Coyoteopoly sets its sites on downtown Vermillion

For the second year in a row, Coyoteopoly will once again turn its attention to the beautification of Vermillion.

The group will continue on last spring's project to add trash cans, benches and more trees to the new portion of the Vermillion bike trail.

Coyoteopoly, which is headed by a group of USD business students each semester, plans to raise $16,000 with a net value of $14,600 for the project.

"This semester our focus is on the city of Vermillion again," said Kristen Keller, Coyoteopoly's vice president of public relations. "We have worked with city manager John Prescott to add the benches, trash cans and trees."

The city of Vermillion was the only group to step forward this semester to Associate Professor of Business Law Greg Huckabee, who heads the project each semester, but that hasn't stopped other businesses from voicing a small concern with the project.

"There are businesses that feel we have contributed too much to the downtown area, with the main concerns coming from the businesses on Cherry Street," said Coyoteopoly president Nick Nelson. "But it was the only one that came forward."

Because of this, Nelson said another project has been developed if there is enough money left over from the project.

"Right now, we are looking at new banners for Cherry Street that would tie Vermillion and USD together," he said. "It hasn't been completely decided yet, because both are large projects."
Nelson the reason the bike path was chosen by Huckabee was to help restore Vermillion's original look.

"As Huckabee explained, when people first started to settle in Vermillion, it was all wooded," he said. "But people chopped it all, so we are bringing some of that beauty back."

Keller said this semester's project will be very beneficial to the community.

"I definitely think this is worthwhile and they will be there for plenty of years," she said. "It will clean up the area and just make Vermillion a better place."

The official Coyoteopoly day will be Saturday, April 10.

Officials for the organization will be going around town door to door from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. informing residents of the project and will also be selling raffle tickets for that night's events.

The group will also be collecting aluminum cans during this time as well to help donate to the cause.

That night, Coyoteopoly will be having a hot dog and sloppy joe feed at the Eagles Club from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Keller said the group is asking for a $5 donation per meal and it will also feature chips and a drink.

Nelson said the break-even point for the meal is 100 people.

Keller said the group is expecting around 400 people and even if members of the organization bring one person, that the event should bring in around 200 people alone.

During the supper, Coyoteopoly will be holding its raffle and also a silent auction.

Some prizes for the raffle include a five-month to Heart & Soul Fitness, a coat from Polaris valued at $250 and a helmet from Polaris valued at $150 to $200.

A painting will be the main attraction for the silent auction. The painting is by Tino Bauer, who is from Germany, and the history of USD is the theme of the painting.

It was suppose to be in last year's silent auction, but the painting was held up in customs and was unable to arrive on time.

"It's an absolute gorgeous piece, and if I had $500, I would be going after it," Nelson said.

Nelson said donations from local businesses have been down this year, so in order to help make up the difference, the group has been selling hot dogs outside the Charcoal Lounge for the past few weeks. The group has sold the hot dogs on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights and Nelson said it has been very successful.

"There was just one night we didn't sell everything," he said.

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