Category Archives: Featured

Senior matchmaker enhances lives

Photo: Marilyn Bawauah visits a few hours each week and watches “Let’s Make a Deal” with 87-year-old Mrs. Lewis. Photo by Sandy Kaczmarski

by Sandy Kaczmarski
KANE COUNTY—A senior companion program that pairs up volunteers and seniors with the goal of enhancing their lives is expanding throughout southern Kane County.

“(The program) enhances a senior’s life by having them want to get up in the morning with something to look forward to,” Program Coordinator Norma Turner said. “We also ourselves are enlightened by what we do with them.”

Turner said she’s made a lot of new friends since starting the program earlier this year. A first grade teacher for 35 years in Yorkville, Turner was offered this position last December while working as a receptionist at an assisted living facility in Yorkville.

“I thoroughly loved the seniors,” she said.

Now she spends time playing a sort of matchmaker to partner the right volunteer with the right senior. Volunteers are thoroughly screened and can just visit with a senior for a short time or take them to doctor appointments or out shopping.

Seniors looking for a companion must be 60 or older, but volunteers can be as young as 18. The program is offered by Senior Services Associates, Inc. in Aurora through a grant it received.

Marilyn Bawuah of Aurora worked at Asbury Gardens, an assisted living facility in Aurora, as a cook for eight years and found that she, too, liked working with seniors.

“I got in touch with Norma through Senior Services and started volunteering,” she said.

She now spends a few hours a week visiting with Mrs. Lewis, as she prefers to be called.

“When she came through that door, I fell in love with her and she fell in love with me,” Mrs. Lewis said. “That’s the way we started.”

And Mrs. Lewis isn’t shy at all about telling her age.

“I am 87 years old. I don’t mind tellin’ nobody,” she said. “If the Lord let me live this long, I can tell it anywhere I go.”

Bawauh said the first time they got together, they just sat and talked about their families.

“She got me watching this ‘Let’s Make a Deal,’” Bawauh said. “She likes to watch that.”

Margarita Bonifaz, 74, loves to write songs and sing with her companion, Theresa Valez. When Turner first paired them up, she wasn’t even aware they were both from Puerto Rico.

“I’m certainly excited about this program,” Turner said.

Turner said she’s found that when seniors don’t just “sit around and stare at the four walls, they’re happy.”

“They have something to look forward to,” she said. “That is truly why I do the job, and why I love this program.”

The program is always looking for more seniors who would like some friendship and for volunteers who want to spend some time helping others. Anyone interested in either should call Norma Turner at (630) 897-4035 to find out how to sign up.

Senior Services Associates, Inc. serves Kane, Kendall and McHenry counties. Visit their website for more information at

More than a century of tradition

Big Rock Plowing Match set for Sept. 17-18

Big Rock—On Sept. 17, a tradition will continue that began back in 1894. It is one of the longest running annual events in the state. It’s the 117th Annual Big Rock Plowing Match.

What is a Plowing Match?
In 1894, Big Rock was an old Welch farming community, and at the end of each growing season, the farmers and their families would get together to celebrate the harvest of their labors by having what amounted to a very large picnic. During the picnic, the men would imbibe and boast as to who was the best farmer. The only way to prove who the best was was to compete against each other under strict sets of rules.

Here are some of the more memorable plowing matches:
1895—The very first plowing match was filled with controversy. Nine farmers competed, but after a long discussion, one was disqualified for only using two horses where the other eight used three.

1901—This was the first plowing match that included prizes. Some of the prizes were—not one but two horse blankets, a rifle, a saddle and a spring seat. The ladies fair also had prizes like jute spread, a silver butter dish and a silk umbrella.

1922—Horseshoe pitching contests were added to the weekend festivities. You had to pay to play, but the funds supported other aspects of the event. At the end of that year, the plowing match had almost $2,000 in the bank.

1937—At the corner of Route 30 and Rhodes Avenue in front of the Gazebo you will see a big rock in Big Rock. This was courtesy of yet another successful plowing match. At last—Big Rock, had an identity.

1940—The plowing match had its first female competitor, Mary Kay O’Connell. She didn’t win but got a ton of publicity for the Plowing Match association, and the annual event grew in popularity.

1950—The Big Rock Plowman’s Association finally found a permanent home. The 19-acre Plowman’s Park, as it is called today, was purchased for a whopping $4,750. They even had enough money to build a new woman’s fair building for the ladies.

1980—The very first horse show was added to the two-day event to pay homage to the faithful steeds that supported the farmers all the way back to the very beginning back in 1895. Today, you can see moms competing with their daughters for the prize and enjoying every minute of it.

In 1895, the farmers believed in having a friendly competition amongst themselves to see who could plow the straightest furrow with their team of horses along with many other skills necessary for farming, and in 2011, the object is still the same: compete and have fun.

As farming technology improved, many categories were established to keep the competition on a level playing field. As an example, if you are here on Saturday, you will see antique steel and rubber wheel tractors compete against each other at 9 a.m. Plowing continues in many categories for two days.

But that’s not all you will see when you come to the plowing match.

• Crafters from around the area
• A ladies fair second-to-none.
• An old-fashioned auction of the blue ribbon prize winning foods
• A Western and English horse show will be going on all day Saturday
• Children’s races begin at 9 a.m.
• Round Bail Roll-off at 3 p.m.
• The horseshoe tournament at 9 a.m.
• Free miniature train rides all day

Visit for more information.

New eating, drinking establishment for downtown patrons

Photo: Michael Mills, vice president of E&H Acquisitions, Inc., asked the village to allow him to open a full-service restaurant and bar in the former Glidden Drug Store and Party Animals/Edward Jones office downtown. Photo by Ben Draper

by Sandy Kaczmarski
ELBURN—It looks as if Elburn residents will have another place to eat and drink after the Village Board gives the final go-ahead next week for a special use permit to allow a restaurant and bar to open on Main Street.

Michael Mills, vice president of E&H Acquisitions, Inc., asked the village to allow him to open a full-service restaurant and bar in the former Glidden Drug Store and Party Animals/Edward Jones office downtown.

Mills is no stranger to the restaurant business—his mother, Audrey Hansen, has operated Alice’s Place, Elburn’s popular ice cream shop, for 19 years.

“Basically, I’m looking for a casual dining experience that has a mix of tables and booths,” Mills said at a recent Planning Commission meeting. “Something to complement what my mother already does in town.”

Mills said the establishment would also serve alcohol and provide entertainment a few nights a week.

Some Plan Commission members questioned whether yet another restaurant in town would succeed and commented that the menu—sandwiches, salads, chicken, pasta and steak entrees—sounded a lot like that of Papa G’s.

“It’s like doing a Dairy Queen across from Alice’s,” Commissioner Ryan Sauberg said, “with the three restaurants we already have.”

But Mills assured the board that he’s lived here for 34 years and believes he is in tune with what will work.

“I feel like this will work,” he said. “I wouldn’t invest my money if I didn’t think it would work.”

The special use request will be included on next week’s consent agenda for approval by the full Village Board.

