Dinner, live music included in St. Charles History Museum fundraiser
The St. Charles History Museum is revamping its annual fundraiser with a fresh theme, new entertainment and the same scenic venue overlooking downtown.
"Rockin' on the Rooftop" will take place from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday on top of the Fred T.L. Norris Parking Deck, 215 E. Main St. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased in advance or at the door.
Guests can sample wine, beer and desserts from local establishments, or dance to live music from '50s classic rock band Rosie & The Rivets. And unlike the museum's past "Foodie Fest" events, a meal will be provided by only one vendor: Arcada Theatre President and CEO Ron Onesti.
The fundraiser's evolution from a food tasting to a rock-themed dinner show wasn't intentional at first, Executive Director Alison Costanzo said, but rather the result of a logistics snafu with past participating restaurants.
Some had shut down since last year. Others had staffing issues. A couple were in the middle of major projects or expansion efforts that made it difficult for them to commit.
"It was all about timing," Costanzo said. "So we had to sit down and think, 'How are we going to rebrand the event, and how are we going to move forward?'"
Canceling or downsizing aren't feasible options, she added, because the museum relies on the fundraiser for about one-third of its operating budget. Last year's event generated $23,000.
So museum officials called Onesti, who sits on their board of directors, and he immediately stepped up to the plate.
"Ron was there for us and willing to do whatever it took to help us make the event a success," Costanzo said.
The dinner will include appetizers, pulled pork sandwiches, pot roast sliders, meatballs, caprese skewers, bruschetta and an assortment of salads.
Drinks will be provided by Vintage 53, Riverlands Brewing and Global Brew Tap House, all in St. Charles. Coffee and desserts from local establishments also will be available.
Each $50 ticket includes dinner, dessert and two drinks.
This is the first year the fundraiser will feature a live band, Costanzo said. State Street Jewelers in Geneva also donated a $1,995 diamond necklace that will be raffled off toward the end of the night.
The event, which is held rain or shine, will include a 50/50 raffle and a live auction featuring food and event packages.
What exactly future fundraisers will look like remains to be seen, Costanzo said. Museum officials will evaluate this year's problems and successes before determining how to plan for next year.
"I think you have to be OK as an organization to say, 'OK, things evolve, and we just have to evolve with them,'" Costanzo said. "We have to figure out how to (raise money) smart and in a way that is a win for both us and a win for the community."