This 93-year-old Iowa man may not wear a big hat or sing and dance like Willy Wonka, but a meeting with him is as rewarding as the golden ticket.
Bob Williams, of Long Grove, is known as "The Candy Man" around his community for handing out Hershey’s chocolate bars to anyone he encounters.
Since starting the sweet tradition, he’s given away nearly 6,000 candy bars.
“You’d think that I’d given them keys to a new car,” Williams said. “They’re thrilled.”
He explained that he waits until there's a weekly sale at his local Dollar General to purchase a few boxes of Hershey’s chocolate bars, making sure he buys enough for the cashier and the people waiting behind him in line.
Williams then hands out a treat to anyone who looks like they need a pick-me-up.
“Thank you so much, you made my day,” said a lucky young recipient of Williams’ attention. "I’m really nervous for my first day of school so it really made my day."
“It doesn’t matter if he knows you, if you’re a stranger," said a woman who was given a candy bar. "Everybody feels special when they get chocolate."
And even if someone looks perfectly content without candy, that won't stop Williams.
"He’d leave one and say, 'You give that to someone who you know needs a smile on their face today,'" said a woman who once worked with Williams at a local school.
In the many years he’s spread chocolate bars of kindness, his former co-worker explained he’s made a name for himself in the community.
“Over the years, he’s just become a presence,” she said. “The perfect word for Bob would be 'Legend.'"