The Rotary Club of Rockford Michigan sponsors or hosts several events 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. This program was put on hold during the 2020 COVID year, but we will restart the program in 2021. If you are interested in mentoring a student, please contact us using the form on the right hand side of our homepage.
 
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.
 
Rotary Pavilion
Rockford Rotary built the Rotary Pavilion in downtown Rockford many years ago.  We then donated the building to the City of Rockford, and they have maintained it ever since.  We are now in the process of working with the City of Rockford to upgrade the building again with many improvements including a new roof, new siding, improved access doors, roll up doors on the corners to make serving BBQ dinners easier, a new floor and some sort of heating to make the space much more comfortable in inclement weather.  We donated $20,000 to this effort in 2020 and are working to raise more money for it in 2021.  
 
Rockford Riverfront Stage 
We are proud to announce that we donated  $30,000 to the Rockford Riverfront Stage upgrade in downtown Rockford.  The project will be a great boost for the Rockford Jazz series and worship in the park which runs during the summer.  We hope to fund additional upgrades to the stage in the years to come.  We are working on contributing more to this project to fund some grass (think Meijer Garden Pavilion) type seating in front of the stage.
 
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.  Each year 750+ books are given away through the Hook-a-Book event.  This is a very rewarding experience for both the children and Rotarians alike. NOTE: this year (2021), we will be giving away books at Start of Summer.  Please stop by our duck float / booth to pick up a free book for your school age child. 
 
Free Little Libraries
Free Little Libraries are small wooden book storage units where people can take and or leave a book for free.  Their goal is to promote literacy and encourage people to have fun reading books.  We are working on this new project and hope to install two Free Little Libraries in 2021.  The Little Libraries will be stocked with kids books and some books for parents as well.  Rotarians will maintain them to make sure the books are appropriate and that there are enough books for everyone who stops buy to get one.  
 
Life Leadership Conference
Each year we sponsor 4 to 6 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.  This year (2021) the tentative plan is to host the conference virtually (due to COVID).  To read more about the conference follow this LINK.
 
Interact
With almost 200,000 young people involved worldwide, Interact is Rotary‚Äôs premiere service club for youth, ages twelve to eighteen. The Rockford High School Interact Club members actively raise awareness and participate in service projects around the world that improves the health and education of the communities served. In recent years they have built several wells in Nigeria and provided clean water, sanitation, and school buildings in the Dominican Republic. Through these efforts, Interactors develop a network of friendships with local and overseas clubs and learn the importance of: Developing leadership skills and personal integrity; Demonstrating helpfulness and respect for others; Understanding the value of individual responsibility and hard work; and Advancing international understanding and goodwill.  These passionate high school students embody the Rotary motto of Service Above Self!
 
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
 
Benches Along the White Pine Trail
This is a new project for us in 2021.  We have several benches left over from the Pavilion project in downtown Rockford.  Our goal is to recondition these benches and place them at scenic outlooks along the White Pine Trail.  This project will be ongoing this summer with some major focus in July and August.
 
Fishing Line Disposal Containers
This is a new project for us in 2021.  We will be building and then installing several fishing line disposal units (for fisherman to place their broken line in and keep it out of the water where it harms wildlife) along key points of the Rogue River in Rockford.  This project will be ongoing this summer and will wrap up in September.