Category Archives: Featured

PIE club members gain experience and friends on Denmark trip

by Susan O’Neill
KANELAND—Kaneland High School PIE Club (Partners in International Education) student members packed a lot of learning and interaction into their trip to Denmark this fall to meet their counterparts at the Vestre Skole High School.

The two groups of students had much to share with each other about what it is like to grow up in their respective homelands.

A major difference between the two countries is that education is free to any Danish citizen who wants one – from kindergarten through 12th grade, and on through college. The Danish government pays for the student’s housing as well as for his or her college tuition, Kaneland High School teacher and PIE advisor Brian Willis said.

The Kaneland students visited every kind of school during their stay. Willis said that although the Danish education schedule is similar to that in America, the Danes take their education more seriously. More responsibility is placed on the students themselves to keep up with their studies and to be successful, he explained.

“They don’t test their kids,” he said. “It’s like, ‘We’re done with geometry; hope you’ve got it.’ No one’s calling mom or dad to say you’ve flunked your test.”

By the time students reach gymnasium, their version of high school, many students have already begun to specialize in a career path.

Kaneland High School student Dennis Brettman said he was impressed with the level of education students were receiving at the gymnasium.

Student Kory Harner said that many of the Danish students spoke three languages. He added that they used laptops quite a bit more than students do here.

To pay for everyone’s education and the other services the government offers, the tax rate is about 50 percent, Willis said. This makes the cost of a $25,000 car closer to $50,000.

There is at most only one car per family, Harner said. Some of the teachers don’t even own a car, Willis added. And with gasoline at more than $6 a gallon, biking is a significant mode of transportation.

“They hardly had any traffic,” Harner said. “Everybody walked or rode their bikes to work or school.”

The students made use of this preferred transportation when they went sight-seeing in Copenhagen. With bike paths eight feet wide, biking to their destinations was a lot easier than it would be here.

Harner, a three-sport Kaneland athlete, enjoyed learning about the different types of sports the Danish people play. While he was there, he attended a professional women’s handball game.

The students also had a good time teaching each other their native sports. The Kaneland students learned to play handball and soccer, and they taught the Danish students how to play softball and football.

Everyone lived with a Danish family during their stay. Harner said his host family enjoyed playing games, and although their house was smaller than the typical house in the states, they did have a flat screen television.

“They were close as a family,” he added.

The PIE club began after a group of nine Kaneland High School students traveled to Romania in October 2005. According to Willis, the trip was so successful that the extracurricular club was created to continue to foster these types of relationships with students in other countries and to encourage the exchange of cultures and curriculum.

The experience that the students gained from the trips can’t be put in a book or shown in a movie.

“It can’t be duplicated,” Willis said.

The students have maintained the friendships that they forged while they were in Denmark.

“We keep in touch on Facebook,” Harner said. “I have 20 friends from the trip.”

Photo: PIE Club member Cara Zagel (center) poses for a picture with two of her Danish counterparts. Courtesy Photo

Spirit of the season

Fifth-graders make a local family’s Christmas brighter
by Susan O’Neill
KANELAND—Brooke Simmons was one of five Kaneland John Shields Elementary School students chosen to pick out presents for a family adopted by fifth-graders through the Holiday Spirit program. She and the other students joined their teachers on Friday afternoon to purchase presents with money collected by the students.

Brooke said she does not know the family that will receive the gifts, nor does she need to know. What she imagines are the smiles on their faces as they open their presents on Christmas Day.

Fellow student Lexie Guerra said the family they adopted includes a mom and dad, a 5-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy. She and the other shoppers had a list of some of the things the family wanted, along with their sizes. She said that some of the items the children asked for, such as jackets and pants, made her think about the fact that not everyone has the things that she and her friends take for granted.

In addition to the clothes for the children, the girls bought twin baby dolls for the girl, and the boys bought Legos for the boy. Zach Woodward said they had fun picking out a Legos starter kit and a Legos police kit.

The teachers purchased gift cards for the parents.

Fifth-grade teacher Dan Rutter said that he and the other teachers were inspired by fourth-grade teacher Lee Hoover. She has motivated the students in her classes for years to participate in Holiday Spirit by choosing several children at random to go shopping with her and join her for dinner afterward.

Rutter said that, given that there were 116 fifth-graders, the teachers set a goal of $150. However, the students quickly surpassed that.

Although they were told they could collect money from others to donate, many of the students gave their own money. Some children donated the money they earned doing chores or babysitting; others emptied out their pockets; some like Brooke, relinquished the money she received from her birthday.

“The money just came flowing in every day,” Rutter said. “The kids wanted to do it themselves.”

Lexie said she was happy to know that she and the other students in her class were part of giving someone else a reason to be excited about Christmas.

“I know they’re getting important stuff that they actually need,” she said.

Photo: Kaneland John Shields Elementary School fifth graders and teachers wrapped up a shopping trip last Friday, when they used the money collected from the students to purchase clothes and a few toys for a family they adopted through Holiday Spirit.
Courtesy Photo

Holiday Spirit reaches into the community
Holiday Spirit was created to help Kaneland area families who are experiencing financial crises during the holiday season, Kaneland John Shields social worker Nicole Pryor said.

A parent may have lost a job, an illness or other tragedy may have presented serious financial challenges, or families may have lost their homes.

A joint effort between the Kaneland School District, service and professional organizations, churches and local businesses, as well as Conley Outreach and West Towns Human Services, the Holiday Spirit will help 55 families this year, Pryor said.

Some of the money is raised through events such as Breakfast with Santa during Sugar Grove’s Holiday in the Grove. In addition, school grades, such as the ones at Kaneland John Shields; clubs and organizations, such as local Brownie troops; area churches, banks and pre-schools adopt one or more families for the Christmas holiday.

Pryor said the focus is mainly on the children, and families receive needed clothing for them, along with a few toys. Gift cards may also be purchased for the adults, including gift cards for gasoline.

4-H finds fundraising niche at Elburn Co-Op

Members offer coffee, donuts and lunches for donations
by Martha Quetsch
MAPLE PARK—Lincoln Highway 4-H Club found an ideal place to raise money—the Elburn Co-Op in Maple Park. For the past few Saturdays, club members have offered coffee, donuts, and lunches for donations to company employees and farmers dropping off their grain.

