March 12 2009
These Rockford area Girl Scouts earned their Polar Girl Award on January 31 and February 1. All 16 girls spent the night outside in tents – in two feet of snow with overnight low temperature of 12 degrees. They were joined by 11 adults, with seven adults choosing to sleep outside too. Everyone enjoyed snowshoe hiking and trying creative ways to cook over a fire, even learning how to use their cell phones to start the fire. They also brought along their local paper, The Rockford Squire. Some of those attending were: Stephanie Barton, Sarah Barton, Jennifer Bell, Kathleen Bell, Abigail Beuregard, Nicki Bouwkamp, Yvonne Bouwkamp, Jessica Dickinson, Bev Dickinson, M. Ek, Sarah Ek, H. Fedorchuk, Jill Fitzhugh, C. Fisher, Kaitlynn, Kimmel, Maria Kimmel, Amanda Perry, Susan Perry, K. Savara, Julie Savara, Kayleigh Scherzer, Porta Schut, Alayna Surdock, Lynn Surdock, Rachel Turner, Jane Turner, Amanda Zeboor, Amy Zeboor.
The last week of February, the Rockford High School Media Center housed 125 dedicated volunteers over a three-day period. These volunteers called every parent in the Rockford School District to ask for a donation to the Rockford Education Foundation. Their efforts resulted in over $22,500 in pledges to the foundation, which, in turn, gives over $60,000 per year to the community in the form of grants for educational purposes. “I think all of us at REF were concerned about meeting our goals this year, in light of the economy,”said Phone-a-Thon co-chair Gail Vanderlaan, “It was very gratifying to again receive so much financial support from the Rockford Community.” With fifteen Phone-a-Thons behind them, REF trustees have it down to a science. Approximately 25 parent, grandparent, RPS staff, or community volunteers come in for a two-hour shift. Vanderlaan trains the callers and puts about 18-20 of them to work on a bank of phones. Sue Arends, REF trustee, who was instrumental in developing the annual Phone-a-Thon in 1994, takes the rest of the volunteers, who stuff envelopes and prepare the mailing. “It’s quite a production,” says REF administrator Sue Arend. “Our pledges are down from last year, but that’s to be expected in times like these. We are just so grateful to those who pledged and to those who volunteered their time. It will be a big help as we prepare to face the budget cuts ahead!” Meadow Ridge Elementary School parent Beth O’Donnell not only organized 20 volunteers from her school, but she also worked two shifts herself. When asked if she enjoys working the Phone-a-Thon, Beth said, “I do enjoy doing what I can to help out REF and help out our schools. Although it was very humbling this year, as we heard many say they weren’t able to give due to financial hardship or loss of jobs, it was awesome and also humbling to have those who could give this year, do. Everyone did what they could, whether it was $10 or $100 and it was great to be a part of that!” REF trustee Theresa Webb co-chairs the event with Vanderlaan. “Now, more than ever, the need for REF grants are crucial. Thank you to our Rockford parents, for coming through once […]
Hope Community Church is addressing various topics of local interest in their series of Real Life Seminars. Subjects covered in the past have included managing credit and debt, and protecting your identity. Future sessions are being planned to cover: funding higher education, funding your retirement, and understanding medicare and medicaid. These no-charge meetings are presented by various local professionals in their fields as a basic informational program about the topic. The next topic will be wills and trusts. During our life on earth, we accumulate assets that need to be taken care of when we die. Many people have a will or a trust that specifies what should happen to these assets upon our death. How these legal documents are prepared is part of Estate Planning. Protect Your Estate with Wills and Trusts will be presented by local attorney Neil Blakeslee of Blakeslee, Fry and Scales of Rockford on Sunday, March 22 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Mr. Blakeslee will discuss basic estate planning needs including wills and trusts, and how to protect your estate. The public is invited to this meeting. There is no charge to attend. Hope Community Church is located at 7000 Myers Lake Avenue in Rockford, just 1⁄4 mile north of Road.