EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Six months ago, the West Side Nut Club’s Fall Festival Half Pot reached a record amount – more than $1.5 million. Now, to celebrate Founders Day, the Club invited more than 400 people to the Discovery Lodge at Burdette Park to find out who will be receiving parts of that profit.
Four years ago, before the start of the Fall Festival half pot, the West Side Nut Club donated nearly $200,000 per year. Now – it’s way past that.
“For the first time in Nut Club history we are giving to every single school in Evansville that is EVSC schools and parochial school,” said Brandon McClish, 2022 West Side Nut Club Founder’s Day chairperson.
The Nut Club awarded nearly 100 checks at the Founder’s Day party, and an additional $20,000 dollars in a raffle half pot drawing. Three schools and three organizations were drawn at random and given extra money in increments of $2,000, $3,000, and $5,000.
- $2,000 – Lincoln Schools
- $3,000 – Resurrection
- $5,000 – Harwood Career Prep School
- $2,000 – Friedrich’s Ataxia Research
- $3,000 – Cops Connecting with Kids
- $5,000 – Echo Housing
Kristine Eichholz, the principal for Harwood Career Prep said she was shocked to hear the school’s name called for the grand prize. “I’m so incredibly happy and grateful because our kids are so deserving and now we have a total of $7000 we are walking away with tonight and that can do so much for our school.”
Eichholz said their Certified Nursing Program needs a new hospital bed, so the extra money may help with that.
Jason Cullum and Philip Smith accepted the award for Cops Connecting with Kids. Cullum said, “it was amazing to come in to know that we’re going to have a $14,000 donation coming our way. It made the night special. But when they started pulling names out of the bucket and pulled ours out for the additional $3,000, that was huge for us.”
The organization takes kids from eight local schools on a Disney World trip and Smith said the money will help make sure the trip remains free for the kids and their families.
Tracy Archuleta, USI’s baseball coach, is also a representative for Friedrch’s Ataxia Research, which took home an additional check from the raffle. Archuleta’s son was diagnosed with the disease, which affects the body’s nervous system. Archuleta said, “We have the charity event with USI baseball and the Nut Club has been the title sponsor since it began. Can’t thank them enough and it’s going to help cure Friedrich Ataxia”
Mcclish announced that the Nut Club has officially passed $8 million donated since their start in 1921.
Several scholarships to USI were also awarded to Evansville high schoolers based off of their school activities, community involvement and a written essay.