MT. VERNON — The annual United Way Carnival is in town and will be open through May 11.
The event is a partnership with Swyear Entertainment and the United Way of South Central Illinois, with a portion of the proceeds from the carnival going to the United Way.
“This is one of our big fundraisers,” said United Way Executive Director Rhonda McCowen. “We’ve earned as much as $8,000 to $10 dollars on it. ... The carnival is the kick-off event for this year.”
The United Way raised approximately $280,000 for area agencies last year.
“That’s down for the third year in a row,” McCowen said. “This year, our goal is to show people what impact their dollars are and how their contributions have helped the community.”
This year marks the 30th year for United Way of South Central Illinois. McCowen said special events are planned to celebrate.
Work for this year’s fundraising season is underway, and the “Dream Team” is already in place — Brett Hull, Mike Beard, Norma Fairchild, Kevin Settle and Kelly Carrico.
“They will be working to re-energize the campaign and getting the word out about work the United Way and its agencies does in the community,” McCowen said.
Funds from last year’s campaign season has been alloceated.
“Last year was the first time we changed the process,” McCowen said. “What was raised during the year was what was allocated instead of allocating funds then working all year to raise that much in funding. We changed it, because when we had a deficit, that would impact the agencies and their budgets.”
The carnival at the Rend Lake MarketPlace, on the parking lot across from the Rend Lake College Golf Outlet and Lone Star Steakhouse. The carnival will be open from 3 to 10 p.m. during the week and from noon to 10 p.m. on weekends through May 11.