Club parent Anne Gorenz said her husband came up with the idea.

“We were driving past the co-op on Meredith Road one day, and (he) saw the long, long line of trucks and said, ‘That is how you guys (the 4-H club) could earn money, selling coffee, donuts and hot dogs to the people waiting in line,'” Gorenz said.

Gorenz and club leader Kim Halverson gathered a group of 4-H members the following Saturday, Nov. 21, and for donations served up coffee and donuts in the morning and hot dogs for lunch at the co-op. Since then, the club has been at the co-op every Saturday, making about $80 each time for the club.

Farmers and co-op members give whatever donation they want in exchange for the morning and afternoon treats. Gorenz said the response has been positive.

“The drivers and employees at the co-op are most welcoming, appreciative, friendly and very generous to the kids,” she said.

Co-op manager Cory Davidson is among company staffers who have donated money in exchange for hot dogs and hamburgers, having given about $30 so far to club members he just cannot turn down.

“These kids are really good salesmen,” Davidson said.

The club has expanded its Saturday offerings to include chili and BBQ beef, Italian beef and pork chop sandwiches, as well as soda, chips and desserts made by 4-H families.

Club member J.C. Gillett, 17, said he believes many people are generous with their donations because they know it is for a good cause. The money generated by the project will help fund 4-H community projects, including buying trophies for 4-H competitions, and supporting the Angel Tree children’s gift program, Easter and Halloween programs at the Maple Park Community Center.

Gillett has helped with another aspect of the fundraiser, selling raffle tickets at the co-op In conjunction with the food-for-donations effort. The raffle tickets are for a $250 gift certificate to Reams Elburn Market.

Reams donated the gift certificate, and the co-op purchased the coffee and donuts, to help with the 4-H fundraiser. The co-op also has allowed the 4-H’ers to use its golf carts to travel down the line of vehicles often 30-deep alongside the grain elevator.

The 4-H club plans to hold the Saturday fundraiser at the co-op as long as there is a desire and a hungry audience, Gorenz said.

“Until the crops are all out of the fields, there will be lines of people hauling in, and Lincoln Highway 4-Hers will be there to help ease the grumbling stomachs of those waiting,” she said.

Photo: Lincoln Highway 4-H Club members, from left, Megan Wiesbrock, Catherine Gorenz and Elena Halverson, took a break during the club’s Saturday fundraiser at the Elburn Co-Op in Maple Park. Club parent Ed Gorenz joined them in a tractor at the co-op while indulging in a hot-dog lunch. Courtesy Photo

Bowling continues nice start

by Mike Slodki
It’s early, but the Kaneland bowling roster will definitely take this inviting start.

With a hard-fought win on Monday evening at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb over non-conference rival IMSA, the Lady Knights are 2-1 with a 1-0 record in Western Sun Conference play.

The Lady Knights took it to the Titans by a final of 2,364-2,209, marking their second dual win in a row after losing their opener to Morris on Nov. 30.

The girls also took third out of 14 teams at the Dundee-Crown Tournament on Saturday.

Holly Thomas once again led the way as the junior had a match-high series of 509 against the Titans. Following her were teammates Molly Lambert at 417 and Jessica McHenry at 412.

High games were bowled by Thomas and Lambert at 177 and McHenry at 170.

“We’re doing OK, with Holly averaging 170,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said. “The other girls are hot and cold—inconsistent. Fortunately, we’ve had occasional decent scores from the others. We need to get a few girls to average in the 150s or higher in order to be even more competitive.”

In the JV matchup, Kaneland lost a close 1,763-1,760 battle despite the best efforts of Amy Kuryliw, who bowled a 412 series.

The varsity roster looks to beat host Sycamore on Thursday, Dec. 10, at Four Seasons.

Wrestlers leave opponents looking up at lights

Three dual wins on Saturday has grapplers unbeaten
by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—Ask the likes of Bremen, Lemont and Rochelle high schools if they had a nice weekend.

If it concerns wrestling, chances are they would have rather not faced Kaneland.

For on Saturday, the Knights of the square mat continued their hot start at 9-0 in dual competition.

The Knights beat Western Sun Conference rival Rochelle by a final of 58-17, beat Bremen 65-3 and got past Lemont 30-26.

Falls were accomplished by 103-pounder Esai Ponce (technical fall 5:59), 112-pound Dan Goress (3:55), Devon Scholl at 125 (3:10), Dennis Brettman in the 130-pound match (:57), Mark Southern in the 140-pound clash (4:19), 152-pounder Kyle Davidson (4:00), and JT Webb, who snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with a reversal and pin at 1:30.

“This is a really big meet,” said Webb. “I knew I had to do it for my team. I was on my back and I knew I couldn’t lose.”

Competitors like Davidson are among those who KHS coach Monty Jahns will be counting on for the season’s duration.

“Kyle is aggressive and his confidence level is high right now. He’s moving well and scoring points,” Jahns said.

The win against Rochelle proved a nice barometer for where the coaching staff felt the team was at.

“On our feet, defensively and in the bottom position, I think we were aggressive. We weren’t as aggressive on the top position as we needed to be,” KHS coach Monty Jahns said.

Nick Michels took his match with a pinfall in 5:46, and heavyweight Jimmy Boyle won with a fall in 3:31.

Southern (1:53), Davidson (5:16) and Webb (1:46) earned pinfall wins in the rout of Bremen.

Scholl (5:12), Davidson (1:42) and Boyle (3:42) took the pinfall wins against Lemont, with Goress pulling out an overtime win, 4-2, in the 112-pound match.

The wrestling crew heads to DeKalb on Friday, Dec. 11, at 6 p.m. in a Western Sun battle.

Photo: 112-pound entry Dan Goress makes life difficult in a 65-3 team win vs. Bremen on Saturday. With additional wins over Rochelle and Lemont, the Kaneland Knights’ undefeated start has produced a No. 10 ranking in Class 2A by illinoismatmen.com.
Photo by Ben Draper

Three WSC foes get upper hand on Lady Knights hoops

by Mike Slodki
The Knights fell to 2-8 and 0-3 in Western Sun Conference play with a tough week vs. Glenbard South, DeKalb and host Rochelle.

With the visiting Raiders handing the Lady Knights a 62-40 loss on Dec. 2, Kaneland went only 16-for-51 from the field and 8-for-19 from the free throw line. KHS was led by Kelly Evers’ 13 points. Tesa Alderman and Andie Strang had two steals apiece.

