September 29 2011

Valley View rallies 20,000 donated crayons

September 29, 2011 // 0 Comments

Recycling for global needs with Africrans By Amerikids The Africrans By Amerikids project would like to thank Valley View Elementary School students for their amazing participation in their annual end-of-the-year “Great Crayon Melt” crayon drive. Valley View jumped on the Indiana bandwagon as the first Michigan school to participate in the Africrans project with the initiative of kindergarten teacher Mrs. Zuidema. Class contests rallied twice as many donations as any other participating school—a grand total near 200 pounds, which is approximately 20,000 donated crayons! Fall participation involves continued sorting and peeling in preparation for the recycling process. The Africrans By Amerikids project was founded by Heidi Ziebarth, age 12, of Warsaw, Ind., in the spring of 2010. After being awarded “Best of Show” in a statewide student art contest through REMC Electric, Ziebarth invested her creativity and award money to begin a recycling business aimed to help children in Africa through proceeds. Africrans is a kid-based project “by kids and for kids” that all age groups can participate in. Old crayons are donated from schools while community groups and classes rally to help sort, peel and melt into new novelty multi-colored crayon bars. Ziebarth and her mom share educational presentations about recycling and global needs awareness as related to children. Half of all profits from sales help orphaned children in Africa. See for more information. Africrans recycled crayon packs can be purchased in the Rockford/Grand Rapids area through the W.A.R. Chest International Boutique Stores located at 119 Courtland St., Rockford, and 2790 44th St. SW, Wyoming.

Family event offers something for everyone

September 29, 2011 // 0 Comments

It has been stated that one in 4,000 children will develop a mitochondrial disease by the age of 10 years old ( My child is the one in 4,000. There is no cure for this disease and most who hear of it have the same response, “What’s mitochondrial disease?” Payton’s Race for a Cure is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support advocacy, awareness and ultimately a cure for mitochondrial disease. On October 1, 2011, the third annual Payton’s Race for a Cure will take place at Grattan Raceway. We are very pleased to announce that in the previous years we have raised a combined $20,000 for the mitochondrial community. All proceeds were donated to United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation ( and MitoAction ( Both organizations are extremely committed to the mitochondrial disease community, focusing on support for the individuals, families, awareness and a cure. We pride ourselves on being a family-oriented event that offers something for everyone. This year’s event is very similar to previous years. We will not only have the dirt bike practice, but we have children’s games, bounce houses, face painting, a deejay, raffles, and more. Riders registration begins at 8 a.m., with the first practice starting at 9:30. The fee for riders is $25. All riders will receive an automatic entry into the rider exclusive raffle. This raffle includes many items from valued sponsors such as Fox Powersports, Monster Energy, One Industries, Shift, EVS, Rocky Mountain ATV and many more. In addition, the first 150 registered riders will receive a goodie bag and a Payton’s Race for a Cure t-shirt. All other activities will begin at 11 a.m. For more information, visit or on Facebook at

Healing Field flags still available

September 29, 2011 // 0 Comments

Although the five days of honoring the memory of those killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the West Michigan Healing Field, is over, opportunities to share in remembering the individuals killed remain. Flags that have not yet been purchased each represent one of the people who died that day. “We don’t want these to just go and be in a closet somewhere,” said organizer Sue Bodenner of the flags and the biographies of the people they represent. The Rockford Lions Club purchased some of the flags, one representing Terrance Aiken, who was 30 years old when he was killed September 11, 2001. Each flag purchased includes a certificate recognizing the sponsorship and a biography of the individual it honors, whether they were a civilian working in the towers that day or a rescue personnel, and what family they left behind. The flags can be purchased at Bishop Hills Elder Care Community, Herman’s Boy or United Bank in Rockford.

After Hours features Mini Taste of Rockford

September 29, 2011 // 0 Comments

DreamMaker showrooms, delicious food at networking by BETH ALTENA Bill and Jayne Wolf of DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen know how to host a networking event. The September 12 Rockford Chamber After Hours held at the showrooms, 4658 West River Drive in Comstock Park, featured games for prizes and a Mini Taste of Rockford with samples from local restauranteurs and chefs. With a “treasure hunt” sheet directing visitors through the many showrooms at the DreamMaker building, Rockford Chamber of Commerce (RCC) members learned about the options available for kitchen, bath, living and dining spaces and throughout the home. A large flatscreen showed examples of before and after projects completed by the builder and remodelers and show what a difference a new exterior can make on a home’s appearance. Food was provided by Twisted Vine, with owner Laura DeWilde offering her signature Cherry Peach Pumpkin Chili. The Grist Mill provided chicken wings that were a big hit, Herman’s Boy brought two smoked dips and crackers, and Polly VonEschen brought a large selection of her candy confections of Polly’s Passions. Jayne Wolf had cooked up a shrimp bisque that was amazing but, she noted, probably not a good food for those watching their weight. “You don’t want to know,” she said of the ingredients for the base. She admitted it involved cream cheese and milk. It was worth the calories anyway. RCC offers many opportunities for networking and business promotion throughout the year, as well as sponsoring such community-wide events as Harvest Fest, the Start of Summer Celebration and the annual Community Business Expo. Find out more by visiting the Chamber online at, or in person at 598 Byrne Industrial Drive, Rockford. DreamMaker specializes in bath and kitchen design and remodeling. They can be found online at, in person at their showrooms, open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. or by appointment. You can also or call (616) 632-2284 to discuss options for your own home remodel. DreamMaker’s consultants can discuss all types of home improvements, from additions to basement remodel, master bedrooms, sunrooms and specialty rooms.

Harvest, petting zoo a perfect match

September 29, 2011 // 0 Comments

  Youngsters are invited to visit the 10th annual petting zoo at Bishop Hills Elder Care Community, 4951 Eleven Mile Road (behind Our Lady of Consolation Church) in Rockford on Friday, Sept. 30 from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. According to Sue Bodenner, of Bishop Hills, youngsters love petting the variety of creatures brought in by Farm Animals on the Go! The event is free and one of the fun, interactive things to do at Rockford’s 35th annual three weekends of Harvest Fest.                            

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