One crazy dog leads to new business

Photo: Co-owner Sara Smith plays with Cassie in the outside yard at her doggie daycare business. The owners’ current dogs, Joey and Cassie, are there to show their friends the ropes. Smith said the idea of having a business like this started when she had a rambunctious pet. Photo by Sandy Kaczmarski

by Sandy Kaczmarski
ELBURN—Neal Jacobs used to be vice president of operations for an upscale clothing company. Now, he picks up poop.

Jacobs and his long-time friend Sara Smith are the owners of Elburn’s latest new business, Out ‘n About Daycare for Dogs, located at 630 Herra St. Since opening in August, business has been steady, keeping Jacobs busy with poop duty.

Both have been dog owners and lovers for most of their lives.

“It’s something that we love,” Smith said. “It’s like being a grandparent—they go home at night.”

Jacob’s company was sold, and he found himself out of work less than a year later. He stayed in Maryland for a while, then Georgia, where he and Smith considered opening a doggie daycare.

“It was very rural, it wasn’t going to work,” he said. “So I asked her, where do you want to go?”

Smith was born and raised in St. Charles, and her ancestors were early Sugar Grove settlers in 1836, so she suggested the Tri-Cities area.

The business has 10,000 square feet of play area, both indoors and out. The indoor area has heated rubber flooring and outside is gravel. Both areas offer play equipment and toys, and lots of room to run. During the summer months, there’s a pool.

Newcomers are given a free, two-hour evaluation to see how well they get along before being allowed to stay. Vaccination records are required to be on file. All necessary forms are available at

The owners’ current dogs, Joey and Cassie, are there to show their friends the ropes. Smith said the idea of having a business like this started when she had a rambunctious pet.

“It all started with that one crazy dog,” she said. “We had an Aussie that drove me bonkers.”

His trainer recommended daycare since dogs are a pack animal and being with other dogs fulfilled that need.

“The dog ate the blinds off the walls and separated the bars of the crate,” Smith said. “The daycare was like nirvana. He was happy and exhausted.”

Daycare hours are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and once the paperwork is on file, walk-ins are accepted. A full day costs $20, half day (out or in by 1 p.m.) is $10. Overnight boarding, which includes daycare, is $32 and is by appointment only. Phone is (630) 365-3100, and Out ‘n About can be found on Facebook.

Kaneland Knights drill Dixon, 59-14

Photo: Knight Zack Martinelli (11) escapes Dixon’s Scott Goad on his way to a 25-yard touchdown that made the margin 40-7 in the third quarter. Photo by Ryan Wells

Kaneland improves to 3-0 with offensive explosion
by Mike Slodki
DIXON—At his most popular, the 40th President of the United States put forth a picture of optimism.

In his former boyhood stomping grounds of Dixon, Ill., even the most ardent Duke fan was hard-pressed to put a sunny picture on the end result.

Much like last year’s 55-6 drubbing of the Northern Illinois Big XII crossover foe, the Knights kept the scoreboard operator busy in a 59-14 handling of the host Dukes, and improved to 3-0 in the process.

Kaneland begins 3-0 for the second straight campaign and for the third time in six seasons.

The Knights achieved running clock status for the second time in three weeks and amassed 486 total yards, compared to Dixon’s 197.

Sophomore signal-caller Drew David continues to work the offense at a winning pace, going 15-for-27 for 274 yards and five TD throws.

Jesse Balluff ran 20 times for 129 yards and three touchdown runs, while Zack Martinelli caught five balls for 136 yards and two scores.

Martinelli, with 2011 being his first sustained varsity time, thinks the team is feeling more comfortable as the weeks and wins pile up.

“We would always get a big return, the line did their job and the receivers got open. Our line’s tough, and we keep powering through and punching it in,” Martinelli said.

The return game was helped by Quinn Buschbacher, who had a big 71-yard kickoff return setting up the third KHS score, and 89 yards worth of punt returns.

David found Martinelli on a 56-yard touchdown three minutes, 55 seconds into the game.

Play of the Knight vs Dixon
Quinn Buschbacher (22) isn’t an award-winning actor, but his performance can be both dynamic and heartbreaking. If you’re Dixon, anyway. After Dixon signal-caller Scott Goad scored on a 32-yard scamper to close within 13-7 in the second frame, Buschbacher caught the ensuing kickoff. The senior raced all the way down to the 10-yard line, setting the stage for a Sean Carter TD catch.

Kaneland’s four touchdowns in the second were scored on a 14-yard pass to Kyle Pollastrini, a 16-yard pass to Sean Carter making it 20-7, a Balluff 1-yard plunge and a six-yard strike to Buschbacher.

Martinelli scored on a 25-yard touchdown pass, while Balluff’s three-yard run closed out the scoring in the third.

The two fourth-quarter scores came from Balluff’s three-yard TD run and a five-yarder from Brandon Cottier.

The Knights travel to LaSalle-Peru High School for the first time on Friday, Sept. 16.

The sophomores also beat Dixon, 42-6.

Knights freshmen football took a 47-8 win from Glenbard North on Monday.

Knights golf on a tear

Photo: Troy Krueger is heavily contributing to the early dual success of Kaneland golf. File Photo
KANELAND—With their sixth dual win in a row, Kaneland High School golf is making opponents feel as if they’ve been clubbed.

With a convincing 172-199 win over the visiting Hinckley-Big Rock Royals squad out at Hughes Creek in Elburn on Sept. 7, and a 154-157 loss to Sycamore on Tuesday, the Knights see their mark go to 6-2.

KHS has now won 15 of its last 19 regular season dual matchups, dating back to the beginning of 2010.

Exceptional scores were shot by medalists Sean Glennon and Connor Williams with 42 each.

Zach Douglas shot a 43, followed by Mitch Gemini’s 45.

In the JV skirmish, the Knights took a 197-226 meeting with H-BR. Jacob Sheehan shot a 46.

On Saturday, the golfers traveled to Batavia for the Bulldogs’ invite, and finished 16th out of 30 teams, with a total of 322, one better than Joliet Catholic. Lyons Township took the meet with a 302. Matt Yonkovich shot a 78, while Williams shot an 80.

Against the Spartans were led by Yonkovich’s 38.

Ensuing action sees Kaneland at Morris on Tuesday, Sept. 21.

Soccer handles IMSA, drops NIB-12 opener at DeKalb

Photo: Arsim Azemi battles with a Barb counterpart for the ball in the 2-1 loss on Tuesday night. Photo by John DiDonna

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—The first trip to the new DeKalb High School grounds off of Dresser Road in DeKalb was not a welcome one for Kaneland soccer.

A goal with 28 minutes, 29 seconds remaining sent KHS on its way to a 2-1 loss to the Barbs.

However, Kaneland did get a win on Thursday in Aurora over Illinois Math and Science Academy by a 7-1 final.

The Knights stand at 4-3 on the season with an 0-1 mark in Northern Illinois Big XII play.

After allowing a goal three minutes into the contest on DeKalb’s turf surface, Kaneland tied it when Alex Gil fed Kushstrim Ismaili for the game-tying score with 20:46 to go in the first half.

Roughly 12 minutes into the second half, Trevor Freeland of DeKalb put the ball in.

Opportunities were there, but the results were few for the Knights, who have found a knack for the net in 2011.

“Today, we couldn’t do it,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “We had a couple of chances at both ends that just didn’t go in. Sometimes, it’s just a game of inches.”

