Businesses, groups need to move fast to make history
The Rockford Public School goal was to have 40 unique ram statues to “unleash” at a downtown celebration during Harvest Festival . The nearly life-sized sculptures are created from melted PVC plastic and will not deteriorate, even if displayed outdoors. Jamie Hosford, Superintendent of Human Resources at RPS said the idea was one staff had thought about for years, and chose the 2010-2011 school year to be the “Year of the Ram.” The Corner Bar and the City of Rockford were among the first entities to jump on board the Year of the Ram with a sponsorship of $1,500 for theirs. Professional artists will paint the statues as directed by the purchaser at no additional charge.
Throughout the next year the rams will be displayed at the dam, at a Ram Pride parade through downtown Rockford, at football games and homecoming. “Our ram is going to do a lot of traveling,” said Rockford City Manager of the City’s red, white and blue ram bearing city, police and fire logos. “There is something special about this district. We believe in working hard,” Hosford told Rotarians at a recent meeting. He said the district had been toying with ideas for showing Ram Pride. They saw another town which did an art project with bulldogs that made a big statement.
“I hope this will bring people to downtown Rockford,” Hosford said of the Year of the Ram statues. Each organization can paint their own Ram or have an artist work according to direction or allow them to come up with an original design. Some limitations, such as using professional sign paint and avoiding obscene or political statements, are placed on design. Possibilities are endless and Hosford believes it is a smart marketing opportunity as well as a way to support Rockford Public Schools and the City of Rockford, which are working jointly on Year of the Ram.
Opportunities to show off the Ram will be many as well. Hosford said he is working on a Ram Scavenger Hunt where people will be directed to find all the rams and perhaps win prizes. The rams will attend festivals and events. When not participating in events, the rams will be a unique way for a business, club or individual to show proof of community pride. They could grace waiting areas, look out of windows or stand in green areas. To find out more about purchasing a ram or sponsorship or ram-sharing opportunities, visit the RPS website. Those who decide to make the investment will be following in the footsteps of other business community leaders. The following have already made their Year of the Ram investment: Action Tax Service, American Cancer Society, American Gas and Oil, Brieden & Miller Orthodontics, City of Rockford, Corner Bar, DARE, Douglas Photography, Independent Bank, Pizza Hut, Rockford Abmulance, Rockford Chamber of Commerce, Rockford Floor Covering, Silver Lake Country Club, United Bank, VanDyken Mechanical, Wolverine World Wide and Rockford Public Schools.
Hosford said he has commitments from others who have not yet purchased their rams, and he believes this will be a community art project that will make an impression for years to come. “I am confident that we will have 40 RAMS for the art project.”