SI Made Expo donates 2022 proceeds to local organizations, pledges help for others in 2023
More than 3,500 people helped raise money for two veterans organizations last year
The annual Southern Illinois Made Expo donated more than $45,000 to Veterans Honor Flight of Southern Illinois and Southern Illinois Honor Guard Tuesday, and organizers say they're ready to help another project for veterans this year.
State Senator Dale Fowler is among the leaders of the SI Made Expo. He says it's a great way for local businesses to network and spread the word about what's being done here. He says it's also a way to give back, and this year's event will benefit Specialized Equine Services' veterans programs at Giant City Stables.
Fowler says the programs have to shut down when the weather gets too cold, so he's working to help them build an enclosed arena. A 200-thousand dollar grant from the state helps, but he says more is needed.
"But unfortunately over the last two years, because of the price of materials and such that have gone through the roof, that $200,000 is now not enough. So I I know that what we raised, you know at the Expo in the past and what we can raise this year, will help ensure that they have an opportunity to have their arena enclosed."
This year's Expo is scheduled for July 22-23 at the Pavilion in Marion.