Over 1,000 People Attend First Annual
Walk for Life in Rockford
The first annual Rockford Walk for Life brought over 1,000 people together on January 23, 2021 to stand up for the unborn. The event began with a rally at the Stanley J. Roszkowski United States Federal Courthouse and then participants walked in procession past the State of Illinois building, and then back to the Federal Courthouse.
Modeled after the annual March for Life in Washington, DC, the event was organized by the Rockford Family Initiative, and several area churches and social/political groups were in attendance.
"It was amazing to see so many pro-lifers brave the cold and participate in Rockford's first-ever Walk for Life," said Kevin Rilott, President of Rockford Family Initiative. "We weren't sure how many to expect, so to see over a thousand people standing up against abortion brings joy to my heart and sends a strong message - we want to keep Rockford abortion-free."
Several area churches brought groups to the event, including St. Bernadette's, Holy Family, St. Bridget's, St. Mary Oratory, and St. Rita's in Rockford, among others. St. James Church in Belvidere also brought a group, as did churches from as far away as St. Mary's in Huntley. Canon Luke Zignego led the opening prayer, and blessed participants from the St. Mary Oratory fire escape as they walked by.
At the front of the Walk were the Crusaders for Life from St. Peter's in Volo, with their characteristic yellow hoodies, balloons, and drums. They were led by their President, Hope Miller, who also spoke at the event. Pastor Jeremiah Griffin from Halsted Road Baptist Church offered the closing prayer.
Joe Scheidler - originally scheduled to be the keynote speaker - sadly passed away a few days before the Walk. To honor him and his example as the "Godfather of Pro-Life Activism," a memorial was set up on the stage and all of the speakers spoke about his life and example. To top it off, his wife Ann Schiedler attended and said a few words about her late husband.
"There is no doubt in my mind that this was an historic day for Rockford," said Danniel Pribble, co-coordinator of the event. "This will definitely be an annual event, and we hope to make it bigger and bigger every year."
Check out some initial pictures from the event below. If you have more pictures or video, please post them on social media using the hashtag #ProLifeRockford, or email them to us at
Rockford Walk for Life