Make A Difference: Riding the trolley into our hearts

CASEY, Ill. (WTHI) – Archie and Judy Gowin have lived in Casey, Illinois almost 50 years.

“Without them, we would be lost.”

That’s Kathy Washburn. She nominated them for this special recognition.

“When there are people who’ve done so much for the community, I just think they need to be awarded.”

Washburn says she’s known the couple to give out their last dollar without hesitation to help a person in need.

“Judy and Archie are one-of-a-kind. And we just need more of’em.”

An entire warehouse is the Gowins’ playground, where they spend hours creating unique objects to give away to those in their community.

“The snow plowing, the mowing they do for every body. Archie and Judy make quilts and hand them out to people at the nursing home and people who need them to stay warm. They help pay for utility bills for other people.”

One of their biggest projects is a trolley, built from the ground up with their very own hands.

This trolley is seen across the town and even the country as the Gowins’ like to spread to joy of riding to children and adults everywhere.

“Got the idea four years ago. Maybe they get a glimpse of the 1800s to get to ride the trolley they’ll never get to ride,” said Archie.

Even now, they’re working on building this double-decker bus for another fun town activity. And with tears in their eyes, they say how much this means to them.

“We sure appreciate it. Yes, yes, we do.”

And with humbleness in their hearts, the Gowins’ say this is just what you do for your neighbors.

“One of the things I guess you just like to do. I like people, never meet a stranger. You got to do what the good lord put us here to do. Help the neighbors.”

Bringing the trolley to town and riding it right into our hearts.

If you know someone who is making a difference in our community, nominate them right here on our website. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you confirm your email address and acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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