There seemed to be plenty of everything at the 67th annual Santa Parade brought to town by the Rockford Chamber of Commerce on Saturday, Dec. 4. The kids enjoyed handouts, the sights and sounds typical of the event, with sounds of the Rockford marching band filling the ears of families who watched the floats go by. There also seemed to be plenty of dogs—with holiday outfits in the crowds, in the parade (Denise Maghielse has a three-legged one), and even in the new City of Rockford plow truck. The star of the show was Santa himself, who visited with children after the event in the Rotary Pavilion. For those who missed the parade and other events of the day, there is plenty of holiday cheer still to be enjoyed in Rockford, including free carriage rides beginning at 5:30 p.m. in downtown Rockford on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 9, 10, 16 and 17. Take the time to visit Rockford’s local shops to complete your Christmas shopping. photos by Beth Altena
Rockford Rotarians took their local paper along on a trip to visit their German friends from the Gifhorn Wolfsburg Rotary Club. Pictured in Berlin are Rick Schroder, Rockford Rotary Club President; Reinhart Kohler, of the Gifhorn Wolfsburg Rotary Club and Thomas Scharnhorst the Gifhorn Wolfsburg Rotary Club president. Rockford and Gifhom Wolfsburg Rotaries have had a long friendship and visit each other every other year. Last year members of that club came to Rockford and enjoyed visiting the town, including a party in their honor at Herman’s Boy.
Three Rockford Rotarians were applauded by their fellow members in the local service club Tuesday, Nov. 2, as they received the Paul Harris Fellowship award, the club’s highest recognition. The honor was made even more special, because it was given by a visiting distinguished guest, Tim Knaggs, governor of District 6290, the international district of which Rockford Rotary is a part. “I was proud to hear you recognize our international status by singing ‘Oh Canada,’” said Knaggs, pointing out that District 6290 extends up into Ontario, Canada. The district is currently comprised of 61 clubs and 3,000 Rotarians. Knaggs said of all his visits to Rotary groups, this was the first time he’d heard the song sung outside of Canada. Knaggs also praised the Rockford group for their success in so many of the projects Rotary takes on. He pointed out that a visitor who had found the club through the group’s website showed that Rockford Rotary finds many ways to invite future members to the Tuesday noon meetings at the Community Cabin, 220 N. Monroe in Rockford. Rotarians Al Kracker, Dave Speese (who was recently chair of the annual Chicken Dinner sale and did a fantastic job) and Tom Visser were all awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship certificate and pin. The award, named after Rotary founder Paul Harris, comes when a Rotarian has donated over $1,000 for worldwide and local causes that Rotary supports. “This award is a pinnacle in the life of a Rotarian,” Knaggs noted. He also pointed out that several of those receiving the award were multiple Paul Harris recipients, meaning they have passed the $1,000 gift threshold before, in some cases more than once. Rotary was founded in 1905 in Chicago by Paul Harris with other businessmen and is now a worldwide service organization.
Fish ladder may be in Rockford’s future by Beth Altena “If you have a business in Rockford, this will make a difference to your business,” said Glenn Blackwood of Great Lakes Fly Fishing, a Rockford business. Blackwood spoke before Rockford Rotary, telling members that the Rogue River has been selected as one of only twelve rivers across the United States for a multi-year restoration project organized by Trout Unlimited (TU). Blackwood spoke in terms of business for Rotary, but might well have said if you live in Rockford, this will affect you positively. Selection process began over two years ago when TU researchers considered three Michigan rivers for restoration and protection. Because of strong support in the area by environmental groups, donations by local business and non-profit partners and the extreme value of the Rogue as a fishery, the Rogue was chosen over the Rifle and Pigeon/Black rivers. The project is a far-reaching effort that will encompass the entire Rogue River watershed from its beginning in the former Rice Lake headlands in Newaygo County on through the waterway to its influx into the Grand River. Efforts will include working with cities and municipalities along the way to the very riverbed under the Rogue’s cold waters, said Nicol De Mol, who has been hired by Trout Unlimited to head the project for the Rogue. “As a major cold water tributary to the Grand River and its close proximity to a large population center, the Rogue River is an extremely important resource in southern Michigan,” said De Mol. “The lower portion of the river, below the dam in Rockford, is fabled for its excellent steelhead runs in the late winter and early spring. The eastern tributaries, particularly Cedar, Stegman, and Duke Creeks, host significant brook, brown and rainbow trout fisheries. The scenic and fishery values of the Rogue have resulted in more than 90 miles the main stem and tributaries being granted “Natural Rivers” status under Michigan’s Natural Rivers Act.” Blackwood noted that, although the river is famous as a fishery, it has nonetheless gained 7 to 8 degrees in temperatures from earlier years. A restoration of a river in “pretty good shape but with significant room for improvement” will result in more fish, bigger fish and […]
On a warm and sunny afternoon, Talia, 8 and Roxanne, 4, along with their mom Amanda Calcagno enjoyed a personal tour of “The Little Red Schoolhouse” (Rounds School), courtesy of Rockford Rotarian Rick Ehinger, who was doing some “tidying up” of this historic local treasure. The schoolhouse has been at its present location since 1960, when the Rotary Club moved it from its original home near 11 Mile Road and Courtland Drive. The Little Red Schoolhouse will be open for tours the second weekend of Harvest Fest, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 2-3, from 1 to 3 p.m. This is one of many ongoing Rotary projects for the community. Visit their website at rockfordmirotary.org.