AMBOY – Despite a broken water main that left the town with no running water, spotty cell phone service that ended a live stream of the lottery drawing and even a lightning storm, organizers of the Amboy Depot Days Car Show Raffle deemed it a success after raising $211,160.
“We dealt with some adversity and still came out on top,” raffle chairman Jeff Gerdes said, referring to a gas line leak organizers had to contend with Saturday .
The winning ticket went to Tim Hord of Dixon, who invested $100 in tickets and walked away with $105,580, Gerdes said. Hord said it’s a big and early birthday present him, who turns 50 a week from Monday.
The raffle was part of the 30th Amboy Depot Days festival. Although the four-day extravaganza was among the casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the 2019 kitty previously swelled to $210,850.
The drawing first was held in 2001, when organizers raids a total of $8,400.
“We try to do a little better every year,” Gerdes said.
He said he estimated the annual festival drew about 40,000 people to this village of about 2,500. The annual event typically features a craft fair, carnival and a beer garden, among other attratctions.
The car show and the raffle, which signals the end of the festival, make Sunday the most popular day, Gerdes said.
The raffle committee also gave away ten $3,000 prizes.
Winners of the $3,000 prizes are: Tracy Ranken of Dixon; John Taets of Tampico; Jess Enas of Walnut; Melissa Galbard of Rochelle; Robert Martin of Princeton; Brandon Hess of Hinckley; John Becker of Aurora; Robert Pennell Popular of Bluff; Tim Whelan of Central Point, Oklahoma; and Marsha Scheiber, who did not list a hometown.
Raffle proceeds help pay for the upkeep of the Depot Museum, which is planning a $500,000 restoration project. Proceeds also support local food pantries, the town’s Teen Turf center and the school library and local Girl Scouts, among other area organizations.