CARSTAR of Rockford is giving away a 37-inch television. Rockford Dry Dock will have some samples of different foods they sell. Nugent Builders can tell you about the good reasons to invest in improving your home now. Four people will win $500 in cash. Why wouldn’t you go? Last year 11,000 people took the time to enjoy the Rockford Community EXPO, scheduled for this Saturday, March 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. According to Brenda Davis, executive director of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, this year’s event is again a sell-out with more to offer than ever. There will be over 180 booths inside and outside Rockford High School, 4100 Kroes. The EXPO underscores the Chamber’s re-investment in its members and surrounding businesses. Last year’s blockbusting event attracted more than 11,000 people who enjoyed the day discovering the breadth of what Rockford-area businesses have to offer. “Last year’s event was a complete success and we are building on our experience again this year to make it even better,” said Davis.
A lament over the high cost of prom dresses lead to another successful Rockford Relay For Life fundraisers. Jenn Hephner, formerly president of the Rockford Jaycees, is hoping for a repeat success of Dress For A Cure, a Relay fundraiser that will also benefit those who love a great bargain on the hottest styles. Hephner, who is organizing the event this year for the Relay team Live Laugh Cure, came up with the idea last year when she heard the mother of a teenage girl complain about the expense of finding a dress for prom. Hephner began a campaign to collect dresses-including brand new dresses from designers across the country-and offer them for sale at great prices. All proceeds went to Rockford’s Relay For Life. The collection and sale were an overwhelming successes. Over 200 dresses were donated and all but two sold, bringing in a total of over $1,700 for the annual event to raise money for cancer research. This year donations have been slower and Hephner hopes Rockford’s women and high school girls will look into their hearts and closets. “Do you have the closet of 27 Dresses?” Hephner asks. She believes, despite last year’s deluge, that there are plenty more dresses that deserve a second chance to shine. In addition, this year Hephner has the help of Double Take, a resale shop located at 31 Courtland in downtown Rockford. With drop off hours of Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., those with 9 to 5 jobs will be able to stop by on a Saturday to deliver their goods. Dresses can also be dropped off at The Rockford Squire newspaper at 331 Northland Drive. The sale itself is scheduled in time for prom and is a great way to buy a beautiful dress for less. It will be April 17 and 18 at Double Take from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. If cleaning a closet can contribute to finding a cure for cancer, it is well worth the time and effort. For more information email Hephner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ride along with Rockford Police, answer questions from downtown visitors, write out a ticket for someone parking illegally in a handicapped parking space. These are among the duties of Rockford’s volunteer police force and you are welcomed to join up. According to Michigan’s Volunteer of the Year Linda Crone, who is a loyal member of the team who logged in over 500 volunteer hours on the force in 2008, the job is rewarding. “It’s pretty flexible, you can volunteer for many different duties, such as the Rockford Youth Night Out this Friday. We check on people’s homes when they are out of town and visit shut-ins. I’m pretty nosy so it all looks interesting to me,” Crone said. Crone enjoys riding around Rockford in the police jeep in the winter and in the golf cart in the summer. Volunteers can hit the White Pine Trail to watch for mischief or a chance to offer help or enjoy a day at the Welcome Center at 12 Squires Street. There visitors ask for everything from advice on where to go to eat to directions. “Husband and wife teams are allowed, so you can be on patrol together. It’s good for retirees. I’m a very friendly person, so I love it because you get to meet so many people and talk.” Crone points out that the Police Department is careful their volunteers aren’t put in dangerous situations that the more trained officers sometimes face. They will never be expected to make an arrest, take part in a chase or confront obnoxious individuals. The police do the hard work and let the volunteers enjoy the “lighter side” of police work. “There’s nothing rocket science about it,” said Crone. “Anyone can do it.” Applications are available at the Welcome Center and training is provided by the Rockford Police. Crone said her training consisted of a few drive-alongs with the police and advice on how to handle different situations. The volunteer force consists of 15 members currently and members are only required to put in 16 hours a month. “It’s a lot of fun. I love the summer when we get to ride up and down the White Pine Trail in the golf cart.”
The Rockford Area Community Endowment is accepting nominations for its annual Community Recognition Award. The Community Recognition Award is given to an individual or community organization that has achieved significant accomplishment in their lifetime through career, community or personal success. Nominees must be or have been a resident of the Rockford Public School district. Desirable characteristics may include the following: Courage – exemplifies courage and determination. Initiative – demonstrates drive and initiative in his/her approach to accomplishing a goal, project, objective, etc. Achievement – has achieved something of lasting significance. Time Commitment – volunteers a significant amount of time and energy to the community, to further a cause, project or issue. Effectiveness – generates positive results from their actions. Nominations are accepted from the public at large and should be submitted in writing to: Rockford Area Community Endowment, attention: Awards, PO Box 561, Rockford, Michigan 49341 by March 30, 2009. The written nomination shall outline, in one typed page or less, these qualities that exemplify why the candidate should be considered for the award. The Board of Directors will consider each nominee on his/her merits. The Community Recognition Award will be presented during the May meeting of the Rockford Area Community Endowment. The award will include an engraved plaque with the recipient’s name placed on a column in the Recognition Plaza at Peppler Park (Rockford Dam).
Gene Parker takes plunge for $1,035 No good deed goes unpunished and for annual Splash announcer and radio personality Gene Parker, the saying was certainly true Saturday. Parker, who kindly donates his time and talent to many Rockford events, was cheerfully doing a great job Saturday during the 14th annual Sweetheart Splash at the Rockford dam when Rotarian Rick Ehinger decided to ratchet up the crowd’s incentive to donate. He said he’d pitch in $200 to see Parker take the plunge into the Rogue. Parker waffled, saying he wasn’t prepared for a dip in the drink and John Decker and Sandy Waite both upped the ante by another hundred each. With $400 on the line in the fundraiser for the North Kent Service Center, local businesses, Splash jumpers and members of the crowd began throwing in the dough to total an impressive $1,035 guaranteeing Parker’s plunge (and probably the end of donating his time for Splash). With 30 jumpers and an air temperature of 30 degrees, the event went smoothly and was well attended. Rockford Quick Lube team again stole the show with their group jump. Without the Jaycees, who disbanded this year on what would have been the group’s 50th anniversary, competition was low. The Quick Lubies made it up to the crowd with a great limbo routine and challenging other local businesses to up the ante next year with more team groups. Connie Taylor of the Rockford Community Federal Credit Union called the jump very successful with over $2,000 raised for NKSC. Past good hauls included the year Herman’s Boy’s Floyd Havemeier went in at age 65, raising $5,000 from the many people who paid to see him go under.