All posts by John DiDonna

Wireless Zone comes to Elburn

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A ribbon cutting was held Wednesday to officially welcome the new Wireless Zone Corporate store in Elburn. The store opened its doors on Dec. 1, 2012, in the Jewel Plaza. A few of those in attendance were Wireless Consultant Allison Daily (left to right), Manager Michael Gove, Elburn Mayor Dave Anderson, Wireless Consultant Kathy Thompson, Corporate Rep. Peter Lachapelle and Elburn Chamber of Commerce President Karen Park.
Photo by John DiDonna

Photos: Sunday morning pancakes

The Maple Park Lions Club hosted a pancake breakfast on Sunday morning at the American Legion Hall.  Proceeds from the event went to support the Maple Park community. Sisters Emily, 13, and Gabrielle Selenis, 11, enjoy their pancakes.
The Maple Park Lions Club hosted a pancake breakfast on Sunday morning at the American Legion Hall.
Proceeds from the event went to support the Maple Park community. Sisters Emily, 13, and Gabrielle Selenis, 11, enjoy their pancakes.
Maple Park Lions member Trevor Clark tries to keep up on the supply of pancakes at the breakfast.
Maple Park Lions member Trevor Clark tries to keep up on the supply of pancakes at the breakfast.

Sycamore siblings Colette, Barbara and Toby (below) have lived in Maple Park most of their lives.  They try not to miss a  Lions pancake breakfast.
Sycamore siblings Colette, Barbara and Toby (below) have lived in Maple Park most of their lives.
They try not to miss a
Lions pancake breakfast.

Photos by John DiDonna

Photos: That’ll do it—Wise retires

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Bud Wise (back row, right) and his co-workers enjoy his retirement party on Dec. 19 at Hogan/Walker John Deere in Elburn. Wise worked at Jewel for 38 years and has been with John Deere since 1996. The employees at Hogan/Walker John Deere threw him a retirement party with food and gifts. Wise is a valued member of the community and has lived in Elburn since he was 5 years old.

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Co-worker Dede Bend (bottom, left) congratulates Wise on his long-awaited retirement.

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Wise (bottom, right) enjoys a laugh with his wife, Marilyn, at his retirement celebration. Photos by John DiDonna

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Wise (right) sold many of these tractors over the years but is looking forward to his retirement.

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Christmas and Creative Beginnings

Students from Creative Beginnings Preschool (right) at the Elburn and Countryside Community Center sang Christmas songs for their parents and other guests on Dec. 19 in the gymnasium. The kids had a good time performing and receiving gifts from their teachers on the last day before holiday break. Photos by John DiDonna

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The preschool teachers hand out presents to the students after the holiday program.

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Jack, 4, was born on Christmas Eve. After the program, he posed with one of the large decorations.

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Creative Beginnings Student Annika, 4, examines her presents with her mom after the holiday program.

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15 month old Bryan couldn’t sing with the big kids, but had fun walking around the gym and looking at the decorations.

Photos: Christmas in Kaneville

Riders (right) return from a tour of the town during the Kaneville Christmas celebration.


Gunner Barrett (left), 21 months, really liked seeing Santa at the Kaneville Fire
Department during the Christmas in Kaneville event.


Katee Werrline hands out free snacks and drinks at Hill’s Country Store in Kaneville.




Photos by John DiDonna

Photos: Scoring some spaghetti

The Kaneland boys basketball program held it’s fourth annual spaghetti dinner on Nov. 15 at the high school cafeteria. Proceeds benefited the program, and the food was served by the basketball players. Marty Scialabba, 11 (right), gets his helping of food
during the dinner.


A group of kids make a party out
of the dinner by acting silly and
eating treats.

Photos by John DiDonna

A ‘lil leaf clean-up fun


Mary, 3, Joseph, 2 and Loretta Rigitano “help” their parents clean up leaves on a blustery day recently in the front of their home in Elburn. The kids didn’t mind the cold and the wind because they were having so much fun. Photo by John DiDonna

Scary good read


At John Stewart Elementary School, Mrs. Reilley’s fourth-grade class completed book reports on Bluestem Award winning books and created pumpkin characters to match their reports. On Oct. 30, the students read their reports and displayed their pumpkins. Zack Nemechek (above) answers questions about his report. Zack read the book “Kenny and the Dragon,” and constructed “Graham” the dragon for his display. Photo by John DiDonna

Photos: Honoring our Veterans

On Wednesday, Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School held a veterans celebration and flag raising. VFW veterans were honored and students gave short speeches about their appreciation of our war heroes. Photos by
John DiDonna


Elburn Scout Pack 107 helped raise the colors during the Veterans ceremony
on Wednesday at John Stewart elementary school.


The Mattina Brass Ensemble, a group of seventh and eighth grade brass players from Harter Middle School, played during the Veterans ceremony.



On Wednesday morning, Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School held a veterans celebration and flag raising. VFW veterans were honored, and students gave short speeches about their appreciation of our war heroes.

