Public invited to honor local leaders

These people, listed below, have made a significant and lasting difference in their communities and their names will be permanently placed at Peppler Park in thanks.

The public is invited to a ceremony honoring residents from the City of Rockford, and the townships of Cannon, Courtland and Plainfield. Each are part of the Rockford Area Community Endowment (RACE), which provides grants for community projects. On Tuesday, May 12 RACE will hold its annual public meeting at Rockford City Hall followed by the Recognition Ceremony at Peppler Park.

To be honored are, from Cannon Township, Gerald L. Kitson; from the City of Rockford, Clarence Blakeslee and Otto Krause; from Courtland Township, William H. Myers, Sr; and from Plainfield Township Wendell L. Briggs and Donna Marie Briggs. Those who attend the meeting and ceremony will be entered into a drawing and be can one of three people to win a free, engraved brick at Peppler Park.

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Exchange students to try for Corner Bar Hall of Fame

Rockford exchange students challenged to join in as well

A group of students attending Kent City High School have decided to try to leave a permanent reminder of their time in the United States by putting their name on the Corner Bar Hall of Fame, eating 12 hotdogs in four hours. They challenge students from other countries going to school in Rockford to do the same.

Lukas Kutilek, age 18, of the Czech Republic is staying with Cedar-Rock area residents  Phil and Laverne Calkins and saw the many names on the walls of the Rockford restaurant. He will try to add his name beginning at noon this Saturday, May 9, along with his classmates who are also foreign exchange students.

He will be joined by Manuel Martinez, age 16, of  Spain,  Nelson Filho, age 18, of Brazil and Kate Podhradska, age 16, of Slovakia. Not participating due to vegitarianism are Anabel Carrillo, age 18, of Ecuador and Chrissy Schuler, age 18, of Germany. Both will be on hand to offer support and would eat vegetarian dogs if the Bar offers them. All the students would love to have anyone else try for the fabled Wall or come on down to cheer them on.

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Trail users hope for help in Luton Park cleanup

(A day picking up trash is a good day in the outdoors)

Mountain bike riders are excited to be allowed to use a beautiful piece of Rockford property to enjoy their sport, but are hoping for some help in cleaning up trash. Members will be meeting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 9 at the Luton barn, 6099 Kies Avenue (from Rockford Ten Mile to Courtland, south to Kies, east to the barn) to pick up litter.

The western chapter of the MMBA has been trying to build more trails in Kent County for years. There is currently under 20 miles of single track (natural surface narrow trail) in Kent County. This is a very small amount for a city the size of Grand Rapids. When a large population of hikers, bike riders, etc use one or two small trail systems they can become over crowded.

Kent County finally found a home for the MMBA at Luton Park. Luton is undeveloped and suited their needs and the county’s needs perfectly. The MMBA offered to build and maintain the trail system for Kent County and its residents free of charge. So far MMBA members have logged over 900 man hours developing the current 6.5 mile natural surface trail at Luton Park.

It is their intent to share it with the community by making it a multi-use trail. The stacked loop system allows for more multi-trail users with less conflict between groups. Most hikers will hike shorter more direct routes such as the Blue Loop and interact less often with the bike riders who are spread amongst all the loops.

Removing the trash will be a huge benefit to all. Enjoy the day making this public park cleaner. Luton Park was donated by the Luton family and is a beautiful property with two creeks, fields,  and lots of wildlife and a variety of woodlands. It is a gem for outdoor enthusiasts.

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Public invited to Garlic Mustard Pull at Brower Lake

Please join the Land Conservancy of West Michigan for a volunteer workday.  There will be a Garlic Mustard Pull at Brower Lake on Saturday, May 9, from 9 to 11 a.m. Meet at 8748 Je Ne Be Drive, Rockford. All events happen rain or shine unless otherwise noted.

We are making progress! Through years of volunteers pulling the garlic mustard at Brower Lake, the amount has significantly declined. Come make a big difference by helping put an end to the garlic mustard. Work gloves are recommended.  Advanced registration is not required but would be appreciated.  Please call 616-451-9476 or email lcwm@naturenearby.org.

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East Rockford Middle School’s Lynsey Bettig: an Example in Excellence

East Rockford Middle School’s Lynsey Bettig: an Example in Excellence

East Rockford Middle School’s Lynsey Bettig: an Example in Excellence

Student quick to welcome newcomers, offer friendship

Lynsey Bettig is the daughter of Jeff and Vicki Bettig and sister to Lexi. Lynsey shows over and over her caring nature in and out of school. Teachers say it is a privilege to work with Lynsey, who demonstrates positive leadership among classmates, teammates, teachers and her coaches. This conscientious student holds a 3.6 grade-point average, is a talented athlete and served as her school team’s varsity softball team manager. Lynsey is very involved in her church and often befriends incoming students before school starts and helps them feel comfortable in the new environment.

As a team manager, Lynsey was fired up and ready to go. She came to every practice and her dedication and school spirit set a powerful example to other young ladies on the team. The players came to know, love and admire Lynsey for her passionate and positive words of encouragement. It was obvious she truly believed in them as individuals.

From sitting with a new student during lunch period to volunteering in vacation Bible school, Lynsey is the type of person who shows true leadership as well as the kindness to go out of her way for others.

Lynsey is hardworking, motivated and always gives her best. She is also quick to offer a hand to help others succeed and share a smile as well. She faces life with a joy that spreads to others around her.

The eighth-grade student has been nominated as Student of the Month, is a member of the Junior National Honor Society and has repeatedly earned academic honors. Lynsey is in the accelerated reading program. She also is a talented athlete with many trophies in basketball, softball as well as trophies for participating in Awana at church.

Lynsey has played on the Rockford Little League and hopes to play as a freshman in high school sports. In addition to her passion for sports, especially softball where she is a pitcher, she enjoys art, reading and listening to music. As an Example in Excellence at East Rockford Middle School, Lynsey is known as an all-around neat kid with a strong sense of right and wrong.

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