September 22 2011

New event in Rockford another downtown success story

September 22, 2011 // 0 Comments

Fashion’s Night Out wows shoppers  When the economy is tough, the tough plan exceptional shopping events. Fashion’s Night Out was another doozy of a popular event involving many of downtown’s merchants. Spearheaded by Erika ? of Paperdoll, the event drew many for special hours and prices to treat shoppers to a festival of savings. With many time-honored events, such as this weekend’s first of three Harvest Fest weekends of fun—at its 35th year—new fun events simply add to the menu of excitement offered in Rockford by the City, the Chamber, service groups, merchants, restaurants and service providers.

Horsin’ Around Hoedown at Equest Center to be lots of fun

September 22, 2011 // 0 Comments

The fifth annual Horsin’ Around Hoedown for Equest’s Kids, presented by the Northern Cross Foundation and Meijer Inc., will be Saturday, Oct. 1, at 6:00 p.m. at the Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding, 3777 Rector, Rockford. Join host Maranda from WOTV4 and step back into the Old Wild West to enjoy boot-stompin’ music and entertainment, authentic games from the day, therapeutic horseback demonstrations, a live and silent auction, a cowboy chic dinner and more while supporting a great cause. Tickets are $75 per person. All funds raised will provide more opportunities to help the many amazing special needs riders Equest Center serves throughout each year. “Hoedown is our major fundraiser! It’s a wonderful way for people to visit Equest and see the amazing work we do every day, pairing our equine therapists with children and adults with disabilities,” said Kathy Ryan, executive director of Equest. Equest Center is a Michigan nonprofit corporation providing equestrian therapy classes for 125-150 riders each week, ranging in age from 2 to 94. The Hoedown and other events help raise funds to allow more riders on Equest’s waiting list to participate in classes. Equest Center improves quality of life for physically, mentally and socially/emotionally challenged individuals, through a unique program that integrates academic, social and physical skills, using the horse as a catalyst. Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding is a Member Center of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH International, previously known as NARHA), is one of only three therapeutic riding programs in Michigan that owns its own farm, and is the only year-round facility in this area. Vital to the program’s success are the volunteers who donated over 32,600 hours of service in 2010 alone. Slip on your cowboy boots and get involved today! Visit Equest online at, “like” Equest on Facebook, or call (616) 866-3066 for more information.

Howard Christensen Nature Center offers healthy outdoor event

September 22, 2011 // 0 Comments

Walk or run: benefits for all  According to research, natural settings increase a sense of self-worth and decrease stress. The Howard Christensen Nature Center (HCNC), nestled in the Rogue River State Game Area, is the perfect setting for a walk or run, especially on Sunday, October 23. This is the date for the first Red Pine Run, which is being held to promote healthy lifestyles and to benefit the nature center. The public is invited to enjoy a beautiful Michigan fall day by running or walking the 5K (3.1-mile) trail, or grabbing a friend or family member to participate as a relay team. The course, designed by Kent City cross-country coach Jill Evers, is a flat, scenic, double loop through the nature center on well-marked trails. Each relay team member will do one loop. Participants doing the full 5K will run/walk the loop twice. The race begins at 2:00 p.m. Refreshments and an award presentation are scheduled for the finish of the family-friendly race. Participants receive a t-shirt, and awards will be given for the top two finishers in each age division. For participants 19 years old and up, the fee is $20 for registrations received before October 3, and $25 after that date. The registration fee for participants 18 years and younger is $15 before October 3, and $20 afterwards. Registration forms are available online at Lily’s Frog Pad Inc. manages HCNC and is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Proceeds from the race will help keep the nature center buildings open for school field trips, family workshops and Snow Shoe Saturdays during the winter. Contact Cindy at (616) 675-3158 or with questions. An informational flyer, directions and other information can also be found at


September 22, 2011 // 0 Comments

Reader reflects on Healing Field Dear Editor, My wife Sherry and I visited the Healing Field at the Cannonsburg ski hill on Sunday and were moved by the display of 3,000 flags representing those lost on 9/11. We returned after dark to see what it looked like under the lights and were moved again, in an entirely different way. Those experiences prompted thoughts that I have since converted into the following poem. I thought perhaps some of your readers might identify with my reflections. Flags On a Ski Hill at Night – September 11, 2011 Three thousand flags displayed on a ski hill, lined up in rows like tall stalks of corn, standing like tombstones, mute in the darkness, full moon above, a harvest forlorn.   Today in the wind they waved with conviction, now in the night they hang limp and damp like sails on a mast when a zephyr has faded, or slack canvas tent flaps when armies encamp.   A pair of young girls darts blithely between them, like skiers who slalom through gates made of poles, unmindful this evening of reasons for mourning, forgetting that these are the shrouds for lost souls.   They are, after all, simply flags on a hillside, metal and cloth in ordered array, but such is the stuff that mitigates heartache, and such is the innocence lost on that day. Steve Trott, Rockford resident

Early morning two-car crash seriously injures drivers

September 22, 2011 // 0 Comments

According to the Kent County Sheriff’s Department, a crash Friday, Sept. 16 at 6:38 a.m. caused both drivers to be seriously injured. A 2009 Chevrolet Silverado driven by Johnathan Sutton, 38, of Howard City, failed to stop at the intersection of 13 Mile Road and Edgerton Avenue. Sutton was southbound on Edgerton. His vehicle was struck by a 2003 Chevrolet Impala heading west on 13 Mile. Both drivers were seriously injured in the collision and were transported by Rockford Ambulance to Butterworth Hospital. According to the sheriff’s department, Sutton suffered serious internal injuries and the other driver, who is not identified until family members are notified, was critically injured. In addition to deputies from the sheriff’s department and Rockford Ambulance, members of the Algoma Fire Department responded to the scene.

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