The Northern Illinois football team will wear special Corn Fest jerseys in the team’s season opener against Presbyterian on Aug. 28 at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb.
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 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 multiple 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 at 10 a.m. today 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 Sept. 5.
NIU coach Rod Carey said he is happy that program 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.”
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 Aug. 29 to 31 on Lincoln Highway in downtown DeKalb.