Down 11-2 in the first quarter, the Lady Knights went on an 8-2 run the final 5:19 to trail just 13-10 after the first eight minutes. Glenbard South used four baskets to go up 21-10 with 4:23 to go in the half. Kaneland benefited from two Alderman foul shots and a baseline jumper from Strang to close within 28-20 with 1:21 to go before the Raiders used two buckets, including a steal and layup at the buzzer, to go up 33-20 at halftime.

Glenbard South used the press to its advantage, making offensive opportunities difficult for KHS. A 13-point deficit ballooned to 18 with 1:27 to go. The Raiders went up 51-28 after three and lead by as much as 24.

“We just need to be more disciplined and not panic,” Kaneland coach Ernie Colombe said after the loss to the Raiders. “The biggest thing was the turnovers and easy layups. We get a rebound, turn it over, and it ends up two points at the end of the half. You have to go the full length of the court in three seconds, you can’t do it dribbling. It’s better to hold it than to put it on the ground.”

Against the Barbs on Friday in a 48-34 loss, Kaneland committed nine first quarter turnovers and fell behind 15-2 after the frame ended. DeKalb led by as much as 26-4 in the second quarter, when the Lady Knights found their footing. Down 29-12 at the half, Kaneland closed within 38-24 before deadlocking the Lady Barbs at 10 points apiece in the fourth. Kaneland was 13-for-35 from the field and 6-for-12 from the charity stripe. Mallory Carlson had six points and 14 boards on the evening. Saturday afternoon saw nine different Lady Knights get into the scoring column with Strang’s 10 leading the way, but it still ended up as a 63-39 setback in Rochelle.

KHS was 13-for-50 from the field and just 50 percent from the free throw line at 12-for-24.

The Lady Hubs were leading 12-6 after the first quarter and increased the chasm to 32-15 at the halfway mark.

Rochelle’s 18-8 run spanning the entire third quarter made it 50-23 before KHS outscored the Lady Hubs 16-13 in the final quarter.

In other girls basketball action throughout the week, the sophomores lost to Rochelle 52-36 on Saturday despite 12 points from Allyson O’Herron, and lost to DeKalb on Thursday by a 43-37 final score. Kylie Siebert had 15 points and Malory Groen had 12 in the effort.

Photo: Kelly Evers scrambles for the ball during the Dec. 2 62-40 loss to Glenbard South. Evers had 13 points and six rebounds Photo by Ben Draper

Christmas Stroll a host of holiday happenings

Family-oriented event will showcase village offerings
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—This year’s Elburn Christmas Stroll, from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, will offer its ever-popular holiday activities, from Santa visits to wine tastings, along with some new events, all designed to bring people into the downtown area.

More than 1,000 people typically attend the event sponsored by the Elburn Chamber of Commerce, chamber member Leslie Flint said. The event is designed to showcase the village while providing wholesome family fun.

Returning to this year’s Christmas Stroll is the life-sized Kandyland game at the Elburn Herald, 123 N. Main St., and Santa Claus at Town & Country Public Library, 320 E. North St.

The annual blessing of the manger in Elburn is scheduled for 7 p.m. in front of Heartland Counseling and Conley Funeral Home, Route 47 and Pierce Street.

Other activities coming again to the Christmas Stroll will be martial arts demonstrations and wine tastings at Elburn & Countryside Community Center, 525 Main St., and a fire-safety open house at the Elburn Fire Station, 210 E. North St.

For the first time during the Christmas Stroll, Party Animals, 108 N. Main St., will offer visitors an opportunity to decorate their own ornaments.

Another change to this year’s Christmas Stroll is a new location for the business expo, which in previous years took place at the American Legion Hall. The expo will be at Village Hall, 301 E. North St.

Participating businesses, including the new Walgreens store, will offer product information, business cards, handouts and giveaways. Village officials and staff also will be on-site, providing coffee, cider and cookies.

Committee members decided against having the expo at the legion this year because of businesses’ lack of interest in that location in previous years.

Shuttle Rides
Free rides in a heated shuttle bus
Friday, Dec. 4 • 5 to 8 p.m.
during the Christmas Stroll,
from Jewel-Osco at Route 38,
to Town and Country Public Library,
at 320 E. North St.

Fun for the family

Holiday in the Grove brings holiday cheer to Sugar Grove
by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—Holiday in the Grove begins early on Saturday, Dec. 5, for good little boys and girls who want to share a breakfast with Santa. The first of four seatings begins at 7:15 a.m. at the Sugar Grove Community House on Main Street, with the last seating scheduled for 11:15 a.m. Reservations are required for this popular event, and can be made on the Parent Teacher Organization website, www.ptolive.com.

Sugar Grove Police Chief Brad Sauer and Sugar Grove firefighters will cook the breakfast. Breakfast with Santa raises money for the community’s Holiday Spirit fund, a program that ensures there will be presents under the tree and staples in the house for Kaneland area families during the holiday season.

The children may pose for a free photo with Santa, available for pick-up after 12:30 p.m. Packaged photos taken by a professional photographer are available for purchase and will be ready one week from Saturday.

For an old-fashioned family experience, the Sugar Grove Park District sponsors horse-drawn sleigh rides from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Local farmer George Alexander volunteers his time and his horses to provide the rides through the streets of Sugar Grove free of charge.

For transportation between the various events, a heated school bus will take visitors from the Community House to the school to the library all day long.

Community House events
Residents may stop in at the Community House between 9 and 11 a.m. for Coffee with the Mayor with Village President Sean Michels.

A Fun Fair will take place at the Community House upstairs in the gym from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The children can grab a lunch of hot dogs, chips, nachos, popcorn and pop, and enjoy an entertaining clown from noon to 2 p.m. Stay for magician David Fleming’s juggling act and magic show at 2:30 p.m.

Ornament making is available downstairs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., or children can participate in Noah’s Ark Stuff-n-Fluff from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to make a snowman, reindeer or gingerbread man.

Sugar Grove United Methodist Church
Visit Santa’s Sweet Shoppe at the United Methodist Church, across from the Community House, and purchase candies and cookies, pies, sweet breads and fudge, baked by members of the church. Be sure to take a tour of the sanctuary, where nativity scenes of all shapes and sizes will be available to remind visitors of the reason for the season.

