Conor O'Rorke events scheduled for December

Ralfie's BBQ hosting Conor's Carryout, Rock River Valley Blood Center conducting blood drive


ROCHELLE — Steward Elementary School normally hosts the Conor O’Rorke Memorial Basketball Tournament every December, with local teams from around the area gathering to compete while helping to raise money for the Lurie Children’s Hospital in memory of Conor O’Rorke. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of this year’s tournament, there will still be events happening including a carryout dinner and blood drive.

Ralfie’s BBQ will be hosting the first-ever Conor’s Carryout event on Sunday, Dec. 6 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Steward Elementary School. Rochelle Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tricia Herrera said that a portion of each dinner sold will be donated to the Conor O’Rorke Memorial Fund. Herrera also said Ralfie’s BBQ will match all tips donated during the event. All tips donated during the drive-thru event will benefit the Conor O’Rorke Memorial Fund.

“We wanted to do something to remember Conor and raise funds to continue the good work the tournament does every year,” Herrera said. “We know that drive-thru events are popular right now because of the COVID-19 restrictions and people don’t have to leave their cars. We thought we would have a pork-chop drive-thru to raise some funds and continue the annual tradition.”

Dinners will cost $11 and each dinner will include a grilled butterfly pork chop, BBQ beans, potato salad, one dinner roll and table service. Pre-orders can be placed online at or through calling Ralfie’s BBQ at 815-766-0668. Limited dinners will be available on the day of the event.

Blood Drive

The Conor O’Rorke Memorial Blood Drive will take place on Saturday, Dec. 5 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Steward Fire Department building located at 311 Main St. in Steward. Appointments can be scheduled for the blood drive by visiting or calling the Rock River Valley Blood Center at 815-677-8829.