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


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?


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

More news from TransformRockford

Quality: Rockford’s Coco Key becomes a movie set


ROCKFORD — Coco Key water park became a movie set Thursday as a father honored his late 10-year-old son with a film project to raise money to fight the brain cancer that killed him.

The movie, “Thrill Ride,” is a low-budget children’s action film by Mason’s Movies, a nonprofit company formed by Chris Parrish of Woodstock after the death of his son, Mason, three years ago from diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma.

The film stars Kristen Johnson, who won two Emmy Awards as Sally in TV’s “Third Rock From the Son.” Set in an amusement park, it is the story of three kids who sneak into the park one night to hunt for loot that Al Capone was said to have buried there. The park’s attractions — a sea witch, evil mermaid, pirates and monsters — come alive and give the kids what Parrish describes as a “wild and dangerous ride beyond all imagination.”

The plot was Mason’s idea and father and son, who tossed movie ideas back and forth like a game of catch, wrote and pitched the idea to studios.

“Mason was a naturally gifted storyteller,” said Parrish, who moved to Illinois after 18 years as a screen and TV writer in Los Angeles.

Writing was one of the things Mason was able to do as his cancer progressed. He wrote until he could write no longer.

Parrish said that on the day Mason slipped into a coma his son said, “Mom I feel like writing. Give me my notebook.”

Mason’s Movies found backing from Vince Foglia, founder of the Cary manufacturer of disposable health and personal care items, Sage Products.

“He doesn’t want a dime,” Parrish said, noting that half of the film’s proceeds will fund future films and the other half will go toward brain cancer research, vans equipped for disabled children and for an after- school program, Cartoon Comics Inc., which teaches the craft of cartooning and storytelling.

Parrish did not disclose the film’s budget, but said that in comparison with a big budget Hollywood product “it will cost what they spend on sushi.”

The film, which will be released in 2015, will be about 90 minutes.

“That’s the target,” said producer Angie Gaffney. “We recognize the short attention span of children.”

Part of the story involves a water park. Alex Hughes, location manager for Mason’s Movies, said Coco Key at the Clock Tower Resort and Conference Center was chosen from a half-dozen parks he considered for the film because it had the decor for a pirate theme. He describes the film as “Goonies” meets “Night at the Museum.”

Hughes said most of the movie will be filmed at Chicago Studio City, where the rest of the amusement park was built.

There will be no weapons or swearing in “Thrill Ride.”

“This is a PG movie,” Hughes said.

Brian Leaf: 815-987-1343; bleaf@rrstar.com; @b_leaf

Arts & Recreation: The Blue Angels Visit Rockford Ahead of Airfest 2015


ROCKFORD -– Two captains of The Blue Angels arrived at Rockford Airport this morning in anticipation of Airfest 2015. The pilots are traveling all over the country visiting each site for their air show next year. The last time the blue angels were featured in Rockford was in 2007– and Blue Angels Pilot Captain Jeff Kuss says the team is excited to be back.

“Out on the crowd line talking to people, talking to kids as I once was a little kid excited to be seeing those guys at the air show. Man, what a great experience that is to be able to share that with people,” Capt. Kuss says. “So, that’s the best part for me and I can’t wait to do it here in Rockford next year.”


The same pilots appear at every show throughout the country.  They will return in time for Airfest next July.


Source: http://www.mystateline.com/fulltext-news/d/story/the-blue-angels-visit-rockford-ahead-of-airfest-20/11081/CT4uWSKeuEWkZoWzCzcSkQ

See Rockford’s Badge! Sperling’s Best Places & Forbes: Best Opportunity Cities for 2014

Sperling’s Best Places & Forbes partnered up to bring you the Best Opportunity Cities for 2014.

For the winners, we are providing [the below] badge for you to use on your website or blog. Enjoy!

Feel free to post the badge on your personal and company home page or blog! See link


The badge is posted on the TransformRockford home page as well as the website footer area!