Valentine's Day brings beginnings and endings - – Rockford’s News Leader

Valentine's Day brings beginnings and endings


This Valentine's Day marks the beginning of a new life together for one Rockford couple, and the end of an era for a business owner. All three will remember this day forever.

What better way to celebrate Valentine's Day, than with a wedding? That's what Pete Gwizdala and his new bride Dawn thought as they said  'I do' at the Nicholas Conservatory.

"Discussed it and said, why not, let's do it, so we decided a little over 2 weeks ago and here we are," says Pete.  

About a year and a half ago, Pete popped the question.

"Kind of wanted to make it small and didn't want to do the courthouse thing so decided to do it here with a nicer facility with just a few people," says Dawn.

For these newlyweds... Valentine's day will forever have an extra special meaning.

And for Rose Virgili, owner of Al Mar Florist in Rockford, Valentine's Day means sales! "Business today has been very very good," says Rose.  

Their best seller? "Roses of course, that's number one."

But after the last teddy bear goes out the door this evening, Valentine's Day at Al Mar will be a thing of the past. "We're just real sad about it. we've been in business going on 70 years," says Rose.  

About a year ago, the Illinois Department of Transportation told Rose her building is in the way of the South Main Street expansion project. "It was a shock to hear that we have to be out of here by the 31st of March," says Rose.  

Not only is Rose loosing her flower shop, her  home is right next door. "I'm gonna miss this place."

The 87 year-old is taking this change in stride, trying to make this day one to celebrate. "Who knows maybe I'll have some champagne or something."

Rose says she has not found a place to relocate her shop just yet, but says she has not ruled the idea out.

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