Owed thousands by the state, one of the Illinois State Fair vendors is giving money away anyway. That group is the American Business Club of Springfield -- running gate admission, parking, and grandstand concessions during the state fair -- also not paid yet thanks to the budget impasse. But the group's Kevin Lust says that's not stopping the club from spreading the future wealth. "We made a presentation to the board of governors of the American Business Club a couple of weeks ago that said, 'You know what? We still want to recognize those charities that were out there in the hot sun and the cold mornings and the rainy days, serving at the gates, volunteering to do the things that needed to be done to get people safely on to the fairgrounds."
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Lust says he wasn't sure how the presentation would go, but in the end, voting to share the proceeds with those non-profits and local sports teams was unanimous. "I wasn't entirely 100 percent certain how that conversation would go," Lust says. "I prepared for it, frankly, with the notion that this is going to be a tough sell, because we're asking the board of governors of the American Business Club to produce $90,000 of our funds to give away to people, and we haven't actually received a nickel of that." 52 groups will share in the money, and another similar presentation is planned for April.