Rockford Rotary

Reading Festival promises fun Saturday

August 27, 2009 // 0 Comments

Rockford is a town of many talents and a town of many exciting summmer events. This Saturday, August 29, Rockford Rotary combines the two in the newest annual event: Reading Rocks in Rockford. Reading will be anything but a sedate, solitary pursuit this weekend with active and hands-on activities with a reading theme. Rockford Rotary has long partnered with Rockford Schools and schools in other countries to promote literacy, international goodwill and even fill hungry bellies. Each Tuesday children in a Dominican Republic School eat breakfast because Rockford Rotary pays for it. Now, right at home, experience literacy in a variety of venues. Have breakfast with authors in Krause Memorial Library Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. for just $4. At 9:45 a.m. dress up as your favorite storybook character and enjoy a side walk parade which starts at Rockford City Hall. Events take place throughout the day all over downtown. More than a dozen authors will visit town and will read and sign books. Signs around town will direct festival attendees to the different events. An outdoor lunch adventure will take place from 11:30 a.m. at Garden Club Park. Bring a lunch or purchase lunch downtown and enjoy Jeff Schatzer and his new book Professor Tuesday’s Awesome Adventure. All ages will enjoy this chance to celebrate the joy of reading, to meet Rockford athletes, school officials, authors and Rotarians as they read out loud. Activities begin with breakfast at 8:30 a.m. and continue to 3 p.m. Don’t miss this first-time new festival with a literary theme. 1. Jeff Schatzer – main stage 2. Carl Behrend – main stage 3. Sow Hope-One Hen – main stage 4. Nancy Edwards 5. Jean Alicia Elster ( wants to come to Author breakfast) 6. Renee Hand 7. Alan St. Jean 8. Karen Bell-Brege – possibly present as well 9. Kim Cory – 10. Roland Hansen 11. Kenn Vidro 12. Shirley Neitzel 13. Judith Wade 14. Janet Heller 15. Wendy Gager/and an author friend 16. MaryAnn Lesert Robin Schmidt to display books at Frenz Restaurant Information about authors: Judith Wade, Author Eagle, MI email: Judith’s website: Books: Mermaid Dreams (Riley Press, 2005) The Mermaid’s Gift (Riley Press, 2004) The Secret of Mermaid Island (Riley Press, 2003) Kim Delmar Cory, Author Holt, MI email: […]

Area groups install computers for Pine Ridge Reservation

August 27, 2009 // 0 Comments

During the second week of August, a group from Kent County installed 75 computers divided among eight community youth centers on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Home of the Lakota (incorrectly called Sioux) people, most of the reservation is in Shannon County, which is known as the poorest county in the United States. The project was a joint effort involving six people, Grand Valley State University (GVSU), the Rockford Rotary Club, Bostwick Lake Congregational UCC, Rockford Ace Hardware, and Van’s Delivery Service of Comstock Park. Two years ago, GVSU planned to replace many of its personal computers. Since the disposal cost runs as high as $100 per computer, GVSU looked for nonprofit organizations that could use the computers. Paul Jorgensen, of the School of Computing and Information Systems at GVSU, had been taking church groups to Pine Ridge since 1999, and he knew how to get things started. He contacted Carolyn Tail, wife of Eli Tail, a respected Lakota Elder. Carolyn originally lined up seven community youth centers, and in June of this year, Jorgensen visited each of them. Word spread, and an eighth community center was added (see the map). Through much of July, Jorgensen and David Lange (also of the SCIS) transported the PCs from GVSU to a warehouse at Van’s Delivery Service, where they took each computer apart, removed the hard drives and replaced the BIOS batteries. They also used a shop vacuum to blow the five-year accumulation of dust out of each PC. Also in July, Jorgensen and Todd Olson, vice president of Van’s, made a presentation to the Rockford Rotary Club, where both are active members. The result was a generous gift to rent a 16-foot truck from the Rockford Ace Hardware store. Pete Kruer, owner of the store, and another Rotarian, gave the group a rental truck at a discount price. The physical work began in the first week of August, when Pat Bailey, a professor at Calvin College, and Dan and Dave Davis of the Bostwick Lake church, joined Jorgensen and Lange to inventory 80 monitors purchased from CompRenew in Grand Rapids. The monitors and PCs all had to be packed on pallets. The first try didn’t work too well, so all the monitors were removed […]

