BY CAROL HICKS
HOOPESTON — Hoopeston Jaycees are one of 20 finalists in the "Best Of Us" campaign sponsored by Johnsonville Sausage LLC of Sheboygan Falls, Wisc., and are asking area residents to help them win up to $10,000 for their National Sweetcorn Festival project.
Local and area residents can help by visiting http://bestofus.johnsonville.com to vote once per day, per e-mail address, for the National Sweetcorn Festival project.
"We are competing against other celebrations from across the country," said Bradley Hardcastle, chairman of the board and president of the Hoopeston Jaycees. "Communities and organizations were encouraged to submit an essay and pictures outlining their annual celebration. Our submission was for the National Sweetcorn Festival."
Criteria for the competition:
Showcase the uniqueness and camaraderie of the community.
Invite all factions of the community to come together to celebrate in a peaceful manner.
Inspire community pride and evoke the values that make America great.
Attract a minimum audience of 100 participants and/or attendees.
Johnsonville will announce the top 10 "Best of US" on or around June 24, in two different categories education and community celebrations, with each category based on the consumer vote. The winner and runners-up will chosen from the top 10 in each. Top winner of each category will receive $10,000 and the following nine finalists will receive $1,000 each.
"All proceeds from the National Sweetcorn Festival go directly toward our Christmas programs for low-income youth in our community," Hardcastle said. "This prize would greatly help the Hoopeston Jaycees to continue to provide a great festival to our community each year."
He added, "A huge thank you goes to Hank Shaffer for informing us about the Johnsonville competition, particularly the Community Celebrations category."
Johnsonville is on a quest to identify and celebrate the values and behaviors that make America great, according to the Johnsonville web site. They are calling on the nation to help illuminate the unsung heroes and communities that collectively define the spirit of America.