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First National Challenge

Building active, supportive and caring communities.

Check presentation for the First National Bank Challenge

Together, we can make our communities thrive.

The First National Challenge was created to increase attendance at athletic events, raise funds, and enhance awareness of the local Sports Booster Club organizations. Local businesses, organizations, and individuals are “Challenged” to help raise funds that will help support school athletic programs with net proceeds being distributed to the school’s booster clubs. Combined, the First National Challenge programs have raised over $2.6 million dollars for their school’s athletic programs. By accepting this year’s Challenge, you will be helping provide a future for our children’s athletic programs. What’s good for the kids is great for the community!

Upcoming Challenges:

• DeKalb/Sycamore - Friday, August 27, 2021
Click Here for more information, purchase Challenge tailgate tickets or to make a donation.

If you interested in being a sponsor for the DeKalb/Sycamore First National Challenge contact Ron Bemis at (815) 754-8089.

• Yorkville - Friday, October 8, 2021

If you are interested in sponsoring the Yorkville First National Challenge please call Jason Hanson at (630) 553-6070 or Denise Krafft (630) 553-6173.

• Marengo/Harvard - Friday, September 17, 2021

If you are interested in sponsoring the Harvard/Marengo First National Challenge please call Lesley Pace (815) 568-3177 or Raul Meza (815) 568-3331.

First National Challenge Logo

First National Challenge History


The First National Challenge, formerly Castle Challenge, was created in 2000 by employees of FNBO who were looking for an opportunity to help raise money for the DeKalb and Sycamore Sports Booster Clubs.

The concept was for FNBO to offer the lead sponsorship of the event and they would then challenge other local businesses from DeKalb and Sycamore to donate a minimum of $500. This donation would then be used for sponsorship of the local high school football game between the two rival towns. Sponsoring companies and individuals, in turn, would receive a multitude of publicity.

In the inaugural year, 12 sponsors accepted the challenge and $20,000 was raised. All proceeds were split evenly between the two school’s booster clubs. Today, the Challenge has expanded to include other communities, including Yorkville, Sandwich, Plano, Harvard, Marengo, and Belvidere. In total, the First National Challenge events have raised just over $2.6 million for local Athletic Booster Clubs. These funds are used to purchase uniforms, equipment, bleachers, scoreboards, etc.

First National Challenge Vision:  What is great for the kids, is great for the community.