BEST IN SHOW—of nearly 100 cars at the annual Harvest Fest Car Show. Jim Baker of Grand Rapids (center) is pictured with fire fighter judges. The judges in order from left to right are Chief Steve Johnson, Algoma; firefighter Rowlf Hawkins, Cannon; Harvest Fest winner Jim Baker; Chief Mike Reus, Rockford and Chief Mickey Davis, Courtland.
October 7 2010
‘The Rams are a permanent part of the community’ “We are thrilled by the response from our community, this is exactly what we hoped would happen,” said Jamie Hosford, director of Human Resources at Rockford Public Schools. Hosford has spent much of his summer preparing Year of the Ram, an art event for Rockford that will leave a lasting legacy and add interest to our community. Nearly life-sized Rams made from PVC plastic were sold to businesses, groups and individuals, decorated, and “released” Thursday, September 30 at the Rockford dam. Originally the plan was for the Rams to stay through the weekend, but the excitement and interest they have created convinced city and school leaders to leave them through the third weekend of Harvest Festival, October 9 and 10, Children’s Weekend. The Rams have a schedule ahead, including a visit to the homecoming game, participation in Santa Parade and visits throughout the community. The several dozen colorful beasts are all unique, many decorated by students at Rockford and representing creativity and hundreds of hours of work. Hosford said he believes the durable statues will be a permanent part of the community and another way we show our Ram Pride. He hinted the public’s help will be needed in the future for a contest requiring people to vote on their favorite Ram. “This shows our Ram Pride—Go Rams!”
It was a ceremony unlike any other for Rockford Public Schools and the impact will continue on for generations. From Friday, October 1 with a monument dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony on through Sunday, October 3 with a farewell brunch, Rockford Public Schools recognized ten special people. Several came from different countries for the first Rockford Public Schools Hall of Fame induction ceremony and the related events. Rockford alumni or residents were selected from four categories for this recognition. A six-and-a-half-foot-tall monument now graces the front of Rockford High School with the names of the ten inductees. There is space on the stone for nearly 80 more years of inductions, which will take place every other year. “This was fantastic,” said Rockford Public School Superintendent Dr. Michael Shibler, one of the inductees. He referred to the day of interacting with Rockford students by the inductees which took place Friday throughout the district. The event was 14 months in the making and came with help from a similar program offered by Grand Haven Public Schools. Lisa Jacobs of Rockford Community Services and Jill Erickson from Rockford Education Foundation have been working with a committee for the Hall of Fame and the committee had the difficult job of choosing the initial inductees. Dr. Ryan Kelley, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, worked with an advisory council over the summer, making sure all inductees met the criteria for recognition. The inductees include people from all over the country, who traveled here from throughout the world. The categories are Cultural/Performing Arts, Academic/Career Accomplishments, Service to the Community, Service to Rockford Public School/Community and Honorary. Neil Blakeslee, former Rockford mayor and his late father, Clarence, were among the first inductees. “I feel humbled by the company I’m keeping with this group,” Neil said. He said others in the community deserve the award as much as he. “Dad’s is a posthumous recognition. I’m glad mine isn’t,” he joked. Watch the Squire for photos and bios of each of the inductees.
Members of the band Tribune bring their local paper along on their first professional tour across Michigan and neighboring states. Band members—all Rockford High School students—are Matt Ciejka, lead guitar; Devon Liu, drums; Scott Nadeau, vocals and rhythm guitar; and Jon Newell, bass and vocals. The band has played at the Intersection in Grand Rapids, for the last two years at Mitchell’s Run, and will be playing for the Steven May benefit at Assumption Church on November 26. For more information, check out the band on Facebook.
Air Force Airman Justin J. Budzynski recently graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills. Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force. Budzynski, a 2009 graduate of Rockford High School, is the son of Dennis Budzynski of Rockford.