In the Community
Proud Supporter of:
- Boy Scouts of America
- Coronado Theater
- Epilepsy Foundation
- Global Spiritual Organization Inc.
- Golden Apple of Rockford
- Goodwill Industries
- Innovation Illinois
- Illinois Parks and Recreation Association
- Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza
- Laurent House
- Mercy Rockford
- Nicholas Conservatory
- OSF St. Anthony Foundation
- OSF St. Anthony Medical Center
- Perryville Path
- Puri School of Business
- Puri Family Center for Research and Engagement
- Remedies Renewing Lives
- Rock Cut State Park
- Rock River Pantry
- Rockford Area Economic Development Council
- Rockford Christian Schools
- Rockford First Church
- Rockford Lutheran School
- Rockford Memorial Development Foundation
- Rockford Park District
- Rockford Park District Foundation
- Rockford Public Schools
- Rockford Public School District ACT Program
- Rockford University
- Rosecrance Foundation
- Sportscore I and II
- Starlight Theatre
- Swedish American Foundation
- United Way
- Womanspace Garden
- YMCA of Rockford
- YWCA of Rockford
IN THE NEWS
Rockford Christian School breaks ground on new expansion
First Midwest Group is proud to have donated eight acres of land for the Rockford Christian Schools expansion.
Over the next few years, land adjacent to the school, located at 220 Hemlock Lane, will be transformed into an indoor fitness and recreational facility, a center for the arts, and a residence hall.
The expansion project also includes a 200-bed residence hall for students from around the nation and the world.
Congratulations Rockford Christian Schools! READ MORE
First Midwest Group and Sunil Puri are the proud sponsor of the 6th annual RPS 205 ACT/SAT Prep Program
The program consists of prep materials and lessons, free lunch, and a $50 Visa cash gift card for students with full attendance to 4 out of the 6 Saturday classes.
375 students participated in this year’s prep course and as many as 600 in prior years. Over 15,000 lunches have been provided to students who have attended the program. READ MORE
Golden Apple principal award winner: Rockford’s Amber Miller
Congratulations to Amber Miller – the 13th recipient of the annual Golden Apple Foundation Puri Family Outstanding Principal Award!
“Miller knows the name of every kid in her building. She’s fond of pushup contests and dance-offs. She can do cartwheels down the hallway but only does it when one of her kids meets a goal.
She is highly energetic. She supports her students, and she supports her faculty. She has a great intellectual curiosity. She’s constantly learning herself, and she models that for her students and her staff.”
Congratulations Principal Miller! READ MORE
First Midwest Group company founder and CEO honored by the YMCA of Rock River Valley with the Community Leader Award!
Sunil has a long history of philanthropy in the Rockford area including Remedies Renewing Lives, Rockford Lutheran School, the Rockford Park District, the Golden Apple Foundation, Mercy Rockford, OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, Rockford University, Rockford Christian School, and SwedishAmerican… READ MORE
Puri School of Business at Rockford University launches the Bloomberg Business Lab
“Our physical address might be Rockford, but our mental address is the world.” – Sunil Puri
Today, the Puri School of Business at Rockford University, through a donation from First Midwest Group founder & CEO, Rockford alumnus, and current Rockford University Board member Sunil Puri, launched the Bloomberg Business Lab. READ MORE
Rockford Christian Schools gets land from First Midwest Group to build grade school
ROCKFORD- Developer Sunil Puri on Tuesday announced that his family and his First Midwest Group business has given 8 acres of land valued at more than $2.7 million to Rockford Christian Schools to build an elementary school… READ MORE
First Midwest Group and the Puri Family donated 8-acres of land to Rockford Christian Schools
“We are thrilled, as a 20 year partnership, we’ve just seen this grow from a farm into what it has turned into and I can’t think of any better stewards of this land and the legacy than Rockford Christian. This is something that is dear to my heart. I’ve driven by it and I’ve seen the progress and the growth over this period of time” said First Midwest Group founder and president, Sunil Puri. READ MORE
Storage business, Starbucks moving into former Kmart in Loves Park
Rockford mayor, developer celebrate new clinic, promise more to come
ROCKFORD — Mayor Tom McNamara and First Midwest Group President Sunil Puri announced the completion a rare west side development that officials hope will soon become more commonplace… READ MORE
Puri Family Donates Building to PAWS Humane Society
The Puri Family donated their Cherry Valley Golf and Games Building to PAWS Humane Society, it’s first ever location… READ MORE
The 2017 Puri Family Outstanding Principal Award
Belvidere South Middle School Principal, Ben Commare, was awarded the 2017 Puri Family Outstanding Principal Award… READ MORE
Puri Family Investing in Excellence Assistant Principal Development Program 2017
