In honor of his father, Columbia City native Chuck Bills established the Les Bills’ Family Firemen’s Christmas Fund. The fund will exist to underwrite the costs of fruit and candy for the long-standing annual Christmas Eve event which draws local children to the downtown fire station. In celebration of the holiday, firemen distribute candy and fruit to youngsters as a gesture of good will.
Chuck had been looking for a way to honor his dad for some time and came to the conclusion that the best means of doing so would be support an event that reflected his father’s love of family. He recognized that his dad had nurtured the fun tradition of visiting the courthouse on Christmas Eve in his children, his grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. By creating this endowment fund, costs for the giveaway goodies will be underwritten for generations to come.
:Chuck understood that someday, his father’s legacy will be his love of family. He sought out a way to pay tribute to Les that reflects his father’s values and as a result our community benefits. What’s really special is that this gift was put in place while his dad was alive and well, and was able to take pride in his son’s heartwarming tribute,” said September McConnell, CEO of the Community Foundation, “The event itself is one of those quaint, quality of life offerings that makes small town life so meaningful,” she added.
As each of Les’ great grandkids stand in line at the courthouse to see Santa and receive the fruit and candy with the other children in the community, they can remember the goodness that is unfolding in his name.