A local businessman is making an appeal to the public to help update a memorial sign that has grown tired looking at the JHS Football Field.
Jacksonville native and longtime friend of the late Jerry Symons, John Buchanan is working to raise funds to replace the sign on the Jerry Symons Press Box at the Kraushaar-Rosenberger Football Field.
The press box was dedicated to Symons a number of years ago, and Buchanan says over time and likely due to its placement on the west-facing facade, the sign has darkened and cracked to the point of being difficult to read.
Buchanan says he feels District 117 has done a great job at being diligent in improving the curb appeal of district facilities, including the bleachers and electronic scoreboard.
Buchanan says he knows the district has a lot on its plate right now including continued compliance with COVID, so he hopes members of the public are willing to help update the memorial sign for Jerry Symons.
“So I just thought we should do something about that partially for appearances, but secondly, I’m, a close personal friend of Jerry Symons’, and I respected the work he did over the years. He was much more than a sports broadcaster and radio station manager, he was passionate about his community and improving it.
He was a consummate volunteer and dedicated, and Jerry prior to his death, left his fingerprints all over this community, and this sign that was put up was certainly appropriate in dedicating the press box to him. And it was a fingerprint that I would like to see maintained and sustained.”
Buchanan says he is hoping for a groundswell of support from the public to help with the project. He asks that anyone who was touched by Jerry Symons’ work throughout the years, would give a donation to the effort no matter how large or small.
He says the donations will also be tax-deductible thanks to support from a local foundation.
“I’ve made arrangements with the Jacksonville Public Schools Foundation to route these donations through the Foundation so it is a tax-deductible gift. Folks can send a check to me at 308 County Club Road in Jacksonville, there at the radio station P.O. Box 1180, 62651, and the Public Schools Foundation would receive those as well at 211 West State Street. We just ask that you simply make the check out to the Jacksonville Public Schools Foundation and in the memo line, put Jerry Symons.”
Buchanan says it will cost approximately $860.00 to replace the sign that measures thirty inches by twenty feet long. He says hopefully more money comes in than is needed for the sign as a fund has been established with the Jacksonville Public Schools Foundation to help repair or replace any future signage in the district such as at The Bowl, the Kraushaar-Rosenberger Football Field, or wherever the help may be needed.
To make a donation to the Jerry Symons sign fund, mail or drop off a check at the Jacksonville Public Schools Foundation or the WLDS/WEAI studios.
Checks should be made payable to the Jacksonville Public Schools Foundation with the name Jerry Symons in the memo line.