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Local News

Joliet Rotary to give $25,000 in raffle proceeds to Rialto for marquee

JOLIET – The Rotary Club of Joliet plans to donate $25,000 from proceeds of its annual raffle to the Rialto Square Theatre for a future marquee.

The Joliet Rotary Raffle Committee announced to members Wednesday that the club picked the Rialto as the recipient for the annual donation of raffle funds. It was one of 12 grant applicants.

Since 1984, Joliet Rotary has awarded more than $800,000 in proceeds from its annual raffle to either start a needed community project or assist an existing program, according to the club. Other recipients have included the YMCA, Easter Seals, Daybreak Center, MorningStar Mission and The Salvation Army.

“There were 12 worthy applicants considered by the club. and after much consideration the votes resulted in the support of the Rialto project,” Rotary Club President Dan Malinowski said, who noted that this year’s raffle is set to kick off next week. “We are very happy to support another community organization that supports the people of Joliet.”

The Rialto is attempting to raise an estimated $191,000 to update the existing marquee and vertical sign, as well as install a partially completed sign on the Scott Street side of the theater.

Rialto Interim General Manager Jack Ericksen said the Rotary donation would increase the total amount raised for the marquee so far to about $100,000.

Earlier this month Rialto officials said the Rialto’s foundation has secured a $28,000 federal cost-sharing grant from the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program and received a $20,000 donation from First Midwest Bank toward the marquee work.

“This will help us get on the way to the repairs and the relighting and getting the marquee looking like it should,” Ericksen said.

The project follows the abandonment of a previous marquee in mid-construction amid community opposition to the design. The donor took back a $350,000 contribution that would have paid for the marquee, and the Rialto board later agreed to update the existing signs and use what it could from the one that was partially built.

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