Food, Family, Fun — March 25, 2010

March 25, 2010 // 0 Comments

Hush Puppies kicks off shoe design contest  Hush Puppies, the originator of the first suede casual shoe, is sponsoring a shoe design contest on their website at in partnership with Official rules of the contest and information about entries are outlined on the Hush Puppies website. Contest entries can be by drawn by hand or digitally illustrated and will be accepted through April 18, 2010. All entries will then be narrowed to five finalists, which will be posted online at for public voting through May 13, 2010. The top five finalists will be showcased at the fashion event “Runway on Monroe,” to be held in downtown Grand Rapids on May 15. Attendees of the “Runway on Monroe” fashion finale will be able to vote that evening, and these votes will be added to the tally of the online votes. Following the event’s runway show, the contest winner will be announced live on stage. “It’s exciting to be a global brand, based in Michigan, that is able to host an event with mass appeal, while bringing a focus to the state of Michigan. It is an opportunity to highlight all the great talent and amazing businesses that are located here,” said Dani Zizak, VP Global Marketing. “If you live in the United States, have an imagination and can put it on paper, you can enter this contest. If you attend the finale in May, you will have a fantastic time while enjoying our beautiful state.” Hush Puppies is the title sponsor of “Runway on Monroe ” and the sole footwear supplier of the event. The winning shoe design will be produced and will then be sold online at in spring 2011. The winning designer will also receive a $1,000 cash prize, free Hush Puppies shoes for a year, and a one-on-one design summit with Hush Puppies footwear designers. In addition to Hush Puppies, all other event sponsors are Michigan-based companies, highlighting the breadth of what Grand Rapids and the state of Michigan has to offer. Since creating America ’s first casual shoe in 1958, Hush Puppies has always defined cool, casual style and unprecedented comfort. Today, Hush Puppies is one of the largest casual footwear brands globally, with over 19 million pairs […]

Wild game dinner offered

March 11, 2010 // 0 Comments

Algoma Baptist Church’s Annual Wild Game Dinner will be held on Saturday, March 20 at 6 p.m. in the church gym. The speaker this year is Vern Oosterhouse, who is a hunting and fishing guide in Alaska. He will tell about and show pictures of his experiences. Tickets are $5. To purchase or reserve tickets, please call the church office at (616) 866-1274 or Pastor Dave at (616) 866-4760. Please bring a wild game dish to pass. Dishes at past dinners have included caribou, elk, bear, moose and always plenty of venison. There will be wild game mounts, displays and door prizes. The church is located at 10515 Grange Avenue NE, south of 13 Mile Road, between Algoma Avenue and Pine Island Drive. Everyone is welcome!

Harvest Fest’s heritage weekend offers food, music, classic cars

October 1, 2009 // 0 Comments

The classic cars roll into Rockford Saturday, October 3, one of a town-full of attractions for this weekend’s Harvest Fest. Returning is an annual chili cook off, now organized by the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, along with the festival itself. For the second year, enjoy a Fiddle Fest on the banks of the Rogue River. Rockford’s heritage is the highlight of this weekend’s entertainment and the Chamber invited all to step back in time. The days of events begins with a bake and rummage sale starting at 8 a.m. at the Towers parking lot. At 10 a.m. set-up begins for the chili contest in the Rotary pavilion on the corners of Courtland and Squire streets. Chefs are invited to prove their prowess in chili with the cook-off. Organizer Lori Vorpi of Vorpi Chiropractic has reinvented the contest this year, and for the first time five chilis will be chosen for recognition. Judging will begin at 3 p.m. for first through fifth place, and judging by the public will begin at 3:15 for people’s choice and best booth. A $25 donation is required by participants, and each team (limit of three people per team) must cook a minimum of two gallons of chili. According to the Michigan Department of Health rules, all meats must be purchased from a store, so no wild game may be used. No homemade, home canned or home processed ingredients are allowed and no porcelain or enamel-coated containers are allowed. In the past, chili winners have revealed their secrets to the Squire, and they have included blends of heat from different peppers, white sauce ingredients for chicken chilis, and other ingenious or family secret ingredients. For more information about the cook off, call Lori at (616) 866-1081 or email While waiting to taste the cook off results, enjoy the beauty of some classics in the City of Rockford parking lot. The classic car show is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with no registration required. Last year’s show included plenty of gems, many lovingly restored. For the second year, enjoy live music from musicians from all over with the Fiddle Fest from noon to 1:30 p.m. These events are just a few of many happening in Rockford during the remaining two […]

