Kaelyn Kramarz, 10, a student at Assumption B.V.M. School, grew her hair out for one-and-a-half years so she could donate it to Locks of Love. She says, “I did this so some child with cancer can have my hair.” Kramarz is so happy to have done this. Her hair was cut by Shandra Scheidel from the Heitz Salon in Comstock Park. Kaelyn’s parents own Custard by the Dam and Dam Dogs in Rockford.
by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL Last Friday afternoon found the Kent County Assessors Association (KCAA) in Rockford holding their annual summer picnic. They hung up their taxman hats to enjoy an afternoon of food catered by Dam Dogs and Arnie’s Bakery Café (desserts) along with an expert fly-fishing demonstration. Jeannie Kolenda, an appraiser in the Tax Equalization Department in Kent County, said, “We assessors regularly meet to provide one another with useful information related to assessment practices and to promote justice and equity in the distribution of the tax burden.” The picnic itself was held in the cozy confines of the Rockford Rotary Pavilion, after which the members moved to the banks of the beautiful Rogue River to receive, first hand, a basic tutorial in fly-fishing techniques from fisherman and outdoorsman extraordinaire, Rockford’s Glenn Blackwood. The 30+ members of the KCAA, representing various communities throughout Kent County, put current tax matters on the back burner while thoroughly enjoying themselves and Rockford.
Dam Dogs moves ‘back home to the trail’ Two popular Rockford eateries, now under the same ownership, will soon be neighbors—again. Dam Dogs, after a couple of years around the corner on Bridge Street, is moving back to a trail side location at 25 Squires Street, right next to Custard by the Dam. Both businesses are owned by Frank and Jennifer Kramarz. Kramarz and her mother Mary Ann Hurst opened Custard by the Dam in the spring of 2002. In summer of the same year, Jane Vruggink opened Dam Dogs. The Kramarz family liked Dam Dogs and always thought the two businesses would compliment each other. “I kept joking with Jane over the last two or three years to let me know if she ever wanted to sell, and finally last fall she said she was ready,” said Frank. The Kramarzes purchased Dam Dogs in December. When a location opened up right next to Custard, they decided to bring the two businesses literally under one roof, although each in their own location. “Nothing about Dam Dogs’ menu offering will change,” Frank said. He believes the original owner was successful in establishing a unique quality product with a strong following, and there is no reason to fix what isn’t broken. “The only noticeable change will be extending our hours, which will include opening Sundays.” Opening in the location that was most recently a dog and cat product store, Kitty and Doggie Two, and before that a wedding shop, Belle of the Ball, the over 800-square-foot space is newly renovated and features generous Garden Club Park seating outdoors as well as indoor dining. Dam Dogs sells a robust, loaded, all-beef dog, known as “the dog you need a fork to eat.” The most popular is, of course, “The Rockford.” Also on the menu are chips and pop, “walking tacos” and nachos. “We have something unique here with both businesses,” said Jennifer. The Kramarzes credit unique, quality products and great customer service with both businesses’ success. “My employees are great,” said Jennifer. “They are the reason we are where we are today.” She said between the two shops they will employ about 25 people this summer. Dam Dogs is scheduled to be open in the new location May 1, […]