Kaneland John Shields Elementary School

Events at the school include a crafter and vendor fair with more than 35 crafters from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Kids Holiday Shop is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., where children can do their own Christmas shopping. Inexpensive homemade craft and store-bought items are available for purchase for family members and friends.

Sugar Grove Public Library

The Library Friends will host a Used Book Sale all day on Saturday at the new library. For a head start, stop by the library on Friday, Dec. 4, to pick up a few green (recycled) Christmas gifts.

Salvation Army community volunteer bell ringers will be at the library from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Money collected on that day will be available to Sugar Grove families and service organizations.

Holiday in the Grove

Saturday, Dec. 5
7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sugar Grove Community House,
Sugar Grove United Methodist Church and Kaneland
John Shields Elementary School,
Sugar Grove Public Library.
Parking available at each location.

Sponsored by
Kaneland John Shields PTO and
other organizations

Contact Carrie Guerra at
(630) 715-9230

Library computer lab, remodeling a community effort

Donations, grants, volunteers helped with remodeling
by Martha Quetsch
MAPLE PARK—With help from a DeKalb County grant, Maple Park Public Library can put the finishing touches on a remodeling project that created a new computer lab for its patrons.

The library received a $1,000 grant from the county’s Community Needs Foundation on Nov. 22. Library Board member Laura McPhee applied for the funding in September.

“With the new monies from this grant, we are looking forward to paying for some of our computer desks as well as putting in a new floor for (the computer lab),” McPhee said.

The library is located in the Community Center in a four-room space in the building’s basement. A remodeling project started in June included opening up a storage area to create a workstation for eight new computers the library purchased with a $10,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

One of the library’s new computers is an HP SmartTouch Touchscreen for patrons with special needs. The computers, all Internet-connected, also include six Dell PC’s and a Macintosh.

Wiring for the computers and new shelving also were installed last summer with help from village residents.

“Thanks to donations from The Friends of Maple Park Public Library and many hours of hard work from community and board members, we were able to complete (the first phase) of our remodeling task,” McPhee said.

The Community Needs Foundation funds will help the library finish the project by early spring, McPhee said. Among future projects the board hopes to accomplish is enhancing the library’s handicap accessibility.

The library was eligible for the Community Needs Foundation grant this fall because a large number of its members reside in DeKalb County, McPhee said. The Foundation provides grants for arts and culture, education, health and human services, and community development and civic affairs.

Photo: The Maple Park Public Library has been improved since Kimberly Martin (pictured) started as library director in May. Those changes, initiated by the Library Board and implemented with Martin’s help, include remodeling of the library and the creation of a computer lab. Photo by Martha Quetsch

Public-information access officers required under new law

by Martha Quetsch
MAPLE PARK—Local municipalities are reviewing the new “sunshine laws” designed to improve access to public information, readying for compliance Jan. 1.

On that date, the state’s revised Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) will take effect.

Maple Park Village Attorney Kevin Buick told trustees Tuesday that the FOIA changes are “sweeping and dramatic” and encouraged them to study the revisions carefully on the Illinois Attorney General’s website.

“The Attorney General (Lisa Madigan) was key in shaping these changes, which are designed to ensure the public has broad and open access to public records,” Buick said during the Village Board meeting.

A major change in the act is that communities must appoint a FOIA officer to be in charge of receiving and responding to public information requests in compliance with the law.

Every new FOIA officer must complete an electronic training program through the Illinois Attorney General’s office by July 1, 2010.

Elburn officials recently named Village Administrative Assistant Janet McGowan as the village’s FOIA officer. McGowan received training from the Attorney General’s office in October for the position, Village Administrator Erin Willrett said.

Kaneville and Sugar Grove officials have designated FOIA officers who will complete the online training program as soon as the Attorney General makes it available. They are Sugar Grove Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger and Kaneville Village Clerk Sandy Weiss.

Maple Park has yet to appoint a FOIA officer. Maple Park officials will discuss the issue at the Committee of the Whole meeting Monday, Dec. 21, Village President Kathy Curtis said.

The revised sunshine laws will require all FOIA officers to communicate closely with the state’s Public Access Counselor (PAC) to ensure that public bodies comply with FOIA and the Open Meetings Act.

Among other FOIA changes is that the public information requests will not have to be written on a village-specified form, and can be submitted in many different ways, including orally.

Buick said the new FOIA could cost municipalities more money than the previous law. Under the FOIA changes, a municipality must provide the first 50 pages of public information to a requestor free of charge, and can charge no more than 15 cents per additional page.

The new FOIA law also requires municipalities to provide public information electronically if requested, when it is available in that format; and, municipalities must respond to FOIA requests within five working days, compared to seven in the past.

Scouts community project is collective

Pack 107 picks up trash at Metra for village
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Sixty extra hands came in handy for the village on Nov. 22. That day, Cub Scout Pack 107 conducted a clean-up of the Metra station parking area, picking up trash that people had tossed on the ground instead of into garbage receptacles.

“The Cubs Scouts provided great assistance in maintaining the overall cleanliness of the lot,” Public Works Superintendent John Nevenhoven said.

Nevenhoven said village employees empty the parking lot garbage containers nearly every day, but a lot of other trash does not make it into the can.

“Cigarette butts, soda cans, energy drink bottles, breakfast bar wrappers, etc., litter the lot, and (the village) does not have the available manpower to pick all of it up,” Nevenhoven said.

To equip the Scouts for the task, Nevenhoven provided each with a pair of gloves and a garbage bag.

Among the 30 scouts taking part in the cleanup was Nevenhoven’s son, Ryan. His job was to carry an
increasingly heavy garbage bag while other Scouts collected debris and tossed it in.

“I was feeling pretty good about it because every couple of feet there was a piece of garbage,” Ryan said.
The afternoon cleanup fulfilled a Pack 107 requirement for community service.

“Every Scout has to perform a service to the community each year as part of the Cub Scout Program,” Pack 107 Cubmaster Kurt Wachter said.

The pack typically completes one or two service projects each year, including collecting food for the Elburn Food Pantry.

