June 7 2012

Rockford girls water polo wins state championship

June 7, 2012 // 0 Comments

The Lady Rams headed into the regional tournament Friday, May 18 with high expectations and they certainly delivered. The girls won the regional title by defeating Grand Haven, Hudsonville and Zeeland in the finals. The first game against Grand Haven featured a fine team effort with goals from Marie Siegel, Adrianna Craft, Casey Wolfer, Maddie Levine and Kara Vandawater on their way to a 10-5 victory. This win set up a rematch with a difficult Hudsonville team. The Hudsonville team came ready to play and seemed very determined to knock off the Lady Rams. This was a back-and-forth game and really could have gone either way. But good teams find a way to win, and Rockford prevailed 6-5. A timely goal by Morgan Longberg as time was winding down in the fourth quarter sealed the win for the Rams. Other goals scored by the Rams in this game came from Craft, Vandawater and Levine. Several key saves by Ellianna Raymond helped to the game close. This win set up the final championship game against a fine Zeeland team. In the championship game against Zeeland it was evident from the start that the Rams would not be denied. By halftime Rockford had a commanding 4-2 lead with goals coming from Levine, Siegel, Vandawater and Craft. In the second half the ladies continued their success from the first half and cruised to a 7-2 victory. Second-half goals from Craft, Longberg and Levine ensured a Ram victory. Winning this tournament puts the Lady Rams in great position for the upcoming state tournament in Lansing. Regional tournament honors for Rockford went to Craft, Wolfer, Raymond and Vandawater. The Lady Rams then headed to the state tournament in Lansing the weekend of June 1 and 2. Expectations have been set very high for this team after claiming the number-one ranking in the state early in the year. The first game, played on Friday evening, was against Ann Arbor Huron. This team is a perennial powerhouse in girls water polo and would be a very good test for the Lady Rams. The first quarter featured two goals apiece by Craft and Wolfer, resulting in a 4-2 first-quarter lead. Wolfer added another goal in the second quarter and the halftime score was […]

Chamber hosts annual Start of Summer Celebration

June 7, 2012 // 0 Comments

The Rockford Chamber of Commerce and the Start of Summer Committee are hoping that the community is ready to say goodbye to another school year. This year’s annual Start of Summer Celebration is celebrating its 44th year with another fun-filled event that features plenty of chills and thrills for the entire family. The City of Rockford has been preparing the streets, bridges and sidewalks for the big event, so it will be the perfect backdrop for this wonderful weekend. This year’s celebration is scheduled for June 8, 9 and 10, with a special Community Night on Thursday, June 7 that will feature carnival rides for a lower rate for City of Rockford residents. Start of Summer Celebration will feature carnival rides, food, crafts, music, entertainment and family fun. The fireworks, sponsored by Byrne Electrical Specialists, Meijer, Wynalda Packaging Inc., and D&W Fresh Markets, will light up the Rockford skyline at dusk on Saturday. Polly Von Eschen, who has been involved with the event for 25 years and is chair of the event, always makes sure that the celebration runs seamlessly. The committee started preparing for the huge event months in advance and is ready to highlight the 44th annual installment of the popular celebration. “It is a great way to celebrate the end of the school year and the beginning of summer,” said Von Eschen. “We like thanking the community for all their support of downtown businesses throughout the year. It is always a lot of fun. We love seeing people come into town and enjoy all of the wonderful things going on.” Playworld Amusements will provide the carnival rides and games this year. The rides and midway will be set up in the South Squires Street parking lot. Favorites such as the Rotary Duck Race (including the new Big Daddy Duck Race), waterball, Chase Bank frog and turtle races, the Children’s Activities Tent, and tours of the Little Red Schoolhouse are on the schedule. There will be a free shuttle service available, compliments of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce. There is a pick-up and drop-off every half-hour from D&W Fresh Market, MVP Plaza and Rockford Center from 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday. Be sure to come to […]

‘The Biggest Loser’ winner, Rockford’s Jeremy Britt offers tips to weight-loss success

June 7, 2012 // 0 Comments

by CINDY M. CRANMER Perseverance and “keeping at it” are keys to success with a weight-loss plan, according to a Rockford resident and “The Biggest Loser” Season 13 winner. Jeremy Britt, 23, lost 199 pounds during the 13th season, dropping his body weight to 190 pounds. His sister, 24-year-old Conda Britt, lost 115 pounds to drop from 294 pounds to 179 pounds and finish third. Britt said his weight loss of 51.16 percent during the show placed him in the top five contestants of all the show’s 13 seasons. Jeremy and Conda left Rockford, their jobs, families, friends and all the technologies that connect people to try and make a change to their lives. During a recent interview at MVP in Rockford, Jeremy spoke to The Rockford Squire about the things he gained in the process. “There are so many ways my life has changed,” he said. A tremendous weight loss, prize winnings of $250,000 and better health are some obvious things, Britt said. The friendships that he made and learning to change behaviors that were harmful to his health are things that may have been less obvious to the millions of television viewers who saw him win the live season finale in May. “There are definitely people I will always stay in touch with. I’m friends with the people on the show for the most part,” Jeremy said. “It was such a great experience.” Things have slowed down for him after a whirlwind of television and radio appearances, but Jeremy wants to continue to tell his story and let it serve as an inspiration for others. Jeremy said he eventually plans to return to college and finish pursuing an education such as the business and management degree he was working on. He currently wants to serve as a motivational speaker and help others as they struggle to overcome obstacles to weight loss and improved health. “I feel I have a story to be told right now,” Jeremy said. “It’s pretty amazing being among the top five contestants of all time.” Jeremy was the youngest winner in the 13 seasons at age 22, and one of the younger contestants on the show. While he could travel if he becomes a motivational speaker, Jeremy said he […]

Rockford grad’s final Scout project to benefit kids in need

June 7, 2012 // 0 Comments

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 […]

MAIN STREET by Roger Allen, publisher

June 7, 2012 // 0 Comments

Big bucks The one with the most money almost always wins. That statement isn’t only about the third world. Unfortunately, it’s increasingly true of America. It takes big bucks to run for office (staff, travel, advertising, etc.) and elections have become battles for the bucks. It isn’t the small contributors that are worrisome. That’s the American way: support a candidate and donate a modest amount to help out. It’s the BIG contributors that worry me: the big companies and groups and the billionaires who, almost literally, have money to burn. If you’re a billionaire and have bought everything else you could possible want, why not buy a politician? It happens. We voters know that politicians get much of their campaign money from lobbyists promoting some company or group. And we’re not totally dumb. We have to realize that it’s just possible that our politicians might possibly promise to vote favorably in return for a lot of cash. Lobbying is subject to complex rules, which, if not followed, can lead to penalties, including jail. Nonetheless, the activity of lobbying has been interpreted by court rulings as free speech and is protected by the Constitution. Now, with the Supreme Court’s controversial ruling in 2010, we have Super PACS that can spend any amount for any candidate and not even tell us they’re doing it. I repeat: the one with the most money almost always wins. Another moral dilemma Don had planned on watching the football game with his friend Pete. Pete arrived late after the game had already started. “What kept you?” Don asked. “I couldn’t make up my mind between going to church and coming to the football game,” Pete said. “So I tossed a coin.” “And what took you so long?” asked Don. Pete answered: “I had to toss it 40 times.” Age YOUTH is when you smoke, drink, and act naughty all through the night, and the next morning you still look great, just like you hadn’t done any of that. MIDDLE AGE is when you smoke, drink, and act naughty all through the night, and the next morning you look like you’ve been smoking, drinking and acting naughty all night. OLD AGE is when you go to bed at a sensible hour without […]

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