QUINCY -- Dave Ulrich searched for the right combination of words to put a fitting cap on what had become a well-respected effort during the past six years.
"The original plan was to do it for just one year, but ... six years later ... amazing," he said.
Ulrich and fellow organizers of the Mid-America Military Salute (MAMS) punctuated their effort Sunday at the Illinois Veterans Home by handing out more than a combined $19,000 in donations to six organizations with distinct ties to the military, veterans and/or the families of veterans.
The Mid-America Military Salute organization announced in November it was ceasing operations, due largely to health problems of Ulrich, the president and founder of the MAMS. No other member of the organization had expressed an interesting in taking over the day-to-day operations.
Over the course of its six years of existence, the MAMS raised more than $200,000 in an effort to support and assist individuals, families and organizations with military ties.
"The people we had helping us is what made this all possible," Ulrich said. "We were proud to be able to donate some wonderful veterans organizations."
In five of its six years, the MAMS hosted its major fundraising program -- featuring music and other forms of entertainment -- at the Adams County Fairgrounds. The other year the event utilized the Oakley-Lindsay Center.
The MAMS also hosted a wide assortment of other activities, ranging from the Possum Holler Opry Reunion Show at Quincy Junior High to a variety of Christmas parties and holiday meals.
"We have also donated hundreds of man hours helping with activities for kids, wrapping gifts and serving food," Ulrich said.
The six organizations to receive checks Sunday -- each for $3,200 -- were ThankU4YourService, Tri-State Warrior Outreach, Tri-State Veterans Referral Initiative, Quincy Benefit Fund (Illinois Veterans Home Activity Fund), Friends of Quincy National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve 310th Transportation Company.
"We are proud of what we have done for the veterans of our area," Ulrich said.