October 7 2010

Rockford joins 17 cities in hosting Eurand CF Cycle for Life tour

October 7, 2010 // 0 Comments

Local cyclists join ride to fight cystic fibrosis, fatal genetic disease   Rockford cyclists, enjoy the remaining pleasant fall days with a ride for a great cause. The West Michigan chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is launching the first ever Eurand CF Cycle for Life tour series to fund research to find a cure for cystic fibrosis. The tour series offers two mileage options, 40 or 67 miles, and follows a scenic route through northern Kent County. The Eurand CF Cycle for Life tour is a series of one-day cycling tours to be held in 17 U.S. cities, where thousands of cyclists will come together to raise money to help find a cure for cystic fibrosis. The ride takes place Saturday, Oct. 9, with a 7 a.m. registration and a 9 a.m. start at Rockford United Methodist Church, 159 Maple Street, downtown Rockford. Eurand Pharmaceuticals and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation have joined together to help raise funds for cystic fibrosis research. Eurand donated $300,000 to sponsor the series to support vital cystic fibrosis programs and research. To participate in the ride, please call (616) 241-2100 or go to www.cff.org/chapters/grand-rapids/.

Flower Garden Floral offers unique arrangements

October 7, 2010 // 0 Comments

New shop at 19 N. Monroe Street in cute yellow building Stephanie Heaton is excited to be back doing what she considers her life’s calling. The custom floral designer earned a living as a dental hygienist, but missed the floral business she sold in Lowell. Here in Rockford, she has opened her doors this week at 19 N. Monroe St., home of Flower Garden Floral. “I have a passion for decorating,” said Stephanie, who, with business partner Jeff Barger, has been preparing the 1,300-square-foot space adjacent to Grand Dental. The cheerful yellow building now boasts a custom-made cooler for fresh, live flowers. The cooler is the work of Jeff, who has been in the construction business. “Construction work has been slow,” Jeff said. He and Stephanie have created their own employment—she working on the design and arrangements, and he is the “behind the scenes” with the bookkeeping end of the business. They also employ Sonja Baldwin, one of Stephanie’s childhood friends. “It was like it was meant to be,” Jeff said of Sonja and Stephanie running into each other recently. “They had lost touch with each other and hadn’t seen each other for years.” As plans for Flower Garden Floral were coming together and it was time to look for a delivery person, Sonja and Stephanie ran into each other. It turned out Sonja was looking for a job. “We always play Christian music in the shop. That’s just who we are,” said Stephanie, when asked what is unique about Flower Garden Floral. She said she also offers alternatives to traditional floral displays, such as candy bouquets and gift baskets. The shop also offers plaques and decorator items with Christian quotes. In addition to real and silk floral arrangements, Flower Garden has a variety of home décor items. What is most distinctive about Flower Garden, Stephanie believes, is her unique style of floral arrangements. She loves the work because it allows her to offer a service that helps people. She and Jeff chose Rockford as a location for their business because they believe it is a community that is growing and has so much going on. “There is so much going on here all the time,” she said. “I feel we are here to make new friends, […]

Goodwill store to open in Rockford area

October 7, 2010 // 0 Comments

Plans for LEED-certified retail store will fund job-training programs The Plainfield Board of Trustees unanimously voted to approve a Planned Unit Development change to allow a Goodwill store on property previously approved for either a restaurant or a hotel. The store will be built behind the BP gas station on the corner of Ten Mile Road and Belmont Avenue. Ken Watkins, president of Architectural Concepts, presented the project to the board on Monday, October 4, and said traffic studies and visibility lead Goodwill officials to believe it will be one of the most successful stores. Watkins said there will be about 12 people working in the store at any one time with a total of about 25 hired by the company for employment there. The Goodwill Board of Directors unanimously approved building the LEED-certified retail store on the corner of US-131 (exit 97) and 10 Mile Road in Algoma Township. The property sits adjacent to BP and across the street from Meijer. Pinnacle Construction Group Inc. will break ground in mid-November. The construction of the 14,000-square-foot store will open in late spring 2011. Blueprints will be very similar to the Standale store on Lake Michigan Drive, which opened last November. The store’s interior will feature bright vibrant colors along with natural lighting and other LEED elements. This store will service not only the Rockford community, but also Algoma, Cedar Springs and Sparta areas. “This is a great opportunity for our shoppers to experience the ‘new Goodwill.’” stated Jill Wallace, chief marketing and communications officer. “As our second LEED-certified store, Goodwill is making great strides in the green movement of greater Grand Rapids. Additionally, our presence in the growing Rockford community will further support our mission of putting people with barriers to employment back to work. Although the change was met with approval from all board members, Vic Matthews said he was disapponted. “There is a real need for a decent restaurant in that area. I can’t hold it against Goodwill that we couldn’t get a restaurant there. We need to change it.” Clerk Scott Harvey said the store will be an asset to the township. The board asked if another Goodwill store would be closed because of opening the new one and were assured this […]

