So, Why LeRoy?
From Rural Ramblings by Sue Bratcher
The topic of the day at water aerobics was "Why are so many houses for sale in LeRoy?" It was a question no one seemed to know the answer. I even asked the mayor and he didn't have an answer, "I've wondered that too," he said. We brainstormed. There doesn't seem to be a crisis or issue which has upset a lot of people. The transfers at State Farm seem to have slowed down considerably. Our school district has enough money to open this school year. The only possible answer we could come up with is "people are fleeing the State of Illinois."
After much thought, the question I have is, "Why would anyone WANT to leave LeRoy?" Okay, okay - I can hear the naysayers, now. But the way I see it is - no one has found a utopia yet, so no matter where you go there is always going to be something that aggravates you. It might be something local government officials do or don't do; it might be a gripe with the school system; it might be an ongoing feud with your neighbor and the list goes on and on. The fact of the matter is that most of the naysayers seem to realize that although there is plenty to gripe and complain about, there is also a lot of good happening here also and there will probably be just as much to gripe and complain about if they move.
What keeps me in LeRoy?
- I don't have to drive in a lot of traffic and worry about muggers in the parking lot to make purchases at a store.
- I can find almost everything I need in LeRoy from professional services (including the building trades) to animal food to people food to all kinds of retail goodies. I can find a special piece to add to my decor or I can find a gift for someone special. I'm greeted by a friendly face and my tax dollars are going to my community.
- If I don't want to cook I have my choice of restaurants. I have several sit down restaurants to choose from or if I'm in a hurry or need pizza to feed a crowd I have multiple fast food and pizza choices. I have a full-service grocery store with a deli.
- If we are working on a DIY project LeRoy has a lumber yard, hardware store and rental store. If I'm not quite sure what I need, someone there will probably know and be glad to help.
- I can buy a vehicle, get a vehicle fixed and buy parts for my vehicles. I can fill it with gas.
- I can make an appointment with a local doctor, dentist, chiropractor and massage therapist. And if they prescribe a medication I can have it filled in LeRoy.
- I have many choices for a church and it doesn't matter which one I choose, the congregation and pastor will be there in times of need.
- I have Replex. Not many small towns can boast having a facility with indoor and outdoor pools, gym, exercise equipment and walking track, offering a multitude of classes and sports leagues.
- I have the Water Lilies. Where else could I find an exercise class with a group of people who ask how you are doing, freely give out hugs, are there when you need them, always remember your birthday and socialize at monthly lunch outings?
- My children and now my grandchildren can attend one of the best school districts in the state. A district which embraces the latest technology and learning techniques; which doesn't forget about the kids who have special needs; which has LIFE, STEM, LeRoy Preparatory Academy, RIGHT Start, before and after school care and a cadaver lab. A school district which offers children the opportunity to explore the arts and participate in sports and many other activities. And despite the State of Illinois a school board which has been frugal enough to keep the doors open with most of its programs intact.
- I live in a town which embraces family. There are parks and playgrounds with up to date equipment. Local events are organized with families in mind. Where else could a dog park grand opening be as much fun for the adults and children as it is for the dogs?! Businesses and organizations sponsor free movies at our wonderful local theatre.
- And speaking of our local theatre. It's one of my favorite places and I feel very lucky that I can go a couple of blocks and enjoy the latest film.
- I live in a town which embraces its history, with three museums preserving different aspects of our history.
- I live in a town with a wonderful FREE library - a library which was built in 1927 but is up to date with not only new books, but with technology and gathering spaces.
And most important of all - I live in a town that cares. It's a town where during one of the worst months of your life hundreds send up prayers for you and your family. It's a town where on one of the worst days of your life you can come home and find someone has filled your refrigerator with food items for quick meals. It's a town where during one of the worst weeks of your life, the meals keep coming and the hugs and kinds words are all that hold you together.
You can find many of the items on this list at many places, but it's hard to find the people and sense of community. If you take an interest in LeRoy, the community embraces you with open arms. I want to quote a sign which was at Replex recently because I think it says it all - "Small Town, Big Heart!"