by RICH ZECK The Ram Nation was more than just a store with hip styles and every kind of Rockford paraphernalia; it was a business that defines what the American entrepreneurial spirit is all about. People may see the store’s closing as a sign of the times-but don’t feel sorry for owners Kevin and Rachelle Butler. This couple is passionate about their community and they decided to take the risk. They saw an opportunity and never looked back. Kevin states, “We have never been shy about taking risks. There have been many times that we took a risk and it turned out very well. Sometimes things work out great, sometimes they don’t, but we can’t be afraid of falling down.” Many of us have fallen down or experienced a failed opportunity just like the Butlers. We have a choice to either stay down or as Kevin says, “it’s time to turn the page and open the doors to the next opportunity.” This Saturday, March 28, ends one chapter for the Butlers as they liquidate everything in the store. They will be selling everything at 70 percent off. You can be sure that they will continue giving away warm welcomes and a friendly smile to the people who supported them through their endeavor until the last sale. Running a small business is not always the dream that most people envision it to be. There are many ups and downs, lots of sweat and tears, along with many hours. Did I say long hours? However, without a strong supportive community like Rockford, many small businesses would never make it as far as they do. As a last parting gift, the Butlers plan to donate $1,000 to Rockford Public Schools Student Activities. The next time you think about going to the mall to shop or eat at a restaurant, think about spending those dollars right here in your town. Every dollar you spend, no matter how small, makes a difference. We are a generous and supportive community that stands behind our locally owned businesses and on behalf of all of us and the Butlers, thank you.
March 26 2009
A $500 scholarship is available to Rockford High School seniors planning on attending a college or university in the fall of 2009 to study horticulture, landscape architecture, environmental science or related fields. One scholarship is awarded based on an essay submitted in their field of study. Scholarship applications are available in the Rockford High School Guidance Office or call (616) 863-6033. The deadline is March 30, and the scholarship will be awarded in April.
On January 23 author and musician Kevin Kammeraad visited Valley View Elementary at the request of the Valley View PTO. Kevin wrote children’s books such as A Curious Glimpse of Michigan and The Tomato Collection. Valley View held an assembly where Kevin sang songs with the children, read from his books and spoke to the children about his writing career. He informed them he started writing when he was their age by keeping daily journals. Later, as an adult, he turned those journals into childrens books. A few students won the chance to have lunch with Kevin. Their parents bid on this opportunity during Valley View’s Parents Night Out silent auction. Kevin and the winning children shared a nice pizza lunch while he further discussed writing and his career as a childrens author.
by PATRICK KEELEY Rockford women’s water polo, the defending state champions of 2008, went to Ann Arbor Pioneer for their Early Bird Tournament to start the season. Although the first game ended well, with a 15-4 win over Dexter, the next three games against Ann Arbor area teams were painful to watch. Rockford lost to the Hornets of Saline (8-3) Ann Arbor Pioneer (8-2). A last-second half-pool bomb that slipped between the Rams’ goalie’s hands gave the River Rats of Ann Arbor Huron a 6-5 win in the Rams’ last game of the day. Coach Reickard was realistic, “When you graduate five starters from a state championship squad, you will have to have a learning experience. We are doing a lot of feeling out, and we made a lot of strides. The games got better as the tournament continued. We are moving on.” Following are the goals scored in each game: Saline-2-0, 3-2, 1-0, 2-1; final 8-3 (Rockford goals by Mary Keeley, Kelsey Vermeer, Ariel Beattie). Ann Arbor Pioneer-2-1, 2-0, 2-1, 2-0; final 8-2 (goals by Christina Weston, Amanda Johnson). Ann Arbor Huron-0-1, 1-0, 0-1, 5-3; final 6-5 (two goals by Molly Wooldrige and Natalie Beeg, and one by Keeley). Rockford starts the season with games against Holland, Grand Haven, and then Jenison on March 30.
Parkside Elementary School student, Andy Hansen, 9, placed first in the 9-10-year-old age group in the 63-pound weight class at the MYWA Western Michigan regional championships recently held in Lowell. Hansen, son of Scott and Jennifer Hansen of Rockford, advances to the state championships at Michigan State University on April 4 and 5.