Second annual Rockton-Roscoe Rotary Ribfest promises fun for everyone


Five fire departments served up ribs at the first event in 2021.

Family fun is coming to Viking Lanes in South Beloit on Saturday, July 23 at the Rockton-Roscoe Rotary Club Ribfest. This year marks the second of this event which features three hours of action from 12:00 noon until 3:00 p.m. Admission is $10 per person which includes rib tasting, sides, and a chance to vote on favorite ribs prepared by local fire departments. The friendly competition hails from Rockton Fire Protection District, South Beloit Fire Department, City of Beloit Fire Department, Harlem-Roscoe Fire Protection District, and North Park Fire Protection District. One lucky winner will be chosen as a “People’s Choice” Award winner.

Enjoy background music while spending quality time with family and friends.

All proceeds from this event will be used to fund Rotary scholarships given to area high school graduates, which fits the Rockton-Roscoe Rotary Club’s legacy of "service above self." Rotary International's tagline is “People of Action.”

The local club was chartered on June 3, 1959 with 22 members. They met on Mondays at noon at the Wagon Wheel and the president was George Wm. Franzen. Originally the Rotary Club of Rockton, IL, it represented Rockton, Roscoe, Shirland, and Harrison. In time the club name was changed to the Rotary Club of Northern Winnebago County and finally to the Rotary Club of Rockton-Roscoe in November 2019.

The Rotary Club is consistently staying involved in and around the communities they serve. They took part in the first ever Non-Profit Night in October 2019. Since January of 2020 they have served and provided breakfast for Carpenters Place in Rockford, continuing on this path quarterly - in January, April and October. They have also reached out to help the Rockford Rescue Mission.

Another group to benefit from the Rotary’s generosity is the South Beloit Food Pantry where they help with deliveries of food to the cars (drive-thru).

In July 2020 the Roscoe-Rockton Rotary Club participated in the assembly of 3,125 face shields. They also donated 100 (each) face shields to both Fair Oaks in South Beloit and Highview in the Woodlands in Rockton.

As part of an important literacy project, the Rockton-Roscoe club purchased quality books for elementary school children this year. These books were presented to the elementary schools in Rockton, Roscoe, Shirland, and South Beloit as well as North Suburban Library in Roscoe, Talcott Free Library, and South Beloit Library. Each year the librarians challenge the students to read each of the books but they don't always have enough copies for all of the children who are interested. The Rotary supplements the number of books. The Rotary received a grant from Rotary International that helped increase the amount of books that can be donated.

Also in October of 2020 members worked toward goals of eradicating polio at the “End Polio Now Walk." The Rockton-Roscoe club organized a walk at Hononegah High School to raise funds for the Polio Plus Foundation (Rotary International).The walk's mission is to raise funds and to raise awareness. Only two countries left in the world are not considered polio-free: Afghanistan and Pakistan.

‘Teachin Tuesdays’ is a fun way to learn via Zoom under the capable leadership of different club members. A hybrid program has also been launched through the Rotary.

During the 2022 Scholarship Night at Hononegah High School and at South Beloit High School, two seniors were presented with scholarships from the Rotary.

Now in the works is the establishment of an “Interact Club” to be incorporated at one of the local schools. An Interact Club is Rotary for ages 12-18. It is a service club that will have a minimum of two events in the fiscal year, one that impacts the school and one that either has an impact or a focus in the community.

The Rotary is also going to be a sponsor for an inbound exchange student. The Rotary Youth Exchange program has been suspended due to COVID but is opening back up within the year.

Rockton- Roscoe Rotary has recently welcomed their new President, Bobbi Burke.

The club has 12 members and new members are welcome at any time.

For those interested in more information, there are several ways to contact the Rockton-Roscoe Rotary Club. Go to their website at, or e-mail a club member.

Another option is to go through the Rotary International's website and click the JOIN button on the top right-hand side of the page. Facebook is another easy way to connect with the club.

Volunteers continue making a difference through the Rotary Club. Support from events such as Ribfest help them achieve goals of reaching out to others.

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