“The Rockford Community Service Center was originally located in the back of the building owned by John Ten Elshof. It was the old lumber company, Rockford Lumber. John let Marilyn Lind (first director) use the space for free, though he wasn’t one to talk about this gift. It’s next to the post office, where Rockford Floor Covering was previously located. Now it’s the home of Pour-d, the tea shop. John operated the Barrel Shop in that complex; he bought whiskey barrels which were made into furniture, such as tables and chairs. He also owned a business that sold wine-making supplies. John was a real entrepreneur on every level. I know his wife, Dana, too, as she graduated a year ahead of me from Rockford High School. She’s a sweetheart. They are both quiet about their philanthropy. Never in the front row.”

~ Neil Blakeslee, Past board and committee member
Rockford native and retired attorney