DeKALB – Scoutmaster Cliff Golden was surprised by the amount of money presented to his Boy Scout troop, and he knows the funds will be used to help others.
DeKalb Boy Scout Troop 33, which often travels to help others in need, was one of three recipients of funds from the Corn Fest’s auction of corn-themed Northern Illinois University football jerseys, so it could continue to complete projects. In the past, the troop has traveled to disaster sites including New Jersey after Superstorm Sandy, and Oklahoma and Washington, Illinois, to provide relief.
“We have some different ideas,” Golden said. “Whatever disasters come our way, we will help. We are very pleased and excited to even be considered for this.”
The special fundraiser was a one-time opportunity for Corn Fest, said Lisa Angel, Corn Fest chairwoman and marketing development manager at the Daily Chronicle. NIU typically partners with a local nonprofit on a commemorative jersey.
In November, American-flag-themed jerseys featuring a red camouflage number were auctioned to benefit Active Heroes, which provides military families with financial assistance and programs that combat post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide.
This year, the first home football game of the season fell the night before Corn Fest started.
Angel said festival leaders decided to spread the proceeds from the auction to three separate causes, and were pleased with the results. More than $8,000 was raised by the sale of all 99 jerseys, so the Canaday family, Voluntary Action Center and Boy Scout Troop 33 each received a check for $2,674.63 this week.
“You never know whether people are going to buy them or not,” Angel said. “We had to hold our breaths a little.”
VAC Executive Director Tom Zucker said the money will help fund the organization’s day-to-day operations, which include transportation services and the Meals on Wheels program.
Mark Canaday has been overwhelmed by the community support his family has received since Corn Fest.
Canaday has been battling esophageal cancer, while his son, Christopher, was born with pulmonary atresia and has had 33 surgeries in his 13 years. The family deals with many medical expenses and related costs, so Corn Fest organizers selected the family as one of three beneficiaries of the auction to help with medical bills.
“It’s amazing how much love the community has given us,” said Amy Canaday, Mark Canaday’s wife. “To be on the receiving end of this is just overwhelming.”