Terry Konkle – President
At this time each November my thoughts often turn to things I am thankful for in my life. I even talk about them to some people, but I do not usually write about them because they are personal. Recently, I have been contemplating a lot about what the Rockford Area Historical Society (RAHS) has accomplished in the last two years and that the group has been fortunate to have received help in many ways. From my view the RAHS has many things to be thankful for, and I have no problem mentioning some of them.
Let’s begin with all of the volunteers within the group who give their time to see that we fulfill our goal of preserving our local history and educating our community about it. To our officers, our museum workers, our various committee chair people, our committee members, our workers on projects and our loyal members from all over the United States who support us, we say “THANKS” because without our members, we would not exist.
Our project of moving the museum to the vacant courthouse building has been a major undertaking and one the RAHS could not do by itself. Thanks should go to the Rockford City Council for giving us the opportunity and then supporting our efforts. Thanks also to our city manager and his staff for their backing. Thanks to our city workers for their help. Without the council and the city behind the museum project, it would not have happened.
Fundraising was a major challenge but many members of our community stepped up to form a group to handle that area. They met many times to share ideas and to put together a plan for getting donations and pledges. A second group was formed to plan fundraising events such as a “Sounds of Sinatra Show”, helping show a “Parade of Homes” house in Rockford, Scratch off cards and a major auction. Many people were part of both groups which still exist and continue to work. The society thanks all of you.
Individuals, organizations, businesses, foundations, societies and townships were contacted for financial donations and pledges. We also asked the same groups for their support of our fundraising events. We have raised over $230,000 which will cover the renovation of the courthouse and give us a good start on building new displays. THANK YOU to all who have donated and pledged money, run raffles, attended shows, watched a “Parade of Homes” house, participated in the scratch off cards and took part as in our auctions by giving items and also bidding. Because of your belief in our cause, it will become reality.
Fundraisers do not happen without lots of help. We have been fortunate in being able to have dedicated leaders to organize our events. Those people know who you are and also know that we thank you. All of the leaders would say that they could not have done their event without help. We have had many helpers in the last year or so at our events. All of you helpers know who you are, and also know that we thank you.
In addition to all that I have mentioned, thanks also goes to those who helped by giving us storage space for our auction items, lending us chairs and tables, giving us newspaper coverage, furnishing signs, putting advertising in their place of business, hauling items from place to place, preparing and selling food and giving us services at discounted prices.
Finally, the RAHS is proud of its role in helping our area. We believe that history is important and are grateful that others agree with us. All of us together, with our positive actions, can keep our history alive for future generations. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!