The JV squad did manage a 2-0 win over DeKalb.

The varsity match against the Titans saw first-half goals by Jordan Escobedo and Anthony Parillo’s penalty kick.

An explosion of five goals went the KHS way in the second half with Ismaili, Escobedo, Gil and Alec Koczka getting into the act.

The Knights continue conference play with against Morris on Thursday, Sept. 15.

Come fly with me

Elburn Herald reporter Lynn Meredith hops in the pilot’s seat of the small test plane owned by SimplyFLY, a sport aviation company owned by David Spano (left). Based out of the Aurora Municipal
Airport, it has been an alternative to general aviation the last seven years. Courtesy Photo

Sport aviation for a new generation
by Lynn Meredith
SUGAR GROVE—Like many people, I had thought about taking flying lessons. I loved flying in private planes and in gliders. Now, thanks to SimplyFLY, a sport aviation company at the Aurora Municipal Airport, I had the opportunity to experience the fun of taking my first lesson.

Sport aviation, I soon learned, is an alternative to general aviation that was created as a new licensing option seven years ago. Sport pilots can learn to fly in less time and for less money than private pilots, according to my flight instructor and owner of SimplyFLY, David Spano.

“In 2004, the FAA, the Experimental Aircraft Association, among others, came up with a light sport aircraft (LSA) and a new pilot certification, the sport pilot license,” Spano said. “With those two things, you can become licensed in half the time and at half the cost.”

The LSA is a lightweight craft that holds two people and flies much the same as a private plane. The sport pilot can fly only during the day, up to 10,000 feet in non-restricted areas and only in LSA aircraft. The purpose of this type of flying is to allow those whose main goal is pleasure flying to have better access.

“Sixty percent of all pilots learn to fly for pleasure, for the sport of it,” Spano said. “A lot start to take lessons, but drop out because the cost is way too high, and it can take over a year to complete. Sport flying is a goal where you can actually see the finish line. You can fly and take friends up for rides and continue to study for a private license if you want.”

So when the plane taxied up to the fence at the airport and Spano jumped out to greet me, I was more than a little eager to begin. Spano explained that we needed to take some time to go over a few things before hopping in the plane.

Spano, a commercial pilot and flight instructor, has been a pilot for 32 years and an instructor for 16 years. He watched as general aviation declined due to excess cost and the lack of new pilots coming into the ranks. He also watched as sport aviation, billed by the industry as the savior of general aviation, come into existence. But seven years later, he noticed that the non-flying public hadn’t jumped on board, and he wanted to know why.

He asked the LSA manufacturers at Oshkosh who they were marketing to. Their answer was that they market to existing pilots who might be downsizing, don’t use their licenses enough or can’t keep up the requirements for yearly physicals. The private pilots were selling their crafts and paying cash for the light sport aircraft.

“The industry was not actively going after the non-flying population,” Spano said. “There are 600,000 pilots, and thousands and thousands of people who have thought about (taking flying lessons). Flight providers put out signs that say ‘Learn to Fly Here,’ but no one comes in. I thought, I’ve got to get the airplane to the people. The ingredients are here. Let’s get the recipe right.”

He proceeded to trailer his craft (with wings that fold back for easier transport) to festivals where people wouldn’t expect to see an airplane. The response has been overwhelming.

“I’ve had an incredible response, just incredible. I take them on a flight, and nine times out of 10, they are hooked,” he said.

A discovery flight is a half-hour flight for potential students to discover whether or not it is something they want to do. If they do, Spano schedules lessons and offers a home study kit for the ground school lessons.

“The minimum flight time is 20 hours, but the average is 30 hours. If you fly two times a week, you can do it in four months,” he said.

My lesson proceeded as Spano explained the four fundamentals I needed to know before we took off: straight and level flying, turns, climbs and descents. He explained that flying was about altitude and speed relative to the horizon. I was relieved when he compared it to riding a bicycle. If you keep a constant speed as you climb a hill, you slow down, and as you go down a hill, you speed up. Okay, I got it now.

Take-off was as quick as I’d ever experienced. We’d barely started, and we were airborne. I was well strapped in, something I appreciated, because that day the doors were off the plane to take advantage of the cool air.


We rose to 3,000 feet, traveling at 80 miles per hour. The view was gorgeous. We could just make out the skyline of Chicago in the distance. But I had work to do. Before I knew it, I was controlling the plane, doing my best to keep us flying level. I learned that all I needed to do was keep the distance between the dashboard and the horizon the same. If it got bigger, we were descending. If it got smaller, we were going up. That took concentration on my part, but before I knew it again, I was making a long, slow, shallow turn.

Spano made everything seem easy and effortless by assuring me I was doing everything I needed to be doing. I felt a surge of pride in knowing that I had successfully completed my first lesson.

On return, I asked about taking lessons and the shared ownership program SimplyFLY is offering.

“Because it’s so expensive—an LSA costs $160,000 compared to a Cessna that costs $400,000—it’s very common to own a plane in partnership. It’s the norm,” Spano said. “The worst thing is to have an aircraft sit in the hangar. It’s easier to maintain, and you get more life out of a plane if it’s being flown.”

The Shared Ownership Program allows pilots to pay a monthly fee that covers hangar rental, insurance, and frequent mandatory maintainence. They then pay an hourly operating fee when they fly the craft. Spano currently owns one plane, but has plans to purchase two more.

It’s easy to see the passion that Spano has for flying.

“Flying is a passion of mine. I love teaching. I love being an instructor,” he said. “ In this day and age, we have the ability to fly, whereas in other times of history we couldn’t. Why wouldn’t we?”

New KHS mural conveys strength, pride

Photo: Eujolio “Joe” Ortega recently completed the large, striking Knight mural painted on the KHS gymnasium wall. Ortega says the mural conveys power, strength and intimidation. Courtesy Photo

by Keith Beebe
KANELAND—Kaneland High School students might not know who muralist Eujolio “Joe” Ortega is, but they are almost certainly familiar with his work.

Ortega recently completed the large, striking Knight mural painted on the KHS gymnasium wall—an art piece that he claims is among the best he’s ever done.

“The (Kaneland High School) gym is a good size, but the wall they wanted the mural on was kind of small, and I felt like it had to have greater presence to fit the size of the gym,” Ortega said. “The mural needed to have a good deal of depth, and it had to be very strong and very powerful. So for this particular space, I extended the mural and faded it farther back—as far as I could—so there’s no real cutout line where the mural ends. I like to let my murals just fade out into the rest of the wall—it gives the illusion of the mural being much larger.”

Ortega said he painted only the top half of the knight and the horse on the mural, because it “makes it seem like there’s so much more … like there’s much bigger things going on, but out of view.”

“And I painted more knights behind the main knight to create the illusion of there being possibly hundreds more knights. So when you’re talking about the Kaneland Knights, you’re seeing hundreds of knights on the wall,” he said.

Ortega, 34, was born in Mexico, but came to the United States when he was two-and-a-half years old, living in Chicago before he moved to Sandwich, Ill., when he was eight years old. He graduated from Sandwich High School and then attended Northern Illinois University to become an illustrator.

