Community Services

Rockford Area Historical Society News & Update August 1, 2013

August 1, 2013 // 0 Comments

Terry Konkle – President On July 16, 2013 Gerald (Jerry) Fox passed away at the age of 94. Many readers will remember him as a very capable Rockford teacher, coach and administrator, and also as a friend and as a positive contributor to our community and area. He was the principal of the high school when I began my teaching days in the fall of 1960. He was my boss who became a role model and a friend. He and his wife Lillian cared about people and welcomed my family to Rockford. As time went on I learned a lot about him and found that he was very active as a Rockford High School coach and athletic director. I thought that readers might like to know a bit more about that part of his life. When Jerry Fox came to Rockford in the fall of 1943, he became the coach of three varsity sports. He was the head football mentor from 1943 to 1948. His 1944 team had a season record of six wins, zero losses and two ties. The team won the Grand Valley Conference championship. It was the first time we had ever won a football title in that conference. Perhaps even more impressive was that the 1944 football team was the first one in our history to go through the complete season without a loss. They did not win all of their games (two ties) but they did not lose any. After six years as the head coach, he coached the J.V. football team in 1949 and then was a varsity assistant for four years (1950-1953). Coach Fox was the varsity basketball leader for three seasons. His 1943-44 squad was the first team in our basketball history to win a regional tournament when we defeated Montague 38-30 at Burton Junior High School in Grand Rapids. The team lost in the quarterfinals to Kalamazoo St. Augustine 40-29. After being the varsity coach for three campaigns, he kept in the program as the J.V. coach for five years. Baseball was the third sport he headed as the varsity leader from 1944 to 1957. He helped win several Grand Valley titles and coached an undefeated squad (11-0) in 1948. During one stretch of games from […]

Chamber Bi-Monthly Luncheon scheduled for August

August 1, 2013 // 0 Comments

The Rockford Chamber of Commerce is proud to present the August installment of its popular Bi-Monthly Luncheon Series. The event is scheduled from 11:30 a.m. -1 p.m. on Monday, August 5, at the Rockford Brewing Company, 12 E. Bridge St. Lunch will be featured. This month’s luncheon will be an exciting opportunity to network for the participants. The event will spotlight the membership and what they have to offer to the other networkers. There will also be three tables available for highlighting your business. This includes setting up a display at the table, placing literature at the luncheon tables and three minutes to give an overview of your business to the attendees. To find out more about this fantastic opportunity call Linda at the Chamber office. To attend this luncheon, please call the Chamber office at 866-2000, or e-mail to register. Cost, which includes lunch, is $15 for chamber members and $20 for non-members. Please note that if you have registered and are unable to attend you must call and cancel prior to the event, or you will be charged. The Bi-Monthly Luncheon is a wonderful way to enjoy good food and excellent company in a relaxed atmosphere. The luncheon is a great networking opportunity, so participants are reminded to bring their business cards.  

15th Annual 5K race raises awareness and support for Duchenne muscular dystrophy

August 1, 2013 // 0 Comments

In March of 1999 Steve and Sandy Peterson felt they were alone when their son Mitchell was diagnosed with one of the most common and lethal forms of muscular dystrophy. Duchenne MD affects approximately 1 in 3,500 boys and 20,000 babies born each year Fast forward 15 years later and the Petersons feel anything but alone– especially on the third weekend of every August when thousands of people converge into downtown Rockford to run, walk, volunteer and cheer for Mitchell’s Run thru Rockford 5K. It has more than doubled in size and scope since it was established in 1999. This year they are approaching a total of nearly $800,000 raised which all has been donated in Mitchell’s name to Parent Project MD, a non-profit organization founded in 1994 by parents of children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. PPMD ( is dedicated to research and finding viable treatment and a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. “My wife and I are honored to have the continual support of so many individuals these past fifteen years.” notes Steve Peterson. “More people now know about Duchenne MD because of this event. It’s important that we raise awareness about this disease because it can happen in any family and currently affects many boys and their families here in West Michigan.” “We are really excited for our 15th year,” added Sandy. We’re making some changes this year to create a better experience for all. We’ve changed the location for our pre-registered race packet pick-up to Wolverine World Wide’s Footwear Depot in downtown Rockford which is held the night before the race,” This year’s event sponsored by Wolverine World Wide and Meijer takes place on Saturday August 17th, at 8:30 a.m. The Kids for Kids K starts at 9:30a.m.. This is a competitive race but also a family event featuring a silent auction during and award ceremony following the races. For more race details visit  

