Blood drive, free activities highlight many merchants by BETH ALTENA “Remember when I said to expect this group to do big things in the community? This is one of those big things,” said Tony Griffin, owner of BC Pizza in Belmont, referring to his great expectations of the Belmont business community, which he believes is a unique and diverse group that will surprise many. Participants in a first Heart of Belmont family festival and blood drive on Saturday, August 6 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. should prove his point. Activities take place on the closed street of Belmont Center Drive and in and around the nearby businesses. Although Belmont seems a smallish business community, its members collectively are impressive, and over a dozen merchants and service providers will pitch in to make a day of fun for those who come out to see what Belmont has to offer. Participating stores, salons, restaurants, medical and dental care providers and others will have free giveaways to anyone who donates blood through the Michigan Blood bus. Michigan Blood, in turn, will donate $10 for each donor to local Boy Scout Troop #283. Participants can also be on the National Bone Marrow registry. For those who choose to donate or not, the day has something for everyone, from free health assessments by Snap Fitness, to a car show located at Milestones Child Development Center and organized by Belmont Grocery. All car show participants receive a free small pizza from B.C. Pizza. Invited to sign up ahead of time or at the 10:45 registration are owners of old cars, classic cars, race cars, fast cars and just plain cool cars. Trailside Treats, a seasonal gem tucked away a short jog from the White Pine Trail, will provide music with the live band Retrospect. A bounce house provided by the Blast Factory Eccentric Entertainment will keep the little ones hopping, and massages—free to donors or for a dollar a minute to others—will soothe adults. Griffin said he admires all blood programs, but is really excited about Michigan Blood, because all donations stay in the area. He also explained that donating bone marrow also has the potential to save the life of another person, an amazing gift to be able to […]
Heart of Rockford
Heart of Rockford sidewalk sales set for July Rockford is known for its festivals, fireworks, parades, parks, picturesque dam, destination dining, family outings, canoeing, kayaking, and hiking and biking the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail… and, of course, its one-of-a-kind shopping district. Most who live here or visit don’t need added incentive to stroll about and enjoy all that Rockford has to offer, but just in case you need an extra nudge, be sure to mark the Heart of Rockford Business Association’s annual summer sidewalk sales on your calendar. The shopping frenzy kicks off Thursday, July 15 at 10 a.m. and runs through Saturday, July 17. Shoppers can expect serious bargains on clothes, toys, books, cards, paper products, home accessories, hair, nail, bath and body products, jewelry, garden supplies, yarn, wall decor, and so much more. Barb Stein, owner of Great Northern Trading Company and an organizer of the sidewalk sales, said, “Don’t miss out on the fun—and savings! See you in Rockford!”
Heart of Rockford merchants put together quite a package for the winner of a holiday promotion. Jayne Remmelts visited all 20 participating merchants in a third-year event that rewards one lucky shopper for diligence. Remmelts said she finished her Christmas shopping but bought more for herself during the two days it took her to visit the stores in the Heart of Rockford holiday promotion. On Wednesday, January 13, Remmelts picked up her prize in downtown Rockford, presented by Barb Stein, owner of Great Northern Trading Company. There are 32 members in the merchant organization, 20 of which took part in the contest. Shoppers were given a business card, which had to be stamped at the participating businesses. Her card was then drawn out of a container of all the cards completed. The 1980 Rockford High School graduate learned she was the winner on her birthday. “I was very excited,” she said. Remmelts said she had no problem visiting each store and loves Rockford’s downtown. Stein said she was pleased to see a Rockford resident was the winner this year.
