April 19 2012


April 19, 2012 // 0 Comments

Scouting for Opportunities: Rockford School’s Partnership with the Scouts by JIM VANDERKOLK Director of Operations Rockford Public Schools Springtime is here and the demands that come with outdoor activities bring a sense of urgency to the Rockford Public Schools’ grounds and maintenance departments. Falling behind is not an option as teams hit the fields as soon as the snow melts away. One of the sure signs of spring is the letter, phone call, or e-mail I will receive from local Scout troop leaders asking, “How can we help?” This outstanding program assists in spring clean-up for areas of the district that often are passed up for a later date when we are forced to prioritize. Looking back, I don’t want to take for granted the efforts to improve our community by the local Scout troops. In past years, the Eagle Scout projects completed for the school district and community are too numerous to give individual mention and recognition. These groups of outstanding individuals do not offer their assistance for the recognition, but rather for the opportunity to be productive members of the community. The individual perseverance and commitment to acquiring the signatures, materials, donations and approval to fulfill the mandatory requirements is commendable. In this day and age when Facebook, Twitter and video games dominate adolescent culture, it is refreshing to have a group of young people committed to hard work and traditional values. These individuals are not afraid to get outdoors, work hard, and provide a valuable service to their community. “The Boy Scouts of America believes—and, through over a century of experience, knows—that helping youth is a key to building a more conscientious, responsible and productive society (see www.scouting.org). Rockford Public Schools is proud to partner with organizations like the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of America that share these core values. As a department, we are proud to share in an opportunity for young people to develop valuable skills, a sense of accomplishment, and ultimately a connection to their community. We truly appreciate all that they do, and hope to continue this valuable partnership for many more years to come. Thanks, Scouts!

Upcoming concert to benefit Haiti

April 19, 2012 // 0 Comments

River Rock Church is joining forces with talented musicians to present an exciting event that will raise money and awareness for ongoing needs in Haiti. On Saturday, April 28 at 7 p.m., Baltimore-based musicians Val Nebbia and David Parker will take the stage alongside local musicians “Rock of Ages” (featuring Gordon Thayer) and worship pastor, Cameron Blake Warne. River Rock youth will be selling crafts and homemade baked goods. The director of Christian Light Ministries in Haiti, Sherrie Fausey, is flying in from Port au Prince to share her experiences. It’s been a little over two years since a catastrophic 7.0 earthquake left the country of Haiti in ruins, but many organizations such as Christian Light are still working tirelessly toward the country’s stability. River Rock Church and Christian Light Ministries are combing their efforts with the goal to rebuild a damaged orphanage and a new school. General admission is $5 at the door, with 100 percent of admission proceeds and youth ministry sales going to Christian Light Ministry. River Rock Church is located at 6060 Belding Road, Rockford. For more information, visit www.riverrockcommunity.com, or contact Cameron Warne at cameronw@riverrockcommunity.com or (616) 874-0400 ext. 115.


April 19, 2012 // 0 Comments

by TERRY KONKLE President, Rockford Area Historical Society When my wife and I came to Rockford in the summer of 1960, we needed a place to live. I had signed a contract to teach and coach at Rockford High School starting in September and was working as a driver for The Camera Shop in Grand Rapids during the summer. One of my delivery stops was Langridge Drugs in downtown Rockford, so I would drive different streets each day looking for a house to rent. My wife and two-month-old son would sometimes ride with me, and one Friday we spotted a “For Rent” sign on the porch pillar of a house on the northwest  corner of Bridge and Fremont streets. The next day (Saturday) we returned to town and went to the house to inquire about renting. Dallas and Myrna Harger lived there, and we found out that the actual house for rent was located at 145 East Bridge Street  across from the library. At that time, the Hargers owned most of the houses in that block. Early in our conversation that day, I learned that Mrs. Harger was the librarian at Rockford High School and that I would be working with her. I never dreamed that she and her husband would become our friends, and that Myrna would be a tremendous, accurate source on Rockford history. We rented the house, which had three rooms on the main floor and three more on the upstairs level. There was also an unfinished basement with three rooms, where some things could be stored. Before we left town that day, Mrs. Harger made a comment that went something like this: “Rockford is a nice area with lots of good people. We are a growing community so if you stay around awhile, you will see a lot of changes.” She was, of course, correct about the changes, and over the next few columns, I will discuss some of them. My wife and I have been here 52 years, but I know of others who have been in this community longer than that. I encourage readers to contact me with some of the changes they have seen. Both of the Hargers have passed away now, and I think we all realize […]

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