Paul Robe

Gift of recognition puts brick buyers in good company

September 22, 2011 // 0 Comments

Consider Recognition Plaza tribute for holiday giving  by BETH ALTENA Indisputably, the shops and service providers in downtown Rockford are among the best local sources when shopping for the perfect holiday gift. Shoppers can arrange that family photo that really needs to be taken while the kids are still young, pick out new carpeting before the family flies in for the holidays, and certainly find the perfect unique present for loved ones. There is another option in shopping available downtown that is sure to impress and also leaves a legacy for the future. Recognition Plaza, west of the Rogue River, is paved with bricks engraved with names—family names, business names, the names of individuals. Each brick represents an investment in the Rockford area. The Rockford Area Community Endowment (RACE) provides financial support for worthy projects in the City of Rockford and the townships of Algoma, Cannon, Courtland and Plainfield and for Rockford Public Schools. One of the organization’s first undertakings was the beautiful Recognition Plaza at the dam, a popular spot for wedding photos and enjoying the beauty of the Rogue River. The public can become part of Rockford’s history with the purchase of a brick for $100 and have a name engraved as a permanent tribute to a person, company or organization. The bricks are installed throughout recognition plaza and the purchase price goes to RACE’s fund for community projects. Those with names on the bricks are in good company. Part of the Recognition Plaza is an annual celebration adding names to the pillars in the park of people who have been nominated and chosen for having a significant positive impact on the member communities. Past inductees include the late WWII hero and philanthropist Clarence Blakeslee as well as Edna Haner, daughter of a civil war veteran and the towns first librarian, and Wendell and Donna Briggs. This year’s ceremony took place in April and included historian Homer Burch and community leader Paul Robe. And as you look toward celebrating the holiday season, consider helping RACE provide grants and gifts for charitable programs and organizations to encourage scientific, literary, recreational, educational and safety projects that add to the positive experience of living in the communities that RACE serves. Lifetime membership in RACE is also available […]