With no Hometown Fest, Palatine Jaycees get creative to raise money
It wasn't exactly Hometown Fest, but considering the challenges of holding fundraisers during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Palatine Jaycees' Bags Tournament was an encouraging inaugural event.
"It actually exceeded our expectations," Jaycees President Sarah McKillop said of the contest held Saturday at Oak Alley Saloon. "It was wonderful."
McKillop said 10 teams took part in the fundraising competition, and the saloon contributed 15% of its profits during the event.
"They were so kind to us," she said. "They let us use take up their entire parking lot so we could distance everybody."
The event netted the Jaycees $700. That's a far cry from the $50,000 the organization raises from its Hometown Fest held around Independence Day, but like most suburban festivals, the event was called off because of the pandemic.
"With the cancellation of Hometown Fest this year, obviously we were unable to raise the money that we normally do. So this money is actually going to be used for next year's community projects," McKillop said.
Even with the event cancellations, McKillop said the organization has still been able to engage in fundraising, including a successful mum sale that brought in about $2,000.
"It is the first time we have ever done a mum sale. We were at the farmers market also taking orders, and it was just really well received by the community," she said.
In addition to the mum sales, Jaycees were able to raise nearly $8,000 with mini Hometown Fest fundraisers. This fall, the big push will be a Christmas tree sale in the Palatine Park District's Aquatic Center parking lot, beginning the day after Thanksgiving.