MENDON, Ill. — The Friends of Unit 4 will host an event Saturday filled with food, games and entertainment as a way to benefit Mendon's public schools.
It's all part of the fifth annual Fall Festival, which will take place at the Adams County Fairgrounds through the afternoon and evening.
Activities will include a trap shoot starting at 1 p.m. and a bags tournament at 2 p.m. In addition, kids' games and bounce houses will be available from 2 to 8 p.m.
A "vendor blender" — where people sell hand-crafted items — opens at 2 p.m., while a dart game featuring prizes starts at 3. Evening activities will include poker starting at 7 p.m., a free movie for kids at 8, a fireworks show at 9:30 and a free concert from 8 to 11 p.m. featuring Broseph, a country music band.
A food tent will sell snack items from 2 to 4 p.m., and dinner items will be sold from 4 to 8 p.m. In addition, a "Smokin' BBQ" contest will take place during the day, and adult beverages will be available.
Admission to the Fall Festival is free, but there are charges for food, drinks and some of the activities, with all proceeds benefiting the Unit 4 schools.
"It's a great event," said Tim Bealor, one of the organizers.
The biggest fund-raising element of the festival is a raffle involving the sale of 500 tickets for $50 each. The first prize — to be announced Saturday night — is $10,000. Second prize is a Beretta 12-gauge shotgun, and third prize is a $1,500 travel voucher from the Town and Country travel agency.
Ticket information is available by calling 217-936-2804.
Bealor said the Fall Festival has raised close to $100,000 to support local schools and students since the Friends of Unit 4 launched the festival as its main fund raiser in 2015.
The Friends of Unit 4 was created as an offshoot of the Unit 4 Foundation, a fundraising organization formed in 1996 to raise money to help meet the educational needs of students. The Friends of Unit 4 strives to provide additional support for classroom and extracurricular needs in the district.
"In the past year we bought an eye-examining machine for the school health department, and we bought microscopes, we bought software, we bought paint, and we helped pay for refinishing the floor in the gym," Bealor said.
"Whatever the need is that the school doesn't have a budget for, we try to step in."
Bealor said the Fall Festival has received strong local support since its inception, and he hopes that trend continues this year.
"We just want to make sure everybody comes out," he said.
More information is at friendsofunitfour.com/fall-festival.