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Rock House Kids announces new mural, expansion of building

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ROCKFORD (WREX) —  It's a place kids in Rockford can call "theirs."

"There is nothing frivolous about this organization. It is helping people," said Laura Gomel, director at 317 Art Collective.

That place is called Rock House Kids. It's an organization that helps provide a safe, warm, and nurturing environment for kids.

"When a place like this exists I am just really happy to give my services in whatever way I can," said Eamonn James, artist.

Now this special place has a new piece of artwork.

"I personally felt really honored to be a part of creating a mural for something that is so paramount to this neighborhood," said James.

On Saturday, Rock House Kids revealed its new mural. Artist Laura Gomel, and others worked on the piece together.

"It is really nice to be a part of something that is giving back to the community," said Gomel.

Along with Gomel, artist Eammon James, says he admires the work Rock House Kids does for the community.

"Without places like this it would be really easy for kids in this neighborhood to loose sight in what they want in life," said James.

But the colorful mural wasn't the only exciting news of the day.

"Where we are standing right now is a part of the building that is not done," said Dee Lacny, Rock House Kids executive director.

Lacny announced the kick-off to a capital campaign for the expansion of the building.

"The area we are in is going to be a lounge and game room for the kids, as well as a classroom," said Lacny.

Lacny says the expansion will allow for more kids to come thru their doors.
"Everything we are doing is trying to get kids off the streets, more nights a week," said Lacny.

Lacny says it will cost almost $540,000. However, "The blessing is we already have 20% in house or pledged and that is before we kicked it off today," said Lacny.

Meaning the organization will continue to be able to provide kids a safe place to share ideas and grow.

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Erin Chapman

Erin Chapman is a reporter at WREX. She joined the team in May 2020. Chapman grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana and graduated from the University of Dayton with a degree in Communication in 2020.

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