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Wimpy's Fund

Long before there was Wimpy’s Fund, there was Wimpy the police chief, Everett Vaughn.  A generous character who often reached into his pockets to help needy families. Vaughn served as police chief in Rockton from 1977 to 1981 and was a police officer before that time. Officer Vaughn was given the nickname Wimpy which derived from the cartoon character in Popeye who would walk the streets carrying a sandwich board. “He’d be there helping the children cross the street every morning and afternoon, and he’d notice certain children didn’t have gloves, hats, even socks,” said Jack Stewart, a former Rockton police officer who worked for Everett “Wimpy” Vaughn.  “He’d take the mothers of those families shopping and buy the kids clothing, groceries and one gift for each child,” he said. “He’d use money out of his own pocket.” But the giving did not stop there. His wife Betty wanted to go a step further by providing Christmas dinner for the families, soon they were providing toys also.  As area residents heard of his kind heart they began giving Wimpy money to buy gifts and food for the families in need. Since that time Wimpy’s fund has grown to serve the Roscoe, Rockton, South Beloit, Harrison, and Shirland Illinois communities. 

He passed away in 1997 after suffering a stroke that left him unable to communicate. Stewart was Wimpy’s friend until the end of his life, and is proud to carry on his mission. For the proud dads, Stewart would open his home for them to pick up the items secretly at his house on their way home from work.  Stewart said, “We would stand in the garage and cry like babies.” 

Rockton Lions Club began overseeing the collections and distribution of food, toys, and clothing after Wimpys passing.  A very special thank you goes out to Charlotte Larrison, Jack Stewart, Paul Cannell for keeping the tradition.

During the Christmas season each year dozens of volunteers wrap presents, and distribute them along with food baskets to families in the area. If you wish to contribute to Wimpy's fund, you can deposit them directly at First National Bank Macktown, or mail them to Rockton Lions Club P.O. Box 90, Rockton IL 61072. Please designate these funds specifically for Wimpy's Fund.