The Rockford Area Community Endowment (RACE) has announced the 2017 Recognition Plaza Honorees. The four individual chosen for induction this year are Pete Kruer, Michael Young, Bernon Young and Michael Farmer. Every two years RACE recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the greater Rockford Community or former residents who have achieved recognition on the state, national or international level. This year’s recipients all have contributed greatly to the enhancement of life in the greater Rockford community.
Pete Kruer operated Rockford Hardware for many years, but he was much more that just a local retailer. Pete was a generous supporter both financially and by personal involvement of virtually every aspect of community life. A life long resident Pete was a friend to everyone he met. He was active in his church, Rotary, Rockford Chamber of Commerce, Rockford School activities all while exemplifying an outstanding father and husband.
Michael Young, Michael Farmer and Bernon Young literally changed the face of Rockford. Michael Young served 20 years as Rockford’s city manager. Very few communities have seen the type of progress Michael brought to Rockford. A dynamo of energy and commitment, Michael Young was recognized state wide for his talents. Michael while serving as Rockford City Manager also chaired the North Kent Sewer Authority from its decision to build a new plant serving the area until his death last year. Michael was also a prime reason RACE has been revitalized.
Michael Farmer was a man with great vision, energy and determination. A lifelong resident of the Rockford area Mike had reached a high level of business success when he came up with the idea that transformed the Rockford retail scene. Mike was the developer of Squires Street Square which resulted in Rockford changing from a very ordinary small town to a shopping destination. Rockford became known as town with unique artists shops and frequent community events.
Bernon Young, known by all as Bernie, was and is a classic behind the scenes promoter of community pride and success. Like Peter Kruer and Mike Farmer, Bernie is a lifelong Rockford resident. While building a successful insurance business Bernie quickly became a dedicated community volunteer, participating and leading the Rockford Planning Commission, Rockford Sportsman’s Club, Rockford Chamber of Commerce and joining Emiel Kempf in developing the Rockford Highlands, a development which provided affordable good housing to many new residents and brought families to Rockford that enhanced to community in many ways.
These 4 honorees will be officially presented at the annual meeting of RACE on May 5th at the Rockford Sportsman’s Club. The public is encouraged to attend. More information and tickets will be forthcoming. Tickets for the event will be $40 each and include a meal catered by the Honey Creek Inn and with entertainment by the Rockford High School Jazz Band.