Unity, Pride & Culture: Free parking, free shuttle service for Rockford’s Stroll on State

ROCKFORD — Several parking options are available for those attending Saturday’s Stroll on State in downtown Rockford.

The event is scheduled from 4 to 9 p.m.

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The Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau will offer two free remote parking options with free shuttle bus rides available throughout the night. Shuttle parking lot No. 1 will be at the YMCA, 200 Y Blvd., and has more than 500 parking spots available. Shuttle parking lot No. 2 will be at Heartland Community Church, 1280 S. Alpine Road, with about 1,500 parking spots available. Shuttles for both locations will have volunteer helpers and will operate from 4 to 10 p.m. Both shuttle routes will drop off riders on Market Street, one block from the festival grounds.

In addition, the city of Rockford will have the downtown public parking lots and decks available throughout the night. A parking fee of $5 will be charged at the parking decks. A map of the parking lots and decks available throughout the downtown is online at strollonstate.com. On street parking will be available throughout the downtown and on side streets as posted.

The “Stroll” launches from City Hall at 5:45 p.m. with the Tree Lighting Ceremony taking place at the PNC Bank Plaza at 6 p.m. Downtown shops and restaurants will be open throughout the event, food vendors and beer gardens are available throughout downtown, and other family-friendly events like ice skating, horse and wagon rides, pictures with Santa, and much more will be available. There is no admission charge.

Source: http://www.rrstar.com/article/20141126/NEWS/141129489/10330/strollonstate.com?template=printart

Inside Rockford-area Thanksgiving celebrations

BOONE COUNTY (WREX) – Many people celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family. But others spend the day helping others or hard at work. 13 News reporter Rebecca Klopf shows us how people across our area spent the holiday.

WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Before 13 News Reporter Rebecca could even knock on the Perez family’s door she was welcomed inside.

“I’m with 13 News,” says Rebecca. “Are you going to have Thanksgiving tonight?”

“We are.”

Alicia Perez is cooking for 45 people. No stress though, she’s already putting her plan in place.

“We have a total of three turkeys and a ham. Fifteen pounds of mashed potatoes, we have two different types of stuffing,” says Perez.

And though her kids are thinking about their favorites…

“Turkey.”

“Toll House pie.”

..she has them working in the kitchen with her.

Over at SwedishAmerican Hospital it’s a regular work day for staff. Dr. Kavita Mohan signed up to work Thursday with her husband. They are eating an impromptu Thanksgiving meal the hospital made for them. But this won’t be the only one.

“We are going to go home and have more stuff. One meal is not enough for Thanksgiving,” says Mohan.

Its also a day of work for the Woest’s at Court Street United Methodist Church. The two have spent their Thanksgiving volunteering since 1981 when the church first started serving the dinner.

“When people volunteer its because they want to help someone,” says Cliff Woest.

“We do it year after year and we enjoy it,” says Doris Woest.

While everyone says they are grateful for the people they get to share their meal with the Perez family can’t help feel like their table of 45 is a little bit empty. Their oldest son Steven can’t be home with them. He’s in the navy serving overseas. Alicia hopes he can see this story online and know his family is thinking of him.

“Happy Thanksgiving son. Thank you for serving our country son and staying away on our behalf. Love you,” says Alicia Perez.

Source: http://www.wrex.com/story/27497582/2014/11/27/13-news-goes-into-homes-and-holidays-across-the-rockford-area-to-see-thanksgiving-celebrations

Planning: Take the City of Rockford survey on downtown Rockford experience

City of Rockford conducts survey

ROCKFORD — The City of Rockford’s Community and Economic Development and Public Works departments seeks residents to complete surveys on the downtown Rockford experience.

The survey should take about 10 minutes, and submitted answers will be anonymous.

The feedback will help identify catalytic projects and activities to implement for continued growth of the central area and the entire community.

To complete the survey: surveymonkey.com/s/downtownrockford.

Source: http://www.rrstar.com/article/20141128/NEWS/141129507/10329/NEWS?template=printart

Leadership & Youth: Mayor’s Youth Advisory Meeting

Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council ~

December 1, 2014 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

The Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council (MYAC) provides a youth perspective to the Mayor of Rockford and assists the City of Rockford in developing strategies to address youth issues.

See: http://www.rockfordil.gov/human-services/community-neighborhood-programs/community-action-programs.aspx

Calendar: http://transformrockford.org/event/mayor-youth-advisory-mtg/?instance_id=78340

Caring: Our View: Empty Stocking has holes

Rockford Register Star readers have been extremely generous over the years, helping to provide Christmas presents for thousands of children in the Rock River Valley.

Our Empty Stocking club has been around for more than three decades. Our goal is to help make sure every child in Winnebago and Boone counties has at least one present underneath his or her Christmas tree.

