The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Beecher Adopts Dallas City, Gives $23,000 Flood Relief

by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher/Owner

What does it feel like to be adopted?

The trustees in Dallas City can tell you it feels just wonderful after the City of Beecher in northeast Illinois adopted them as a Sister City, did fundraising in their community of 4100, then traveled four hours in a van this past Saturday, August 16th, to present them with a $23,000 check.

They selected Dallas City by finding their website - something Dallas City President Ruth Higgins says, was worth their investment.

It all started with Paul Lohmann, the caring Mayor of Beecher, seeing a short blurb on the news of the flooding along the Mississippi River in Illinois and the impact it had on the small communities along its banks.

Beecher is a beautiful city of around 4100, located 14 miles off Interstate 80 and East of US 57, just 5 miles from the Indiana border between Kankakee and Chicago.

The Mayor, from a small town of 900, said he knew how small towns struggled and he and the trustees of Beecher decided they would adopt Dallas City and raise money to help them out.

"We formed a 7 member commission in charge of fund raising and was joined in the effort by our community who has 100% heart," Lohmann said.

The Beecher Lions Club hosted a Lions Club Beef Roast, band and dance with profits from beer sales totaling $1,401.75, silent auction $101.00, and a donation jug $581.19 for a total of $2,083.94. To aide in the event, the Beecher Chamber of Commerce gave $750 and the Lions gave $250 to pay for the $1,000 band for the evening.

In other donations,

Village of Beecher-$5,000; Washington Township-$2,500; other donation jars-$323.87; Austgen Kuiper & Associates, P.C.-$500; First Community Bank & Trust-$250; Nelson Collins-$250; Gilbert Teske-$100; Spectrum Insurance Services, Inc.-$100; Tadpole Aqua Scapes & Landscaping-$100;Beecher Beautification Committee-$100; Paul & Lucy Rietveld-$100; Purvis McKelvey-$50; Buddy's Drive-In-$50; Striker's Bowl & Sports Bar-$50; Cardinal Creek Golf Course-$50; Hack Funeral Home-$25; Beecher Dollar Store Plus, LLC-$25; South Suburban Sweeps-$25;

For a grand total of $23,093.31.

Beecher mailed mailers to all their businesses and vendors, they had church collections, school fundraisers, beads given to them were sold at the 4th of July, and according to Lohmann, "Our doors are always open to the folks in Dallas City."

Dallas City Mayor Ruth Higgins, said during the check presention ceremony, that "We know what it means, and we hope we can pass it on" in helping others someday.

After giving the Mayor and trustees of Beecher a tour of Dallas City, Higgins told the color guards from the local American Legion post that they were very impressed with the Veterans Memorial hoping they would share their ideas for the Memorial with Beecher Legion members.

"You should be very proud," Higgins said to the Veterans.

"Words can not express our appreciation," Higgins said upon receipt of the check.

She said that the $23,000 will certainly help with their lifting station and roads.

Higgins presented a patch from the Dallas City police department and a patch from the Dallas City firemen to the Mayor of Beecher.

Mayor Lohmann presented Beecher Village pins, flashlights, notebooks and booklets from the Chamber and told Dallas City officials to be free to call anytime. As their sister city, they will be there for them to help them out whenever needed.

After the ceremony, visiting continued as refreshments were served of cookies and punch before the Beecher officials returned home.

Dallas City's gloomy past of carbon black and riverfront flooding was brightened by the big hearts of this caring Illinois community.

Dallas City area veterans from the Gittings-Sandline Post #297, Dallas City surround the good people of Beecher after their $23,000 check presentation from the people of Beecher to Dallas Ctiy. From left is Steve Roberts, Dorn Luder, Fred Hoemmen, with Beecher's Village Administrator Bob Barber, Beecher Lions President Joe Cook (fundraising committee), Beecher Village President Paul Lohmann, Patty Meyer fundraising committee-Beecher Chamber, Greg Szymanski Beecher Trustee, Dallas City Ruth Higgins-Dallas City President, Brian Cleary-Beecher Trustee, Dallas City Legion veterans John Lair, Pat Markey, Commander Kevin Brewer, and Ron Shipman.

Officials during a $23,000 check presentation from Beecher to Dallas City are from left: Bob Barber-Beecher Administrator, Brian Cleary-Beecher Trustee, Greg Szymanski-Beecher Trustee, Beechere President Paul Lohmann, Beecher Chamber Patty Meyer, Beecher Lions Club-Joe Cook with Dallas City President Ruth Higgins, Jason Gold-Finance Officer, Esther Newberry-Dallas City Water Commissioner and Dallas City Clerk-Steve Vorhies.