Alumni Day!

We hope you’ll join us for the first annual River Ridge Alumni Day next Saturday, January 3rd, at GEAR’s gym in the Elizabeth Municipal Building. We’ll have concessions available throughout the day. Here is the schedule of basketball games starting in the morning and extending into the evening:

10:30-11:30: 5th/6th Grade Girls
11:45-12:45: 5th/6th Grade Boys
1:00-2:00: 3rd/4th Grade Boys
2:15-3:15: 3rd/4th Grade Girls
3:30-4:30: 7th/8th Grade Girls
4:45-5:45: 7th/8th Grade Boys
6:00-7:15: Women’s Adult Game
7:30-8:45: Men’s Adult Game

Players get in free, but everyone else pays at the gate, $5 for adults and $3 for students. A great deal for a full day of basketball! OR you can sign up to work a shift (money-taker, concession worker, ref, or scoreboard worker) and thus get in FREE. If you’d like to volunteer to work, please contact Jeremy Knauer: jknauer(AT)riverridge210(DOT)org.

Thank you for helping us put Elizabeth in GEAR! Hope to see you next Saturday!


River Ridge Alumni Day!

Want another chance to play in the gym where River Ridge basketball was born? Sign up today for our first ever alumni games! Any graduate of River Ridge, Elizabeth, or Hanover is eligible to play.

The event will be Saturday, January 3rd, at the Elizabeth Municipal Gym (former River Ridge High School). Games will be in the evening, depending on how many people sign up. Game times will be announced in December here on our website and on our Facebook page.

Cost is $10, which includes a t-shirt, playing time, and admission to the day’s events. Registration forms are due back to either Jeremy Knauer or Brad Haas by December 12th. Please help us to spread the word and put Elizabeth in GEAR!


GEAR Events

It’s been a busy spring so far, and GEAR is thankful for all of you who helped make it successful!

1) The Spring in My Step run was May 3rd. We had beautiful weather and a great turnout! More pictures can be seen on Facebook.

Lining up for the two-mile run/walk.

Lining up for the two-mile run/walk.

Congratulations to the winners, and to all participants!

Congratulations to the winners, and to all participants!


2) It’s not too late to join the Saturday morning fun at the Village Hall gym. Tiffany Beltran is teaching a PiYo Strength class from 7:30 to 8:30 AM, and a Zumba class from 8:45 to 9:45 AM. Each class is $7. The current session of classes ends May 24th. Pre-registration is not required for either class. For more information about the classes, contact Beltran at, or by calling 815-747-9191. Street shoes are not allowed on the gym floor, so please bring a clean pair of shoes to change into for Zumba. For PiYo you’ll need a yoga mat and your bare feet!

3) We’ve received several great donations of exercise equipment—thanks to all of you donors! We’re preparing to order rubber mats for the weight room floor, and then we can begin organizing and installing equipment. Hopefully we’ll have the weight room ready for use soon! If you’d like to donate money or equipment to GEAR, please let us know.

4) The Elizabeth trail committee will meet for the first time on Tuesday, May 13th, 7:00 PM at Village Hall. If you are interested in serving on this committee, you’re invited to attend the meeting!

5) The GEAR Board has many plans in the works. This summer we’ll be ironing out the details of how exactly the gym will be used by the public. By fall, we hope to start offering a variety of opportunities for everyone. If a group or individual wants to use the gym, please contact a GEAR Board member, or use the “Contact Us” link at the top of this page.

Thanks again for all your support, and let us know if you have questions!

Beautifying Elizabeth and Fitness Classes!

Lots of news that we’re excited to share with you!

1) Don’t forget about the May 3rd event Spring in My Step, which features a kids’ race and a two-mile run/walk for youth and adults. We have some great prizes in mind, and feel free to stick around for some food and fun. Plus you’ll want to sign up soon so you can get a t-shirt! All the details for SIMS can be found HERE.

2) In honor of Earth Day we’re helping to clean up Elizabeth, and we’d love your help! Please consider joining this worthy cause to keep our town beautiful. Check out this poster for the when and where:

earth day poster final

3) GEAR is thrilled to announce the first of our fitness classes! Tiffany Haas Beltran will teach two Saturday morning classes, PiYo Strength and Zumba. PiYo Strength is the perfect blend of many disciplines: Yoga, Pilates, core conditioning, dance, stretching, and athletic drills to burn calories and build muscle. The dynamic blend of movement increases strength, stability, and agility. This class provides an up-tempo, non-spiritual approach to mind and body exercise in one unique body-sculpting workout.

Zumba fuses Latin rhythms and easy-to-follow moves to create a high-energy, calorie-blasting, total-body workout. Fast and slow rhythms are alternated to provide an interval training effect designed to sculpt and tone your body. Zumba is a great mix of Latin flavor and international beats designed to keep you dancing. This fun class feels more like a party than a workout.

