Queen of Hearts raffles to raise funds for Gibson City skatepark

GIBSON CITY — Members of a committee that is trying to raise funds for a skatepark in memory of former Gibson City alderman Ed Day hope that their first major fundraiser brings the community together in support of the cause.

The committee was scheduled to meet Oct. 16 to finalize plans for the fundraiser — a weekly Queen of Hearts raffle — but the meeting was postponed indefinitely. During that same meeting, the committee was to vote on the design of the so-called Edward Isaac Day’s Memorial Skatepark.

Tentatively, the Queen of Hearts raffles are scheduled to be held every Wednesday night at the American Legion Post No. 568, located at 203 N. Sangamon Ave. in downtown Gibson City.

Adults over age 21 can buy tickets for $1 each between 5 and 8 p.m. each Wednesday at the Legion post prior to the drawing being held at 8:30 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased at any time from a skatepark committee member, from The Fashion Shop, 206 N. Sangamon Ave., or from Sammers, 115 W. Eighth St. There is no limit on the number of tickets a person can buy each week.

The jackpot starts out at more than $1,000, then grows each week until the Queen of Hearts is drawn. The jackpot amount, based on ticket sales, will be updated weekly and prominently displayed at the Legion post and on the skatepark’s Facebook page.

If present for the drawing, the ticket-holder with the Queen of Hearts receives 100 percent of the grand prize; if not present, the ticket-holder gets 75 percent. Meanwhile, jokers award $100, while other queens award $50 apiece.

All proceeds go toward the skatepark.

The initial $1,000 jackpot was made possible through four sponsors who donated $250 each: The Fashion Shop, DD&B Custom Construction, Day Drainage and John and Barb Kirkpatrick.

“We are totally pumped about this fundraiser and hope it brings the community together and we can build Ed’s dream for a skatepark in Gibson City for the kids,” said skatepark committee member Billie Jo Denny.

In September, Denny said the nine-member skatepark committee had raised about $6,400 toward the skatepark — far short of the $340,000-plus needed.
Since then, the committee held a drawing for a skateboard during Gibson City’s annual Harvest Fest. Also during the festival,  donations were collected.

“We did raise $155 that day between donations and the skateboard raffle,” Denny said. “Susie Tongate won the skateboard and has generously donated it back to the committee to continue to raise money with it.”

If enough funds can be raised, the skatepark would be located on the west side of Gibson City’s West Park. Denny said the committee would like to have the skatepark project completed within five years.

Anyone who wants to donate to the skatepark fundraising effort can do so via the skatepark’s GoFundMe page. The City of Gibson is also accepting donations for the skatepark. Checks can be made to the City of Gibson and mailed to P.O. Box 545, Gibson City, IL 60936. Donors are asked to write “Ed’s Skatepark” in the memo line.

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