Host family, outbound exchange students sought

October 7, 2010 // 0 Comments

Rockford Rotary is currently hosting a student from Germany, but is also looking for an outbound student. As a Rotary Youth Exchange student, you’ll spend up to a year living with a few host families and attending school in a different country. In Rotary’s long-term Youth Exchange program, you’ll learn a new way of living, a great deal about yourself, and maybe even a new language. You’ll also be an ambassador, teaching people you meet about your country, culture, and ideas. You can help bring the world closer – and make some good friends in the process. More than 8,000 young people each year have experiences like these through Rotary Youth Exchange. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime. Are you ready for it? Did you know that our locally based Wolverine World Wide did business in approximately 180 countries and territories around the world in 2009? Rotary has exchange programs in over 40 countries. Germany is one that is available, or perhaps you would like a Spanish-speaking country, or Japan, Taiwan or something more exotic like Zaire. Rockford Rotary, along with Rockford High School led by Dr. Ryan Kelley, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, will be hosting an informational meeting Monday, October 11, at 6:30 p.m. at the Rockford High School in the main office. The meeting is for any students, with their parents, who are interested in becoming an Outbound Student to a foreign country. Application deadlines are October 25 for the full completed application. What is Rotary Youth Exchange…? One of our returned students call it “The best year of my life.” Have you met Julius Loebbecke, our inbound exchange student from Germany yet? He’s been participating in the band and with the soccer team. Come to the meeting. He will be glad to share his experience with you. Do you want to add a new cultural dimension to your family life? Host Julius for the third trimester. Call Rotarians Tony Astras 866-4283 or Jim Tol 696-2259 for more information or visit Rockford Rotary’s website www.rockfordmirotary.org, click on the Activities to take you to the Youth Student Exchange site.

Main Street by Roger Allen, publisher — October 7, 2010

October 7, 2010 // 0 Comments

They’re BACK! (FYI)   Bedbugs are everywhere in the news, because, it seems, they’re everywhere. The good news: They’re not scary-looking; they’re tiny and hard to see. They aren’t poisonous and they don’t carry disease. The bad news: They’re hard to get rid of. Their bites itch. They’ve expanded their territories, even hanging out in some clothing stores. (A Victoria’s Secret store closed down this summer because of bugs in its underwear.) What do bedbugs eat? Ready for this? HUMAN BLOOD. When I was a kid, the idea of bedbugs was associated with the kind of people who didn’t wash. I thought bedbugs were sort of rare. The 2010 bedbug isn’t fussy. It will gladly set up housekeeping in fine hotels and exclusive boarding schools. If you get bedbugs, call an exterminator. It’s not a do-it-yourself project. It may take more than one treatment. Bedbugs aren’t completely harmless. The guy who heads Ohio’s bedbug eradication program warns, “The emotional toll it can take on people when you can’t get [them] under control is quite severe.” He should know. His own house was infested with bedbugs. Good Samaritan A husband and wife were driving down a country lane on their way to visit friends. They came to a muddy patch in the road and the car got stuck. After a few minutes a young farmer came down the lane in a big tractor. He stopped when he saw the couple in trouble and offered to pull the car out of the mud for $50. The couple accepted, and minutes later the car was free. “You know,” said the farmer, “yours is the tenth car I’ve helped out of the mud today.” “Good heavens,” the husband replied. “When do you have time to plough your land? At night?” “No,” the young farmer replied. “Night is when I put the water in the hole.”  The redneck test You’re one if: • your family tree don’t fork. • the Salvation Army declines your mattress. • you mow your lawn and find a car. • you can amuse yourself for more than an hour with a fly swatter. A few last words • Corduroy pillows are making headlines! • I like cats, too. Let’s exchange recipes. • I love cooking […]

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