Category Archives: Elburn

Church sale will boast many craft items

by Martha Quetsch
Annette Theobald has coordinated the St. Gall’s Church rummage sale during Elburn Days since 2004. A focus emerges for each annual sale based on people’s donations, she said.

“Every year, it seems like we have a different theme,” Theobald said.

This year, craft supplies will be the highlight of the sale. The reason is, St. Gall’s received a multitude of craft items from a local resident who no longer wanted them. St. Gall’s designated a special room this year to accommodate the craft items.

“We had a crew of more than eight people, who loaded eight cars from the house with craft supplies,” Theobald said.

Theobald said she and other sale volunteers have not yet opened all of the boxes the resident gave them. She added that items that don’t sell during Elburn Days will be donated to organizations such as Wayside Cross and the Cancer Federation. St. Gall’s designated a special room this year to accommodate the craft items.

Last year, someone donated many lighthouse items, so that was a sale highlight. Another year, the sale featured an inordinant number of pasta-making machines.

“It just depends upon what the trend is,” Theobald said.

Proceeds from the St. Gall rummage sale will benefit church programs.

Other charitable organizations can stop by before the sale closes on Saturday afternoon to pick leftovers they think they can sell.

Rummage event details

St. Gall Church’s 22nd annual rummage sale, in the parish hall and basement classrooms, will be full of household goods, books, sporting goods, electronics, toys, home-improvement items, small furniture, bikes, lamps, tools, shoes and clothing. St. Gall Parish Hall is located at Route 47 and Shannon Street.

The sale will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. A bake sale will also be held both days. A bag sale starts at 1 p.m. that Saturday, during which items other than clothes will be offered at half price. Proceeds will help meet parish needs. For information, call (630) 365-6030.

Festival’s community stage full of fun

Schedule of events set for Elburn Day’s community stage
by Mike Slodki
Somehow, some way, Elburn Days will attempt to pack an astounding amount of fun on the community stage from Friday, Aug. 21, through Sunday, Aug. 23.

On Friday, Ronald McDonald will bring his brand of fun following the Elburn Days Parade at 7:30 p.m. Also at 7:30, 2008 Teen Elburn Idol Alyssa Parma will open on the main stage for Catfight.

From 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., A Factor Dance Company brings the moves.

On Saturday, the next generation of Elburn Idol will shine during its finalist competition from noon to 1 p.m.

Jazzercise will hit the stage from 1:15 to 1:45 p.m.

Following shortly after will be Excel Gymnastics and Rebel Cheerleaders showing off their talent.

From 3:45 to 4:15 p.m. comes the Pretty in Pink Dance Exhibition, and all preschoolers can come on over to the stage for a free dance class with Miss Maggie.

At 4 p.m., the teen Elburn Idol runner-up gets set to sing on stage as an opening act for Back Country Roads.

4:30 to 5:30 p.m. sees the grooves of M&M Dance Explosion, while a hula hoop contest keeps the fun going on the stage from 5:45 to 6:15 p.m.

At 7:30 p.m., the spotlight goes onto the 2009 Teen Elburn Idol winner, who sings on the main stage and opens up for Red Woody.

From 7:45 to 9 p.m., St. Charles North High School Band “The Public” plays its rock and alternative originals and covers. The band is made up of John Welte, Ben Hodges, Jake Fulk, Kyle McDonald and Andrew Filipos.

On Sunday, the second annual talent contest takes place from 1 to 2 p.m., followed by the second annual ice cream eating contest, sponsored by Colonial Ice Cream. The contest will be for ages six and under, 7-12, 13-17 and adults. Prizes are to be awarded for first through third place, with all participants receiving a certificate.

At 3 p.m., the junior Elburn Idol runner-up sings on the main stage opening for Deep Six.
3:30 to 4 p.m. features a dance party for kids ages 7 to 10, with the opportunity to go up on stage to learn hip hop dances.

From 4:15 to 5:15 p.m., M&M Dance performs again.

At 6:30 p.m., the final community stage fun for another year takes place with the junior Elburn Idol winner on the main stage, opening for 7th Heaven.

Community stage schedule
Subject to change

Friday, August 21
7:30 p.m.: Ronald McDonald
8:30 p.m. A Factor Dance Company performs

Saturday, August 22
Noon “Elburn Idol” Finalist Competition
2:30 p.m. Excel Gymnastics and Rebel Cheerleaders
3:45 p.m. Pretty in Pink Dance Exhibition: bring your
preschoolers to the stage for a free dance
class with Miss Maggie
4:30 p.m. M&M Dance Performs
5:45 p.m. Hula Hoop Contest
7:45 p.m. Teen Band/Dance, “The Public”

Sunday, August 23

1 p.m. 2nd Annual Talent Contest
2:15 p.m. Second Annual Ice Cream Eating Contest
Sponsored by Colonial Ice Cream.
Ages 6 and Under, 7-12, 13-17,
and adult categories.
Prizes awarded to 1st , 2nd and 3rd.
All participants receive a certificate.
3:30 p.m. Dance party for ages 7-10
4:15 p.m. M&M Dance performs

Community churches gather to worship

Elburn Days offers an ecumenical church service
by Susan O’Neill
Elburn Community Congregational Church member Kay Johnson has been coming to the outdoor church services at Elburn Days for more than 20 years.

“I like being outside,” she said. “It’s a peaceful, nice and pleasant place to worship, and it gives me a feeling of being in communion with nature.”

The Elburn Days ecumenical church service begins at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday morning at the main stage.

The presentation of the worship service is often shared by one or more churches in the community. This year, the Rev. Jeffrey Dire of the Elburn Community Congregational Church will be joined by the Rev. Gary Augustine of the Evangelical Fellowship Church and the Rev. David Kletzing of the Hope Anglican Church in conducting the service. Kletzing’s congregation currently meets in the Congregational Church building on Sunday evenings.

Worshippers may either sit in the bleachers or bring their own blankets or lawn chairs.

“It’s always nice to share the service with other congregations,” Johnson said.

Elburn Days briefs

1 for you, 1 for me …
The Elburn Lions Club will host a 50/50 raffle. Tickets will be on sale at various locations throughout Lions Park during the entire festival. The drawing will be held on Sunday evening at 8 p.m. Profits will go to projects that aid the community and the seeing impaired.

In step
The annual Elburn Days parade will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 21.

This is the 80th Elburn Days Parade. The parade will have approximately 90 units, including bands, floats, fire engines, antique cars, clowns and more.

Additionally this year, Ronald McDonald will entertain the children as he rides through the parade in his special truck. The parade theme this year is: “Celebrating 80 Years of Service, 80s Style.”

The parade will last approximately 90 minutes and will open the festival as it ends at Lions Park. The parade route will be southbound through Elburn on Route 47.

For more information, visit

1 in 3,500 = Camaro
This year, the Elburn Lions Club will raffle off a new 2010 Camaro 2LT/RS Package or $25,000, winner’s choice.

This special edition Camaro is on display at Bob Jass Chevrolet in Elburn. The car is Inferno Orange and its leather seats have orange inserts with special chrome wheels. Tthe 2LT model level, RS Package also has special headlights, special instruments and a spoiler. Its 304hp, V6 engine gets 17 mpg city and 29 mpg highway.

