Laugh out loud tune-up to be held at Corner Bar by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL Let’s embrace the “think local” attitude here. Instead of taking our monies outside of the Rockford community to attend “LaughFest” in Grand Rapids in March, why not support the good works of the Rockford Education Foundation (REF) and laugh your sides out right here at home in the cozy confines of the Rockford High School (RHS) Auditorium. When Chicago’s legendary comedy troupe, Second City, last appeared in Rockford in January 2010 it was a sell-out from the “git-go”. Appearing then to headline the annual REF benefit concert, Second City returns again for two evening performances of their “Laugh Out Loud Tour” on Friday and Saturday evenings, January 20 and 21. Thinking local, the REF is hosting “The Funniest Person in Rockford Contest” to be held this Thursday, January 12 at the Corner Bar in downtown Rockford. Four comedic finalists in the contest will face off for the opportunity to perform with Second City during their two upcoming evening performances in January. Mike Cole, Mike Marn, Michael Newell, and Chris Schneider will exhibit their comedy routines starting at 9:00 p.m. before a panel of local (celebrity) judges. What a hoot? Three Mikes and one Chris! The Corner Bar doors will open at 8:30 p.m. and reservations are being excepted by contacting Jen at the Corner Bar at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 616-866-9866. Seating is general admission with a $10 cover charge to benefit the REF and includes chips and salsa. Drink specials and Second City ticket give-a-ways all evening long. First come, first serve for the best seats. If you can’t make the Funniest Person in Rockford event at the Corner Bar this Thursday evening don’t let yourself get caught with egg on your face, as many did during the 2010 visit of Second City, when last minute ticket purchasers were met at the box office door with a big sold-out sign. There’s not a bad seat in the house at the RHS auditorium. A limited number of tickets are still available. Contact: The REF at 616-863-6317 or visit www.rockfordschools.org/ref.
Rockford Education Foundation
Winner to perform live with The Second City! Think you’re funny? Here’s your chance to prove it! If your comedy routines kill at the water cooler or leave your family in stitches, you might just be the funniest person in town. Here’s your chance to prove your comedic skills as the Rockford Education Foundation (REF) and The Corner Bar launch a search for the “Funniest Person in Rockford.” The winner will perform live with famed comedy troupe “The Second City” during its performances for REF January 20 and 21, 2012, plus receive two VIP tickets to the show. While billed as the search for the “Funniest Person in Rockford,” the competition is open to anyone in West Michigan. Now through November 30, REF is accepting 1-3 minute video submissions at its web site (www.rockfordschools.org/ref). On December 5, 20 videos will be posted to REF’s Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/REF) where fans will vote for their favorite videos through December 31. On January 2, 10 finalists will be named based on “likes” at the REF Facebook page. Those comedians will perform live at The Corner Bar on January 12 and a panel of judges will select the winner who will perform with Second City on January 21 and 22. Entrants must be age 18 or older and fill out an application and submit their video at www.rockfordschools.org/ref.All video content must be family-friendly and comedy routines appropriate for all audiences. Tickets for The Second City are $35 and are available by calling REF at 616/863-6317 or through REF’s web site www.rockfordschools.org/ref. Event sponsorship opportunities are also available. The Rockford Education Foundation (REF) was established in 1991 to provide resources for increased educational opportunities for people of all ages in the Rockford Community. The REF is an independent, non-profit corporation, governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees from the community. Teachers, students, and community members with innovative ideas have received grants for wide-ranging, educational purposes. Grants are awarded twice yearly based on the merit of the request and its ability to promote educational excellence. For more information or ticket purchases, contact: Sue Arend, REF Administrator at 616-863-6317 or visit www.rockfordschools.org/ref. REF returns Second City for encore performances By CLIFF AND NANCY HILL When Chicago’s legendary comedy troupe, The Second City, last […]
