McHenry concerts raise more than $200,000 toward new splash pad

Shows featuring Smash Mouth, Sugar Ray were put on by a foundation led by Mayor Wayne Jett and his wife, Amber

A two-night music festival Friday and Saturday in McHenry’s Petersen Park raised just more than $200,000, enough to completely fund the addition of a splash pad at a city park, Mayor Wayne Jett said.

A nonprofit led by Jett and his wife, Amber Jett, called RISE Up Foundation put on the shows, which included performances by Smash Mouth, Sugar Ray and others performing for outdoor crowds of thousands, according to the mayor.

Jett said the splash pad project for the Fort McHenry playground will cost an estimated $185,000, with installation of the water feature costing about $100,000, equipment about $60,000 and boring for a water line and the line’s installation costing about $25,000.

McHenry Excavating has agreed to donate resources to complete the excavation work for building a new parking lot at the park, Jett said, and he is in talks with a paving company in hopes of having the paving work for the lot donated, too.

“I look forward to enjoying this new amenity with my family and hope to see all of you there when it is constructed,” Jett said in a statement, adding that he plans on the splash pad work happening in 2022.

His nonprofit is planning another event for next year, he said, and is preparing to identify the next project to support with fundraising. The past weekend’s concert series originally was planned for 2020 but the mayor decided to postpone it to this year because of COVID-19, he said.

Sam Lounsberry

Sam Lounsberry

Sam Lounsberry covers local government, business, K-12 education and all other aspects of life in McHenry County, in particular in the communities of Woodstock, McHenry, Richmond, Spring Grove, Wonder Lake and Johnsburg.