Tickets for a chance to win this vehicle cost $20 and are available from Elburn merchants, Lions Club members or at Elburn Days in the ticket booth at Lions Park.

Get your tickets early, as there are just 3,500 tickets available. The winner will be drawn on the Sunday night of Elburn Days, Aug. 23, at 8 p.m.

The winner need not be present during the raffle, but you must buy a ticket to be eligible. For additional details, a picture of the vehicle or to purchase raffle tickets via the mail-in form, visit

Have a cold one

The Elburn Lions Club will again host a beer garden, which is adjacent to the Main Stage.

The types of beer available this year will be Miller Highlife and Miller Lite.

Additionally this year, the club will offer Mike’s Hard Lemonade—lemonade and cranberry flavors; water is also available for purchase.

On Sunday at noon, the duo of Pete and Tim return to the beer garden for another year’s performance. This is an extremely popular place during the Main Stage performances.

No alcohol beverages are allowed outside of the beer garden. The beer garden is restricted to individuals 21 years of age and older. There will be a secured area for families where adult beverages may be enjoyed. Ticket sales end a half hour before closing.

All sorts of sales

Elburn Days wouldn’t be Elburn Days if it wasn’t for the sales throughout town.

The annual sidewalk sale and flea market, sponsored by the Elburn Chamber of Commerce, will be held in downtown Elburn on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 21 and 22, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The sale is based on local and home based businesses. Take a stroll down Main Street and enjoy the various products featured in this very popular event.

The annual craft show is growing in popularity, and recently relocated to just north of the North Pavilion at Elburn Lions Park. The show runs on Saturday, Aug. 22, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 23, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The show highlights many one-of-a-kind products—quilts, music boxes and jewelry to hard-to-find outdoor garden accessories and doll clothing. The Craft Show is sponsored by the Elburn Chamber of Commerce.

Sponsored by St. Gall Catholic Chuch, the annual Rummage and Bake Sale are donated by the community, and the profits generated benefit St. Gall parish needs.

Items for sale include: sporting goods, clothing, home goods, electronics and jewelry. A bake sale features homemade pies, cookies, breads and local produce. Hours are Friday, Aug. 21, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 22, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

From the Elburn Days Chairman

This year’s Elburn Days Festival will be held on Friday through Sunday, August 21-23 at Elburn Lions Park. The annual event will kick off with our traditional parade Friday evening. The theme for the parade this year is “Celebrating 80 years of Service 80’s style.”

The Elburn Lions Club is pleased to present the 80th annual Elburn Days. This event has a long tradition of providing great family fun for our wonderful community and the surrounding area.

The Elburn Lions Club, the village of Elburn, our community members and organizations take great pride in this annual event and work hard to provide fun for people of all ages.

The motto of Lions clubs is “We Serve,” and without the help and support of the entire community, the Elburn Lions Club would not be able to provide the charitable help and support that we provide. I am honored to serve as the chairman for this year’s event and to carry on the tradition of providing a venue for the community to celebrate the third full weekend in August where our families can enjoy all of the activities of Elburn Days.

Please join us and enjoy Elburn Days at our park.

Tim Klomhaus
Immediate Past President, Elburn Lions Club
2009 Elburn Days Chairman

‘Celebrating 80 years of Fun in the Community’

Festival theme complemented by parade’s ’80s flair
by Martha Quetsch
Put on your old preppy clothes with collars turned up, tease your hair until it’s really big, and you’ll fit right in at the Elburn Days parade.

The 80th annual Elburn Days Parade, at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 21, has the theme, “80 Years of Service, ’80’s Style.”

Every year, local Lions Club members decide on a different theme for their summer festival, Elburn Days. For the 2009 event, the Lions decided the parade would have its own theme.

“We thought it would make it easier for people to come up with float ideas,” Lions member Tim Klomhaus said.

Klomhaus said he and a few other club members brainstormed, and the ’80s theme was an obvious choice.

“That was the one that really jumped out at us,” he said.

The theme for the event, overall, is, “Celebrating 80 Years of Fun in the Community,” reflecting the eight decades the summer festival has taken place in the village.

Last year’s Elburn Days theme was “Knights of the Blind Since 1929,” for the charitable contributions the Lions Club has made to organizations assisting the seeing impaired from the time it was established in Elburn.

Who’s No. 1?

Recalling the chart-topping songs from this week in the ‘80s
1980: “Magic,” Olivia Newton-John
1981: “Jessie’s Girl,” Rick Springfield
1982: “Eye of the Tiger,” Survivor
1983: “Every Breath You Take,” The Police
1984: “Ghostbusters,” Ray Parker, Jr.
1985: “Shout,” Tears For Fears
1986: “Glory of Love,” Peter Cetera
1987: “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” U2
1988: “Roll With It,” Steve Winwood
1989: “Right Here Waiting,” Richard Marx
courtesy of

The top-grossing movies
1980: “The Empire Strikes Back,” $141 million
1981: “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” $115 million
1982: “E.T. – The Extraterrestrial,” $228 million
1983: “Return of the Jedi,” $168 million
1984: “Ghostbusters,” $130 million
1985: “Back to the Future,” $104 million
1986: “Top Gun,” $79 million
1987: “Three Men and A Baby,” $81 million
1988: “Rain Man,” $86 million
1989: “Batman,” $150 million
courtesy of

What’s new in ‘09

Festival has new features
by Martha Quetsch

First all-day bag-book sale
The Friends of the Town & Country Public Library always offers a chance for people to buy a bag filled with books for a few dollars, but in the past, the special discount has been limited to the last two hours of the Friends’ two-day book sale. This year, the Friends will offer the bag-book sale during the entire second day of the event, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

“We will start it when the doors open,” Friends member Joan Hansen said.

Patrons may fill a grocery bag (supplied by the Friends) with books, and pay just $2 per bag or $5 for two bags. Collectible books are excluded.

Another addition: RC on-road race
Hobbytown USA offers an off-road remote control race on Sunday during Elburn Days and this year also will feature an on-road race at the festival on Saturday at noon. It will take place in the Lions Park parking lot, where contestants can compete against others with similarly equipped remote-control cars and trucks, racing them on an obstacle course.

The hobby store has an on-road race twice a month at its shop in St. Charles, from May through September. At the Elburn Days on-road race and those held at the store, competitors can earn points toward winning trophies and prizes at the end of the season from Hobbytown U.S.A. For entry cost information, call the store at (630) 587-1256.

Fresh entertainment: HiFi Superstars
HiFi Superstars will take the Elburn Days main stage for the first time at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 21, at Lions Park. Combining a ’70s rock vibe with crunchy, modern, pop-rock energy, HiFi Superstar delivers originals with a vintage rock sound, as well as old-school classics.

HiFi Superstar’s debut CD, “New Revolution,” featuring the song “Milk and Honey,” first opened the doors to a broader audience and led to an exclusive spot on “The Great Independent Rock CD, Volume 1.” The band has opened for national headlining acts including Stryper, Cheap Trick and American Idol’s Bo Bice.

The band’s sound has been compared to that of Cheap Trick, The Knack, Rooney, Weezer, the Raspberries and the Gin Blossoms.

