Long Grove’s “Candy Man” Hands Out Chocolate Bars, Smiles Weekly
For the past decade, Bob Williams has been handing out smiles around Long Grove, Iowa in the form of Hershey's chocolate bars.
The World War II veteran, retired high school teacher and football coach has given out nearly 6,000 candy bars and has earned the title "Candy Man." Every week, Bob will make a stop at Dollar General or take some bars from the stash he keeps in his freezer.
Bob began handing out candy to strangers when he read a newspaper article years ago that urged people to "pay it forward." Every day you can find him sitting at a memorial bench for his late wife of 69 years, Mary Elizabeth. There he hands out some Hershey's bars and gets his instructions from her.
In 15 years, Bob has only been declined three times. “One was a little girl in the store with her dad," he told the Des Moines Register. "On the way out, I complimented her father for training her right — to suspect old men.”
The Candy Man's acts of kindness have impressed Hershey to the point that the company sent a camera crew out to do a video about him. Employees also went out across the country to hand out bars in Bob's name. Hershey's even gave him $1,500 to keep the smiles coming.