by CAROL DELP-KURZEJA Relay For Life of Rockford will be celebrating their 10-year anniversary next weekend, from 3 p.m. Friday, May 18, to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 19, with this year’s theme being “Color a Cure.” We can’t believe that it has been 10 years since that small group of new, inexperienced committee members set up the track at North Rockford Middle School, hoping someone would show up for the first annual Relay For Life of Rockford, 2003. Not only were we concerned that many wouldn’t come to this largely unknown event, but we also didn’t know how many teams would participate or whether we could raise much money for the American Cancer Society (ACS). None of us got much sleep that Thursday night; we pulled out our camping gear, packed our bags and laid out our most comfortable shoes for the next 40 hours of the “unknown.” At that time, most first-year Relays had a couple hundred people attend, approximately 10 teams participate, and usually raised around $15,000. We should have known better. This is Rockford, where we often supersede expectations. This quaint, small town blew away the national competition and amazed the ACS with its record-breaking crowds, 40 teams and over $140,000 raised—all in our first attempt at a Relay. You know what the signs say upon entering our city limits: “Welcome to Rockford. Discover the Charm.” Maybe the signs should read, “Welcome to Rockford. Discover the Energy!” or maybe, “Hold On To Your Hats!” Seriously, this community never ceases to amaze and inspire me. In 2011, we had over 80 teams participate (16 teams have been with us since our first year), welcomed over 10,000 people in just 24 hours, honored over 300 survivors, and with 2011’s $340,000, we have raised over $2.8 million for the ACS. Our top team, Terminatin’ Cancer, raised almost $24,000. We had a 10-year-old raise over $1,000 on his own. Not bad results, especially during this tough economic period. Rockford’s statistics are impressive, yet we are not done. As long as people continue to hear the words, “You have cancer,” we must continue our fight and strive to meet our own, self-imposed, Rockford goals. If we meet our goal for 2012, it will put us at over […]
May 10 2012
Elkins Mr. Bruce L. Elkins, age 86, of Rockford went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Tuesday, May 1, 2012. He was a 1944 graduate of Rockford High School, where he participated in the Drum and Bugle Corps. At this time he also worked at Stanfield Drug Store and Ernie Fonger’s Texaco Station. After high school he marched off to war with the U.S. Army. Bruce was a commander of a M-18 tank destroyer serving in the European Theatre. While in the Army, he met Mary Evelyn Sarvis in Raleigh, N.C. They dated and were married on January 24, 1948 in his family’s home on Main Street in Rockford. Bruce attended Davenport College and worked nights at Union Bank. Bruce and Evelyn moved to Port Huron in 1952 where he worked for Goodyear. In 1957, they moved back to this area and Bruce worked at Michigan Consolidate Gas Co., retiring in 1989 after 34 years. He enjoyed fishing, hunting and singing with the Mich-Con Quartet and his church choir. As a family, Bruce and Evelyn enjoyed camping, traveling south each summer to visit Evelyn’s family in South Carolina, picnics and family outings. After retiring, Bruce and Evelyn traveled the USA and parts of Canada. Bruce was a wonderful husband, father and a man of faith. He is survived by his wife, Evelyn; sons, Roger and Barbara Elkins, Stephen and Colleen Elkins, and Douglas Elkins; six grandchildren; five great-grandchildren with the much anticipated arrival of a great-granddaughter. He was preceded in death by his brother, Lawrence, who drown in the Childsdale pond in 1941, and sister, Doris Rice. The service for Bruce was Monday at 11:00 a.m. at Rockford United Methodist Church with the Rev. Dick Riley officiating. Military honors were under the auspices of the U.S. Army National Guard at the church, with interment in Rockford Cemetery. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider Hospice of Michigan, 989 Spaulding Ave. SE, Ada, MI 49301, or Rockford United Methodist Church. Arrangements were made by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford.
Hearth Business LLC is proud to announce the date of the nationally famous “BBQ Boot Camp” to be hosted by Rockford Ace Hardware at 643 Northland Dr., Rockford. This Boot Camp is put on around the country by Rob Russell and Cumulus Broadcasting’s BBQ Bob. Russell is a real Kansas City BBQ expert who travels the country for Ace of Hearts BBQ Specialties of Kansas City, Mo. He has 15 years of competitive BBQ experience, 20 years of catering and restaurant experience and a great way of bringing real BBQ to the novice and competition BBQ enthusiast. BBQ Bob Nurmikko is the host of Cumulus Broadcasting’s “The Grillin’ Guys” radio show heard across Michigan on 107.3 WBBL and WJRW 1340 AM in Grand Rapids as well as nine other stations in Michigan. Nurmikko also serves as the manufacturer’s representative for Ace of Hearts Barbecue Specialties as well as the TEC Infrared Grill Company, and many other BBQ product manufacturers. This duo travels across America teaching authentic Kansas City style Pit BBQ to classes of backyard hobbyists as well as professionals and competition cookers. The two are scheduled to teach at Rockford Ace Hardware on Monday, June 4, from 5:30 until 8:30 p.m. There is a small fee for enrollment so call Rockford Ace for details. This is a “must see” for all BBQ enthusiasts. For reservations, call Rockford Ace Hardware at (616) 866-9155 or visit on the Web at www.rockfordhardware.net. These are sell-out venues on a first-come first-served basis only.