November 24 2011

Rockford Education Foundation searches for “Funniest Person in Rockford”

November 24, 2011 // 0 Comments

Winner to perform live with The Second City!  Think you’re funny? Here’s your chance to prove it! If your comedy routines kill at the water cooler or leave your family in stitches, you might just be the funniest person in town. Here’s your chance to prove your comedic skills as the Rockford Education Foundation (REF) and The Corner Bar launch a search for the “Funniest Person in Rockford.” The winner will perform live with famed comedy troupe “The Second City” during its performances for REF January 20 and 21, 2012, plus receive two VIP tickets to the show. While billed as the search for the “Funniest Person in Rockford,” the competition is open to anyone in West Michigan. Now through November 30, REF is accepting 1-3 minute video submissions at its web site ( On December 5, 20 videos will be posted to REF’s Facebook Page ( where fans will vote for their favorite videos through December 31. On January 2, 10 finalists will be named based on “likes” at the REF Facebook page. Those comedians will perform live at The Corner Bar on January 12 and a panel of judges will select the winner who will perform with Second City on January 21 and 22. Entrants must be age 18 or older and fill out an application and submit their video at video content must be family-friendly and comedy routines appropriate for all audiences. Tickets for The Second City are $35 and are available by calling REF at 616/863-6317 or through REF’s web site Event sponsorship opportunities are also available. The Rockford Education Foundation (REF) was established in 1991 to provide resources for increased educational opportunities for people of all ages in the Rockford Community. The REF is an independent, non-profit corporation, governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees from the community. Teachers, students, and community members with innovative ideas have received grants for wide-ranging, educational purposes. Grants are awarded twice yearly based on the merit of the request and its ability to promote educational excellence. For more information or ticket purchases, contact: Sue Arend, REF Administrator at 616-863-6317 or visit REF returns Second City for encore performances By CLIFF AND NANCY HILL When Chicago’s legendary comedy troupe, The Second City, last […]

REF returns Second City for encore performances

November 24, 2011 // 0 Comments

Keep Your Laughter Local  by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL When Chicago’s legendary comedy troupe, The Second City, last appeared in Rockford in January of 2010 it was a sell-out from the “git-go”. Appearing then to headline the Rockford Education Foundation’s (REF) annual benefit concert, Second City returns again for 2 evening performances of their “Laugh Out Loud Tour” on January 20 & 21, 2012. “Second City was a sell-out when they last performed in 2010,” said Beth Dornan, REF Trustee. “Bringing them back for not 1 but 2 shows along with the added twist of allowing a local comedian the opportunity to perform with them is sure to mean another hit for the REF and even more money raised for educational grants for Rockford.” Let’s embrace a “think local” attitude here. Instead of taking our monies outside of the Rockford community to attend LaughFest 2012 in Grand Rapids in March, why not support the good works of the REF and laugh your sides out right here at home in the cozy confines of the Rockford High School (RHS) Auditorium. “During the 2-day January stay, as an added plus, the Second City troupe is doing two 2-hour workshops with RHS performing arts students. One workshop of 15 beginning level students and other of 15 intermediate level students all who will experience a good time participating in the creation of comedic skits along with touching on such topics as improvisational techniques, comedic timing, and the ability to harness creativity,” said Sue Arend, REF Administrator, adding, “This is a win-win for everyone involved, both students and teachers alike, and the entire Rockford community as well.” When Second City last appeared in Rockford, your reporters warned of a possible sell-out and sure enough it happened. Yes, there will be two performances during the upcoming January appearances but that doesn’t guarantee ticket availability. Ticket sales thus far have been brisk and we’d suggest placing your ticket orders sooner rather than later. Smiley faces are much preferable to sad faces, right? As we advised in 2010, Second City performance tickets would make GREAT Christmas gifts for that person who has everything, is hard to please, or is just a plain old Grump who needs a bit of hilarity in their life […]

Author offers tips on medical decision making

November 24, 2011 // 0 Comments

Trying to make the best medical decisions for ourselves or someone we love can be overwhelming. Colleen Tallen, M.D., a palliative medicine specialist and author of the newly released book, “Decide While You Can,” is intimately familiar with this journey. Dr. Tallen has walked with thousands of patients and their loved ones as they explored and discovered what medical choices were right for them. Combining her medical expertise and the personal stories of those she has helped, this guide takes a complicated, sometimes scary, topic and empowers us with simple, straightforward talk for making medical decisions that fit who we are and what we want. Dr. Tallen drew on her 20-plus years of experience as a palliative care physician in writing the book over the past three years. Her purpose in tackling the often-not-talked-about topic is the need for individuals to explore, discuss and communicate their decisions with loved ones and their healthcare providers. “Most of us have interfaced with the healthcare system for ourselves or someone we love. If we have not yet, the odds are good that we will. The healthcare-patient relationship is like any other relationship. We have to learn the language and the culture of healthcare if we really want to understand what medical choices fit how we want to live. ‘Decide While You Can’ focuses on doing just that.” The book is based on three basic principles: 1. We all deserve the respect and dignity of having medical choices explained so we understand how each choice may affect the way we live. 2. We all are accountable to do our part by learning to communicate with our healthcare team and we expect our healthcare team to do the same. 3. We believe our medical decisions impact our individual lives which in turn impacts our whole society. Dr. Tallen also serves as medical director of Saint Mary’s Health Care’s Pain and Palliative Care Program and as director of cancer survivorship for the Lacks Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute Selected Community Cancer Center located in Grand Rapids. She is an assistant professor at Michigan State University’s School of Human Medicine and a clinical preceptor for physician fellows and residents, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners. She speaks throughout the country to medical […]

MAIN STREET by Roger Allen, publisher

November 24, 2011 // 0 Comments

Zap on! The Republican nomination wrestle is turning out to be more fun than I expected. What a sight. All eight candidates are dancing around for a better position. While energetically looking for dirt on the others, each tries to deflect attention away from his (or her) own personal shortcomings. Yes, it’s tacky, even discouraging, but we might as well enjoy it if we can. When the GOP has chosen its candidate, the REAL mud slinging will start. I could do without it and will keep my TV remote in hand. You? Meanwhile, have a nice Thanksgiving! Long joke A contestant on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” had reached the final question. If she answered it correctly, she’d win $1 million. If not, she’d pocket only the $32,000 milestone money. Naturally, the $1 million question wasn’t easy: “Which of the following species of birds does not build its own nest but instead lays its eggs in the nests of other birds? Is it A) the condor, B) the buzzard, C) the cuckoo, or D) the vulture?” The woman was on the spot. She didn’t know the answer. And she was doubly on the spot because she had used up her 50/50 Lifeline and her Audience Poll Lifeline. All that remained was her Phone-a-Friend Lifeline. The woman had hoped she wouldn’t have to use it because her friend was, well, a blond. But she had no alternative. She called her friend and gave her the question and the four choices. The blond responded unhesitatingly: “That’s easy. The answer is C, the cuckoo.” The contestant had to make a decision and make it fast. She considered employing a reverse strategy and giving any answer except the one her friend had given her. Considering that her friend was blond, that seemed like the logical move. On the other hand, the blonde had responded with such confidence, such certainty… Crossing her fingers, the woman said, “C, the cuckoo.” In joy, she heard the host’s response “That answer is… absolutely correct! You are now a millionaire!” Three days later, the contestant hosted a party for her family and friends, including the blonde who had helped her win. “Jenny, I just do not know how to thank you!” said the […]

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