All posts by Natalie Juns


Sugar Grove business offers therapeutic massage

Photo: A Time of Knead is located at 40 Terry Drive, Sugar Grove. Photo by Lynn Logan

SUGAR GROVE—A Time of Knead, a professional therapeutic massage business located at 40 Terry Drive in Sugar Grove, opened its doors on Oct. 1. The business shares a location in the same building as Rocky’s Dojo, across the street from Fireside Grille on Route 47.

Kari Meloun, owner of A Time of Knead, is a 2012 graduate of the Therapeutic Massage Degree Program at Waubonsee Community College, where she also earned an associate degree in applied science for therapeutic massage in August 2012.

Meloun worked as an independent contractor at Emily Kay Salon in Sugar Grove prior to starting up her own massage business.

“I was working for a year as an independent contractor at Emily Kay Salon in Sugar Grove, and was contemplating starting my own business for a while,” Meloun said. “The opportunity of renting space became available, and I opened my office Oct. 1.”

A number of massage packages are offered on A Time of Knead’s website,, including therapeutic massages of different time lengths, hot stone massage, chair massage, on-site chair massage, prenatal massage. Outcalls are also available by request.

“I offer custom massages, and when I offer a 60-minute massage, it’s the full 60 minutes,” Meloun said. “I also offer 30 minutes and 90 minutes. I like to make sure my clients are not rushed and get the maximum benefit of each session they come to see me for. I incorporate different techniques to tailor (the experience) and help each individual client meet their goal. It’s not just Swedish massage techniques, but also perhaps deep tissue, reflexology, stretching, etc.”

Meloun’s passion for therapeutic messages stems from her desire to help people.
“What makes me so passionate about massage therapy is that I love helping people,” Meloun said. “This is such a rewarding career. I get to work directly with people, and they look forward to coming to see me. It’s so rewarding when you see the progress that your clients make, whether it be decreasing pain or frequency of headaches, managed stress or increased range of motion. I really love it.”

Educating her clients and the community about the benefits of message is another one of her passions. Meloun enjoys teaching people about the positive impacts of therapeutic massage and how it can help them with their own life.

Meloun’s parents are a big part of the reason behind her decision to open up her own business. Their motivation and inspiration gave her the determination she needed to create A Time of Knead.

“Both my parents are my main inspiration for starting my business,” Meloun said. “My dad has been a small business owner for the last 27 years. My mom, I hadn’t realized at the time before she passed, how much she inspired me. But she was always there for me, always supportive. She bragged about me and was so proud when I graduated high school, went to college, got my first associate degree in science, went into the massage program and got licensed. She would always brag about my accomplishments, and after she passed, I realized all of this. I still feel her looking down on me with a smile and her pride and approval.”

Meloun will be at the Kaneland Special Needs PTA event on Saturday, Nov. 15, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Harter Middle School, where she will offer free chair messages and a special promotion for everyone who books an appointment there. A Time of Knead’s holiday specials will also be revealed at the PTA event.

For more information, check out a A Time of Knead’s Facebook page.

Equine Humane Center hosts Farm, Tack Festival

MAPLE PARK—The Illinois Equine Humane Center in Maple Park last month hosted its annual Farm Festival and Tack Sale.

The center is located on the grounds of Promise Equestrian Center. The event featured face and pumpkin painting, crafts and activities, a tack and supply sale, and pony rides. Baked goods, beverages and lunch were offered at the event, as well.

“Attendance was affected by the weather being cold and overcast, but we had a lot of kids turn out,” said Gail Vacca, president of Illinois Equine Humane Center. “We had a great day.”

The goal of the event was to raise money for the 16 horses currently at The Illinois Equine Humane Center.

“We’re wanting to raise funds for the horses and have people adopt the horses that are up for adoption,” said volunteer Sharon Thorsen. “Our adoption prices range from $500 to $1,000. Many of these horses are either ex-race horses, or they come from places where they were abused or malnourished. Many of the places couldn’t afford to take care of them.”

According to Vacca, a couple of people will turn in applications for adoption of horses as a result of the festival. All of the horses available for adoption were rescued and rehabilitated by the Illinois Equine Humane Center so they could eventually find a loving home.

Anyone interested in adopting a horse from the Illinois Equine Humane Center can visit and read about each horse and their respective story. Pictures of the horses are also included with each written description.

Sugar Grove proposes property tax levy

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday announced a proposed property tax levy increase for 2014.

Sugar Grove Finance Director Pat Chamberlin said during the meeting that the board is considering a 2.2 percent increase for real estate taxes in 2014. The estimated property tax extension amount for 2014 is $1,548,835.74, which would be a $33,574.62 increase from the 2013 extension amount.

The CPI (Consumer Price Index) for the 2014 Tax Levy is 1.5 percent. Under the Property Tax Limitation Act, a state statute, the levy increase cannot exceed the CPI increase for the prior year.

A public hearing will be conducted on Tuesday, Nov. 18 at Sugar Grove Village Hall, 10 S. Municipal Drive. The Sugar Grove Village Board is scheduled to vote on the tax levy on Tuesday, Dec. 2. Levy and tax ordinances will be filed with the county clerk on Wednesday, Dec. 10.


Sugar Grove Ace Hardware celebrates grand opening

Photo: Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels (left to right), Sugar Grove Ace Hardware owner Mark Driscoll, Laure Driscoll, Danielle Driscoll, Sugar Grove Chamber President Steve Ekker and trustee Mari Johnson celebrate the opening of the village’s Ace Hardware Oct. 16. Photo by Natalie Juns

SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove Ace Hardware owner Mark Driscoll celebrated the grand opening of his store on Thursday, Oct. 16, surrounded by his family, members of the Sugar Grove Village Board and Chamber of Commerce, and members of the community. Panera doughnuts and coffee were offered to everyone in attendance during the opening.

Driscoll thanked the village of Sugar Grove for its help and assistance during the process of building and opening his Ace Hardware Store.

“The village has been absolutely outstanding with the process, aligning meetings and everything,” Driscoll said. “I certainly wouldn’t be here today without their support.”

The new Sugar Grove Ace Hardware store is located off of Route 47, next to Jewel-Osco, and features a separate section designated for the sale of premium cat, dog and bird food.

Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels welcomed Driscoll and Ace Hardware to the community.

“You can tell that this is a retailer getting into the hardware business,” Michels said. “This is a beautiful building, and it is well-stocked and organized inside. Welcome to the community.”

Sugar Grove Chamber President Steve Ekker noted the convenience of having an Ace Hardware in Sugar Grove.

“People in the community know what its like to travel 15 to 20 minutes to get a smoke detector,” Ekker said. “I’m thrilled there’s one in town, and we can spend our money locally.”

Architects propose Sugar Grove senior living apartment

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday heard from Thad Gleason, owner of Gleason Architects P.C., as he presented a senior living development plan for Senescent Healthcare, LLC of Lincolnshire.

Gleason Architects P.C., an architectural company located in Sugar Grove, has extensive experience in services for health care facilities.

Gleason explained the details surrounding the new proposed Sugar Grove senior living apartment, which will be located at the southwest corner of Division Drive and Park Avenue.