ROCKFORD – The Golden Apple Foundation and First Midwest Group has named Jennifer Macek of Roosevelt Community Education Center the winnter of the Investing in Excellence: Assistant Principal Development program for 2017… READ MORE
Developer has passion for the young and the elderly
Sunil Puri, founder and president of First Midwest Group, has a particular passion for helping young people and the elderly… READ MORE
First Midwest Group – Long time supporter of Remedies Renewing Lives
ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) — A domestic violence incident happens every 84 minutes in our community according to Remedies and they say it’s the call our officers respond to most. READ MORE
Illinois 173 Expansion Project complete after three years
ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – A road improvement project that took three years to complete is now done and that means drivers have speedier and safer access to I-90 in Northern Winnebago County… READ MORE
Rockford Lutheran School introduces PURI Center of Research and Engagement
ROCKFORD — Rockford Lutheran School leaders, students, teachers and parents celebrated the completion of a $700,000 media center addition today on the school’s Junior/Senior High School campus, 3411 N. Alpine Road… READ MORE
Leaders of next generation honored at Young American Awards banquet
ROCKFORD — Businessman and philanthropist Sunil Puri today passed along words of wisdom he learned from his parents and grandparents to a room filled with some of the brightest teenagers from across the region… READ MORE
Prairie Hill Elementary Principal honored with Puri- Golden Apple Foundation Outstanding Principal Award
SOUTH BELOIT (WREX) –Kathy Noorlag has worked at Prairie Hill Elementary school for 16 years, and for the past five years she has worked with Principal Kevin Finnegan, the winner of the 2016 Puri-Golden Apple Foundation Outstanding Principal Award… READ MORE
Rockford’s Renee Schott named Golden Apple’s 2016 assistant principal
YMCA Announces New Branch With Puri Family Donation
The YMCA of Rock River Valley is branching out to serve southeast Rockford and the Cherry Valley region. The YMCA of Rock River Valley is branching out to serve southeast Rockford and the Cherry Valley region. We are excited to announce the donation of our new facility from Mr. Sunil Puri and his partner Dan Arnold… READ MORE
Rockford Lutheran School breaks ground on new media center
ROCKFORD — Rockford Lutheran School’s new media center will be a comfortable, engaging 4,384-square-foot space designed to inspire collaborative and innovative learning for the next 50 years… READ MORE
Rockford businessman Sunil Puri presents the Golden Apple Outstanding Principal Award to Roosevelt’s Heidi Houy
Rockford businessman Sunil Puri presents the Golden Apple Outstanding Principal Award to Roosevelt’s Heidi Houy… READ MORE
New domestic violence shelter coming to east Rockford
Dozens of dignitaries and supporters gathered on Wednesday at 220 Easton Parkway near Rockford University for a groundbreaking. The location is central to where many of those who seek help from the domestic violence and addiction treatment program live, said Sunil Puri of First Midwest Group, which donated the land… READ MORE
Welcome to the Puri School of Business at Rockford University founded by alum Sunil Puri
ROCKFORD — About 250 people, including educators and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, celebrated at a reception Friday for the grand opening of Puri Business School at Rockford University… READ MORE
Call Center could bring 500, or more, jobs to old K’s Merchandise site in Rockford
ROCKFORD — Plans are afoot to open a call center in the old K’s Merchandise building on Mulford Road near East State Street… READ MORE
Sunil Puri: Developer ‘with huge good heart’ shapes Rockford’s identity
Real estate powerhouse Sunil Puri, perhaps more than anyone else in the past 20 years, has reshaped the region’s physical and economic identity… READ MORE
First Rockford Group, Inc. President Sunil Puri to be honored by Rockford University
ROCKFORD – Rockford University honors one of its own Friday, April 25th when it awards honorary membership to Sigma Beta Delta to Sunil Puri…
First Rockford Group, Inc. Sponsors RPS205 ACT Prep Course
ROCKFORD – First Rockford Group, Inc., an Illinois-based real estate development corporation, will again sponsor…
Local philanthropist and alumnus Sunil Puri gifts $1million in land to College
Rockford, Ill., – First Midwest Group Founder and President Sunil Puri,’82, presented the deed to just over five acres of commercial…
Fundraising Efforts Begin for Rock River Fishing Pier Project
ROCKFORD (RPD) — The Rockford Park District and Rockford Park District Foundation kicked off fundraising efforts today for the David F. Johnson Accessible Fishing Pier Project. A news conference was held at the future site of the permanent accessible fishing pier located along the Rock River, just south of the Auburn Street bridge. The accessible pier would be accessed via the Rock River Recreation Path and wheelchair parking is nearby.
