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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 Event:

First National Challenge Drive-Thru Dinner
Friday, October 23rd from 4-7pm at HyVee, 2700 DeKalb Ave, Sycamore, IL 60178

Meal options:
• Pork chop sandwich, baked beans, coleslaw, cookie, and a water; $10 ticket.
• Children's meal; hotdog, chips, cookie, and a water; $5 ticket.

Orders taken until 10/19/20 - To order and get more details, go to:

Thank you to our Sponsors:
Daily Chronicle - Midweek
Northwestern Medicine
Chuck and Lynn Shepard
Swedberg Electric, Inc.
The Suter Company, Inc.
Shepard Construction, LLC
Prairie Point OB/GYN Ltd.
Associates in Counseling
Brian Bemis Automotive Group
Bob Armstrong - Meridian Print
Banner Up Signs
Brown Law Group, LLC
Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group
Crum-Halsted Agency, Inc.
DeKalb Barb Boosters
DeKalb Chamber of Commerce
Jeff Keicher, State Representative 70th District
Kishwaukee College
Kishwaukee Family YMCA
Ecowater Systems
Century 21 Affiliated
Larson & Darby Group
Mason Properties
Nehring Electrical Works
Northern Rehab Physical Therapy Specialists
Raymond James & Assoc. / Member NYSE/SIPC
Stran's Garden Center and Landscaping
Sycamore Chamber of Commerce
Sycamore Family Sports Center
Sycamore Sports Boosters

Upcoming Challenges:

Unfortunately, the COVID19 pandemic has impacted the events of the Challenge. While the games are not happening on the dates they were originally planned, the IHSA currently plans to move fall sports to the spring. We will provide updated dates when they are released.

Are you interested in sponsoring the First National Challenge? Call Ron Bemis at 815-754-8089.

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First National Challenge Logo

First National Challenge History

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

The concept was for FNBO 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, Harvard, Marengo, and Belvidere. 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.