Photo: Cub Scout Pack 107 members, with some of their parents and siblings, cleaned up litter scattered throughout the Metra station parking lot and grounds in Elburn on Nov. 22. The effort was one of the pack’s annual community service projects.
Courtesy Photo

Shutterbugs

Local wildlife lives on in library photo display
by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—Visitors to the children’s section of the Sugar Grove Public Library may find themselves eyeball to eyeball with a Chinese Praying Mantis.

The photograph is just one of about two dozen pictures that Sugar Grove Park District employee John Clayton has currently displayed at the library. Clayton’s photos of birds, prairie plants, insects and landscapes were all taken locally.

Clayton said that a year ago, a fellow Park District staff member asked him to take some pictures of the prairie plants in the detention basin behind the Park District building.

“I got caught up in the moment,” he said. “I ended up buying a camera.”

He said he plans to drop off copies of the pictures at the Kaneland John Shields Elementary School, in case the teachers would like to use it to educate their students about the wildlife that exists just outside their classrooms.

Clayton’s pictures were on display at Peck Farm Interpretive Center in Geneva during the month of October. He said he signed up to display his pictures about a year ago when he participated in the Kane County Certified Naturalist Program through the Geneva Park District at Peck Farm.

In the meantime, the library is the beneficiary of Clayton’s creativity.

“We love John’s work,” Library Director Beverly Holmes Hughes said. “It’s colorful, cheerful, refreshing.”

Hughes said the library decided to display Clayton’s work partly because the content was local, but also because it was appealing and familiar, but not often seen by most people.

“It’s a cool thing to be a part of the new library,” Clayton said.

Clayton’s pictures are displayed in the front foyer of the library, leading to the board room and on the wall in the children’s section.

According to Hughes, the library is interested in displaying the work of local artists, given the appropriateness of the content, space and interest in the work. Works from the Kaneland Fine Arts Festival juried show will be on display in April 2010. Interested artists will find application forms at the library.

Photo: A Chinese Preying Mantis is among the subjects of Sugar Grove Park District employee John Clayton’s photographs displayed in the Sugar Grove Library. Courtesy Photos

Village wants more time to study wind turbines

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board extended its six-month moratorium on windmills and wind turbines for another six months on Tuesday, but that does not mean they are not interested.

According to Sugar Grove Community Development Director Rich Young, the board passed a moratorium in July so village staff would have time to prepare an ordinance that would properly regulate the devices. Young said he and his staff have been researching the topic, including reviewing the ordinances of other communities.

“Woodstock has a good example, and the county has one that is evolving,” he said. “Although we’re asking for another six-month extension, my hope is that we’ll be ahead of the curve on that.”

Trustee Tom Renk said that he has seen wind turbines in many locations.

“They’re starting to pop up everywhere,” he said. “We do need to get in front of this sooner rather than later.”

The village has not received any requests for permits for these types of uses. The ordinance would have to go through a public hearing before the Plan Commission and then receive board approval.

Medieval carolers come to Elburn

Elburn—The Kaneland Madrigal Singers will bring Christmas cheer to the streets of Elburn during the annual Elburn Christmas Stroll on Friday, Dec. 4, from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

They will be at the Elburn Library, Reams, Conley’s, Papa G’s and the Community Center.

The group will also perform its annual Madrigal dinner on Friday through Sunday, Dec. 11-13. Ticket information is at www.kaneland.org.

Kaneland shines spotlight on fall athletes with awards

Monday saw Kaneland High School dish out their annual awards for the fall sports season.

For girls cross country, Shelby Koester and Lisa Roberson were recognized by the team as captains, while Shaela Collins and Jessica Stouffer won the most improved runners nods. Junior Andie Strang took home the Most Valuable Runner award and was also recognized for her all-Western Sun Conference nomination.

In Knights golf action, the varsity most improved player award was given to Adam Grams, while Most Valuable Player was Hayley Guyton. Rhys Childs took home the frosh/soph MVP, and Dan Miller was named the frosh/soph most improved player. Guyton was also lauded for her second-place finish at the girls’ golf State gathering.

For soccer, Kevin Szatkowski, Marcos Dorado, Joe Garlinsky and Genaro Garcia were recognized as captains, and Alex Dorado and Sam Rymarz were given coach’s awards. Jake Tickle won the most improved player award, while J.P. Minogue was named team MVP thanks to his play in goal. Marcos Dorado, Derek White and Minogue were named to the All-WSC squad, while Dorado was also named the 2009 All-Sectional team.

For the tennis troops, Randi Bader, Lindsay Jurcenko and Kelsey Lenhardt were recogznied as garnering the best individual records this season with 18-7 records. Most Valuable Player awards were dished out to Jurcenko, Olivia Emmanouil and Liz Webb. Bader, Webb, Megan Cline and Mel Mazuc were recognized as captains. Jordyn Withey took home the team spirit award, while Stephanie Rosenwinkel and Jess Woodward nabbed the most improved player honors.

For the State-going boy cross country, Joe Levita, Edgar Valle, Dominic Furco, Matt Reusche and Logan Markuson were recognized as captains.

Trevor Holm and Reusche took the most valuable runner awards, while Levita was named most improved runner. Valle and Markuson were given the Larry Eddington Award for Courage, Leadership and Strength. The Golden Knight award, given to one representative of each grade level, was given to freshman Brad Kigyos, sophomore Jake Ginther, junior Tommy Whittaker and to Furco, a senior.

Reusche and Holm were lauded for their nomination to the all-Western Sun Conference team.

John Meisinger, Ginther, Billy Hart, Nate Rehkopf, Conor Johnson, Holm, Reusche, Levita, Valle, Furco, Markuson, Whittaker and Clayton Brundige were recognized as State qualifiers.

For the playoff-going Knight football team, Brock Dyer, Ryley Bailey, Brett Ketza, Eric Dratnol and Derek Bus were recognized as captains, while Kyle Davidson won the most improved player award. Dratnol was named the Most Valuable Player. Bailey was named the offensive MVP and Taylor Andrews won the defensive MVP award.

Bailey, Joe Camaliere, Andrews, Tyler Callagahan, Dratnol, Ketza, Jimmy Boyle and Blake Serpa were given all-WSC honors, as mentioned in last week’s Elburn Herald.

In volleyball, Jessica Lubic was named the Most Valuable Player, while Katy Dudzinski was given the top offensive player nod. Kylie Siebert won the top defensive player nod. Tara Groen was named best server, and Meredith Ament took home the spirit award. Mackenzie Curran won the most improved player nod, and Lubic and Dudzinski were nominated for the all-Western Sun Conference roster.