“This will be a assisted living care facility with a memory care component,” Gleason said. “It’s not a nursing home. There are 71 units on 74,000 square feet on a 23-acre lot. Residents will receive three meals a day and will have access to exercise programs, laundry services, social activities, transportation services, a hair salon, clinic/medical office and more. Bathing, dressing, and 24-hour security are included.”

According to Gleason, there are a number of rooms included within the facility, such as a dining room, bistro and coffee shop area, commercial kitchen, laundry service room, movie theater, spa, activity room, multi-purpose room and more.

The parking lot of the senior living apartment and its number of parking spots was a topic of discussion during the board meeting.

“Parking is generally for guests and employees since residents don’t drive,” Gleason said.

Village Board trustee Rick Montalto brought up his concern about limited parking at the facility.

“I’m concerned about the parking situation,” Montalto said. “I can see people needing cars. With visitors on holidays, getting service people and ambulance people in and out, I’m concerned there isn’t enough parking spots when you go down to 40 spots.”

Community Development Director Walter Magdziarz explained the reasoning behind what could be a limited amount of parking spots.

“There is significant reduction with parking spots with what see others are doing,” Magdziarz said. “The parking need is lower than our requirement. There is some reluctance with accepting that residents won’t be driving, but the reality is that these residents won’t drive. The seven parking spots that they are missing they can’t fit in the parking lot, but there is a large parking lot on the south side of this building that could potentially be shared during a high traffic time.”

Gleason explained that the proposed senior living apartment would potentially have 18 employees, with 8 to 10 employees working per shift. Gleason said he would like to begin construction in the spring, and also noted that the plan is to have all the vital information to the village by Tuesday, Oct. 28.

The board on Tuesday, Nov. 4, will decide on a final action regarding the senior living apartment.


Sugar Grove readies new library director

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Public Library will welcome Naperville resident Shannon Halikias as its new library director when she officially begins her duties on Monday, Oct. 20. Halikias is eager to start in her new position as director.

“I’m thrilled about the Sugar Grove library director position,” Halikias said. “I’m looking forward to stepping in and getting to be in different roles as a director. When I saw the Sugar Grove position was open, I was very excited. I hope to serve Sugar Grove for a number of years.”

Halikias brings 15 years of library experience to her new position. She has served as a children’s librarian and a branch coordinator at Aurora Public Library, a director for Lisle Library District, and has also taught library-related topics at College of DuPage and Waubonsee Community College, including Readers Advisory, Adult Programming and Library Work Place Skills. Halikias received her master’s in library science from North Carolina Central University.

Halikias believes her new role as library director will be a great fit for her, and she will be able to serve the library in a variety of different roles. And since the library director position isn’t full time, it will provide Halikias with a flexible schedule and allow her to continue teaching on the side at College of DuPage and Waubonsee.

The Sugar Grove Library Board will soon meet with Halikias to discuss its different goals for the library and for her position.

“I have found the members of the Library Board to be friendly, dedicated to quality resources and services, and unified in their desire for supporting the value of the library,” Halikias said. “I look forward to working with a supportive board that is understanding of the role and mission we play in the lives of citizens.”

Halikias would also like to shift focus off of the library’s current finances and draw attention to the what the library contributes to the community.

“Residents need to know what they’re supporting,” Halikias said. “For every $1 that residents give to the library through taxes, they get a $4 return in the form of programs, activities, technology and more.”

Even though Halikias lives in Naperville, she’s no stranger to the Sugar Grove area.

“I’m familiar with Sugar Grove, and I feel that there is a sense of togetherness where neighbors know neighbors,” she said. “The community also has access to great jobs, being in a prime area west of Chicago. I think this is an area we’ll see explode growth-wise.”

Halikias said she looks forward to serving the Sugar Grove sommunity as the library’s director, and feels she can make a positive impact.

“I want to be very accessible to patrons,” Halikias said. “I want them to feel comfortable (and) bring their ideas and thoughts to me.”

Sugar Grove denies BP consumption, gambling license

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday voted 5-1 to deny a request for a liquor license that would allow on-site alcohol consumption and facilitate video gaming at the BP Gas Station located on Route 47 in Sugar Grove.

Village Board trustee Robert Bohler was not present.

Village trustee Kevin Geary was the sole board trustee for the on-site consumption and gambling license. Other board trustees spoke about their concerns and the potential problems the license could cause for the community.

“As much as I love the BP, and I’m there for coffee everyday, I’m opposed to (the license),” Village Board trustee Rick Montalto said. “I did a poll about it, and everyone I talked to was opposed to it.”

Village President Sean Michels expressed his concern of on-site consumption taking place at BP Gas Station with John Shields Elementary School located nearby.

“I don’t see it being a great thought,” Michels said. “It’s just the thought that someone could come in and have a couple of drinks and drive off and be so close to the school. Personally, I’m opposed to it. This disagreement won’t set us apart. The BP is great for the community.”

Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger also voiced his apprehension regarding on-site consumption in gas stations.

“We have some concerns with consumption-on-site with gas stations, like we have brought up (previously),” Eichelberger said. “At some point, the village will hit a saturation level.”

There are currently three locations in Sugar Grove that have video gaming machines on premise, bringing in a combined total of $700 a month. Of that total, $100 goes toward the village.

Geary reasserted his support of the on-site consumption and gambling license.

“This is exactly what I argued about,” Geary said. “The public said that this is what they wanted. I promote business, and the public said yes to it.”

Bakery Truck front

Bakery truck to make Elburn Car Show appearance

ELBURN—Red (Charles) Singleton of Elgin, Ill., plans to feature his antique bakery truck, which he purchased in Elburn, in the Elburn Car Show this Sunday at Lions Park, 500 Filmore St.

Singleton was introduced to the vehicle, a Helms Bakery truck, when he saw it for sale on the corner of Route 38 and Route 47 in 1986.

“I first saw the bakery truck with a telephone number from a guy named Shuck,” Singleton said. “I believed he lived a couple of blocks east of the old (Elburn) school. This truck was used for a house-to-house delivery bakery truck. It was a Helms Bakery truck. Helms Bakery was a prominent bakery in California, and they used trucks like mine in the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s.”

When Singleton went to buy the bakery delivery truck, it was behind the old Elburn High School building (now the Elburn and Countryside Community Center) on Route 47 in Elburn. The truck had been vandalized and wasn’t running at the time of purchase.

“I paid $2,500 for it, and they were asking $4,500,” Singleton said. “Today, it’s worth $40,000 to $50,000.”

After purchasing the truck, Singleton completely restored it back to running condition, along with a new coat of paint and new lettering. Singleton’s bakery truck is a 1933 model, and boasts a Hercules four-cylinder engine with a clutch and break combination, along with an aluminum body and hydraulic brakes. It was made by a bus company called Twin Coach, according to Singleton.

Helms Bakery’s motto was “Daily at Your Door,” Singleton said. The truck was used for daily deliveries on residential roads, and the delivery man would use an air whistle to alert the customer that they were outside of their home with their order. Singleton’s truck also has an air whistle, and is now one of only four or five Helms Bakery Trucks still in existence, according to Singleton.

The Elburn Lions’ 21st annual Fall Classic All Wheel Show will take place Sunday, Oct. 5, at Elburn Lions Park, 500 S. Filmore St., Elburn.


