Fundraising Activities

The fundraising activities pursued by the IOTFA are:

  1. Gigs, $ for playing music
  2. Fiddle Raffle ticket sales
  3. Cookout(s) with proper Public Health Permits,
  4. Memberships in IOTFA
  5. Donations/Contributions by individuals
  6. Fiddle Fest ticket sales
  7. Fiddle Contest (ie., Fiddle Fest)  ticket sales
  8. Contest Program Ads
  9. and anything else we can think of!

1.  Gigs

The IOTFA receives a number of requests throughout the year to provide fiddle music at various public events.  Members donate their time, resources and talents for these events.  While some are gratis for other non-profit programs, the IOTFA is generally paid by the business or organization involved.  Some are strictly fundraising efforts where both the host and the IOTFA benefit financially.  The funds gained are used to support the annual Illinois State Fiddle Contest.

The Neoga, IL IGA Cookout Fundraiser

Currently Scheduled 2020 Gigs (to schedule a gig call President Junior Hobson at (217) 682-3869.)

June 11, Private program in Long Creek, IL

June 14, Five Mile House, 1:00 – 2:30 pm, five miles south of Charleston, IL on Rt 130.

July 31, Private program in Mt Auburn, IL

2.  The Fiddle Raffle

Each year the IOTFA acquires a nice sounding, playable fiddle in good condition, with bow & generally new case.  These are older fiddles with some character rather than an inexpensive new fiddle outfit.  Raffle tickets are sold throughout the year at various opportunities such at one of our gigs, a bluegrass festival or other musical event in the area.  The raffle drawing is the last event of the Contest and you need not to be present to win.

The Raffle Fiddle

3.  Cookout(s)

Each summer we have one or more Cookouts that are sponsored by the Neoga (IL) IGA Store.  The IOTFA provides workers and musicians and the IGA provides parking lot space and supplies.  We cook and sell a small variety of sandwiches with condiments, chips and drinks.  We also sell Fiddle Raffle tickets and memberships at that event.  Proceeds of course go into the fund to support the Contest in October.

The Neoga IGA Cookout

4.  The Fiddle Fest

This event is composed of two parts:

  1. a Saturday Jam Session(s) starting a 5:00 and one or more Band(s) Performance(s) starting at 7:30 pm and,
  2. the Sunday Fiddle Contest starting at 1:00 pm.

An admission fee is charged each day.  Proceeds from ticket sales for both days are shared with the venue, the Effingham Performance Center.

Saturday Jam and Band Performance(s)

For the last 8 years or so a Saturday afternoon/evening program has preceded the annual contest and it is also held in the EPC.  This has generally been jam sessions by anyone interested in old time fiddle music, and other activities including ticket sales for the Fiddle Raffle, a “fiddle  swap,” instruments and related items.  A snack bar is operated by the EPC for your convenience and in 2019 a food truck was available just outside the entrance.  The evening session is a performance by one or more bands featuring fiddlers and they may play more than on genre.  Since the  purpose of the IOTFA includes perpetuating old time fiddling styles, the goal is to focus on the youth and we hope to contribute to that goal via the various bands that perform on Saturday evening, as well as encouraging the  younger fiddlers to compete in the Annual Contest the following day.

Annual Fiddle Contest

A major effort of the IOTFA is the Annual Illinois State Fiddle Contest, generally held in October.  Since 2018 the contest has been held in the Effingham Performance Center, (EPC), a non-profit entity that hosts many types of programs and famous  performers of a variety of genre.  This relatively new and very nice facility is well equipped and perfectly suited for our annual contest.  For more details see the pages on the Annual Contest.

An “Over 70 Division” contestant in the 2018 fiddle contest: Wayne Logue of Champaign, IL