“I just loved drawing pictures that tell a story or can be a message,” he said.

Following his graduation from NIU in 2001, Ortega was unable to find a job at first, and then went to work for Caterpillar Inc., for about a year before he ran into someone who owned a mural company. Ortega was asked to work for the company on a trial basis, and impressed them enough to be offered a full-time position. Ortega stayed with the company for two years before the need to go off and do his own thing convinced him to part ways with his employer.

“I really was dying to paint my own concept and call the shots and decide exactly how the mural is going to be. I’ve (now) been doing that for seven years. I get to travel instead of just sitting at a table or an easel, though every once in a while I’ll work like that. I enjoy that, too, but I just don’t want to sit for that long, and it’s pretty exciting to be up high off scaffolding. I’ve even been on 60-foot poles doing murals. It’s fun.”

Ortega now owns Chicago Mural Studio, and is the lead artist there. According to Joe’s website,, one of his murals was featured on an episode of ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” in 2009.

Ortega’s first high school mural was done for Matea Valley a few years ago, and was a hard gig to land, according to him.

“The mural was really well received, and I got a ton of positive feedback. People really liked it,” Ortega said. “Brian Johnson, Kaneland’s basketball coach, saw my mural at Matea Valley and gave me a call, saying he really wanted me to do Kaneland’s mural. So that’s how I got that job.”

So what will rival schools think when they step into Kaneland’s gym and see the new mural? Joe believes it will convey power, strength and intimidation.

“To walk into that gym and be confronted by something so powerful that is representing the school … that is fantastic.”

Knights start long weekend with win over Huntley

Photo: vof Kaneland brings down the ball carrier in the third quarter of Kaneland’s varsity home win against Huntley on Friday. Photo by John DiDonna

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It seemed like every time Huntley came up with a big play in Maple Park on a humid Friday night, KHS was there to answer.

After working their offense and making enough plays on the other side of the ball, the Knights’ abundant answers sentenced the visiting Red Raiders to a 34-13 loss.

KHS has now taken the last two of three overall non-conference meetings from Huntley since the series began in 2009.

With the win, Kaneland improves to 2-0, while Huntley falls to 0-2.

In other levels of action, Kaneland’s sophomore squad fell to Huntley 27-6, while the freshmen came away with a 14-13 win.

Drew David took care of the Kaneland offense in his second week as signal-caller, and went 11-for-19 with 224 yards and four touchdown throws as opposed to only one pick.

“The game is just so much faster on varsity level,” David said. “Just getting the game reps, I think it helps, and the wide receivers do a fantastic job.”

Jesse Balluff had 88 yards rushing, 48 of them on one impressive first-quarter touchdown where he powered through would-be tacklers after the play looked stopped.

“When you have younger guys playing, you wonder how things are going to go,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “We keep preaching it’s a four-quarter game. We got down and our kids came back.”

Knight asset Quinn Buschbacher was the leading reciever with 100 yards on five grabs, while Sean Carter had 72 yards and two scores.

Huntley actually outgained Kaneland in total offense with 330 yards compared to 312.

On the visitors’ second drive, Ethan Connor took the pigskin and ran for a 32-yard touchdown for a 7-0 lead with three minutes, 51 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

On the second play of Kaneland’s ensuing drive, Balluff sent his sideline into a frenzy with his 48-yard gallop. Only one minute had elasped and KHS had tied the game.

After Jake Razo recovered a James Davis fumble on Huntley’s next possession, David’s 31-yard rainbow pass to Sean Carter netted a 14-7 lead with 11 ticks left in the first.

Play of the Knight week 2

The score remained the same at halftime, but KHS put it out of reach in the third quarter thanks to two more Knight touchdown passes. The third two-play drive that resulted in a score ended with a Carter fly pattern for a 40-yard TD. The 40-yard score made it 21-7 with 9:17 remaining in the third.

A fumble by Huntley allowed KHS to put up another touchdown, this a 13-yard TD pass to Buschbacher with 6:58 remaining in the third for a 28-7 lead.

The lone fourth frame score saw Kyle Pollastrini catch his first touchdown pass of the year just seven seconds into the quarter on a 10-yard play.

Huntley’s QB Jake Brock scored on a 17-yard scamper to cap the scoring.

Up next for the Knights is the beginning of the Northern Illinois Big XII crossover games with the West division.

The Knights head west to Dixon High School. Dixon comes into the game 1-1 after dropping a 35-12 result to Rock Island Alleman on Friday.

The Dukes were 1-8 in 2010.


Score by Quarters:
1st Quarter: 35-7, Kaneland
2nd Quarter: 20-0, Kaneland
3rd Quarter: 14-0, Kaneland
4th Quarter: 9-6, Kaneland

Conference Standings >>

Lady Knights put the brooms to H-BR Royals, now 6-2 on court

Photo by Mary Herra
KANELAND—Lady Knights volleyball seems to be settling into a nice early rhythm eight matches into 2011.

The recent good fortunes have made matters quite bumpy for KHS opponents.

The most recent victim was the Hinckley-Big Rock program, which fell to the host Lady Knights 25-19, 25-20 in varsity action.

The Lady Knights have won six of their first eight matches, before the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference season heats up.

Front-line presence Katy Dudzinski had nine kills to her credit, while teammates Grace Fabrizius and Lauren Banbury added four each of their own. Jenny Lubic and Maddie King had two aces each, while Ashley Prost added 14 assits in the winning effort.

Up ahead for KHS, the usual mid-Sept. Bartlett Tournament stop, taking place on Saturday, Sept. 10.

KHS tennis edged in Tuesday match

Photo: Sarah Grams battles on the court during Tuesday’s dual loss to IMSA in Aurora. Grams is trying to solidify Kaneland’s No. 3 singles slot. Photo by Mary Herra

AURORA—On a sunny and cool afternoon in Aurora, the Lady Knights tennis crew saw their fortunes cool for a bit—a result of a 4-3 dual loss to Illinois Math and Science Academy.

The setback brings Kaneland down to 4-2 in head-to-heads.

The 4-3 loss had bright spots, however.

The lone singles win came as a result of Angelica Emmanouil’s 6-2, 6-2 victory over Emily Ling.

Kaneland did find doubles success, as well. The No. 1 threat of Madi Jurcenko and Amelia Napiorkowski took a 6-4, 6-0 win. No. 2 double unit Jenna Bicos and Jess Woodward came away with a 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 win.

The tennis squad tries to hold court with Northern Illinois Big XII foe Rochelle in Ogle County on Thursday, Sept. 8.

Marin boasts top spot in boys XC win

Photo: Miki Marin and Nate Rehkopf power through Elburn Woods during Tuesday’s win over East Aurora and Yorkville. The duo finished first and fourth, respectively. Photo by Ben Draper

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It was near perfect outside on Tuesday.

The weather wasn’t bad, either.

With the first five slots taken up by Kaneland boys cross country harriers, the Knights’ 15 points took care of East Aurora’s 65 and Yorkville’s JV squad’s 89 points.

Miki Marin ran the Elburn Woods trail in 17 minutes, six seconds, in what is a solid campaign for a Knight who doesn’t run like a raw rookie.

