Crime Stoppers fundraiser gears up for Route 66 festival

A hangar party to raise money for Crime Stoppers of Sangamon and Menard Counties got off to a good start Sunday.

Only an hour into the six-hour event, nearly 200 people had already shown up to support the crime-fighting program.

“We’re hoping for 500 to 600 people,” said Terry Farmer of Springfield, president of the Crime Stoppers board. “Last year we had 300 to 400 people. We’re trying to notch it up a bit.”

The event, now in its second year, was held at the Levi, Ray & Shoup Inc. Hangar at the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport. There were food trucks, live bands, and people also strolled through Dick Levi’s private collection of classic cars and motorcycles.

The car collection had everything from a Ford Model T to 1960s muscle cars and modern, high performance cars.

Levi’s car collection fits in well with Crime Stoppers next fundraising event, the International Route 66 Mother Road Festival in downtown Springfield on Sept. 22-24.

“We are gearing up for the Route 66 Festival,” Farmer said. “We are also involved in that as a fundraiser.”

Money from the fundraisers is used to pay people who call in or text tips that lead to arrests. In February, Crime Stoppers announced that it was increasing its maximum tip from $ 1,000 to $ 2,500.

Later, Crime Stoppers said it would pay up to $ 5,000 for tips leading to arrests in homicide cases.

“We’ve been fundraising and trying to work really hard to make sure we have enough money to pay for these tips. So far, it’s looking good,” Farmer said.

So far, Crime Stoppers has not received a tip that would qualify someone for the $ 5,000 reward.

Farmer said he hopes that will soon change.

“It just takes someone to call in,” Farmer said. “If the influence of a little bit more money can help out, then hopefully (the $ 5,000 reward) will help.”

Crime Stoppers has been able to help solve some area bank robberies.

“Over the last year and a half to two years, we’ve seen seven to nine bank robberies. Crime Stoppers tips have solved a majority of those,” Farmer said.

David Allen of Petersburg, a member of the Crime Stoppers Board, emphasized that tips to Crime Stoppers are anonymous.

“If you want to call in a tip, you’re anonymous. Nobody knows your name or number,” Allen said.

While Sangamon County has a significantly larger population than Menard, people in Menard County are involved in the Crime Stoppers program.

A couple of months ago, a fundraising event for Crime Stoppers was held at the Hand of Fate Brewing Co. in downtown Petersburg.

For more information on Crime Stoppers of Sangamon and Menard Counties, go to cashfortips.us.

–Contact John Reynolds: john.reynolds@sj-r.com, 788-1524, twitter.com/JohnReynoldsSJR.

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