August 18 2011
by LINDSAY PATTON-CARSON Rockford Riptide celebrated the end of its summer session with a successful trip to the state meet, held at Eastern Michigan University (EMU) in Ypsilanti, Mich. The USA swim team sent 17 of its members to the meet, a result of hard work paid off during the summer. The swimmers include Jacob Fase, 13, Sara Fredricks, 12, Rachel Gamm, 8, Andrew Haid, 12, Daniel Haid, 14, Christina Hanssen, 12, Kennzie Hartmann, 11, Benjamin Hoffmeister, 14, Timmer Hoffmeister, 14, Delayni Kornak-Kotarba, 14, Marissa Marion, 14, Sydney McDowell, 12, Dakota Noble, 14, Peyton Rayburn, 11, Hannah Raymond, 13, Megan Schremp, 14 and Meegan Snyman, 11. Four Riptide swimmers also represented the club at the 15-and-over state meet held at Jenison High School. Kennedy Cutler, Hannah Loesch, Derek Mead and Sam Tinsley have provided leadership in practices and at meets, and have inspired the younger swimmers to excel as well. At EMU, Riptide boasted Gamm, the youngest swimmer at the state meet this year at eight years old. She competed in the 10-and-under 50 freestyle race, and the 10-and-under 100 freestyle race, where she dropped .65 seconds. “Watching eight-year-old Rachel Gamm in her first state championship meet was a lot of fun,” said Head Coach Michael Cutler. “Not many eight-year-olds make it to that meet and have to compete in the 10-and-under age group.” Riptide had a first-place swimming in McDowell, who won top honors in the female 11-12 100 breaststroke. She also placed third in the female 11-12 50 breaststroke. Fredricks competed in nine events, where she shaved off time in every race, including 2.86 seconds in the female 11-12 100 freestyle, placing third, and 6.19 seconds in the female 11-12 200 freestyle, placing fourth. Fourteen-year-old Daniel Haid competed in eight events, as did 14-year-old Timmer Hoffmeister. Haid placed ninth and cut 5.33 seconds off in the 13-14 male 200 backstroke, while Hoffmeister placed 10th and took 3.38 seconds off his time in the male 13-14 100 butterfly. Hartmannn also swam strong, competing in 10 events and dropping time in all but two. She cracked the top 10 in two events, with her highest placement being sixth in the female 11-12 100 freestyle. The team is currently on its August break as swimmers get […]
Rockford 2011 graduate Taylor Balch recently signed a letter of intent to play lacrosse at Davenport University. Balch was a three-year starter for the Rams lacrosse program and a member of the state championship team of 2010. She has played lacrosse for five years. This past season Balch was Rockford’s second leading scorer and third in team assists. Davenport’s lacrosse coach is excited to add Balch to the program. Davenport currently is a Division II NAIA school, but has requested NCAA Division II status. Balch is excited about the opportunity to play in a small school atmosphere with great facilities, and intends to pursue a career in nursing. She is the daughter of Randy and Penny Balch.
Robin Toldo is a locally trained chef who has been teaching fun, informative and delicious classes in the Rockford area for the last four years, as well as adult enrichment cooking classes for Rockford Community Services. “I have endeavored to work in every aspect of the culinary world, starting at the age of 14 at the infamous west side hangout, Sandy’s Donuts. What fun! I then moved on to a busy and rambunctious—and that is putting it lightly—downtown deli,” Toldo said. Next was catering for the Marriott Corporation in Sault Ste. Marie, while attending Lake Superior State University for a major in psychology and a minor in child development. That didn’t turn out to be her life’s destiny, so back to Grand Rapids she went to attend Grand Rapids Community College’s culinary arts program. Along with the move came a position at the original Pietro’s Ristorante. “Crazy, busy, delish. I waitressed at night and did food prep during the day,” Toldo said. The next interesting job was one that would, unknowingly, prepare her for life as a busy mother of five. “I became an in-home personal chef for the Baar family. I created the work-week’s meals, did the grocery shopping, as well as the food preparation—AND the dishes, ugh!—for a family of four,” explained Toldo. A tour through the prestigious Kent Country Club placed her in a “rounds chef” tutelage with Certified Executive Chef Brian Walsh. There, Toldo saw her destiny: fresh local cuisine, powerful in flavor, color and texture. “I was in love with food. Someone once dubbed me ‘Ratatouille’ from the kid’s movie—perfect!” said Toldo. “There, I learned classical French cuisine in all of its glory, and worked with some amazing, well-trained people, including a guy named Derek, who now stars in an ice-carving show on television.” The end of culinary school brought yet another urge to broaden her resume. Toldo sent out letters to places all over out west, including “The Ranch,” a fancy four-diamond restaurant in the resort town of Keystone, Colo., where she eventually worked as the head of the “Garde Manger,” a super fancy French way of saying “cold food.” Having a busy family life here in Michigan, Toldo wanted to indulge her passion for all things food, yet stay […]
Resident describes advantages, history of service by BETH ALTENA Auctioneer and Rockford resident Jack Robillard can talk all day about the history and value of a Chippendale chest, but it is his fast talking that is his profession. An airline pilot first, Robillard was restless during the days between flights and heard about the Missouri Auction School. He had attended only a few days when he was mistaken for a seasoned professional in the field. Turns out he is a natural fast talker. Now Robillard has been an auctioneer for over 30 years mostly in the eastern side of the country, and has recently returned to his wife’s native Rockford. She long wanted to return to this town, where her family ties are and many people knew her mom Corinne from Corinne’s Beauty Salon, operated out of a residence on Fremont Street. Robillard’s years in his job have given him countless stories, including one that involves a murder, an attic, and a secret kept through two generations. Robillard called auctioneering the “second oldest profession.” The other isn’t legal in Michigan, although it is in Nevada. He said back in the times of the Roman Empire, auctions were used when people owed money. Since the age of computers and video technology—both of which Robillard uses in his business—the science of auctioneering has changed, but the basic concept remains the same. “One call sells it all,” Robillard said of his job. Out east, Robillard said, people often bring auction items to his warehouse and one item or an entire estate can be auctioned. Here in Michigan, that style of auctioneering is less typical and people are more likely to auction an estate, including the home itself, on site. A good auctioneer knows what he or she is selling, and Robillard has researched extensively and is qualified as a court appraiser. He is called in when someone is being sued for misrepresenting the value of an item. “People don’t realize when you look at a piece of furniture, it tells a story,” he noted. Being able to identify the age of an item, as well as where and by whom it was made takes into account countless details. A piece of furniture made by a certain shop can […]