Rachel Cruden, 10, is the daughter of John and Lisa Cruden and sister to Andy, 9, and Hannah, 7, and has been named as one of the “Examples in Excellence” for 2010 through Rockford Public Schools. This hardworking student is committed to accomplishing her goals and is helpful to her teachers, her classmates and at home. Staff at Parkside Elementary say that Rachel often goes out of her way to help and mentor others. She is described as courageous and helps her peers believe in their own abilities. Rachel is also known for her responsibility and respect for others. Among Rachel’s accomplishments are her participation in Odyssey of the Mind and her church outreach program where she helps distribute food at St. Stephen Lutheran Church’s pantry. She was the top speller in her fourth-grade spelling bee and is involved in Girl Scouts. Rachel is a problem-solver, and doesn’t take the easy route in life. She pushes herself to be the best she can be and her attitude is contagious to those around her. This year Rachel had open heart surgery, and while in the hospital she made friends with her roommate, a friendship she still maintains. Rachel is interested in music, gymnastics, reading and writing and has had her work published. She would like to be an author someday. Teachers and staff recognize the tenacious spirit of this student who is not afraid to take a stand for what she knows is right.
April 1 2010
Second chances give us strength to make tomorrow a better day and “The Eleventh Hour,” a modern Easter drama inspired by movies like “The Blind Side” and “The Pursuit of Happyness,” is a new, local production based on lost love, crimes and those priceless second chances. This Broadway-style musical interlaces the contemporary lives of a newly engaged young couple, a single dad, a caring landlady, and neighbors at a community center with the Biblical passion story. Performances take place at 7 p.m. daily, April 1-3 at Blythefield Hills Baptist Church in Rockford, with tickets ranging from $3 to $5 on site or online at bhbconline.org. This is the 20th year for Blythefield’s Easter production. Each year the passion story of Jesus is presented complete with hundreds of Palm branches waving on Palm Sunday, 12 disciples gathered around the table for the last supper, and the drama of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Each year also brings a fresh new framing of the story as it is told within the context of current events. “This is my 19th year participating in the Easter drama at Blythefield,” said Kevin Shuneson, a fourth-grade teacher with Sparta Area Schools, who plays the role of Jesus. “Honestly, playing Jesus is very humbling. It’s given me a little more insight into the betrayal Christ experienced with people constantly wanting to be near him one minute and then just days later hearing those same people yell ‘Crucify Him!’ It’s an incredible price He paid for our redemption.” Twenty years ago, Blythfield’s Easter productions took place in the 600-seat auditorium of their former building. When the production outgrew the stage size and seating capacity of the church, it was presented in Rockford High School’s Fine Arts Auditorium for eight years. In 2005, the church completed construction of a new worship center equipped with staging, theatrical lighting and an advanced stereo sound system, which accommodates over 1,000 people for each performance and has enhanced the ability to host the large-scale production back at the church campus at 6727 Kuttshill Dr., Rockford. People of all ages participate on stage and behind the scenes. Many families participate together with babies, teens, parents and grandparents all lending their time and talents. It takes over 400 volunteers working as […]
Sidney Gardner, 4, of Belmont donated her hair to Locks of Love on March 23, because of the decision she made to “share her hair” with another child. Tracey Schaner of Great Clips in Rockford gave Sidney a new style, cutting off 10 inches.Sidney Gardner, 4, of Belmont donated her hair to Locks of Love on March 23, because of the decision she made to “share her hair” with another child. Tracey Schaner of Great Clips in Rockford gave Sidney a new style, cutting off 10 inches.