Although HiFi Superstar is known for its melodic rock sound, the band is not afraid to occasionally flirt with an R&B groove or infuse a bit of funk into the mix, the group’s website states (

Rock out at Elburn Days

Festival features three days of wide-ranging music
by Mike Slodki

There’s no better place to rock out in late-August than the main stage at Elburn Days.

You may even get to hear some ‘80s hits, with the overall arcing theme of the entire weekend of “celebrating 80 years of service 80’s style.”

The collective rocking begins Friday on the main stage, with the five-person band HiFi Superstar playing from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

All about the power pop and vocal harmonies, HiFi Superstar plays both original and covers, and will have just come off a performance at Blues Bar in Mount Prospect.

The band has two CDs that have been released, “New Revolution” and a self-titled effort.

From 8 to 11 p.m., the band Catfight displays its musical talent on the main state. The five-person band is not only a fixture in the Chicago area, but has also mixed it up at Milwaukee’s Summerfest, Rockford’s On the Waterfront, and provides live at-bat music at Alexian Field during Thursday night home games for the Schaumburg Flyers. At Elburn Days, you can hear anything from Journey to Gnarls Barkley.

Saturday’s Main Stage action starts relatively early with the musical talent of He Said She Said. Influenced by anything from Blondie to the Beatles and featuring both male and female lead vocalists, He Said She Said is made up of Tamara, Kerry, Richard and Matthew.

From 4 to 7 p.m., Back Country Roads takes the stage with its co-ed brand of acoustic country. Based out of DeKalb, Mary Noren, Kyle Miller and Brian Miller look to sing the tunes from acts like Dierks Bentley to Miranda Lambert.

Local act Red Woody takes control on Saturday from 7:30 to 11 p.m. Now in its 10th year, “Red Woody is a high energy cover band specializing in ’70s, ’80s,’90s and ’00s radio rock hits,” according to

Playing anywhere from MVP’s Street Dance in Sycamore to Starbuster’s in DeKalb, Red Woody is made up of Matt Miller on vocals, Keith Beebe on guitar, Ron McConkey on drums, Doug Wielert on bass, John Stephenson on guitar, Stan Dembowski on guitar and Cyril Wochok on guitar.

On Sunday, the main stage will see the invasion of five-piece band Deep Six. Deep Six plays several genres of rock and even country, with hits like “Funk 49” from James Gang to “Alive” by Pearl Jam. Deep Six will also be playing Yorkville’s Hometown Fest and has also played Blarney Island in Antioch recently.

From 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, 7th Heaven takes the stage with its five-piece band capable of original or covers. Playing in its third decade, the band released “Live at Durty Nellie’s” in 2005. 7th Heaven is made up of Mark Kennetz, Richie Hofherr, Keith Semple, Nick Cox, and Michael Mooshey and are going to be fresh off a performance at Grayslake Summer Days on Saturday.

The beer garden on Sunday will feature Pete and Tim from noon to 3 p.m.

HiFi Superstar
Main Stage • Friday, Aug. 21 • 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Combining an infectious ‘70s rock vibe with crunchy, modern, pop-rock energy, HiFi Superstar has established themselves as a notable presence among Chicago’s musical skyline.

Billboard Award winners for their song, “Milk and Honey,” they know what it takes to deliver fresh originals with a vintage sound as well as old school classics that have been refreshed and packed with their own unique flavor.

HiFi Superstar is eager to bring their groovin’ style and feel-good music to a new generation.

HiFi Superstar enjoys a unique and broad appeal across generations. Playing everywhere from clubs in the city and suburbs, to community festivals, churches, schools and private events—their entertaining style, versatility and ability to engage crowds of all sizes has secured their place in the hearts of a wide-ranging fan base.

Their debut CD, “New Revolution,” featuring their song “Milk and Honey,” first opened the doors to a broader audience, grabbing them an exclusive spot on “The Great Independent Rock CD, Volume 1”. The band has also had the opportunity to open for national headlining acts, including Stryper, Cheap Trick and American Idol’s Bo Bice.

Their second CD, “HiFi Superstar,” has been described as a great example of crunchy power pop a la Cheap Trick, The Knack and contemporaries such as Rooney and Weezer. Others have noted that the power chords and smooth harmonies recall the Raspberries and Gin Blossoms. And though HiFi Superstar is known for their melodic rock sound, they are not afraid to occasionally flirt with an R&B groove or infuse a bit of funk to the mix.

Noted for their memorable musical hooks with solid vocal harmonies … in addition to a great musical performance, these guys are just fun! Their songs are upbeat and just a plain good time. Whatever vibe you get from the stage at a HiFi Superstar show, you’ll no doubt feel the passion of a band on a mission.

Some have said that we all need the positive influences we can get in the world today. Well HiFi Superstar has their sights set on bringing their jacked up, feel good, pump-your-fist-in-the-air convoy to you!

If you’re looking to inject an upbeat, fun, or positive vibe into your life … no ordinary star will do. You’ll want HiFi Superstar!
courtesy of

Main Stage • Friday, Aug. 21
8 to 11 p.m.
Chicago-based, all-girl band Catfight has played the Joint in Las Vegas, opened for Snoop Dog, Tommy Lee, Styx, Night Ranger and on and on … played a multitude of festivals including Milwaukee’s Summerfest and Rockford’s On the Waterfront, colleges, weddings, mitzvah’s, private and corporate events.

There is practically nothing this band has not done and probably nothing they wouldn’t do. This high energy, fun, sassy, sexy performance is packed full of popular music from Kelly Clarkson to The Killers and will leave you wanting more, more, more! Get out to a Catfight show and enjoy the party!
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He Said She Said
Main Stage • Saturday, Aug. 22 • 1 to 3:30 p.m.
He Said She Said shows can best be described as rock solid pandemonium, designed to make you kick up your feet and party.

What exactly does that mean? For starters, HSSS features both a male and female lead vocalist, both with outstanding dynamic range and versatility. Lead vocalist Tamara Mooshey (who also sings with 7th Heaven) shows off her high energy and passionate vocal stylings through an eclectic mix of current and classic favorites; sort of Katy Perry meets Stevie Nicks combo. Lead vocalist and guitarist Kerry Ridout brings a quiet, cool persona to the mix. He has an old school rock voice that takes you back in time, resembling Paul McCartney or Elvis Costello.

The band also boasts a high power rhythm section; both add a unique feature to the band. Rock steady Bassist Richard Dirkes-Jacks contributes a high energy stage performance and he loves to provide that tasty groove that calls you to the dance floor like a moth to a flame. Drummer Matthew Koller adds a whimsical and playful approach to the HSSS line-up. Think Ringo Starr meets Animal from the Muppets.

The HSSS set list is filled with diverse songs that everyone loves, spanning from the ‘60s to today’s current hits. The band also jumps through genres with ease, playing classic rock gems like The Who’s “Baba O’Riley” and Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” to dance party hits like Dee-Lites “Groove is in the Heart” and Pink’s “So What.” The band just as easily pulls off big arena sing-alongs like Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” and Bon Jovi’s “Living on A Prayer” with their own special style that gets the crowd to feel like they are part of the rock and roll circus that is HSSS.

