Latest News
There is snow on the ground and the Big Daddy Duck race water is frigid right now, but spring is coming (yes it is!) and that means we are already hard at work on our Big Daddy Duck race.  If you are not sure what a Big Daddy Duck race is, here is the short version: we talk to local businesses and convince them to support our club by donating $100 per duck for the race. They then get a 10" rubber duck to decorate and participate in the race. The participating businesses will have the duck displayed at our booth at Start of Summer (we get a lot of traffic!), they will have their duck in the parade, they will have their logo on our website for 1 year, and they can participate in Duck Prize to see which duck is the most popular in Rockford (online voting).  We will award trophies for fastest, prettiest and slowest duck as well.  
 
The event is not just for businesses. If you or your family want to sponsor a duck, just let us know.
 
If you want in on this fun event, please contact any Rockford Rotarian and ask them for a duck. Or you can click on the button below to go to the request form. Once the form has been submitted, a Rotarian will contact you. Thanks! 
If you need some duck decorating ideas to get your creative juices flowing, you can browse the duck picture gallery below.  
 
WHAT WE DO
We support several local and international projects throughout the year. 
 
STRIVE
Rockford Rotary sponsors and actively runs a program called STRIVE that pairs adult mentors with senior high school students.  The students are identified by the schools as being in danger of not graduating. Many of them simply need more help and/or an involved adult to get them over the hump and keep them motivated.  We award scholarships to the students for different things like highest GPA, most improvement, etc.  It is a very rewarding experience for mentors and students alike.
 
The Big Daddy Duck Race
Rockford area businesses purchase ducks and decorate them for the race.  We build a float each year and display the ducks in the parade.  We also give out candy which is a lot of fun!  The 10" ducks are on display in our booth at the Start of Summer Celebration in downtown Rockford. People vote for their favorite duck by placing coins or bills in the jar next to it.  We count up the money and award a "prettiest duck" trophy to the winner.  Saturday evening of the Start of Summer Celebration, we put the ducks in the water in front of the dam and race them to Richardson-Sowersby park.  We award a trophy for the "fastest" duck.  The money raised goes to local programs including sponsorship of the summer reading program at Hillview in Rockford. 
 
Reading Rocks in Rockford
Reading Rocks in Rockford started as a Rotary event and we created the event to encourage literacy in our town.  Recently, the Rockford Library has taken over the event and hosts it in early June.  The goal is to get kids excited about reading and to keep them reading all summer.  Authors of children books attend the event and interact with young readers.  We help setup tents the event, and we staff the Hook-a-Book tent each year.  At Hook-a-Book, young readers receive a free book just for throwing their fishing line into the "water" and reeling it back in.  It is a very rewarding service experience for Rotarians.
 
Youth Exchange
Our club supports an inbound and outbound international exchange student - often yearly.  Our current inbound student is from Brazil.  We find host families and support the student any way that we can to enrich both the community's and the student's exchange experience. 
 
Life Leadership Conference
Each year we sponsor 6 or 7 Rockford High School students to attend the Life Leadership Conference sponsored by the Rotary International District 6290.  Students are chosen for their leadership potential and scholarship.  Interviews take place in the spring of each year.  To read more about the conference follow this LINK.
 
POLIO Plus
Rotary International's longtime goal has been to eliminate polio worldwide.  We are in fact very close to doing that LINK. We support the district and international Rotary organization's effort in the fight against polio. 
 
 
 
End Polio Now
Help us end polio now!
 
Speakers
President Sees; Ken Parker
Mar 26, 2019
Club Business; Strive Program
Kathy Munger, Jennifer German
Apr 02, 2019
Reading Rocks, NK District Library
Bill, John, Erik
Apr 09, 2019
Duck Race
Rob VerHeulen, District Director
Apr 16, 2019
MI Budget Process/Overview
Floyd
Apr 23, 2019
Rockford Memories
Robin Marvel
Apr 30, 2019
Secret Sauce of Living Well
To Be Determined
May 07, 2019
To Be Determined
May 14, 2019
Bill, John, Erik
May 21, 2019
Duck Race
To Be Determined
May 28, 2019
 
 
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How to Volunteer as a Senior
Millions of elderly people—those 65 and older—volunteer every year, but given this population is higher than 48 million (and projected to reach 80 million by 2050), there is plenty of room for growth here.