The Rockford Lions Club had a very busy and fun week. We were the proud host of district’s semi annual meeting. Lions members came to Rockford to represent our district Region 11-C1. In attendance were fellow Lions from Rockford, Ravenna, Marne, Grand Rapids, Grand Haven, Wyoming, Allendale, Greenville, Sparta, Casnovia, Lyons-Muir and Muskegon (Northside). Ideas and stories were shared over dinner and a guest speaker. A great time was had by all! The Lions Club regularly meets on the second and fourth Thursday of the month at the Community cabin starting at 6pm with a social time. Everyone interested is invited to attend and learn more about the largest service organization in the world! Rockford Lion’s next activity is the Annual Fall Harvest Breakfast (formerly the Pancake breakfast) to be held at the American Legion Hall on Northland (Rockford Park Drive) this Sunday, October 7 from 9 am until 1pm. It will be a delicious feast for all. Tickets are available from any Lions member and will also be available at the door.
On Saturday, April 24, the Rockford Lions met spring and spring bugs head-on by assembling and erecting a screen porch for one of Rockford’s vision-impaired neighbors. Lions and their new Leo’s Youth Group have been busy this spring. Some 500 trees have been planted in the city and township with the help of the Boy Scouts, and a community health screening was held Saturday, April 28 at Rockford Reformed Church in conjunction with the Rockford Rotary Club. Last weekend, Rockford Lions were all around town conducting their annual White Cane Fundraiser. Besides their smiling “thanks,” be assured that 100% of your donation flows back to Rockford or supports an organization serving the vision-impaired. For information on the Rockford Lions Club, call (616) 866-4103.
What’s wrong with this picture? Lion Bob Winegar and the Rockford Lions are here to tell you. It seems this past week, while the Lions were preparing the Rum Creek Nature Trail Mill Pond skating rink for this season they discovered that vandals had other ideas of what constitutes fun. Squire readers will recall how in the fall of 2010 the Lions, as a community service project, had cleared the shoreline and removed dead trees and brush that had fallen into the pond. In doing so, the Lions had reclaimed what had in days of yore been Rockford’s idyllic Mill Pond skating rink. Rockford Public Schools generously provided a large floodlight to illuminate the pond’s surface during evening hours. Needless to say the pond was a huge success last winter, drawing children and adults of all ages. So last week with freezing cold weather finally upon us, the Lions began to fill the pond to capacity by pumping water from the adjacent Rum Creek. The pond was just beginning to skim over with ice when, during evening hours last weekend, some culprits (putting it mildly) decided to spoil the fun for everyone. The story picture shows the southern end of the one-acre Mill Pond strewn with thrown logs and debris that had been purposely pitched onto the surface. Some of the pieces, which appear to be fence posts, had actually impaled themselves into the pond’s bottom and are protruding upwards. One might think it would be easy just to go out and remove the garbage but the ice, at this point, is unsafe to venture out on. Once the ice is safe, it will be impossible to clear the surface because it will be frozen solid in place. Now we know the vandals won’t be reading this and own up to their misdeeds but we’re sure someone out there, either parents or otherwise, who knows who they are. At the very least please talk some sense into their heads. Better yet contact the Rockford Police with an anonymous tip.
‘It was something that meant a lot to me’ by BETH ALTENA When Maria Arel was in fifth grade she was one of the kids looking at winter coats, mittens and boots with a Rockford police officer and a helper by her side. Today she is a high school senior, a member of a new service group, Rotary Interact, and a volunteer herself. Arel was one of dozens of people who took part in this year’s Rockford Shop with a Cop at Meijer on Ten Mile Road. “It’s great to be able to give back,” said Arel at the event. Students whose families are struggling are chosen to be given $100 in necessities and one toy item with the help of Rockford police officers, who bring a spouse, family member or friend to make the experience less intimidating than it might otherwise be for the children—escorted by a policeman or woman without a parent along. Every officer in the department—with the exception of one “minding the shop”—volunteer the two hours-plus to help the kids pick out items, check out at the cash registers, and then relax with snacks and Santa at the store. The police are there off the clock and at no cost to taxpayers. Meijer has participated in each of the eight times Shop with a Cop has taken place here in Rockford, implemented by Chief Dave Jones in his first year leading the department. Meijer and the Rockford Lions donate the food, beverages, the $100 in goods and a little something else. Store Director Phil Morrow said he looks forward to the event and the kindness he sees each year. As an extra bonus, for each student who has been given the $100 in purchases, Morrow passes out an additional $25 gift certificate. “Today this event is for you. Now you have the chance to do something nice for someone else,” he said to the students. The Rockford Lions, one of our local service clubs, always have members on hand to push carts, help make selections and otherwise be helpful. The group gives $1,000 each year toward Shop with a Cop. Polly VonEschen, of Polly’s Passions (a good gift idea this holiday season), said the experience is always emotional. She remembers one […]
As the Rockford Lions continue their restoration of the Pioneer Cemetery, a mystery has developed. In 1974, a body discovered during construction on 10 Mile Road’s Prospect Hill was reburied in the cemetery. Who was it? Urban legend says maybe it was an Indian chief. Was the new grave marked? Where is it? Do you know? Questions keep popping up as the Lions cut trees, remove brush and follow the advice of Rockford Garden Club’s master gardener, Nancy Hoovler. With most of the logging completed, the work now turns to cutting brush and eliminating invasive species such as Autumn Olive. The dream is to return the cemetery to its original condition and the foremost question is: “What did it originally look like?” The Rockford Area Historical Society’s archives have some cemetery information, but no pictures. Do you? Dig out the old family album, and if you find an old cemetery photo, please call (616) 874-9615 or (616) 866-4103.