MARION -- When 59th District state Sen. Dale Fowler of Harrisburg decided to hold an exposition highlighting products and services offered here in Southern Illinois, little did he know that the response would be so positive and the after effects so beneficial.
Fowler said that he and his staff knew they were onto something good when the booth spaces for the July event were sold out two months before the event itself.
"When we held the expo here in Marion at The Pavilion, we were so amazed at the response by both the exhibitors themselves, and the public's response, with several thousand people attending the two-day event," Fowler said.
The beneficiary of the expo's success was Veterans Honor Flight, which received a check for $28,560 from Fowler in a ceremony Friday at Veterans Airport of Southern Illinois to help fund the popular trips that give local veterans a chance to visit Washington, D.C. for a day, all expenses paid for.
Fowler had joined forces with area chambers of commerce to hold the expo.
"Not only were we wanting to showcase Southern Illinois-made products, but our goal was to also highlight our other Southern Illinois treasures and destinations," Fowler said. "I feel it's really important for all of us to support these local companies because of all they do for us. They help support our school systems, our athletic programs and so much more."
Over 70 people attended Friday's check presentation at the airport.