Last year, more than 3,400 children were given a free toy and gloves or mittens.

We need your help to make that happen again. We’ve set an ambitious $60,000 goal so that we can buy the gifts for the little boys and girls who may not get anything otherwise.

You helped us reach that goal last year and hope you do so again this year.

The toy giveaway will be upon us soon — Dec. 13. Registered families can pick up their toys on that day here at the News Tower, 99 E. State St.

Donations may be sent to:

Empty Stocking Club

c/o Associated Bank

612 N. Main St.

Rockford, IL 61103-6997

Empty Stocking is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit agency, which means that every donation is tax-deductible.

Please help make a child’s Christmas brighter.

Source: http://www.rrstar.com/article/20141124/OPINION/141129655/10355/OPINION?template=printart

Jobs & Economy: Transform Rockford Tours AAR Headquarters

ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Airplane maintenance company AAR has already broken ground on a 200,000 square foot hangar to be built near the Rockford airport.

Now, it’s time for AAR to break the ice with Transform Rockford. Today, that organizations executive director took a tour of the world headquarters.

Hundreds of thousands of parts are packaged at AAR’s massive distribution center in Wood Dale.

“That’s what you’re going to see in Rockford.”

But today, it was Rockford coming to Wood Dale.

“It’s an exciting chance for people to do something that compliments other work that we already have in the region and take it to a whole new level,” said Transform Rockford Executive Director Mike Schablaske.

Schablaske paid his first visit to AAR’s world headquarters to compare visions with the airplane maintenance company that’s committed to building its 7th Hangar at the Rockford airport.

“We’re talking about a World class company coming to Rockford making Rockford greater. So learning about that today, I think they absolutely complement one another,” said Schablaske.

“The Rockford project for AAR as well as the state of Illinois and the Rockford Region is very important. We put a lot of focus on it and we’re out there. We’re going to have to all work together that’s why I really wanted to have Mike come out to see the broad scope of things,” said Greg Dellinger with AAR.

In the coming days we’ll bring you a closer look at the dynamics of AAR and also show you how Transform Rockford is hoping to build off the potential that AAR has to offer.

Source: http://www.wifr.com/home/headlines/Transform-Rockford-Tours-AAR-Headquarters–283764301.html

Caring: Rockford Reads seeks volunteers

RRSTAR.COM

How to help: Rockford Reads seeks volunteers

The Rockford Reads project is looking for volunteers to work with second grade students in more than 30 elementary schools. The direct benefit to the children will be increased exposure to print and book language through adults reading aloud and listening to the children read a book. Community Volunteers give as little as one hour per week to read one-on-one with students at an elementary site of their choice.

To volunteer, contact Marsha Sisney, Parent & Community Engagement Supervisor with the Rockford School District, at 815-966-3271 or send an email to sisneym@rps205.com. The required volunteer information and background check forms will be mailed to you. Fill out the forms and return them to the Parent and Community Engagement Department, 501 Seventh St., Rockford, IL 61104. You will be contacted with an assignment and a starting date. Volunteers will work with students from Jan. 13 through the end of May.

Neighborhoods: “We can make a difference” Citizens Rally to Fix Rockford landmark

The timing is off on one Rockford landmark

ROCKFORD (WREX) – One of the most recognizable landmarks as you come into Rockford needs repairing. The clock’s time at the Clock Tower Resort is off and it has been for quite some time.5945837_G

It bothered one man so much he decided to use his radio show to take action. If timing is everything there is something wrong in Rockford.

Can you tell me what the time is?

“1:17.”

Can you look at your clock and tell me what it is?

“1:37. You are late.”

“I knew that sounded wrong. It’s like 1:53.”

So is the clock right?

“Ummm almost.”

The Clock Tower Resort’s clock does not keep time correctly.

“I have been driving by it for five years and it’s been wrong for five years,” says Jim Stone.

The WXRX host was so mad the clock did not work he took to the airwaves. He’s been complaining about the broken time piece since this summer. Finally, he went to his owners at Mid-west Family Broadcasting and asked them to help him fix it. It just signed an agreement with the resort’s owners. The media company is now responsible for fixing and maintaining the clock for the next five years.

Transform Rockford’s executive director says this is actually the kind of initiative been promoting.

“People can take from this that they can make a difference. Take some inspiration from what they are doing. If we can do this then maybe then maybe they can do something in their neighborhood,” says Mike Schablaske.

The clock isn’t expected to be fixed until at least next year. But a broken clock is right at least twice a day, right?

“Actually its right 8 times a day. There are four different sides.”

Mid-west family needs the community’s help to fix the clock tower. It’s started a fund for it’s repair and maintenance. You can contact the station for more information on how to donate. You can also click here.

Source: http://www.wrex.com/story/27454455/2014/11/21/the-timing-is-off-on-one-rockford-landmark

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