Heart of Rockford Awards Dinner Aug. 11

19th annual River District event features keynote speaker Mayor Larry Morrissey

Get jazzed up for the River District Association’s 19th Annual Heart of Rockford Awards & Dinner scheduled for Aug. 11.

The Heart of Rockford Awards & Dinner has become a tradition in the downtown River District. The event began 19 years ago to recognize the people who had financial and personal investments downtown.

Each year, the Association tries to have a different theme for the event. This year’s theme is “Get Jazzed!”

“It represents the experience of downtown,” Kim Wheeler, executive director of the River District Association, said about the theme.

The Heart of Rockford Awards are given to businesses, organizations and specific individuals who show passion and dedication to maintaining the River District and its surrounding areas.

The award categories include commitment by an individual, commitment by a business, new business, festival or special event, historic preservation, commercial renovation and residential renovation.

Display boards will showcase the nominees in one of the Rockford Office Supply windows for a few weeks.

“We would like to recognize and thank Curt Scribner and Rockford Office Supply for allowing us the opportunity to publicly display the boards,” Wheeler said.

A judging group of four people is chosen by the River District Association to vote on the awards. This year’s judging group included Karen Elyea, owner of Minglewood; Scott Long, River District board member and architect; and Lynn and Rob Belles, owners of Belles Firm of Architecture.

Anyone who is interested and supportive of the River District Association’s cause may be a member of the River District Association. There are memberships for individuals, families and three different business levels. Anyone can become a member by filling out an application and paying the membership fee, which ranges from $35-$250.

The night will kick off at 5:30 p.m., with a cash bar, provided by Kryptonite, and appetizers. The dinner buffet, provided by King’s Table II Cafe & Catering, will be open at 6:30 p.m., and will feature a choice of Moroccan breast of chicken or red wine, thyme and wild mushroom pork chop entrees.

By 7:30 p.m., the Semi-Annual River District Membership Meeting Beautification Presentation and the Certificate Recognition will begin. The program will feature keynote speaker Mayor Lawrence J. Morrissey.

Following the program will be the awards ceremony. The entire evening is scheduled to finish around 8:30 p.m.

The Heart of Rockford Awards & Dinner event will be held at Stewart Square, 308 W. State St. Cost is $40 for each River District Association member, $320 for a table of eight, and $45 for each non-member of the Association.

The turnout of guests is expected to be more than last year, which sold out.

“We’re expecting 180 this year,” Wheeler said. “Our events usually are between 150 and 190.”

Call 815/964-6221 or e-mail KimRiverDistrict@aol.com to reserve tickets. Reservations must include a list of guest names. RSVP by Friday, Aug. 5.

From the Aug. 3-9, 2005, issue

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