Saturday, June 9 during Rockford’s Start of Summer Celebration large crowds showed up at the dam and on the Bridge Street bridge to watch the first-ever Big Daddy Duck Race start at 5:30 p.m., sponsored by Rockford Rotary Club. The winning duck was Rockford Ambulance’s Big Daddy Duck. Rockford Rotary President Susan Bodenner presented $2,200 to Lisa Jacobs, director of Rockford Community Services, to provide scholarships to the Summer Reading Program. This represented 100 percent of the proceeds from the Big Daddy Duck Race. The regular Rotary Duck Race followed at 6:15 p.m. and the proceeds will support additional reading related projects for the summer. Rockford Rotarians look forward to seeing everyone come down to the Reading Rocks in Rockford reading festival on Saturday, August 11, starting with the Storybook Character Parade at the steps of Krause Memorial Library at 10 a.m.
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.
Governor Rick Snyder is a fan of Reading Rocks in Rockford, a Rockford Rotary festival, which just completed its second year. He sent an award of recognition for the reading festival, applauding the effort to promote literacy and the fun of reading in a day-long event with authors, celebrity readers, mascots, games, prizes, acting and more. Pictured is organizer and Rockford Rotary President Sue Bodenner with State Representative Peter MacGregor and Kent District Library’s new director Lance Wener.
Flag sponsorship underway by BETH ALTENA “We all have a 9/11 story,” said Sue Bodenner, one of the organizers of the West Michigan Healing Fields, which will remember and honor those lost 10 years ago in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Bodenner, along with chiefs of local fire departments, members of the Kent County Sheriff’s Department, Rockford Police and local Boy Scouts, unveiled plans for West Michigan Healing Fields tribute and memorial. Bodenner heard of the Colonial Flag Foundation’s Healing Fields projects and brought the idea to members of the Rockford Area Community Endowment (RACE), who took on the project as a good fit for the organization and for West Michigan. On Wednesday, May 11, before television cameras and news reporters, the West Michigan Healing Fields plan was officially presented. Cannonsburg Ski Area, 6800 Cannonsburg Road, Belmont, will be the site of 3,200 American Flags representing each one of the people whose lives were lost on September 11. “The memorial we are here to talk about began as a simple way for one person to visualize and comprehend the sheer enormity of human loss that occurred in the terrorist attacks,” said Art Spaulding, honorary chair for the West Michigan Healing Fields, chairman and CEO of United Bank and former chairman of the American Bankers Association. Spaulding said, to him, the Healing Fields bring to memory the bank’s legal team, who were located in the twin trade towers and who all perished that day. Area resident Jack Vander Baan described the loss of his daughter, Barbara Edwards, who was on the flight which terrorists crashed into the Pentagon. The memorials will be open 24 hours a day and include several planned events, including a Salute to Heroes to honor rescue personnel and first responders, a memorial service held by the American Legion, moments of silence in commemoration of the crashes of the American Airlines and United Airlines flights at 8:46, 9:03, 9:43 and 10 a.m. on September 11 and a “Lessons Learned” expression of tribute by West Michigan students, including poems, essays, visual arts and music composition. Individuals, businesses and groups are invited to participate by sponsoring a flag—which can be dedicated to an individual—for just $75. After the memorial events, the flags can be […]