Fundraising efforts for Mayfest 2019 have received a boost with large contributions from the Mount Carroll Lions Club and the Mount Carroll Rotary Club. A new Mayfest Steering Committee is organizing the event and plans are to hold it on Memorial Day Weekend on the former Shimer College campus. Mayfest organizer Brandon Ballard accepts donation checks from Lions Club President Jan Smith, left, and Rotary Club member Nola Charles.

Two Mount Carroll service organizations have rallied behind the Mayfest Steering Committee by making large contributions to help jumpstart the return of Mayfest this spring to its original site on the tree-lined campus of the former Shimer College.

After the loss last year of the traditional venue location at Campbell Center along with logistical and infrastructure issues in trying to relocate the festival, Mayfest, for the first time in 36 consecutive years, did not happen in 2018. The first Mayfest was held on Memorial Day Weekend in 1982.

However, a new steering committee led by organizer Brandon Ballard began gathering a core group of Mount Carroll supporters who are dedicated to seeing that Mayfest returns bigger and better than ever for Memorial Day Weekend in 2019.

Plans have been in the works since September, but the really big break came when the defunct Campbell Center facility was purchased by Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation, which has welcomed the long-running festival back to the campus with open arms.

With the location secured recently under a land use contract, plans have been moving steadily forward to bring the festival home again to the former Shimer College campus.

“So many hurdles have already been cleared,” said Ballard, “but in order to secure deposits on tents, sanitation, band bookings and so many other things necessary to move forward with the festival, start-up funds were crucial in getting everything locked in well before any button sale or vendor revenue could be realized.”

In an effort to help offset these start-up costs, both the Mount Carroll Lions Club and the Mount Carroll Rotary Club have stepped up to help the Mayfest Steering Committee to meet this early need for funds.

At the February Mayfest Steering Committee meeting, representatives from both the Lions and the Rotary came bearing checks totaling $2,500 which will allow the committee to move forward with securing the necessary deposits to lock in the items needed as well as proceed with band bookings and other start-up costs for the festival.

Mount Carroll Lions donated $1,500, which will cover the total cost of the food tent, while the Mount Carroll Rotary chipped in the other $1,000 to be used as needed for various start-up costs such as the sanitation deposit and securing musical entertainment.

Both organizations expressed their hopes that these contributions will just be the first of many and challenge all businesses, organizations and the public to contribute to bringing Mayfest back to Mount Carroll this spring.

Ballard said that for anyone interested in helping Mount Carroll Mayfest, there are a number of ways to donate:

•Mail donations to: Mount Carroll Mayfest 601 E. Silk St. Mount Carroll IL 61053.

•Donations in cash or check can be made at TBK Bank in Mount Carroll to the Mount Carroll Mayfest account.

•Online donations can be made through PayPal to email address:

•If you or your company are interested in donating your time or goods, or if you are interested in sponsoring a specific part of Mayfest (a specific band you love, kids zone activities, stage/sound, art show, civil war re-enactment, etc.), contact