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Local

The Queen's been most benevolent: VFW renovating banquet hall, sharing the wealth with nonprofits

UPDATE: VFW Post 540 has pushed back its drawing for its Queen of Hearts raffle to Nov. 1, due to a delay in construction involving flooring materials.

DIXON – It’s going to be a room fit for a queen.

About $100,000 raised in Queen of Hearts raffles over the past year is being used to renovate the banquet room at VFW Post 540, 1560 Franklin Grove Road., while almost $150,000 has been given to local nonprofits.

The work, which began Oct. 1 and is expected to end Nov. 8, will include a new restroom, bar, lighting, crown molding, flooring, and paint.

Without the raffle, the VFW wouldn’t have been able to upgrade the 54-year-old building, which never has had any remodeling, manager Ann Westlund said.

“Everyone’s generosity has helped us do this renovation and give back to the community.”

The club also has given more than $145,000 in raffle proceeds to charities such as the Semper Fi Fund, Honor Flight, Amboy’s Teen Turf, and Boy Scouts of America.

And the Queen keeps on giving: The current pot is up to $275,225, and the next drawing, usually held weekly, was moved to Oct. 25 because of the remodeling.

The winner, who need not be present at the drawing, will get 70 percent of the pot. Of the remaining 30 percent, half goes to charity and the VFW keeps the rest. Of the remaining 30 percent, half goes to charity and the VFW keeps the rest.

It’s easy for the pots to grow: 52 cards and both jokers are placed face down on a board and given a number. People buy tickets – six for $5 – and on the back write their name, phone number, and the number under which they think her Royal Highness is lurking.

If the ticket drawn has the queen’s number, the ticket holder wins; otherwise, more tickets are sold and another drawing is held the following week.

The drawings are held Thursday nights, and as of this week, there are only 21 cards left on the board.

TO PLAY

Tickets for the Queen of Hearts fundraiser are available at the VFW, 1560 Franklin Grove Road, from 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday until closing time, which depends on events and attendance.

The next drawing will held at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25; the last ticket will be sold at 7:25 p.m.

Donations also are being accepted for the building repair fund.

Call 815-288-5165 for more information.

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