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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 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:

  • Marengo vs Harvard: January 11 (at Marengo Community High School)
  • DeKalb vs. Sycamore: January 26 (at NIU Convocation Center)
  • Woodstock vs Woodstock North: February 15 (at Woodstock High School)

Are you interested in sponsoring the First National Challenge? Call Gary Evans at 815-754-5131.

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First National Challenge History

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

The concept was for First National Bank 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, Kaneland, Harvard, Marengo, Belvidere and Woodstock. In total, the First National Challenge events have raised just under $2.5 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.