Finally, the energy on stage will make it clear that this band really enjoys one another and can feed off each other. The shows aren’t staged; everything is free flowing and spontaneous, keeping each performance fresh. HSSS combines this skilled musicianship, playful sense of humor and dynamic stage show every audience deserves. Come check it out and treat yourself to a good time.
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Red Woody
Main Stage • Saturday, Aug. 22
7:30 to 11 p.m.
Red Woody is a high energy cover band specializing in ’70s, ’80s,’90s and ’00s radio rock hits. Since 1999, Red Woody has been redefining what a cover band is all about. Red Woody puts you in the front row of your favorite rock concert. Covering artists such as Journey, Bon Jovi, Goo Goo Dolls, Bryan Adams, Matchbox 20, AC/DC, John Mellencamp, Counting Crows, Kid Rock, Poison, Skynyrd, Lit, Nine Days and many more. Come experience the Red Woody sensation at an upcoming performance.
courtesy of

Deep Six
Main Stage
Sunday, Aug. 23
3 to 6 p.m.
DeepSix offers Chicagoland extreme musical diversity. Modern, classic & alternative rock are blended with rockin’ modern country and packaged in a dynamic stage show that gets your venue or event singing and dancing along! Tribute quality vocals and instrumentation bring the hits to life at each and every performance. Check out a show and see why this is one of Chicagoland’s fastest rising bands.
courtesy of and

7th Heaven
Main Stage • Sunday, Aug. 23 • 6:30 to 10 p.m.
Lifelong friends committed to leaving it all out on the stage, NTD Records recording artists 7th Heaven boasts these and other incredible accomplishments.

The lead singer, winner of the British TV version of American Idol known as Pop Stars, was brought in straight from Northern Ireland. He owns a gold disc on Jive records. The band has set attendance records at major night clubs across the tri-state region. Record sales nearing 30,000 units sold and digital offerings are available on iTUNES, Amazon, among others.

This is the premier Chicago festival act, according to prominent talent buyers in Illinois. The critically acclaimed website “Barstar” refers to 7th Heaven as one of the three best bands in Chicago.

Dead-on renditions of Def Lepard, The Beatles, Bon Jovi, Journey and even U2 are delivered at a frenetic pace, driving audiences to literally be dancing in the streets. Musicianship, theatrics and that unmistakable Irish brogue fuel original songs that came straight from the radio playlist.

Are you a Cubs fan? Listen for 7th Heaven all summer long during telecasts and you will hear their current smash hit “This Summer’s Gonna Last Forever”.

This is the band your neighbors will be buzzing about for the rest of the summer. While the festivals only last a short time, for 7th Heaven’s fans old and new alike, they will remember the experience of seeing and hearing them now, because as their song says, “This Summer’s Gonna Last Forever.”
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Annual truck pull set for Saturday

by Mike Slodki
For 80 years, Elburn Days has been letting festival-goers run wild.

For 31 of those years, tractors have been getting stuck in the mud.

That’s just the way they like it.

Saturday, Aug. 22, brings the 32nd annual Truck and Tractor Pull to Lions Park.

The festivities begin on Saturday at 10 a.m. with the antique tractor pull, with registration beginning at Lions Park. Awards go to the top three finishers.

At 11 a.m., the 32nd annual Truck and Tractor Pull begins.

Sanctioned by the Illini State Pullers, the ISP governs all entry fees and rules.

The times are as follows:
5,000 lb. Naturally Aspiratred Tractors start at 11 a.m.; 6,000 lb. Stock Altered Tractors run at 11:30 a.m.; 6,5000 lb. Altered Stock Trucks run at noon; 7,000 lb Naturally Aspirated Tractors run at 12:30 p.m.; 11,000 lb. Modified Farm Tractors run at 1 p.m.; 6,500 lb. Super Stock Trucks run at 1:30 p.m.; 6,500 lb. Stock Trucks run at 2 p.m., while 7,500 lb. Diesel Trucks finish off at 2:30 p.m. Schedules are subject to change.

Cancel the diet

Elburn Days’ food deserves a break from the diet plan
by Mike Slodki
Want to sample mounds of area foods without having to go through the area?

Lions Park and Elburn Days 2009 is the answer.

Throughout the festival grounds, area business will be dishing out the goodies for kids and adults of all ages.

Vendors include Bev’s Popcorn, Genoa Pizza, Kaneville United Methodist Church, China Garden, Suzie’s Fun Food, Hill’s Country Store, T & D Concessions, Witters Concessions, Pancho’s Mexican Food, R & S Concessions and others.

The Elburn Lions Beef Stand returns to Elburn Days weekend for another year, and the Lions are set to grill their famous pork chops and BBQ chicken dinners on Sunday. The Community Congregational Church will also have their food tent featuring items like roast BBQ, cheeseburgers, hamburgers and homemade pies.

Also set to be at Elburn Days are a beef stand, hot dog stand and a root beer float stand.

Kaneland senior loses life in Campton Hills crash

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Police investigators are trying to determine the cause of a Campton Hills crash that killed Kaneland High School senior Kelsey M. Barsic, 17, of Elburn.

At 6:10 a.m. Tuesday, Campton Hills Police responded to the crash scene after residents reported seeing a vehicle against a tree at 41W323 Burlington Road. Police Chief Gregory Anderson said officers found Barsic dead in the vehicle, a 1998 Chevrolet Malibu.

The Kane County Coroner’s office will establish the approximate time of death. Anderson said that based on the condition of the victim’s body, she had been deceased for some time. He said it was apparent that the injuries she sustained in the crash caused her death, although the coroner will make the final determination.

The westbound vehicle Barsic had been driving apparently left the south side of the roadway, traveled for a significant distance through an open field and struck a tree of about three feet in diameter, Anderson said. There was no apparent evidence of braking or steering maneuvers before the vehicle struck the tree, he added.

“The tracks in the grass showed the vehicle moved in a straight line across the field,” Anderson said.

Police and the Kane County Accident Reconstruction Team are trying to determine the speed Barsic at which had been driving based on evidence at the scene.

Anderson said based on interviews with the victim’s family on Tuesday, Barsic had been at a friend’s house Monday night and was possibly going to another friend’s home when the accident happened.

It is not known yet whether Barsic was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash. Amy Renwick, of the coroner’s office, said toxicology test results could take up to three weeks.

Barsic was not wearing a seatbelt nor did the air bag deploy during the crash; if the victim had been wearing a seatbelt, she may have survived, Anderson said.

Conley Funeral Home is making the funeral arrangements for the Barsic family.

Kaneland High School officials learned of Barsic’s death on Tuesday. They said she would have started her senior year when classes begin Aug. 26.

Barsic was an outgoing, friendly girl who was enrolled in the health occupations program at Fox Valley Career Center, working toward her certification as a nurse’s assistant, Assistant Principal Diane McFarlin said.

Visitation will be from 2 to 8p.m., with a wake service to begin at 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 24, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn. A mass to celebrate her life will begin at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Aug. 25, at St. Gall Church. Fr. Karl Ganss, pastor of the church, will officiate and interment will follow at S.S. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Virgil.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in her name. Checks may be made to the “Kelsey Barsic Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at

Koos joins Teach for America

National Teaching Corps Receives 35,000 applications—a new record
ELBURN—A native of Elburn has joined Teach For America, the national corps of top recent college graduates who commit to teach for two years in urban and rural public schools and become lifelong advocates for educational equity.

