Rockton Lions make holiday season brighter through Wimpy's Fund


Photo: Rockton Lions Club

Every year the Rockton Lions Club raises funds through the Wimpy's Fund auction during the Rockton Christmas Walk. Wimpy's Fund chair Terrie Garlow, co-chair Carol Wright, and a team of volunteers are working hard to make this auction one to remember.

Over 100 families receive an extra dose of Christmas cheer in Rockton, Roscoe, Shirland, South Beloit, and Harrison. Families are referred by local school districts.

To assure a brighter Christmas season, each family receives food, toys and Christmas gifts from the Rockton Lions Club, based off a list provided by the parents. "Every year we provide enough food to last a family at least a month or more," event chair Terrie Garlow said.

You can help the Lions Club in these outreach efforts by taking a chance on winning useful and fun items in the auction, either online or in person. Baskets will be on display during different Christmas Walk events for viewing.

Online bidding will open on Friday afternoon, Dec. 1 and closes on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 10 p.m. The site that will be used to run the event is Silent Auction Pro, the same site that was used last year. We are group 914. To sign up on your mobile phone, text G914 to 888-990-9876. After you register for an account, you can place a bid on awesome goods donated by various individuals, organizations and businesses.

The live portion of the auction starts at the American Center (American Legion), 221 W. Main St., Rockton after the Rockton Christmas Walk Lighted Christmas parade. Raffles, wine pulls, and other activities often add to the fun.

In person bidding will end around 10 p.m. Saturday night.

Wimpy's Fund's ongoing efforts ensure that local families have what they need to make the season merrier and brighter!

Wimpy's Fund began in memory of former Rockton police chief Everett Vaughn who served as chief from 1977-1981. He was given the nickname Wimpy based on the cartoon character in Popeye who walked the streets and carried a sandwich board.

Wimpy, friend of Popeye. © King Features Syndicate.
Everett "Wimpy" Vaughan

As he was helping children cross the street, Vaughn would notice that some of the children didn’t have gloves, hats or socks. He went one step further and took the mothers of those families shopping to buy clothing, groceries and one gift for each child in need. His wife Betty provided Christmas dinner for the families; over time they added toys into the mix.

Vaughn passed away in 1997 and his friend Jack Stewart took action in carrying on his legacy. Other Lions Club members have teamed up over the years to make the Christmas season special by carrying on this long time tradition.

In any year, volunteers from the public are also invited to help take the baskets to the auction site at American Center (American Legion), or to help with wrapping gifts. Another way that community members can take part is to adopt a family or to donate items or baskets for the auction, or to help on the day these gifts are delivered.

In addition to bidding on and collecting winning items, community members can give monetary donations directly to First National Bank & Trust, or can mail them to Rockton Lions Club, P.O. Box 90, Rockton, IL. 61072.

For more details on how to donate or to help in any way please call Terrie Garlow at 815-243-1053.

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