“The difference between track and cross country is unbelievable,” Marin said. “They are way different sports. In cross country, you rely on mentality a lot more, and in track you have to just power through.”

Marin’s teammate Connor Johnson took second in 17:08, followed by Kyle Carter at 17:09 and Nate Rehkopf at 17:16.

The Knights travel to the Peoria Woodruff Invite Saturday, Sept. 10.

Kaneland girls XC runs roughshod over foes

KANELAND—It might be too early to measure Kaneland girls cross country’s progress on the basis of Tuesday’s encounter with East Aurora and the JV squad from Yorkville, but the Lady Knights will take the good fortune where they can find it at this early juncture.

Sweeping the first five spots made for a score of 15, besting the Lady Tomcats’ 87, and the Foxes’ 64.

Sophomore Sydney Strang’s 20 minute, 14.6 second time was tops of the field, followed by Victoria Clinton’s 20:17.1, and Abby Dodis’ 20:23.8. Maggie Brundige also excelled at 20:47.

Rounding out the top five was Aislinn Lodwig’s 21:30.

Ahead for the Lady Knights is a trip up north to the Wauconda Invite at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10.

Knight golfers score big in wins over W. Aurora, YHS

Photo: Stephen Cannell studies his drive during Kaneland’s home varsity match against Yorkville on Sept. 6 at Hughes Creek. Photo by John DiDonna

KANELAND—How are the KHS golfers supplantiing the loss of key people like Josh Schuberg and Hayley Guyton?

Quite well, thank you.

With handy wins over visiting West Aurora on Aug. 31, and the visiting Sterling crew on Thursday, the Kaneland club has a 5-1 record in dual meets thus far.

Luke Kreiter shot a medalist-worthy 36 against the Blackhawks in the 158-173 win at Hughes Creek G.C., and was aided by a 39 from Brody Kuhar and a 41 from Troy Krueger. Dan Miller and Connor Williams shot 42 each.

The JV crew was edged by W. Aurora by a 183-186 margin.

Against the Golden Warriors of Sterling, a 36 by Adam Grams and a 38 by Krueger and Matt Yonkovich led the way to a 151-164 win. Kuhar also shot a 39 in the win.

Sterling’s JV team beat Kaneland 183-195.

Krueger’s 38 also helped KHS beat Yorkville on Tuesday, 153-172.

On tap for varsity golf: a trip to the Batavia Invite on Saturday, Sept. 10.

New job title for PW Superintendent as he heads off to serve

by Sandy Kaczmarski
Elburn—Public Works Superintendent John Nevenhoven is leaving late next month, heading off to a “temporary job” about 6,000 miles away on the other side of the world.

His new title will be Navy Lieutenant Nevenhoven as he heads off to Afghanistan for his second tour of duty. He expects to be away for 13 months, with a report date of Oct. 21. For his first trip to the Middle East in 2006, Nevenhoven had only about two weeks to get ready.

“I’m not sure which is worse, the scrambling or anticipation,” he said.

Nevenhoven’s job will be here when he returns from serving his country, something he said gives him great peace of mind.

“The support that the Village Board and administration have shown has been tremendous and reduces my stress level,” he said. “I’m thankful for that.”

Village President Dave Anderson said the village will survive during his absence.

“Our well wishes go with John and his family,” Anderson said.

“I really do appreciate what the village has done for me,” Nevenhoven said. “When you serve part-time and your part-time job calls you and takes you away for 13 months, your full-time employer isn’t always real pleased about it.”

He said he works with “a great bunch of people” in the Public Works Department and wouldn’t be able to do this without their support.

Being called to duty is always stressful for families. Nevenhoven said he and Melissa, his wife of 19 years (their anniversary is Sept. 5), sat down with their two boys, Ryan, 12, and Jack, 3, to tell them their daddy will be gone for a while. Ryan remembers the last time his father was away.

“We sat him down and told him I’m going back over again, and of course he wasn’t all that pleased about it,” he said. “I think he’s starting to come to terms about it a little bit better, but obviously, as the date gets closer, the anxiety ramps up.”

Nevenhoven’s new job will be as the logistics officer for a provincial reconstruction team.

“With reconstruction teams, you’re assigned to a particular area and help the local elders to govern themselves,” he said. “It’s not so much you’re there to do it for them, but to help them with how to do these things to become self-sufficient.”

He said he’s a supply officer for the Navy, but that other branches of the military often tap into certain skill sets that are deemed valuable. During the last tour, Nevenhoven worked on logistics for the Army. He said he’s not sure whether he’ll be assigned to an all-Army group, or all-Navy.

To keep in touch with his family, Nevenhoven plans to bring along a laptop. He said where you are determines what kind of wireless access is available.

“If you’re closer to the major cities, such as Kabul or Kandahar, your access to that kind of infrastructure is greater,” he said. “The further you get out into the hinterlands, obviously, you don’t quite have that robust of a connection.”

But having the connection to “back home” has its downside.

“It’s one of those things where, yes, it’s nice to hear the voices and hear what’s going on,” he said. “But I’ve seen it happen where they (soldiers) get caught up in the day-to-day problems of what’s going on 6,000 miles away and then become incredibly frustrated.

“They can’t do it; you can’t help, you’re just not there,” he said.

Nevenhoven also credits his friends and neighbors whom he said will be there to take care of things at home if there’s a problem with the house or the cars.

“Life goes on,” he said. “My wife is wonderful. She’s been through this before. She’s smart, she’s independent, and can get things done.”

Nevenhoven said during his last tour, he found that the local people he worked with have the same basic desires that we do in this country.

“They want to live without fear, want to be able to raise their families, be able to work and be able to worship the way that they want to,” he said.

“If we can help them develop the tools to be self-sufficient,” he added, “I think it would be worthwhile.”

Hot rod diner with a twist of country

Photo: The Moon Dance Diner on Main Street in Maple Park is an old-fashioned ‘50s style eatery with a comfortable atmosphere and lots of memorabilia on the walls to look at while you enjoy your meal. The staff that keeps the Moon Dance Diner running are Angie Cano (left to right), Maryann “Mert” Weinart, owners George and Liz Georgiou, Jordan Manier and Laura Weyker. The Georgious (below) of Elburn opened the Moon Dance Diner on July 21. Photos by John DiDonna

Moon Dance Diner opens in Maple Park
by Lynn Meredith
MAPLE PARK—Where can you find homemade apple pie, homemade corned beef on a signature reuben, homemade chicken, egg and tuna salad, the best Greek salad in Illinois, burgers the likes of the Juicy Lucy and the Tummy Buster, and even diner classics like spam and eggs and fried bologna sandwiches? The answer is the Moon Dance Diner in Maple Park, operated by George Georgiou and his wife Liz.

When you enter the cozy diner on Main Street in Maple Park, at the site of the former Sanders barbershop, you enter a world of car and hot rod memorabilia. Gas and oil tin signs hang on the walls, along with old photographs of Maple Park. The barbershop and other businesses that lined Main Street in eras past are pictured. Red vinyl swivel stools sit along the wooden counter, which, along with the tables, were handmade by George out of reclaimed wood. The logo is a horse and crescent moon, appropriate because the diner was named after Liz’s horse. With room for 35 diners, the cafe is the dream of George, who grew up in a restaurant family in the city.

