Relay For Life

Young animal lover skips party to raise donations

September 15, 2011 // 0 Comments

Nine-year-old gives to Humane Society                                             Claire Froumis recently hosted her 9-year-old birthday party and, in lieu of gifts, raised $165.25, two boxes of bones, one dog bowl and a bag of dog food all for the animals at the West Michigan Humane Society. She coordinated a relay race/game party with games that she thought up: scavenger hunt, bunny hop races, find the missing pets with hidden pictures of the humane society cats and dogs around the neighborhood, dog bone races, “Who Let The Dogs Out” Just Dance contest, etc. “She was so thrilled with the success, and we’re proud of her selflessness,” said her mother Holly. Claire was inspired by her brother, who, two years ago, skipped his own birthday to have a fundraiser for Relay for Life.

Park plans expand to bring Rockford a dog festival

July 7, 2011 // 0 Comments

by BETH ALTENA Happy Hounds in downtown may become an annual dog-centered festival if dog park planners are able to pull it off. Organizer Tom VanderSloot described his vision during an evening planning session held at the Rockford Public Schools Administration Building Thursday, June 30. VanderSloot would like to see a Relay for Life-type event at the track field of North Rockford Middle School—except centered on canines instead of cancer prevention and education. He described a fun, festival atmosphere with booths from vendors and sponsors, music, entertainment, contests—such as a dog costume competition—dog demonstrations and featuring a walk around the track, down a short route through downtown Rockford and back to the track. VanderSloot came up with the idea after hearing about a similar event on the west coast. He’s had the idea for years after noticing what a “doggy” town Rockford is. In the Harvard Hounds festival in Washington, the funds raised are split between an animal benefit organization, such as the Humane Society, and one that benefits humans. VanderSloot suggested first raising funds for the dog park and North Kent Community Services. The Harvard Hounds event raises $50,000 each year. VanderSloot didn’t think the event here, especially in its first year, would raise anywhere near that much but may significantly contribute to the total of $12,000 that dog park organizers have been tasked with raising. Funds from the festival could come from sponsorships from Top Dog on down financially through categories such as Show Dog, Working Dog, Companion Dog, etcetera for the amount of money pledged, from businesses buying booths and from registration fees to participate in the parade and day’s events. In February, dog-walking friends Marlene Clark, Nancy Seeley and Emily Weinmann began collecting signatures of residents who are in favor of dedicating currently unused park land in Rockford to a dog park. A former ball diamond south of Picket Park off the Rogue River would allow a fenced park about 160 by 180 feet. It would be divided into two sections, one for large and one for small dogs. The dog park organizers had asked the Rockford City Council if there was interest by the City in creating the park and had an estimated budget of $20,000 for the project. Council […]

Relay for Life for survivors’ birthdays

May 19, 2011 // 0 Comments

Event is this Friday and Saturday; every Relayer has a story by BETH ALTENA Impressive numbers—$2.46 million raised and last year over 400 cancer survivors honored in the survivor’s lap of Rockford Relay for Life—prove the event is incredibly successful, but misses the point of the real impact of Relay. Carol Delp-Korzeja said the event is about cancer survivors and the money raised is for research to fight cancer for more survivors celebrating more birthdays in the future. “It’s not about the money,” Delp-Korzeja said. “Every person has been touched by cancer, has had someone in their family fight cancer, has known someone who was lost to cancer.” Every relayer has their own story to tell and reason to Relay. Rockford’s Relay for Life is an American Cancer Society fundraiser, a 24-hour event, which kicks off at North Rockford Middle School at 3 p.m. Friday, May 19 with the Rockford Fire Department leading the first lap around the track. Events take place all evening and night, with popular favorites such as the Miss Relay event (the man dressed as Miss Relay receiving the most tips wins) with the theme of Miss Birthday Princess, and the silent Luminaria lap with luminarias dedicated in the memory of a loved one, which takes place as dusk falls over campsites and booths. Cancer survivors are the guests at Relay for Life and Delp-Korzeja hopes even more will take the survivor’s lap—one of the most emotional moments of an already inspiring event. A brunch for survivors begins Saturday, May 20 at 10 a.m. followed by the survivor’s lap at noon. “We don’t really have set goals, but if we did, I would like to see more survivors,” said Delp-Korzeja. “If we have 425 survivors, that would be wonderful.” For Delp-Korzeja teammate Karole Murphy of the Desperate Housewives team, Relay is also about survivors. She calls the event “the most gratifying, tiring and emotional 24 hours of the year. In my profession as an oncology nurse, I am witness to hundreds of people every year that have been told ‘You have cancer,’ “ Murphy described. “Many are present in my care during their battle because they need help in the fight. Some victoriously leave cancer behind, but not forgotten. They are […]

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