Reading Rocks in Rockford with new festival

August 20, 2009 // 0 Comments

Get ‘fired up for reading’ with firemen or read to Ruff Readers dog What do dogs, firefighters, theater, a parade, breakfast with VIP authors and pennies all have in common? The answer is Reading Rocks in Rockford, a new family-friendly and all-ages festival to be held in downtown Rockford on Saturday, August 29 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Rockford Rotary and Rockford Public Schools are teaming up with local businesses and Krause Memorial Library to celebrate the joy of reading through a variety of exciting venues. Jennifer German, branch manager of Krause Memorial Library (KML), is thrilled to have a reading festival downtown and hopes the event will become an annual family favorite. “I think it’s wonderful Rotary chose a reading festival. They have come up with some very unique and creative ways to highlight reading on many levels,” she said. Events will take place at several locations in Rockford, including KML, City Hall and the fire barn, Reading Books Train Depot, Rockford Ace Hardware, Garden Club Park, the Rotary Pavilion, Speed Merchants and Pegasus Sports. Stroll through town to visit your favorite events—stop in for just a few or stay all day. The festival kicks off at 8:30 a.m. with a breakfast at KML with local authors. Book clubs and the public are encouraged to attend and meet the festival authors. The cost is just $4 per person. Register by calling the library at (616) 647-3940. Authors include Jeffrey Schatzer and Carl Behrend. At 9:45 a.m. the community is invited to take part in a storybook parade. Dress up as a favorite storybook character and meet at City Hall for the sidewalk parade. Hear Bob the Builder read aloud at Rockford Ace Hardware from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. there will be events at the Rotary Pavilion on the corner of Squires and Courtland streets (across from Arnie’s Restaurant and Bakery). Watch mime Michael Lee share “Stories Beyond Words” and Rockford Public School administrators and Rotarians will read. At 12:30 p.m. enjoy the 4-H Clown Theater followed by more VIP readers. During the same time frame, events will also take place at Garden Club Park on the banks of the Rogue River (behind Arnie’s). Hear Carl Behrend, folksinger […]

Rockford Register, April 30, 2009

April 30, 2009 // 0 Comments

Fri.-Sat., May 1-2 Garage Sale-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Blythefield Christian Reformed Church, 6350 Kuttshill Drive, Rockford. Proceeds to go to Nicaragua Mission Trip. Monday, May 4 14th Annual Community Golf Outing-Registration from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with shotgun start at 1 p.m. at Blythefield Country Club, presented by Rockford Chamber of Commerce. Proceeds support several community and chamber events. Register on or before April 27 with Rockford Chamber of Commerce. For more information, call at (616) 866-2000 or e-mail to Tuesday, May 5 Mended Hearts Meeting-7 p.m. at Spectrum Health Fred & Lena Meijer Heart Center, 100 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids, in Room 8815 on the eighth floor. Mended Hearts, a volunteer nonprofit support group offers hope, information and encouragement to heart patients, families and caregivers. For more information, contact Jim Oldfield at (616) 891-9395. Country Music-9:30 to 11:30 a.m. every Tuesday at Rockford Ambulance Community Center. Rockford. Music Rockford Rotary Club Meeting-noon at the Community Cabin. Dave Bowman (PCC Sudan) will be this week’s speaker. Members enjoy lunch, socializing and speakers, while organizing local and international service projects. To find out more about the Rotary Club or to visit as a guest, contact any local Rotarian. Wednesday, May 6 Business Counseling-Starting a new business or have questions about your existing business? The Rockford Chamber of Commerce and the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) would like to help. SCORE is a nonprofit organization sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration and is dedicated to helping the small-business community through no-fee mentoring, business counseling and low-cost workshops. A SCORE counselor will be at the Chamber starting at 9 a.m. Please call the Chamber at (616) 866-2000, Mon.-Fri. from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., to schedule an appointment. Bingo-1 p.m. at Rockford Ambulance Community Room, sponsored by Rockford Community Services. For more information, call Marcia at (616) 863-6322. 3-D Archery-every Wednesday through Sept. 23, 2009. Start off at 5 to 6:30 p.m. Enjoy 30 3-D stations set in spacious woods. Thursday, May 7 Rockford Area Historical Society Meeting-7 p.m. at the Community Cabin. Hosts Kirsten Carlson Farmer and David Carlson will speak about the Hunter Carlson family history. Meeting is free […]

Crowds Pitch In for MC Dousing

February 19, 2009 // 0 Comments

Gene Parker takes plunge for $1,035 No good deed goes unpunished and for annual Splash announcer and radio personality Gene Parker, the saying was certainly true Saturday. Parker, who kindly donates his time and talent to many Rockford events, was cheerfully doing a great job Saturday during the 14th annual Sweetheart Splash at the Rockford dam when Rotarian Rick Ehinger decided to ratchet up the crowd’s incentive to donate. He said he’d pitch in $200 to see Parker take the plunge into the Rogue. Parker waffled, saying he wasn’t prepared for a dip in the drink and John Decker and Sandy Waite both upped the ante by another hundred each. With $400 on the line in the fundraiser for the North Kent Service Center, local businesses, Splash jumpers and members of the crowd began throwing in the dough to total an impressive $1,035 guaranteeing Parker’s plunge (and probably the end of donating his time for Splash). With 30 jumpers and an air temperature of 30 degrees, the event went smoothly and was well attended. Rockford Quick Lube team again stole the show with their group jump. Without the Jaycees, who disbanded this year on what would have been the group’s 50th anniversary, competition was low. The Quick Lubies made it up to the crowd with a great limbo routine and challenging other local businesses to up the ante next year with more team groups. Connie Taylor of the Rockford Community Federal Credit Union called the jump very successful with over $2,000 raised for NKSC. Past good hauls included the year Herman’s Boy’s Floyd Havemeier went in at age 65, raising $5,000 from the many people who paid to see him go under.

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