Photo: Poppin’ fund


In spite of the rough weather, Elburn Cub Scouts from Pack 107 were out in front of Ream’s Market on Oct. 14 selling their popcorn to support the Scouts. Sam (left to right), Max and Paul display their merchandise. The popcorn sales help local Scouts fund their programs and activities like camping, equipment and uniforms. Photo by John DiDonna

Photos: Christmas in October

DuKane Chapter of A.B.A.T.E. (American Bikers for Awareness, Training, and Education) of Illinois hosted its 26th Annual Toy & Food Run Sunday. Benefitting Motorcycle Rights, local charities, and area food banks. The ride started at Knuckleheads Tavern on North Street in Elburn. Here, Santa leads the way at the start of the ride. Photo by John DiDonna


Judy Kaenel, President of the DuKane Chapter of A.B.A.T.E. (above) gives final instructions to the riders.


A pair of Bulldogs get a free ride in the back of a trailer pulled by a Harley during the Toy and Food Run on Sunday.


The bikers are anxious to hit the road before the start of the run.

Maple Park mayhem

The Maple Park Fire Department held its annual dance/raffle at the Maple Park Fire Station on Saturday evening. Line dancing was a big hit throughout the night.


Cricket and Cathy Lay (above) from Maple Park dance to a slow tune by the band Back Country Roads (below), who provided the music for the dance.

Photos by John DiDonna

Kids help out

Mia, Katherine, Sarah, Matthew, Josh and Ty (left to right) are students at Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School. They are helping to promote the annual John Stewart Fall and Winter Clothing and Toy Sale. The sale will take place at the school on Friday, Oct. 5, 6 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 6, 8 a.m. to noon. Photo by John DiDonna

Meet-and-greet sessions


The 11th annual Working for the Fox Valley Job Fair took place on Friday in the Academic and Professional Center of Waubonsee Community College. The event featured more than 80 local employers. Here, Rebecca Fritz (right), director of nursing at Geneva Nursing and Rehab Center, greets job seeker Emma Moon of Sugar Grove. Photo by John DiDonna

All together now!


Kaneland High School held its Freshmen Class Orientation Day on Tuesday. Besides getting acquainted with the school, the class participated in outdoor games designed to teach trust and working together. Here, a group of students runs through a jump rope at the same time. The event was led by Beth Trafton and John Markovich and included 64 sophomore through senior student leaders. Photo by John DiDonna

Family fun in Maple Park

Maple Park held its Family Fun Night on June 27 in the Maple Park and Countryside Fire Department parking lot. Don and Shirley Twarog (below) have been married 57 years and still enjoy dancing at the Maple Park Family Night. The event included a concert by The Hometown Band (right), food from the Methodist Church, a 50/50 raffle and free rides on the kiddie fire truck. Photos by John DiDonna

Magical time at Elburn library


Mr. E (Rob Erdmann) performs magic for kids at Elburn’s Town and Country Public Library on Monday evening. It was part of the program called “Mr. E Presents Reading Is So Delicious!” Mr. E and His Magic Kitchen featured magic, puppets, storytelling and audience participation. Photo by John DiDonna

2012 T-ball a ‘hit’


The last T-ball game was played in Maple Park on June 16 with the Elburn Super Stars facing the Maple Park Catering Gourmets. The Elburn team was coached by Roy Dennis and Maple Park was coached by Ryan Ruh. T-ball is a sport based on baseball and is intended as an introduction for children to develop baseball skills and have fun. Here, Elburn’s Connor Spence, 5, takes a swing and gets a hit. Photo by John DiDonna

Round ‘em up

The Maple Park Police held their 2nd annual
Bike Rodeo on June 2 at the Maple Park Fire Station. Kids saw a
film on bike safety and then rode their bikes through test stations to learn
about stop signs, crosswalks and riding through traffic. They then participated
in a bike parade. Bootleggers restaurant sponsored a Bike Safety
Challenge Contest. Kids were invited to a free lunch and a
movie at the Maple Park police station. Photo by John DiDonna

A speedy opening at Jimmy John’s


A ribbon cutting took place Tuesday at the new Jimmy John’s, located at 472 N. Route 47 in Sugar Grove. On hand for the event were Dino Divizio (left to right), Kenny Abbott, Sally McClellan, Bryce Carey, Lisa Lund, Richard Young, owners Vanessa and Aaron Leuer, their daughter Lilly, Mayor Sean Michels and Dave Barroughs.
Photo by John DiDonna

On the right ‘track’-tor


Tuesday, April 17, was “Take Your Tractor to School Day” at Kaneland High School. The FFA program is going to have a team of five students compete in Ag Mechanics at the University of Illinois on May 15. The tractors were displayed in the parking lot, and the FFA students held a cookout for whoever wanted to attend. Dan Goress (left to right), Garrett Gamalski and Mike Gorenz gather by a John Deere tractor. Photo by John DiDonna

