Sharefest targets Levings Park rebuild
Rockford Sharefest has officially announced that Levings Park was selected, which means in June, volunteers will donate their gifts, abilities, and resources to rebuild Levings Park, making it even better.
Levings Park is more than just a lake, it’s a destination. For 82 years, Levings Park, 1420 S. Pierpont Ave., Rockford, has served as a culturally diverse park that has helped many families over the years create memories that will last a lifetime. Close to 50,000 visitors enjoyed Levings Park in 2016, and that number is only expected to grow. The lake is also central and crucial to the livelihood of Levings Park, but is in need of preservation.
In the late 1980s, community advocate Elbert Jordan rallied residents and the Park District to renovate and rejuvenate Levings Park. Over the years, the Rockford Park District has committed significant funding to improve Levings Park, increase sustainability, and develop new amenities in response to growing recreational trends.
The Rockford Park District asked Rockford Sharefest to consider selecting Levings Park for the 2017 summer project, and help the Rockford Park District with the next phase of a long-term master plan. Today, Rockford Sharefest has officially announced that Levings Park was selected, which means in June, volunteers will donate their gifts, abilities, and resources to rebuild Levings Park, making it even better.
“We are very excited for thousands of community members to help us expand and improve park amenities, as every aspect of Levings Park will be transformed while building unity and relationships along the way,” said Rockford Park District Assistant Executive Director Jay Sandine.
Sharefest 2017 takes place at Levings Park June 2–10, 2017. “This is an opportunity as a community to step up and usher in the next wave of energy at Levings Park,” said Creig Day, Director of Rockford Sharefest. There will be three volunteer shifts a day, and anyone age 12 and older can volunteer. For more information and to sign up to volunteer, visit www.rockfordsharefest.com.
Day of Giving nets more than $44,000
Rockford University held its third annual Day of Giving on Wednesday, April 26. Pledges and donations received for the day totaled $22,184 and will be applied to the Rubin Education Challenge grant which provides a dollar to dollar match for every dollar given, boosting the day’s total contribution to $44,368.
The Day of Giving’s goal is to harness the power of social media and electronic communications during a 24-hour blitz to raise funds and awareness about the importance of philanthropy. Challenges, incentives and special guests were featured to encourage engagement and participation throughout the day.
With an impressive turnout, 2017 Day of Giving totals surpassed the previous year’s donations of $12,632. The University looks forward to continuing its online giving efforts through annual Day of Giving events.
For more information about the Rockford University Day of Giving, or to support the University, visit www.rockford.edu/give/dayofgiving/.
Auburn announces new basketball coach
An Auburn High School alumnus and college-level coach will lead the Auburn girls basketball team in the 2017 season.
Darryl Watkins, a 2007 Auburn graduate , spent the past five seasons working as Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach and Recruiting Coordinator for the Rock Valley College Golden Eagles. He’ll take over as Auburn’s head varsity coach for the girls team this fall, pending Rockford School Board approval. Watkins helped lead the Rock Valley College women to three NCJAA National Champions and has helped develop seven All Americans.
The Golden Eagles’ record with Watkins as Assistant Coach is an impressive 138-24. His skills in working with Rock Valley College student athletes will transfer well to Auburn. Watkins worked in strength and conditioning, game scheduling and working with students on academic progress and success. Watkins will also work at Auburn full time as a Building Support Specialist, pending board approval.
It’s also a chance for Watkins to come home. He played for longtime Auburn boys basketball Coach Bryan Ott and has seen that program flourish. He’s excited about Auburn’s momentum, with successful boys basketball and football programs. He’s looking forward to leading a similar turnaround for the girls basketball program and changing the culture.
Auburn finished the season 5-11 in conference play and 6-22 overall.
IceHogs announce home dates for 2017-18
The Rockford IceHogs have announced six guaranteed home dates for the upcoming 2017-18 season, beginning with the Hogs’ home opener at the BMO Harris Bank Center on Saturday, Oct. 14.
The 2017-18 campaign will mark the IceHogs’ 19th season of professional hockey in Rockford and 11th as the top affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks.
The IceHogs will follow their home opener on Saturday, Oct. 14 with reserved dates for weekend home games on Nov. 24, Dec. 9, 22 and 29, and Feb. 17.
Fans may purchase group or season-ticket packages to these announced dates by calling the IceHogs front office at (815) 847-6399. Additional information and further pricing options are also available online at IceHogs.com.
The full 2017-18 regular-season schedule, including game times and opponents, will be released later this offseason.
SwedishAmerican hosts therapy dog auditions
SwedishAmerican will be holding auditions for membership on the Caring Canines therapy dog team on Thursday, June 1; Thursday, June 15 and Tuesday, June 20 from 5:00 – 9:00 PM in the conference rooms at SwedishAmerican Hospital, 1401 E. State Street (enter through the Charles Street entrance). Pre-registration is mandatory.
In addition to registration with a national therapy dog organization, SwedishAmerican has additional requirements that must be successfully completed before joining the Caring Canines team.
Contact Claudia Aschbrenner at email@example.com or (779) 696-2166 to learn more and to register.
–Winnebago County News Briefs–