November 17 2011

Art Van Furniture royal wedding winners married

November 17, 2011 // 0 Comments

Rockford couple holds extravagant reception at Comstock Park location  Proving its commitment to fun, style and unpredictability, Art Van Furniture celebrated marital bliss with an in-store fairytale wedding designed to fit the dreams of a West Michigan couple. As winners of the Art Van Furniture Royal Wedding Contest, on November 11, 2011 (11/11/11), Lindsey Bonner and William Pitsch of Rockford celebrated their nuptials with a spectacular wedding reception hosted by Michigan’s largest furniture retailer. The 150+ guest reception began at 5 p.m. at Art Van’s Comstock Park showroom on Alpine Ave. Bonner heard about the wedding contest while shopping for a sofa on the Art Van website. She sat down and wrote the love story she shares with Pitsch. “We weren’t planning on getting married until 2012, but I thought it was a wonderful opportunity,” said Bonner. “Now, I’m very glad we entered!” This summer, Art Van Furniture sponsored a “Royal Wedding Giveaway,” offering a lucky couple a chance to get married at an Art Van store, along with a lavish reception for up to 100 people. The awarded wedding, to take place on November 11, 2011, was to include food, entertainment, flowers, photography, valet, invitations, tuxedo, wedding cake, bridal planner and two-night stay at Mackinac Island—a value well over $20,000. Interested applicants were asked to submit their love story in a 400-word essay. “We asked the public to vote, and Lindsey and Bill were the clear winners,” said Art Van Elslander, chairman and founder of Art Van. A surprise second wedding was awarded and also took place on November 11, 2011 at the flagship store in Warren, Mich., where Jennifer Morris and Warrick Grundy said their vows. Art Van Furniture is Michigan’s largest furniture retailer and America’s largest independent furniture retailer. The company operates 34 stores in 33 communities throughout Michigan, a full-service e-commerce website, plus four freestanding Art Van PureSleep bedding stores in Canton, Troy, Ann Arbor and Rochester Hills, Mich. Founded in 1959, the company is family-owned and headquartered in Warren, Mich. Check out for more information.


November 17, 2011 // 0 Comments

Thursday, November 17 Free Meal for Northern Kent County Families—6 to 7 p.m. at the Our Lady of Consolation Family Center, 4865 Eleven Mile Rd., Rockford, every Thursday. No charge; no registration required. Provided by a partnership between Our Lady of Consolation Parish and God’s Kitchen, a program of Catholic Charities West Michigan. New Mounted Unit Facility Dedication Ceremony & Open House—3:30 p.m. at 4687 Kroes St. NE (northwest corner of Wolverine Blvd. and Kroes, east of the high school), Rockford, hosted by Kent County Sheriff Larry A. Stelma, for completion of Phase I of the project. Sports Medicine Playbook—7 to 8:30 p.m. at Western Michigan University Downtown, 200 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids. Validation for parking in the Cherry/Commerce city parking ramp. This free event features a team of sports medicine experts talking about how to prevent injuries in young athletes, how to train safely, and how your school’s athletic trainer is ready to help. Registration is recommended but not required. Light refreshments will be provided. Register online at or by calling (616) 391-5242. Friday, November 18 “Turkey Time Bowling” Olivia’s Gift Charity Event—6:30 p.m. at Buffalo Wild Wings, 3050 Alpine Ave., Comstock Park, then 9:30 p.m. at Westgate Bowl, 4486 Alpine Ave. Enjoy cosmic bowling, great tunes, a 50/50 raffle, prizes, and frozen turkeys to be given away! Admission is $20 per person; $6 for kids 12 and under, includes bowling and a chance to win $1,000 in prizes. Proceeds to benefit Olivia’s Gift ( Tickets on sale now. Call Kelly at (616) 447-1980 for more information. Bluegrass 4 Babies—8 p.m. at Kent City Baptist Church, 400 W. Muskegon St., Kent City. Missy Armstrong and Jeff Rose of Detour Bluegrass will perform this special concert to benefit the Alpha Family Center. For more information, call Lorrie at (616) 696-2616. Friday-Saturday November 18-19 Kent Garden Club’s Wreath Sale—10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Breton Village Mall in Grand Rapids. Michigan-grown, fresh-cut, Fraser fir wreaths will be available in 18- and 24-inch sizes. Other sizes available by ordering through Saturday, November 19 Holiday Bazaar—9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church, 10295 Myers Lake Ave., Rockford. More than 35 crafters, plus a bake sale, cookies by the pound, Grandma’s Attic, fresh […]

