Rockford Education Foundation

REF welcomes Second City for two nights for annual fundraiser

September 29, 2011 // 0 Comments

Tickets on sale now! Rockford will have twice the laughs when Chicago’s legendary comedy troupe The Second City returns for two nights January 20-21, 2012, to benefit the Rockford Education Foundation (REF). Second City was the annual event entertainment for REF in 2010, selling out before the January performance. This year Second City will perform two nights at Rockford High School’s Fine Arts Auditorium as part of the group’s “Laugh Out Loud” tour. “We were sorry that we had to turn away fans hoping to see Second City in 2010 and are delighted to bring the troupe back for two nights in 2012,” said Sue Arend, REF administrator. “This should give everyone the opportunity to see this innovative comedy team in action.” Founded in Chicago in 1959, The Second City has been the premier training ground for comedy’s best and brightest. Their alumni list reads like a who’s who of American comedy, and includes Mike Myers, Tina Fey, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert and Julia Louis-Dreyfus as well as legends like John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Gilda Radner. Tickets for The Second City are $35 and are available by calling REF at (616) 863-6317 or through REF’s website at Event sponsorship opportunities are also available.

Prizes, music, auction, 1,200 runners through town in 13th Mitchell’s Run

August 18, 2011 // 0 Comments

Stroll along beautiful downtown Rockford with a live band and deejay, and place bids in a silent auction with items including a Nintendo Wii, MSU/Michigan game tickets, a 32GB iPod Touch, a Trek Pure Sport Cruiser bike, or a one-week condo stay in Los Cabos, Mexico, and many local merchant gift certificates as part of the fun of the 13th annual Mitchell’s Run Thru Rockford this Saturday, August 20. Twelve hundred runners are already booked to take to the streets and the White Pine Trail as part of the route for the annual race to raise awareness and funds to fight Duchennes Muscular Dystrophy. Named after Mitchell Peterson, who, along with fellow Rockford students Alec Lundy and Tyler Fehnesfeld, has Duchennes, the race has inspired other events geared toward the same cause, including Volley 4 Mitchell, Classmates for a Cure, Strides for a Cure, and Mitch Madness. To date, well over half a million dollars has been raised for Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy. It isn’t too late to sign up for the 5K run/walk that has become a signature event for Rockford. According to Sandy Peterson, Mitch’s mom, the 150 volunteers and multiple sponsors are responsible for the success of the well-run race. She also attributes the generosity of Rockford merchants and the help of the city. She is always quick to point out that the race is more about educating the public on the importance of finding a cure for Duchennes, although the amount of money raised for muscular dystrophy research is impressive. Runners and walkers can sign up at to register online or can sign up prior to the 8:30 a.m. race Saturday. The silent auction takes place before, during and after the race and ends at 10 a.m. Watch for runners on the team Classmates for a Cure, who have their own t-shirts and are donating money to the Rockford Education Foundation. “Maybe one of these kids will grow up to be a scientist and will find a cure,” said Sandy.


July 28, 2011 // 0 Comments

Rockford Rotary, Rockford schools celebrate reading  by DR. RYAN KELLEY Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Rockford Public Schools An important skill to develop at an early age is reading, as it is the foundation for all future learning. There is truth in the saying, “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” Recognizing this, the Rockford Rotary Club and Rockford Public Schools are co-sponsoring the Third Annual Reading Rocks in Rockford Festival. The primary objective of the festival is to promote the joy of reading for all ages. This year’s festival will be held on Saturday, Aug. 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The festival kicks off with a parade through downtown Rockford. Kids and adults are invited to dress up as a storybook character and join in the parade, meeting at Krause Memorial Library at 9:45 a.m. Following the parade, there are many scheduled activities including a publishing center, book bingo, fish for books, readers theater, meet the authors, garden park entertainment, VIP Readers and providing recognition to some of our finest elementary school readers from this past school year. We hope that your summer is filled with memorable experiences, including the reading of many quality books. Additionally, we hope to see everyone at the Reading Festival on August 13. A special thank-you goes to the Rockford Education Foundation for providing additional financial resources to make the festival extra special. If you have any questions, please contact me at (616) 863-6556 or Sue Bodenner of Rockford Rotary Club at (616) 866-2002.

On-going fundraising helps REF raise grant dollars

April 28, 2011 // 0 Comments

The Rockford Education Foundation (REF), a non-profit and independent organization, serves the Rockford community by funding educational grants. The REF holds different fundraisers throughout the year in order to raise money to support educational opportunities. Each year the REF funds over $60,000 in grants. Recently, Sue Arend, REF Administrator, discussed the foundations fundraising efforts. “The foundation has an ongoing fundraising campaign titled Brick By Brick – Laying a Foundation for the Future.” said Arend. “This campaign began in the fall of 2010 in conjunction with Rockford Public Schools Hall of Fame.” The Hall of Fame was created to honor men and women from the Rockford Public Schools community who have reached a high level of achievement, and/or contributed generously to service work, both locally and globally. A six foot tall black granite monument was created to commemorate the inductees. Every two years a new class will be inducted and their names will be engraved on the monument. The REF is selling brick pavers that can be engraved with a personal message. These bricks are part of the patio that surrounds the Hall of Fame monument, located at the Fine Arts Entrance of Rockford High School. The brick pavers are a perfect gift idea for this time of year. An engraved brick paver is a gift that lasts and commemorates all of the important occasions in life: Graduation, Mother’s Day, Birthdays, and Father’s Day. It would also be great for an end of the year teacher or coach appreciation gift. The Bricks are 4×8 and cost $75.00. If you are interested in ordering a brick to commemorate your special occasion you can contact the REF at (616) 863-6317 or visit the REF website You can also find REF on Facebook.    

REF awards grant to OLC for iPads in the classroom

March 17, 2011 // 0 Comments

Our Lady of Consolation (OLC) is excited to have iPads in the classroom. OLC was recently awarded a large grant from the Rockford Education Foundation to purchase five iPads to use in their Response to Intervention (RtI) classroom. The iPads improve learning even more for the students. They are very excited to work on all of the educational apps for reading and math. The students are able to touch the screens, listen to the interactive stories and manipulate the characters. The iPads make learning math and reading more fun. OLC thanks the Rockford community for all of your pledges and making it possible for them to enhance their RtI program.

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