Blackout Benefit Friday night at IVC vs. Prairie Central game

Karen Moewe for IVC District 321
Illinois Valley Central High School students Tina Batek and Natasha Rupert created the design for the Blackout Night T-shirts. The shirts will be sold at Blackout Night Oct. 19.

The IVC Educational Foundation, in coordination with the IVC Student Council, will host a Blackout Night to benefit the Central Illinois Easter Seals Foundation and the IVCEF.

The event will be during the IVC Grey Ghost – Prairie Central football game Friday.

Fans are encouraged to purchase a Blackout T-Shirt, designed by IVC students Tina Batek and Natasha Rupert, for $10.

T-shirts will be available for sale at the game. T-shirt sales proceeds go directly to the Central Illinois Easter Seals.

The football team will wear black jerseys The Blackout jerseys worn by the players will be silent auctioned during the game.

Players will present jerseys to winning bidders immediately following the game.

Several local high school football teams are “blacking out” central Illinois for Easter Seals and helping to increase awareness for children and adults living with disabilities.  

Blackout for Easter Seals is a program that started in 2008 in Elmwood-Brimfield by coach Todd Hollis and has now expanded to 20 schools throughout central Illinois and continues to grow, according to the local chapter. This program not only educates the entire community about individuals living with disabilities, but it increases team and school spirit.

Most importantly, the program instills the importance of philanthropy for players, students and the entire community. Many of the participating teams have also brought some of their players and students through Easter Seals to meet the kids that they are helping and get a better understanding of what living with a disability is like, organizers noted.

The way Blackout for Easter Seals works is that schools choose a football game for their fans to participate. They then purchase black T-shirts with their school and Easter Seals logos on them and wear them to the designated game, thus “blacking out” the crowd. A portion of the T-shirt sales goes to Easter Seals.

Proceeds from the jersey sales go directly to the IVC Educational Foundation. Since its inception in 1992, the IVC Educational Foundation has raised more than $275,000 in donations from businesses and individuals in the community.

Although a portion of the proceeds has been invested in an endowment fund for the future, more than $165,000 has been given to the school district to help provide enrichment and educational opportunities for District 321 students.

The foundation has funded more than $80,000 in teacher grants, $40,000 in technology for district schools, $60,000 for fitness center equipment, and $5,000 to the fine arts.

For more information, contact event chairmen Paul or Sarah Buob at 274-5430.