The recruit is Erica Koos, a graduate of Kaneland High School and Gustavus Adolphus College.

Koos joins Teach For America’s incoming corps of 4,100 teachers, the largest in its 20-year history. With a record 35,000 applications for the 2009 corps, only 15 percent were accepted. These outstanding recent college graduates were selected for their leadership abilities and strong record of achievement. The 2009 incoming corps members earned an average undergraduate GPA of 3.6, and 89 percent held leadership positions as undergraduates.

Each year, Teach For America attracts a significant percentage of graduates from the nation’s top schools. This year, at more than 130 colleges and universities, over 5 percent of the senior class applied, including 11 percent of all seniors at Ivy League institutions. Teach For America was the No. 1 employer of graduating seniors at more than 20 schools, including Georgetown University, Spelman College and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
Koos will teach in St. Louis.

In the 2009-10 school year, over 7,300 first- and second-year Teach For America corps members will head to classrooms in 35 regions across the United States, including a record seven new sites: Boston; Dallas; Milwaukee; Minneapolis-St. Paul; Nashville, Tenn.; Tulsa, Okla.; and Wilmington, Del.

Beyond their corps commitments, two-thirds of the nearly 17,000 Teach For America alumni across the country are working full-time in education. Nearly 400 Teach For America alumni serve as school principals or superintendents, more than 500 work in government or policy, and 26 serve in elected office.

This fall, 7,300 corps members will be teaching in 35 regions across the country while 17,000 Teach For America alumni continue working from inside and outside the field of education for the fundamental changes necessary to ensure educational excellence and equity For more information, visit

Parkway tree removal, replacement requires board OK

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Elburn could spend nearly $12,000 to extend its program for removal and replacement of dead and dying trees on residential parkways.

The Planning Commission on Aug. 4 decided to recommend that the Village Board approve the project, including a 50-50 program through which property owners may have parkway trees removed and split the cost with the village.

Many trees, particularly those affected by the emerald ash borer, are slated for removal and replacement by the village at its cost. However, the 50-50 program allows for the removal of trees more immediately than the village plans, if the property owner desires.

“We have a list of trees needing removal, but we cannot remove all of them this year,” said village employee Jim Stran, who is coordinating the tree project.

The tree removal and replacement proposal next goes to village committees on Monday, Aug. 24, for discussion. Following their review, the proposal will go to the Village Board, which will decide whether to proceed with the project that could begin this fall, Stran said.

Most of the trees the village wants to remove are diseased maple and ash. This year, 24 trees are targeted for removal and 20 trees for planting. Many of the trees that would be planted if the board OKs the project will replace those that the village removed in the past.

Replacement trees will include linden, locust, various maples and others.

Elburn officials ponder pros, cons of video gambling

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Elburn officials wonder if newly legalized video gambling is what they want for the village.

Video gambling in establishments with liquor licenses, allowed under an act Gov. Patrick Quinn signed into law July 13, will generate revenue for the Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program, including state-funded road and bridge projects.

Video gambling could generate an estimated $2,250 annually for the village in taxes for each gaming machine in Elburn, according to a report by the firm of Arduin, Laffer & Moore Econometrics.

The state imposes a 30 percent tax on the net income from each video gambling terminal, featuring poker, blackjack or other games. Of that tax, one-sixth will go to the village.

Village Attorney Bob Britz told trustees on Monday that it will be 60 days, as required under the act, before the Illinois Gaming Board adopts rules needed to enforce the act, but final regulations could take more than a year to develop.

“It’s going to take awhile for the state to adopt regulations; so, the village has time to decide which way it wants to go,” Britz said during the Committee of the Whole meeting Monday.

Village President Dave Anderson said he attended a meeting of the Metropolitan Mayors Conference in Chicago on Aug. 7, during which a presentation about the Video Gaming Act took place. He said presenters included representatives from the Illinois Municipal League and Chicago area municipalities.

“Other mayors said they are not sure what they want to do,” Anderson said.

A municipality may prohibit video gambling by passing an ordinance banning the machines within its geographical limits. Voters also may try to prevent video gaming; they would have to file a petition from at least 25 percent of registered voters of the municipality at least 90 days before an election; then, a proposition could be placed on the ballot asking whether video gaming should be prohibited.

Counties may ban video gaming by ordinance for unincorporated areas. For incorporated areas, the decision whether to ban video gaming is up to municipalities.

Village trustee Bill Grabarek said he wants the village to enact a ban on video gambling, which could be reversed later. For now, he wants to make sure Elburn disallows it until the village is certain it wants it.

“You’re not going to get family-oriented businesses (restaurants) in the village if you have five machines going clinkety-clank,” Grabarek said.

Grabarek called the additional tax money the village would receive, “chump change.”

Gaming machines will be regulated

Gov. Pat Quinn signed the Video Gaming Act July 13, allowing video gambling terminals in bars, clubs and restaurants with liquor licenses.

The Illinois Gaming Board has jurisdiction over all video gaming operations; local governments and police will not be responsible for administering or enforcing the act.

Under the act:
• video terminals, up to five machines per establishment, for games such as poker or blackjack, must be located in an area of the business that is restricted to people 21 and older. The entrance to this area must be in the view of at least one adult employee.

• video gaming terminals may only be played during the legal hours of operation allowed for the consumption of alcoholic beverages at the establishment.

• the maximum wager played per hand may not exceed $2. Additionally, the cash award for the maximum wager may not exceed $500.

• establishments that violate the act will be subject to fines and possible revocation of their liquor and video gambling licenses. Any licensee who knowingly permits a person under the age of 21 to use or play a video gambling terminal will be fined up to $5,000.

Source: Illinois Liquor Control Commission

Owls bring people together

Contributed by Janet Doherty of Sugar Grove
Sugar Grove/Elburn—I know I have always talked about how wonderful it is to live in a rural setting and today was no exception. During the past several weeks we have been listening to two Great Horned Owls carry on conversations through the night and sometimes into the wee hours of the morning.

Our neighbors, Brian and Cindy Babka, have been following the pair of juvenile owls around our neighborhood since the first time they heard the screeching. Brian armed himself with a high-powered light and tracked the birds to the many rooftops of their neighbors. Other families in the neighborhood have joined in and taken an interest in the pair of owls, following them around just to get a glimpse of their beauty. Little did my neighbor, Michele Bruno, know she would get an up-close and personal meeting with one of the two owls.

On the morning of Aug. 5, as she walked around the house, she noticed the large, brown bird floating in her pool. Its head was not submerged and it was still alive, neck deep in water. Not knowing what to do, Michele called her neighbor over to help assess the situation. The two immediately started calling rescue agency after rescue agency only to find none of them were able to help and if they might have been able to assist, it would have been too late to save the bird. Fearing they could further injure the bird or injure themselves, Michele luckily tracked down Sugar Grove Police Officer, Tom Barna.