“I’m Greek. It’s in my blood,” George said. “Opening a diner was something I always wanted to do.”

After 25 years as a commercial and editorial photographer, he found the industry was changing, and after moving to Elburn five years ago, the commute to downtown Chicago was becoming too much. He and his wife Liz began scouting locations. Ironically, the first one they looked at in 2007 was the current location, but it wasn’t meant to be at that time. Only after almost closing a deal on a place in DeKalb did George realize what he really wanted.

“It dawned on me that that wasn’t what I wanted to do. I didn’t want to deal with liquor and having college kids in and out,” he said. “My goal was to service the community with a family-oriented place where seniors could come and hang out and where the prices are affordable.”

On a menu with nothing costing more than $10, George does as much scratch-cooking as possible and buys his produce from Wiltse’s. A diner in Maple Park seemed like an ideal location because, George said, people have to drive to Elburn or Cortland just to get a bite to eat.

“I want to work with the people in the community. I want to support the community, so they can have a place they can call their own,” he said. “I like the location, I like Maple Park and I love the people. We absolutely love the people of Maple Park’s support,” he said.

As fall comes around, the Moon Dance will start serving soups and chilis and may try opening a couple of nights during the week. George also would like to make the diner a destination for people out for a drive in the country. And he has one more thing he would like to see.

“My goal is to get on ‘Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,’” he said.

Moon dance Diner & Grill
309 Main St., Maple Park
Monday through Friday • 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Saturday • 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on
Sunday • 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. breakfast only

2011 Maple Park Fun Fest Schedule

Saturday, Sept. 3
7 a.m.
Romp in the Park 5K Run/Walk
8 a.m.
Men’s Slo-Pitch Softball
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Crafters and Vendors
(Main and Pleasant streets)
11 a.m.
Food and beer garden opens
12:30 p.m.
Fun Fest Bike Parade with
decorating station. Decorating begins at
11:30 a.m. on Main Street.
1 to 4 p.m.
Horse-drawn wagon rides
1 p.m.
7th Annual Toilet Bowl Challenge
2 to 5 p.m.
The Firefighter Experience (Firehouse)
6 p.m.
Parade on Main Street

Noon: Just For Kix Dance Group
1:45 to 2:30 p.m.
Maple Park Idol Competition
2:45 to 4:15 p.m. New Band Showcase
5 p.m. Hillbilly Rockstarz
9 p.m. Red Woody

Sunday, Sept. 4
7 a.m. to noon:
American Legion breakfast buffet
8 a.m.
Men’s Slo-Pitch Softball Tournament
8:30 p.m.
Maple Park Spectacular Fireworks Show

Noon: Debbie’s Dance Group
12:30 p.m. Maple Park Idol Winner
1:15 p.m. New Band Showcase
2:30 p.m. The Menagerie
5 p.m. Back Country Roads
8 p.m. Tractor Raffle winners announced

Monday, Sept. 5
7 a.m. to noon:
American Legion breakfast buffet
8 a.m.
Men’s Slo-Pitch Softball Tournament
8:30 p.m. Rain date for fireworks

Impressive: Knights football begins ‘11 with win

Photo: Knight Matt Kucera (15) goes up to defend an end zone pass during the 44-0 takedown of Brooks Prep of Chicago on Friday night. The victory elevates Kaneland’s opening night win streak to seven. Photo by Ben Draper

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—In a usual school setting, a person described as a handful isn’t an ideal description.

In Kaneland High School football’s case, the Knights couldn’t be happier.

It would be accurate in describing RB/WR Quinn Buschbacher after his performance on Friday night.

The senior acted on being the go-to option on many a play with a four-touchdown performance in a 44-0 win over the Brooks Prep Eagles of Chicago.

The Knights begin 1-0, as they have done every year since 2005.

Both coach and weapon agreed the senior was in his element. It comes in an ideal time, especially with the graduation of targets like Tyler Callaghan, Taylor Andrews and Kyle Davidson, and the transfer of Daniel Helm.

“Quinn is not only one of the biggest playmakers on the team, but in the conference,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “He made a lot of great plays for us last year, and we’re expecting much more of him this year.”

Play of the Knight
Quinn Buschbacher (22) can tell you the condition of the grass at Peterson Field, considering he toured nearly every inch on Friday. On the first play from scrimmage, the swing pass from QB Drew David to the versatile senior went for a 67-yard TD, and the Knights never looked back.

Buschbacher busted through on a swing pass for a 67-yard catch-and-run touchdown on the first play from scrimmage.

It was shades of Brock Dyer’s touchdown catch on the first play from scrimmage two years ago against Burlington Central.

“With our offense, I feel we can put as many points up as we want, any game,” Buschbacher said. “I feel like we have the capability to do that.”

In his first starting quarterback assignment, sophomore Drew David went 14-for-20 for 203 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

Buschbacher was the leading rusher in the spread offense, with 47 yards on five carries and three scores. Sean Carter earned the leading receiver mantle with six catches for 80 yards and a touchdown.

Eagles quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw was 9-for-25 for 159 yards.

Kaneland put forth 289 yards of total offense, compared to 190 with Brooks.

A slot pass on the first offensive play of 2011 Football continued on page saw Buschbacher whizz his way by Eagle defenders just 22 seconds into the contest for a 7-0 lead.

On the next drive, eight plays got Kaneland in position for a five-yard touchdown run by Buschbacher to go up 14-0 with four minutes, 49 seconds left in the first quarter. On the Knights’ third drive, Buschbacher took the ball and ran around left end for a nine-yard score that capped a six-play drive. The tally increased the edge to 21-0 with 52 ticks left in the quarter.

The second quarter proved equally as prolific for KHS, thanks to a Jesse Balluff two-yard touchdown run with 5:43 left, a Buschbacher 23-yard touchdown run with 2:53 to go, and a rainbow pass to Carter with :28 remaining.

The lone score for Kaneland in the second half was in the fourth quarter on a 42-yard kick by Matt Rodriguez.

In sophomore play, Kaneland came away with a 32-6 win.

On Friday, Sept. 2, Kaneland hosts Huntley High School. KHS and the Red Raiders have split the previous two encounters. Huntley lost to visiting Crystal Lake Central by a 28-6 clip on Friday.

A Look Back at their first Week 1 efforts
2011: Drew David 14-of-20, 203 yards, 2 TD 1 INT
2008: Joe Camiliere 16-of-24, 213 yards, 2 TD 1 INT
2007: Jody Henningson 16-of-22, 201 yards, 2 TD
2005: Boone Thorgesen 25-of-31, 302 yards, 2 TD
2004: Drew Sterkel 9-of-21, 97 yards, 1 INT

Conference Standings >>

Volleyball rises to 5-2 after prolific week

Photo: Lyndi Scholl (left) and Kylie Siebert make sure the serve is handled during the third game of Kaneland’s match against Burlington Central on Tuesday. Kaneland won two of three games. Photo by John DiDonna

KANELAND—For Todd Weimer’s Kaneland Lady Knights volleyball crew, there weren’t better opportunities to view the roster’s progress than at the usual Wheaton North Tournament stop and a trip to Burlington Central.

