into logic.

But music isn’t solely about patterns, as prominent as they may be. Music expounds upon human emotions. Every feeling is perfectly planned out, the sheet music in front of me is a roadmap of emotions. How is this any different than in an English class? The author uses their sentence structure and words to generate emotions just like composers with their music.

All of this, identifying patterns, and seeing how emotions are seamlessly woven into every aspect of life, translate into my core classes. I find myself excelling through these lessons music teaches me, and I use the escape my orchestra class provides me to prepare for the courses ahead of me. The bell rings, and orchestra class is over, but the lessons learned in orchestra will remain with me throughout the day, throughout my life.