Officer Barna called for assistance and another officer arrived on the scene. Together the two officers were able to rescue the owl from the water by placing a noose over the bird’s neck and gently placing it into a lidded box. Knowing just what the owl needed, Officer Barna called the Fox Valley Wildlife Center in Elburn, who then graciously took the scared, drenched owl into its care. A few hours had passed and our curiosity could not be contained, we needed to know what happened to our neighborhood owl. We called the Fox Valley Wildlife Center and listened to the hours but didn’t understand that the hospital is not open to the public. Upon seeing the faces of our kids huddled around the doorway, the staff couldn’t help but provide us with a picture of our friend in his cage. They gave us as much information that they could about his condition.

We learned that the owl must have been trying to catch something to eat out of the pool and for some reason ended up getting his feathers too wet. The wet feathers prevented him from getting out of the water and basically held him hostage until he was rescued. The owl was dehydrated and scared but for the most part he was completely healthy. No broken wings or any maladies to worry about. The hospital staff plans on keeping the owl for approximately a week and then releasing it back into the wild. One of our biggest concerns was that this young owl would desperately miss his sibling back at Hannaford Farm. So we kindly requested that when he is ready for life back in the wild suburbs, that he could be released back where he was found.

No, not back at the pool but back at the barn where we believe the owls are living.

To everyone’s delight they staff of the Fox Valley Wildlife Center agrees with this philosophy and hopes to have him returned home as soon as our friend the owl is eating his mice and gaining strength again.

Many people had a hand in insuring this animal was saved from certain death and we are all personally thankful. It is fortunate that we have a place like the Fox Valley Wildlife Center that cares for wounded animals. A special thank you goes to the Sugar Grove Officers who put aside normal protocol and rescued this beautiful animal. In turn they helped a scared homeowner who had run out of options and then thoughtfully brought our neighborhood owl to a place where it could be cared for.

Elburn mother, daughter walk for suicide prevention

Phillips’ want to organize similar event for Elburn
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Michelle Phillips and her teenage daughter, Riley, recently participated in a suicide prevention walk in Chicago, along with approximately 2,000 other people. They were so moved by the experience that they want to bring a similar event to Elburn.

“We’d like to raise money that hopefully could benefit local suicide prevention programs,” Michelle said.

The Phillips, of Elburn, decided to take part in the 20-mile Out of the Darkness walk after Kaneland High School senior Andie Christoffel took his life earlier this year.

“It was important for Riley because she was so affected by Andie’s death,” Michelle said.

The Out of the Darkness Overnight walk took place June 27-28 along Lake Michigan downtown, organized by the nonprofit American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

For the Out of the Darkness walk, the AFSP required specific pledge amounts from participants, $700 for Riley and $1,000 for Michelle. The Elburn walk would not require a pledge amount, just whatever sum participants can raise or contribute, Michelle said.

Michelle said she will work to steer the money the Elburn walk raises to local agencies such as Suicide Prevention Services in Batavia.

The walk not only would be a fundraiser, but an event to show support for the families of suicide victims, including Andie’s, and the wife and children of a local man Michelle knew who committed suicide several years ago, she said.

Michelle said the high incidence of suicide, particularly among teenagers, is “mind-baffling,” and she wants to do what she can to raise awareness about the issue.

Parade website has lineup information

ELBURN—Elburn Days Parade participants may find their lineup number and pre-parade placement by visiting the event website,

Event coordinator Allison Harding said the lineup will be posted online by Friday, Aug. 14.

The parade has 53 entries: organization floats, marching groups, antique cars, fire trucks and many others. The parade route is on Main Street, from the north side of the village south to Lions Park. It will begin at 6 p.m.

Local women arrested in possession of counterfeit bills

by Susan O’Neill
Sugar Grove—Sugar Grove resident Shirley A. Ryckman, 39, of the 1200 block of Dorr Drive, was arrested at 1 p.m. on Thursday and charged with forgery for printing counterfeit bills. Her accomplice, Elburn resident Doris Adamson, 56, of the 500 block of Main Street, was charged on Sunday for possession of the counterfeit bills, also a forgery charge.

The counterfeit money, mostly $20 bills, began showing up in the area a couple of weeks ago, in a weekend bank deposit from a Sugar Grove business, from a garage sale in rural Elburn and at the Sugar Grove Corn Boil.

According to Sugar Grove investigator John Sizer, the Fantasy Amusement carnival workers who ran the rides at the Corn Boil identified where the bills had come from, leading to Ryckman’s arrest.

U.S. Secret Service agents and Sugar Grove investigators witnessed Ryckman passing an envelope containing counterfeit U.S. currency to Adamson on Tuesday, July 28, in the parking lot of the ALDI grocery store on Route 47 and West Park Avenue in Sugar Grove.

Ryckman was taken into custody and her bond was set at $250,000. As of press time, she remains in the Kane County jail, with a court date of Wednesday, Aug. 12.

After the Sugar Grove Police had enough evidence to charge Adamson, they issued a warrant for her arrest on Friday, and she turned herself in on Sunday. She posted the $1,000 bond and was released, pending her court date on Friday, Aug. 14.

The U. S. Secret Service has been working on the case with Sugar Grove police and the Kane County Sheriff’s Office to determine if others might be involved. Sizer said that at this point, it might just be the two of them.

“With any luck, we might’ve caught this before other people got involved, but it’s still being investigated,” Sizer said.

Sizer said Ryckman printed the bills on a Laser HP printer in her office at home.

“It was nothing sophisticated, but the printing was surprisingly good,” he said. “Of course, the Secret Service has seen better.”

Wayside horns installed in Elburn, need final ok

ELBURN—In Elburn, wayside horns were installed at the Main Street and First Street crossings in July. However, trains will continue to blow their whistles when going through the village until the wayside horns are fully tested and approved by the Federal Railroad Authority (FRA) and Union Pacific railroad, Village Administrator Erin Willrett said Monday.

Village officials decided in 2008 to install the horns as the least costly safety measure allowing for the elimination, for the most part, of the train whistles heard throughout the village since locomotives started coming through in the mid 1800s.

The wayside horns will direct their sound only toward the immediate area of pedestrian and vehicular traffic near the crossings.

Photo: Wayside horns, also known as stationary horns, were installed recently at the Main Street crossing (pictured) and at the tracks on First Street in downtown Elburn. However, the horns will not begin sounding until the Federal Railroad Administration and Union Pacific railroad determine they function properly. Wayside horns’ sound is emitted directly toward pedestrian and vehicle traffic near the crossings. They are a safety measure allowing for the reduction of train whistles in the village.
Photo by Martha Quetsch

Frasz steers project for more semi-quiet zones

County obtains state funds for wayside horn installations
by Martha Quetsch
KANE COUNTY—Kane County Board member Drew Frasz is thrilled about the progress of his proposed wayside horn installation at railroad crossings between Campton Hills and Maple Park.

He recently learned from state Sen. Chris Lauzen that the state’s 2010 budget allocated $250,000 for a county project to install wayside horns at the two easternmost crossings, at LaFox Road and Brundige Road.

“We’re really excited about it. It’s one of those rare projects that actually gets funding. So the hard part is done,” Frasz said Tuesday.

Since Frasz took office last year, the concern he has heard most from his constituents is about the noise from train whistles, particularly from people in Mill Creek subdivision, near the LaFox and Brundige crossings.

By installing wayside horns at railroad crossings, communities including DeKalb and Elburn met federal safety requirements for stopping train whistles from blaring there under most circumstances.

