Guest Column: Charlotte’s Web gives 40th anniversary thanks

June 27, 2012

By Lani Richardson

Saturday, June 2, “Peace Through Music Day” was proclaimed in honor of the 40th anniversary of Charlotte’s Web.

The day was splendid and spectacular, as we celebrated with an all-day music event on the grounds of
the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center campus at the heart of Rockford’s vibrant cultural corridor.

I have so many to thank for this day …

First and foremost, I say thank you to my family: my husband and partner, Josh, who fills in everywhere I need him in addition to carrying all his own gear; our boys, Duncan and Connor, who are happy participants in all my crazy schemes; Dad, who can literally fix, build and solve anything; and Mom — wow — who has created and nurtured an amazing community of art and collaboration and goodwill for 40 years — thank YOU!

And thank you to our Presenting Sponsors: 89.5 FM WNIJ, The Rock River Times, Snapshotmusic and Balsley Printing for telling the world about our celebration and so much more — thank you!

Thank you to our Supporting Sponsors: North Park Rental, Sound Concepts, Rockford Detective Agency and Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center and First Presbyterian Church for grounds, sound, security and so much more — thank you!

Thank you to the Charlotte’s Web board of directors: Cindy Jo Lantz, Nic Juric, Michelle Ryan, Kim Wheeler Johnsen, Jeanne Leezer, Rob Kline and Don Miller, who all give generously and enthusiastically of their time and energy throughout the year to keep the Web alive and moving forward — thank you!

And thank you to my 40th Anniversary Planning Committee: Susan Hammond, Sharon Hall, Cedric Hanserd, Ron Holm and Beverly Broyles, without whom the vision could not have been realized — thank you!

Thank you to the Mayor’s Office and the City of Rockford for help and support leading up to our celebration — thank you!

And thank you to our neighbors: for welcoming us to the neighborhood with such open arms — thank you!

Thank you to our volunteers: the Waeffler clan for the supervised kid spot, and a cast of 20 more ran the day smoothly and efficiently, with joy — thank you!

Thank you to all who generously donated items and services for our silent auction, which was a marvelous and eclectic spread that kept bidders returning often — thank you!

And thank you to Kryptonite Bar for hosting our art show celebrating 40 years of graphic artists at the Web and also for supplying drinks at our party — thank you!

Thank you to Anna’s Pizza of Winnebago for coming through in the 11th hour with food for our celebration — thank you!

And thank you to YOU, the audience for continuing to support the artists and the Web — 40 years and ready for 40 more — thank you!

And finally, thank you to the artists, 45 of whom donated their time and talent June 2 to celebrate Charlotte’s Web’s 40th anniversary: the artists who give meaning to our lives and sing our stories; who give us their talent and keep our dreams alive — thank YOU!

From the very depths of my heart, I thank each and every one of you for joining us in celebration — the heart of Rockford’s cultural corridor was dancing on the Mendelssohn PAC campus June 2! Happy 40th anniversary, Charlotte’s Web!

With gratitude,

Lani Richardson, executive director, Charlotte’s Web
Peace through music.

From the June 27-July 3, 2012, issue

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