MENDON, Ill. -- Friends of Unit 4 is offering a chance to win $10,000 at its third annual Fall Festival on Saturday, Sept. 23, at the Adams County Fairgrounds outside Mendon.
The group is selling 500 tickets at $50 apiece, and the grand prize winner will be drawn during the event. The second-place winner will receive a Browning Citori White Lightning 12-gauge shotgun, and the third-place winner will receive a $1,500 Town and Country travel voucher. Those who don't win the main raffle will have another shot with the penny raffle.
"We try to make it worth the purchase of a ticket," said Paul Bealor, Friends of Unit 4 Board treasurer. "It gets people excited to spend time with the community and to see who wins."
Bealor said the first two years of the festival drew crowds of between 600 and 700. He hopes to break the 1,000 mark this year.
"It's not a huge school district," he said, "but the people that support it are very dedicated."
The free-admission event will feature a food tent at 1 p.m., a trap shoot competition at 2 p.m., a cornhole tournament at 2 p.m., a barbecue contest, kids games and poker tables, and adult beverages.
A new children's movie has been added this year and will be shown at dusk.
"A lot of the parents want to stay, but they need something for their kids to do," Bealor said. "Last year, we started dialing back the morning stuff and gearing it more for the afternoon."
Brushville will perform 8 to 11 p.m. Several local businesses will be participating in the vendor blender, which Bealor said has historically filled the Morton Building.
Friends of Unit 4 bridges the gap between state funding and school budgets; helps the Booster Club with funding; and supports Unity teachers, club sponsors and coaches. The organization helps support extracurricular activities, elementary school programs, buildings and grounds upkeep, and the general needs of the students.
"We keep 100 percent of our proceeds within the district," Bealor said.
To receive funding from Friends of Unit 4, a teacher must submit a grant application.
Tickets are available at the Unit 4 district office and First Banker's Trust in Mendon, from any of the Friends of Unit 4 Board members, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, call Connie Bealor at 217-440-6886.