Photo: Tennis asset and tri-MVP Lindsay Jurcenko was one of the many KHS athletes noted for exceptional play during the fall season. File Photo

KHS takes third at Strombom hoops gathering

by Mike Slodki
How’s that for an opener?

Marking the first game of the coach Brian Johnson era, the Kaneland Knights boys basketball team took roughly a quarter to find its footing before captializing on fast breaks and high-percentage shots.

The resulting offensive party lead to an 82-53 win over Aurora Christian at the opening contest of the historic Leland G. Strombom Holiday Tournament at Sycamore High School on Nov. 24.

Following that contest, the Knights lost to Hampshire in overtime, 54-49 on Friday, and beat host Sycamore in the third-place game, 58-56.

On Tuesday, Kaneland improved to 3-1 (1-1 Western Sun Conference) with a 61-52 win vs. Glenbard South.

Center Dave Dudzinski paced the opening-night effort with 26 points. The night for the Holy Cross-signee included a three-pointer and 5-for-7 from the foul line.

“Both teams were kind of butting heads for awhile, and once we settled down and found our stride, everything just seemed to start clicking for us,” Dudzinski said.

Teammates Chaon Denlinger and Ryley Bailey added 11 points each. Donovan Williams added 10 for more scoring balance.

The Knights were 8-for-13 from the line, as well.

A Bailey bucket gave the Knights a 12-10 lead with 1:29 to go before AC tied it with 49 seconds left. Williams converted on a field from Bailey with :35 left for a 14-12 lead, and then hit a trey with seven seconds remaining in the frame before Aurora Christian nailed a three at the buzzer, thanks to Ryan Suttle, to make the score 17-15.

With 6:10 left in the second quarter, a Nick Marema three-pointer put the Eagles up 23-17 and completed an 11-0 run.

Kaneland then went on an absolute tear with a 14-0 run, capped by Dudzinski’s basket with 2:31 remaining in the half for a 31-23 lead.

Taylor Andrews hit a shot with 1:04 to go for a 37-28 lead, the Knights’ biggest up to that point ,and KHS went up 39-32 at the break.

Kaneland the scored the first five baskets of the third quarter thanks to Denlinger, Bailey and Dudzinski, for a 49-32 lead with 5:41 left in the frame.

With Tyler Callaghan’s basket with 1:01 left in the third, the Knights took their biggest lead of the game at 62-41, which is how the quarter ended. The biggest lead for the game was 29 at the end of the contest.

“Once we kind of spread out the floor, we were able to get better looks,” Johnson said. “It helps to have a 6-foot-9 kid in there to create stuff, but the kids were real smart with their shot selection.”

Against the Whip-purs, Denlinger had 21 points, while Dudzinski had 14 and Bailey had 10. The game was tied after regulation at 41.

Battling the Spartans, Dudzinski had a game-high 16 points, and the Knights were a helpful 17-for-22 from the foul line.

Against GS, Dudzinski and Denlinger had 20 points each, and parlayed a 35-20 halftime lead into a win.

Soph action had the Knights win their own tournament with a 57-55 OT win over Sycamore on Nov. 25.

Friday sees Kaneland host DeKalb at 7 p.m.

Photo: Knight Sean Paulick takes to the air during Kaneland’s 58-56 win over rival Sycamore in the Strombom tourney on Saturday evening. Photo by Ben Draper

KHS grapplers manage strong start with 3 wins

by Mike Slodki
BURLINGTON—Why can’t every meet be like this for the Kaneland wrestlers?

While winning against every opponent for the remainder of the year is monumentally tough, the KHS crew saw at least a glimpse of what it was capable of on Saturday.

The Knights won their first three obstacles on Saturday, beating host Burlington Central 40-26, Oswego 27-21 and Freeport 35-6.

Against the host Rockets, pinfalls were had by 103-pounder Esai Ponce (4 minutes, 52 seconds), 112-pounder Dan Goress (1:38), 119-pounder Josh Kuefler (:54) and Nick Michels at 171 (3:41).

125-pound anchor Devon Scholl won a 4-1 decision, and Joe Levita took a 9-2 win at 135. Kyle Davidson, the 152-pound entry, won a 6-3 encounter. 215-pounder Ben Kovalick came out with a 3-2 victory, and heavyweight Jimmy Boyle won 3-1.

When the Knights handled the Panthers, all the wins came on points thanks to Goress (2-0), Kuefler (8-2), 140-pounder Mark Southern (4-1), Davidson (2-0) and Boyle (3-0).

“I just had to be more aggressive,” Boyle said on his win that went the distance. “I could see he was getting a little tired and I just had to keep going.”

Against the Pretzels, the Knights saw impressive wins from Goress (15-1), Dinnis Brettman (11-2) at 130 pounds and 160-pounder JT Webb (17-1).

Photo: 189-pound entry Keagan Mattes, shown wearing a bandage after his Oswego opponent was bleeding, manuevers for points on Saturday. Photo by Mike Slodki

Health Department scheduling second doses for children

Kane County—The Kane County Health Department scheduled a clinic to serve those children under 10 who require a second, or booster, dose of the H1N1 vaccine.

The appointment-only clinic will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5, at Elfstrom Stadium at the Kane County Events Center on Kirk Road in Geneva.

Make an appointment by calling the Kane County Health Department H1N1 Call Center at (630) 723-5414.

This clinic is intended to serve those children who received their initial dose of vaccine at Health Department clinics Oct. 26 through Nov. 5. Parents should receive a postcard in the mail in the next few days reminding them to schedule an appointment for the second dose. Children under 10 who received their first shot after Nov. 5 can schedule an appointment through the call center at a time that is convenient for them.

The vaccine shortage has been easing, and supplies are being distributed to health care providers throughout Kane County. Residents may want to check with their personal healthcare providers to see if the vaccine is available through them.

Breakfast with Santa fundraiser to aid CASA

ST. CHARLES—Santa Claus is coming to town to benefit CASA Kane County. Enjoy a pancake breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Congregational United Church of Christ on LaFox Road and Fox Mill Boulevard in St. Charles.

