December 8 2011


December 8, 2011 // 0 Comments

Thursday, December 8 Rockford Lions Club Meeting—6 p.m. social, 6:30 dinner and 7 p.m. meeting at the Community Cabin, 220 N. Monroe St., Rockford. Meetings held every second and fourth Thursday of each month. Free Meal for Northern Kent County Families—6 to 7 p.m. at the Our Lady of Consolation Family Center, 4865 Eleven Mile Rd., Rockford, every Thursday. No charge; no registration required. Provided by a partnership between Our Lady of Consolation Parish and God’s Kitchen, a program of Catholic Charities West Michigan. Saturday, December 10 14th Annual Christmas Cookie Walk—9 a.m. until gone, at North Kent Presbyterian Church, 6175 Kuttshill Dr. NE, Rockford (one block west of Wolverine Blvd., just north of Blythefield Country Club). Still only $6 per box. Public welcome; come early for best selection. Choose from more than 25 varieties of homemade Christmas cookies. Church cookbook will also be available. For more information, call the church office at (616) 866-2230 Tuesday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. “Leave No Family Inside” Winter Survival—9 a.m. to noon at Howard Christensen Nature Center, 16190 Red Pine Drive, Kent City. Learn ways to stay warm outside, including fire starting and shelter building. Also discuss a variety of adaptations that allow animals to survive Michigan winters. Cost is $6 per person, or $10 per family. Registration and payment due by December 4. For more information or to register, call (616) 675-3158 or visit Full Moon Series: “Full Moon Names, Legend & Lore”—7 to 8:30 p.m. at Howard Christensen Nature Center, 16190 Red Pine Drive, Kent City. Learn about the various names given to each month’s full moon, as well as the explanations behind the names. Also uncover some myths, legends and lore associated with full moons. Short indoor program will be followed by full-moon hike. Cost is $6 per adult, $4 per student/senior, or $12 per family. Registration and payment due by December 6. For more information or to register, call (616) 675-3158 or visit Sunday, December 11 Christmas Vespers—6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Bostwick Lake Congregational Church, 7979 Belding Rd., Rockford, for a new twist on Christmas classics. Piano and cello music by MacRaven, Roger MacNaughton and Steve VanRavenswaay, and “Cantando” Women’s Chorus. There will be a freewill offering. Breakfast with […]

A Message for You

December 8, 2011 // 0 Comments

The Gift of Peace  by PASTOR ROBERT ECKERT Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church As translated in the Contemporary English Version of the Bible, the first two verses of Psalm 133 go like this: “It is truly wonderful when relatives live together in peace. It is as beautiful as olive oil poured on Aaron’s head and running down his beard and the collar of his robe.” That second part of the quote, about olive oil on Aaron’s head, doesn’t necessarily say much to us these days. For the writer of the Psalm, however, it was a beautiful thing. Aaron was a high priest, and pouring aromatic oil on a person dedicated to religious service was a common ritual back in the day. The writer of the Psalm is telling us that just as there is a sweet perfume from the oil that consecrates a priest, family harmony is fragrant and holy. These verses come to mind during a time of year when relatives living together in peace can be a rare commodity. Movies and sitcoms abound that poke fun at the antics of dysfunctional families during the holidays. For comedic effect they exaggerate our foibles and idiosyncrasies, but the underlying truth of how we pick and jab at those closest to us can be harsh and painful. Do you dread going to see Aunt Millie? Are you happy that your brother has to work Christmas morning because he’s so cynical that he takes the fun out of everything? Is Grandma likely to be her bitter, critical self? Is this any way to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace? The words of the ancient prophet Isaiah are frequently quoted during the season of Advent. He’s the one who coined the phrase “Prince of Peace.” He also looked forward to a time when “the wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them” (NIV). That’s a picture of relatives living together in peace and then some! Want to give a gift that will last this Christmas? How about the gift of peace? How about greeting Aunt Millie with a sincere hug, or taking some cookies to […]

