As Monty Python once said, “And now for something completely different.” That might be the theme of next year’s Peoria area St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway.
At a press conference this morning attended by Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis and Peoria Heights Mayor Mike Phelan, we learned that the 2020 St. Jude Dream Home will be built in an existing, mature subdivision in Peoria Heights, not out near the Rock Island Trail in Dunlap as the past few have been. The current home at 1322 Samuel in Peoria Heights will be razed this summer and work will begin to prep the site for the new home.
The 2020 Dream Home will have an additional floor than previous ones, since they won’t have the space to build sideways as previously done. Katie Kim, the realtor behind much of the recent Peoria Heights developments, came up with the idea to host the Dream Home in an existing neighborhood. The Kim Group is expected to make additional improvements to the street, including new street lights and sidewalks.
Last year, a record $850,000 was raised from the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway. Most of the materials, labor, construction-related costs and land acquisition is donated by generous, central Illinois fans of St. Jude, but about 20% of the cost was paid by the St. Jude Peoria board of directors. This year, their ambitious goal is to build a “zero-cost” home, meaning that none of the money raised would have to go to construction costs.
And the fund raising goal is likely to rise also. This event has been raising the bar each year, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they release 9,000 tickets next year, which would net them a record $900,000 for the St. Jude Childrens Research Center and its Midwest affiliate in Peoria. St. Jude is leading the way in treating and defeating childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. It operates solely on donations, and no St. Jude family ever has to pay for anything that insurance doesn’t cover – treatment, housing, travel, food, etc.
We at 95.5, GLO and 97.3 Nash FM look forward to the 2020 Dream Home campaign being another record-setting event!