Benefit at Salem Eagles to aid Stewart family

SALEM – A benefit dinner in memory of Jim Stewart will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Salem Eagles Club.

Stewart, a 1972 Salem High School graduate and 28-year employee of General Motors, died last Thursday after battling cancer. He was diagnosed with cancer late last June.

The Salem Eagles is located at 1884 N. Ellsworth Ave. Dinner will cost $7 for adults and $5 for children.

There will be baked foods including cookies and cake sold for a donation and a Chinese auction with tickets a dollar each or six for $5 will be held at 5:30 p.m.

The Abbey Road Tribute Band led by John Gilbert will perform and John Volio will also take the stage. Music begins at 2 p.m.

All proceeds will go toward helping the family with medical expenses.

A member of St. Paul Catholic Church, he had detailed cars at James Stewart Detailing and worked part time at Salem Chrysler.

A close friend of Stewart’s for about seven years, Steve Grabowski, said he was the type of guy who would drop what he was doing if you needed help.

“He was an awesome guy,” Grabowski said, “always there … he never judged people … he was always there for you.”

Jennifer Bracken, a friend for about a year, said he was just a “wonderful guy.”

Grabowski said he “had huge, huge passion for cars … restoring and working on cars … since he was three or four years old he had a wrench in his hand.

He described how a flight to visit his daughter in Colorado was canceled last year and he and his wife, Deborah, drove out and spent two days with her and drove back.

Deborah survives him along with their daughter, his father, two sisters, a brother, and two grandchildren.

There will be baskets donated by friends and businesses for the auction that can include food items, car goodies, candles and there will also be a Christmas basket.

American Standard Brands and St. Paul Catholic Church donated the dinner.