FAIRBURY — More than $2,000 was raised during the annual salad festival of the Jefferson Community Health & Life Auxiliary on May 11 in Fairbury.
A total of 175 people were served at the festival, according to Lana Likens, director of public relations, marketing and development at Jefferson Community Health & Life. The Salad Festival is the biggest fund-raiser for the JCH&L Auxiliary each year, and has a long tradition in Fairbury. The first festival was held in 1965.
The event was not held in 2020-2022 because of the COVID pandemic.
“It takes a tremendous amount of community support to have a fund-raiser continue for more than 50 years – and even more to bring it back after a few years off because of a global pandemic. We thank all of those who helped to make this event successful once again,” Likens said. “It is a fun community spring event that also helps to fund good work by the auxiliary.”
The salad festival itself takes much volunteer time and effort, Likens said. More than 35 individuals volunteer their time to help during the day and more than 90 items of food are donated. This year, seed money from a Thrivent Financial action team also helped to cover some of the expenses of the event.
Tables were decorated with geraniums from the Fairbury FFA greenhouse, and $130 was raised for the Fairbury FFA with the sales of the geraniums.
The auxiliary provides scholarships to students entering medical fields and provides Christmas gifts for nursing home residents at JCH&L Gardenside, in addition to providing volunteer support for JCH&L in a variety of ways. After a few years of not having volunteers in the facility because of COVID, volunteer activity is expected to increase now that the COVID public health emergency is officially ended.