DECATUR - Autograph after autograph, Jamal Mayers lit up the first floor of the Decatur Civic Center Saturday afternoon as part of the Decatur Celebration.
"I just try to, you know, to get them to be themselves and say hi," he told WAND News.
The former Blackhawks player spent about 20 minutes engaging with fans before the meet and greet took a turn. Leaders of the Decatur Youth Hockey Association stunned the crowd when they unveiled a check from an anonymous donor for $75,000.
"Today was a really big day for Decatur, but a really big day for hockey as well," said association president Jason Habrock.
In May, the Decatur Youth Hockey Association celebrated winning $75,000 in the Kraft Hockeyville USA competition, giving the youth hockey league a confidence boost. But suddenly, six weeks ago, an anonymous donor from Decatur announced that if the association raised $37,500, he would match. The funds were raised, the donor matched and the total check of $75,000 was presented.
"hopefully those funds can introduce the game to a whole new set of fans, a whole new set of hockey players out there," said Mayers.