‘Purple Store’ collecting funds, goods for Hughes

KANEVILLE—Hill’s Country Store, aka the “Purple Store,” in Kaneville, is currently collecting funds and goods for Beverly Holmes Hughes and her family.

Hughes was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive brain tumor, last summer.

Hill’s Country Store owner Pat Hill knows Beverly personally and wants to help her and her family during this time.

Hughes is the sole financial support for seven people in her home: her husband, Chuck, who has congestive heart failure; her sister, Janet, who has diabetes; and several special-needs children the three have adopted and co-parented—four of whom are still minors living at home.

“I knew Beverly a long time ago,” Hill said. “I want to try and help her out and bring her a meal. I hope that people give from their heart. You never know when you’ll be in that situation.”

The donation box at Hill’s Country Store is an ongoing collection where people can donate a monetary gift in any amount, along with gas cards and gift cards. Hill also hopes to soon receive information about coordinating meals for Beverly and her family.

Photo by Lynn Logan

Sugar Grove discusses Rt. 30, Dugan Road improvement project

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday heard from HR Green consultant Jack Melhuish. The representative presented an advanced improvement project for the Route 30 and Dugan Road intersection, which will involve the addition of several turn lanes, improvement of the railroad signal and crossing on Dugan Road, and full-depth shoulders from Dugan Road to Municipal Drive.

Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will begin the project in spring 2015, according to Melhuish.

“There will be three different projects as far as construction,” Melhuish said. “The west leg of U.S. Route 30 will have additional turn lanes; the east leg of U.S. Route 30 will have duel left lanes, which will be the biggest part of the project; the south part of Dugan will have two right turn lanes; the north leg of Dugan will basically have no changes; and full- depth shoulders will be added from Dugan Road to Municipal Drive.”

Traffic patterns and accidents were analyzed to determine the specifics of this project. Around 700 vehicles travel through the east part of U.S. 30 during peak hours, and on the south part of Dugan, there are 1,000 vehicles traveling from the north to the east during high traffic times, according to Melhuish.

The project is expected to reduce accidents and congestion in the corridor of U.S. Route 30 and Dugan Road. Final plans will be submitted Thursday morning to IDOT in Springfield. The project contractor’s identity will be disclosed to the Village Board in November, according to Melhuish.

“This has to be built in 2015. If this starts in April, they will have no excuse to not have this done past Oct. 31,” Melhuish said. “If there is bad weather, it could linger into November. There will be a project website. They have to be in touch with police, fire, and ambulance.”

U.S. Route 30 won’t be closed during the project, but a detour will be set up for 20 calendar days, or three weeks. The village has signed off on it, according to Melhuish.

Sugar Grove library director accepts Zion position

SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove Public Library Director Carol Dolin will move on from her current position and take on a new role at the Zion-Benton Public Library District in October as its new director.

Dolin was hired as the director at the Sugar Grove Library District in 2012 and has worked diligently to bring reading programs and activities to the youth of Sugar Grove.

“I worked hard to get the education and experience required to do this job well,” Dolin said. “As much as Sugar Grove Library trustees want to provide for staff, and I have enjoyed being there, the voters have said ‘no’ over and over again to supporting a public library that has full-time staff with benefits and enough money to operate and maintain the facility. Zion-Benton Library is a shorter commute for me, and its community supports the library, even though they face difficult financial challenges. That is important to me.”

Dolin previously worked at her home library, Indian Trails, in Wheeling, Ill., as a shelver when she was raising her children. Dolin had different roles at Indian Trails while going to school on and off for close to 10 years. After finishing her undergraduate degree, Dolin worked at a business office at Deerfield Public Library for four years, and also at a library in Itasca as reference librarian. Dolin completed her library degree before becoming the director of the Sugar Grove Library.

Sugar Grove discusses I-88 corridor land use

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday discussed general long-range plans for land use near the future I-88 corridor. The topic of where agricultural land and development would be placed was the center of the board’s discussion.

The question of whether or not to limit the amount of land labeled as agricultural land use was brought up during the meeting. Village Board trustee Kevin Geary discussed the option of not predetermining the use of the land.

“We could not predetermine it, but we could wait (until) a user came along,” Geary said. “It’s like a holding place. North of the golf course, we’ve always seen it as residential; north and east corridor was going to be residential. As we push to our edges, I have a problem identifying it as agricultural when it could be more of a office/retail/industrial.”

Development Director Walter Magdziarz, explained a couple of problems with labeling land for office/retail/industrial use.

“There hasn’t been any office development in the suburbs lately,” Magdziarz said. “It’s only in Chicago where the labor force is. It’s more business park rather than industrial. Industrial has a negative connotation to it.”

Several board members, including Geary, mentioned that they liked the term “business park” rather than “industrial.”

“I would support using the term business park and not industrial,” Geary said. “I think we’re looking for a more general term, and I think business park is fitting.”

Magdziarz mentioned the process and research that they will use to determine different land uses.

“We will look at natural conditions, landscape and condition of the roads, and after that, some lines might move or disappear,” he said. “I would like to have one or two meetings before a public hearing. I think it’s still conceivable that we could have a public hearing by the end of the year. If not December, I think we could have it in January.”


Plane makes emergency landing at Aurora Airport

SUGAR GROVE—An airplane traveling from Michigan on Aug. 13 was forced to make an emergency landing at Aurora Municipal Airport, 43W636 Route 30 in Sugar Grove. The plane’s landing gear had malfunctioned and would not deploy.

The plane was originally headed to a residential estate in Naperville, Ill. according to Sugar Grove Police Chief Pat Rollins.

“The pilot did a remarkable job landing the plane,” Rollins said. “Everyone came away unscathed, and there was no damage done to the plane or airport.”

Photos submitted by Walt Zimmer

Sugar Grove approves Route 47 name change

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday approved changing the name of the stretch of Route 47 that runs through Sugar Grove to “Sugar Grove Parkway.”

Following discussions at previous meetings, the Village Board stated that it would be in the best interest of the village to change the name of Route 47 in Sugar Grove for reasons such as marketing purposes and “bringing a more familiar name for Sugar Grove.”

The name change was a suggestion from the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) earlier in the year. The cost of the name change will be very low, according to Development Director Walter Magdziarz.

“We haven’t received any emails or phone calls about the name change since it was in the paper,” Village President Sean Michels said. “I think that’s a good sign.”

Residents that currently have a Route 47 address in Sugar Grove will have the option to change their address to include the Sugar Grove Parkway title. To do so, residents will need to notify the Sugar Grove Post Office and indicate their address title preference.


Kuipers enjoys a night under the stars

Photo: Gabee Delficco (from left), Liv Delficco and Erik Rychlewski, all from DeKalb, search for the Perseid meteor shower Tuesday night. Photo by Lynn Logan

MAPLE PARK—Kuipers Family Farm in Maple Park on Tuesday night hosted a stargazing event.

The event featured a presentation by Northern Illinois University’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), and then provided attendees with an opportunity to view the Perseid meteor shower.