Breakfast will begin at 9 a.m. Children will participate in a holiday craft project, gingerbread cookie decorating, games, and a sing-a-long with Mrs. Claus. Breakfast will be followed by a puppet troupe performance and the arrival of Santa Claus. Every child will receive a present from Santa.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for children over 3. Proceeds will benefit CASA Kane County’s Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program for local abused and neglected children. Last year, the program represented 523 children throughout Kane County.

Please call the CASA office at (630) 232-4484 to register for the event. For more information about the CASA program, visit www.casakanecounty.org.

See Christmas as it was during the Civil War

Sugar Grove—Can you imagine what Christmas was like during the Civil War? Now is your opportunity to find out “first hand.”

Join the Sugar Grove Library staff at 125 Municipal Drive, Sugar Grove, at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12, in the Large Meeting Room for a Civil War Christmas. Special guests will be Colonel Basil Duke and his wife, Henretta Morgan Duke, as portrayed by Richard and Valarie Hargreaves.

The two re-enactors will be at the library to portray these historical figures in a program for adults and children ages 10 and up. Featured presentations will be about home life, living conditions, clothing and customs during the Civil War at Christmas time.

Admission to the Civil War Christmas program is free, although registration is recommended. For information or to register, visit www.sugargrove. lib.il.us or call (630) 466-4686. This program is funded by the Sugar Grove Library Friends.

Polar Express rolls through Blackberry Farm

AURORA—The Polar Express train is welcoming all aboard during the first two weekends in December at Blackberry Farm for its annual Yuletide celebration amid thousands of glittering lights.

The holiday spirit comes to life on Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 5 and 6, and 12 and 13, from 4 to 7 p.m., when the decorated train will run continuously around sparkling Lake Gregory.

“There will literally be thousands upon thousands of twinkling lights, from the ticket window at the train depot to the trees along the walkways,” facility supervisor Sandy Smith said. “It’s a holiday spectacle; a true winter wonderland.”

Classic holiday music favorites play in the background throughout the event. The book “The Polar Express” will be read by story tellers at the school house. Santa Claus will delight young visitors at the Early Streets Museum, which also will feature a pair of holiday toy train displays—one of them a village layout and the other made of Legos. Also, hot chocolate and cookies will be available for purchase at the Huntoon House.

The Blackberry Farm gift shop will be open during Polar Express. The gift shop will be open throughout December on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., selling an assortment of stocking stuffers with unique holiday gift items, many of them hand-crafted.

Admission to Polar Express is $3 for residents and $5 for non-residents. Blackberry Farm is located at 100 S. Barnes Road in Aurora, south of Galena Boulevard about one-half mile west of Orchard Road. For more information, call (630) 892-1550.

TAILS launches ‘Furry Fridays’

DeKalb County—The holiday season is a time to focus on family, and TAILS Humane Society reminds us that the furry (and feathered) family members are just as important.

As it has done for the past four years, TAILS is participating in Iams’ Home 4 the Holidays event, aimed at finding forever homes for as many pets as possible by the first week of January.

As part of the Home 4 the Holidays campaign, beginning Friday, Nov. 27th, every Friday is a Furry Friday at TAILS. On Furry Fridays, get 15 percent off all adoptions.

“We believe every homeless animal deserves to have a home in time for the holidays” said Beth Drake, TAILS Executive Director. “We’re hoping that this holiday season, our community will remember that there are over 200 pets at TAILS waiting for families and will choose adoption rather than purchasing a pet from a petstore or backyard breeder.”

Furry Fridays hold more fun for you. All who adopt a pet on Furry Fridays can twirl the Spin Your Luck wheel and win a free adoption, a free obedience class, an item from the DeTAILS gift shop or one of many other prizes.

TAILS will remain open until 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 11 and 18. Each holiday season, TAILS joins with Iams Home 4 the Holidays program that has set a goal to see that 1.5 million pets find their forever homes.

Last year, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, TAILS adopted 40 dogs, 123 cats and 16 little critters. This year, TAILS hopes to top last year’s numbers and find homes for at least 50 dogs and puppies, at least 130 cats and kittens, and at least 20 little critters. The shelter is at capacity for cats and dogs who need homes, with even more dogs and puppies waiting in foster homes for their turn to come into the shelter.

TAILS is located at 2250 Barber Greene Road, DeKalb, and can be contacted at (815)-75-TAILS (815-758-2457), or via e-mail at tailshumanesociety@tbc.net.

LivingWell offers Nutrition Boot Camp

Cancer support center offers free series on nutrition
Geneva—LivingWell Cancer Resource Center, a provider of non-medical support at no cost for people living with cancer, will host a Nutrition Boot Camp.

Dietician Sandie Hunter, RD, LDN, MS will offer this program on Wednesdays, Dec. 2, 9 and 16, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. This event is free, but registration is required. Please call (630) 262-1111 to register.

Nutrition is a vital component in the quest to getting and staying healthy. Join dietitian Sandie Hunter, RD, LDN, JS for this three-part “boot camp” that focuses on ways to be healthier through nutrition.

LivingWell Cancer Resource Center is the one place in the Fox Valley region where people living with cancer, their families and friends, can go for information and support services that address the challenges of living with cancer free of charge to the participants. LivingWell offers networking and support groups, educational programs, mind-body fitness classes, youth programs, a library, individual psychological and nutritional counseling and much more. LivingWell is located at 1803 W. State St., Geneva, and online at www.LivingWellCRC.org. LivingWell is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and can be contacted at (630) 262-1111. LivingWell is a certified 501c nonprofit organization and an affiliate of Delnor Heath System.

Madrigals set for Dec. 11-13

Kaneland—Kaneland High School presents its 32nd annual Madrigal Dinner performance on Friday through Sunday, Dec. 11-13.

Guests will dine in a 14th century castle by candle light, while being entertained with humor, drama and music.

For ticket information, visit www.kaneland.org.

All performances will be held at Kaneland High School, 47W326 Keslinger Road, Maple Park. The opening night will be Friday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m. Two performances will follow on Saturday, at 2 and 7 p.m., and Sunday’s performance will be at 2 p.m.

Community prays for Bruce Conley

Day-long vigil supports Kaneland community servant
by Martha Quetsch
KANEVILLE—Friends of Bruce Conley prayed for him Wednesday at Kaneville United Methodist Church during a day-long vigil ending with a service attended by nearly 100 people. It was a day of finding healing through faith, songs, stories and community, Pastor Jason Turner said.

