There they were, 80 beds, lined up in the gymnasium each perfectly outfitted with pillows, sheets and comforter. On March 4, 2017, 80 deserving area K-5 children and their families took part in a huge slumber party at the Sterling – Rock Falls, Illinois YMCA. They played games, enjoyed great food, went swimming and watched a movie before falling asleep on a brand new bed. At the end of the night they were told they get to keep the beds, too. None of these children had a bed at home to sleep in, but now, thanks to Watershed Development Corporation and its local business and community partners they are in for some sweet slumber. Watershed, which operates an Aaron’s franchise store in Sterling, the Sterling-Rock Falls Family YMCA, Candlelight Inn, and the Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce, collaborated with schools in Sterling, Rock Falls and Morrison, to identify deserving K-5 students without a bed. Mike Ceruzzi, Sterling resident and Watershed vice president, stated, “this small idea has grown into a great collaboration with partners who understand there is a need in this community and are willing to take action to address it. “We are pleased and excited to be a part of it.” Sunday morning the kids were treated to breakfast before they went home. Then Watershed’s associates rallied its fleet of trucks and delivered the beds to their new homes. Casey Pristou, Watershed’s President related, “My son, Derek, and I delivered beds to a number of homes Sunday morning. I realized just how special the effort was during our very first delivery. As we approached the house we heard a young girl’s voice from inside screaming with excitement ‘mommy, mommy, my new bed is here!’” “Beds might not be the first things that come to mind when you think of the basics some families need. “Many times we can the take the simple things in life for granted,” YMCA CEO Andy Thornton said. “Something as simple as a bed with sheets and a blanket are easy to underappreciate. A project like this helps you evaluate your own life and the things that really matter.” Ceruzzi added, “Without doubt this is among the most meaningful events we have ever done. We are grateful for the opportunity to help.” Click here to view more photos of the event. About Watershed Development Corporation Watershed owns and operates Aaron’s (NYSE – AAN) stores throughout Northern Illinois and Iowa. Aaron’s is a leading rent-to-own company with more than 2,000 company and franchise stores throughout North America. Watershed, a franchise operator since 2004, has earned the distinction of being an Aaron’s Top 5 Performing Franchise Operator multiple times since its inception and has been recognized as Aaron’s 2016 Franchise of the Year.