About 60 people came out to Kuiper’s Orchard to listen to the presentation and then enjoy the meteor shower show. The Perseid meteor shower is an annual shower that occurs every year during mid-August. Observers get to enjoy the bright displays of the meteor shower each year thanks to the Earth passing through dust and ice from the comet Swift-Tuttle. The meteor shower was visible from the northeast direction, and Saturn, Mars, the moon and the meteors were visible during the evening.

STEM provided a presentation by Daniel Strange, David Hedin, and Sheldon Turner. Strange, manager at Davis Hall Observatory, covered different spacecraft missions to comets that led to the discovery of new information. Dr. Hedin, a Board of Trustees professor, spoke about the possibilities of other planets being habitable like Earth. Dr. Sheldon Turner presented information on why Pluto is no longer considered a planet, and the decision making process behind different subcategories of planets.

Kim Kuipers, wife to Wade Kuipers and owner of Kuipers Family Farm, was present for the event.

“Everything they’re talking about is really interesting,” she said. “I keep telling my kids there will be a test afterward. Everyone seems really excited about what they will see. I’m glad that the weather turned around. I was talking to someone from STEM, and they said its their second-biggest event.”

After the presentation, guests and STEM staff milled outside to view the Perseid meteor show. STEM brought its telescopes for interested guests to use during the meteor shower.

STEM is a group that provides different programs and activities throughout the year, centered around science, technology, engineering and math. Different types of activities for kids are available through STEM, including hands-on and demonstration programs, and other events where visitors get to explore STEM facilities at NIU. Some of the group’s most popular events are the Haunted Physics Laboratory during Halloween, demonstration shows involving chemistry experiments, Frontier Physics Road Shows and Davis Hall Observatory visits.

STEM events are otherwise known as “Cafe.” The next STEM Cafe will be “The Physics of Football” on Wednesday, Sept. 17, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at O’Leary’s Restaurant & Pub, 260 E. Lincoln Highway (Route 38) in DeKalb.

Sugar Grove considering Route 47 name change

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday discussed the process of changing the name of the stretch of Route 47 in Sugar Grove to “Sugar Grove Parkway.”

The Economic Development Corporation (EDC) of Sugar Grove originally recommended renaming Route 47 to Sugar Grove Parkway for marketing purposes.

“All agencies and property owners will be notified to change all their records,” said Development Director Walter Magdziarz. “The postal service will continue to get their mail delivered to their address because it’s a state highway. The cost will be very low as well.”

The concept of change was the chief concern brought up in regard to the potential name change.

“I think it’s a burden for the people living there to have to change everything,” said Village Board trustee Rick Montalto. “I don’t think it will generate any business.”

Other members of the board brought up a different way to look at the potential name change.

“I think we were more rural in nature, so (the name change could be) more familiar,” said Village Board trustee, Mari Johnson. “I don’t think we should put (the name change) off.”

Village President Sean Michels referenced a local highway as an example of how the name change could be successful.

“People out east refer to Route 38 as Lincoln Highway,” Michels said. “I think Sugar Grove Parkway will catch on. I think now would be a better time since it would affect less people. Five years from now, I don’t think people will question it.”

The Village Board will vote on the Route 47 name change at its meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 20.

Sugar Grove United Methodist Church on July 1 welcomed its new pastor, CheonEui Oh, his wife, Sim, and their children, Ethan (middle), Elena and Elijah. CheonEui graduated from Methodist Theological Seminary in Seoul, South Korea, in 2004, and journeyed to the United States the following year to continue his religious education. He graduated from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in 2009, and became a provisional pastor and ordained elder in 2011 as a part of the Northern Illinois Conference. 
Photo submitted by Marguerite Ledone to

United Methodist Church welcomes new pastor

SUGAR GROVE—Pastor CheonEui Oh on July 1 was welcomed as the new leader of Sugar Grove United Methodist Church.

Pastor CheonEui, his wife Sim, and three kids Ethan, Elena and Elijah, are now a part of the United Methodist Church, where they hope to spread the name of their new church out into the community.

The United Methodist Church has had interim pastors from February to July of this year. Rev. Richard Mayor has been helping to pastor the church during that time, according to Administrative Assistant Marguerite Ledone.

“We’re trying to get our congregation more stability because we’ve been without a pastor for so long,” Ledone said. “He’s (Pastor CheonEui) been pulling us all together. I have a very good feeling about it.”

Pastor CheonEui is very familiar with the Methodist Church, especially since he was raised in a pastor’s family. His father served as a pastor at a Methodist Church in South Korea.

CheonEui graduated from Methodist Theological Seminary in Seoul, Korea, in 2004. Cheon Eui journeyed to the United States in 2005 to continue his education at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill. He graduated from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in 2009 and became a provisional pastor and ordained eldor in 2011 as a part of the Northern Illinois Conference.

Orangeville United Methodist Church and Afolkey-Bethel United Methodist Church are the two churches that CheonEui previously served as pastor. According to the United Methodist Church press release, Pastor CheonEui would like to learn new strategies, approaches and programs to better serve God and the United Methodist Church as it continues to grow.

As a part of his new role as pastor, CheonEui has been meeting with different people in the Sugar Grove community to become more acquainted.

“Pastor CheonEui is trying to get our name out there in the community,” Ledone said. “He attended the senior luncheon to meet with those folks, and he also went to the Corn Boil, where he was introduced to (Village President) Sean Michels. He also had a meet and greet with other pastors in the area recently.”

Worship service times at United Methodist Church will remain the same through August. There is an outside worship service at 8 a.m. at 4S633 Harter Road in Sugar Grove and an inside worship service at 9:30 a.m. at 176 Main St. in Sugar Grove. September through May worship services are scheduled for 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., with Sunday School at 9:15 a.m. at 176 Main St.

For more information, contact Marguerite Ledone at (630) 466-4501.

The 2016 International Crown Launch luncheon took place Friday at Hotel Arista in Naperville, Ill. The actual event will take place in 2016 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove. LPGA golfer Anna Nordqvist was at the luncheon to share her experiences about being in the LPGA. 

Photo by Tiffany Kufler

Luncheon creates excitement for 2016 International Crown

NAPERVILLE—Hotel Arista in Naperville, Ill., hosted a luncheon on Friday, Aug. 1, to launch the summer 2016 International Crown Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) event, scheduled to take place at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove.

LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan spoke about the dynamics of this completely new event.

“We will have four players on each team from the best eight countries in the world,” Whan said. “You can’t have one good golfer. You have to build golfing teams to win the crown. We will announce the countries in December, but the players could change on the way to Rich Harvest Farms in 2016.”

The International Crown will present a global showcase of women’s golf and will occur on every even year. For the second edition of the International Crown at Rich Harvest Farms in 2016, Calamos and Rolex will contribute to the event as ambassador sponsors.

The inaugural International Crown debuted this year at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md., the week of July 22-27. According to Whan, the new event is structured in a different format that promotes team effort as the four players on each team rely on each other for advice and support, as there are no coaches or captains.

“There is a nervousness and excitement that comes with playing for a team while the country is watching,” Whan said.

According to Whan, they expected to sell the eight TV rights for the eight countries that were represented in the 2014 International Crown, but they ended up selling 166 rights.

“It was so far beyond our expectations,” Whan said. “It’s very rare to bring a new legacy to a sport. In 2016, we want to give Chicago the Olympics it didn’t get.”

