OREGON, Illinois — The Oregon Trail Days Festival Committee has sent away all its money to the Illinois Conservation Foundation for the restoration of the Black Hawk Statue. The check for $15,718.93 consisted of funds generated during the July event as well as from sales of merchandise throughout the year.
The Oregon Trail Days Festival started in 2010 and had its final event in July 2014. The committee, which committed five years to the event, was hoping new individuals would step forward to continue this unique two-day festival, but so far, no one has expressed interest.
“We fully understand people’s reluctance to get involved,” said Amy Trimble, event creator. “It takes a lot of work and time to put on a festival of this nature, and when people realize that this is strictly a volunteer situation, it becomes an even larger sacrifice.”
The committee — which consisted of Beth Henderson, Donna Mann, Merlin and Cindy Hagemann, and Ken and Chris Williams — were all very happy with their final contribution and their involvement in the statue restoration.
“We feel like we’ve made a great contribution to Oregon by helping raise funds for Black Hawk, but most importantly, by creating media hype about this historical structure,” said Beth Henderson. “Over the past several years, we were able to bring several newspapers, magazines and TV outlets to Oregon to share Black Hawk’s story with people all across Illinois and the Midwest. In some respects, that was more important than the money that we raised.”
Committee member Donna Mann added: “We strongly encourage people to continue supporting the fund-raising efforts for the statue. As we understand it, the initial estimates for the restoration were a bit low, and there is still about $75,000 needed to complete the project.”
Contributions may be sent to: The Illinois Conservation Foundation, 1 Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702. Be sure to write “Black Hawk” on the memo line so your donation goes to the right project.
From the Dec. 31, 2014-Jan. 6, 2015, issue