Aug. 7, 2014
DeKALB, Ill. –Northern Illinois University’s connection to the local community and DeKalb County run deep, and those ties, as well as NIU President Doug Baker’s continuing emphasis on maintaining and building the “communiversity” connection, are the inspiration behind the 2014 Corn Fest jerseys that the Huskie Football team will wear in the 2014 season opener on Aug. 28 at Huskie Stadium.
In addition to recognizing the region’s agricultural roots, the special Corn Fest jerseys worn by the Huskies during the season opener will be auctioned online to benefit three worthy local causes. Proceeds from the auction will be split among the Voluntary Action Center of DeKalb, Boy Scout Troop 33, and the Canaday Family, a local family whose eighth-grade son, Christopher, was born with pulmonary atresia and has had 34 surgeries during his young life. Meanwhile, Christopher’s father, Mark, an NIU employee, is battling esophageal cancer.
The Voluntary Action Center serves DeKalb through a myriad of programs, including Meals on Wheels, which provides hot meals to the elderly, disabled and homebound, while their TransVAC and MedVAC services provide rides for senior citizens, the disabled and the general public. The Center also works with TAILS Humane Society to make sure that seniors’ pets are well fed.
Boy Scout Troop 33 participates in many fundraising events in the DeKalb area, and uses the money raised to travel around the country to help people in need. In addition to local activities, like their service during Corn Fest when they stay after the events each night to clean up, they have been to the communities damaged by tornadoes (in Oklahoma and Illinois), and hurricanes (Katrina and Sandy). With activities like these, the Troop is training future leaders.
Fans can bid on the jerseys beginning Friday, Aug. 8 at 10 a.m. and complete information will be available by clicking the link on the Corn Fest website at www.cornfest.com. The only way to obtain one of the special jerseys is through the online auction site. Bidding will close at 10 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 5th.
NIU Head Coach Rod Carey
said he is happy that Huskie Football can be involved with promoting an event like Corn Fest and helping several worthy organizations in the community, as well as the Canaday family.
“Partnering with the community is always important, so when Lisa Angel and her group at Corn Fest brought us this opportunity, we couldn’t say no,” Carey said. “They introduced us to the Canaday family and just knowing their story, I couldn’t think of a better family and cause. Mark and Christopher will be our honorary captains for this game and we’ll be honored to have them with us.
“Then you talk about the Voluntary Action Center and the Boy Scouts. Groups like these are what make our community tick. They do so much for other people in this community and for Corn Fest, and we are just trying to do our part to be good partners and good citizens.”
“I hope this community and Huskie fans everywhere will go online and support these causes and this game. Our team is going to be really proud to represent NIU and our home area wearing these jerseys in Huskie Stadium on August 28.”
All three of the groups that will benefit from the Corn Fest jersey auction are prime examples of the spirit of service and perseverance that exists throughout DeKalb County, said Lisa Angel, Corn Fest Chairperson.
“The groups that will benefit from this auction are people that go above and beyond for Corn Fest and for this community,” Angel said. “Boy Scout Troop 33 has helped clean up at the end of every night of the fest for the last seven years. By recycling aluminum cans collected there, they earn money to fund their trips to help others. I can't think of a better way to help them.
“Voluntary Action Center offers seniors and people with disabilities free transportation from their homes to the fest, and offers free historical tours at Corn Fest. It helps make the seniors feel a part of this community event.
“You cannot help but be changed when you meet the Canaday family,” Angel continued. “Through all of their challenges, you will never hear them complain. It is uplifiting to see this community now rallying to help them with their overwhelming medical costs.
“Thanks to Coach Carey and the NIU Huskies for allowing us this honor, helping to promote our community festival and enabling us to give back to this area as well.”
Corn Fest, one of the last remaining free music festivals among Illinois music and summer festivals, is an annual tradition that dates back 36 years in DeKalb County and is annually one of the highlight events on the county’s calendar. The Huskies’ football game on Aug. 28 will serve as the unofficial kickoff to this year’s Corn Fest, which will be held August 29-31 on Lincoln Highway in downtown DeKalb. For more information, visit the official Corn Fest website at www.cornfest.com.
Tickets to the NIU-Presbyterian game, and to every home game this season, are on sale at www.NIUHuskies.com or by calling 815-753-PACK (7225). Single game tickets on the West Side of Huskie Stadium are priced at $40, $36 and $25 each, depending on the location, with discounts available for senior citizens and groups of 25 or more.
Season tickets offer the best value for the best seats at Huskie Stadium at a cost of just $110 for all five 2014 home games. Season ticket holders receive a gift and invitations to exclusive season ticket holder events in addition to the same seat for every game. Members of the NIU Alumni Association, senior citizens and NIU faculty and staff receive a $15 discount on every season ticket.
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