Midnight Ride raises funds, awareness for juvenile diabetes research Departing at the stroke of midnight on Friday, August 21 from the Meijer parking lot in Rockford, more than 2,000 motorcycle enthusiasts will drive together to St. Ignace, Mich., raising awareness and funds for type 1/juvenile diabetes research. The 23rd annual Midnight Ride is organized by West Michigan chapters of the Gold Wing Road Riders Association (GWRRA) and involves motorcyclists from more than 25 Michigan cities who will caravan some 250 miles through eight counties. The Midnight Ride is believed to be one of the largest of its kind in the country. The caravan of motorcycles stretches over more than ten miles of road. They will make scheduled stops in Alma, Houghton Lake and Gaylord at approximately 1:30 a.m., 4:00 a.m., and 5:50 a.m., respectively. The group is expected to reach its final destination in St. Ignace at approximately 8:15 a.m. on August 22. As they ride, supporters—armed with flashlights—line the route in their towns in enthusiastic support of the riders and their efforts. During the past 22 years, GWRRA’s Midnight Ride has raised more than $236,000 for diabetes research. In 2008, GWRRA raised approximately $25,400 and this year’s event is expected to be another successful fundraising opportunity. Juvenile diabetes is an autoimmune disease causing the immune system to attack insulin-producing cells in the body, making its victims dependent on multiple, daily insulin injections or a constant insulin pump for life. The disease affects nearly three million Americans, most commonly attacking children, as many as 13,000 each year in the U.S. (35 children each day). According to Randy Vieu, chapter director of the GWRRA, the Midnight Ride was organized by one man who personally struggled with diabetes. “Since then it has snowballed into a tradition of more than 2,000 riders supporting the same cause,” said Vieu.
August 20 2009
Travis gives four years to Navy, 12.5 inches to Locks of Love While many high school graduates prepare to leave for college in the next few weeks, one Rockford resident is taking a different direction. Jayme Travis, a 2009 graduate of Rockford High School, departed August 18 for the Navy. She will attend boot camp in Great Lakes, Ill., for eight weeks, followed by five weeks of specialized training in Pensacola, Fla. After her 13 weeks of intense training, “All I know is I will be stationed on an aircraft carrier,” said Travis. “The ‘where’ and ‘for how long’ is unknown.” The Navy requires all enlisted females at all times to have off-the-shoulder-length hair or shorter. Travis donated 12.5 inches of shiny, strawberry-blonde hair to Locks of Love.
Get ‘fired up for reading’ with firemen or read to Ruff Readers dog What do dogs, firefighters, theater, a parade, breakfast with VIP authors and pennies all have in common? The answer is Reading Rocks in Rockford, a new family-friendly and all-ages festival to be held in downtown Rockford on Saturday, August 29 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Rockford Rotary and Rockford Public Schools are teaming up with local businesses and Krause Memorial Library to celebrate the joy of reading through a variety of exciting venues. Jennifer German, branch manager of Krause Memorial Library (KML), is thrilled to have a reading festival downtown and hopes the event will become an annual family favorite. “I think it’s wonderful Rotary chose a reading festival. They have come up with some very unique and creative ways to highlight reading on many levels,” she said. Events will take place at several locations in Rockford, including KML, City Hall and the fire barn, Reading Books Train Depot, Rockford Ace Hardware, Garden Club Park, the Rotary Pavilion, Speed Merchants and Pegasus Sports. Stroll through town to visit your favorite events—stop in for just a few or stay all day. The festival kicks off at 8:30 a.m. with a breakfast at KML with local authors. Book clubs and the public are encouraged to attend and meet the festival authors. The cost is just $4 per person. Register by calling the library at (616) 647-3940. Authors include Jeffrey Schatzer and Carl Behrend. At 9:45 a.m. the community is invited to take part in a storybook parade. Dress up as a favorite storybook character and meet at City Hall for the sidewalk parade. Hear Bob the Builder read aloud at Rockford Ace Hardware from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. there will be events at the Rotary Pavilion on the corner of Squires and Courtland streets (across from Arnie’s Restaurant and Bakery). Watch mime Michael Lee share “Stories Beyond Words” and Rockford Public School administrators and Rotarians will read. At 12:30 p.m. enjoy the 4-H Clown Theater followed by more VIP readers. During the same time frame, events will also take place at Garden Club Park on the banks of the Rogue River (behind Arnie’s). Hear Carl Behrend, folksinger […]
Why pay for electric, fossil fuel? Dear Editor, I like the idea of the Cash for Clunkers program. The only trouble I see with this type of program is that we, the taxpayers, could do better spending $500 or less to convert the clunkers to hydrogen power. Think of how MANY more people could get money back for their cars. What is the problem with converting to hydrogen power anyway? Is it because all of our Congressmen are sitting on big oil stocks? Is that why they are not moving in the direction of hydrogen fuel? America has tried electric autos before, and they have not proven to be good for long hauls, and it’s not going to work now. Why pay for electric and fossil fuel? It has a much higher user price! Hydrogen fuel is so much cheaper! That’s the HUGE rub, that it’s cheaper, and no one can make any money off it—no one can make a big profit off hydrogen! Robert J. Plank Rockford resident Reader pleased with ruling for Servaas Dear Editor, I was waiting for someone else to comment regarding the Michigan Supreme Court’s decision to keep our judge on the bench, which was great! Nobody wrote, so I guess I’ll put my two-cents in, even though it wasn’t all that long ago that you printed another of my Letters to the Editor. (Thank you for that.) I am very pleased that the higher court saw reason and ruled in Judge Servaas’ favor. I heard that he wasn’t happy with the sanction levied, but justice has its rewards. Now Mr. Fischer, the one who attacked him very unfairly, is in the hot seat. As my dad would say: “Put that in your pipe and smoke it!” (regarding Mr. Fischer). Mary Beth Eggleston Rockford resident
“Keyonie” Keyonie, one-of-a-kind Jack Russell Terrier, of Rockford unexpectedly went home to doggie heaven on Sunday, August 16, 2009. “KiKi” was a character of her own—smart, adventurous and stubbornly lovable. She was a constant presence in the short stretch connecting Pearl and Donald streets in downtown Rockford since 1997. She was a beloved friend and companion to two families: Jennifer, Katelyn and Kaleb Eldred, and Jerry and Rosee Douthett. The Eldred family raised her to be a loving dog who loved to be around people. She was a source of joy and laughter to this family, and a mischievous companion to their cat, Emmie. For the last six years you could see Keyonie constantly riding around (hanging out of the car) with Jerry and Rosie and more recently, riding with Jerry on his scooter. Keyonie would do anything for Jerry and Rosie and loved to perform her tricks for them. Keyonie will be forever missed because there is no one else like her. She was a furry individual, a free spirit, and an inspiration to those who knew and loved her. “Rest in peace, KiKi!”