There is nothing like going to the Garden Park in Rockford on a Thursday night for the Open Mic by the Dam. What a beautiful setting too! I have been a faithful attendee for all 12 nights starting June 4 and ending August 20. They announced on August 13, that Julie (not related) & Roger were special guests tonight, neither one of us are musicians…just the love of the music and who’s going to entertain us next. As the evening went, on we were called to the stage and I thought what’s up now. We were pleasantly surprised to receive a 2015 “Open Mic Night” tee shirt designed by Barry Bell and Jim Wendling, who runs the “show” and makes everyone feel at ease with their humor. By the way, they are great musicians also! I want to commend Jim & Barry for doing “ their thing” and giving back to the Rockford community, what thoughtful gesture. A lot of work and time goes into each night…thanks again and well be proud to wear the shirts for advertising and I already like the comments to! Julie Pyne
The Rockford community and the world of Rotary lost two long-time members that I knew personally this summer. Last month, Bob Boyer passed away. This month, Al Kraker also passed away. Both of these gentlemen were in their 90’s and were great contributors to the Rockford community. Bob was an educator/principal in the Rockford Public School system. Those who were students while Bob was the principal tell me Bob was a master at the job. I attended Coopersville so I didn’t have the pleasure of attending a Rockford school administered by Bob but I can imagine what kind of experience it was from my time in Rotary. Bob was a fixture at the “old guys” table. He always had a joke; stories to tell; and was fast with the quips. Somehow I don’t think many students were quicker on the draw with words than Bob was. Al also sat at the table with Bob. We all listened when Al had something to say. Of course, to be truthful, Al sold tickets to the weekly 50/50 raffle so when he read off the winning ticket number; we all listened hoping our number was drawn. Both of these guys were long-time members and contributors to Rotary and also their churches. Bob went to the Rockford United Methodist Church. Church members report that he served in almost every capacity available. Al moved to the Rockford area in the 1980’s and began attending Rockford Reformed Church (RRC). The Coons also attend RRC so over the years, I was able to serve from time to time in various capacities with Al. He was a contributor whose presence was appreciated. Sometime in the mid-1990’s, both of us began attending a Tuesday Morning Prayer Breakfast. Al showed up early and had the coffee brewing when the rest of showed up at 7am. We had donuts, a time of devotion, and then a prayer time. Without exception Al prayed for our country and asked for wisdom for our national, state, and local leaders. Both Bob and Al were patriots and proud veterans who served our country during WWII. They had stories they shared such as when Bob heard Patton giving a speech while in an olive grove in Italy. Al told the story […]
By John Henry, Director of Food Service Rockford Public Schools recently added a new school lunch payment system for paying and controlling school meal accounts. This new system, from a company called Meal Magic Corporation, allows parents direct control in managing their child’s account. Through a user-friendly link on our website called SendMoneytoSchool.com, parents are now able to manage their child’s lunch account. Some of the new features include: Direct online entry for the free/reduced Family Meal Applications Payment for meals Check balances View history Transfer money between students Set credit limits One of our goals with this system is to take the hassle out of paying for your child’s meals. This site has all the Information in one place. In addition, with deposits over $50.00, it is free to use for both electronic checking and credit card. All this, combined with the new point of sale machines at each school that significantly speed up the serving lines, make it a better experience for our students.
Kent County Animal Shelter (KCAS) and Humane Society of West Michigan (HSWM) will begin changing the way they take in stray and/or unwanted cats, giving them a better opportunity at getting a second chance. Starting August 17, KCAS (our government-funded, open admission shelter) will only be accepting stray cats; HSWM will only be accepting owner surrendered cats. HSWM and KCAS expect this change will positively affect the live release rates of Kent County and continue to collaborate to improve the outcome for all animals brought to them. In the last few months, KCAS and HSWM, the two largest shelters in Kent County discussed community statistics on feline euthanasia and feline intake into both facilities. HSWM has been successful with placement of owner surrendered cats, but does not have the kennel space and set up for holding stray cats. Often, KCAS is near- or at- capacity for cats due to a mandated stray hold. If space is limited, owner-surrendered cats aren’t placed for adoption; they are euthanized. Historically, the majority of KCAS’s cat intake has been stray cats and HSWM’s cat intake has been owner surrendered. “Communities that have a municipal and non-profit shelter working side by side sometimes find it beneficial to enact policies and procedures to direct all owner surrender cats to the non-profit shelter while the municipal shelter only takes in strays,” said Carly Luttmann, Program Supervisor at KCAS. “We are hopeful that by implementing this strategy, we will see a higher success rate for placement of adoptable owner surrender cats at HSWM and a high success rate for placement of adoptable stray cats and more successful return to owners of stray cats at KCAS. It also makes sense for the public to just have one place to go looking for their lost cats.” With the new BISSELL Cattery Enrichment Center, HSWM has seen an increase in the amount of owner surrendered cats who are able to be adopted. “Typically cats coming into a shelter situation need some time to adjust,” said Namiko Ota-Noveskey, Director of Animal Behavior and Care. “We have been successfully able to place cats that are a bit shyer and just need some time to get used to their new surroundings.” HSWM manages their admission and asks the public […]