The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

February 27, 2013

AMBUCS home show set for weekend at arena

Event adds vendors, entertainment

BY JENNIFER BAILEY
Commercial-News

DANVILLE — This year’s annual AMBUCS home show has a different name in an effort to recognize its vast array of vendors.

The AMBUCS Home and Living Expo will be Saturday and Sunday at the David S. Palmer Arena, 100 W. Main St. Admission is free.

Home show coordinator Sherri Askren said Dan Grubb with Grubb Electrical, Heating and Cooling suggested to organizers last year that not everyone is remodeling homes and the name of the show could better reflect all vendors and encourage new vendors to participate.

“And so that’s what we did,” Askren said. “We have a lot of new vendors.”

She hopes to see even more and new participation in years to come. There will be about 80 vendors at the show. That number is a little higher than last year, Askren said, adding there are 87 booths all together. “They are full,” she said.

Some of the new vendors include: Illini Outdoor Inc., which features ATVs and other equipment and has an archery range at its Georgetown Road location; Stephens Excavating; Diversified Concrete Solutions; modular home companies Riley Homes and Schult Homes; Larry’s Limousine Service; and Guiseppe’s Grill, a hot dog vendor in Bismarck, which will be giving out samples.

Lowe’s Build and Grow workshop will kick-off the stage entertainment on Saturday morning. The ATA Blackbelt Academy also will have AMBUCS youth involved.

There will be Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts selling cookies and other items; and pets to adopt from C.A.R.A.

Money raised from the vendor booths, corporate sponsorships and other donations at the home show help Danville’s AMBUCS continue its work with disabled persons in the area such as through summer youth camps; Christmas parties; the Challenger Baseball League, a baseball league for physically and mentally handicapped children; and AmTrykes, therapueutic tricycles for children with disabilities.

Askren said about the children, the programs “keep them mobile” and make them feel special.

Also at the home show, Frank Wright with Wright’s Heating and Air will be in a lift. Don’t be surprised if he has a bull horn, too. He will stay up there until money is raised for at least one AmTryke. He’d like to see two or three paid for.

One AmTryke costs $687.

Wright said he started crying when he saw a little girl come riding by his booth on an AmTryke at last year’s home show. He learned there was a waiting list for AmTrykes.

“I don’t think there needs to be a list anymore,” he said, adding that children shouldn’t be suffering in our prosperous nation.

“It just broke my heart,” Wright added.

He hopes it will become a tradition every year, of the public helping to donate more for AmTrykes.

Wright said his 10-year-old son, Joshua, will be the first one to donate this weekend. Joshua has been saving his money for two years for a $300 bicycle, but will instead donate his saved $210 for an AmTryke.

Wright said if everyone contributed some money, every child who needs an AmTryke could have one and experience that joy of riding a bike.

Wright added the home show is great for his business.

“It’s our Super Bowl weekend,” he said. “Danville shows up.”

Wright estimates his business can conduct about 20 estimates and could get around 10 new jobs.

“On the business side it’s always been a big bang,” he said.

Wright said the home show isn’t about how many furnaces and air conditioning units he can sell. It’s about providing programs and joy for children.

If you go

The AMBUCS Home and Living Expo is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. Stage entertainment: 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Lowe’s Build and Grow Workshop; 12:30 p.m. to at least 2 p.m. Saturday, Bev Wolfe and Kids; 3-4 p.m. Saturday, Nakota’s Natural Beauty Pageant; 4-5 p.m. Saturday, ATA Blackbelt Academy; 12:30-1:30 p.m. Sunday, Bev and Company and Doo-wacka-doo Dixieland band; 1:30-2 p.m. Sunday, ATA Blackbelt Academy; 2-3 p.m. Sunday, Bev and Company and the Doo-wacka-doo Dixieland band; 3-4 p.m. Sunday, Jodi’s Dance Unlimited; 4-5 p.m. Sunday, presentation of awards.