Community Services

Relay walkers want cancer comrades

May 9, 2013 // 0 Comments

By Susan B. Lovell   Mary Ann McAvoy is inviting fellow cancer survivors to literally come walk the walk with her May 17-18 at N. Rockford Middle School. That is the annual 24-hour Relay For Life honoring cancer survivors and raising money for the American Cancer Society. Mary Ann is a warrior who has successfully overcome two bouts of cancer in the past eight years. According to Mary Ann, “The hardest part is just getting survivors to come to this event.  Once they do, everyone experiences overwhelming love and support as they walk beside those who have had to ride the same wave of illness.  There is nothing like seeing 350 or more people in their purple shirts (only cancer survivors earn the right to wear purple Relay shirts) walking together knowing we have all been given the privilege of life.” Like Mary Ann, Rockford cancer survivor Kimberly Gerow wants to see new walkers come join this year’s Relay. And Kimberly understands why other survivors might not want to come out because she didn’t either. “I had a fear of participating,” Kimberly says, “because I didn’t want to admit I had had cancer. I thought if I hid from it, then I didn’t have it, I wasn’t one of them.”  It took Kim Gerow almost ten years in remission before she came forward to join Relay for Life. Fellow cancer survivor Ginny McGee, too, understands why other survivors hesitate to join the Relay. “I can relate to your feelings,” Ginny says to those who’ve never walked in the Relay. “However, you soon realize the “cancer club” is one you never signed up to join. We all have forced membership, yet we are all unique and it helps so much to know we are not alone, nor are our helpers our ‘co-survivors, ’so to speak.” Ginny suggests first-timers “Go to the Information Center or find the Survivor Tent and you will be warmly welcomed.  We come to celebrate, remember, and fight back together.” The breakfast, Saturday morning – 10 a.m. – noon, at the track is served only to the purple shirts so it’s a great meeting place for new survivor walkers. Mary Ann, Kim, and Ginny will be there looking for new faces. While friends and […]

Local credit union gives back to area schools

May 9, 2013 // 0 Comments

Students are challenged and classrooms rewarded. Rockford Community Federal Credit Union hosted a participation challenge within each of their three Student Run Credit Union branches. Congratulations to each of the following classes, Mrs. Mattioli’s 4th grade class at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary School, Ms. Sollner’s 5th grade classroom at Belmont Elementary, and Mrs. Moore’s 6th grade class at Our Lady of Consolation School. Each winning classroom received a pizza party for the students plus the teacher received a $100 donation towards classroom supplies. The philosophy of all credit unions is “people helping people, to help themselves.” Rockford Community Federal Credit Union, a local community credit union, hopes by making these donations to the classrooms it will help foster stronger education for future generations! If you would like to learn more about the Student Run Credit Union or have Rockford Community Federal Credit Union facilitate a credit union in your child’s school, contact them at 616-866-8570.  

After Hours event hosted by RE/MAX United

May 2, 2013 // 0 Comments

The Rockford Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce RE/MAX United will be the host of the May Business After Hours event! The event takes place on Monday, May 6 from 5-7 p.m. Business After Hours is a great way to learn about the host business and what they have to offer. It is also a great way to meet the “movers and shakers” of the business community. The event features networking in a relaxed setting and is free to the public. Tom and Tracie Rich will be hosting the event in their building they remodeled prior to opening in June of 2012. It is located at 28 N. Monroe, in the heart of downtown Rockford. The couple has made quite an impression on Rockford, already growing their franchise to 10 agents and two support staff. The Rich’s were awarded the Outstanding New Franchise for the state of Michigan recently. The Rich’s are hosting the Business After Hours to not only showcase their business, but to show they support their community. The event will also be a fundraiser for Relay for Life – there will be a donation jar for RE/Max Relay for Life – to help fund research to eradicate cancer. The Business After Hours is free, but you must register with the Chamber to attend. Please call 866-2000 so that you may attend this fun-filled evening. Parking is available on Monroe Street the evening of the event.  

Rockford Area Historical Society News & Update

May 2, 2013 // 0 Comments

By Terry Konkle, President   Many good questions and comments about our new museum continue to be brought forth by those who are interested in the project. This column will deal with some of the areas that readers might have been considering. Some people have wondered what the room situation is in the back areas of the new museum. There are six rooms along the back hallway and our lease allows us to use five of them. The room that was an office in the courthouse will remain an office for the museum staff. Next to the office was a kitchenette/meeting room with a Jury room beside it. We have put an archway in the wall between the two rooms to make one large area for research and storage. The jury room had two restrooms in it, and we have removed the facilities and will use the old rest rooms for storage. The fourth room, a maintenance room with toilet facilities and storage, will remain the same and require very little work. Next to the maintenance room is the old holding cell room which came with a toilet/sink in it. The room is basically cement block with one light and a very small overhead window. We have taken out the toilet/sink, and we will probably use the area for storage of things that are not used very often. It is a very secure room. The back hallway will not be open to museum traffic, but our staff will take people back there for research and other museum functions. What about restrooms? There are two for public use in rooms off from the hallway between the two main exhibit rooms. Those familiar with the old courthouse will know that they are the same restrooms that were there for courthouse public visitors. There is also a drinking fountain located near the restrooms. When will the new museum open? We plan on having part of it ready near the end of May with the rest to follow soon after. If all goes well, we will have a “Grand Opening” sometime this summer. What will happen to the old museum? The old museum building belongs to the city of Rockford, and we are presently leasing it from them. They […]

Grillapalooza a chance to sample, learn, listen

May 2, 2013 // 0 Comments

Top male choir in United States to be featured at Saturday event   Songs, samples, grills and grub will be found at the eighth annual Grillapalooza kick-off to the summer grilling season at Herman’s Boy, 220 Northland Drive in Rockford. Just as exciting, the event will be a chance to hear the number one-ranked United States men’s choir throughout the days events, which run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Each year the Grillapalooza offers visitors the chance to learn grilling techniques, enjoy free samples, play in the kids tent, view work of area artists and more. The returning star, the Big Green Egg, will face some competition for attention in the Rockford ACES men’s chorale who will sing during the day, showing off the talent that has lead them to be the top young male choir in the United States. Those who miss this event and the chance to hear this world-class (literally) group may have to book tickets to Latvia for another chance to hear the a cap pel la men’s ensemble. In 2014 the World Choir Games will take place in Riga, Latvia where the group will perform. Herman’s Boy has donated a Big Green Egg to the group to raffle as a fundraiser to help cover the costs of traveling to the world competition. Although the raffle will not take place during Grillapalooza, visitors will learn how and when they will have the chance to buy tickets for the upcoming chance to win an Egg. Each year Herman’s Boy chooses a worthy cause to benefit from Grillapalooza, last year donating egg for raffle to help the Rockford Area Historical Society to raise funds for the new museum, currently under construction. This year the Rockford ACES were easy to pick as a local group doing their part to make Rockford proud. The extracurricular group returned in July of 2012 after earning a spot in the 2012 World Choir Games in Cincinnati (considerably closer than Latvia). There the group competed in two categories, earning top silver medals in each. In the Young Males Choirs category they finished third overall in the world and were the top choir from the United States. They competed against 362 choirs from 64 countries. They sing a varied […]

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