When the dust settled, KHS viewed a 5-2 record after winning three of five matches in Falcon-land, and the first win for coach Weimer over BC on Tuesday by a final of 25-18, 25-27, 25-18.

The action of Aug. 24 began with a 25-14, 13-25, 25-23 loss to the Hilltoppers of Glenbard West, but the Lady Knights rallied with a 25-13, 25-21 sweep of the host school.

At the end of day one, Katy Dudzinski had 36 attacks, followed closely by Grace Fabrizius with 30 attacks. Dudzinski had 22 kills, while Fabrizius had nine.

On Saturday, the Lady Knights first took care of Oak Forest, 25-14, 24-26, 25-23, then swept St. Viator by a final of 25-11, 25-23.

Glenbard West defeated Kaneland in the finale by a 25-21, 21-25, 25-14 final.

Dudzinski finished Saturday with eight blocks and 43 kills, while Ashley Prost contributed 51 assists. Teammate Kylie Siebert had three aces on the afternoon.

The win over the host Lady Rockets on Tuesday featured nine kills from Fabrizius, and 19 assists from Prost.

The Lady Knights now deal with the visiting Lady Royals of Hinckley-Big Rock on Thursday, Sept. 1.

Hogfan Party shoots for $35,000 to help find a cure

Photo: Sandy Gould spent all three days selling raffle tickets during Elburn Days for a fundraiser in honor of her son, Jason (below). He was 36 when he died after batteling leukemia.
Sandy Photo by Sandy Kaczmarski
Courtesy Photo of Jason

by Sandy Kaczmarski
Elburn—With an ambitious goal to raise $35,000, Sandy Gould is getting ready for the 3rd Annual Jason’s Hogfan Party in honor of her son Jason, who died at age 36 after a battle with leukemia.

“This is the main fundraiser,” she said. “We’ll see if we do that or not.”

The fundraiser’s name comes from Jason’s love of the University of Arkansas teams and is set for Saturday, Sept. 10, from 4 to 10 p.m. at the St. Charles Moose Lodge, 2250 W. Route 38.

All of the money goes to support leukemia and lymphoma research, specifically to Ohio State University’s Cancer Research Center to fund the work by Dr. Rob Baiocchi.

“We’ve decided to support his research,” Gould said. “It took a few years to find what the research was doing, and he’s been amazing.”

She said Baiocchi comes to the event each year and gives a progress report on the work. Last year, Dr. Baiocchi took about $2,600 of the money the Hogfan Party raised and added it to a study on brain tumors, she said.

“With that money, researchers were able to complete the study, and nine terminally ill patients given only months to live are all cancer free today with our dollars,” Gould said. “People in the audience were awestruck that their money was actually doing so much good.”

Jason’s struggle began in 2003 when he was diagnosed with acute leukemia. For nearly two years, he was in remission until a relapse in December of 2004.

After a successful stem cell/bone marrow transplant in May 2005, he contracted a rare viral infection, Epstein-Barr, and succumbed in January 2006.

Jason grew up in Elburn in a home on Timbercrest Drive and graduated from Kaneland High School, earning a spot in the National Honor Society. He attended Northern Illinois University, but he switched careers in 2004 and pursued his passion as a fifth-grade teacher in Oswego. He was working on his master’s degree when he relapsed in 2004.

His mother said the vaccine the fundraiser is supporting, for the Epstein-Barr virus, is what finally took his life.

“(The research) is actually in its last stages of clinical trials,” she said. “So in six years, they pretty much have a cure for that type of leukemia.”

Gould said funding for medical research has been dramatically cut and that any type of disease that’s somewhat rare or similar to what her son had, is gone.

For more information on how to help with the fundraiser, e-mail Gould at, or check on the web. Friends of Jason Gould is also on Facebook.

Playing to the home crowd

by David Maas
After being unable to play at last year’s Kaneville Fest, the local band Back Country Roads (BCR) is ready rock the community with some country music.

“Back Country Roads plays mostly newer country music,” said Dave Miller, the band’s bass player. “Like Lady Antebellum, Sugarland, Zach Brown Band, Jason Aldean, but we add an occasional Johnny Cash or Alabama song in there.”

While the band was scheduled to play at last year’s Kaneville Fest, the band had to cancel due to a death in singer Mary Noren’s family.

“Kaneville Fest was gracious enough to allow Miller’s Hometown Band to play in our place, and a good time was still had,” Miller said. “We did still show up to show our support, and were even able to perform a few songs without Mary.”

Back Country Roads started in 2009, with Noren and Kyle Miller singing karaoke in Dekalb bars.

“Shortly after, they started performing as an acoustic trio when Brian Miller joined them on guitar,” Miller said. “Jarred Klotz was added on drums, and I started playing bass, and we became a full band.”

The band then added a lead guitarist with Craig Cox, and Hanna Mathey on percussions and violin.

“We even have Kaneville’s own Dan Alfey on keyboard,” Miller said, “Since the band’s earliest iteration, BCR has been around for two years, first preforming in June 2009.”

Back Country Roads will play at Kaneville Fest on Sunday, Aug. 27, from 7 to 10:30 p.m., inlcuding a break for the fireworks display.

Being a local band, BCR has some ties to the Kaneville area, with some of the band members graduating from Kaneland High School.

“We are really going to enjoy playing at Kaneville Fest, mainly because these are our people,” Miller said. “We’re really looking forward to playing for the simple reason that we’ll be playing for some of our biggest fans, our dear friends, and our families.”

175 years of community

Photo: The entire population of Kaneville Township posed for a photo 25 years ago in 1986. The 2011 population of the Township is invited to pose for a new photograph on Sunday, Aug. 28, at 1 p.m. Courtesy Photo (View larger version)

by Lynn Meredith
Although Kaneville Fest is only a few years old, Kaneville Township has been around a lot longer. This year marks the township’s 175th anniversary. The community is ready to come out and celebrate during Kaneville Fest on Friday through Sunday, Aug. 26-28, with not only a cake, but also a township picture.

That’s right. The entire population of Kaneville Township is invited to pose for a photograph on Sunday, Aug. 28, at 1 p.m. following the cutting of the anniversary cake. This isn’t the first time Kaneville has called up its ranks. They did it in 1986 (see photo).

The community will open its doors for three days with a plethora of events and activities. They will hold community garage sales starting at 9 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. The library will hold its book pre-sale from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday with a $5 cover, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. On Friday night at 8 p.m., Hill’s Country Store will show a “kid-appropriate movie,” according to Pat Hill, one of five organizers of the fest. The anniversary celebration will have its own commemorative T-shirt with the Kaneville logo costing $12 to $15.

“Pre-orders will be accepted at the store,” Hill said. “We have all sizes.”

While there are no food vendors this year, there is a community bake sale with donations being taken at Hill’s store. Hill will grill out on Friday as she does every Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the summer. During the fest, she will also grill steaks, brats and pork chops on Friday and Saturday, lunch and dinner.

Colonial Ice Cream will sponsor an ice cream eating contest at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Blue Meadow Belgians will give horse-drawn wagon rides starting from the community center. The Kaneville Fire Department will have Touch-a-Truck and water fights. Inflatable jumping slides will be available for kids to play on. Also, they can participate in a bike parade at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Saturday night highlights include music by Back Country Roads on stage behind the community center from 7 to 8:30 p.m., fireworks at 8:30 p.m. and more music from Back Country Roads from 9:30 to 10:30 p.m.

