Community Services

Rockford Area Historical Society News & Update

June 20, 2013 // 0 Comments

Terry Konkle – President One of the responders to the last “Nugget of Rockford History” question was one of my favorite people Zell Gill. Her answer was not correct, but her comments were more important than an incorrect answer. She said “One of the things I really enjoy about the questions is that they bring back so many great memories of things that were so much a part of my life. I enjoy recalling the people and times that I enjoyed so much”. The question was “Who was the last principal of Rockford High School when the high school was located on North Main Street”. I know that when Zell learns that Jerry Fox was the right answer, she will have many good memories of that fine man. The high school moved to the building now known as North Rockford Middle School in the fall of 1960. The move came after the year had begun (probably in late October or early November). Perhaps readers can recall the exact time. Mr. Fox was the principal and there was much excitement among the students, teachers and community at the time. The senior class of 1961 would be the first to graduate from the new building. It was my first year as a Rockford High School English teacher, and I was involved in the transition. When I entered the new school and settled into “Room 4”, it was a thrill for me. At the time, however, I did not know that the rest of my teaching career of thirty years would take place in the same location. I have loads of fond memories and I agree with Zell Gill that good memories can be a result of thinking about history. Of those responding with answers, only five readers had the correct response with three of them members of the class of 1961. They were Bonnie Bovee Orvis, Merri Beth Richardson and Cindy Hegle (called from St. Louis, Missouri). Bill Boyd also knew the answer as did Bob Boyer. Mr. Boyer was the new principal of Rockford Junior High School which was located in the North Main Street building in 1960-61 and a good friend of Mr. Fox. As a sidelight, I would add that I was hired to […]

Freedom In Motion receives $1500 matching donation

June 20, 2013 // 0 Comments

The Rockford Squire introduced readers to an area non-profit organization in its June 13 issue. Now the group has learned of amatching donation that will match donations received up to $1500.00. “Freedom In Motion has just solidified a $1,500 matching donation. Dollar for dollar, any new pledges or commitments we receive from new donors between now and Saturday June 22nd will be doubled up to $1,500! This is amazing news and we’re honored to be so blessed in this work,” states Derek Rust. Anyone can commit to donate and automatically double their donation by going to our website – contact us there to pledge, or simply use the paypal feature!  

Michigan Blood pays tribute to statewide donors, including local man

June 20, 2013 // 0 Comments

They are co-workers, family members, classmates and neighbors … the everyday people that save lives of strangers. On Friday, June 14th millions of blood donors were recognized as part of World Blood Donor Day. Michigan Blood recognized its top donors, those who have given multiple gallons of blood throughout their years of donating. One of those high level donors is Melvin Wood, a Rockford resident. He donated 34 gallons, placing him sixth in the top ten list of donors in Michigan. Considering it takes eight pints to make up a gallon means Wood has made over 270 trips to blood centers or mobile blood drives throughout the course of his donation history. Blood collection from voluntary donors is the cornerstone of a safe and sufficient blood supply. At Michigan Blood, more than 100,000 donors help serve the needs of hospitals around the state. These donors assure that patients who are suffering from massive trauma, undergoing surgery, or in need of cancer therapy have the blood needed to stay alive. The public is invited to stop by the Michigan Blood donor center between June 14-June 28 during our regularly scheduled donor hours to find out more about what inspired the top ten high level donors to start donating, and what motivates them to keep on giving. Visitors who want to donate can schedule an appointment at 1-866-MIBlood or The World Health Organization says World Blood Donor Day, celebrated on 14 June every year, serves to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank voluntary unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood. 92 Million blood donations are made worldwide each year.  62 countries collect 100% of blood supplies from voluntary unpaid donors.  The slogan marking this year’s 10th World Donor Day is “Give the gift of life: donate blood.”  Many patients requiring transfusion, particularly in developing countries, do not have timely access to safe blood. Regular voluntary blood donors are the safest source of blood, as there are fewer blood borne infections among these donors than among people who donate for family members in emergencies or who give blood for payment. In low- and middle-income countries, the greatest use of donated blood is for pregnancy-related complications and severe […]

Rockford Area Historical Museum strives to open doors in July

June 20, 2013 // 0 Comments

After two years of thinking, planning, and talking about moving and expanding their museum, members of the Rockford Area Historical Society, (RAHS), are finally seeing the new museum take shape in the former 63rd District Courthouse in downtown Rockford. Last month, a large safe, once housed in several drug stores that operated in the Hessler Building at Main and Courtland over the years, was moved into the new museum. Two weeks ago, a horse drawn mail wagon that was used in Rockford almost 100 years ago, joined the safe in its new home. These two treasures from Rockford’s past are just a sampling of the many items that the RAHS has been unable to display in the original Rockford Area Historical Museum, but will be proudly exhibited in the new museum. Last week, the first structures that will make up the exciting new and interactive displays were delivered and assembled in their places in one of the museum’s two main exhibit rooms. Within another week, large graphics will transform these structures and others into showpieces for the new museum. The road to this point has not been an easy one. The effort to create a new museum was originally thought to be much too large of a project for the RAHS. The doubters outnumbered the believers, but those believers just kept working toward raising the $325,000 to $350,000 that would turn their dream into reality. Slowly, the doubters became interested parties. Now, when it is clear that the project will succeed, the many interested parties have joined the believers. Two years after the active drive to create a new museum began, every Rockford area resident and business can be proud of the fact that Rockford will soon be unveiling a new museum that promises to be the standard of excellence for small city museums everywhere. Volunteers are currently in the process of moving all of the records from the old museum into the Burch Room at the new location. The Burch Room is where a group of volunteers led by Pat Frye, the museum’s Research Director, work on maintaining and building the museum’s extensive collection of archives and records and help area residents with genealogical and other research projects. There is a lot of work […]

Bicycle ride to raise funds and awareness

June 13, 2013 // 0 Comments

Derek Rust and Ben Hyink of Grand Haven along with Todd Stelma and Doug Crysler of Rockford, will ride their bicycles 250 miles in three days to raise funds and awareness of the non-profit Freedom In Motion. The ride will take place on June 20, 2013, leaving Rockford Michigan and ending 3 days later in Mackinaw City. Freedom In Motion receives donated bicycles, returns them to safe working order, and distributes them according to the need in West Michigan. Whether it is a simple need for affordable transportation to and from work, a parent or guardian who cannot afford a bicycle for their child, someone who doesnʼt have a driverʼs license, etc., the need presents itself in a multitude of forms. The ongoing need for parts and tools to repair bikes necessitates fundraising efforts. All four riders are currently collecting sponsors as one time donations or on a per mile basis. “Some donʼt realize that bikes are more than toys for people who canʼt afford the expense of a vehicle” Stelma said. Rust adds, “Weʼve seen real people with real needs. The bikes we give out make sustainable reliable transportation possible for those who need to get to work, the store or a job interview”. “The neat thing about this structure is that anyone can donate. A penny a mile is only two dollars and fifty cents. Unless we get lost, in which case it might be three bucks.” Crysler laughed. Freedom In Motion operates solely with volunteers. Any cash donation is applied entirely to the mission. Also, because it is a federally recognized 501(c)3, EIN 45-4462830, all donations are tax deductible. For more information, or to sponsor the ride, please call (616) 419-7795 or visit  

1 20 21 22 23 24 48