Reading Rocks ready to promote the value of reading

August 1, 2013 // 0 Comments

This year’s Reading Rocks in Rockford is sure to be a hit for everyone in the family. The reading festival is celebrating its fifth year and has matured into a blockbuster event that highlights what building blocks reading provides toward every child’s future. The family-fun event is scheduled for 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, and is sponsored by the Rockford Rotary Club, Rockford Public Schools, and Kent District Library (KDL). On hand Saturday to greet all the kids are special guests, Pete the Cat and the famous Llama Llama, of the Penguin book series. The Berenstain Bears will also be joining these famous storybook characters to thrill the little ones. The reading festival takes place at a variety of venues throughout downtown Rockford. It includes an Author’s Showcase, Rockin’ Reader Awards, a Storybook Parade, children’s activities, and Paws with a Cause. It also features special guests, Gijsbert (Nick) and Robbyn van Frankenhuyzen, gifted illustrator and author, respectively, who will be sharing their talents with the crowds. The award-winning festival starts with a crowd favorite, the Storybook Parade, at 10 a.m. in front of Krause Memorial Library. Parents and children are invited to don a costume of their favorite storybook character, or carry their favorite book and join in the fun. The parade will wind down East Bridge Street to Garden Club Park, where Author’s Row features published authors autographing their books and answering questions. New this year is a rendition of the famous poem, “Casey at the Bat” numerous times throughout the day. Enjoy this wonderful addition down by the Rockford Dam parking lot. Also on tap is a trip back to a Mark Twain book “Tom Sawyer.” Have your kids enjoy fence painting down by the dam, and learn about this American classic. The Garden Club Park Stage will be a hub of entertainment all day, beginning at 10 a.m. with the Rockford High School Drum Line. Singer and songwriter Jeff Schroeder takes the stage at 10:20 and is followed by author/entertainer Kevin Kammeraad. Also scheduled for the stage are other authors and illustrators, including Paleo Joe author. You are invited to go to the Rockford Rotary Pavilion and “Rock” out with KDL. Enjoy activities such as “Bring the Bling,” “Punk […]

Chamber After Hours features Red’s on the River new leadership

July 25, 2013 // 0 Comments

Red’s on the River General Manager Kristin Kent spoke to about 70 attendees of the Rockford Chamber After Hours on Monday, July 15 about the changes at the restaurant following its purchase by Watermark Properties. “This really couldn’t have come at a better time,” she stated. “Recently Red’s has undergone some pretty big changes. In March, Watermark Properties acquired Red’s and formed RedWater Restaurant Group.” Kent said the other restaurants, Rush Creek Bistro, Fire Rock Grill and Watermark Grill, all located in the greater Grand Rapids area, each offer unique food and amazing atmospheres. “RedWater enables us to market to the area where these restaurants are open to the public, even though the country clubs are private.” She said Red’s will continue to be known for fresh produce and farm-to-table dinners. She said Executive Chef Glenn Forgie will be out at the farm in 110-degree weather the following day examining produce for the restaurant. The restaurant will continue to operate as a from “scratch” eatery. Changes have been made to the Red’s lunch and dinner menus that Kent said have been well received by diners. Additional fresh seafood choices have been added and the lunch menu has been re-worked to include combos, allowing diners more choices of sandwich, half-sandwich and soup or salad combinations. Kent also emphasized the restaurant’s private dining room—the Riverside Room—with seating for parties of up to 36. The room has a private entrance, private restroom and is ideal for business meetings or training as well as special occasion dining. “Our patio is definitely the best place to be in the summer,” she said. “We have made it even better with offering great Happy Hour specials from 4 to 6 p.m., live music and happy hour from 4 p.m. to close on Wednesdays and late night happy hour on Saturday from 4 p.m. to close. Finally, Kent said feedback told the new management that people perceive Red’s as a special occasion-only sort of restaurant where diners need to dress up. “We still want Red’s to be considered a special occasion restaurant, but it is also a place to come and relax and wind down.” CarStar’s Dan Williams was pleased to demonstrate the casual wear Kent invited to Red’s. “Come on in, in […]

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