The LPGA would like to inspire younger girls, when they’re watching the International Crown on TV, to be on the team someday, according to Whan.

Anna Nordqvist, a professional women’s golfer, was present at the luncheon on Friday and spoke about her experience as a player on Team Sweden at the first edition of the International Crown in Maryland.

“It was a cool experience,” Nordqvist said. “There was no leader on the team. You listen to what everyone had to say, and everyone feels like a part of the team. We got really close to each other and everyone feels important.”

Rich Harvest Farms is a private, members-only club consistently ranked on Golf Digest’s list of America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses. The 18-hold course has been described as a 1,820-acre showcase of nature and agriculture. It hosted the LPGA’s Solheim Cup event in 2009.

The International Crown, made by Tiffany & Co., weighs 20 pounds, and is nearly 2 feet tall. It took 140 hours of labor for the sterling silver, and 25 hours in a woodshop to create.   Photo by Tiffany Kufler
The International Crown, made by Tiffany & Co., weighs 20 pounds, and is nearly 2 feet tall. It took 140 hours of labor for the sterling silver, and 25 hours in a woodshop to create.
Photo by Tiffany Kufler

Parson named Sugar Grove Citizen of the Year

SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove Fire Marshal Wayne Parson was honored and celebrated as the Sugar Grove 2014 Citizen of the Year during Corn Boil opening ceremonies on Friday.

Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels spoke about Parson’s reliability and work ethic during the opening ceremony of the Corn Boil. Michels also mentioned Parson’s loyalty to his job and ability to find solutions to problems.

“He’s always in his uniform,” Michels said. “He reviews plans for us. He does a world of good for the village. Wayne Parson is our fire marshal in Sugar Grove, and he is our Citizen of the Year. He has a great personality and is happy to help in any way he can. He doesn’t find problems; he finds solutions.”

Parson has worked for the Sugar Grove Fire Department for 42 years, and has called Sugar Grove home for the past 47 years. He is currently the Fire Department’s assistant chief, as well.

Parson has searched out ways to help others and dedicated his life to positively impacting other people his whole life. Sugar Grove Chamber President Steve Ekker was present at the ceremony and recanted a brief story about Parson.

“People tend to put an “s” at the end of Wayne’s last name,” Ekker said. “Wayne once told me, ‘Think of what it would be like if there were two of me!’ “I told Wayne, ‘We would be doubly blessed.’”

Over the course of Parson’s time in Sugar Grove, he has been involved with Sugar Grove baseball organizations, the Historical Society, the American Legion, the Lions Club, the Corn Boil, the Boy Scouts and many other groups.

Woodworking is a big hobby for Parson.

“I have a woodshop where I do a lot of woodworking in my free time,” Parson said. “I make shelves, cabinets and all kinds of things, including yard art for decorations and for Christmas.”

Parson helps with Corn Boil every year, too.

“Wayne helps me every year with the bike parade, along with the Fire Department,” said Karen McCannon, who is also known as Sugar Grove’s JoJo the Clown.

People from all over the community embraced Parson and congratulated him on being named the Citizen of the Year. He received many congratulations and kind words Friday night, and explained that he was honored to receive the award.

“It’s quite an honor,” Parson said. “If you look at the list of people who have won this award, it’s quite an elite group of people here in Sugar Grove.”

photo (2)

Sugar Grove Farmers Market continues to grow

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Farmers Market this year is bigger and better than ever, along with a wider selection of vendors for patrons to choose from, according to head volunteer Pat Graceffa.

“We have fresh veggies, fruit, eggs, meat, cheese, bread, bakery (items) and cupcakes, too, along with native plants, beautiful flowering baskets, jewelry, makeup, Tupperware, Pampered Chef and gourmet dog treats,” Graceffa said. “So (we have) something for everyone in the family.”

Graceffa, a longtime Sugar Grove resident, helps with the organization of the Sugar Grove Farmers Market. The event takes place every Saturday, rain or shine, in the Sugar Grove Village Hall parking lot, 10 Municipal Drive and Route 30, from 8 a.m. to noon during the months of June, July, August and September.

Last year, there were requests from the community for the farmers market to feature additional vendors.

“Our turnout has been good in the last three weeks,” Graceffa said. “People told us last year that they wanted more vendors. Well, this year we have the vendors. Now we need more people from our community and surrounding communities to come out weekly and support the market. It is Illinois fresh, and we need to support our Illinois farms.”

Graceffa is passionate about buying local produce from local farmers. She believes it is important for people to eat food that is natural and as close to the original source as possible.

“It is good to talk to the actual farmer who is raising the veggies or meat that you will be serving your family for dinner tonight,” she said.

And there is an abundance of fresh produce at the farmers market. Milt Westlake of Norway Farms Produce has been a farmer for several decades and is currently bringing his fresh produce each Saturday to the Sugar Grove event.

In addition to featuring a plethora of vegetables, Norway Farms Produce also offers jams, butter and salsa from a company in Georgia. They also have popcorn that Westlake has been growing for 40 years, according to his employee, Dawn Howard.

Howard commented on the success of this year’s farmers market thus far.

“It’s been good,” she said. “Pat is the best at getting it out there and scheduling posts on Facebook. She’ll talk about what she’ll buy here, and other people will comment on her post with different things they bought.”

Amazing Breads & Cakes, LLC, a family-owned business out of Yorkville, regularly brings its healthy breads, goods and jellies to the Sugar Grove Farmers Market on Saturdays. Their breads and other goods are all natural (non-GMO) and organic. They are all made from local ingredients with no preservatives or sugar. A few of their regular breads they bring are country, whole grain, sourdough, cheese bread, rosemary potato, French bread, different variety of pizza crusts and more.

Curds and Whey Cheese Company is setting up shop at the farmer’s market on a regular basis. Owner Rob Murphy works with a number of farmers and importers in the city.

“We have very fresh cheese,” Murphy said. “Our cheeses range from local to European. Our best seller is fresh mozzarella this time of the year.”

Makeup is also a part of the market on Saturdays. Vicky Johnson-Lamb of Woodridge, Ill., and Khadija Khan of Oswego, Ill., are Mary Kay consultants who have been devoting some of their time to the farmer’s market.

“I’m a newer consultant, so I thought it would be great to go with Vicki to the farmers market,” Khan said. “It’s been great so far. Pat has been a great help, too.”

Baked goods are prevalent in the form of cupcakes, as well. Chelsea Turner of West Aurora has attended the farmers market the past five weeks with her business, Cupcakes by Chelsea.

“I used to bake when I was little, and I decided to start baking again,” Turner said.

Turner creates all her own recipes from scratch and brings a variety of her creations every Saturday. Last Saturday, she had strawberry, cinnamon, cookie dough and s’more. She also accepts custom orders.

“I just had one lady order 30 cupcakes,” Turner said. “People are so friendly here.”

Photo: Organizers of the Sugar Grove Farmers Market have made a push for more vendors for the 2014 market, and hope the community continues to support it. The Sugar Grove Farmers Market takes place at 10 Municipal Drive, Sugar Grove, from 8 a.m. to noon ever Saturday, through September. Photo submitted by Pat Graceffa to

Village Board views presentation on industrial park concept

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday viewed a presentation from Jeff Dublo, executive vice president for Triumph Construction Services Corporation in Elgin, regarding potential plans to build a light industrial park.