The fireworks, provided by Maple Park pyrotechnician Roger Kahl, are paid for by fundraisers.

“We raise money all year long. We have a pork chop dinner in the spring and another one in the fall. We keep a bucket out to get ahead for next year,” Hill said.

Raffles and prizes will be given out during the fest. One that is being pre-sold at Hill’s store is four tickets to a Cubs games, with other Cubs memorabilia.

Sunday morning service will be held outside at the pavillion at 9:30 a.m. and is sponsored by the Kaneville United Methodist Church. At noon, the community will hold a pot luck dinner with meat provided by Kaneville Township. The cake cutting and township picture follow.

The Kaneville Historical Society will hold a cemetery walk at 1:30 p.m. Volunteers will dress up as people buried in the cemetery and give a talk about their lives and contributions to the town.

“They will dress up as Amos Miner or another person buried in the cemetery—someone important or one that they want to pick, like founding fathers or relatives,” Hill said. “They’ll wear what they’d wear and talk about that person.”

The fest ends with pick-up softball games starting at 3 p.m.

Photo Gallery: Elburn Days excitement

Cousins Brooke Sunderlage (left) of Genoa, Ill., and Megan Fidler of Sycamore ride the Re-Mix at Elburn Days on Saturday. Brooke also had an entry in the 4-H Livestock competition and won a first-place prize. Photo John DiDonna

Aug. 19: Photos by Madi Cole
Aug. 20: Photos by John DiDonna
Aug. 21: Photos by Mary Herra

Golf drops opener, sees progress at invites

Photo: Brody Kuhar eyes his progress in the season opener against Jacobs of Algonquin, Ill., on Aug. 17. Despite the slim two-shot loss, the up-and-coming sophomore finished the dual with a 40 score. Photo by Madi Cole

Experience-infused lineup sees action at Geneva, Limestone
KANELAND—While golfers often prefer to face other competition after several weeks of practicing against each other, the Kaneland Knights were hoping for a more ideal result.

In the first event for any sport for Kaneland High School in 2011-12, Kaneland golfers dropped a close 162-164 match with visiting Jacobs High School of Algonquin, Ill., out at Hughes Creek on Aug. 17.

The top scores garnered by Kaneland were had by Sean Glennon at 40, teammate Brody Kuhar at 40, and the trio of Adam Grams, Luke Kreiter and Troy Krueger at 42.

JV action had the Jacobs crew beat Kaneland by a 178-193 tally. Stephen Cannell of Kaneland had the best score for his team with 43.

The varsity crew also competed at Geneva’s invite on Thursday and came away with 10th place out of 19 teams with a 322 cumulative score. Geneva Blue took the invite with a 300 clip, followed by Batavia at 309.

At Limestone High School’s Invite on Saturday, Kaneland finished 13th out of 21 teams, with a 333 score, just one behind Limestone. Neuqua Valley took the invite with 297.

On tap: a home matchup at Hughes Creek against northern rival Marengo on Thursday, Aug. 25, followed by the Oswego Invite on Monday, Aug. 29.

Photo Gallery: Thursday Night Lights

Kaneland Knights football gets a pre-season workout in friendly territory during Thursday’s annual Knights Under the Lights event in Maple Park. The Knights’ first step to try and duplicate regular season success of a year ago occurs on Friday, Aug. 26, against Chicago’s Brooks Prep. This will be the first opening night encounter against someone other than Burlington Central since 2003, when KHS lost a 14-6 battle with defunct Driscoll Catholic. Photos by Madi Cole

Kaneland soccer edges rival Marengo in opener

Photo: Kushstrim Ismaili battles for possession of the ball in the second half of the 2-1 opening win over Marengo. Photo by John DiDonna

KANELAND—While Tuesday’s weather started off less than ideal, the end landscape of the evening was more suitable.

Just the way Kaneland soccer preferred it.

Hosting their rivals from Route 23, Marengo, the Knights got the 2011-12 season off on the right cleat.

With a 2-1 win over the Indians, the Knights begin 1-0.

The result was made a little more remarkable considering the Knights played a man down for all but five minutes of the second half.

The KHS goals came in the first half, with Jordan Escobedo finding the net 14 minutes, 49 seconds into season action thanks to a feed from Kushstrim Ismaili. The match’s difference was scored by Alex Gil with 9:46 left on an unassisted attempt.

Marengo nabbed its goal on a penalty kick.

The JV crew continued its tear from last year with a 6-0 win over Marengo.

The varsity unit tests its mettle in the Jacobs Invite beginning on Friday, Aug. 27.

Kaneland boys’ soccer named its five captains prior to the opening competition against Marengo on Tuesday:
• Anthony Parillo
• Pedro Perez
• Alex Gil
• Jordan Escobedo
• Thanasi Pesmajoglou

From small town to NFL star

Don Beebe comes home to share his story
by Sandy Kaczmarski
ELBURN—This year’s multi-denominational church service during Elburn Days will feature a well-known local boy who made good.

Former NFL star and Kaneland High School graduate Don Beebe is the guest speaker at the service at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 21, at Elburn Lions Park. Beebe will have some interesting stories to tell about his journey as a professional athlete.

“I’m looking forward to coming back to my home town and seeing a lot of old faces,” Beebe said. “I look forward to the event.”

Rev. Gary Augustine said Beebe will talk about his faith and how it helped him achieve what he did.

“He’s unique in that he’s a guy who has all this passion and drive, and overcame major obstacles,” Augustine said. “It was his faith in Jesus Christ that kept him on that course – focused, when a lot of other guys would have just given up.”

Beebe played nine years as an NFL wide receiver and played in six Super Bowls, winning a world championship with the Green Bay Packers in 1997.

But his road to the NFL is an inspiring story. Following high school, Beebe spent some time at Western Illinois University, then transferred to Aurora University for a year. He spent the next three years installing aluminum siding with his brother-in-law. He then attended unknown Chadron State College in Nebraska before the Buffalo Bills drafted him. Tryouts for the NFL are by invitation only, and when Beebe showed up in the third round as the 82nd pick overall in the 1989 Draft, he posted impressive times in speed and agility, leaving coaches wondering where he came from.

Beebe retired 14 years ago and devotes his time to the House of Speed (, working with young athletes to perform better and enhance their skills. But it’s not just about sports.

“I realized during my career, that I was put there for a reason, and it wasn’t all about me,” he said. “The reason was to be a role model. My passion is sports and kids, so what better way to do that than train kids in athletics and involve character building with that.

“We need more people out there to teach kids about character building.”

Augustine said Beebe epitomizes “what the fighting heart is all about.”

“Here’s a guy that never goes out unless he’s giving all he’s got,” Augustine said. “That attitude, that development, that thing he had to never quit, came from his faith; it was the soil that the character quality developed from”

Beebe said he will talk about his relationship with Christ and sharing his faith.

You can find out more about Don Beebe at

The special service is sponsored by area churches including Elburn Community Congregational Church, Elburn Hill Church and Hope Anglican Church.