by RICH ZECK The Ram Nation was more than just a store with hip styles and every kind of Rockford paraphernalia; it was a business that defines what the American entrepreneurial spirit is all about. People may see the store’s closing as a sign of the times-but don’t feel sorry for owners Kevin and Rachelle Butler. This couple is passionate about their community and they decided to take the risk. They saw an opportunity and never looked back. Kevin states, “We have never been shy about taking risks. There have been many times that we took a risk and it turned out very well. Sometimes things work out great, sometimes they don’t, but we can’t be afraid of falling down.” Many of us have fallen down or experienced a failed opportunity just like the Butlers. We have a choice to either stay down or as Kevin says, “it’s time to turn the page and open the doors to the next opportunity.” This Saturday, March 28, ends one chapter for the Butlers as they liquidate everything in the store. They will be selling everything at 70 percent off. You can be sure that they will continue giving away warm welcomes and a friendly smile to the people who supported them through their endeavor until the last sale. Running a small business is not always the dream that most people envision it to be. There are many ups and downs, lots of sweat and tears, along with many hours. Did I say long hours? However, without a strong supportive community like Rockford, many small businesses would never make it as far as they do. As a last parting gift, the Butlers plan to donate $1,000 to Rockford Public Schools Student Activities. The next time you think about going to the mall to shop or eat at a restaurant, think about spending those dollars right here in your town. Every dollar you spend, no matter how small, makes a difference. We are a generous and supportive community that stands behind our locally owned businesses and on behalf of all of us and the Butlers, thank you.