Rock House Kids’ ‘Beats & Treats’ fund-raiser March 25

Staff Report

Rock House Kids will host a family fundraiser called “Beats & Treats” from 2-5 p.m., Sunday, March 25, at Tebala Shrine Center, 7910 Newburg Road in Rockford. All proceeds from the event will go to help Rock House Kids assist at-risk Rockford youth.

WIFR anchor Aaron Wilson will act as master of ceremonies presenting some amazing musical talent. Fan favorite, The Vince Chiarelli Band performs at 2 p.m., jazz vocalist and Rockford icon Dorothy Paige-Turner at 3 p.m., and 2011 RAMI Award-winning band Whiskey Train plays from 4-5 p.m. Enjoy Pickles the Clown and expect him to keep the children entertained. Volunteers will also be on hand with take-home crafts for the kids.

Admission is $10 for adults, and children younger than 12 are free. Tickets are available now at the Northwest Bank, and reserved tables (seating for eight people) can be purchased for a discounted rate of $60 per table through Rock House Kids.

RHK relies on the generosity of the community for funding and volunteer support to keep this program running. To help grow the Rock House Kids program, volunteers like local business owner Mary Lee Sheldon have joined forces to put on the “Beats & Treats” fundraiser.

“We (the community) really need to help these kids. Rock House serves the at-risk and street kids,” says Sheldon, fundraising chair. “There are 1,200 homeless kids in Rockford that need us — future citizens of Rockford. We have to step up now.”

Founded in 1999 by Dola Gregory, RHK is dedicated to not only feeding some of Rockford’s most at-risk children’s bellies, but their hearts and minds as well. It is where many of our community’s youngest and neediest, ages 4-18, are mentored and supported. The foundation of this house comes from community support and the volunteers who mentor and help with schoolwork and provide guidance. In many cases, this guidance is the only real constructive support they receive. RKH also provides a hot meal during the evening program. On Wednesdays, kid-friendly bags filled with non-perishable food items are given out, designed to be eaten throughout the week. For many children who shuffle between households, food along with other important items, can often be difficult to come by on a regular basis.

With the help of caring individuals and donations, RHK also collects and distributes many necessities that many of these kids lack, such as toothbrushes and paste, socks, shoes, coats, hats, mittens, blankets, backpacks, school supplies and Christmas presents.

For more information, visit

From the March 21-27, 2012, issue

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