Groups unite for holiday

By Brenden Walz

Several groups and individuals in DeKalb are collecting goods for needy people through the holiday season.

A benefit show for needy children in the DeKalb area will be held from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the GE Union Hall, located at 14th and State Street in DeKalb.

DeKalb resident Gary Mullis has sponsored the event for the past 22 years.

The show features country, bluegrass, gospel and Christmas music. Admission to the event is one toy for children under 12. Toys collected will go to the Salvation Army in DeKalb, Mullis said.

The event’s entertainers will include Debbie Davis, a singer from Amboy; Signs of the Time, a gospel group from Rochelle; Country Joy, a gospel and country group from Rockford and Michael Dean of Rockford radio station WLUV-FM.

Another event to help the needy this holiday season is the Newman Catholic Student Center’s Giving Tree. This is the fourth consecutive year for the event, said Rev. Stephen Potter.

The names of needy people in the community are provided by area community organizations and nursing homes, Potter said. People who want to participate can go to the Newman Center, pull an ornament off the tree and pick up an instruction sheet explaining what to do, he said.

Each person’s name, age and clothing size are given on each ornament. Potter said clothing is the preferred gift.

Participants can wrap their gift and bring it to the Newman Center with the ornament attached. The Newman Center will deliver the gifts.

Another group helping the needy is the Goodfellows, an informal group of local residents. The Goodfellows will deliver clothing to needy children in the DeKalb area. Generally, the group collects donations of any amount through the mail, said Tim Lehan, owner of Lehan Drugs in DeKalb.

The funds go toward purchasing needed clothes for children in the local area.

The group served more than 400 students in DeKalb and Sycamore last year, but is concentrating only on DeKalb this year due to financial constraints.