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PRAIRIE FLOWERS

Published: Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

Thanks to Rochelle Fire Department

To the Editor:

In the wake of what many call the winter Polar Vortex, I take my hat off to the city of Rochelle and their brave men and women of the fire department. Today my parents flew home from their weeklong trip out west. They celebrated 60 years of marriage. They flew back to the Rockford airport only to try to make it home in their car on roads that became impassible.

Well mom and dad were traveling on Route 251 heading home when the wall of snow smacked their car right in the middle of the roadway. They like many others became snowbound. Dad called me to say they were safe in the car with a tank of gas and were trying to contact my brother (they did reach him) but before he could pick them up, the Rochelle Fire Department was out on the highway searching for stranded motorists. They came upon my parents and took them in the big red mobile back to Rochelle.

My parents called to say they were resting safely at the Petro truckstop, waiting for my brother who lives fewer than 10 miles away. What makes this a story of bravery in the polar vortex is that my little brother came upon a stranded motorist only to pick him up and bring him to Rochelle granting this person a warm safe night in town. Mom and dad is now safe at my brother’s home in Esmond. Their car like many is right in the middle of the road. The fire department tried to push it off the road to no avail.

When my dad called and told me the news I knew he was concerned being 79. He said in all his life he has yet to witness this extreme weather before. He said the blizzard of 1979 has yet to come to the severity of the winds and drifting snow.  

So once again, to the Rochelle Fire Department, thank you for bringing my parents to safety! And thank you Christ Jesus for sending angels of protection over them in the midst of the storm!

Prayer works even when you least expect it ... just ask the stranded person my brother picked up off the roadway. I bet he prayed as well!

God is so wonderful ... gotta love Him!

David Roland

DeKalb

HorsePower fundraiser a success

To the Editor:

Hundreds of supporters enjoyed bowling, pizza, a silent auction, face-painting, cupcakes, and an exciting 50/50 raffle at the 2nd annual HorsePower Therapeutic Riding “Big Bowling Fundraiser.” The gathering of the HorsePower community was as much fun as it was highly beneficial to the continuing operations of our Equine Therapy program. In every way, HP shined last Saturday. It was a day to celebrate friendships, award our students with a trophy ceremony, and raise funds to further our mission.

Together, we far exceeded our goal, raising more than $22,000! Our lucky first place 50/50 raffle winner, Roger Fronek, won $4,675! The biggest winner of the day was HorsePower in the support generated for the program through the outpouring of generous donations.

As a 501c3 nonprofit, our dream to “turn no student away for inability to pay” is secure! HorsePower serves approximately 35 adults and children with physical, cognitive, developmental and emotional disabilities through therapeutic riding and carriage driving programs. We could not accomplish our mission without your strong financial support and the dedication of more than 80 community volunteers who teach, lead horses, sidewalk, and assist in support and administrative functions.

Special thanks to Elburn Police Chief Steve Smith and the Illinois Council of Police for sponsoring our 50/50 raffle and to St. Charles Bowl for hosting the event. Eric Kroehnert ensured the success of the raffle, selling the most raffle tickets (187!). Jenn Brown coordinated an amazing silent auction. Cheri Gilson created a beautiful calendar that was well supported by corporate sponsors. Kris Dunteman coordinated a gorgeous cupcake table that was enjoyed by all. We also want to thank Arlene Hughes for donating her tremendous face-painting talents. Lastly, Meredith Milz worked for months creating blue and white rubber band bracelets that she sold at the event. Her bracelets raised $122 for HP in an effort to help the program that helps her sister, Bekah!

You did an amazing job, everyone! Together we can continue to harness the healing power of the horse in a way that is both unique and effective for these adults and kids who make tremendous strides with their equine partners. Good work! I wish to extend a sincere “Thank You!” from all of us at HorsePower!

John Cain

Chairman, HorsePower Board of Directors

Stage Coach appreciates KishHealth

To the Editor:

On behalf of Stage Coach Players, I would like to thank KishHealth System for their generous underwriting of our recent production of “Bill W. and Dr. Bob.”

Over 400 audience members enjoyed the performances that tackled addiction, mental health and recovery from alcoholism. Many of our patrons shared personal stories with our cast afterwards. Several of them simply said “thank you for telling our story.”

So, in turn, it is our time to say thank you to KishHealth System for helping to make it possible. We appreciate your generosity.

Anita Biletzky

President, Stage Coach Players

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