Winnebago County NEWS BRIEFS

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Construction on a school-based health center is underway at Auburn High School. The office will offer medical, dental, vision and behavioral health care, in addition to nutrition and wellness education. This site-based center will help students improve their overall  health and wellness through screenings and disease prevention. Good health care increases attendance and learning. (Rockford Public Schools photo)


Rescue Mission awarded $60,000 grant by Kiwanis

Rockford Rescue Mission has received a $60,000 grant from the Kiwanis Club of Rockford. This generous gift reinforces the priority of the Club members to make life better for the children and youth of our community.

The funds will be used toward initiatives to enhance the Mission’s Women’s and Children’s Crisis Shelter and Life Recovery Program with greater resources and the ability to serve more homeless women and children. The Crisis Shelter provides safe beds, nutritious meals and other life essentials for women and children who have become homeless for a variety of circumstances. The long-term residential Life Recovery program includes recovery and relapse prevention training, general life-skills application, mentoring, physical fitness and cultural recreation to help women become whole and self-sufficient in all aspects of their lives.

“Here in Rockford we’re being forced to turn away scores of homeless women and children each year because our Crisis Center is at capacity,” said Executive Director Sherry Pitney. “And more than 45 women at any one time are on a waiting list to get into our life-changing residential program.” The grant money will support the Mission’s initiative to consolidate the current crisis and recovery facilities onto the Mission’s Hope Place campus, increasing the capacity of both areas of outreach.


Park district offers skating programs for all ages

Rockford Park District is offering the new So You Want to Learn to Skate? lesson program for families this fall and winter.

These classes are designed for all ages (age 3 and older), and will build the skills and confidence needed to enjoy skating at public sessions, or move on to hockey or figure skating. Participants can wear hockey or figure skates; classes will focus on skating and stopping, all in a fun, positive atmosphere.

Six-week sessions begin September 27 and November 8, and meet at Carlson Ice Arena, 4150 N. Perryville Road, Loves Park; the fee is $40 per person ($45 non-resident).

Registration is underway for skating programs, and will continue until capacity is reached.

Fee assistance and an installment payment plan may be available to those meeting program qualifications.

Registrations are taken online, by mail, fax, or at Customer Service locations in downtown Rockford, or at Carlson Ice Arena, Riverside and Perryville, Loves Park.


RVC ‘Season of Love’ productions announced

Rock Valley College has announced productions that will comprise the “Season of Love” at the Studio Theatre for 2014-15: A Flea in Her Ear (September 24 – October 4, 2014), A Christmas Carol (December 3-13, 2014), A Little Night Music (February 4-14, 2015), and The Verdict (March 18-28, 2015).

Each of this season’s shows highlights an aspect of the most powerful of human emotions: Love. It drives people to often desperate acts — from the absurd (Flea) to the violent (Verdict), the heartwarming (Carol) to the melancholy (Music). It’s often said that “Love makes the world go ’round.” It’s no coincidence, then, that the Elizabethans called their theatre, “Globe.”

Individual tickets are $20 for adults and $17 for students/seniors.

Season tickets are $48 for adults and $43 for students/seniors. Tickets are on sale now at the box office on the RVC main campus, by calling (815) 921-2160, or online at


Visitors Bureau names new marketing executive

The Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau has named Josh Albrecht as its new director of marketing and public affairs. Albrecht is currently executive director of Dixon Main Street in Dixon.

He will begin at the RACVB on Sept. 29.

During his seven-year tenure at Dixon Main Street, Albrecht oversaw daily operations, including four subcommittees and 70 active volunteers.

During this time, Dixon Main Street expanded its focus on creating community and family events, advocated for the historic preservation of downtown Dixon, and built a team of partners to grow and support locally owned businesses.

Recognizing possible synergies, Albrecht oversaw the consolidation of the Dixon Riverfront Commission into Dixon Main Street, allowing the two organizations to accomplish more by working collaboratively.

In 2012, Albrecht responded to a request from The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Main Street program to host a major band tour of historic towns.

The resulting Gentlemen of the Road Festival Stopover, headlined by British folk rock band Mumford and Sons, brought 15,000 visitors to Dixon and helped reset the community’s image as a progressive hub for live entertainment and riverfront revival.

In his role at RACVB, Josh will be responsible for developing and executing marketing and communications strategy and programs, as well as leading the bureau’s marketing team.

He will also oversee RACVB’s stakeholder and citizen outreach efforts. Of note, he will play a key role in promoting the region’s expanded sports tourism infrastructure at Sportscore Two and Rockford’s downtown sports complex.


—Winnebago County News Briefs are compiled from submitted items and news sources.