Finding ways to get closer to food

April 8, 2009 // 0 Comments

by BETH ALTENA Before the Civil War, people either grew their own food or knew the farmer who grew it for them. Now the source of our daily meals is such a mystery children are often clueless about how their dinner came to be. Unfortunately, adults are just as unaware as where our groceries come from. According to Sue Osgood, editor of Foodforthought magazine, consumers are finding ways to get back to natural foods. Osgood was the speaker at the Thursday, April 2 meeting of the Rockford Area Historical Society, another great speaker for the club. She said her magazine has been featuring ways consumers are using to get back to natural foods, grown close by. After the Civil War, people flocked to cities to live, and sanitation and food safety regulations were in their infancy. Michigan, in 1948, was the first state to mandate that milk be pasteurized before sale. “Now food is highly industrialized,” Osgood said. With costs of food skyrocketing and incidents of food-born illness in the news constantly, consumers are ready to get closer to their edibles. One example Osgood described is a concept begun in the 1960s. Smaller farmers, who often have a hard time competing against large producers, allow consumers to purchase stock in the farm. For a price up front, fresh, in-season produce is available. “This helps the small farmer because he has the money up front when he needs it for planting,” Osgood said. This is good for farmers and consumers and “puts a face” on your food. Another example is a way around milk pasteurization laws. Those who own cows can do what they want, as long as they don’t sell it. As in the farm example, consumers can make arrangements to buy a share of a cow. As owners, they can legally drink the milk without pasteurization. “A lot of people believe in unpasteurized milk,” Osgood said. She said before the industrial revolution, it was what people drank. Some believe pasteurization kills healthful enzymes and makes the milk less nutritious. An increase in organic foods is also part of the same picture. Many people believe organic food exposes consumers to less pesticides and other toxins, is more nutritious, protects you from genetically modified food, is […]

Diversity Dinner a Free Family Event with Cross-Cultural Twist

March 12, 2009 // 0 Comments

Continuing a tradition going on nearly a decade, the Rockford Diversity Committee invites the public to another fun day at the Wolverine World Wide YMCA in Belmont on March 22. Beginning at 1 p.m., the YMCA, 6555 Jupiter Road, will again graciously allow free access to all their facilities including the rock climbing wall, basketball courts and the swimming pool. To provide a better understanding of the diverse cultures in and around our community, the committee has invited Rick Wilson from WTKG’s Radio in Black and White to facilitate fascinating interactive activities for guests of all ages. Visitors will be able to choose from several workshops that Rick has found to be highly successful in the Word-Up/Word-Out program which has helped thousands of students be more aware of hurtful stereotypes not only among races, but social cliques as well. The talented Rev. David May has also accepted the invitation to be this year’s keynote speaker. Rev. May was instrumental in launching the faith-based Institutes for Healing Racism through GRACE (the Grand Rapids Area Center for Ecumenism). As always, everyone is encouraged to bring a dish reflecting their own heritage to share at the potluck dinner which takes place between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Beverages, utensils and tableware will be provided. For those uncomfortable cooking for a crowd, bring a store-bought item or come without and enjoy the wide array of different food. The members of the Rockford Diversity Committee believe that it is difficult to find opportunities for families in the Rockford area to interact with people from other cultures. That is why they are hoping everyone will take advantage of this free and fun family event. For more details call Diane Karasiewicz at (616) 863-6556 or visit

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