Frasz’ proposal is to place wayside horns at several more crossings to the west, possibly as far as Pritchard Road near Maple Park. He hopes to obtain additional state funding from future state budgets for this long-range goal.

“It will make a big impact on the quality of life in Mill Creek and to the west, as we go forward,” Frasz said.

Frasz said he will work with officials from the Kane County Transportation Committee and Department of Transportation to set up a fund in which to place the state money for the wayside horns project.

No engineering planning has been done yet for the project; that is the next step, Frasz said.

“We didn’t want to start the process until we secured funds,” Frasz said.

KDOT employees could provide the engineering work for the project, to keep costs down, Frasz said.

Lauzen credited Frasz’ initiative for securing the state funding. To support his quest for the funding, Frasz compiled a detailed, long-range prospectus for wayside horn installation in western Kane County.

“It really was his overall plan … he did a great job,” Lauzen said.

Frasz estimated that wayside horns and project engineering for each crossing will cost up to $125,000. If the cost is lower, the county could install the wayside horns at a third crossing in the first phase of the project, at Howard Road, Frasz said. Blackberry Township contributed $10,000 toward the project, as it did for the Elburn wayside horns.

Legion faces financial crunch from rent loss

by Martha Quetsch
Elburn—American Legion Post 630 officials said their organization will be looking for another permanent tenant for the second-floor of its Elburn building, at 112 N. Main St., now that the village is terminating its lease of the space.

Before the village of Elburn began leasing most of the second-floor of the Legion Hall for the Building Department in 2005, the Legion rented the space occasionally to temporary occupants. However, that was not profitable, Legion member Norbert Lund said.

“We were looking for a more permanent tenant,” Lund said.

Legion Commander Wiley Overley said the result of the village’s termination of the lease will be a financial crunch for the Legion.

“What this will do is put us into a negative cash flow situation until we can rectify it,” Overley said.

The Legion will discuss marketing strategies for the rental space during its executive Committee Meeting Monday, Aug. 10.

Legion members also will talk about other ways the organization can cope financially with the reduction in revenue caused by the lack of rent from the village.

“We’ll live with it one way or another,” Lund said.

Lund said the Legion was able to get through the more than five-year period the space was vacant after its former renter, the public library, moved to its new space on North Street.

Eventually, if the Legion does not find a new tenant, it would have to liquidate the property, Overley said.

“But I don’t think that would be in the near future,” Overley said.

To cope with the financial loss from the lease termination, the Legion will look at ways to cut expenses during the coming months for the Legion.

“We’re going to have to suck it up just like everybody else,” Overley said.

The Legion owns its building. It uses its revenue, primarily from fundraising, to donate to veterans and community organizations, and to pay property taxes and operations expenses. He said the Legion receives some income from past investments, but that revenue “has taken a hit,” he said.

Village will end lease of Legion Hall space

Decision follows Building Department staff cuts
by Martha Quetsch
Elburn—The village of Elburn will terminate its lease of the second-floor of the American Legion Post 630, which it has rented since 2005 for the Building Department office.

“As a result of the budget vote (July 20) and the dissolution of the Building Department as it stands, it behooves us to notify Legion No. 630 that we will be terminating the lease,” Village President Dave Anderson said July 27.

Trustees agreed, deciding during the July 27 Village Board meeting to terminate the rental contract, giving 90 days notice to the Legion Building Association, as allowed under the lease.

With the lease’s termination, the village no longer will pay $2,160 in rent for the space and will save on other costs, including electric bills it pays for the second-floor space, and 70 percent of the gas bills and part of the sewer and water bills for the entire building.

The village’s new budget reflected the elimination of the Building Department staff positions and the creation of one lower-salaried job, a building and zoning code officer, who will be stationed in another village building.

The Legion Building Association had extended the village’s lease Jan. 1, allowing it to continue renting the space at the Legion Hall, 112 N. Main St., Elburn, through Dec. 31, 2010.

Under its most current lease, the village agreed to pay the Legion Building Association $25,920 in rent from Jan.1 through Dec. 31, 2009, and $26,983 for the same period in 2010.

Elburn American Legion member Norbert Lund said he and other Legion officials spoke to Elburn officials last week about the likelihood of the village’s terminating the lease.

“We were all aware of it,” Lund said. “We’ve been aware of their (the village’s) problems in the last six months.”

The village’s new annual budget, for the fiscal year starting May 1, appropriates expenditures of up to $7.1 million, compared to revenues of $4.6 million. Village officials said the deficit is a result of declining revenue from a decrease in building permit fees and utility connection fees during the construction slow-down.

Firefighters golf for scholarship fund

Annual Big Kahuna outing took place at Tanna Farms
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—An annual golf outing that raises money for scholarships also is an opportunity for local firefighters to share some time together away from the station.

This year’s Big Kahuna Classic took place Aug. 1 at Tanna Farms golf course in Geneva.

“It’s a light-hearted event, and at the same time, it raises money,” said participant Robert Cahill, a firefighter with the Sugar Grove Fire Department.

In addition to firefighters, the event’s golfers also are paramedics and other employees of local fire departments.

Cahill’s foursome, one of dozens participating in the outing, included Dave Blankenship, a Sugar Grove firefighter, Brandon Kotecki, a firefighter for the Sugar Grove North Aurora fire departments, and Bill Eby, a pilot and former Sugar Grove firefighter.

Paula Lacey, administrative assistant at the Sugar Grove Fire Department, also was part of this group. They shared some laughs, some divots and some sharp longshots and putts during the all-day event that ended with an outdoor supper and prizes.

The Big Kahuna was named after Mark Southern, the husband of a local firefighter, who passed away several years ago. Southern’s friends called him “The Hawaiian,” because he looked like a big Samoan, they said. After Southern died, Hanson and other area firefighters decided to honor his memory with an annual golf outing.

In its first year, the Big Kahuna outing raised money to help the Southern family, which includes his widow, Elburn firefighter Christine Southern. Since then, proceeds from the golf outing have funded scholarships for graduating high-school seniors with a parent employed by a fire department.

Proceeds from the Big Kahuna have funded two or three scholarships per year of up to $1,000 each, said Nancy Faber of Virgil. Faber and her daughter, Becky, cruised the course in a golf cart during the outing, selling raffle tickets.

PHOTO: Sugar Grove firefighter Dave Blankenship is poised to putt, while fellow firefighter Robert Cahill holds the flag, on a green at Tanna Farms golf course in Geneva during the Aug. 1 Big Kahuna Classic. The annual event honors Mark Southern and raises money for college scholarships. Photo by Martha Quetsch

Cigarette likely culprit in mulch fire at Papa G’s

by Martha Quetsch
Elburn—Papa G’s, 250 S. Main St., Elburn, was closed for a few hours after smoke from a fire outside infiltrated the restaurant July 29.

Elburn & Countryside Fire Department Assistant Chief Tate Haley said firefighters responded to a smoke alarm at the restaurant at 7:20 p.m. They evacuated customers and employees from the building.

“We got everybody out when we realized it wasn’t just a cooking fire,” Haley said.

Haley said smoke got into the restaurant from a fire that possibly was ignited by a cigarette carelessly thrown on the wood-chip landscaping material outside sometime earlier. Haley said the smoke from the smoldering mulch traveled into the restaurant through the plumbing chase, a box-like structure that encloses the building’s gutters.

