December 17 2009

Real winners are children in United Bank’s ‘Dress the Dolls’

December 18, 2009 // 0 Comments

And, the winner is….. Christine Green of Rockford was a first time participant in the seventh annual United Bank Dress the Dolls campaign. She entered her doll with a handmade red-cloaked ice skater complete with matching muff and tam. The old-fashioned full-length dress and cloak were trimmed in white. It was called the “Christmas Doll’ by many voters. Christine was shocked to take the top prize after viewing the other entrants. “How could you choose one?” she said. Sue McCauley, who works for Frenz Coffee House, created a blue-jeaned doll in an apron, serving a cup of coffee. “It was such a close vote this year, we decided to award a second place” said Kathy Perez, Assistant Manager at United Bank. “The ‘Frenz’ doll was quite popular. Many of Frenz’s customers voted in support of McCauley’s doll. United Bank purchased 100 dolls that were dressed by customers, community friends, and several businesses. The dolls are displayed for three weeks and the public voted for their favorites. United Bank donates the dressed dolls to the North Kent Service Center. The winning dolls will remain on display at United Bank until next year’s winner is named. “We are so thankful for this program. The bank and the community have been so supportive and we look forward to partnering with them in the future” says Sandy Waite, Executive Director of NKSC. “Seeing the smiles on the faces of a mom picking up a special doll for her daughter is priceless.” The real winners are the 100 little girls who will receive a new doll on Christmas morning. Doll attire ranged from formal wear to sleep-wear, from a motorcycle ‘chick’ to a pharmacist, from simple purchased clothing to hand stitched or knitted ensembles. The participants ranged in age from three (with help from mom) to retired grandmothers. “Every doll has a story of its own,” said Perez. Six women in a doctor’s office challenged each other and each dressed a doll. One was sewn totally by hand. Betty from D&W enters a full display each year—a cashier with register and shopping cart, a bakery with laquered rolls and loaves of bread. This year it was the pharmacy with shelves filled with items and a pharmacist. One doll, dressed in pajama […]

PeeWee hockey team Ram tough

December 18, 2009 // 0 Comments

The Rockford area PeeWee House hockey team (11- and 12-year-olds) have started their season with an amazing 17-0 record. Virtually unheard of at any level of hockey, this team is Rockford proud and Ram tough. The team is made up of (front row, l–r) Grant Gabriel, Jacob Devries, Bradley Barnard, Brendan Coolbaugh, Nick Rethamel, Ryan Caron, Joey Benda; (back) Assistant Coach Dave Gabriel, Matthew Baker, Joel Pietila, Jeff Benda, Cam Hendrie, Nick Rogers, Assistant Coach Jukka Pietila; (back center) Coach Jay Benda; (not pictured) Cam Latour and Ryan Wolfe.

Swim/Dive team wins first meet of season 115-61

December 17, 2009 // 0 Comments

by DENISE WEBB Rockford Head Coach Tom Parks was all smiles at the end of his first swim/dive meet of the season not because Rockford won 115-61 against Byron Center, but because of how well the men performed both as a team and individually. “We graduated last year some very fast swimmers with impressive state times,” said Parks. “I was concerned as to how those spots would be filled. If the results of this meet are any indication of how the rest of the season plays out, I’ll be very pleased.”   During this meet, there were many accomplishments. Rockford took first place in every event. Also, senior Derik Bothma swam a state-qualifying time of 49.99 in the 100-yard freestyle. Moreover, 13 swimmers and two divers fulfilled their varsity letter requirements, including freshmen Mike Arend, Trenten Babcock and Nick Willison.   Diving coach Marc VanDyken was also pleased with the outcome of this first meet. Senior diver Tyler Johnson and junior diver Kurt Plaggemars both scored personal bests, 212.40 and 188.65, respectively.   “Kurt and Tyler have both worked very hard, and it has obviously paid off,” said VanDyken. “Tyler placed 14th at state last year and is looking to make his senior year his best.”   The Rams’ next meet will be at Rockford on Tuesday, Dec. 15, at 6:30 p.m. against Grand Haven.

Rockford wrestlers have strong showing in Kent County Classic

December 17, 2009 // 0 Comments

Nine Rams bring home medals The dual meet with Hudsonville scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 9 was postponed due to the blizzard and will be made up at as part of the Dec. 19 Tom Horn Tournament to be held at Holland High School. The Rams did see action on Saturday, Dec. 12, in the Kent County Classic held at Union High School. In a tournament that is a precursor for many of the area’s top wrestlers qualifying for state, the Rams came up short in the team total but showed why they plan on being a force as the season progresses. Rockford placed nine wrestlers in medals in the day’s competition. Senior Drew Scogg, 135 pounds, showed heart in battling to a sixth-place finish with a 10-5 defeat in his final match of the day. Despite considerable effort, Scogg was bested by conference foe Joe Curley of East Kentwood. Finishing fourth was Paul Creighton, 189 pounds, by virtue of a close 4-1 decision to Zack Weir of Stevensville Lakeshore. Jake Johnson, 160 pounds, found himself wrestling for third place after falling in the semi-final round to Greenville’s Adam Bonner, 3-1 in overtime. After suffering his first defeat, Johnson bounced back, finishing third with a 5-4 decision over Jordan Graham of Big Rapids. Sophomore Austin Scogg, 140 pounds, also found himself wrestling for third place, defeating Tiesean Hatchet of Union, 11-6. The Rams showed power by placing five wrestlers in the finals, wrestling for first place. Tyler VanRooyen, 103 pounds, found himself trailing 1-0 late in the first period after giving up one point for stalling. He made a strong showing, keeping the match close throughout, but eventually fell in a 2-0 decision to Nick Ross of Comstock Park. VanRooyen brought home the silver medal for second place. At 145 pounds, Bruce Carlstrom also showed tenacity in a match that changed leads many times. Carlstrom was wrestling the number-one-ranked wrestler in Division II at this weight class. Colin Fuller of Greenville outlasted Carlstrom, winning a 13-7 decision in one of the best matches of the day. In the 215-pound weight class, Joe Stefanski showed why he is a contender for the individual state championship. Battling tough competition all day, Stefanski continually outclassed the field with two […]

Reader shares eagle photos

December 17, 2009 // 0 Comments

Thank you to the reader who took these beautiful pictures of eagles spotted at Bostwick Lake. The photos were taken just before the first big snow of the year. Unlike many birds, raptors such as eagles do not migrate, but stay for the winter. Perhaps more pictures of these majestic birds will show up this winter. Email

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