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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 11, 2010

Big Payoff and Big Benefits for Illinois Sportsmen and Parks
Illinois Conservation Foundation and Friends of Illinois Parks Launch Raffle with $100,000 First Prize

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Conservation Foundation and the Friends of Illinois Parks are teaming up to offer the first-ever “Illinois Sportsman’s and Parks Raffle” with a $100,000 first-place prize.

Tickets for the raffle are $100 each and are available from both organizations.  The grand prize of $100,000 – along with other cash prizes – will be presented at a drawing on Friday, May 14.  Additional “early bird” prizes will be awarded for tickets drawn on five dates in February, March and April.    

Proceeds from the raffle will support programs in local park districts, forest preserve districts, and recreation agencies – as well as youth outdoor recreation and natural resources protection programs throughout Illinois.

“The raffle is a new concept for the ICF and the Friends of Illinois Parks as a way to raise money for important programs while also providing a big payoff for some lucky raffle ticket buyers,” said Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller, who serves as chairman of the board of directors of the Illinois Conservation Foundation.  “Every dollar raised by the raffle for the ICF will be used to make the outdoors more accessible and exciting for kids.  Getting youth outdoors – for fishing, hunting, hiking, camping, biking, bird watching and other outdoor activity – is a key to our conservation future.”

The Illinois Conservation Foundation (ICF) was established in 1994 to raise funds in support of programs of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).  Many of the programs supported by the ICF are focused on youth participation in outdoor recreation, environmental awareness, and conservation education. 

“We value our partnership with the Illinois Conservation Foundation, and this exciting raffle will not only benefit our lucky winners, but the proceeds raised for Friends of Illinois Parks will yield great dividends in terms of improved park, recreation and conservation agency services for all Illinois citizens,” said Peter Murphy, President and CEO of the Illinois Association of Park Districts, which administers the Friends of Illinois Parks Foundation.

The Friends of Illinois Parks supports park districts, forest preserve districts, and recreation agencies in providing open space for recreation, wildlife habitat, and natural resources protection.  Proceeds from the raffle will support research, environmental awareness, and the PowerPlay! Beyond School Grant Program, a Friends initiative that provides Illinois children with safe, structured beyond school activities focused on health, fitness, and nutrition.

Tickets for the raffle are priced at $100 each and are available:
 
By mail at the Illinois Conservation Foundation, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271 
By telephone at 217/785-2003 
Online at www.isp-raffle.com
From any participating park district that is a member of the Illinois Association of Park Districts (phone 217/523-4554 for contact information).

Proceeds from the raffle will benefit the missions and programs of both the Illinois Conservation Foundation and Friends of Illinois Parks. 



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