A blessing in disguise by PASTOR LARRY ROWLAND Rockford Baptist Church Simon and Monique welcomed their fourth child into the world with joy and celebration. Louis was a healthy boy, full of life. Simon was a tanner who lived in a stone house outside of Paris. One of the small rooms of the house served as Simon’s workshop. Because the leather working tools of his trade were often sharp, the children were warned not to play in dad’s shop. But when Louis was still a toddler, he ventured through the shop door inadvertently left open. As Louis was playing with his father’s tools that just fascinated him, he slipped and poked himself in the eye with a sharp awl. The injured eye soon became infected. When the infection spread to Louis’ other eye as well, Simon and Monique helplessly watched as their four-year-old son completely lost his eyesight. Louis’ parents sacrificed to send him to the Royal Institution for the Blind in Paris, and the boy was exposed to the most advanced teaching available to him. He even took organ lessons and excelled as a musician. But Louis longed to be able to read like the other children who were blessed with their eyesight. One summer as he was back home on vacation, the now young teenager thought of an idea. He asked his dad if he could use one of his awls. Simon was somewhat surprised, but agreed, because his son was now old enough to handle tools. Louis then took the awl and, working with some scrap leather from his father’s shop, he began to devise a system of dots that could be felt with the fingers. Because of the ingenuity of Louis Braille, sight-impaired people today can read and write, work on math problems and even compose music. Interestingly, it was the very instrument that caused Louis’ blindness in the first place that became an instrument of blessing for millions of sight-impaired people down through the past 200 years. The same awl that initially caused Louis Braille’s eyes to lose their sight formed the first letters and numbers in the leather that eventually allowed Louis and so many others to read and write.
August 20 2009
Friday, August 21 Rockford Rams Football Annual Hots ‘N Brats—4:45 p.m. at Ted Carlson Memorial Stadium, Rockford. Enjoy pictures with your favorite Ram players, view a practice, eat dinner (hot dog barbecue) at 7:15 p.m., enter raffle drawings, and more! If inclement weather, event will be in the high school cafeteria. Saturday, August 22 Rockford Farm Market—8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday through October 31, in the South Squires Street parking lot, off Main St., downtown Rockford, featuring Michigan-grown produce, fresh baked goods, flowers and plants. Monday, August 24 Alpha Cup with Ryder Cup Play—shotgun at 8 a.m. at The Highlands, with free range balls at 7 a.m. Event includes continental breakfast, cart, 18 holes of golf, lunch and great prizes—hosted by Alpha Women’s Center. Play includes a scramble, best ball, and alternate shot—all are six holes. Cost is $95 per person with two-person teams. Funds raised will assist day-to-day operations of Alpha Women’s Center. Tuesday, August 25 Country Music—9:30 to 11:30 a.m. every Tuesday at Rockford Ambulance Community Center, corner of 10 Mile Road and Shaner Avenue in Rockford. Music by the Rogue River Band. Enjoy free coffee, tea and snacks. Free Legal Assistance for Seniors—half-hour appointments 10 a.m. to noon, with Jason Jansma at the Rockford Ambulance Board Room. Please call Marcia at (616) 863-6322 to schedule your appointment. Thursday, August 27 Seniors “Out To Lunch Bunch” at Candlestone Inn—Have lunch at the newly remodeled inn in Belding. Return around 2 p.m. Cost is $2 for bus fee. For reservations and bus pick-up times/locations, call Marcia at (616) 863-6322. Saturday, August 29 Rockford Farm Market—8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday through October 31, in the South Squires Street parking lot, off Main St., downtown Rockford, featuring Michigan-grown produce, fresh baked goods, flowers and plants. “Little Princess” Auditions—10 a.m. at Master Arts Theatre, 75 77th St. SW, just off Division, Grand Rapids. Five men, five women and 13 youth ages 8-13 are needed. There will be 12 performances, Thur.-Sat., Nov. 19 to Dec. 5, 2009. For an appointment, please call (616) 455-1001. 3rd Annual Driving Fore Conservation Golf Outing—9 a.m. at Tyler Creek Golf Course & Campground. Four-person scramble begins at 10:30 a.m., followed by reception and prizes. Register online at www.natureandpeople.org. Your participation benefits conservation programs of […]
Stephanie Coon-Cunningham was awarded the doctor of medicine degree from Rush Medical College, Rush University, Chicago, during commencement on June 13, 2009. A graduate of Rockford High School and North Park University, Chicago, Stephanie is the daughter of Deb and Jerry Coon of Rockford, and became the wife of Devon Cunningham in May 2009. Dr. Cunningham is doing her residency in emergency medicine at Spectrum Health Butterworth.
The Seidman Boys & Girls Club team of (front, l–r) Drew Zuidema, Drake Harris, Dwayne Barfield, Jordan Van Dort, Zach Parker, Chris Sunday, Zach Walker, Rynaldo Chaney; (back) Coach Mike Harris, Tyrell Williams and Coach Jim Zuidema came home as seventh-grade champions in the highly skilled division of the AYBT National Basketball Tournament. The tournament was held July 22-25 at Spiece Fieldhouse in Fort Wayne, Ind. This win marks the third year in a row for the Seidman team. The team includes two Rockford boys, Drew Zuidema and Chris Sunday, who will be eighth-graders at North Rockford Middle School this fall.
What makes a good coach by TIM ERICKSON Director of Athletics Rockford High School As I pass by the students each day, many of them greet me with, “Hey Coach!” or, “What’s up, Coach E?” Although I have not actually called the plays or paced the sidelines for several years, I still do some coaching—but now, instead of coaching the players and teams, I am honored to coach the coaches. So what makes a good coach? Each year we receive thousands of perceivers completed by our athletes and parents to help assist me in evaluating the coaching staff. Although all coaches receive some positive—as well as some negative—feedback, there are some characteristics that stand out in our most effective coaches. A successful coach understands how to communicate with players in a way that gets results. The goal of coaching is to guide, inspire and empower the athlete to realize and develop his or her potential. The following is a list of some of the common characteristics of our most effective coaches: Has Good Communication Skills—An effective coach knows how to explain drills and plays so that all team members can understand the directions. In addition, and perhaps even more importantly, effective communication skills include being a good listener. Good coaches seek out feedback from their players and parents. Is Respected—The effective coach leads by example. A good coach follows the same rules which he/she expects of the players. Therefore, a coach who wants respect also needs to show respect; a coach who expects players to remain positive needs to display a positive attitude; and a coach who wants athletes to listen needs to listen to the players. Athletes need to follow a reasonable set of rules both on and off the field. Effective coaches handle violations in a prompt and fair manner while being consistent with all athletes. Knows the Sport—A great coach has a deep understanding of the sport, from the fundamental skills to advanced tactics and strategy. Coaches may have experience playing, but not all former players make good coaches. Coaches must plan for the season and each practice. They need to know and understand the rules. Even the most experienced coaches must continue to learn and develop new training techniques. Attending coaching clinics […]