August 9 2012

America’s Favorite Farmers Market stays fresh

August 9, 2012 // 0 Comments

Not willing to rest on its laurels the Rockford Farm Market – America’s Favorite – has added four new regular vendors to its already stellar cast. Filling in the blanks and taking the Market to the next level are relative newcomers as follows: Rockford resident Chef Robin Toldo needs no introduction, her cooking skills are well known to the Rockford community. Robin invites everyone to experience “hummus as never before” at Rockford’s Farm Market. In her booth, next to Great Harvest Bread, she vends 4 varieties of hummus that add a whole new gourmet twist for hummus lovers. Made completely from scratch and composed of 100% fresh natural ingredients, they contain no preservatives or coloring. All natural ingredients equal all natural fresh gourmet taste. Robin calls it HUMMALICIOUS! Don’t take her word for it, sample her offerings yourself at the Market on Saturday mornings. Local resident Vonnie Engelsma, owner of Maisy’s Pie Company, caters to everyone’s sweet tooth. Vonnie has a life-long love affair with baking – pies that is. She learned her craft at the knee of her beloved Grandma Maisy. At her market booth Vonnie offers hand made pies and other sweets just like Grandma used to make. Using only the best ingredients and baking in small batches ensures fresh high-quality products. Along with pies of all varieties and sizes, customers will find popovers, tarts, cookies, cupcakes, and more – just ask! Special orders can be placed for pick up the following week. Celiac disease or wheat allergy concerns? No problem! Rockford residents Kristy Naumann and Emma Darling, the Gluten Free Ladies, have the baked goods to fill your special needs. The ladies are storehouses of knowledge on the subject and are more than happy to answer any and all questions along with offering up really tasty and healthy gluten free products. They also offer “Gluten-free(dom)”, a spiral bound recipe book for gluten-free living. Partners Steve Bowyer and Ryan Raredon, of “The Local Epicurean”, used America’s Favorite Farm Market last summer to test market their handcrafted and organic herb infused pastas. In part because of their huge success in Rockford, the pair opened a storefront early this year on Wealthy Street in Grand Rapids. Back this year at Rockford’s Farm Market, they are […]

Volley for Mitchell raises $50,000

August 9, 2012 // 0 Comments

Tournament gets $5,000 boost from AT&T The Volley for Mitchell 4-on-4 Charity Volleyball Tournament kicks off its sixth year August 11 thanks to event underwriter AT&T. Volley for Mitchell has raised more than $50,000 to fund research in the fight against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Today, returning event sponsor AT&T presented $5,000 during a short ceremony at the Score Restaurant, the unofficial home of Volley for Mitchell. Ruth Gauddard of AT&T presented the Mitchell family with a $5,000 check for this year’s charity volleyball tournament. “The Volley for Mitchell tournament is a great event in support of a very important cause, battling Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy,” said Jim Murray, president of AT&T Michigan. “It is a wonderful example of the kind of community involvement that really works to make a difference in Michigan and for kids in our state, and we at AT&T are proud to be able to be a part of it.” “When we packed up the nets after last year’s tournament, Volley for Mitchell had brought in a little over $45,000 in our first five years,” said Jeff Hartnagel, tournament co-director. “AT&T’s continued commitment and generous gift raises that number to more than $50,000, and the first serve hasn’t even been hit.” In the years since friends Jeff Hartnagel, Peter MacGregor and Bill Jackson sat around a bonfire in Hartnagel’s backyard, Volley for Mitchell has become a late summer West Michigan tradition. This year, the tournament expects to host more than 40 teams from all over the area. All proceeds from Volley for Mitchell go to Parent Project MD in its ongoing search to find a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, which is the most devastating of the dystrophies diagnosed during childhood. To date, there is no cure. The 2012 Volley for Mitchell tournament is once again headquartered at the Score Restaurant & Sports Bar, 5301 Northland Drive NE, Grand Rapids, which has donated the use of its courts since 2008. To accommodate the large numbers of anticipated participants, play will also take place on the sand volleyball fields located at North Rockford Middle School, courtesy of Rockford Public Schools. “The Score has been a great supporter over the years,” said co-director Peter MacGregor. “Being able to hold the tournament at such a setting […]

