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CHAMPAIGN — More than 30 monetary awards from the Hospitality Relief Fund of the Visit Champaign County Foundation have been given to people in the hospitality industry who have lost their job or are facing reduced hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Business owners and general managers from restaurants, hotels, event venues and retail nominated the workers.

It marks the second round of the awards. More than $11,000 has been raised from 40 individual contributions in addition to the initial contribution from the foundation. United Way of Champaign County also made a $5,000 donation.

A lottery system is being used to determine award winners. Recipients are current or past employees from area shops, restaurants, hotels, venues and attractions that include Boomerangs Bar & Grill, Po’Boys Restaurant, Rose Bowl Tavern, The Blind Pig Brewery, CU Adventures in Time & Space, Hilton Garden Inn, Neil St. Blues and Esquire Lounge.

Donations are still being accepted at fund

“We continue to be overwhelmed with the generosity from the community,” said Jayne DeLuce, president & CEO of Visit Champaign County and Visit Champaign County Foundation. “It’s humbling to hear the stories of these workers who face very real financial difficulties because of the pandemic. While we wish we weren’t in this situation, I’m thankful that our organization and our community continue to rise to the challenge so we can provide a little help during the holiday season.”

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