SYCAMORE – A committee helping host state high school football championship games at Northern Illinois University is now $25,000 closer to its fundraising goal.
On Wednesday, the DeKalb County Board unanimously approved contributing funds to support the hosting of the two-day Illinois High School Association championship series in November. High school football teams across the state will compete in eight games Nov. 29 and 30 at Huskie Stadium.
The $25,000 comes from the county’s opportunity fund and will transfer to the DeKalb County Community Foundation to be used by the IHSA Destination DeKalb Host Committee for the championship series.
County Board Chairman Jeff Metzger said hosting the IHSA football championship series in the county is a golden opportunity to show off the business and industry in the county. He said the $25,000 contribution is more of an investment.
“It only takes one person to come into the county representing a business to see DeKalb County would be a great place to grow a business and establish some roots,” Metzger said.
The committee expects it will need to raise $225,000 and gather more than 200 volunteers for the event. It has received $25,000 grants from the city of DeKalb, Monsanto and KishHealth System. With the County Board’s contribution, it now has raised about $150,000.
In June, officials with the committee said they are hoping to minimize the costs of hosting the games with volunteers. The volunteers will work as ushers, parking lot attendants, ticket takers and in other positions.
Jerry Smith, chairman of the development committee for the host committee, said hosting these games will be a huge economic driver for the county. The championship series is expected to draw in at least 30,000 fans and generate $1 million in revenue.
It’s also going to demonstrate the great community, university and various businesses in the area, he said.
“I made the point of letting them know from my perspective this is so much more than eight football games,” Smith said. “This is an opportunity for our community to showcase what DeKalb County is.”
John Acardo served as the DeKalb County Clerk and Recorder at his last County Board meeting Wednesday. Acardo accepted a position as the director of human resources at Kishwaukee College in Malta and his last day as the clerk and recorder will be Sept. 17.
With the position now vacant, Metzger said he will be meeting with the DeKalb County Republican Central Committee about how the next county clerk and recorder will be chosen. He said he knows five people have applied for the position.