by KATY VANCUREN, Assistant Principal Rockford High School During the holiday season, I always am in the mood to give. I give to local charities, donate to my church, even answer the telemarketers’ calls and donate to an organization from time to time. But after watching the movie “The Blindside” recently, I started to wonder, “Why not make a bigger effort to give year ‘round?” Believe me, I am just like you! I don’t have extra money or time, but I do have other things that are valuable to others in need. I have a smile, a kind heart and words to share. I have nice stationary to jot a friend a note of appreciation. I have time to pick up the phone and catch up with an old friend. Despite all the things I don’t have, I still have a lot to give. “The Blindside” really touched me and, if you haven’t seen the movie, I highly recommend it. It speaks about companionate hearts, a giving spirit, and perhaps most of all, making a difference in the life of another. We all have this ability to give, but sometimes our lives get so busy that time goes by and our intentions get lost. Giving is certainly something I hope to instill in my children as well. Once a year I have the kids go through their closets and drawers so that we can donate clothing. A few other ideas are: • sporting equipment—Encourage children to pass last season’s athletic gear to Sports Gift (sportsgift.org), which will distribute it to kids in need. • school supplies—If your child has extra books, markers, or other items, you can find teachers who need them at iloveschools.com, a nonprofit that connects donors with teachers in U.S. classrooms. • DVDs—Send movies that haven’t been watched in a while to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan through AMVETS Task Force DVDE (amvets.org/taskforcedvd). Children’s titles go to families of soldiers. • cell phones—When your kids or you upgrade, check out recyclewirelessphones.com to locate programs that recycle or refurbish old phones, then donate proceeds to various charities. There are many local and national organizations that are looking for volunteers, goods and money. Reach out to them—make it a family event so that everyone […]
March 4 2010
Adam Young, a 2007 Rockford High School graduate, has again made the Dean’s List at Jacksonville University (JU) for the fall 2009 semester. Additionally, he has been hired by Delta Academy as a certified flight instructor at JU. With less than a year of school, Young will graduate with a BA in aviation management. As a flight instructor, he is able to log hours of required flight time with anticipation of being hired by a commercial airline as a pilot. Proud parents are Ken and Shirley Young of Rockford. Austin Bowen, son of Mark and Lynn Bowen and a 2007 graduate of Rockford High School, is on the Michigan State University Dean’s List. He achieved a 4.0 grade-point average for the 2009 fall semester.
Three students from Assumption School in Belmont have been named local winners in the 41st annual America & Me Essay Contest, sponsored by Farm Bureau Insurance. The three students who earned the first-, second- and third-place awards for their school are Annah Hillary (first place), Grant Goodfellow (second), and Katie LaBrage (third). All three received an award certificate for their achievement. As the school’s first-place winner, Hillary’s name will also be engraved on a plaque for permanent display in the school. Hillary’s first-place essay now advances to the state-level competition, from which the top 10 essays in Michigan will be selected. The top 10 statewide winners, who will be announced in April, will each receive a plaque, a medallion and a cash award of $1 ,000. In addition, the top 10 essayists will be honored at a banquet in Lansing, meet with Michigan’s top governmental leaders, and be the featured guests at a Lansing Lugnuts minor league baseball game dedicated in their honor. A team of finalist judges—including a top Michigan government official and the sponsoring teachers of last year’s top two statewide winners—will determine the ranking of the top 10 statewide winners this year. Several thousand eighth-grade students from nearly 500 Michigan schools participated in the 2009-2010 America & Me Essay Contest, which was conducted with the help of Farm Bureau Insurance agents across the state. The topic of the 2009-2010 contest was “My Personal Michigan Hero.” Started in 1968 and open to all Michigan eighth-grade students, the contest encourages Michigan youngsters to explore their roles in America’s future. As sponsor of the contest, Farm Bureau Insurance has earned 11 national awards from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.
Five Webelos 2 Scouts from Pack 3285 were recently awarded the Arrow of Light, the highest award available to boys in the Cub Scout program. The award was presented to Jason Andrus, Michael Fox, Ryan Harrell, Ethan Walthorn and Gavin Woodard at the pack’s annual Blue and Gold banquet on February 12 at Bostwick Lake Church. Under the leadership of Jim Woodard and Pam Vandekerkoff, the fifth-grade den from Crestwood Elementary School worked hard to complete eight activity badges in addition to learning the Boy Scout oath, motto, slogan and law and taking part in camping and troop activities with an older Boy Scout troop. The Arrow of Light is the only Cub Scout award that carries over to the Boy Scout level. Members of the Boy Scout Order of the Arrow, a national honor group of Boy Scouts, were on hand to celebrate with the boys and also led the group through a special crossover ceremony from Cub Scouting to Boy Scouting. Each den was also recognized for their achievements, and awards were also presented at the banquet to the fourth-grade den for achieving their Webelos rank. Members include Jake Carlson, Jimmy Helm, Sean McLellan, Jacob Stauffer and Nate Triesenberg. Scout leadership for the Pack was also passed from the Arrow of Light recipients to the Webelos during a special ceremony. Members of the Tiger, Wolf and Bear dens were rewarded with achievements beads that are used to track their progress in achieving their rank awards. The event also included a cake baking contest. Special prizes for their cake creations were awarded to Daniel and Nate Triesenberg, Richard Mortimore, Jimmy Helm and Sean McLellan.
On Wednesday, February 24, a caravan of Grand Rapids Gravel cement trucks rolled through Rockford. The trucks tag-teamed one after another pouring cement into the dedicated Wolverine World Wide industrial sewer lines under the City. According to City Manager Michael Young, the pipes date back to the 1950s and run parallel to a public sewer pipes. Future Wolverine property construction will tap into the public pipes. Young said Wolverine covered the cost of filling the lines, which leaked 50,000 gallons of ground water from cracks on an average day into the waste water system going to the PARCC side treatment plant. On rainy days the groundwater input was as high as 100,000 gallons, a percentage of the 600,000 gallon total flow. John Dykema from Grand Rapids Gravel Company said the trucks each carried eight yards of cement and the project required about 30 truck loads. On Monday, March 1, spring weight restrictions went into effect to minimize pot hole damage. One driver said that the cement hardens, even in underground pipes. The company used bagged cement to shore up the Ada dam, and the cement hardened even underwater in that instance. Young said there won’t be much savings from treatment costs by eliminating the ground water. “Every little bit helps,” he said. If the property were to be again used for manufacturing, it is likely new lines would have had to be run anyway, because of the condition of these. “It’s historic, that’s corking it off,” Young said of the closed tannery.