Randy Finch

Inaugural Ice Festival Ball was a ball

January 19, 2012 // 0 Comments

“Let the Magic Begin” was the theme for the 2012 Ice Festival, and begin it did on Friday night with the first ever Ice Festival Ball. The Rockford Area Arts Commission (RAAC) hosted the event at Blythefield Country Club (BCC). Ninety people gathered for a delicious three-course meal by the BCC culinary artists. After dinner, guests were treated to the musical talents of Blue Star Pilot, a band of four top-shelf musicians, two of whom are Rockford graduates. The wizardry of Russ Niedzwiecki got the magic flowing. He teamed up with ice guru Randy Finch to perform a trick that had jaws dropping. A giant deck of cards was frozen in the ice. Niedzwiecki had the crowd help select a card and, sure enough, that was the card facing the wrong way in the frozen deck. He continued to amaze guests throughout the evening, going table to table, making cards appear, disappear, change colors—all to the common refrain of “How did he do that?” And the treats kept coming. While the band took a break, the audience was once again astounded at the talent the Rockford community has to offer. Under the direction of Rockford grad Rachel Siegel, a dance troupe from Western Michigan University delighted guests with its fresh choreography and style. A silent auction of art, set up by art teacher Barb Kent from the Rockford High School art department, was available for guests to bid on during the evening. All proceeds from the silent auction were returned to the art department to support their efforts. Throughout it all, people danced, dined, laughed, talked and were generally transformed, in part, by the indoor winter wonderland created through the decorating talents of Kathy Levin. “We were very pleased with the way things turned out,” said the planning committee from RAAC. “Many thanks to our sponsors and our wonderful Rockford community for making this a special evening!” Sponsors for the event included Blythefield Country Club, the Wolverine World Wide YMCA, who made babysitting available, the Alpine Meijer Store, Blakeslee Rop PLC and Fluis Inc. Guest Janell VanDine summed it all up by saying, “I can’t wait for next year!” To catch a glimpse of what you missed, visit www.artsrockford.org or find the Rockford Area Arts […]

New event scheduled to kick off Ice Festival

December 15, 2011 // 0 Comments

The Rockford Area Arts Commission (RAAC) invites you to polish up your dancing shoes and capture the magic of a special evening they have planned for you. The inaugural Ice Festival Ball is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 13 and calls itself “the perfect date.” It is easy to see why with the highlights of this special evening. With the purchase of a ticket, lucky attendees will receive a three-course dinner, entertainment, a live band, and childcare through the WWW Family YMCA. If you are like most and scratching your head over finding the perfect Christmas gift, consider this option—it has the best of all worlds. It offers excellent food, a romantic twirl in loving arms, and a safe place where the children can’t say “I’m bored.” “The Ice Festival Ball will be a great night out,” said Jeff Lewis, chairman of the RAAC. “It will showcase local artists, musicians and dancers. The proceeds will support the local arts programs and initiatives of the Rockford Area Arts Commission. We really do think an Ice Festival Ball ticket would make a great Christmas gift. And, if you don’t think your spouse will buy one for you, buy one for them.” The magic takes place surrounded by the beautiful atmosphere of Blythefield Country Club. As for entertainment, Blue Star Pilot will take the stage to urge dancing, the hands of Russ Niedzwiecki will perform magic acts, and two dance demonstrations will be performed. “People have asked me about the dress code for the event,” Lewis said. “If you want to dress up, that’s great. If you want to be casual, just don’t be jeans-and-a-sweatshirt casual. If you want to wear a tux, let me know and I’ll wear mine, too!” Since the ball is the kickoff to the Third Annual Ice Festival, Randy Finch of the Ice Brigade will be performing an ice-carving demonstration at the country club. The evening begins at 6 p.m. with dinner at 6:30, and will feature a live band, entertainment and dancing from 7:30 to 11 p.m. Childcare at the YMCA starts at 6 p.m. and children must be picked up by 10 p.m. Tickets for the Ice Festival are $100 per couple and may be purchased at Rockford City Hall, or vouchers […]