Community Services

Fifteen and Still Going Strong! Mitchell’s Run thru Rockford

August 16, 2013 // 0 Comments

Mitchell’s Run thru Rockford 5K Run/Walk and Kids for Kids K is celebrating its 15th year on Saturday August 17th in downtown Rockford. While it is hard to improve on this great event, the MRTR Committee has done just that with a few changes made to the Pre-Registered/Late Registration held the Friday night before the race. Packet pick-up and late registration location has changed to Rockford Footwear Depot on Main Street, Friday, August 16th 4:30-7pm. Not only has the location changed but new and exciting things have been added! Go down to the Footwear Depot between 4:30-7pm and register to win a $150 Wolverine World Wide gift card. The Corner Bar will be serving Corner Bar Hotdogs for a donation with all proceeds going to Parent Project MD. Mitchell’s run has donated over $765,000.00 to Parent Project MD a non-profit organization dedicated to research to find a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Another exciting addition for this year, it’s been announced MRTR will be hosting “guest runner”, Eric Zane from 97.9 WGRD’s Free Beer & Hot Wings Morning Show. Zane is an avid runner and triathlete and is forming “Team Zane” to participate in Saturday’s race. If you register under Team Zane you’ll have a chance to receive a “Limited Edition” Team Zane T-shirt (first 100 to arrive Friday evening to pick up/register for Team Zane), but also as part of the team there is a chance to win a $300 Merrell gift card for fastest time. 2nd place receives $150 gift card for Wolverine World Wide. Zane and WGRD will be broadcasting live from registration from 5p-7p Friday night. Saturday’s race begins at 8:30AM with the Kids for Kids K at 9:30AM For more information visit or by visiting WGRD’s website: and click on the Events link.  

West Michigan Sports Commission hires manager, launches website

August 16, 2013 // 0 Comments

Fundraising Campaign Continues with Buy-a-Brick Campaign to Close Gap on $7.4 Million Project to Attract Travelling Baseball and Softball Tournaments to West Michigan   The West Michigan Sports Commission (WMSC) is making some strategic game plays to bring its Art Van Sports Complex closer to reality with the hire of Bryan Baar as complex manager and the launch of a new website to serve as a hub for complex updates. “This week marks a significant step forward with our progress on the much-anticipated Art Van Sports Complex,” said Mike Guswiler, President of the West Michigan Sports Commission. “Bryan Baar brings extensive experience in the travel baseball and softball industry and will put the complex on the map in creating and attracting top-notch travel tournaments that also will help grow West Michigan’s economy.” In the newly created position of complex manager, Bryan Baar will manage operations of the championship-caliber Art Van Sports Complex on a contractual basis for the West Michigan Sports Commission, reporting to the commission and a complex oversight committee. Baar’s role for the remainder of 2013 is to help oversee construction operations, which will shift to marketing the complex and creating a tournament schedule as construction nears completion in 2014. He will manage all complex operations, including tournaments, once the complex opens in 2015. Baar has been coaching and training baseball and softball athletes for more than 15 years, beginning his career in 1989 when he was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers as a catcher and played four years in the Dodgers’ organization on A, AA, and AAA teams. In 1995, Baar founded Elite Baseball and Softball Training in Grand Rapids, which trains more than 1,000 athletes annually ranging from ages 5-22. A Grand Rapids native, Baar studied business management and accounting at Western Michigan University, where he also was a three-year varsity baseball letter winner. “I am extremely excited to be given the opportunity to manage a first-class baseball and softball facility that will ultimately showcase the Grand Rapids area as a premier destination for baseball and softball teams from throughout the Midwest,” said Baar. “I am grateful and humbled that the West Michigan Sports Commission and its board has entrusted me with making the Art Van Sports Complex the place […]

