Algoma Needs Help to Finish Memorial Park

March 12, 2009 // 0 Comments

by JUDY REED When the old Algoma Baptist Church was torn down in 2004, some may have thought it would be forever forgotten. But the township, in conjunction with the Algoma Township Historical Society, has made sure that won’t happen. On Memorial Day, the township will dedicate a new Memorial Park on the site of the old church on Grange Ave., south of 13 Mile. The park, just under a half-acre, will commemorate veterans with a special monument, and the old church with the bell from the original building. “We didn’t want to lose the history of the church,” noted Julie Sjogren, president of the Algoma Historical Society. The Swedish Baptist church was organized in 1903 and first met in a house in Sparta. In 1910, it moved to Algoma Township on Grange, and held services in the church building owned by the United Brethren church. The name was later changed to Algoma Baptist. In 1968, they purchased 20 acres across the street and built the existing building. In 1999, the old church building and property was donated to Algoma Township with hopes it could be restored. “We hoped to get a historical designation through the state but couldn’t because it had been added on to so many times,” explained Devin Bigney, with Algoma Township. She said it would have cost $100,000 to bring it back to its original state, and the township didn’t have the funds. So in 2004, with the building unsafe to inhabit, they demolished it. But the current church saved the bell and gave it to the township. “We came up with the idea to memorialize both the veterans and the church at the same time,’ said Julie. The street side of the seven-foot monument will memorialize the church with the bell, and veteran brick courtyard side of the monument will memorialize veterans, living or deceased. They have been selling engraved bricks to help raise money ‘for the project since 2003. Theyve sold about 110 of them at $50 a piece, and there is room for more. The veterans do not have to be from this area. The monument itself costs about $23,000. As of this writing, they are about $8,000 short of meeting their goal. They will take monetary donations […]

Gala evening an artful way to raise NKSC funds

March 5, 2009 // 0 Comments

by CHRISTINE BIGNEY Rotarians from Rockford, Sparta, Grand Rapids North and Cedar Springs gathered at the Wolverine World Wide Corporate Headquarters for an evening of camaraderie, hors d’oeuvres and the chance to bid on favorite art pieces, all for a good cause. North Kent Service Center was the recipient of the Rotarian’s bidding efforts for the 2009 Art Gala. Eight thousand in art was sold, with $2,000 collected from the silent auction. Final donation percentage was not known at press time. Michele DeSelms from WXMI emceed the program. She introduced John and Connie Decker as the honorary co-chairs. They welcomed the guests to the auction. “2009 is going to be more in need than 2008, Decker said. “Everything you do here tonight raises awareness, but it also does so much more. What we raise tonight will go a long way.” Sandy Waite, Director of North Kent Service Center stated that the proceeds of the auctions will go towards helping families in the area who are in need. “These are families that never had to use us before. These are your neighbors. These are people who used to donate to Kent Service Center. Now they are coming to us in need of our help.” Although bidding was sluggish, Auctioneer Steve Little auctioned the art pieces off quickly, showing over 165 items in two hours. Available for auction were prints, oils, serigraphs, lithographs, sports collectibles and some various art objects such as a huge eucalyptus wreath and hand blown glass vases. Little kept the audience alert by interjecting humor throughout the night. While explaining the bidding system, Little said, “…And remember: the more you pay for it, the more you’ll enjoy it.” This elicited a few smiles and laughter. Some of the highlighted pieces of art during the evening were several hand-signed J. Wooster Scott’s, a hand-signed Salvidor Dali, and a hand-signed Marc Chagall lithograph, which went to a local businessman for $1,975. Other items auctioned off were a special vacation time-share week anywhere in the world, donated by Rick and Jill Eriksen; a three day, two night package at a beautiful cabin in Kalkaska was donated by RCI; a whole-home humidifier was donated by Blakeslee and Son Heating and Cooling; a stained glass lamp was donated […]

Rockford AfterGrad Fundraiser a Royal Flush

March 5, 2009 // 0 Comments

The first king on the throne was RPS’ own Dr. Shibler, recipient of a traveling AfterGrad fundraiser that will be seen soon on a lawn near you. The traveling toilet features instructions on what to do if it comes to you and how much to pay to send it on to the next home. Donations to get this creative display away to the next location all go to Rockford’s annual AfterGrad party, designed to keep our graduating seniors entertained and safe as they celebrate. For those who would like to donate to this great cause and don’t get the Royal Flush at home, send donations to: Rockford After Grad, c/o Michelle Coleman, 260 Glen Arbor Dr., Rockford, MI 49341.

Crowds Pitch In for MC Dousing

February 19, 2009 // 0 Comments

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.

“Dress for a Cure” Dress Collection and Sale is Back for Relay For Life

February 19, 2009 // 0 Comments

Do you have gently used and/or new prom dress (es) that you are unsure what to with? Here is your answer; you can donate your gently used prom dress (es) to the Love Laugh Cure Relay For Life team for our second “Dress for Cure” fundraisers to benefit Relay For Life. We will then, in return, resell the dresses at a great discount to the community and beyond on April 17 and 18 at Double Take. This fundraiser was able to collect over 200 dresses and raise over $1700.00 for Relay last year. Dress collection will start on March, 3 2009 at Double Take located at 31 Courtland, and at your very own Rockford Squire office located at 331 Northland Drive during business hours. For more information you can contact the event organizer Jenn Hephner by email

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