The industrial park concept would be on a 112-acre parcel located off of Route 47 on the corner of Galena Boulevard and Municipal Drive, and across the street from Route 30. Dublo during the presentation mentioned the range of sizes of the industrial park.

“Our buildings range from 20 feet to 40 feet in height and 15,000 square feet to 80,000 square feet in this size lot,” he said. “It depends on the client. We believe this can be a successful property.”

Concerns were voiced in regard to noise and the hours of the industrial park. Dublo addressed those concerns.

“We’re bringing in an industrial/manufacturing building where employees would have typical hours Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. It would be quiet on the weekends and friendly towards families,” Dublo said.

According to Dublow, the businesses that own these buildings range greatly, including internet sale businesses, businesses that distribute utensils and small pots and pans, and small-part manufacturers.

Concern regarding truck noise and backup noise was mentioned by board trustees. Dublo explained how noise wouldn’t be a factor within the industrial park.

“We’ve never had complaints about noise from our buildings,” he said. “You don’t see much traffic coming out by our buildings. Our trucks face away from the roads when they are by the docks.”

Employment and more traffic during retail hours are highlights of the potentially new industrial building. Dublo mentioned that the new industrial building could provide 1,500 to 2,000 new jobs.

“This would generate employment and daytime traffic for retail,” Village President Sean Michels said. “I think there is some great opportunity here.”

Sugar Grove discusses road improvement funding options

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday discussed options regarding how the village should fund future road improvements.

“There is a desire to have more road improvement,” Eichelberger said. “This topic comes up all the time. We have to get back to the age-old discussion of either relocating or cutting out other services or raising new revenue. We have a potentially viable option of having a vehicle registration or we can have a referendum that will have a low chance of success.”

According to Eichelberger, Yorkville charges an $8 fee in its utility bill for residents. The $8 is a flat fee per month per every household, and the money is designated for road improvement. Eichelberger mentioned that one of the benefits of collecting this fee is that it would allow the village to fix roads before it has to repave the entire road, and in return the village would save a substantial amount of money.

The board discussed the possibility of implementing a similar fee for the village of Sugar Grove. It discussed that if resident had a household without ownership of a car, their would be a method to opt of the program.

Board members during the meeting brought up how the new fee could be poorly received by residents.

“I think the board has been wise with difficult tax issues, but I think the $8 is too much,” village trustee Kevin Geary said. “I think there are residents who are going to say enough. I think we need to be creative.”

Eichelberger mentioned where the village is at with different solutions for funding road improvements in the village.

“At this point, there is no creative solution,” Eichelberger said. “The community needs to understand that if you want better roads, you have to pay for it.”

Village trustee Rick Montalto brought up ideas on how the village might educate the public if and when it decides to implement the tax.

“I think we need a major education program for residents,” Montalto said. “First thing that will happen if someone sees someone else’s street get fixed, they will be mad that their road isn’t getting fixed. We need a long range plan for a normal rotation for all streets so not to favor certain neighborhoods.”

Village President Sean Michels weighed in on the new option for funding road improvement.

“This is just an option,” Michels said. “We’re not in dire straits right now. I think this is important, and we’ll see where we end up at the end of the year. It’s good information that the board can digest.”

Michels suggested revisiting the funding item in January and February during budget time and discuss where the village is at with the roads.

“We would be taxing residents $100, but it goes a long way,” he said.


Hopkins-Hubbard reaches Maple Park during cross-country journey

Photo: Samuel Hopkins-Hubbard (seated atop horse) is traveling across the United States on horseback to preach and promote a message of oneness between the citizens of the United States. His travels brought him to Maple Park on June 25, and he spent some time resting up at Promise Equestrian Center. Hopkins-Hubbard began his journey in Oregon, and he hopes to reach northern Virginia and the Atlantic Ocean by September. Photo by Natalie Juns

MAPLE PARK—Samuel Hopkins-Hubbard is traveling across the nation to preach and promote a message of oneness between the citizens of the United States.

Hopkins-Hubbard began his journey in eastern Oregon on April 5, and traveled through Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska and Iowa prior to reaching Promise Equestrian Center in Maple Park. Hopkins-Hubbard didn’t know anyone at Promise Equestrian, but the people there gladly welcomed him.

“We are honored to have him (Hopkins-Hubbard) here,” said Jerry Paulsen, co-founder and president of Boots and Hooves. “It’s nice that he’ll take the time to hang out with us. This really is the magic ranch for veterans.”

Hopkins-Hubbard is making his way to the Atlantic Ocean, on the north side of Virginia, by September to inspire and give hope to the people in this nation. He is traveling with two horses, a tool pack, a collapsible water bucket, cell phone holster, a Thunderbird saddle pack, one American flag in hand, among other essentials throughout his journey.

On his cowboy hat, he wears several pins that were given to him as gifts to wear on his ride across the country. A couple of them are an Afghanistan pin and paratrooper pin to remember the people who have served and are serving our country, and a feather from a rancher in Nebraska who feels under attack from the federal government, according to Hopkins-Hubbard.

“People are discouraged about the state of this country,” Hopkins-Hubbard said. “This is a time where we need hope and inspiration. We need to drop all the labels and remember who we are. We’re the strongest when we’re not fighting. That’s what I’m preaching.”

In order to reach the Atlantic Ocean by September, Hopkins-Hubbard travels 14 to 20 miles on horseback each day. He has stayed at fairgrounds, rodeos and pastures, and has always had permission to stay wherever he’s at.

Hopkins-Hubbard said that he is living every day by faith as he gets the American flag to the Atlantic Ocean. He doesn’t know where he will stay at night on a regular basis. Hopkins-Hubbard happened upon Promise Equestrian Center by chance and was offered the opportunity to stay with one of the Promise Equestrian volunteer’s family members for a few days last week while he rested up for the rest of his journey.

“This journey has been very honoring and humbling,” Hopkins-Hubbard said. “I received a lot of gifts and witnessed a lot of communities treat one another like family. It’s heartwarming to see the country work together. I’m fortunate to see the country and carry the flag.”


Avenue J Studios, Peak for Kids move to North Aurora

Photo: Monday night saw performers from Avenue J Studios rehearsing for the upcoming show “Willy Wonka, Jr.” Sugar Grove resident Lexi Holt, 12, will play Mrs. Bucket.
Photo by Lynn Logan

SUGAR GROVE—Avenue J Studios and Peak for Kids are teaming up to create a studio for students.

The studio would offer kids a variety of activities on a regular basis. Jennifer Madziarczyk of Avenue J Studios and Renee Dee of Peak for Kids are Sugar Grove residents who have lived on the same street for the last 12 years, but they only met within the past year.

Both Dee and Madziarczyk have kids who attend Kaneland schools. They are passionate about serving the Kaneland School District through their organizations. After meeting, they realized that it would be perfect for them to work together, according to Dee.

“Jennifer empowers youth through performing arts, and I empower youth through a variety of healthy community programming and events,” Dee said. “It made perfect sense for us to create an alliance. It was a natural evolution.”