Rockford students work to pay it forward

August 16, 2013 // 0 Comments

Megan Malley and Allison Lang met last spring with Ms. Bridget Cheney, principal of Congress Elementary School in Grand Rapids. The girls are part of a school sanctioned club, Rockford RH, for Rockford Honors, a group started last year when then Rockford High School senior, John Malley, Megan’s brother, envisioned donating school supplies to underprivileged or at-risk students in Grand Rapids. “We chose Congress Elementary School in downtown Grand Rapids because it was listed as a school in need,” states Malley. “Then during this past school year some of the club members went and visited the school’s first grade classroom. We helped the kids with their math homework and read to them. One moment with these kids and I fell in love with them. I had the honor of playing math games and coloring a frog project with some truly terrific kids.” Continuing their work over the summer, the group has been working toward providing these students with specific supplies they will need this fall when school starts. Their theme has been “One dollar makes a difference”. Explaining their cause on fliers that they have passed out in many local neighborhoods, the club asks for school supply donations. If that’s inconvenient, they simply ask for a dollar. Listing the supplies they can buy with one dollar, the club hopes to garner help from the community by showing them how a small donation can go a long way in helping another student. There are also drop boxes for school supply items at Ric’s Food Center and Family Fare on Ten Mile, where donations can be left until the end of August. The plan is to deliver the school supplies to Congress Elementary during the first week of school, Sept. 3-5. Their goal is to be able to give every child the necessary school supplies they need to succeed, including markers, pencils, notebooks and hopefully even a backpack. Community members can help as well, by donating supplies or simply giving a dollar. The club members are at Ric’s most weekends asking for dollar donations. You can give a little to supply a lot to a child who might otherwise go without.  

Rockford Area Historical Society News & Update

August 16, 2013 // 0 Comments

Terry Konkle – President   During the months of July and August the Rockford Area Historical Society does not have meetings. Our program meetings are the first Thursday of the other ten months, and they will begin on September 5, 2013. Vic Villarreal will present “The Edmund Fitzgerald” at 7:00 P.M. at the Community Cabin. All of the society meetings are at the “Cabin”, but sometimes the time of the meeting is different. A program brochure giving all of the needed information will be available in September at the museum. All meetings are open to everyone. You do not have to be a member to attend, so mark your calendars and join us anytime. Readers might be interested to know that our historical society has a board made up of all elected officers. This year the board consists of Terry Konkle, Jack Bolt, Kathy Christensen, Carla Blandford, Diane Skiver, Jan Konkle, Joan Bunn, Bob Boyer, Bob Winegar and Shirley Norman. This group meets at 12:00 noon on the last Wednesday of the month at the museum. No meetings are held in June or July. All society members are welcome to attend board meetings and participate in discussions but only board members can vote on things. Our museum director, Al Pratt, is also on the board but can not vote. Our first board meeting for the 2013-14 year is Wednesday, August 28. A lot of society business this past summer has necessitated some decisions made by telephone and over the internet. As we have worked on moving material from the old museum to the new location, several items have been found that are duplicates. For instance, the museum has copies of every Rockford High School Yearbook ever issued. We also have extra copies of different years. We have checked with the Rockford Library and some of them were needed there. We also sold a few at our sidewalk sale in July, but we still have many. If readers have an interest in them, please contact me (616-866-0530), and I will make arrangements to show them to you. The cost is $5.00 a book or one can make a larger donation if desired. All sales go toward running our museum. Phone service is now available at the […]

How does your garden grow?

August 16, 2013 // 0 Comments

The garden planted by the second-graders from Cannonsburg Elementary School is doing very well. Every year Don Kurylowicz donates space behind the Grist Mill in his 4 raised beds for the kids to plant so they can learn where groceries come from, from the ground up. With help from local gardener Georgia Donovan and some parent volunteers, about 40 children swoop in with trowels, seeds, plants, and markers, following a plan drawn in the dirt with corn meal lines. Colorful varieties include edible Nasturtiums, Golden Honey Bunch tomatoes, curly kale, and Bright Lights swiss chard. The kids are encouraged to visit the garden over the summer, to sample the fruits of their labor and further the sense of community that a garden can bring.  

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