Eliza, IL to hold benefit to save its community center


ELIZA, Ill (KWQC)- If you’re driving down 65th street, you may miss the 24 person town of Eliza altogether.

“Eliza isn’t very big but the outgoing community is big,” said Chris Bieri. “It’s large when you get out past Eliza. Everybody participates and comes to the events here.”

At the heart of that outgoing community is the Eliza Community Center.

“I went to school here,” said Bieri. “I’m pretty fond of the place, we want it to stick around.”

Now– 63 years later, it is the only spot for events in the western part of Mercer County.

“People rent it for wedding receptions, benefits, family reunions,” Bieri added. “It gets used for all kinds of events.”

So much of the building is intertwined with the community, its rooms are named after people in town.

There’s Darla’s room, the gym…

“The gymnasium is called Howe Hall because of Mary Lou and Bob taking care of the place,” said Bieri.

Even the kitchen is named after a lady named Julie, who’s family gave money to the center.

Now, the community center needs the help of the community that has relied on it for so long.

It needs a new roof over the classroom portion of the old school, totaling around 30 thousand dollars.

On Saturday, the center will be doing what it does best, holding a benefit.

“We’re having a car and tractor show, bag tournaments and trivia night. We’re having basket raffles, gun raffles, we’re doing a little bit of everything.” Bieri said. “We’re just trying to have a whole day of fun and raise some funds.”

“It is the hub of the community, it means a lot to this area,” said Mary Lou Howe, the person in charge of the building. “If we were to lose it, it’d be really really sad. I’ve been working with this building for a good many years. So, it means a lot to all of us.”

Events will start at the community center at 7 a.m. Saturday morning. If you would like more info click here.



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