Interim Executive Director's Message 

In 2018, when I began this role, I never thought I'd see a 2020 like this year. Having 2020 vision use to be something we look forward to and created a vision to reach toward. The year 2020 has indeed blindsided us and we are grateful to still be here serving the Rockford community. We have implimented protocols to keep youth and staff healthy and safe during this global crisis. We have even expanded to All Day Remote Learning and found a larger location for our Boxing program at 727 First Avenue. 


We have been blessed with past Directors at Patriots; Jim Flodin, Cherene Sweeny and Penny Billman. I am very thankful for their years of service to Patriots and the community. At Patriots, the Board used their passion for youth and Midtown community to focus their energies on the programs that would be most successful in impacting lives.

Over the years, Patriots has hosted a large group of partnership organizations that run programs from the center. We then hosted a Charter School where my own kids went to for three years. Patriots then hosted Easter Seals until the summer of 2017. Both the Charter School and Easter Seals used almost the entire building. In 2018, we began a partnership with Youth Service Network that uses four rooms in the building. In 2019, we began a partnership with the Rockford Innovative Learning Center, hosting classes for high school students earning their diploma. We are prayerfully discerning what this mean for the future and what new partnerships can be strengthened and developed.

Patriots has a great after-school program, an awesome Ambassadors basketball program led by volunteers and the wonderful Boxing program out of the Seventh Street store front. We have the greatest kids on the earth! Watching their joy in what they are doing, the boundless energy, unending inquisitiveness, and most of all their sense of humor can brighten the cloudiest day.  All Patriots youth programs, whether academic or sports-oriented, develop each child’s unique talents and the skills needed to become a productive citizen. Even though our focus is on youth, we provide opportunities for adults and families, too.

Please consider how you could be more involved in our Patriots community – whether by being a Board member or by providing funding. You can be assured that we will be good stewards of your time and support. We have the best staff in the world!

Rev. Dr. Michael E. Thomas
Patriots Gateway Community Center


Patriots Gateway Community Center

615 S. 5th Street 

Rockford, IL 61104

​Tel: 815-967-0413

​Fax: 815-316-3024   


"Reno Way"

Thank you to the City of Rockford for recognizing Roger Reno's contribution to Midtown and Patriots by giving Fifth Avenue the honorary designation of Reno Way.

Read about Roger Reno and his contribution to Patriots and the community