Category Archives: Featured

2009 H1N1 Flu and the Holidays

State public health director offers holiday health tips to avoid the flu
SPRINGFIELD—Millions of people travel every year during the holiday season to spend time with friends and family.

With the 2009 H1N1 flu still circulating widely in Illinois and most of the country, Dr. Damon T. Arnold, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, is urging people to remember four things when traveling during the holiday season:
• Travel only when feeling well
• Wash hands frequently to prevent the spread of germs
• Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve
• Get flu vaccinations as soon as available (both seasonal flu and 2009 H1N1 flu for priority groups)
“As we enter the holiday season, we know the H1N1 flu is a concern for many people, especially those traveling,” Arnold said. “Taking some basic preventive measures, including staying home if you’re sick, washing your hands often, covering your cough and sneeze, and getting vaccinated when possible, can greatly reduce your chances of becoming ill. Don’t let the flu ruin your holidays.”

The flu is spread mainly through person-to-person contact when an infected person does not properly cover a cough or sneeze. Holiday travel and gatherings increase the opportunity for person-to-person contact, making it an ideal way for illness to spread.

For more information about 2009 H1N1 flu and information on vaccine sites in your area, log onto Or, for non-medical questions about the H1N1 virus, call the Illinois Flu Hotline at (866) 848-2094 or (866) 241-2138 (Spanish).

‘Kane Kares’ earns national accolades

Nurse-Family Partnership program outpacesnational averages
Kane County—The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the nation’s leading health care philanthropy, has recognized Kane Kares as a Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) program that outpaces the national average for Nurse Family Partnership outcomes. Kane Kares is featured in an NFP video produced by the foundation and is highlighted on the foundation’s website.

Started eight years ago in Kane County, the NFP is a national, evidence-based program designed to change the lives of vulnerable first-time mothers and their babies through ongoing home visits from registered nurses. The NFP program is proven to reduce emergency room visits for accidents and injuries, reduce language delays among toddlers, and increased economic self-sufficiency.

“It is gratifying to receive this recognition from such a prestigious foundation,” said Gerry Jones, Chairman of the Public Health Committee. “The Kane County Board has made a significant investment in Kane Kares over the past eight years, and we can see the return—both in terms of dollars and in the health of these youngsters and their families.”

Kane Kares is achieving measurable results that exceed the NFP national averages:

• Only 8.6 percent of Kane Kares infants are born premature. The NFP national average is 9.7 percent and for all Kane County births the average is 10.7 percent.

• Only 7.3 percent of Kane Kares infants are born with low birth weights, compared to 10.6 percent for the NFP national average and 9.3 percent for all births in Kane County.

• Only 13.9 percent of Kane Kares toddlers 12-24 months had emergency room visits or hospitalizations, compared to 15.1 percent for the NFP national average.

The RWJF Kane Kares video can be viewed at

Elburn Chamber of Commerce announces 2009 Christmas Stroll

Elburn—The Elburn Chamber of Commerce will host the 15th annual Elburn Christmas Stroll from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 4, throughout Elburn.

The Christmas Stroll will begin with the arrival of Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus in the village.

This year’s Christmas Stroll offers a variety of activities for all ages. Visit and have your picture taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Town & Country Public Library beginning at 5 p.m. Play life-sized Kandyland at the Elburn Herald. At the north end of Main Street, enjoy a host of activities sure to delight at the Elburn and Countryside Community Center, including a train ride, wine tasting hosted by the Elburn Jewel-Osco, a silent auction and raffle, cookie decorating, a Midtown Martial Arts demonstration, in addition to visiting businesses on site.

The Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District will host an open house with orientations on fire equipment and hazard avoidance, which are sure to entertain and to educate.

As in years past, Village Hall will be open: stop in to visit with the staff and officials who serve you and the community throughout the year. Don’t forget to stop by Great Lakes Leadership Campus to take a tour of the mansion with all of its vintage charm. Many of the downtown stores and businesses, along with Elburn’s fine eating establishments, will be open late on Dec. 4 to share refreshments and cuisine: quench the thirst and satisfy the hunger from exploring the many wonders the Christmas Stroll offers.

Free continuous heated shuttle service will be available to the Christmas Stroll events throughout Elburn, with stops at the Town and Country Public Library, on the west side of Main Street near the Elburn Herald office, on the west side of Main Street at the Elburn and Countryside Community Center, and the Jewel-Osco parking lot. Maps depicting the various Christmas Stroll activities will be published in the Thursday, Dec. 3, edition of the Elburn Herald, as well as on the Elburn Chamber of Commerce website.

Make the Elburn Christmas Stroll a family tradition. For more information on the Christmas Stroll, visit

The Christmas Stroll will take place regardless of snow or cold: Santa and Mrs. Claus are quite accustomed to both.