Beltran will teach for five Saturdays, beginning April 26th and ending May 24th. PiYo Strength will be offered from 7:30 AM to 8:30 AM, and Zumba will be offered 8:45 AM to 9:45 AM. Each class is $7 if you drop in, or $30 if you prepay for the five-week session. Pre-registration is not required for either class. For more information about the classes, contact Beltran at, or by calling 815-747-9191. Street shoes are not allowed on the gym floor, so please bring a clean pair of shoes to change into. Thank you!

4) GEAR is still accepting donations of gym/fitness equipment, and we’re also in need of a small chest freezer for our summer concession stand. If you’re interested in donating to us, please contact us. We can provide you with a donor form for tax deductions.

Thanks so much for all your interest and support! Hope to see you at an upcoming event!

Results In & Help Needed!

Survey Results

Thanks so much to everyone who voted in last week’s survey! The results were very helpful. Fitness opportunities such as aerobics, dance, yoga, martial arts, and CrossFit-type classes received the most votes. Many expressed interest in an adult volleyball league and basketball tournaments. Art classes and cooking classes were also popular choices.

The next step is to find instructors for these classes and people to organize leagues. Potential instructors can contact GEAR for more information. The goal is to offer an array of classes taught by well-qualified instructors. Any public use of the gym by a group or individual has to be approved by the GEAR Board.

Weight Room Donations

GEAR is in the process of creating a weight room, which will be located on the side-wing of the stage. We’d greatly appreciate donations of weights, exercise equipment, a TV with DVD player, and rubber mats for the floor. We’d also gladly accept donations of gym equipment, such as a basketball cage, storage lockers, scoreboards, volleyball net and poles, and more. Please contact us if you are interested in donating money or equipment.

Several businesses and people have already donated time and money. We’d like to thank everyone who has supported us. The Village of Elizabeth and Hoskins Building Center helped us buy new backboards (to arrive soon), Mark Petsche painted the gym and stage, and Jug’s Main Street Tap hosted a chili cook-off to raise funds for GEAR. Thank you all so much for your generosity!!

Volunteers Needed

GEAR is always accepting new members. We currently need new members to form a trail committee. This committee would explore options for building a walking/biking trail in the Elizabeth area. If you are interested in serving on this committee, please contact us!

GEAR will have a table at the upcoming Jo Daviess County Health Summit on March 22nd, 7:30 to 10:30 AM. This will be a great opportunity to check out the new paint and floor in the Village Gym, as well as find out how you can get involved with GEAR.

Use the “Contact Us” tab at the top of the page to send GEAR an email. Thank you all for your continued support!

GEAR Survey!

First, a huge THANK YOU to everyone who attended the Energize Elizabeth town meeting! We greatly appreciate your support!

Second, GEAR is creating an email newsletter so we can easily notify people of events and updates. If you haven’t yet signed up for this newsletter but would like to, use the “Contact Us” tab to send us your name and email address.

Third, GEAR is hoping to soon offer more in the way of arts and recreation, but we need your feedback. Please let us know what you would be interested in! This will help us decide which opportunities to pursue. Vote in the poll below, choosing multiple options or adding new ones if you want. Then share the poll with your family and friends so they can vote too! Thanks for the help!

UPDATE: Poll is now closed. Thanks so much to everyone who voted!!

GEAR Update!

GEAR has been busy lately, and the months to come will prove to be even more exciting!

Our biggest project right now is the gym inside the Village Municipal Building (the old Elizabeth school). Our goal is to open the gym for public use on the weekends. Our first step was to prep the gym for painting. GEAR met this week to clear the walls and take down the stage curtains.

Discussing a plan of action onstage.

Discussing a plan of action onstage.

The walls are currently powder blue. The new paint will be a light gray.

The walls are currently powder blue. The new paint will be light gray.

Many thanks to Brian Engle and Nick Haas for taking down the curtains!

Many thanks to Brian Engle and Nick Haas for taking down the curtains!

Jeremy Knauer and Jacob Ambrosia prepare the curtains for storage.

Jeremy Knauer and Jacob Ambrosia prepare the curtains for storage.

Starting this week, Mark Petsche is volunteering his time to paint the gym, which we are very thankful for. If you see him, make sure to tell him thanks!

Once the paint job is done, the Village of Elizabeth is paying to buff and reseal the gym floor. Then we’ll be checking the stage floor, the bleachers, and anything else that needs to be fixed and polished. If all goes well, hopefully we can open the gym sometime in January! At that point we’ll start scheduling public walking times, volleyball usage, and more. Thanks to all of you for your patience and support!

In other GEAR news, we are very close to revealing our professional logo. It looks fantastic, and we can’t wait to share it with you. We’ll soon be ordering t-shirts with the new logo.

Thank you for making our recent Manny’s Pizza fundraiser a great success! We sold 1940 pizzas—a new record! We’re currently discussing how to use the money to benefit the community the most. The pickup date for the pizzas is December 23rd from 4:30 to 6:00 PM at the gym.

We’ll keep you updated on our progress! Happy Holidays, everyone!