‘We said from the beginning it all goes back to rescue’ by BETH ALTENA Fourteen fire or police departments have funding for life-saving equipment they needed thanks to the generosity of those who supported the West Michigan Healing Fields (WMHF) memorial to 9/1/1 held last September. The Rockford Area Community Endowment (RACE) met last month to give away the money raised by the sponsorships of the 3,200 flags—each representing one of the people who died 10 years ago in terrorist attacks that changed the U.S. in one horrific day. According to Rockford City Manager Michael Young, the project was brought to RACE by Susan Bodenner, who heard about the program. It allows communities to honor those lost while raising funds for grants to first responders, many of whom were among those killed. She brought the idea to the RACE board, where it was enthusiastically embraced. “We said from the beginning it all goes back to rescue,” said Young. “The franchise was $50,000, so RACE could either lose $50,000, break even or make money.” In addition to covering the initial franchise fee for the WMHF, the project raised nearly $60,000 more given away at the RACE annual meeting held at Rockford City Hall on Tuesday, May 18. Not all of the 20 grant applications or all of the grant request amounts were approved, but an amazing $57,840 in grants were given for worthy needs of local rescue. The grants included $5,000 each to Cannon and Courtland township fire departments, the City of Rockford Police and Fire, and the Kent County Sheriff’s Department Mounted Division, which is located in Rockford in Plainfield Townshhip. Plainfield Fire Department received $4,900 to purchase thermal imaging unit equipment; Algoma Fire Department received $4,882 for needed equipment; Sparta Fire Department received $4,785; Grand Rapids Police Department received their entire grant request of $4,473; Wyoming Police and Grandville Police departments were given $3,500 of their grant request; Grattan Fire Department received $2,400 of their requested grant; and Grandville Fire Department received a check for $2,200 of their requested grant. Polly VonEschen, who is an at-large member of the RACE board, said the grants represented the most the board has given since her tenure on the board. The endowment was formed in the early […]
Rockford City Hall
The Rockford Planning Commission will be holding a public open house on Thursday, March 17, between the hours of 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. at the Rockford City Hall. The purpose of the open house will be to review and discuss proposed amendments to the City’s Land Use Master Plan for an identified subarea. The subarea includes that part of the City from the Wolverine World Wide tannery property east to Northland Drive. The plan update will focus on proposed future land uses for this subarea including public and private development. Once approved, the Master Plan update will become part of the City’s comprehensive Master Plan and will serve as a guide for the Planning Commission and City Council when making development decisions. This will be a true open house style meeting where residents and interested parties can come and go as they wish and discuss the proposed amendments with Planning Commissioners, City staff and consultants. City Manager Michael Young and consultants from LSL Planning will be making initial presentations at the beginning of the open house at 6 p.m., and then repeated at 7 p.m. A copy of the draft plan amendment will be available on the City’s website prior to the open house. For further information or questions regarding this meeting, please contact City Manager Michael Young at (616) 866-1537 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Katie Underwood’s first-grade students learned firsthand about people in their community as they toured Rockford in search of gingerbread men they had made earlier in the day but had come up missing. The youngsters had read Jan Brett’s book “Gingerbread Baby” as part of their curriculum to learn about community workers. The children visited locations downtown to meet the people who work there. They visited the library, City Hall, Ward’s Hair Care and other locations, each time receiving a clue to the next stop. The final clue brought them to Arnie’s, where they were able to decorate their gingerbread men and eat them.
The Rockford Police Department, working with the Drug Enforcement Administration and other law enforcement partners, will participate in a one-day event intended to collect potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. On Saturday, Sept. 25, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. a collection site will be set up in the lobby of City Hall located at 7 S. Monroe in Rockford. This service is available to anyone wishing to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs. The Rockford Police Department also offers a prescription drug drop-off box located in the City Hall lobby daily during business hours. Additional information about the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day may be found by going to www.dea.gov or by calling the Rockford Police Department at (616) 866-9557.
V.I.P. Treatment Students from Sasha Woodard’s second-grade class at Roguewood Elementary School pose with officer Ian Graham at Rockford City Hall in the garage where police keep their vehicles. The kids were wrapping up a Thursday, May 13 tour of City Hall that included the City offices, fire department and police department. The students are part of the Spanish Immersion program at Roguewood and were soon to enjoy lunch at Cinco de Mayo before heading to the Rockford Historical Museum. Officer Graham showed the students where officers keep their street clothes while working, told them how dispatch works, and showed them the equipment that police use, even inviting them to climb right into his patrol car.