By BETH ALTENA The day after the holiday where families come together to give thanks will be one where friends, family and the public are asked to gather in a celebration of life and love. The Everybody Love Everybody Stephen May Fundraiser will be held at the Assumption Catholic Church Family Life Center, 6369 Belmont Avenue, on Friday, Nov. 26 from 7 p.m. to midnight. The evening of live entertainment, raffles, a live and silent auction, food, cash bar and evening of activities is in honor of Stephen May, who lost his life this year, but is also in celebration of all he and other young people bring to life. The cost to attend is just $5 for students and $10 for adults, and will include the chance to take home some incredible prizes donated for the auctions. Proceeds go toward a scholarship fund, which will annually be given to a Rockford High School senior who personifies the “Everyone Love Everyone” (ELE) motto that Stephen May was quick to quote. “This isn’t just for Stephen, it’s for all of them. It’s about life, it’s about loving each other” said organizer Dixie Newell. Newell said organizers and helpers for the scholarship don’t want people to think Stephen was more important or better than the other young people the Rockford community has lost. “They are all families suffering a terrible loss and absolutely their child is just as important,” she stated. According to Newell, the efforts are more about celebrating the wonderful qualities each young person brings to the world. In Stephen’s case, the memory of him as a peacemaker and his adoption of the phrase, “Everybody Love Everybody,” is just one facet of keeping alive the memory of those we have lost. Newell said it has been heartwarming to see the community respond to efforts toward the scholarship fund and as a way to help the family during this hard time. A freethrow contest held at the high school raised over $500, a Zumba fundraiser earned the fund another $200, and an event at Timbers Inn added $300. The business community, the public and classmates have been overwhelmingly supportive in donations, participation and acts of kindness, Newell and other organizers have reported. Herman’s Boy stepped up […]
by BETH ALTENA Hundreds of people waited on the banks of the Rogue River to hear the Rockford High School brass ensemble and choir and words of peace from local leaders as the City of Rockford officially began the holiday season the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 17. The City/Chamber of Commerce event began with an introduction by Chamber Executive Director Brenda Davis, who said the event was the sixth annual. It appeared from the number of participants that this may well be the most well-attended lighting ceremony to date. Outgoing State Representative Tom Pearce spoke about his experiences as a young man on a Souix Indian reservation and then urged the crowd, “If there is someone you are not getting along with, make a truce with them.” He urged the crowd to “make sure this holiday season you are wrapped up in other people, not wrapped up in things that don’t matter.” Mayor Steve Jazwiec shared his inspiration for the holidays, the true story of WWI foes who, for a few hours on Christmas eve, made a truce themselves and stopped fighting to share a time of peace in honor of the holy day. Senator Mark Jansen urged people to start at home in bringing peace to the world and complimented the town for being good stewards of the assets Rockford is blessed to enjoy—our students who stood by to sing and play in honor of the holiday, the beautiful downtown and the river and trail which brings so much to the community. The words of peace were followed by the music of the brass ensemble and choir—hauntingly beautiful and the most moving portion of the ceremony—and the dimming of the lights until the countdown to the town’s holiday lights coming on for the season. The evening ceremony ended with a playful rendition—repeated a few times for fun and to the delight of youngsters and adults—of the “reindeer song” with participation of the crowd encouraged. After the lighting ceremony, a lively downtown night of shopping was held, with promotions, treats and giveaways in the stores and shops. The downtown Rockford Holiday Open Houses is an annual event that lasts two evenings. However, many holiday specials can be found throughout downtown right on through the season, […]
The Rockford Chamber of Commerce (RCC) is proud to present the “State of the Community” as its December installment of its popular Bi-Monthly Luncheon Series. This special event is scheduled from noon until 2:00 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 6 at Rockford High School, 4100 Kroes Street. The luncheon is open to the general public. The RCC has partnered with many entities to bring attendees an informative, comprehensive overview of many aspects of their community. Those attending can enjoy a lunch, network with other community leaders, and listen to presenters highlight their area of expertise, which includes: • State of the Michigan House of Representatives: Rep. Tom Pearce, 73rd District • State of the County: Roger Morgan, Chair, Kent County Board of Commissioners • State of the City of Rockford: Michael Young, City Manager • State of the Rockford Public Schools: Dr. Michael Shibler, Superintendent RPS • State of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce: Dr. Carl Stites, President The RCC is also working with the offices of Senator Debbie Stabenow, Congressman Vern Ehlers, Senator Mark Jansen, and the local townships to give a comprehensive written overview of their areas to keep you up-to-date with issues that affect the community. Information will be compiled into an informational packet that will be distributed at the luncheon. This special installment of the Bi-Monthly Luncheon Series is one you do not want to miss. To attend this timely presentation, please take advantage of the Chamber’s new website event registration at www.rockfordmichamber.com, click on “News & Events—Event Sign Up—December Bi-Monthly Luncheon” to register online. Or, as always, you may call the Chamber office at (616) 866-2000, or e-mail to email@example.com to register. Cost, which includes lunch, is $15 for Chamber members and $20 for non-members. Please note that if you have registered and are unable to attend, you must call and cancel prior to the event or you will be charged.
Here at the Squire, we are thrilled to continue offering what is the first job of their lives for boys and girls in downtown Rockford. Every place you see a postal carrier on foot doing deliveries, the Squire delivers with a young man or woman who brings your paper to your door. It is one of the best traditions of a hometown paper and we are proud to be part of the growing-up process for these responsible youngsters. Introducing the first of our newspaper carriers, we bring you Carson Klima, who has been delivering The Rockford Squire—without any complaints from his customers—for three years. Carson is 11 years old and a student at North Rockford Middle School (NRMS), where he is enjoying his first year at the school. His birthday is March 22 and his favorite class is math. “It is challenging but not hard to make it not fun,” Carson said. “I’m trying to make the Principal’s Honor Roll.” Carson would like to be a teacher when he grows up. He explained why. “It sounds like fun, plus my grandmother and dad were teachers.” His father is currently a teacher with Rockford Public Schools. Carson said he wanted to be a Squire paper delivery boy because, “I love money a lot and have earned over a thousand dollars so far.”
For the second year, Rockford Rotary Club and D&W Fresh Market have teamed up for a tasty and timely donation to families in need. Rotary donated $1,500 from the service organization’s budget and D&W offered a great price to provide 140 turkeys to North Kent Community Services (NKCS), a faith-based organization serving over 10,000 families. “This year every family that signed up for a food basket was able to receive a turkey,” said Ramona Hinton, who implemented the donation a year ago. According to Hinton, last year the NKCS was unable to provide a turkey to every family who asked for one. Last year the donation provided 110 turkeys and this year D&W was able to help donate an additional 30 birds to ensure each family could enjoy a traditional meal on Thanksgiving Day.