Keep Your Laughter Local by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL When Chicago’s legendary comedy troupe, The Second City, last appeared in Rockford in January of 2010 it was a sell-out from the “git-go”. Appearing then to headline the Rockford Education Foundation’s (REF) annual benefit concert, Second City returns again for 2 evening performances of their “Laugh Out Loud Tour” on January 20 & 21, 2012. “Second City was a sell-out when they last performed in 2010,” said Beth Dornan, REF Trustee. “Bringing them back for not 1 but 2 shows along with the added twist of allowing a local comedian the opportunity to perform with them is sure to mean another hit for the REF and even more money raised for educational grants for Rockford.” Let’s embrace a “think local” attitude here. Instead of taking our monies outside of the Rockford community to attend LaughFest 2012 in Grand Rapids in March, why not support the good works of the REF and laugh your sides out right here at home in the cozy confines of the Rockford High School (RHS) Auditorium. “During the 2-day January stay, as an added plus, the Second City troupe is doing two 2-hour workshops with RHS performing arts students. One workshop of 15 beginning level students and other of 15 intermediate level students all who will experience a good time participating in the creation of comedic skits along with touching on such topics as improvisational techniques, comedic timing, and the ability to harness creativity,” said Sue Arend, REF Administrator, adding, “This is a win-win for everyone involved, both students and teachers alike, and the entire Rockford community as well.” When Second City last appeared in Rockford, your reporters warned of a possible sell-out and sure enough it happened. Yes, there will be two performances during the upcoming January appearances but that doesn’t guarantee ticket availability. Ticket sales thus far have been brisk and we’d suggest placing your ticket orders sooner rather than later. Smiley faces are much preferable to sad faces, right? As we advised in 2010, Second City performance tickets would make GREAT Christmas gifts for that person who has everything, is hard to please, or is just a plain old Grump who needs a bit of hilarity in their life […]
Reds on the River partners with area nonprofits with gifts ‘that keep on giving’ When the hustle and bustle of the holidays has passed and families turn their attention to the New Year, one local company will deliver gifts “that keep on giving” through six local charities. Reds on the River in Rockford has partnered with the following organizations and will donate 10 percent of a person’s gift card sale to the benefiting organization requested by the purchaser. • North Kent Community Services (www.nkcsc.com) • Rockford Education Foundation (www.rockfordschools.org/?i=REF) • Rockford Relay for Life/American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org) • Wolverine World Wide Family YMCA Strong Kids Scholarships (www.grymca.org) • Friends of the White Pine Trail (www.whitepinetrail.com) • Rockford Area Arts Commission (on Facebook) Lance Climie, manager at Reds on the River, noted, “We love being a part of this community. We also recognize that many families are struggling in this tough economy—not just at the holidays but year-round. Consequently, we are lending our support by donating 10 percent of a gift card sale to the nonprofit designated by the purchaser. In doing so, we can help underwrite vital services such as food and clothing, utilities support, education, health and wellness, the arts and the environment.” The program kicked off November 15 and runs through December 31. Those wishing to purchase Reds holiday gift cards for family, friends and colleagues may stop into Reds during normal business hours and designate the organization they wish to receive 10 percent of the total gift card sale. Reds will track sales by each organization and send each organization a check after the New Year. Sandy Waite, executive director of North Kent Community Services (NKCS), is thrilled to partner with Reds. “On behalf of the nearly 19,000 visitors to NKCS in 2010 and almost 5,000 volunteers, we are grateful for Reds’ generosity with the holiday gift card program. We distributed approximately 620,000 pounds of food and more than 115,243 articles of clothing and household items last year to families in north Kent County, and the need for food, clothing, and utilities and shelter support continues to grow. Reds’ gift will help us meet this need—it is a gift that can change lives.”
A total of 51 grants supporting educational opportunities from choral composition to composting were approved by the Rockford Education Foundation (REF) during its fall grant sessions. The grants, given to Rockford schools and organizations, totaled more than $36,000. Some of the more innovative grants included support for creation of an original choral work by sophomore girls choir students and a renowned composer, and a River Valley Academy program that will teach science principles and provide compost for the Rockford Community Gardens. “Once again we were impressed by the passion and dedication of our teachers and others who are creating innovative learning opportunities in our schools and community,” said Theresa Webb, REF trustee and chair of the Grants Committee. Since its founding in 1991, REF has awarded more than $942,000 in grants to teachers, schools and community organizations. The REF raises funds throughout the year to award grants each October and January. The REF was established to provide resources for increased educational opportunities for people of all ages in the Rockford community. The REF is an independent, nonprofit corporation, governed by a volunteer board of trustees from the community. Teachers, students and community members with innovative ideas have received grants for wide-ranging, educational purposes. Grants are awarded twice yearly based on the merit of the request and its ability to promote educational excellence. For more information, visit www.rockfordschools.org/ref.