About the Project
The ability to fish requires accessibility, but for those with physical disabilities, those opportunities are very limited. At this point, even the largest body of water in the Rockford area, the Rock River, has no wheelchair accessible features. “Handrails and other accessible features are not typical along the shorelines of local rivers, lakes, and ponds. This accessible pier would mean anglers with disabilities would have a safe spot to take part in the sport they love,” said Events and Recreation Projects Manager John Beck.
Members of the Rockford chapter of AMBUCS (a service club promoting independent lifestyles for people with disabilities) and local fishing clubs approached the Rockford Park District to offer to help raise funds for pier construction. The cost for this project is approximately $110,000. If at least $50,000 is raised, the CBW Foundation will provide a challenge gift of $25,000.
The Rockford Park District Foundation is helping to raise money to build the accessible fishing pier. The pier will be named after David F. Johnson, an avid fisherman, Rockford alderman, and local disability advocate. “Dave was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis at the age of 14. Despite his health, his true passion was fishing, and he loved teaching others how to fish. This project honors his many years as a strong advocate for accessibility to buildings, for public transportation, and sidewalk curb cuts,” stated Valerie Johnson, Dave’s wife.
For 30 years, Dave and world class fisherman Babe Winkelman were friends and fishing buddies.
To help raise money for the accessible fishing pier, Winkelman and other area friends, like Founder and President of First Rockford Group Sunil Puri, are hosting a fundraiser called “Babe Winkelman’s Tribute to Professor Bass, Davey Johnson” on June 14, 2012. The fundraiser will take place at Radisson Hotel & Conference Center, 200 S. Bell School Road, Rockford, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. with a VIP reception beginning at 5 p.m. for anyone who contributes $100 or more. Tickets are $30 each, and $300 for a table of 8.
Purchase tickets or make a donation at the following Blackhawk Bank locations:
-2475 N. Perryville Road, Rockford
-3101 11th Street, Rockford
-9609 Forest Hills Road, Machesney Park
-5206 Elevator Road, Roscoe
-2141 N. State Street, Belvidere
Tickets can also be purchased at:
-Rockford Park District Foundation, 401 S. Main Street, Rockford
-Lynch Family Chiropractic, 3806 E. State Street, Rockford
Make checks payable to: DFJ Accessible Fishing Pier Fund. The fundraising event includes a fish fry and special silent auction with 30+ items from Dave’s fishing/outdoor art and object collection. All money raised goes to the David F. Johnson Accessible Fishing Pier.
For more information about Babe Winkelman’s Tribute to “Professor Bass, Davey Johnson,” contact event organizer Valerie Johnson at 815-262-9717 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information or questions about how to make a donation to the accessible fishing pier, contact Lisa Alexander, Rockford Park District Foundation Donor Relations Coordinator, 815-987-1632, or e-mail: email@example.com.
