Hills earned tough national honor Dear Editor, As the farm market year comes to a close, I would like to give kudos to Cliff and Nancy Hill. They faithfully set up shop at the farmers market in June, July and August to collect e-mail addresses for voting purposes. Due to their dedication, Rockford came in first place to win as America’s Favorite Farmers Market. What an honor for all of Rockford, not to mention the farmers, bakers and popcorn makers. I know I am looking forward to next year at our favorite farm market to buy the freshest homegrown foods in the state. Green Thumbs Up! Michelle Jennings via e-mail Wounded warrier runner thanks all who made fundraiser possible Dear Editor, I want to thank everyone for your support, both financially, and for the notes and calls offering encouragement toward completing this run to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. We started at 5 a.m. on Friday morning from Forest Hills Foods right here in Cascade, and finished 62 miles later at 4:54 p.m. at the north end of Spartan Stadium in East Lansing. It was a long, windy day but fortunately the 20-30 mph winds were at our back just about the entire way. I found myself reflecting often during the run on how fortunate I am to be able to undertake an adventure like this. In the later stages of the run when my legs were sore, I thought of how minimal, and temporary, that pain was compared what so many of our veterans deal with on a daily basis. Thank you for being a part of this cause. Your support made a huge impact! To date your donations to the Wounded Warrior Project for this event total about $3,500 between the website and the checks I have received! I am awed by the support you have given. I hope that this run has helped increase awareness of the Wounded Warrior Project and their mission. I hope that you will continue to support the cause in the future. Tim Klaes
Jeff Lewis, chair of the Rockford Area Arts Commission (RAAC) and the idea guy who came up with Rockford’s Art Capsule event, said more people voted on the 30 local art displays in 2011 than in the first year. “We had a thousand votes, which was more than last year,” Lewis said. This year’s event, designed with the theme of Rockford for the art submissions, culminated on Saturday, August 8 with voting and sampling fare from Rockford restaurants in the second annual Taste of Rockford. Art Capsule voting also took place all week long with art offered in a variety of categories and venues all around downtown. Ten restaurants took part in the Taste event, with all money going to RAAC. A total of $1,300 was raised. Local restaurants participated by offering samples from spring rolls to sliders and tasty treats to top off the edible tour of downtown. Lewis said the restaurants were very generous, providing quality and quantity of impressive proportions for just a dollar or two per sample. Art Capsule was also a popular success. Best of Show was taken by Connie Kuhnle for her “Faces of Rockford.” Best Two-Dimensional Art went to local painter Linda Bassford, who presented “Watermelon Kids.” Best Three-Dimensional Art was won by Lois Carpenter with “The Dam Fish.” Best Photography was a tie between Dan DeWard with “Dream, Believe, Perform, Achieve” and Stacy Niedzwiecki with her work “Wash – Rinse – Repeat.” “It wasn’t bad for a wet, rainy day,” said Lewis.
by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL Rockford resident, Michelle Jennings knew she had a winner. The stained glass artist and President of Sorrelle Insurance Agency in Grand Rapids had been told by ArtCapsule organizer Jeff Lewis that an informal verbal poll had been taken at the ballot box during the first ever Rockford ArtCapsule event. Voters were asked what their favorite entry was. Overwhelmingly their response was, “Eyes on the Trail”—Jennings’ beautiful 2’ x 3’ stained glass panel of a peacock. Beautiful indeed, it was a kaleidoscope of color. Monday evening, August 23, the Rockford Area Arts Commission (RAAC) announced monetary prize awards to the top three winners as follows: • Best of Show – $275: Michelle Jenings, stained glass peacock • Best 2-D Artwork – $175: Dan DeWard, phtographic fish-eye view of the Rockford Dam • Best 3-D Artwork – $175: Michael Bieri, driftwood sculpture Jennings was thrilled with her “Best of Show” award. Having for the past four years learned her craft under the tutelage of Eric Brown she has become an accomplished stained glass artisan herself. “When I began four years ago, I couldn’t give my stuff away and today I am creating commissioned stained glass works,” said Jennings, adding, “This is my very first competition and I’m overwhelmed and honored by the voters response.” ArtCapsule was held in concert with the first-ever Taste of Rockford and both events playing off each other, created a win-win afternoon for everyone involved. There were many winners that afternoon. The multi-talented Rockford artistic community had the opportunity to display their creative endeavors in many venues scattered throughout the business community drawing in countless residents and out-of-town visitors. Rockford area restaurants, who participated in the Taste of Rockford, had the opportunity to “strut their stuff”. What was not to like? Eric Brown Stained Glass and GeneAnn Schaefer of the Frame and Mat Shop both tell us that as ArtCapsule venues more people had passed through their doors than on any prior given business day. “It was a stroke of pure genius to have scheduled both events on the same day,” said Brown. City Manager Michael Young and ArtCapsule organizer Jeff Lewis couldn’t agree more. Combined these two events are a potential powerhouse that might well rival the popular […]