June 21, 2017: With the Sugar Grove Corn Boil Festival fast approaching, the entire community of Sugar Grove appears to be ready to light it up blue in support of Giant Steps' Canopy Adult Services Program and autism awareness. Several area businesses have stepped up to help raise both funds and awareness.
Ace Hardware Sugar Gove will be selling the Blue Lightbulbs from GE at $1.99 per bulb. Owner Mark Driscoll has pledged to donate $0.99 to Giant Steps for every bulb sold. Additionally, leading up to the festival, individual "blue lite" bracelets will be on sale for $5.00. These bracelets can be purchased at Old Second Bank, First National Bank, 1st Secure Community Bank, Genoa Pizza, Paisano's Pizza and Grill, and Ace Hardware Sugar Grove. Bracelets will also available for purchase during the event. The Sugar Grove Corn Boil Committee will invite everyone wearing a "blue lite" bracelet to participate in a special moment before the main performer takes the stage Thursday night.
"The Sugar Grove community has embraced Giant Steps and this recognition just shows how much the residents support and believe in our mission to provide opportunities for a purposeful, fulfilling and independent life for those living on the autism spectrum," said Giant Steps Executive Director Dr. Sylvia Smith.
The Sugar Grove Corn Boil is a not-for-profit organization, run by local volunteers, business owners and community leaders. Every year the Sugar Grove Corn Boil Committee fundraises for the festival and at the end they donate back to a variety of community groups. During the Sugar Grove Corn Boil Festival's opening night, $5.00 will be donated to Giant Steps for every $25.00 carnival wristband that is sold – excluding pre-sale tickets. Carnival wristbands will allow the wearer to have unlimited rides between 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.
"Giving back to the community is a cornerstone of the Corn Boil. The festival is all about celebrating community and there's no better way to do that then by giving back to charities we believe are doing great work here in Sugar Grove. Giant Steps and Canopy are doing amazing things and we want to lend our voice and support to the cause any way we can," said Committee President Jackie Link.
The 2017 Opening Ceremony and Parade will be dedicated in honor of Giant Steps' Canopy Adult Service Program. Canopy staff members, and program participants and their families will lead the procession into Volunteer Park, where the festivities will take place. The official kick-off will take place Friday, July 28th at 5:00 p.m. Canopy Program participants will also be participating throughout the festival.
The Canopy Adult Services Program serves individuals ages 22 and up, who have "aged out" of school-based support services. Canopy has created a day program that is designed to meet the individual and specific needs of adults with autism. Canopy provides therapeutic services, community inclusion opportunities, as well as life skills and vocational training, helping participants to continue to grow and develop throughout their lives.