© 2024 WNIJ and WNIU
Northern Public Radio
801 N 1st St.
DeKalb, IL 60115
Northern Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

High School Football Wager Among Lawmakers Turns Into Food Pantry Donation Drive


Two Illinois State Representatives are using a high school football wager to raise money for local food pantries.

Representative Jeff Keicher said he and his colleague Joe Sosnowski are major fans of their local high school football teams. They agreed to match $500 in donations to the winning city’s food bank in the Saturday quarterfinal between the two teams.  Keicher said the bet started innocuously enough.

“We were sitting on the floor during the first day of session talking about how our individual teams were doing back in our hometown for football in the playoffs," he said. "Through a little trash talking, a little back and forth, we decided that we should do something to maybe raise some money for a food pantry and have a little wager.”

Sosnowski said they’re also encouraging their constituents to make donations to their local pantries regardless of the winner.

“We just thought with the winter months coming, and that being a need," he said, "hunger being prevalent no matter what community you’re in. With the thanksgiving holiday coming up also, we figured that it makes some sense to bring some attention to them and hopefully inspire others to give to those organizations.” 

The mayors of Rockford and Sycamore have also gotten in on the action, with the loser wearing the winning team’s jersey in a social media post. The charities involved are the Rockford Rescue Mission and the Sycamore Food Pantry.