Bringing the food


Curves in Elburn recently took part in the Curves 14th Annual Food Drive. They collected over 300 pounds of food. On Tuesday, staff and members walked the food over to the Elburn Food Pantry. Participating were owner Lisa Hood, Donna Anderson, Deb Roesner, Karen Antolak and JoAnn Colby. Photo by John DiDonna

And Five-0 makes it official


A good crowd turned out to witness the ribbon cutting at Five-O Tattoo in downtown Elburn on Friday. The business has been in the unincorporated St. Charles area for over six years and now in Elburn for about seven weeks. Joe Smitherman from American Family Insurance (left to right), Elburn Village President Dave Anderson, Five-O Tattoo owners Steve and Stacey Winterstein, their sons Hunter and Jakob, and Karen Park from Old Second Bank attended the event to help welcome Five-O Tattoo to the village. Photo by John DiDonna

Five-O Tattoo
109 E. North St., Unit B
Elburn
(630) 365-3900
Friday 6:30-10 pm
Saturday 2-10 pm • Sunday 2-6 pm

Photos: It all happens at the health fair

Senior Kris Leeseberg (right photo) demonstrates his kicking technique during the KHS Health Fair on Tuesday. Owner/Instructor Kimberly Cote from Midtown Martial Arts was on hand to teach students the health benefits of
martial arts.


Diego Ochoa (above) experiences what it is like to climb stairs while wearing fire fighting equipment. The Fox Valley career Center Fire Science Department presented this demonstration.


Dr. Kenneth Baumruck, (right) of Elburn Chiropractic, gives a spinal evaluation to student Luke Kreiter.


Student Jeff Bergstrom (left) works the ropes, which were a part of the Delnor Health and Wellness exhibit during the Health Fair. About 40 health related businesses were on hand to teach students about healthy lifestyles.

Photos by John DiDonna

Safety first

Sergeant Buzz Hodges of the Maple Park Police Department hands Zack Gould, 13, an unloaded weapon to examine. Hodges and Officer Andy Rissman, along with Ted and Theo Mikrut of the National Rifle Association, held gun safety classes for kids on Dec. 29 at the Village Hall. There were classes for older as well as younger kids. They learned things to do and what not to do when coming in contact with guns. It is part of an ongoing program to protect families from gun-related injuries or death. Photo by John DiDonna

100 Years, 100 Coats


At a recent Girl Scout meeting, Isabella Ford of Sugar Grove got the idea to try and donate 100 coats to the annual Chicago Bears/ Jewel-Osco Coat Drive to help celebrate 100 years of scouting and to help deserving families during the holiday season. Sugar Grove Troop 647 actually collected 135 coats and dropped them off on Nov. 21 to the Jewel store in Sugar Grove. Donations benefit the Salvation Army and public schools in the greater Chicagoland area.
Photo by John DiDonna

Photos: Salute to veterans

Photo (right): Dominic LaSalle, 11,
plays Taps during the close
of the Veteran’s Day ceremony
at Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School
on Friday, Nov. 11. LaSalle is part of the
Mattina Brass ensemble from Harter Middle
School. The annual ceremony included war
veterans announcing who they are and what they did,
poems read by students, the flag raising and music.
(See more Veteran’s Day photos on page 9A).

Veterans Al Anderson and Dennis Richmond admire the Wall of Honor in the main hallway at Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School on Friday, Nov. 11. The men were part of the annual flag raising ceremony at the school.

Third-grader Megan Stefanik reads a Veteran’s Day poem during the annual flag raising ceremony.

Members of Elburn Scout Troop 107 prepare to raise the flag on Veterans Day.
Photos by John DiDonna

Dudzinski digging Wichita State


On Nov. 9 at the Kaneland High School library, varsity volleyball player Katy Dudzinski officially signed to play for Wichita State next year. She is surrounded by her mother, Barb, her father, Dave, and brother, Robbie. Her friends, coaches and teammates came to help her celebrate. Brother Dave suits up for the Holy Cross basketball team in Massachusetts. Photo by John DiDonna

‘Who ya gonna call?’

The Lincoln Highway 4-H Club hosted the annual Halloween Parade on Monday at the Maple Park Civic Center. Gaven Hargrove (at right), 10, and Maddie McGrady, 9, pose as Frankenstein and his bride.


Prizes were given to winners in each age group. Jackson and Connor, 4, (above) show off their prizes. The event was sponsored by the Maple Park Lions Club, St. Mary, St. Vincent DePaul Society and the Maple Park Rec Council.

Photos by John DiDonna

Same bat time …


Danny Grotto, 4, has a close encounter with a live Egyptian Fruit Bat at the Sugar Grove Library on
Saturday, Oct. 29. Educators and naturalists Sharon and Daniel Peterson brought their “Incredible Bats” demonstration to the library. Children got to learn about bats, and they each took turns having a bat hang from them. The Petersons have been educating people about bats for over 10 years. Photo by John DiDonna