Third Annual Rotary Ribfest turning up the heat in friendly competition


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

UPDATE: Rockton Fire received the 1st place award for best ribs.

Family fun is coming to Viking Lanes in South Beloit on Saturday, July 22 at the Rockton-Roscoe Rotary Club Ribfest.

This year marks the third of this event which features hours of action running from 11:30- until 2 p.m. Admission is $10 per person which includes rib tasting, sides and a chance to vote on favorite ribs.

Participants who are competing hail from four local fire departments including Rockton Fire Protection District, South Beloit Fire Department, City of Beloit Fire Department, and North Park Fire Protection District.  One lucky winner will be chosen as a “People’s Choice” Award winner. All proceeds from this event will be used to fund the Rotary Scholarship fund.

This is one of many ways the Rockton-Roscoe Rotary Club’s legacy of “Service above Self” comes into play. Rotary International's tagline is “People of Action.”  

The club was chartered on June 3, 1959, and had 22 members. They met on Mondays at noon at the Wagon Wheel Resort and the president was George Wm. Franzen. The name was originally the Rotary Club of Rockton, IL, and it represented Rockton, Roscoe, Shirland, and Harrison. In time the club name was changed to the Rotary Club of Northern Winnebago County and later changed 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, an outreach that continues today. They have extended help to the Rockford Rescue Mission.

The South Beloit Food Pantry has also benefited from the Rotary’s generosity, where they helped deliver food to the cars in drive-thru donations. In 2022 the club participated in the Rockford 1M Meal Packing Event. Rotary blood drives have aided in saving lives.

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

As part of an important literacy project, the Rockton-Roscoe club has purchased quality books for elementary school children. The local Rotary donated 75 award-winning books in the 2022-2023 school year.  The Rotary Club provided books to librarians in Rockton, Roscoe, Shirland and South Beloit schools as well as to North Suburban Library in Roscoe, and Talcott Free Library in Rockton. 

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. So the Rotary supplements the number of books. The Rotary has received grant monies in various years from Rotary International that helped increase the amount of books that can be donated. These books were presented to elementary, middle and high schools across Illinois.

The Rotary is a strong supporter of the Winnebago County 4-H program with sponsorship for the Grand Champion Overall Pair-Pen of Standard Chickens and the Champion Computer Generated Art.

Last year they participated in a Design the Design competition with CEANCI (Career Education Assistance of North Central Illinois), a program designed to prepare and to invest in all students for career and college through partnerships that build innovative regional opportunities.

The Rotary collaborated with Hononegah Community High School's graphic arts class. A female student from HCHS created a new brochure for the Rotary.

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. There are two countries left in the world not considered polio-free: Afghanistan and Pakistan.

A hybrid program allows club members to meet both in person and virtually. Meetings are held the first and third Wednesday of each month at Sophia's Restaurant in Roscoe, with social events coming to life each quarter.

Hononegah High School and South Beloit High School seniors have been presented with scholarships from the Rotary each year.

Future goals include a hopeful introduction of an “Interact Club” to be incorporated in one of local schools. The 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 for the school and one for the community. The Rotary is also going to be a sponsor for an inbound exchange student. 

Rockton- Roscoe Rotary has recently welcomed their new 2023-2024 president Dave Tucker. He will be working with president elect Clint Czizek.

The club currently has 11 members and new members are welcome at any time.

To contact the Rockton -Roscoe Rotary Club, you can go to their website at /, or e-mail a club member. Other options are to go through the Rotary International's website or the club's Facebook page.

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

More News from South Beloit
I'm interested
I disagree with this
This is unverified