ROCKTON—The H.O.P.E. Foundation’s 20th Annual “Touch of Spring” fundraiser, dinner and dance event to benefit Hononegah High School is sure to feature plenty of familiar faces. With this year’s event titled “A Touch of the TV Land,” guests are invited to dress as their favorite characters for an entertaining evening.

Tom Polaski, vice president of the HOPE Foundation and retired Hononegah social studies teacher and football and track coach, said he’s considering dressing as Sam Drucker. Polaski said he has a unique resemblance to the operator of Drucker’s General Store in Hooterville on “Petticoat Junction,” and “Green Acres.”

Having fun themes for the event such as the TV theme, Polaski said, continues to be a big hit and makes the event more festive and appealing

“We are there to raise money for Hononegah High School, and doing it in a fun setting makes it that much more enjoyable,” Polaski said.

The benefit will be held at the American Center Banquet Hall in Rockton on Saturday, April 4 with a social hour from 5:30 -6:30 p.m., dinner at 6:30 p.m., and dancing from 8—11 p.m.

The music will be provided by Joe Locke-Hits DJ Service. The goal will be to have some recognizable TV characters roving around, although business casual attire is allowed.

The highlight of the evening will be the raffle drawing of a hand-crafted ring designed by Hononegah students in the jewelry design class taught by Jennifer Decker and assisted by Kevin Mueller and his staff at the Gem Shop in Rockton.

This year’s design is a 14k rose gold vintage-inspired ring showcasing a 0.75ct oval imperial topaz with a diamond halo. The ring has a retail value of $1,100. The funds raised from the annual raffle go to fund a scholarship in memory of Jan Modersohn who was the village clerk from 1991-2009. Tickets for this raffle, which are $5 each or six for $20, can be purchased at the Gem Shop, Hononegah High School (principal’s office), Village Hall, the American Legion and from H.O.P.E. Foundation trustees. Tickets for the raffle also will be sold throughout the evening. The raffle is open to the public.

An event ticket, which includes dinner for two, dancing, a silent auction and inclusion in the raffle can be purchased for $125. There are only 168 tickets available. Throughout the evening there will be 45 tickets drawn for cash prizes totaling $6,450. For more information, contact Kelly Rosik (, (815-624-5005) or Diane Eymann (, (815-624-5069).

The H.O.P.E. Foundation, a non-profit organization founded in 1997, was established as an endowment for school projects, student scholarship and teacher grants.

Polaski explained half of the money raised is designated for teacher grants with the remainder being put into a fund for school projects.

The H.O.P.E. Foundation continues to benefit from community support. Last year it added a new fundraiser to its activities, renting out the conference room in the school’s new fieldhouse during home games with a selection of a caterer.

“It was like a suite in a stadium,” Polaski said.

The event went over so well, the foundation is planning to rent it out four to five times during the next football season.

Polaski said the foundation is benefiting from new members.

“New faces and younger alumni coming on board bring great fresh ideas,” he said. “It’s been key to keeping this foundation rolling. We are picking up that new generation of alumni. The board is a nice size with 15 plus people who aren’t voting members but help out.”