Photo: Strollers of all ages have an opportunity to stop by the Town and County Public Library to meet Santa and tell him their Christmas wishes. This year’s stroll takes place on Friday, Dec. 4. File Photo

Lazarus House invites community to Thanksgiving feast

St. Charles—Lazarus House invites the community to join the staff, guests and their many supporters to attend its annual Thanksgiving Feast from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day at the Tri Cities Salvation Army, 1710 S. 7th Ave., St. Charles. Dinner will begin at noon.

Lazarus House, 214 Walnut St., St. Charles, offers safe shelter, food and support services to men, women and children connected to St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia and western rural Kane County who are homeless or at risk of becoming. It has programs available that can provide emergency assistance with rent or utilities and also an ongoing rental assistance program. For information about these programs, contact Lazarus House Outreach at (630) 587-5872.

“The feast has become an ongoing tradition of the community coming together to sit alongside of each other and share a meal,” said Darlene Marcusson, Lazarus House executive director. “Folks who are homeless or alone for Thanksgiving, as well as those who simply want to add more meaning to their holiday, see this as a chance for extended neighbors to touch each others’ lives while they enjoy a bountiful buffet from many special family recipes.”

For those able to cook, a dish to pass is appreciated. Food should arrive between 11:30 and 11:45 a.m. in a disposable container and ready to serve. Anything from cooked turkey to potatoes or vegetables is welcome. There is no cost, and everyone is invited to join for food and fellowship. Anyone who wants to bring a dish and/or dine at the feast is encouraged to call Lazarus House at (630) 587-2144.

Krier launches new website

by Ali Boan
Kaneland Krier Executive Editor

Kaneland—The Kaneland Krier has many ideas in store to make the student-run newsmagazine both more interesting and more accessible. One way the Krier’s executive staff is pursuing this goal is by setting its new and majorly improved website into action on Nov. 19.

The Kaneland Krier’s official website,, is run by Krier executive online editors Hope Zegiel and Ali Boan.

“I think the new website is a step forward for the Krier as it prepares to take the world of online journalism more seriously,” said Cheryl Borrowdale, Krier adviser. “I’m really looking forward to the staff being able to put out more frequent updates and have wider news coverage. Since journalism is becoming so tech savvy, I think it’s important for Krier students to learn those skills as well.”

Different from last year, this year’s new website has numerous options of choosing different kinds of stories, such as school news, lifestyle, trends and community/board news, and many more. Although these topics may seem familiar, as seen in the regular, monthly edition of the Krier, the website will hold completely different news.

“The news and stories you read about on the website will be different than what you read in the actual newspaper version of the Krier, because it’s stories that have been submitted just for us,” Zegiel said. “So going online will allow people to read stories written by kids at Kaneland that they’ve never read before.”

By visiting this website on a regular basis, it will allow students, parents and anybody who is interested the ability to check up on what’s happening in the community, school, columns submitted by students and stories that are strictly saved for Internet purposes.

“We’re looking forward to putting this website in action. There are a lot of big changes from last year, so we’re hoping that people will actually take time to sit down and check it out,” Zegiel said.

One of the other many things that’s taking a change for the better with the website is its image.

“The new website is so much more visually attractive,” executive editor Mel Mazuc said. “It’s way more user-friendly, and the stories will be updated much more frequently. We can only print once a month with our graphic capabilities, but it’s much faster to use a website.”

Sheriff names shelter founder Citizen of the Year

by Martha Quetsch
Kane County—“How you doin’, friend?” is Darlene Marcusson’s standard greeting to everyone she encounters at Lazarus House, the homeless shelter she directs in St. Charles. That compassionate approach to community service is one reason Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez honored her with the 2009 Roscoe Ebey Citizen of the Year Award

Marcusson, of Elburn, received the award during a ceremony on Nov. 12 for going above and beyond the call of civic duty. Perez said Tuesday that Marcusson is the embodiment of the Roscoe Ebey award and a model for others to follow.

“I have personally observed her operations at Lazarus House and the passion she has for helping those in need,” Perez said. “Her passion is also reflected in her staff as they provide care to those in need.”

As a member of Batavia Rotary, Perez helps serve dinner monthly at Lazarus House, where he has observed Marcusson in action.

“I see the care and respect Darlene provides not just to individuals, but sometimes entire families,” Perez said. “She gives people who have become homeless hope and every opportunity possible to help rebuild their lives and once again gain independence.”

Perez praised Marcusson for working with him to make sure inmates being released from custody in the Kane County Jail who are homeless know that Lazarus House is open to them.

Marcusson founded Lazarus House in 1997, starting it in a home in St. Charles. Through grants, donations and volunteers, the year-round shelter has grown to occupy three buildings at Walnut and Third streets in St. Charles, with a staff of 38.

Lazarus, which serves western rural Kane County and the Tri-Cities, offers a 24-hour shelter, a three-meal-per-day soup kitchen, personal development programs, and transitional living quarters. In addition, it helps subsidize household budgets and connects clients with appropriate social services agencies in the area to help them regain their independence.

