Chambers County Sheriff’s Office’s annual Vidalia onion fundraiser is off and running

Published 9:00 am Friday, April 29, 2022

LaFAYETTE — Orders are being taken for the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office’s annual Vidalia onion sale. To place an order, call the sheriff’s office at (334) 864-4332. Orders can also be taken on the CCSO Facebook page. The cut-off date for orders is May 13. They will be distributed on Tuesday, May 17 at three locations. From 7 to 10 a.m. EDT (8 to 11 Central) they can be picked up in the parking lot next to the Chambers County Annex in Lanett, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. they can be picked up at Mitchell Marine on North Davis Road in LaGrange, and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. CDT they will be available at the Courthouse in LaFayette.

A 10-pound bag goes for $12, and the proceeds will go to the Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch.

“They send us a wish list of what they need,” said Sheriff Sid Lockhart, “and we try to buy them items on that list.”

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“We have been having these sales for a long time,” Lockhart continued. “I remember Heston Yates riding over with me to Vidalia one day. I have a picture of him standing in one of the onion fields. He would clean the dirt off of each onion with a toothbrush. I miss Heston, and I’m sure a lot of other people do, too.”

Lockhart has had some memorable trips to and from Vidalia, Georgia.

“One year a tire blew out on the trailer, and another year a tire blew out on my truck. It’s not easy changing a tire when you are in a situation like that. One year while crossing the railroad tracks near the Long Bridge, the trailer locked up when I hit the brakes. I flat-spotted all four tires. I had to get four new ones after that.”

The sheriff gets the onions from a man named Johnny Beasley. They have developed a good relationship over the years.

“He’s a first-class fellow,” Lockhart said. “He puts us up the night before and cooks steaks for us.”

There’s a really strong demand for these onion sales.

“I start getting lots of phone calls this time of year,” Lockhart said. “People from all over want us to get them Vidalia onions, and it’s not just people from Chambers County. We have gotten them for John Boy’s Restaurant and the meat-packing place in Roanoke.”