“One-On-One” with Sunil Puri
Rockford developer Sunil Puri doesn’t mince words about the state or our local economy.
“We have not done a good job of encouraging home grown businesses. I’m not talking about developers. I’m talking about people who actually produce widgets. I respect and celebrate people who create those core jobs.”
There are more than 12-hundred local employers with more than 25 employees. Puri says that’s where our attention needs to be focused.
“How about going to them and if each one of them created a job that would be 12-hundred new jobs. Why is it so wonderful and celebrated when we bring new people to town when we can not focus on our home grown? I don’t know who the next Mr. Sundstrand is but they’re here and we need to encourage them.”
I asked him, “So we need to appreciate our own and what we have?”
He said, “Absolutely and I think it is so much easier to go to those 12-hundred employers and create 12 hundred jobs between them than go out there and try to get 12 hundred new jobs. We need to focus on people who have roots here.”
Puri says he shares the frustrations that concern many local residents.
“What is there to celebrate about a community with a 12.8% unemployment, it’s just come down to … in the top 5 in real estate taxes in the nation, number 9 in crime in the nation.”
I asked, “You have the means to live anywhere in the world and given those statistics you just cited, what keeps you here?”
He said, “You know again, these are statistics. I don’t feel it. Do I feel I’m the 9th worst crime in the nation? I don’t. This is a wonderful place to live. I raised my kids here, I chose to come here. I have no plans on leaving.”
With his own children in Rockford public schools, Puri says he’s seen district 205 come a long way. He believes now is the time to replace outdated buildings.
“We know we have people unemployed in the trades, we will get better prices, we know interest rates are never going to be lower than where they are … this is the time to re-invest.”
Puri says good paying jobs are the key to Rockford’s future.
“All of this is only possible if we have those core jobs..the school, the teacher can not be the parent. That is only there if the parent at home is at peace and that comes from being able to have a job to be able to support your family with dignity and pride.”
Brookview toasts its Puri Family Outstanding Principal winner
ROCKFORD — Students at Brookview Elementary School erupted with cheers as Principal LuAnn Widergren walked in the school gymnasium…
Sunil Puri: Rockford College never ever gave up on me
ROCKFORD — Rockford businessman and philanthropist Sunil Puri credits Rockford College with not only giving him an accounting degr…
First Rockford Group, Inc. Sponsors RPS205 ACT Prep Course
ROCKFORD – First Rockford Group, Inc., an Illinois-based real estate development corporation, will again sponsor the Rockford Public Schools’ successful ACT prep courses. The 8-week weekend courses span January through March and allow students to gain better understanding and practice for the ACT exam, one of the major indicators of the likelihood of college acceptance.
The ACT prep courses are open to all Rockford Public School high school juniors who pay a $20.00 registration fee that is refunded after completion of the prep course. Students must attend 50% of the Saturday prep courses at Guilford High School.
“Our first year results were very promising with students increasing their ACT scores by an average of 3.6 points, compared to the practice test they took in the spring of their sophomore year,” said Dave Carson, Rockford Public School’s Executive Director of Career & College Readiness. “Many of our students aren’t able to afford or gain access to other types of ACT prep materials. This voluntary program provides a chance for all juniors to work hard and improve their chance of scoring well and attaining scholarships and entry to colleges.”
This Prep Course has a proven record of a 2 point score improvement. Those 2 points translate into $9,600 in additional grant monies and financial aid for each student.
First Rockford Group’s sponsorship of the program totals approximately $40,000. They will be providing ACT prep books for 400 high school students, lunch from Famous Dave’s BBQ Restaurant for all 8 of the Saturday prep classes, cash prizes for top-achieving students, an evening at Volcano Falls for the top achieving school and trophies for the RPS high schools with the greatest course enrollment and the greatest improvements in test scores.
“All three of my kids attend Rockford Public Schools and one is a senior at Auburn High School,” said First Rockford Group’s founder and president, Sunil Puri. “I know it takes hard work to do well, and I want to help provide that advantage for all of our high school students. When they work hard, score well and move on to colleges and successful careers, it’s good for our entire community.”