Gayle Lovejoy (center) was surrounded by family and friends at the fifth annual Jack Lovejoy Memorial Outing.

Nineteen teams, a total of 77 players, came together at the fifth annual Jack Lovejoy Memorial Outing on Saturday, Sept. 9 at Macktown Golf Course. The event was held in remembrance of Jack Lovejoy, a Hononegah High School alumni who remained a strong community supporter and volunteer his entire life.

The Rockton Lions Golf Play Day started in 2017. In the second year, Jack passed away on May 7, and the golf play was renamed in his memory in 2018.

Jillian Porter served as this year’s event coordinator. Porter joined the committee in 2019 where she first worked as a volunteer. In 2021 she coordinated the silent auction. This year marks the second that she has been the overall event coordinator.

Porter was joined by a hard working committee including Jack Deem, Stacy Doorman, Terrie Garlow, Andy Honkamp, Bailey Robinson, Chris Robinson, Terry Robinson, Angie Schmoldt, Sara Scott, Jeff Schreck, Danelle Taylor,and Cindy Thompson, with special thanks to volunteer Daphany.

Music played in the background at the pavilion as everyone gathered to enjoy fellowship and a nice dinner of chicken and brisket catered by FIBS after finishing rounds of golf. Beverages were also available. Two Basset Certified bartenders were on site to serve adult beverages.

During the luncheon tables were set with a more formal style than in years past.

Chances were taken on a 50-50 raffle where the winner was chosen from a ball drop. Excitement mounted as 400 balls were dropped from a fire ladder truck.

“We sold so many tickets for the 50/50 raffle that we ran out of golf balls,” Coordinator Jillian Porter said.

Rockton Lions are seeking donations of golf balls to be used in next years event.

Team Hollinger earned honors as the Top winning foursome. Awards were also given for the Longest Putt, and Longest drive for both men and women.

Special thanks are given to Jen Gunderson and Balsley Printing who printed tickets and mulligans. They also helped with printing on banners, table displays, and the silent auction listings, all of which were wonderfully discounted.

Bryden Motors sponsored a “Hole In One” contest. They gave a credit of $10.000 to be used toward the cost of a new Jeep. The car was on the grounds to draw greater interest in chances to win being taken.

Montgomery Financial, Meason Law, John and Sheryl Peterson of Remax were hole sponsors. Each set up different games, had refreshments such as donuts or cider, or activities such as throwing a shot under a pop up canopy on the golf course. Each winner received a prize.

More fun came in a silent auction where bidders could take a chance on taking home one or more of 18 baskets, from 24 sponsors, 16 of which were from local companies.

Jack Lovejoy was an active lifetime member of the Rockton Lions Club where he served as the President and in other leadership roles.

He worked on numerous committees including the Christmas Walk pancake breakfast where Jack would be seen smiling as he worked. Every year Lovejoy donated to the Wimpy’s Fund Auction only to turn around and bid on those items again. Further support was shown by Lovejoy at the OSD festival where he was one of the event sponsors who lent a hand anywhere it was needed.

His hard work and continued dedication earned him the Melvin Jones Award, the highest honor that any Lion can receive. As a Lion Lovejoy generously gave back in many ways. He often bought dinner for everyone after a meeting.

Lovejoy was a Hononegah High School graduate from the Class of 1970. He was a strong supporter of Hononegah’s HOPE Foundation serving on the original Board of Directors with the Foundations founder Ralph Marshal whom Lovejoy went to school with.

Lovejoy was the owner of Jacks Tire Sales and Service in South Beloit and a strong supporter of all local businesses.

Plans are underway for the 2024 memorial outing with even more fun and exciting ideas on the horizon. “We are hoping to increase the number of players to 100 next year,” Porter said.

The 2023 Jack Lovejoy Memorial Outing brought in a total of $13,231 (an increase of $1,000 from last year’s event) to help expand future scholarships in his name.

Each year students from HCHS and South Beloit High School are awarded with the Jack Lovejoy Memorial Scholarship. These are given through a partnership between the Rockton Lions Club and the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, which reads and reviews applications and helps with the decision making process.

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