Chamber members who attended the June bi-monthly Rockford Chamber of Commerce luncheon were in for a treat in food and company. Seated upstairs at Ramona’s Table, the nearly 50 attendees filled the space nicely. The afternoon’s agenda included introducing several new members of the Chamber as well as enjoying a delicious spread for lunch. Served buffet style was garden salad, Balsamic chicken, sausage stuffed peppers and garlic bread. Divided up by tables, the group was asked to narrow down new networking opportunities that might enhance an already busy annual Chamber schedule. Among ideas were adopting a service project, an evening out at a ballgame or other sporting events, a park picnic bringing dishes to pass, hosting a multi-chamber after hours event, a breakfast meeting or a happy hour event for Chamber members. Getting to know other Chamber members is one benefit of membership of the Chamber, and at this event seating was assigned to allow different people to meet (given free seating, friends tend to sit with friends). A short presentation was given by two chamber member businesses and Chamber staff talked about upcoming Chamber events. Now, post Start of Summer, including the parade, carnival and a visit by the Food Network, who told Chamber Executive Director that Rockford is by far the most enchanting town they have ever visited, the Chamber still has a full slate lined up for the rest of the year. Counting, it was discovered the Chamber holds a whopping 22 events during the course of the year with many months of planning behind each one. Polly VonEschen, who is her 28th year as the main organizer of Start of Summer, said the Chamber starts working on just that one event each January. Coming up yet this year is an After Hour at Reds on the River on July 13, Sidewalk Sales July 16, 17 and 18, a luncheon at The SCORE August 3 and an afterhours at Chiro Health September 14. Then come a host of holiday events, including a lighting ceremony, carriage rides, the Santa Parade, holiday open houses, and Santa at the Rotary Pavillion. Membership in the Chamber is premier at $450 a year and regular membership at $325. Chamber events are open to members and future members, […]
Rockford Chamber of Commerce
Not only is summer in the air, but so is change. The Rockford Chamber of Commerce (RCC) is working hard on the Start of Summer Celebration, its premier event and a favorite of the Rockford community. One of its most popular pieces, the Saturday night fireworks, is always pointed to as a highlight of the annual event, gathering families from near and far on blankets, lawn chairs and hillsides. But this year there will be a change in where the fireworks are launched and it will be another positive step toward keeping the community and visitors safe. This year the fireworks, scheduled for Sat., June 13 at dusk, will be launched on a gravel area just behind the Rockford Footwear Depot, and will be displayed directly over the Rogue River. The pyrotechnicians won’t have to battle overhanging trees or worry about residents’ houses at the new location. “It’s a solution we didn’t have available in previous years,” explained Linda Southwick, Executive Director of the RCC. “We are grateful to Wolverine Worldwide for agreeing to allow us to launch the fireworks from their property. Wolverine also welcomes families to set up their blankets on the green space south of the fence near the Footwear Depot. It will be a great place to view the show.” Southwick also noted the new location will allow the city’s Department of Public Safety to keep all lanes of the Ten Mile bridge open, for ease in traffic movement before, during and after the fireworks display. The lane closures always posed a difficult situation in years past for law enforcement, volunteers, pedestrians and vehicles. “We feel this is a wonderful solution to a wide range of issues at the old location,” Southwick said.
The Rockford Women’s Water Polo team had great competition the last week of March. The first match of the week had the Rams playing the defending State Champions, Okemos High School. Okemos came into the match highly favored to win. Rockford, however, had no plans to make the night an easy victory. The Lady Rams played at the top of their game, with goals scored from Hannah Raymond, Anna Kennedy, and Lexi Chisholm. At the end of the 4th quarter, the game was tied at 7 all, forcing the match into overtime. Although the extra match play did not present Rockford with the victory, the experience gained against one of the top teams in the state, gave the Rams the opportunity to work on teamwork and strategy critical to the remainder of the season. The second match of the week was against Hudsonville. Always a great game against a very tough team, Hudsonville pulled out the win 14 to 12, but not before Rockford showcased the scoring talent of Hannah Raymond (7 Goals) and Lexi Chisholm (5 Goals). Next up for the Rams is the 7th Annual Purple Polo match with Zeeland High School benefiting Relay for Life. At Zeeland this year on Tuesday April 14th, proceeds from the evening’s donations, t-shirt sales and concessions will benefit Relay for Life events at both schools. Come support this great cause – Go Rams!
