by ANA OLVERA “So far, it has not. People are definitely more aware because of the news, it’s more top of mind. But it has its positive; people won’t overspend and they’ll have more control. It’s great to shop locally, but it all depends on what you’re looking for.” —Guillermo Perez and his daughter Sofia, 9, Ada “My husband’s job and my job, are stable, so it hasn’t affected us at all. People will probably spend less, especially without jobs. We might also give away to those who may not have enough.” —Lynne Winkle and her son Josh, 4, Grand Rapids We’re recognizing [the state of the economy] more. We’re now setting budgets. People are less likely to buy impulsively. People look for more discounts. Shopping locally benefits everyone. It’s always a positive for the community.” —Cindy Palmreuter, Rockford “I’ve been working a lot harder to be creative for the lack of money. I’ll probably spend less. I often look for sales. I go wherever prices are cheaper no matter where it’s at, whether it be locally or not.” —Julie Underwood, Chicago, (NOTE: Julie, originally from Rockford, is home from college visiting family for Thanksgiving).
by ANA OLVERA Lynzee Broussard, 18, will be the featured skater at the Art Museum’s Tree Lighting Ceremony and opening of Rosa Parks Circle Ice Rink, 155 Monroe Center, on Friday, Dec. 4 at 5:30 p.m. Broussard has been skating since the age of three and competing since the age of six. She has competed in 10 regional competitions and two mid-sectional competitions, as well as participating in many exhibitions and ice shows. Broussard recently placed bronze at Collegiate Nationals in Philadelphia. She is coachedby April Treado, sking director at Patterson Ice Center, and ballet instructor Judy Genson of C.A.R.E. Conservatory. Broussard spends hundreds of hours volunteering in her community, church and learn-to-skate programs at Patterson Ice Center. She is a 2009 graduate of Grand Rapids Catholic Central and is currently a freshman at Aquinas College.
by ANA OLVERA A port-a-potty was stationed in front of Roguewood Elementary in Rockford on October 15. This all came about when Principal Michael Hibbeln told Roguewood Elementary students that if they met their fundraising goal he would do something wacky in return. The cause was to raise money for the school’s PTO by doing a walk. The school’s PTO funds transportation for field trips, after-school programs, start-up costs for teachers, and books for the library, among other things. One night while brainstorming ideas, Hibbeln’s two children suggested spending a day in a port-a-potty. He figured it would be a great idea. “They (kids) avoid them (port-a-potties) like the plague,” Hibbeln joked. The idea was a gimmick to help motivate students to collect pledges. Students actually met and rose over their $20,000 goal. Hibbeln stayed in the port-a-potty from 8:15 a.m. to 3:40 p.m. He spent the day reading, listening to a radio, and doing paperwork. When students met their goal last year, Hibblen sat in the school’s trophy case. He has yet to come up with any ideas for next year.
“It’s a natural for paramedics to endorse it.” Chuck Premer, media coordinator and paramedic at Rockford Ambulance, referred to a series of classes coming up at the Rockford Ambulance facility at 8450 Shaner Avenue. The public is invited to sign up for free waltz lessons taught by the Emergency Medical Technicians and staff of Rockford Ambulance. According to Premer and his co-workers, the dance lessons are appropriate for all ages and are a very healthy form of exercise. “This is a starter course, anyone can take it. If they can walk, they can dance,” said Su Gray, Operations Supervisor at Rockford Ambulance. Gray demonstrated some moves—lifts and swings—but pointed out that the program is actually very simple and waltz is much easier to learn than people might think. Paramedic Andy Andresen began the program at a different location and has been teaching and competing in dance for years. He is associated with Silvestro Studios dance center at Plainfield and the Beltline, where he teaches. He is happy to offer his time for free in these dance classes. “We offered it for firemen, EMTs and police and it was kind of popular,” Andresen said. He said it is important for rescue personnel to keep in good physical shape and first came up with the concept as a fun way for first responders to keep fit. The classes were such a hit with those who took them Andresen thought it might be a good idea to open them up to the general public. Rockford Ambulance’s CEO Roger Morgan heard about Andresen’s idea to offer it through the Rockford office and was happy to approve the plan. The classes are free and will be open to the first 20 couples that sign up. Someone without a dance partner is invited as well. “We have plenty of EMTs here to help. Even Chuck has some real nice moves,” Gray stated. Andresen said dance television shows have increased interest somewhat, but not as much as he’d like to see. The enjoyable activity is a fun hobby that couples can do together. He pointed out that it is an activity that can continue on into later years, unlike many sports or other physical activities. “You can have some hot Latin […]