The Naperville Heritage Society raised $244,000 at the Barn Raising Benefit on Saturday, Nov. 5 in support of Naper Settlement’s Agricultural Interpretative Center. The money raised included a $50,000 matching donation by Rich and Mary Benck, founders of West Side Tractor Sales Co. There were 310 guests in attendance to support the museum’s mission to cultivate the future by pbarn-raising-benefit-468roviding fun, interactive experiences that foster the knowledge and appreciation of farming in Naperville and the region.

The Barn Raising Benefit took place under a large heated tent at Naper Settlement and was presented by the Naperville Heritage Society and Masters of Ceremony, WGN Radio’s Orion Samuelson and Max Armstrong. The special evening included a cocktail reception, ceremony and dinner. Guests enjoyed a beautiful, locally-sourced dinner by green restaurant and caterer Big Delicious Planet, while they received a preview and video, produced in-kind by Wight and Company, about Naper Settlement’s plans for the Agricultural Interpretive Center. Rich Benck’s restored tractors were also on display, along with the Allis-Chalmers tractor that was donated to NHS by the Wheatland Plowing Match Association.

The Agricultural Interpretive Center’s exhibitions, virtual technology and hands-on programming will showcase stories of real-life farming families of the past and teach the barn-raising-benefit-434business and science of modern-day farming to Naper Settlement’s 140,400 annual visitors. Exhibits will also focus on farming innovation that will demonstrate the roles of analytical thinking, mechanical comprehension, a grasp of plant physiology and other intellectual processes that work under the banner of STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — for the 33,520 students and teachers that visit the museum annually.

For more information on the Agricultural Interpretive Center, visit To donate, download the Cherryfish app or visit their website at

Honorary co-chairs for the Barn Raising Benefit included Richard Benck, Mary Benck, Wilbert Hageman and Ruth Hageman. Event co-chairs for the evening were Mary Ann Bobosky and Brien Nagle. The planning committee included Kathryn Birkett, Richard Clemmons, Sharon Covert, Dave Kelsch, Patty Lindstrom, Nina Menis, Leah Rippe and Macarena Tamayo-Calabrese. Thank you to our leading event sponsor, the Dunham Fund.

About Naper Settlement

Naper Settlement is a nationally accredited, award-winning outdoor museum set on 12 magnificent acres in the heart of Naperville, where history comes to play and community comes to connect. For more information, visit or call (630) 420-6010.