Fair Diddley set for this weekend

WOODSTOCK – An organization that grants money to mental health agencies is preparing for one of two yearly events that helps raise the funds to do so.

The Mental Health Resource League will put on its 45th annual Fair Diddley from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 19 on the Woodstock Square.

The organization also puts on Fall Diddley, held at the county fairgrounds. The two craft and food fairs last year raised $200,000, which was distributed to 19 mental health agencies in McHenry County.

This year, the league wants to grow to support more agencies, Publicity Chairman Michelle Sacchitello said.

She said that will rely on turnout this year, which often hinges on weather. Last year, the weather was inconsistent.

"It was extremely sunny at some points and extremely windy at other points," she said.

With a good year, the league could reach $5 million in total funds raised and distributed. It is currently at $4.7 million.

The first Fair Diddley, 45 years ago, brought in $500. But as it grew, the organization added Fall Diddley 25 years later.

The events have continued to gain a following, and attendance has stayed up even during a tough economy, Sacchitello said.

"What we want to do the next year is really generate the knowledge that these [events] do support 19 mental health agencies," she said. "It's all about giving back to the community 100 percent."

How to help:

To sponsor Fair Diddley or donate to the Mental Health Resource League, visit www.mhrl.org

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