Guest Column: Katie’s Cup needs your support

Contributed by Katie’s Cup

We would like to update you on Katie’s Cup!

Over five years ago, Rockford Area Lutheran Ministries joined ZION Development Corporation in visioning a gathering place that would promote the building of community, centered around timely conversations of faith and life. The dream started to take shape when ZION Development offered to develop such a space as part of the revitalization of Seventh Street in Midtown Rockford. As planning became reality, the coffeebar took shape.

Katie’s Cup opened almost four years ago and is an outstanding architectural space that has become a prime gathering spot for many community groups. Contributing to the renewal of the neighborhood, Katie’s Cup, at 502 Seventh St., provides an alternative place for folks to gather for “coffee, conversation, and community.”

On July 2, 2012, a newly created not-for-profit organization, Seventh Street Coffee, Inc., with the continued support of Rockford Area Lutheran Ministries, purchased the Katie’s Cup business from ZION Development and began leasing the commercial space from them. The founding group formed a board of directors this past summer, and developed committees to work with operations, fund development, programming, marketing and governance.

Exciting steps forward have taken place at Katie’s Cup since then, including: expanding the hours of operations; celebrating a Grand Re-Opening on Oct. 5; adding new pastries, soups and more sandwiches to the menu; and resuming the “Katie’s Cup Conversations” over the lunch hour.

The presence of Katie’s Cup on Seventh Street has made an incredible difference in the neighborhood. Almost overnight, following its opening, the crime rate fell in the blocks surrounding the coffeebar, becoming one of the lowest in the city. The School District felt comfortable enough to move their offices across the street. And the Rockford Police Department is considering a nearby buuilding for one of its three command centers. Church groups and community leaders have sought Katie’s Cup as a place to gather and talk, especially about how they can improve their neighborhoods and the lives of those with whom they share their work and play.

Thank you for your support of Katie’s Cup as a customer and through your support of ZION Development. We are grateful to those of you who encouraged ZDC’s vision to make Katie’s Cup a stand-alone mission. It now is just that! The Seventh Street Coffee group’s goal is to become an economically-sustainable operation. In order to fully accomplish this goal, we are seeking additional investor-donors.

We are asking that you pray for Katie’s Cup — for its mission and for its finances – and that you pray about and consider what kind of contribution you might make. Please especially consider a three-year pledge that will help forward our goal to ultimately purchase the storefronts Katie’s Cup occupies.

We hope you will also let us know if you would like to be kept abreast of the great things happening at Katie’s Cup, and that you might even want to become one of Katie’s special volunteers!

Your contribution is tax deductible. Checks can be made out to Rockford Area Lutheran Ministries (put Katie’s Cup on the memo line) and mailed to Katie’s Cup, 502 Seventh St., Rockford, IL 61104. We thank you for your prayers and your gifts.

In Christian Service, Mariel Heinke, Board President, Seventh Street Coffee, Inc. — Members of the Board of Directors: Mariel Heinke, President; Lori Mueller, Vice President; Cindy Loken, Secretary; Mark Ticknor, Treasurer; Pam Bitner; Pastor Bill Dahlberg; Pastor Jane McChesney; Pastor Jay Quinn; Cathy Szewczyk; Pastor Mike Thomas; Pastor Janet Wold. More than 40 couples and individuals are among our founding donors, to date. Thank you!

From the Nov. 28-Dec. 4, 2012, issue

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