Win an autographed Walter Payton football or Bears tickets

The 35th annual Friends of Growth Enterprises spring benefit luncheon will be held Saturday, April 21, at the Radisson Hotel on East State Street and Bell School Road.

A silent auction begins at 11 a.m., and the luncheon begins at noon. Cost to attend the luncheon is $50 per person. If you plan on attending, your reservation must be in no later than today (Wednesday, April 18). To secure your reservations, contact Valerie Johnson at (815) 962-8333.

The luncheon and accompanying raffle goes to support the needs and activities for adults with disabilities working at Illinois Growth Enterprises. This is all fine and good, but by now you’re probably wondering why this warrants any space in a sports column. Let me tell you—it’s because of the cool raffle prizes available at the event.

First prize is an officially licensed NFL football, autographed by Chicago Bears legend and NFL Hall of Fame member, Walter Payton. This prize is valued at $1,000. Payton was the keynote speaker for Illinois Growth Enterprises’ 25th anniversary celebration in 1995.

Four club-level tickets to an upcoming 2007 Chicago Bears football game are the second-place prize. The date and opponent are to be determined. Those tickets are valued at $860. Two other nice prizes are also available that are not sports related—jewelry and cash.

If you can’t make it to the luncheon but would still like a chance at winning the Bears tickets or the autographed football, they are $5 each or five for $20. The tickets are available at Illinois Growth Enterprises, 7200 Clinton Rd., or by calling (815) 543-1888.

Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at

from the April 18-24, 2007, issue

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