Holiday Taste of Ric’s a real crowd-pleaser

December 8, 2011 // 0 Comments

by BETH ALTENA The Christmas Taste of Ric’s—complete with Santa Claus’ arrival on a horse-drawn carriage—was all it was cracked up to be, from the full-sized breakfast egg sandwiches to the kielbasa with the secret recipe. Store Director Dave Brickner said he was proud of his team and all the vendors who were on hand to share the excitement of the day. Ric’s Food Center, 6969 Belding Road, also celebrated four years serving Rockford—time that has flown by. The family-owned store is one of several here in Michigan. Ric’s hosts periodic tasting events with free samples from vendors, many located right here in the state, as well as giveaways and live music. Repeat popular vocalist Bismark Sequeira impressed listeners as he sang and played the guitar, and the Rockford High School choir shared holiday tunes. “We always love to host these events. They are so much fun and we feel the excitement building up weeks ahead,” said Brickner. “Our customers have come to look forward to these, and we hear them ask all the time when the next one is going to be.”                                                                                                              

Rockford’s American Legion Post provides food for the holidays

December 8, 2011 // 0 Comments

Two days before Thanksgiving, a time when many people are traveling to visit family, members of the Rockford American Legion Post were distributing more than 9,300 pounds of food to North Kent County families. Since their first mobile food pantry, held two days before Thanksgiving 2009, the Legion has distributed more than 180,000 pounds of food. Using beverage trucks, Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank delivers fresh produce, dairy and other items directly to the Legion’s parking lot to be distributed. “When the weather is nice, we place tables around the truck and create an out-door market. During the winter months, we unload the truck, carrying the food into our banquet hall where tables have been set up,” says Clyde Sinclair, Commander of the Post. “In both instances our focus is on providing our guests with a comfortable and enjoyable experience.” The mobile pantry is a team effort. As they have numerous times before, students from Rockford Christian School turned out to assist with the pantry. Next month the Post expects help from local Boy Scout Troops. Behind the scenes, local businesses and fraternal organizations provide financial and material assistance. “We are so fortunate to have such wonderful support from the citizens of Rockford. This is such a great community to live in” says Sinclair. Chartered in 1919, the Post has a rich history of service in Rockford. The current mobile pantry is just one of many such activities the Post conducts throughout the year. “Members of The American Legion, the Auxiliary and the Sons of The American Legion make up the Post” says Sinclair. Veterans, their spouses and children are all eligible to become members and help us continue the tradition.” The Post will host it’s next mobile pantry at 10 a.m. on December 27, 2011  

Thirteen years later, 1100 miles away, ex-Rockford runners are coaching rivals

December 8, 2011 // 0 Comments

The year was 1998 and Jason Hartmann and Kyle Fujimoto were teammates on Rockford High School’s powerful cross country and track and field teams. Hartmann then a senior was the state cross country champion and Fujimoto was a sophomore as Rockford took runners up at the state meet. In the thirteen years since, they have gone in different directions, to different parts of the country but as fate would now have it, they find themselves as coaches for rival schools’ cross country teams outside of Boulder, Colorado in Longmont. Upon graduating in 2001 from Rockford, Fujimoto went on to be an accomplished runner at Hillsdale College where he was All-Conference, All Region and national qualifier for cross country and track. Kyle went on to get his Masters in Economics at Texas A&M and finished his studies in Economics and Education at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Hartmann attended the University of Oregon in Eugene and went on to have a highly successful All-American career. At Oregon, Jason earned degrees in Education and Sociology. He now runs professionally, training in the running mecca of Boulder. He is considered one of America’s top marathon runners. Hartmann won the 2009 Twin Cities Marathon and was the top US finisher at the prestigious Chicago Marathon with a personal best of 2:11:06. Because of their common interest in education as well their running backgrounds, the two ex-Rockford teammates are now coaches for two schools just 10 miles apart, but over 1100 miles away from their roots in West Michigan. Hartmann is coach for Niwot High, while Fujimoto coaches for Skyline. Their running pedigree must have rubbed off on their respective teams as Niwot placed third in a highly competitive region just edging out Skyline who finished fourth. Both teams qualified for the state meet held on Oct 29 where Fujimoto’s Skyline turned the tables with a ninth place finish. (The school’s highest in 25 years) Hartmann’s boys finished 13th and the girls finished seventh with their top girl finishing second overall. Both Kyle and Jason love working with the kids and attribute that to many of the great experiences they had with all the teachers, coaches and people that influenced their lives while growing up in the great city of […]

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