Great deals on dresses just in time for prom

April 8, 2009 // 0 Comments

Relay fundraiser good news for dates In its second year, Dress for a Cure offers great deals on new and gently used dresses just in time for prom. The event raised over a cool grand last year, money which all went toward fighting cancer through Rockford’s Relay For Life. Organizer Jenn Hephner, leader of Relay team Love Laugh Cure, came up with the idea when she heard a mother lamenting the expense of prom and the high cost of formal dresses. Hephner thought of all the prom dresses in closets around town that were only worn once. “Girls don’t like to wear the same prom dress they had last year,” she noted. Hephner partnered with the Squire for the event and dress donations came in. She also contacted top fashion designers across the country for donations. Last  year and this year the selection for the sale includes many brand-new dresses that have graced runways from New York to California. With prices from $5 to $50, the sale is a bargain. New this year is another partnership, this time with Double Take, a resale shop located at 31 Courtland Street. Double Take owner graciously offered the shop as a drop-off location as well as the site of the sale, which will be Friday and Saturday, April 17 and 18, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Celebrate National Arbor Day

April 8, 2009 // 0 Comments

Join the Arbor Day Foundation and receive ten free shade trees To help commemorate National Arbor Day, everyone who joins the Arbor Day Foundation during the month of April will receive 10 free shade trees. National Arbor Day and Michigan’s Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April, which is April 24 this year. The 10 free shade trees are red oak, sugar maple, weeping willow, bald cypress, thornless honey locust, pin oak, river birch, tulip tree, silver maple, and red maple. The free trees are part of the nonprofit Foundation’s Trees for America campaign. “These trees were selected to provide shade and beauty, and a variety of forms, leaf shapes, and beautiful fall colors,” said John Rosenow, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “We can’t think of a better way to celebrate National Arbor Day than by planting trees.” The trees will be shipped postpaid at the right time for planting in April or May with enclosed planting instructions. The six to twelve inch trees are guaranteed to grow or they will be replaced free of charge. “Planting a tree is a unique experience because you can watch it grow over the years,” Rosenow said. “It truly makes you feel a part of the planet and the future, and connects us directly to nature.” Rosenow added that planting a tree is a perfect family tradition for parents, grandparents, and children to enjoy together, because the trees will last for generations. “Years from now, our great-grandchildren will be able to say that ‘This is the tree my ancestors planted,’” he said. To become a member of the Foundation and receive the free trees, send a $10 contribution to TEN FREE SHADE TREES, Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Avenue, Nebraska City, NE 68410, by April 30, 2009, or visit www.arborday.org.

Murphy’s Law turned upside down

April 8, 2009 // 0 Comments

Turns out maybe “Murphy’s Law” isn’t such a bad thing after all. After a high school industrial arts class and a new local animal and pet assistance group came together, they’re changing the way people might think about the old rule of bad luck. Rockford High School Industrial Arts teacher Ryan Whitmore needed a project. New local non-profit organization Murphy’s Pet Project needed some doghouses. And thanks to a mutual acquaintance bringing the two together, Whitmore filled his need for a building project, and Murphy’s Pet Project is about to be on the receiving end of 26 custom built windproof doghouses for donation to needy Grand Rapids area residents. Due to Rockford’s new trimester student schedule, Whitmore needed a small scale construction project for his Woods classes. “Because of various time constraints this particular trimester, we needed a project that would in some way simulate house construction with framing and angles. In the past we’ve built storage sheds, but time didn’t allow us to build the sheds.” Enter Murphy’s Pet Project. Murphy’s Pet Project is a newly formed non-profit organization dedicated to helping needy families meet the sometimes substantial financial burdens pet ownership can bring. According to co-founder Melissa Muir, Murphy’s can help families and their pets in a variety of ways. “Murphy’s was developed out of a combination of love for animals and the desire to help loving families keep their pets and keep them safe and healthy. Especially in an economy like this one, families are faced with difficult decisions. We didn’t want financial issues to be a factor in families deciding whether they could continue to keep a pet.” Muir also stated that Murphy’s fills a void in the area, as other advocacy groups do not offer the type of assistance Murphy’s Pet Project does. Among others, she cited costly and sometimes unaffordable surgery, medications, food, and sometimes even dog houses. “While no dog should be an ‘outdoor pet,’ if people see an outdoor dog without proper shelter, Murphy’s Pet Project will provide the dog a quality shelter, hay for further insulation, and often a bag of food as well,” she added. The group also assists families with cats and other domesticated pets in the West Michigan area. From Whitmore’s perspective, the […]

Chamber hosts 14th annual Community Golf Outing

April 8, 2009 // 0 Comments

The 14th annual Community Golf Outing, presented by the Rockford Chamber of Commerce is Monday, May 4 at Blythefield Country Club. Registration is from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with shotgun start at 1 p.m. Enjoy 18 holes of golf, golf cart, hole events, box lunch, strolling dinner and awards. Proceeds support several community and chamber events. Register on or before Monday, April 27 with the  Rockford Chamber of Commerce. For more information, call the chamber at (616) 866-2000 or e-mail to membership@rockfordmichamber.com.

Twilight safari a new zoo experience

April 8, 2009 // 0 Comments

John Ball Zoo offers families a rare glimpse of the zoo as the sun goes down. Very few people get to experience the zoo as the sun goes down, but that rare opportunity will be available at John Ball Zoo this spring. For the first time ever, the zoo will host Twilight Sensory Safaris, special tours that invite families to take a look (and a listen, and a taste, and a feel, and a smell) of what it’s like at the zoo as it gets dark! John Ball Zoo will offer Twilight Sensory Safaris twice: April 10 and 17 from 8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The Safaris will be hour-and-half guided tours of the zoo as the sun goes down, designed to teach visitors how humans and wildlife are adapted to life in the dark. Throughout the tour there will be stops where guests will participate in activities that demonstrate the amazing function of our five senses. Think you can guess where a sound is coming from with your eyes closed? It’s not always as easy as you might think. Our hearing is not as good as that of most nocturnal animals. Owls triangulate the origin of a sound to find their prey in the dark and our Sensory Safari guides will allow guests to experience why and how. The Twilight Safaris are a new offering from John Ball Zoo’s education department. If they are well attended, the education team will include them in their regular schedule of events. “Nocturnal animals have amazing adaptations,” said Andy McIntyre, John Ball Zoo Education Director. “To use our senses as it gets dark allows us to experience it as they do and appreciate their unique adaptations. This is a fun learning opportunity for all ages. When you can show parents and kids something with a hands-on experience, they learn!” Advance registration is required to attend the Twilight Sensory Safaris.  Families can register on line at johnballzoosociety.org/education-parents.php or call Kathy at (616) 336-4310. Participants must be five years of age or older to attend. Those 17 years of age and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Fee is $6 per person for John Ball Zoo Society Members and $8 for non-members.

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