The ribbon was cut on the United Way of Rock River Valley’s newest Strong Neighborhood house last week. Thanks to all who gave so much to make this dream a reality. The property was donated by Associated Bank and is located on Marie Avenue in Machesney Park. We are grateful for the generosity of the donated labor and funding from the Northwestern Illinois Trades Unions as well as all of the others who donated to this project. We look forward to providing community building programs for families in the neighborhood. See more photos inside.

United Way of Rock River Valley’s (UWRRV) third Strong Neighborhood House officially opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, April 29 at 1 p.m.

Sixty-four partners representing construction companies, financial institutions, government, law enforcement, nonprofits, private citizens, and trade unions donated the funds, materials and labor necessary to build the house, located at 825 Marie Ave., Machesney Park, on a lot donated by Associated Bank.

The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office reached out to United Way to bring the Strong Neighborhood House initiative to Machesney Park and Loves Park as a way to improve relationships between law enforcement and neighborhood residents and reduce crime.

Construction began in July 2020 and was completed in October.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the house was not able to officially open until now. The Marie Avenue Strong Neighborhood House will be open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with staff from United Way, and from 2 to 4 p.m. with local law enforcement officers. Currently, programs for children and families include: Cooking with a Cop, Explorer Program, and Community Gardening.

In addition, computer access, games, reading materials, local resources and opportunities to meet with law enforcement in an informal setting will be available when the house is open.

The house will also be used for neighborhood association meetings. Programs and services will be added and evolve as United Way staff, and neighbors work together to determine what will best meet their needs.

“We are pleased to be able to expand the Strong Neighborhood House initiative into Machesney Park and Loves Park,” said Paul Logli, president and CEO, United Way. “This would not have been possible without the time, talent and funding of 64 organizations and private donors. We are grateful for their tremendous support.”

For more information about United Way of Rock River Valley, please visit:

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