By Anne Eickstadt

Alice Siete-Nevel and Julie Pilgerim display some of the delicious pie slices that they serve at the Garden Prairie Broasted Chicken fundraiser for the park.


The twice a year chicken broast pays for the park in Garden Prairie. Guests receive a quarter or a half broasted piece of chicken, one ear of sweet corn, some cucumber salad, and potato chips. Guests can also purchase soda, lemonade, or water and a slice of pie. Without this happening two times a year, they wouldn’t be able to keep it open or pay for upkeep and repair. The gas grill needs to be re-mortared. It was updated from charcoal to gas in 1991.

“I’ve been doing this for over 30 years,” said Keith Nevel. “This pays for buying insurance. We try to keep the park safe.”

“We’re doing this for swings,” said Julie Pilgerim. “If anyone wants to donate some playground equipment…”

“I made the cucumber salad this year,” said Alice, Siete-Nevel. “I used five bushels of cucumbers, half a bushel of peppers, and half a bushel of onions. We brought 20 containers of cucumber salad and we will still run out.

“I’ve been helping with this event since the ‘80s. The current playground equipment was here when I came here in 1985. The Boy Scouts always help. We could always need more volunteers on the day of the chicken broast. We work our butts off here.”

The park is owned by the Garden Prairie Improvement Association (GPIA). It is open to the public and holds a baseball diamond, a playground, and a pavilion.

GPIA president Paul Curtis said, “People come from all over for our chicken broast. Some come out from Chicago. This is our annual fundraising event. It pays the real estate taxes, gas and electric utilities, and maintenance. We do this twice annually; our next chicken broast will be Aug. 18….

For complete article, pick up the July 25 Belvidere Republican.

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