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John & Roberta Mink Pavilion dedicated at Rosecrance campus

Friends invited the Minks on Feb. 25, 1972, to join the Rosecrance Corps.

John Mink influenced the design of many Rosecrance facilities, and now his name graces a special project that honors his dedication to the organization.

The John & Roberta Mink Pavilion was named for John and his wife, whose involvement with Rosecrance started more than four decades ago. John was a longtime Rosecrance board member and former board president who passed away in 2013.

The couple became involved with Rosecrance in 1972. Rosecrance Memorial Homes for Children at that time served boys with behavioral issues who often came from broken homes.

Friends invited the Minks on Feb. 25, 1972, to join the Rosecrance Corps, a group of eight couples who did service projects for Rosecrance and spent quality time with the boys. They went camping, played games and were known for making birthday cakes for the children.

Robbie easily recalled those early days at Rosecrance at a dedication ceremony on Aug. 4 with many of the Mink family members by her side.

“On that night (in 1972), I never dreamed on Aug. 4, 2015, that here we would be in a pavilion with our names on it,” Robbie said. “That’s quite an honor.”

The 26-by-40-foot heavy timber structure provides a roof over picnic tables that can seat 48 people. The perimeter stone wall offers additional seating for clients, staff and visitors.

The pavilion’s design and masonry match the overall design of the main Rosecrance Griffin Williamson facility to provide a cohesive look. Campus Administrator Jason Gorham said clients and staff use the pavilion almost daily.

Rosecrance President/CEO Philip Eaton said John “had his hand in every building, every site we built.” John was a leader in the Rockford manufacturing industry, becoming owner and CEO of Rockford Spring Co. in 1988 and then CEO of Zenith Cutter until its sale in 2011.

Eaton and his wife, Cherri, were also members of the original Rosecrance Corps.

“John left such an indelible mark on this organization,” Eaton said. “His passion was the work that we did with youth, and we want this addition to the campus to be a standing, lasting tribute and reflect the dedication that John had to Rosecrance.”

A scholarship was also established by Bates Financial Advisors Inc. after John passed away. Two Rosecrance alumni were named as recipients of the John Mink Memorial Scholarship at the pavilion dedication. They each will receive $1,000 scholarships to support their education at Rock Valley College.

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