Heart of Rockford businesses kick off holidays Healthcare product drive to benefit North Kent Service Center clients Grand Rapids ranks as one of the nation’s more philanthropic communities, and Rockford is certainly well-known for its support of charity events, food drives, faith-based initiatives, and support of nonprofits near and far. This rings especially true at the holidays, when families and businesses dig deep to buy toys, fill food baskets, and “adopt” members of the community who need extra help. The Heart of Rockford Business Association is one such group that supports numerous charity events throughout the year, including Rockford’s Relay for Life/American Cancer Society, Think Pink/Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Community Unity, and silent auctions and walkathons for multiple causes. This holiday season, the group decided on a somewhat alternative way to lend their hand. Heart Steering Committee member and Baskets in the Belfry owner, Polly VonEschen, explained, “Families relying on federal assistance cannot use WIC dollars to purchase basic healthcare items like shampoo, soup and deodorant, and food pantries and community service centers typically don’t receive these types of donations. As a result, many of our Heart businesses have set up collection bins in their stores and are offering some sort of gift or reward to customers who donate for their generosity. All of our donations will be sent to the North Kent Service Center to help residents in our community.” Acceptable products include toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors, shaving cream, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, bath gel, soap, and any additional items for cleanliness. Gifts will be accepted through the holiday season. For further details, contact one of these Heart of Rockford Business Association members: A Charmed Life Nail Salon, Aunt Candy’s Toy Co., Baskets in the Belfry, Bow-Dacious Designs, The Candle Shop, The Corner Bar, Creative Concepts Plus, Custard by the Dam, Dam Dogs, Frame & Mat Shop, G. Williker’s, Great Northern Trading Co., Gremel Communications Inc., Imperial Computer Solutions, Independent Bank, J.T. Stitchery & Frame Shop, Jade, Kimberly’s Boutique, Paperdoll, Pegasus Sports, Poindexter’s Specialty Marketplace, Reading Books, Reds on the River, Right at Home, Right Up Your Alley, Rockford Flower Shop, Rockford Independent, The Rockford Squire, Rogue River Tavern, Rudy Kazoody’s, Sage & Roses, WAR Chest Boutique, Ward’s Hair Place, and Xscape Salon.
Stroll through downtown Rockford on the third Wednesday of the month and chances are you’ll see plenty of people carrying a celery green bag. This eye catching tote made of recycled material is more than a handy way to haul your purchases. The bag is in fact a promotion offered by the downtown HEART of Rockford Business Association participating members. Whenever someone shops or dines with it, he or she saves 20 percent on an item on the third Wednesday of the month, and 10 percent off an item any other day. HEART launched the promotion in March of 2008 with a spring fling radio remote broadcast. Since then, more than 3100 bags have been sold. Barb Stein, a member of the HEART Steering Committee and one of the creators of the promotion, announced at the May HEART meeting that due to the success of the program. “The bags will be sold and the promotion continued indefinitely. The bags have been successful on so many levels. We are encouraging people to shop and buy locally by offering them a savings at participating HEART member businesses. This keeps dollars in our community and helps stimulate growth in these tough economic times. Plus, folks are encouraged to recycle. It is really exciting to see the green bags all over Rockford – and beyond. It makes me very proud of my town.” HEART businesses include: A Charmed Life nail salon, Aunt Candy’s Toy Store, Baskets in the Belfry, Bow-Dacious, Corner Bar, Creative Concepts, Custard by the Dam, Dam Dogs, Frame and Matt Shop, G. Willikers, Glik’s, Grand Dental Care, Great Northern Trading Co., Gremel Group, Grill One Eleven/Marinades, Imperial Computer Solutions, Independent Bank , J.T. Stitchery & Frame Shop, Jade, Kimberly’s Boutique, Paper Doll, Pegasus Sports Reds on the River restaurant, Right at Home, Right Up Your Alley, Rockford Candle Shop, Rockford Flower Shop, Rockford Footwear Depot, Rockford Independent Newspaper, Rockford Squire, Rogue River Tavern, Sage & Roses, The Frame & Mat Shop , Xscape Salon, W.A.R. Chest Boutique and Ward’s Hair Place Heart green bags are sold at participating businesses, and some exclusions may apply. For full details, stop in to your favorite business. Look for the HEART logo and membership sign in windows and doors about […]