Miracles—you bet they happen! Dear Editor, Last month, Frenz Coffee House came to a crossroads as to whether we would continue to exist. There were forces both seen and unseen that worked to undermine the business and push us toward being another sad statistic in this current economy. Don’t get me wrong, we were 100 percent responsible and accountable for the business, but some things were beyond our control. People who know us well enough know why we do what we do and that we don’t believe in this economy. The past winter had been exceptionally tough for the business and excessive debts had accumulated during that period. We shared our dilemma with a handful of close friends. They were not going to let Frenz go away without a fight and took on the HUGE task of organizing a benefit/fundraiser for Frenz in a very short period of time. Here’s the story: a handful of people, who know who they are, organized this event. In nine days they organized e-mails, a blog, contacted people and/or businesses for donations for a silent auction, and spent countless hours of their own time away from fun and family time to help Frenz. I know people are easily offended when you talk about things that make them uncomfortable or are not politically correct, but here’s more of the story. I don’t care if you are atheist, Christian, Muslim, or whatever flavor of religion, but what happened here was a miracle—plain and simple. What we witnessed was a community of strangers coming together for a common cause. This was not about Frenz, Michele or even me, but “something bigger” that people believe in and wanted to keep. Frenz has always been about you and not us. We believe our calling is to be servants who offer people a place of comfort, refuge and a place where you feel welcome. In nine days, we exceeded our goal of $10,000! We had over 100 items that we auctioned off, and overall the whole process was as smooth as can be. People came from all over the area. People we have never seen before, people who did not like coffee, and people who said their friends said they had to come and support […]
Rockford 2009 graduate Kylie McKay has signed a letter of intent to play college basketball at Rochester College. On Thursday, July 30, McKay and her parents met with Rockford High School Coach Jessica Yonkers and Rochester Coach Joel Shrader to sign this letter of intent. McKay helped the Lady Rams to win the district championship during her junior year in 2008, and helped the team to a second-place finish in the OK Red conference during her senior year at Rockford. “In her senior year, Kylie averaged six points per game, three assists and three rebounds,” commented Coach Yonkers. “Kylie has a tremendous ability to get to the rim and score. She also has a great outside shot. She is a true team player and definitely puts her teammates before herself.” Besides basketball, McKay was also involved in varsity track and field and was a member of the National Honor Society. McKay signs letter of intent for Rochester Rockford 2009 graduate Kylie McKay has signed a letter of intent to play college basketball at Rochester College. On Thursday, July 30, McKay and her parents met with Rockford High School Coach Jessica Yonkers and Rochester Coach Joel Shrader to sign this letter of intent. McKay helped the Lady Rams to win the district championship during her junior year in 2008, and helped the team to a second-place finish in the OK Red conference during her senior year at Rockford. “In her senior year, Kylie averaged six points per game, three assists and three rebounds,” commented Coach Yonkers. “Kylie has a tremendous ability to get to the rim and score. She also has a great outside shot. She is a true team player and definitely puts her teammates before herself.” Besides basketball, McKay was also involved in varsity track and field and was a member of the National Honor Society.
The fourth-grade students at Rockford Public Schools’ (RPS) summer program recently took a bike ride on the White Pine Trail. Their reward was ice cream at Trailside Treats in Belmont. The summer program is held at the RPS administration building. The students go swimming, go on walking and bus field trips, participate in gym, nature, and craft classes. Another highlight of this summer was magician Maciek Biezunski, who made birds and rabbits magically appear.
First MMAP project completed, providing greater independence for local woman A Kent County woman and her family have greater independence thanks to the Michigan Mobility & Accessibility Partnership (MMAP). A group of dedicated volunteers July 6 constructed a wheelchair-accessible ramp at the home of Lori B. in Rockford, the first of five such scheduled builds this summer. “Being able to freely come and go from your own home is something many of us take for granted,” said Sen. Mark C. Jansen, R-Gaines Township. “By joining forces with Comcast, Disability Advocates of Kent County and dedicated volunteers, today we helped improve mobility and accessibility for a Michigan family.” Sponsored by Comcast, the partnership is a bipartisan effort led in the Senate by Jansen in collaboration with other elected officials, disability advocates and local volunteers. The group plans to build five wheelchair-accessible ramps this summer for Michigan families in need. Comcast has committed $30,000 in funding for construction of the ramps, as well as volunteers to assist with the ramp-building projects at each location. Comcast has a long-standing history of giving back to the communities where its employees and customers live and work. In April, approximately 2,400 volunteers dedicated more than 11,000 hours of community service to local nonprofit organizations across Michigan during the company’s 2009 Comcast Cares Day. Held annually, Comcast Cares Day is one of the largest single-day corporate volunteer efforts in the country. “Comcast is committed to making a difference in the communities we serve,” said Comcast vice president for West Michigan, Larry Williamson. “We are pleased to assist in making Lori’s daily life a little easier with this new wheelchair ramp and home repair support, and look forward to partnering with the Michigan Senate to help out four additional deserving individuals later this summer.” Home Repair Services, a nonprofit organization serving lower-income homeowners throughout Kent County, was on hand to help with construction of the ramp.
Rockford High School students can have a friend and mentor to help reach their graduation goals through a Rockford Rotary program. Rockford Rotary’s STRIVE program matches seniors with citizens of the community who work together to help the high school students meet their graduation goals. A recognition dinner for the students and their mentors was held recently at the Rockford Sportsman’s Club. The program is one of many ways Rockford Rotarians work in support of area students. Pictured are this year’s students and mentors. Candy Lancioni (second from left), of Aunt Candy’s Toy Company, is a repeat mentor who has helped many Rockford High School students successfully complete their high school education. Anyone can volunteer to be a mentor; being a member of the Rockford Rotary Club is not required. To find out more about the STRIVE program and other Rotary activities, visit one of Rotary’s weekly luncheons at the Rockford Community Cabin, 220 N. Monroe Street in downtown Rockford. The meetings are at noon each Tuesday, with occasional exceptions. Rotary will not meet for lunch on Tuesday, June 30.