On Thursday, May 21 Blythefield Memorial Gardens held their 19th annual Girl and Boy Scout Memorial Day Event. Each year the family owned business celebrates and pays honor to veterans by inviting Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts to place flags on graves of every veteran in the gardens. The event begins with a flag ceremony, followed by a brief history of Memorial Day given by Alexis Clemens the director of the gardens. After placement of the flags the family and staff then provide a cookout for everyone. The cemetery was developed in 1957 and Fran and Herb Clemens (grandparents of Alexis) took over ownership in 1962. Since then, the Clemens family, have been taking care of their customers for over 6 decades. Curt and Ron Clemens (second generation and brothers) now own the cemetery. Third generation, Alexis is a director of the company and Cameron and Nicholas are very involved as well. It is family effort to provide great service to their customers. The family takes great pride in being recognized as one of the most well maintained cemeteries in the state of Michigan. Alexis Clemens states that “being such a close knit family run business, we make sure to treat each and everyone of our customers as if they were a part of our family.” “I have people come up to me all the time when I’m at the cemetery, telling me how great my grandma was to their family during the difficult time of losing a loved one….Out of painful times we remember compassion…” Alexis is happy that her family can help other families when they need it the most. A Memorial Day service was also held on Monday, May 25 at 11:30 am. It was a a great time for the community to get together and honor our veterans.
Lending Library for youth staying at St. John’s Home by BETH ALTENA Every spring graduates of Rockford High School wrap up a major part of their lives to date: saying goodbye to friends who are off to spend summer elsewhere, leaving for college at different schools, realizing the group they have grown up with for the past 12 years are beginning a new phase of their lives. For Stephani Sawicki, the ending of her high school career coincides with her last days as a Girl Scout, another part of her life that has been so important to her. She will spend this summer making sure the legacy she leaves as a Scout is an excellent one that will improve the lives of kids in this area. Sawicki is working on creating a lending library for St. John’s Home in Grand Rapids—a project that will earn her the Girl Scout’s highest honor, the Gold Award, which is the equivalent of the Boy Scout’s Eagle Award. Ultimately, it will do much more than that. “I want to have books, chairs, posters, globes, to make a place where kids can go and escape into a world of reading,” she described. St. John’s home is a residential care home for children who have been removed from their family life due to severe neglect or abuse. With separate programs for younger kids, ages 6 to 12, and another for older kids, ages 13 to 17, the residences offer a place as youth either prepare to return to a rehabilitated family or for permanent placement. According to Sawicki, she heard about St. John’s from Candy Lancioni of Aunt Candy’s Toy Company. Lancioni had an uncle, now deceased, who was devoted to helping the boys and girls who found themselves at St. John’s, and would spend every weekend doing chores or spending time with the kids. According to Sawicki, there is little in the way of books there now, just a few on shelves, and no library. St. John’s has offered her a space to recreate with shelving, rugs, comfortable chairs, posters, bean bags, puzzles and games or other amenities to help the kids enjoy their reading time. From Aunt Candy’s she received a selection of books and a bright blue butterfly […]
Local Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts gathered on Thursday, May 27 at Blythefield Memory Gardens for the annual decorating of the veterans’ graves for Memorial Day. The event opened with a memorial flag ceremony conducted by local veterans as “Taps” was played. The young people then gathered handfuls of flags and went row by row, ensuring all veterans were honored. “This is a great opportunity for our kids to connect the past with present by honoring the men and women who have fought for our country,” said Scout Coordinator Kelly McLellan. “Having the veterans join us this year is an added bonus.” Following the placement of the flags, everyone was treated to a cookout dinner by the Gardens’ staff.
Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts were honored by the West Michigan Whitecaps at their home game on Friday, August 28, for the service they give to our community. To begin the night’s festivities, leaders and kids joined together for a parade around the field. Various Scouts continued to assist with game-opening activities by throwing a ceremonial first pitch, escorting the players to the field and presenting the colors for the National Anthem. Following the game, the outfield became a field of tents as Scouts settled in for the annual Scout Campout and movie night on the stadium’s big screens.
From castles to snowmen, volcanoes to teddy bears, dads, uncles, grandpas and their favorite Girl Scout arrived with their entries for the third annual Father/Daughter Cake Bake held at Our Lady of Consolation on March 14. Twenty-seven cakes were entered in this year’s auction and sold for a total of $1,180 for the financial assistance fund for the Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore council. The girls and their baking partners were also recognized for their culinary designs. Tia Hawkes, Lydia Kolbe and Sarah Bloem each won prizes for the cakes depicting the best Girl Scout spirit. In the cutest cake category, Olivia Baldwin, Amanda Zeboor and Baily Knittle took the honors. The judges chose the cakes created by Emilee Frost, Danielle Dettloff and Shelby Taylor as the most creative. Every color of the rainbow was represented in the cakes designed by Katherine Parker, Emma Gearhart and Skylar Fabish in the most colorful category. Most artistic honors went to Julie Fitzhugh, Micha Merren and Maddie Ripple. A salute to patriotism was represented in the designs of Marissa Dettloff, Violetta Vega and Sarah Nicklowitz and were awarded prizes in the most patriotic category. “The turnout was great for this year’s event. We raised more money this year then ever in the past-that says a lot about the caring community we live in and their support of our young people,” said Lori Dettloff, co-chair of the event. “As Girl Scouts celebrates their 97th birthday, it is great to know that this organization is stronger then ever in the Rockford community.” The Rockford Girl Scouts would like to extend a “thank-you” to Our Lady of Consolation for donating the use of their building for the event, Wiley and Company for the assistance with decorations, judges Candy Lancioni and Jeannie Gregory and to all our bakers and bidders that made this event possible. To learn more about Girl Scouting in our area, visit www.rockfordgs.com.