Someone missed the stop sign on the corner of Shaner Avenue and Stout Thursday, June 18 just after 5 p.m. According to Courtland Fire Chief Micky Davis, the driver of a pickup truck was ejected through the window, which he said is unusual, and was being loaded in an ambulance when he arrived on the scene. The other driver was talking to first responders as she was loaded into one of two Rockford Ambulances still on the scene a half hour after the crash. Seven emergency vehicles responded, including Kent County Sheriff deputies, Rockford Ambulance and Courtland Township Fire Department.
Dunk an officer, play in fire hoses National Night out is one celebration you don’t want to miss, coming right up on Tuesday, August 7 around the country from 6 to 8 p.m. Locally, planning is nearly complete for this year’s event, which takes place on Maple and Main streets in the parking lot where Northland Pontiac once stood (west of the Rockford Fire Department garage). All local law enforcement, each of Rockford’s eight Neighborhood Watch organizations, Rockford Ambulance and the representatives from the Helen DeVos Safe Kids will all be present. Nationally the event was started to encourage neighbors turn on their outside lights and go out to celebrate crime prevention. In Rockford, National Night Out is one of a half dozen community policing programs and one of the most inclusive events in proactive crime prevention. Those who come downtown for activities will have the chance to talk with Rockford police officers, firefighters, Kent County sheriff’s deputies, and troopers from the Michigan State Police, including our own Rockford-based K-9 officer with his German shepherd. According to organizer Officer Aaron Sawyer, National Night Out (NNO) is one of a flurry of summer community events in which his department participates. NNO comes on the heels of the Rockford Area Triathlon and the D.A.R.E. golf outing. “It’s a lot of fun,” Sawyer said. Each of the Neighborhood Watch associations will have a table under the big tent and will have either giveaways, games or information about crime prevention. The Rockford Fire Department will have a fire truck on the site, spraying mist for kids—or adults—to run or walk through to cool down. Members of the Rockford Firefighters Association will be manning the grill and handing out hotdogs, pop and chips free of charge. Always a popular offering, the police dunk tank will be set up and children are invited to throw a softball and dunk a Rockford police officer. Hundreds of your neighbors and city officials will be at this celebration as communities across our nation celebrate crime prevention together. An added benefit is the chance to mingle with the men and women who work hard to keep you safe all year around. Sawyer said good relations with law enforcement is a key element in community safety […]
Saturday, June 9 during Rockford’s Start of Summer Celebration large crowds showed up at the dam and on the Bridge Street bridge to watch the first-ever Big Daddy Duck Race start at 5:30 p.m., sponsored by Rockford Rotary Club. The winning duck was Rockford Ambulance’s Big Daddy Duck. Rockford Rotary President Susan Bodenner presented $2,200 to Lisa Jacobs, director of Rockford Community Services, to provide scholarships to the Summer Reading Program. This represented 100 percent of the proceeds from the Big Daddy Duck Race. The regular Rotary Duck Race followed at 6:15 p.m. and the proceeds will support additional reading related projects for the summer. Rockford Rotarians look forward to seeing everyone come down to the Reading Rocks in Rockford reading festival on Saturday, August 11, starting with the Storybook Character Parade at the steps of Krause Memorial Library at 10 a.m.
‘This lets them know someone cares’ by BETH ALTENA Estelle Fessenden doesn’t know exactly how many people have received quilts stitched by a group she set in place. Pieces of the Heart was an idea she had and a group she started in 2001, sewing a little love into quilts given to those in need. Organized from her home not far from Rockford Ambulance offices on Ten Mile and Shaner Avenue, last year alone the group gave out over 600 quilts. The 15 members of the quilting group were gathered together Wednesday, April 25 for a thank-you luncheon offered by Rockford Ambulance staff in appreciation for their donations. Since members of the group mostly work from their own homes, it was a special treat to get together all in once place. Ambulance staff, including Roger Morgan, were thrilled to praise the efforts of the members and thank them for their generosity. “It started out with the Women’s Resource Center and branched out,” Fessenden said. While working at a fabric store, which has since closed, Fessenden said she thought to put an excess of scrap fabric to good use. At the resource center, the small quilts went to kids who are at a tough time in their lives and who may have arrived at the shelter with nothing but the clothes on their backs. More than a decade later, the group has donated quilts to medical first responders such as Rockford Ambulance, to veterans, to the elderly, to neonatal units and to dialysis patients. Over the years they have provided comfort, caring and something to hang on to for thousands of men, women and children. Rockford Ambulance Paramedic Brent Jones was there to thank the volunteer group, and said following the luncheon he was going to take one of the quilts to an elderly woman who had suffered from a brain tumor. “We like to keep an eye on her and check in with her,” he said. He described how much such a simple gesture can mean to someone. “You should see the looks on the faces of the people we give them to,” he said. “We like to take them to people in nursing homes. Sometimes they are put in there and no one comes […]
Rockford Rotary Club has provided scholarship funding for the Rockford Public Schools (RPS) Summer Reading Program for several years. Last year, the funds raised fell short of the increased need. “Reading is critical for success in school and life,” said Lisa Jacobs, executive director of RPS Community Services, “and the summer reading program is an important strategy to help young students be successful readers.” The three-week program, each July, helps young students maintain what they learned in the previous school year and prepare for the new school year. Rockford Rotary President Sue Bodenner designated this year’s annual Duck Race as the fundraiser to fund the summer reading program at a higher level and have additional funds for a special literacy project. As Jacobs reviews summer reading program needs and ideas with Bodenner, another type of planning is happening. Local businesses are sponsoring Big Daddy Ducks for $100 each for the first race on June 9 during Start of Summer. “There are just two rules for the Big Daddy Duck Race of 22 large ducks: no motor and no whining if you lose!” stated Rotarian Erik Luxhoj, chair. The Facebook page has evidence of ducks going through training and enhancements and “all in support of better readers” said Corner Bar Manager John Vanaman. Rogue River Red Hats to the staff of Rockford Ambulance all agree that it was an irresistible way to raise funds for this good cause—and they might just win the unique traveling trophy designed by Justin Kauffman and Gary Davis. There is just one big duck left. The 2,000 tickets for the regular Rockford Rotary Duck Race go on sale before May 1. Check Facebook page “Big Daddy Duck Race” to find out businesses involved, where to get tickets and the prizes being offered to get readers of The Rockford Squire involved to help young readers in our community. For more information e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Erik Luxhog at (616) 884-0694.