RHS students travel to Dominican Republic to serve

August 9, 2012 // 0 Comments

At a time in the summer when many kids are getting bored and complaining about the heat, a group from Rockford and Saugatuck decided to do something. Six Rockford High School (RHS) students, four Saugatuck students and one Central Michigan University student, accompanied by three adults, recently made a weeklong trip to the La Romana, Dominican Republic, to make lives better for the people there. The July 7-14 trip focused on installing bio-sand water filters in some homes of the poorest residents of that area. Thanks to the efforts of these young people and their chaperones, 17 families and their neighbors are drinking clean water today. The group also worked one very hot, long day doing construction at the Good Samaritan Hospital. Construction was for an addition to set up a water filtration system for use at the hospital. The students hauled gravel, sand and cement, pouring the foundation for the cistern, one bucket at a time. High temps and humidity did not discourage any of their efforts at making a difference. Attitudes were always upbeat and positive. Additionally the group helped distribute over 325 pairs of footwear, donated by Wolverine Worldwide, to the underprivileged in a village and to girls at a local orphanage. The footwear was greatly appreciated by all who received them and is a luxury to many of the recipients. The group was able to spend some time playing games and doing crafts with the girls at the orphanage. Kelly Gardner, RHS Spanish teacher, and leader of the RHS student group “Thirsting To Serve,” said, “The kids were amazing. Their hearts, minds and souls were bent on service. They made us proud and served their communities and the world well. The phrase we heard repeated in by Dominicans during our trip became our mantra: OK. No problem. We can do that.” After all the hard work put into the trip, the group was rewarded with a couple of recreational outings. One day was spent in the historic area of Santo Domingo. Touring streets that were walked by legends such as Christopher Columbus were highlights of the day, along with visiting the tomb and museum dedicated to Columbus. Each participant paid for his or her own trip. Costs for the trip for […]

Backpacks, supplies needed for local school children

August 9, 2012 // 0 Comments

North Kent Community Services (NKCS) is preparing for the new school year, and hope to distribute 500 new backpacks with school supplies to children in grades K-12, whose families cannot afford to purchase them. They are asking you to help by donating new backpacks and school supplies by August 15. Backpacks are the greatest need; last year NKCS purchased over 300 with donated funds and money from their budget. A donation of $5 will enable NKCS to purchase a nice backpack wholesale. Imagine how happy and successful you can make a child when they start the school year with a brand-new backpack and school supplies like everyone else. Please consider donating the following new items: backpacks, rulers, pens (black, blue, red), pencil boxes, two-pocket report folders, pencils (wood, mechanical), crayons (24-pack), washable markers, glue sticks, college-ruled and wide-ruled notebooks, scissors (blunt edge), colored pencils, three-ring binders, erasers, and filler paper. NKCS is open Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 10075 Northland Drive, Rockford. They can be reached at (616) 866-3478.

Local artists hold sale/show

August 9, 2012 // 0 Comments

On Saturday, July 14, the Rogue River Artists Association (RRAA) held its annual Garden Art Sale/Show at the home of Shirley Dean in Rockford. The weather was fine albeit a tad bit warm in the afternoon, but rain stayed away until after the show. The artists claim to have been known to do a rain dance on the days of the Garden Show. They had a wonderful turnout of customers to view a wide variety of artwork and fine crafts created my the member artists. Their works include handmade purses, other fabric creations, photography, oils, pastels, acrylics and watercolors. RRAA will be participating in Rockford’s Art in the Park in September, and has working artists that will take part in Harvest Fest weekends. Their final show of the year is the first Saturday of November at the Rockford United Methodist Church on Maple St. RRAA meetings are normally held on the second Tuesday of the month at the Rockford D&W, upstairs, except for August and December meetings. For more information about RRAA, please contact Lila Harmon at (616) 866-0523 or

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