“It worked its way up the chase into the ceiling,” Haley said.

Firefighters conducted a roof inspection, opened a side wall and pulled out ceiling tiles, removing the smoke and ensuring there was no fire in the building, Haley said.

The restaurant remained closed the remainder of the evening and opened later than usual on Thursday morning, so that employees could thoroughly clean the building and rid it of any smoke odor, owner George Kanakaris said.

Firefighters from Geneva, St. Charles and Sugar Grove fire departments also responded to the scene, and Maple Park and Kaneville firefighters assisted in manning the Elburn station during the event.

Keep critters wild

Fox Valley Wildlife Center wildlife rehabber and educator Kaitlin Zordan holds Summer, a 5-year-old raccoon, while she explains to a group of children why keeping a wild animal at home is not a good idea. Because Summer did not receive adequate nutrition when she was young, she has problems with her spine, is going blind, and has lost much of her hair. Photo by Susan O’Neill

Elburn village notes

by Martha Quetsch

Village to repair Blackberry Creek pump
The village of Elburn will repair one of the two Blackberry Creek subdivision sanitary sewer lift station pumps at a cost not to exceed $14,682. The nearly 10-year-old pump failed recently, village officials said. The Village Board on Monday decided to hire Metropolitan Pump Company of Romeoville for the job.

Village to receive state funding for sidewalks
Elburn officials learned on Monday that the state allocated $40,000 in its 2010 budget for the village’s sidewalk improvement program.

Village Administrator Erin Willrett said she does not know yet when the village will receive the funding, but that the state would assign a grant manager to assist the village with the process.

Police union plans Oct. 1 golf fundraiser
The Elburn Police Department employee union is planning a golf outing for Thursday, Oct. 1, at Hughes Creek golf course in Elburn. Proceeds from the event will help the department purchase additional equipment, Police Chief Steve Smith said.

On cloud nine

Elburn resident Lilly Zwiers, 8, won a contest to meet the members of the popular music group the Jonas Brothers. The group recently performed in Chicago, and Lilly was able to meet them before the July 11 show at the Allstate Arena and have this photo taken. Courtesy Photo

Village President sells building after buyer receives liquor license

Liquor code change allowed for indirect interest in the business
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Elburn Village President Dave Anderson sold his building at 107 N. Main St. on July 23 to Kevin Schmidt, three days after Schmidt obtained a village liquor license for the site, Village Attorney Bob Britz said.

Anderson said it was under contract for the previous two months, and under negotiation since February. Schmidt said he would not buy the building unless the village granted him a Class A liquor license for the site, so that he could open a tavern there.

Schmidt applied for the liquor license on May 13, a few days after Dave Anderson took the oath of office as the new village president.

A May 19 letter drafted by Schmidt’s attorney stated that Dave Anderson and Kevin Schmidt had reached an agreement for the purchase of the property, but that one term of the agreement between the parties was that the sale was contingent upon Schmidt being approved for a local liquor license.

On June 15, village trustees created a new available Class A liquor license but Schmidt was not granted a Class A license until July 20.

The village liquor code stated that a liquor license could not be issued to a business in which the village president or a village trustee had any direct or indirect interest.

Britz told village officials June 15 that removing the word “indirect” from the local liquor code first would need to take place, so that the local code matched the state liquor code, Village Administrator Erin Willrett said Tuesday.

The state, however, did not require the removal of the word “indirect” from Elburn’s liquor code. In addition, the village has approved other liquor licenses without changing its liquor code wording.

Britz, while he has been village attorney for Elburn, also has served as Anderson’s private counsel on legal matters including real estate transactions.

Britz and village staff then drafted an ordinance for the wording change, which trustees unanimously approved July 20. Trustee Bill Grabarek, as Deputy Liquor Commissioner, granted a Class A liquor license to Schmidt directly after the July 20 meeting, Britz said.

“I thought that with the word ‘indirect’ still in, there would have been a potential issue,” Grabarek said Wednesday. “The issue was that because the mayor (Dave Anderson) owned the building, basically we needed to knock out the word ‘indirect,’ to avoid the appearance of impropriety.”

The license Grabarek granted Schmidt was one of two available Class A licenses, another of which the board approved earlier that evening, July 20.

Youth with rare illness granted wish

By Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—The Sheehan family’s Elburn backyard looks a lot different than it did a month ago, when Kids Wish Network arranged for the installation of a huge swimming pool. For Caden Sheehan, 10, who suffers from a serious illness, life is much different, too.

Now, Caden and his siblings, Jacob, 13, and Brenna, 6, can cool off, swim and romp in the water anytime they want. During recent hot weather, the pool was well-used.

“We went in it every day,” Caden said.

The gift came about after the Kids Wish Network called his aunt, Liz Ruzick of Plano, a fundraiser for the organization, asking if she knew of a child who might benefit from having a wish granted. She told the fundraiser of her nephew, Caden, and his struggle with a life-threatening illness.

Kids Wish Network contacted Caden’s parents Lily and Jim Sheehan, to offer to grant his wish.

Caden has chronic intestinal pseudo obstruction, a rare disorder that slows digestion and can cause blockages. For Caden, having this disorder has meant four intestinal surgeries and constant intestinal problems. He is often nauseous and has very weak muscle tone.

“He has been in and out of occupational and physical therapy,” Lily said.

Caden has to receive 75 percent of his nutrition in liquid form through a G-tube in a portal on his chest. Luckily, the tiny portal does not prevent him from swimming.

Caden’s mom said he was thrilled when he learned his wish would be granted.

“He was like, ‘Wow, it’s terrible that I have this (illness), but then to get something like this, for them to give that to me…’ He was just very excited, very impressed,” Lily said.

Caden’s mom is glad he chose the pool. She said not only will it offer lasting entertainment for him, but a fun form of exercise to strengthen his muscles.

“It will be great physical therapy for him,” Lily said.

Jim said the organization would give Caden anything he wanted, within reason. At first, Caden could not decide what he wanted most.

“He went back and forth. He had a couple of other choices, as far as his wish,” said his dad, Jim Sheehan.

Initially Caden wanted to meet an actor from “High School Musical,” then he was thinking of going to Legoland in California, and finally he decided on the pool.

Caden decided on the pool because the fun would last a lot longer than a trip or meeting a celebrity.

“He said, ‘A pool is something that I can use all the time; if I go to Legoland, that’s just four days,’” Lily said.

Businesses helped make it happen
Several area businesses and individuals contributed time and materials last month to install the swimming pool that Kids Wish Network gave to 10-year-old Caden Sheehan of Elburn:
• Swim ‘n’ Play
• Peterson Pool Service and Supply
• W.M. Olsen Inc.
• Russell Automotive
• Martin Overstreet
• Jim and Marylin Swift
• Todd Martin
• Weiland Excavating
• Al Hint Trucking
• James Self
• KW Electric
• Lowe’s

Photo: Caden Sheehan took a dip Saturday in the swimming pool that Kids Wish Network had installed in the Elburn youth’s backyard in June. The organization granted the wish for Caden, who suffers from a rare digestive disorder.
Photo by Martha Quetsch