Initially, they had hopes of staying in Sugar Grove. According to Dee, the duo presented their first formal proposal to the Sugar Grove Village Board in April. After receiving no formal answer, they decided to search for an alternate location that could house their organization.

“We really wanted to be located here,” said Dee. “Our heart was in Sugar Grove. We were never able to secure a good and easily accessible location since we never received a formal response from the Sugar Grove board.”

After some thorough investigation, Dee and Madziarczyk discovered a building that would work well for them, located on the west side of North Aurora at the Orchard Road and Gateway corridor. Their new building is located in a shopping center next to State Farm and Carmax, located at 208-210 Genesis Drive. The new location is around 2,600 square feet and will provide adequate space for Avenue J Studios and Peak for Kids as they continue to grow and expand the programs they offer. Their expected move-in date is Friday, Aug. 1.

“This new location in North Aurora will be an amazing space for us,” Dee said.

Madziarczyk commented on how the new space will provide them with the opportunity to offer more to the community.

“We will have an office by day and activities by night,” Madziarczyk said. “We are thinking of offering a preschool, yoga for moms during the day, theatre camps, music and voice lessons, strings and guitar lessons, birthday parties, and more in the evening.”

There will be a reception area, a large studio, an open activity room, and three music rooms in the new location, according to Madziarczyk.

“We will also have what we call ‘Epic Friday Night Lights’ at this location that will be geared toward artsy activities,” Dee said. “It will have a creative twist. This new location will attract people from all over, but our main focus is the Kaneland area.”

Public Works presents roundabout landscaping plan

SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove Public Works Director Tony Speciale on Tuesday presented the landscape concept plan for the Granart Road realignment and roundabout to the Village Board.

Speciale highlighted the department’s plans for landscaping and lighting along the medians and in the center of the roundabout.

“We are planning on having grass medians with trees and light poles,” Speciale said. “The decorative street lighting is a main component. In the center of the roundabout, we want to have grasses and perennials.”

The Public Works Department’s plans included three different light poles. The first light pole consisted of one decorative single head with a concrete pole, the second light pole had a decorative double head with concrete pole and dual brackets that the village could hang planters or banners from, and the third light pole consisted of a standard 24-foot concrete pole with a 4-foot arm and “cobra head.”

A few of the perennials and trees mentioned in the plans included Emerald Queen Norway Maple, Skyline Honeylocust, Bur Oak, Red Oak, and for the perennials, Knock Out Rose bushes, Obsidian Coralbells, Autumn Joy Sedum, Blue Oat Grass and Prairie Dropseed. There were more trees and perennials included on the list, as well.

Board members brought up the importance of including a sign for advertisement purposes in the middle of the roundabout. Village Board trustee Mari Johnson discussed the possibility of including signage.

“It would be nice to have electronic signage,” she said. “They have one at Route 47 and Cross Street, and it might be something to consider. Even if it couldn’t be done at the time of construction, we could consider it down the road.”

Speciale mentioned that they are planning on completing the offline construction this year, which would include everything that is not on the road.

“Next year, depending on the phases of construction, Dugan Road could be closed for a short period of time,” Speciale said. “There will be an advanced warning, and we will work with trucking companies to make sure they can have access to their properties.”

Sugar Grove discusses possible Route 47 name change

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday discussed the possibility of changing the name of Route 47 to a more localized name.

“This would be a great way to market,” said Village Board trustee Mari Johnson. “It’s not an issue with IDOT, and (the idea) was accepted by EDC members. They’re suggestion was ‘Sugar Grove Parkway.’ It goes along with our plans to have a sense of community.”

The name change is directly related to the village’s goals of creating a deeper sense of community, according to Johnson. It was brought up that this name change should happen sooner rather than later, because there are currently not many addresses on Route 47 at the moment.

Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger brought up some possible concerns for the name change.

“It’s not necessarily a slam dunk. It might cause issues and confusions,” he said.
Route 30 is an example of this project, as it has a local name of Veterans Memorial Parkway, according to Eichelberger.

“We need to identify all the properties on Route 47 and if addresses would have to change,” Village President Sean Michels said. “This project would be more for marketing purposes.”

SG Corn Boil Medallion discovered in record time

SUGAR GROVE—This year, the Sugar Grove Corn Boil Medallion was found in record time. The medallion was only hidden for around a week before Barbara Larsen, an employee of the Sugar Grove Park District and a longtime Sugar Grove resident, found the medallion last Friday on June 6.

Larsen cleans the grounds of the Sugar Grove Park District, the parks and the playground areas.

“I found the medallion outside of the park district building by the post sign in a flower bed,” said Larsen. “At first, I thought it was trash, because it was in a plastic bag, but I picked it up and realized it was taped to it. I really just bumped into it.”

On Friday, July 25, Larsen will be awarded a $50 cash prize and the 2014 Sugar Grove Corn Boil glass medallion at the Opening Ceremonies of the Sugar Grove Corn Boil.

Normally the search for the Medallion takes a lot longer for someone to find it, and this year, it was found in the shortest amount of time in the seven years that the Corn Boil has had the search, according to Sugar Grove Resident and organizer of the medallion search, Pat Graceffa.

“Bob Carroll brought the medallion search to the Sugar Grove Corn Boil seven years ago,” said Graceffa. “He passed away a fear years ago, but he got a kick out of it each year. We decided to continue the medallion search. Now, the medallion is glass and has Bob’s image on it. We refer to Bob as the ‘Medallion King.’”


Comfort Tech Cooling arrives in Sugar Grove

Photo: Matt Dillenburg, along with his wife Melissa, will be moving their family-owned business to Sugar Grove after opening a temporary location in Aurora in October 2013. Photo by Patti Wilk

SUGAR GROVE—Matt and Melissa Dillenburg, longtime residents of Sugar Grove, started their family-owned business, Comfort Tech Cooling, in October 2013. As a heating, ventilation and air conditioning company, they serve the Sugar Grove area and provide their customers with the best service available in order to leave a lasting and good impression, according to Dillenburg.

Comfort Tech Cooling is currently in a temporary location in Aurora. The Dillenburgs are planning on moving their business to Sugar Grove as soon as they find a place that works well for their needs. They plan on having the new shop up and running in Sugar Grove in the next few months.

“Being long-time residents of Sugar Grove, we love the area and felt it would be great to service the areas we live in and be more involved in our community,” said Dillenburg.

Their long term plans are centered on developing new and lasting relationships within the community and maintaining their 100 percent customer satisfaction rating, according to Dillenburg.

Dillenburg has been in the HVAC field for 17 years and has been installing the same brand of equipment, American Standard, during that time.

Matt and Melissa will have a booth for Comfort Tech Cooling at the Sugar Grove Corn Boil in July to meet anyone interested in services they offer. They can be reached at P.O. Box 328 in Sugar Grove or by phone at (630) 363-9819.

“We really look forward to meeting anyone who feels we may be helpful in meeting their heating and cooling needs,” said Dillenburg.

Ruggie Mugshot

Former Sugar Grove bank employee admits to theft

SUGAR GROVE—After completing an external bank audit this year, the American Heartland Bank of Sugar Grove discovered that it was missing a large sum of cash.