The vigil ended with an evening service for Conley, of Elburn, who is receiving intensive chemotherapy treatment this week for a rare, inoperable form of cancer, malignant cholangiocarcinoma, he was diagnosed with in January.

“Now is the time,” Turner said. “We want Bruce to sense the overwhelming care from the community,” Turner said.

Conley, director of Conley Funeral Home in Elburn, founded Conley Outreach Community Services and a community care team which have provided mental health services including grief counseling for countless people over the years.

In a prayer circle at the close of the evening service, many people spoke about how Bruce has touched their lives and helped them through the most difficult times of grief and loss through his faith, caring, compassion and warmth.

As recently as Nov. 15, Conley conducted a support group to help grieving people cope during the holidays. The next day, he visited his doctor because of nausea and learned that he needed the immediate chemotherapy for the cancer.

That day, Conley wrote in his online journal on the Conley Outreach Community Services website,www.conleyoutreach.org: “May you, our dear friends and partners in prayer, know too that God is with all of us—and in Him; we are one, now and forever. Thanks for staying beside us; for your thoughts and prayers and amazing support.”

Bruce’s journey
To help the community keep up to date with Bruce Conley’s ongoing journey, he has set up an account through CaringBridge with his personal journal, photos and other information. Community members can access his online journal through the Conley Outreach website, www.conleyoutreach.org, or directly to his CaringBridge account at www.caringbridge.org/visit/bruceconley.

Residents fill door steps with food, warmth, care

Pre-teen friends coordinate donation drive in Sugar Grove
by Susan O’Neill
Sugar Grove—After a weekend of collecting food, coats, mittens and hats, as well as pet food and supplies, a pair of 12-year-old friends surveyed the pile of coats that their neighbors donated through their Fill Your Door Step collection during the past two weekends. The pile reached almost to the ceiling of their Sugar Grove garage.

The friends, Sugar Grove resident Madison Taylor and Elburn resident Jessica Cucera, as well as Madison’s sister Danielle, came up with the idea in 2008 to collect items from their neighbors after being challenged by the Taylor’s mom, Melisa. Her challenge was for the girls to do something productive with their Thanksgiving time off. They thought of three major areas in people’s lives where they needed the most help: food, staying warm and caring for their pets.

The girls, assisted by a number of friends and parents, passed out flyers asking for residents to leave items on their doorsteps the following weekend. The effort was so successful last year that their friends began asking the girls weeks ago if they were going to do it again this year.

This year, the girls were joined by approximately 45 of their fellow students as they collected items from 500 households in every subdivision from the southern border of Sugar Grove north to Interstate 88.

Volunteers drove 11 vehicles full of food to the newly established Between Friends Food Pantry of Sugar Grove, another brainchild of the Taylors. The food pantry opened earlier this month, and serves people in the Sugar Grove and Prestbury neighborhoods.

The coats, hats and mittens will be distributed through the Kaneland School District, where social workers have identified those students who would benefit from the outerwear. Greenacre Cleaners in Sugar Grove offered to dry clean for free the gently used coats people donated prior to their distribution.

“I haven’t strong-armed anyone,” said Melisa, who also serves on the Sugar Grove Village Board. “People and businesses in the area just came forward and offered help. It’s that small-world stuff.”

The pet food and other supplies will be given to people visiting the food pantry through a questionnaire that Madison developed, asking people about the number and size of their pets.

Madison and Danielle were honored last week by being chosen as Kids of the Week by WGN radio. They were interviewed by Steve Cochran on his show last Wednesday.

But the graciousness of their neighbors makes them just as happy.

“People wrote notes on the bundles, saying, ‘God bless you all,’” Melisa said. “There was a huge amount of gratitude.”

Photo: Friends Jessica Kucera and Madison Taylor smile in front of the mound of coats the 12-year-olds collected from their neighbors in the 2nd annual Fill Your Door Step collection in Sugar Grove. The coats will be distributed to Kaneland students in need of them. Photo by Susan O’Neill

Library serves as drop site for troop collection

Sugar Grove—The Sugar Grove Library has joined forces with the Sugar Grove American Legion Post 1271 Women’s Auxiliary to collect items to send to members of the military. The Auxiliary is planning a mailing for our troops in time for the holidays. Useful items include :
• Zip Lock Bags—must have zip closure
• Jelly—plastic jars only
• Peanut butter
• Beef jerky sticks
• Mints—Tic Tacs, Altoids, Life Savers, etc
• Snack cups—non-refrigerated
• Fabric softener sheets
• Febreze spray
• AT&T international calling cards
• Batteries—AA & AAA
• Disposable cameras
• Books and magazines
• Puzzle books
• Foot powder
• Hand lotion
• Eye drops
• Pain relievers
• Mouthwash strips
• Toothbrushes
• Bug spray
• Sun block
• Band-aids
• Disposable razors
• Shaving cream

Please contact the Legion (630) 466-4747 if you have questions about the collection.

The Sugar Grove Library is located in Sugar Grove at the corner of Municipal and Snow streets.

New features at the Marmion Christmas Tree Farm

Aurora—Marmion Abbey Farm opens Saturday, Nov. 21, daily from 9 a.m. to dusk, for those who enjoy the tradition of hunting through the pines and spruces to cut down their own Christmas tree.

The Abbey Farm has more than 120 acres of trees available for $30 to $40 each.

The Marmion Abbey Farm is located on Butterfield Road about five miles west of the routes 59 and 56 junction. Visit www.abbeyfarms.org to download a flyer and map of the tree farm, or for more information call (630) 897-6936.

Those who have made the Marmion tree hunt a family tradition will notice some new features at the farm, including sleds for kids, a tree bailer for easy transport, as well as warming fires and free hot chocolate on the weekends. This year, the farm also offers a selection of pre-cut Michigan Fir trees and handmade wreaths.

The Abbey Farm, which began raising trees in 1957, has played a key role with Marmion Abbey and Academy. The successful business of selling Christmas trees has enabled the monks of Marmion Abbey to continue their ministries throughout our community and grow the San Jose Priory in Guatemala. The farm has also been, and will continue to be, an educational resource for the young men of Marmion Academy. Through a close partnership, the farm teaches the students of Marmion Academy about stewardship of land and the ecology of running a tree farm.