A Message for You

November 17, 2011 // 0 Comments

Christmas: a more joyous occasion  by PASTOR DICK RILEY Rockford United Methodist Church Once upon a time, just a few days before Christmas, two men who were neighbors decided to go sailing while their wives went Christmas shopping. While the two men were out on the water, a storm arose. The water became very rough and both men struggled to keep the sailboat under control. As they maneuvered their way toward land, they suddenly hit a sandbar and the boat became grounded. Both men jumped overboard and began to push and shove with all their strength, trying to get the boat into deeper water. With his legs almost knee-deep in the sandy mud, the waves bouncing him hard against the side of the boat, the wind ripping into his face, and the water chilling his bones, the one man turned to his buddy and said with a knowing grin, “This sure beats Christmas shopping, doesn’t it?” I can’t help but think how often, not only Christmas shopping, but also the whole Christmas season becomes an experience in frustration, exhaustion and depression. Too often, the joy of Christmas is lost because our focus becomes centered, not on the Christ whose birth we celebrate, but rather on our desire to have joy—whatever it costs us! As we move closer and closer to the Christmas celebration, perhaps if we made a more conscious effort to put Christ first—to put Christ above everything else—Christmas might become the most joyous occasion in our lives and in the lives of those around us. It might actually become that most joyous occasion that God intended. Let’s try it! Go to the church of your choice this weekend, and begin to get in the spirit!

Hunting family had long journey here—then and now

November 17, 2011 // 0 Comments

Historical Society hears tale of emigration  by BETH ALTENA Virginia Cox was the speaker at a recent Rockford Area Historical Society meeting at the Rockford Community Cabin. Arriving from Virginia, where she resides, Cox also attracted other out-of-area relatives from her Hunting family as she shared the history of Huntings through the years. Virginia said she loved growing up in Rockford and hearing stories of the family. She has a book about the settling of Pine Plains, New York, where the Huntings traveled to from Long Island. Prior to living in Long Island, the original Hunting emigrants came from Suffolk County, England. “I have spent over 20 years doing genealogy,” she told the audience. Cox has used historical societies, cemeteries and family histories to trace the movement of Huntings through time. She attributes much of her good luck to the Mormons, who keep excellent records. She traced a coat of arms for the family back to a Morgan Hunting, and found a letter from1894 from a Josephene Hunting asking why the family didn’t have a motto—having one for a family used to be the norm. In Suffolk County, she found Roger Hunting, whose son, John, wanted to come to America. He ended up in Dedham, Mass., outside Boston. He had a wife and six children and organized the Church of Dedham. One of John’s sons was also John, and he had a son named Nathanial, who graduated from Harvard in 1693. He moved to East Hampton where he became a reverend, replacing a reverend who had served for 50 years. He himself served for 50 years and was replaced by a successor who also served for 50 years. This coincidence Cox found quite interesting—that in 150 years a church had just three reverends. While reverend, Nathaniel was the first to keep records of marriages and births within his church—an important historical note. It is also of interest to remember that at that time the country was under British rule. When Nathaniel became a reverend, he was paid 60 pounds of silver a year and a parsonage in which to reside. That parsonage would stay in the family for the next nine generations—a total of 229 years. When Nathaniel died, his widow turned the parsonage into […]

State police receives Smart Policing grant

November 17, 2011 // 0 Comments

Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue recently announced that the Michigan State Police (MSP) has received a federal grant to conduct data-driven, evidence-based policing research and training in an effort to develop effective, economical and innovative responses to emerging crime trends. The $400,000 grant is part of the Smart Policing Initiative (SPI) from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance. “This grant will allow the state police to develop and put into practice new tactics for responding to emerging crimes,” Etue said. “The research conducted as part of this project will underscore the department’s regional policing efforts and assist us as we transition to a more mobile and flexible service delivery model that is responsive to evolving community public safety needs.” The two-year grant, which was received in partnership with Michigan State University (MSU) School of Criminal Justice, will seek to identify law enforcement tactics and strategies that are effective, efficient and economical. The goal is to instill evidence-based thinking into the law enforcement culture, and to ensure evidence-based strategies are used throughout the department. The MSP is one of only four police agencies nationwide awarded funding under this specific category. The MSP and MSU will work together to idetify existing supports or barriers pertinent to the adoption of evidence-based policing throughout the oganization, and to align the emerging regional poliing structure and strategy with the use of evidencebased practices within MSP, as well as more broadly in Michigan. The MSP and MSU are also working in partnership on research methods that will automatically match hand-drawn facial sketches to mug shots that are stored in law enforcement databases. For more information about the SPI grant, visit

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