By BETH ALTENA Pillars of the greater Rockford community were recognized Tuesday, May 7 at a very special ceremony that had the meeting room of Rockford City Hall packed and an impressive crowd at Peppler Park’s Recognition Plaza. The Rockford Area Community Endowment (RACE) has a difficult job of selecting the very elite of our communities, the City of Rockford and the surrounding townships. Those chosen for lifetime achievement in making a lasting and permanent positive influence are recognized with a permanent plaque on the pillars in the bricked area of Peppler Park at the Rockford dam. Dick Davies, RACE board member representing Cannon Township spoke at the event at City Hall, emphasizing that inductees are those people who “went the extra step” in their efforts to contribute to their community. He praised Margaret Janose, a life-long resident of Cannon Township and a 1950 graduate of Rockford High School. Janose is the founding member of the Cannon Area Historical Society, which she started in 1986 and has been president of ever since. Davies said the membership of the group is 180 people and the artifacts at the museum in downtown Cannonsburg date back to 1909 when the township was founded. The museum building, located just north of Honey Creek Inn, is the former township hall. “Margaret has received many awards from the State of Michigan for her efforts,” Davies stated. “The first was a plaque for her work in having the museum building recognized as an historic site.” Janose also publishes a bi-monthly newsletter, mails dues notices to members and coordinates picnics and dinners throughout the summer. She spends countless hours at the museum, which is such a valuable resource to the community. Margaret has three children, two who still live in this area. MaryAnn Andersen of Courtland Township next spoke to the large crowd. She talked about the late Jim and Kletis McIntyre who she described as “pillars of the community.” Jim came on board with the township when he was elected in 1998. He was a farmer who lived in the township his entire life. He was the valedictorian of his Cedar Springs High School class of 1950 and president of the Shank School Board in 1961. Andersen said Jim was also president […]
Twenty East Grand Rapids Middle School students spent Friday, May 3rd caring for Rum Creek. This event was part of the United Way’s Day of Caring, an annual event to promote the value in volunteerism. These students, along with 350 other classmates, participated in a variety of volunteer efforts around the Grand Rapids area. Trout Unlimited, along with the Dwight Lydell Chapter of the Izaak Walton League, worked with the students to talk about invasive species and the value of native plants. The students helped to pull garlic mustard, a European exotic, around Rum Creek. Garlic mustard is rapidly becoming one of Michigan’s worst woodland weeds. Invaded sites undergo a decline on native plant cover within 10 years. Garlic mustard alters habitat suitability for native insects and thereby birds and mammals. The group spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning up trash in and around Rum Creek. Students picked up a variety of items that could be harmful to fish and other animals including glass bottles, plastic bags, and tires. This is the tenth year East Grand Rapids Middle School has taken part in the Day of Caring. This event was part of the Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative project, a multi-year watershed-based restoration project funded through the Wege, Frey, and Wolverine Worldwide foundations, the local Schrems West Michigan Trout Unlimited, and Robert DeVilbiss.
Rockford Lion Paul Krupp was proud to present a check for $5,000 to Rockford Historical Society President Terry Konkle on Friday, May 10. According to Krupp, the Lions have an account they use to fund worthy projects around the community as well as international projects. The non-profit service club also is presenting a $10,000 check to the West Michigan Miracle League for the Miracle Field at the West Michigan Sports Commission Art Van complex on Ten Mile Road.
Terry Konkle – President The new museum project has been a demanding yet rewarding one for our Rockford Area Historical Society. We were told many things when we started, and I thought readers might be interested in what some of those things were and whether they were pertinent or not. Regarding fundraising, we were advised not to let personal feelings get in the way. We were told “If someone turns you down or does not donate what you hope they will, try not to be aggravated or hold a grudge. “ This was good advice, and we tried to be positive in asking for and accepting donations. Remember that your cause is not everyone’s cause and that people have a legitimate right to do what they want with their finances and time. “Be ready for skepticism” someone said. There will be those who will wonder if the new museum project can raise enough funds to make it work. Others will be concerned that once the new museum is ready that funds will not be available to run it. We did meet with people who had worries about whether our project could be completed and then perpetuated. Knowing that we had to deal with those concerns helped us to make solid decisions to alleviate those worries. Our museum consultant said “When people see that the new museum will be a reality, they will come forth with many artifacts to donate.” This statement has been very true. Many have contacted us to offer their pieces of history for our museum. This is great! We knew that we would be asked many questions like: Why do you need a new building? Why not renovate your present location? Why have a new museum when you can’t keep your present one open on a regular basis? What will happen to my donation if you do not raise enough money? Why should the Rockford Area Historical Society get an opportunity to move to the vacated courthouse building? These were all good questions, but we had good answers, and we worked hard to get our responses out to those with inquiries. Perhaps the most important question was “Will the people, businesses and organizations of the Rockford area and beyond support the […]