Depending on whether or not you’re a cold weather enthusiast, winters in Michigan can become a bit stifling. That’s when cabin fever sets in. By definition, cabin fever is a term for a claustrophobic reaction that takes place when a person or group is isolated and/or shut in a small space, with nothing to do, for an extended period—ahh, winter in Michigan. Pencil Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 onto your calendar, because the Rockford American Legion has just the antidote. Cabin Fever 2012, the annual “put on your favorite beachwear, get out of your house, dance and party all night” party is shaping up to be the best one yet. In its third year, Cabin Fever is this year featuring one of Grand Rapids’ most talented, innovative and high-energy bands, The Outer Vibe. Winners of numerous band contests, a headlining act around the state and having played with the likes of REO Speedwagon, Starship, Brian Vander Ark, and Mustard Plug, The Outer Vibe is sure to give Old Man Winter a swift kick aside and make sure your winter blues are chased away—at least for this one night. “We’re so fortunate that The Outer Vibe was able to fit us into their busy schedule,” said Terri Kettelhut, club manager for the Rockford American Legion. “This is their second appearance here. They played at our annual Halloween party in 2010 and packed the place!” Kettelhut emphasized that the Rockford American Legion will be open to the public, doors will open at 7 p.m., and it is an “over 21” event lasting until midnight. As is always the case with this event, proceeds will be used to promote ongoing veterans’ activities. Tickets are $15, and are available in the Legion lounge, by phone with a credit card and, if there are any remaining, at the door the night of the party. There are only 250 tickets available, so get yours today. The Rockford American legion is located at 330 Rockford Park Drive, on Northland Drive between 11 Mile and 12 Mile roads. You can reach the Rockford American Legion at (616) 866-2001.
Rockford American Legion
It seems like yesterday that Dena Rogers of Feeding America Food Bank approached the Rockford American Legion Post and encouraged them to host a mobile food pantry. Though the membership unanimously voted to proceed, little did they realize the impact they would soon have upon the community. The Post has provided fresh fruit, vegetables and other foods to more than 124 families at each of 17 regularly scheduled mobile food pantries since that meeting. Beginning with a 5,000-pound truck, the membership rallied to participate in what would become Operation Cornucopia. On March 22, the total food distributed by the Post reached 103,665 pounds, an estimated total of $224,991.00 worth of groceries on the table. Members of the Post are quick to agree that it would not have been possible without the help of local community members. Funding and supplies for the pantries not only come from member donations but from local businesses and civic organizations. Volunteers from local schools, churches and Boy Scout Troops help make hosting the pantries possible. Members were excited to have students from Algoma Christian School assist them during the March pantry. “As thrilled as we are to be a part of this operation, it wouldn’t bother us a bit if it stopped being necessary tomorrow. However, hunger, like a terrorist, has no regard for a person’s age or sex. It will steal the health of an old man as quickly as from a young girl. As long as hunger is a threat, we need to keep fighting it,” said Clyde Sinclair, commander of the Post.
At 10 a.m., Wednesday November 25, American Legion Post 102 of Rockford, in cooperation with St. Stephens Evangelical Lutheran Church, hosted their first Mobile Food Pantry from the Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank. Over 40 Legion members were assisted by 30 Boy Scouts from Troops 264, 282 and 228. In a brief ceremony prior to distributing the food, Post Commander Tom Plaska presented a check in the amount of $1,300 to Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank. Dena Rogers who was on hand to represent the food bank, accepted the check. The $1,300 check was given as a token of the Post’s commitment, to assisting community members in need, though the Mobile Pantry Program. In all, the Post divided and distributed 5,133 pounds of food to 108 families, consisting of over 354 family members. Post Commander Tom Plaska applauded the volunteers and reminded them that the American Legion’s success depends entirely upon active membership, participation and volunteerism. And that the organization belongs to the people it serves and the communities in which it thrives. The Post has scheduled their second Mobile Pantry for December 22 at 10:00 AM. A third is also scheduled for January 25. Those families residing in the North Kent Area who require food assistance are invited to attend. The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization. Focusing on service to veterans, service members and communities, the Legion currently has about 2.6 million members in 14,000 posts worldwide. It is only through the efforts of the community that projects such as the mobile food pantry can be successful. A number of businesses, when asked, have stepped forward with needed resources. The Legion is very grateful for the assistance of Red’s on the River, D&W Food Market, Meijer, DVS Trucking and Alloy Exchange, who all contributed in some manner to the success of this project. The support of the membership of St. Stephens Lutheran Church has been invaluable, assisting the Legion members with everything from resources to coaching. They have truly been a big part of the pantry’s success.
American Legion thanks volunteers Dear Editor, “Thank you, thank you” to everyone who helped with the Halloween party this year. From creative ideas, building props (hours of sweat and time), setting up and tearing down, to attending and having a good time at our annual fundraiser for the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. Our guests of honor were surely missed this year due to the early flu season, but I’m sure they were in all our thoughts as Darcy sang the “National Anthem.” We had a tremendous show of support by the following businesses/individuals with their donations for advertisement, food, supplies, decorations, raffle, etc. Please take a minute to thank them if ever given the chance: Dee’s Family Restaurant Scorpion Printing West River Carpet Kent Skills Center Society of Saint Vincent DePaul Flashback Sysco JCI Brookfield Equipment Recovery JCI Acoustics SMTE & WAVE JCI Maplewood Leuuw’s Painting Menard’s of Holland Estate Warehouse Norman Foods Smart Buy, Inc. Kremo Bakery Costco Meijer Walmart B&B Distributing Kent Beverage, Westside Beer Farm Bureau (Clark Agency) Gerri at RHS Aseltines Road Kill Bingo WFGR 98.7 WZZM13 The Rockford Squire Detroit Lions Detroit Tigers Detroit Red Wings Grand Rapids Whitecaps Grand Rapids Griffins Grand Rapids Civic Theatre Grand Rapids Symphony Candy Cove (Sparta) Odawa Casino Blue Chip Casino Amway Grand Hotel The Corner Bar Frame & Mat Shop Rockford Floor Covering NAPA Burlap ‘n Rags Sheldon Cleaners (Rockford) Jody’s Restaurant Samuel’s Family Haircare Roxy’s Massages Rockford Ace Hardware Mustang Band …and anyone I may have forgotten! A special thanks goes to the creative geniuses, Cory, Gary, Jacquie and Norm, and our judges: Juliet Dragos (WZZM), Beth Altena (The Rockford Squire), Keary Sawyer and Todd “Michaels” Chatman. I had a good time. Thanks! Iny Couturier American Legion Post 102