Connie Stewart and Gail Nelson pack boxes for the ham dinner giveaway April 29 at First National Bank and Trust in Walworth. Once put together, Alexis Berglund loads the food into a van for distribution. There was enough food available to share with 200 families. (Penny Gruetzmacher photo)

Ham dinners and more given away thanks to greater community

By Penny Gruetzmacher


A recent fundraiser, dubbed “Wal-Worth-It,” got its start when an event in a neighboring community inspired a group of people in Walworth to seek donations in an effort to give away food.

Last month, Rafael Hernandez organized a turkey dinner giveaway that took place in Delavan and while it started on a relatively small scale it quickly grew into much more once people became aware of it.

The Wal-Worth-It fundraiser, held April 29 at Walworth National Bank and Trust, featured ham dinners being given away to area families.

One of the organizers, Allison Lieske, a rural Sharon resident and real estate agent for Keefe Real Estate, said she and others in the group started the fundraiser through the local bank.

“We received over $3,000 in donations from so many people from the area. Each of these folks deserves a huge thank you. They were the reason that we were able to obtain so much,” Lieske said.

They teamed up with numerous individuals and businesses for donations as well as assistance with purchasing the food including Best Bargains, Piggly Wiggly, Hernandez’ Restaurant (and Rafael Hernandez), Tony Lynn of Advanced Auto Clinic, Debbie Anderson, Vanya Moritz, Tonya Otto Schultz, Lisa Decker, Rush Creek Distillery, The Gourmet Pet Food Store, Abbey Springs, Chuck’s, Kunes Country and First National Bank and Trust in Walworth.

Lieske said another big help was being able to use Peggy Chung’s van and a large cargo van from Kunes.

The dinners were packed that day and in addition to everything needed for a ham dinner, families were given eggs, cookies and more. Oh, and anyone that picked up food and had a dog was given free dog food and treats from The Pet Gourmet.

Many of those who helped with the prep work stuck around to help with the giveaway, which officially took place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside the bank.

Among the volunteers were: Allison Lieske, Deb Schroeder, Connie Stewart, Lisa Voss, Peggy Chung, Kelsey Isham Brown, Gail Nelson, Vanya Moritz, Gail Dobbins, Josh Dobbins, Beth Peyer, Gregg Rice, Rafael Hernandez, Kim Roggensack, Alexis Berglund, Tonya Otto Schultz, Colleen Radke, Christopher Schroeder and Ashley Warm.

Lieske said the event went off without a hitch – outside of less than desirable weather – and they are already planning another event to help those in the community.

She said there were many appreciative comments from the families who picked up ham dinners at the April 29 giveaway.

“We saw tears (and heard) thank you and blessings,” Lieske said.


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