“Typically, banks will bring in an external auditor to review their finances and count their cash on hand,” said Sugar Grove Police Chief, Pat Rollins. “That’s when American Heartland Bank discovered that they were missing money.”

The Sugar Grove Police department was alerted to the problem on Jan. 24, 2014, after staff at American Heartland Bank discovered they were missing large amounts of the bank’s cash according to Rollins.

On May 23, Alyson Ruggie, 30, of the 500 block of Gregory Lane, Plano, turned herself in and admitted to stealing between $90,000 to $100,000 in cash from American Heartland Bank, where she had been employed, according to Rollins.

Rollins said the defendant was charged with three felony counts; one felony count of theft between $100,000 and $500,000, one count of felony of theft between $10,000 and $100,000, and felony misappropriation of financial institutional property between $10,000 and $100,000.

“Between $90,000 and $100,000 was taken from the vault,” Rollins said. “This theft has been going on for a long period of time, starting in 2010.”

Besides the bank’s cash, no documents were taken from the vault. Ruggie’s motive will come out during the trial, but she was going through financial problems, Rollins said.

Ruggie will have a preliminary hearing later this month before the case goes to trial.

Village cautions residents regarding storm damage repair

SUGAR GROVE—The hail storm that struck locally on Tuesday, May 20, pelted sections of Sugar Grove and caused roof and siding damage, as well as severe damage to vehicles.

Numerous salesmen looking to do roof and siding repairs came to the Sugar Grove area following the storm, and many of them went door-to-door without a permit that is required by the village. Residents are being asked to call 9-1-1 if the solicitor is unable to show a valid permit. Reporting the issue will help the Police Department track any illegal activity more efficiently.

“We have revamped our permit application process, and we have even changed the look of our permits,” said Sugar Grove Police Chief Pat Rollins. “The permit will be a lanyard with a photo that needs to be displayed.”

Over the weekend, the Police Department issued between six and eight citations to people who were soliciting storm damage repair without the required permit.

When the village issues a permit to any individual, a background check is also completed . However, that does not mean the solicitor is approved as a trustworthy or upstanding company to work with. Residents are being asked to use their own judgment when it comes to selecting a company to repair any hail damage.

Residents are also being asked to consult with their insurance provider before selecting a repair company. Insurance companies should be contacted immediately following the damage in order to ensure that it is properly evaluated.

It is in the resident’s best interest to contact their insurance provider for an estimate, according to the village.

The village issued a friendly reminder that residents should insist on a contract for repair work that totals over $1,000. Residents are also encouraged to take their time before signing a contract.

“Spoofing,” or the act of falsifying a phone number so as to disguise the caller’s identity, was also an issue following the hail storm’s aftermath.

“There was a telemarketer company in Texas that was soliciting for a business that would complete work on hail damaged property,” Chief Rollins said. “The telemarketers were out of hand.”


International Jousting Tournament coming to Maple Park

MAPLE PARK—Top-ranked jousters on Labor Day weekend will travel to Promise Equestrian Center, 45W050 Beith Road in Maple Park, to compete in a three-day-long, full-contact International Jousting Tournament.

Riders in this competition will hail from the United States, Canada and Australia, and are affiliated with one or more of the following groups: International Jousting League, The International Jousting Association, The International Jousting Champions and The International Series. There will be at least two women who will compete in the tournament, and one of them is the No. 1-ranked jouster in the world.

Preliminary jousts will take place on Friday, Aug. 29, and full competitions will take place on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 30-31, with the Championship on Sunday afternoon.

“This is the first year ever for The International Series, and there will be five-to-six sanctioned tournaments around the country,” said Jerry Paulsen, co-founder and president of Boots and Hooves, Inc. “Ours will be the last for the season, and we are already looking to host at least two next year in 2015.”

All of these events are open to the public, with an admission fee. The event is a part of the Promise Equestrian Center’s Labor Day Heartland Equestrian Festival. Attendees will be able to select and choose from a variety of packages for both themselves or for the family.

Community members from the surrounding area have the opportunity to witness and partake in a weekend of full contact competitive jousting, games, fun and food.

“This is going to be a fantastic time for everyone young and old, novice or skilled in horsemanship or anything to do with horses and competitive sports,” Paulsen said. “Jousting is the only sport where both men and women compete equally. There is no difference in the rules, regardless of gender.”

Paulsen said Promise Equestrian Center will also have a huge equestrian show put on by master trainer Enrique Martinez of Monte Cristo Equestrian Center, which operates out of Promise Equestrian Center.

“The ultimate goal is for everyone to come out for a great weekend of friendship—old and new—food, family and fun.”


Photo: Promise Equestrian Center in Maple Park will play host to a full-contact jousting tournament Labor Day weekend.
Courtesy photos submitted to


Great turnout & success for Special Olympics fundraiser

ELBURN—Sunday marked the seventh annual Pulling for Special Olympics event, held at the St. Charles Sportsmen’s Club in Elburn. The event year after year continues to grow and includes more people who are passionate about raising funds for Special Olympics participants.

The funds that are raised at the event are allocated for the participation fees for people who want to participate in the Special Olympics. Over 350 people attended the event on Sunday for an afternoon of clay pigeon and trap shooting.

Colleen MacRunnels, one of the main organizers of the event, commented on the importance of the fundraiser.

“The money we raise pays the participation for people in the Special Olympics,” she said. “We also have all-in participants today who pay $500 to shoot. It warms my heart.”

The Maple Park Police are supporters of the event, and many of the officers, including Chief Mike Acosta, were in attendance. Maple Park Police Officer Ray Radis was there to help out, as well.

“I’ll do anything to help,” Radis said. “It’s great for the kids, and it’s a wonderful to do.”

Acosta has been participating in Pulling for the Special Olympics since he started working in Maple Park.

“This is a great event, and it teaches people how to use a gun safely,” Acosta said. “It also raises a lot of money. We would like to be the highest-raising group in the state of Illinois this year.”

This year, organizers added a special twist and invited disabled veterans out to the event at no charge. Janet and Charlie Johnson from the Vaughan Paralyzed Veterans of America appeared at the event to show their support.

“This is a great opportunity for veterans to assimilate back into civilian life and use guns for recreational purposes,” Janet said. “They can feel good about being at this event that’s for a good cause without being the spotlight.”

There was also a raffle and a silent auction run by Jim MacRunnels.

“Our sponsors donated all kinds of guns, equipment for the guns and for camping,” Jim said. “There are also bigger items, too.”

Jim later said that over $45,000 was raised during the afternoon.

A couple of outdoor games and activities were also set up for people to enjoy during the event. Stacy Reever and her daughter, Kassidy, volunteered for the day and were helping out with a couple of activities.

“I have been helping to fundraise for the Special Olympics for 10 years, and my daughter Kassidy has volunteered with me,” Stacy said. “Kassidy started a Special Olympics club by us when there wasn’t one.”

Terry Monnett, a supporter of the event, became involved in helping raise funds for the Special Olympics because of the MacRunnels’ interest in the cause.

“The president of the gun club at the time was very supportive of raising funds for the Special Olympics when we approached him, and the club has been a great help ever since,” Monnett said. “This is one of the most unique events, and I’ve heard of other people in different areas wanting to create an event like this one after they hear about it.”