Rich Moll

God rocks at Praise in the Park

August 2, 2012 // 0 Comments

by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL  Sunday afternoons and evenings used to be pretty quiet in downtown Rockford. Other than White Pine Trail users and those canoeing or kayaking on the Rogue River along with the faithful addicted to Sunday evening Custard by the Dam or Rocky’s desserts, not much goes on. All that changed this summer with a series of Sunday evening concerts in Garden Club Park with a different genre of music, that being Christian themed contemporary praise music. This summer, the talented musicians and vocalists of the Praise Teams of nine Rockford community churches volunteered to showcase their God-given talents during twelve scheduled Sunday evening performances of the first “Praise in the Park” concert series. City Council member and event organizer, Rich Moll, has been more than gratified to see attendance increase during each of the seven concerts held thus far. “Rockford is a faith-based community of many church denominations that are interwoven in the eclectic mix of a community we are proud to call home,” said Moll. City Hall has received numerous calls and emails of thanks and appreciation for granting approval for an event that further adds to the quality of life we all enjoy here in Rockford. Moll is hopeful that the weekly series of “Praise in the Park” concerts will become an ongoing annual event in ensuing years. Judging from the enthusiastic response of those in attendance thus far, that shouldn’t be a problem. Your reporters were in attendance at the beautiful riverside Garden Club Park venue, a few Sundays ago, to take in the concert presented by the multi-talented Praise Team of Rockford United Methodist Church. Wow, they were as hot as the 90-degree temperature! For one hour and thirty minutes, without a break, they sang their souls out in praise of the Lord. Approximately 250 people were in attendance that evening. When you add to that the unknown numbers of trail users who stopped and were caught up by what they were witnessing and hearing, it was an inspiring summer evening indeed. Four scheduled Sunday evening concerts, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., remain. Next up on Sunday, August 5, is the team from Rockford Reformed Church. Following in ensuing weeks, will be the team from Dick Rounds, […]

Council dedicates property for dog park

June 23, 2011 // 0 Comments

Organizers have one year to come up with funding by BETH ALTENA After passing last month on contributing city funds to development and maintenance of a public dog park on a former ball field at Richardson-Sowerby Park, Rockford City Council voted this month to dedicate the land for that use for one year. Organizers are confident they can raise the money needed to develop the 180-by-160-foot property into a dog park. In their May 9 meeting, City Council had considered helping to fund the park’s estimated $20,000 cost, perhaps splitting the difference with volunteers who have been hoping to forward the project. Bringing water to the property was $5,000 of the estimate, with the remaining $15,000 representing the cost of purchasing and installing fencing. City Manager Michael Young said it was possible to use Rockford Department of Public Services staff to do the work, which might have lowered the expense to $12,000. According to Young, volunteers had a commitment from Rockford Ambulance to raise $3,000 toward the project, and they had been working with pet supply companies in hopes of receiving more funds. Councilman Brien Dews last month questioned the speed at which the project seemed to be moving forward, considering other proposals, such as a skate park, were making no progress. Members of the audience also commented—one asking if the City couldn’t locate a dog or skate park on the property where Burch Body Works had been located. Another asked about liability and safety issues of a dog park. Young pointed out that the City does not own the Burch Body Works property and is not likely to budget the hundreds of thousands of dollars that would be required to purchase that land. “The idea before you is: Do you want to pledge money for development of a dog park,” Young reminded council. “There isn’t a skate park group asking for money.” Councilwoman Mary Eadie said she was firmly against seeing a dollar of tax money going to a dog park and that she would vote against any City money going to the project. Dews also pointed out that City staff had been asked this year to freeze wages, including negotiated raises, and they had made that sacrifice. “I think maybe in these economic […]