By BETH ALTENA Sale of contaminated half-acre of city property included Passionate, even tearful comments against approving a 51-unit condominium development were heard by Rockford Planning Commissioners on Thursday, March 26 before the board voted five to one to recommend Rockford City Council give the final go-ahead to the project. Developer Marcell Burger and two associates were present to answer questions The public comment session was almost entirely taken up by residents of the stretch of Monroe between Courtland and Lewis streets, although several non-residents spoke, both for and against the development. City attorney Dick Wendt was present, along with City Manager Michael Young, Clerk Chris Bedford and commissioners Tammy Bergstrom, Cliff Hill, Chair Jim Scales, Tom Sturr, Dave Rasmussen and Jon Minor. Young opened the meeting with a summary of the process of approving the Tamarack Run development, explaining what steps have been taken since the development plan was submitted to the city in October of 2014. He outlined the public meetings held since, including a two-and-a-half hour City Council meeting on February 9. Many of the same people who spoke at previous Council and Planning Commission meetings spoke at the Thursday meeting, voicing mostly the same objections to the development. New to the discussion was an explanation of steps necessary to sell to the developer a parcel of property belonging to the City within the boundaries of the development. Young said a piece of land approximately 212 feet by 100 feet was identified as city land, although it has been used as part of the former inhabitant Burch Body Works for over 100 years. The parcel, just under a half-acre, has been identified as including one of several contaminated areas on the entire seven-acre plat. As part of the development all contaminated lands will be removed and disposed of in an appropriate landfill at the developer’s expense. The Tamarack Run condominiums will occupy about half of the seven acres with wetlands on the other half being preserved. Burger spoke before the public comment session began and told commissioners that more room for snow removal had been added to the project by adding more space between homes. He said more parking had been added in response to residents’ concerns about parking on Monroe Street […]
This is information on a young Rockford High School senior, Ian Bach, who just competed in his first Power Lifting meet. Ian is 18 years old and will graduate in June this year. The Power Lifting meet, also know as the USAPL Michigan Annual “No Frills” meet, was held at Crossfit Training in Allendale, Michigan on February 28, 2015. This was an open (men and women) meet with participants ranging from high school, college and anyone else that loves the sport of power lifting. In the sport of Power Lifting there are 3 levels. The levels of Power Lifting consist of Squat, bench press, and dead lift. Squat: The lifter takes weight off of shoulder-height racks and squat down until his/her hip joint is below the top of his knees. He or she must then be able to stand back up, without the help, returning themselves to the upright position and hold the weight until the judge gives them approval to rack the weight. Bench press: The lifter lies on his/her back on the bench with weights racked above their heads. He or she then lifts the weight off the racks and lowers the weight until the judge asks them to press it back up. After pressing he weight back up, they must lock their arms and hold the locked position until the judge tells them to rack the weight. Dead Lift: Lifter stands above the weight on the lifting platform, takes ahold of the bar and lifts the weight until they are standing upright. He or she must stand completely upright, shoulders back and no hunching in order for the judge to count it as a good lift. Ian competed in all three levels and at a 181-198 pound weight class. His actually body weight was 184 pounds. In the squat, bench press and dead lift Ian competed at weights of 365 pounds, 315 pounds and 490 pounds, respectively. Ian’s total for the three lifts was 1170 pounds, a very impressive total for a young competitor who has only been training for two months prior to the event. Ian is the first power lifter since 1987 to represent Rockford High School. The 1987 power lifters took nine trophies at the high school State Finals […]