Rockford Area Historical Society News & Update

by TERRY KONKLE
President, Rockford Area Historical Society

Terry Konkle

Someone told me a few months ago that the key ingredient to having a successful project was to get people to believe in your cause. When the project is to move our museum to a much better location, the first believers have to be those promoting the move because they have the job of convincing others to help. To me there was one major point that made it easy to believe that the opportunity to improve the museum situation had to be battled for now. It was simple: “The move would make Rockford and our area a better place.” Fortunately, others felt the same way and the fight was on.

Because funding was needed, it was important that the Rockford Area Historical Society (RAHS) step up to the plate and start the donation process. About a year ago in January, RAHS voted to give $40,000 to get things started. A contribution of that size shows a resounding commitment and belief in the new museum project.

When the City of Rockford approved the idea of the move last July and gave RAHS a year to work on it, the question was, “Can they do it?” Our job was to make believers out of enough people and organizations to raise the funds to renovate the courthouse, design and make displays, and to move our historical archives. We also had to show how our new museum would be available and staffed.

A fundraising committee, led by a tireless worker Paul Krupp, has been working now for a bit over three months. Many businesses and individuals have been contacted and the results are encouraging. Donations have come to us in three ways: pledges, money and in-kind services. Most of the donors have agreed to let us publicize their names and a list of them follows (donors as of January 7, 2012):

Walter and Marianne Andersen
Judy and Tom Baer
Harold and Donna Bailey
Richard and Sue Bakita
James and Shirley Balk Foundation
Eric and Anita Bennett
Donald and Patricia Bixby
Neil and Mary Blakeslee
Blakeslee Plumbing and Heating
Blakeslee Rop, PLC
Carla Blandford
Jim and Susan Bodenner
Andrew and Kelly Bolt
Jack and Madelyn Bolt
Katherine Bolt
Polly Bolt
James and Nancy Ferrand Boxall
Robert Boyer
Marvin and Joan Bunn
Robert and Nancy Burch
Byrne Electrical Specialists, Inc.
Robert and Kathryn Christensen
Virginia H. Cox
Jerry and Joan DeMaagd
Tim Durham
Stephen and Kathleen Ellis
Eric and Jill Ericksen
John W. and Sue Erickson
Ric and Kirsten Farmer
Henry and Sharon Finch
Gary and Peggy Fowle
R. Brian Frick Family
Jason S. Frick Family
Henry and Larry Glass
Jennie Griffee
|Vance and Genevieve Harger
Dr. Robert Harris
Floyd and Sharon Havemeier
The Haverkate Family
Helen Hessler
Arthur and Nancy Hobart
Charles and Ann Hyde
Mary E. Johnson
Emiel and Orpha Kempf
Terry and Janette Konkle
Jack A. Krause
Paul and Nancy Krupp
Elizabeth Kunze
Martha and Patrick Ladwig
Georgia Lazzaro
Jack A. Lewis
Larry and Paula Lindsley
Maghielse & Company
Roger and Mary Lou Mawby
Michelle Frick Milanowski Family
Robert and Cheryl Mol
Shirley Norman
Nugent Builders, Inc.
Arlene Obetts
MaryLou Ohnsman
Jerold and Nancy Patterson
Ralph and Barbara Pitts
Al and Joan Pratt
Donald and Susan DeMaagd Reithel
Rockford Floor Covering
Rockford Package Supply
Honorable David Sawyer
The Jack Schwab Family
Dianne Skiver
Jon and Carlene Stamp
Charles and Barbara Stevens
John and Dana TenElshof
Thoms Hair Design
Bernard and Ann Tompsett
Joyce Torrey
Rick and Eileen Van Horn
Thomas Vredevelt
Thomas and Kathleen Wachter
Mary B. Walker
Rick and Sally Warren
Gil and Denise Webb
Stanley and Joan Weir
Wilson and Wilson Dentistry
Robert and Geri Winegar
Wynalda Packaging
Bernie and Bette Young
Bernard and Julie Zahm

Our thanks to all of the above for their support and for believing in our cause. We have contacted many others and are waiting for their contributions. We are roughly halfway to our goal and are still talking to people. If you have not been contacted or have questions, please let me know by calling (616) 866-0530. When new contributions are received, we will update the donor list.

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