Darlene said she credits Lazarus’ success to following her faith, running the shelter like a business, and to her husband, Sam.

“I couldn’t have done this without him, especially when we first started—I was hardly ever home,” Marcusson said.

That was 12 years ago, when she ran Lazarus as a warm-weather, night shelter with help from just a few volunteers. At the time, she worked another job full time and the couple was raising two children.

She also said Lazarus House could not have been successful without the thousands of volunteers and people who have donated money, food and other items to the facility since its inception.

“I am very greatful. I am very blessed that we have had all of these friends,” Marcusson said.

Award history
The Kane County Sheriff’s Department Roscoe Ebey Citizen of the Year award was named for a former Aurora resident who was a decorated WW II military veteran. Ebey was murdered in 2007 by a home intruder. To honor him, Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez created the award in 2008. This year, two other individuals also were recipients of the 2009 Roscoe Ebey award: Sarah Giachino and Kathy Tobusch, both of Batavia. Giachino and Tobusch are co-chairmen of Fox Valley Troop Support, Inc.

The first recipient in 2007 was Ebey’s neighbor, who held down Ebey’s murderer the night of the tragedy until Sheriff’s deputies arrived. The 2008 recipient was the Rev. David Engbarth of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Aurora.

Darlene Marcusson’s other honors
In addition to the Ebey Citizen of the Year Award, Lazarus House Executive Director Darlene Marcusson of Elburn has received other honors for her work. Some of those were the Illinois Woman of Achievement Award, recognizing her efforts in founding Lazarus House; the Civic Image award in 2002, recognizing the addition of the new Lazarus House Center for Transitional Living; the Illinois Governor’s Hometown Award in 2002, recognizing the significant contributions of volunteers in the community; the Peace Award from the Crisis Center in 2006 for work on behalf of victims of violence; the St. Charles Chamber of Commerce Community Development Award in 2007 for the Lazarus House’s new Women and Children’s Day Center; and the NAMI Advocate of the Year Award in 2009 recognizing efforts advocating for those with mental health issues.

Photo: Darlene Marcusson, executive director of Lazarus House, received the 2009 Roscoe Ebey Kane County Sheriff’s Department Citizen of the Year Award for her work with the St. Charles shelter, where scriptures painted by volunteers adorn the stairwell. Photo by Martha Quetsch

Neighbors are game for fun and charity

Annual Blackberry Creek Turkey Bowl collects more food each year
by Martha Quetsch
Elburn—For many people, a friendly backyard football game is standard Thanksgiving Day fare, as much as a turkey with trimmings. Thanks to several families in Blackberry Creek, that annual tradition helps others fill their tables during the holiday season.

The Blackberry Creek Charity Turkey Bowl has taken place every Thanksgiving since 2005. The event’s founders, Jeff Walter and Mark Wilson, started the event as a way to bring friends and neighbors together for a holiday game, and thought it also would provide a perfect opportunity to collect items for the Elburn Food Pantry.

They were right. People have been as enthusiastic about the food collection as they have been about the football game, with drop-offs and participation steadily increasing.

“The first year we had about 10 or 15 players, and now we’re able to field two teams,” said Walter, who is an Elburn trustee.

The players, and friends and family members who attend the touch football game, all bring canned goods and other nonperishable food items to the south Blackberry Creek playing field before the event, which starts at 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving.

“I just open up the lift gate on my (SUV) and as people come they throw the stuff in,” Walter said.

Turkey Bowl participants and spectators the first year filled a box with donated food, and last year collected about 200 pounds of items including cases of vegetables, baked beans and soup.

“It’s gotten better every year,” said Walter, who takes the donated food to the Elburn Food Pantry after Thanksgiving.

The pantry, located at the Elburn & Countryside Community Center, relies on many sources for food donations to help keep its shelves full, from businesses and churches to organizations and community members like the Blackberry Creek Turkey Bowl group. After last year’s holiday season, pantry coordinator Rita Burnham said in a letter to the Elburn Herald editor that all of these groups are helping to meet the ever-increasing demand in the community for food assistance.

“There still is definitely an increase in the need,” Burnham said Wednesday. “Every food pantry says that, and we’re no different.”

Last Thursday, 69 people went to the food pantry to receive bags of food, compared to the 40 clients the pantry typically serves weekly, Burnham said.

“Our numbers have really increased; if we don’t have consistent food drives it will be difficult to provide what we do.”

4th annual Blackberry Creek Charity Turkey Bowl
8 a.m. Thanksgiving
Behind Blackberry Elementary School
Bring your neighbors, friends, relatives and families
Bring a canned or dried food item for the Elburn Pantry
For more info call:
Mark Wilson, (630) 461-8126, or
Jeff Walter, (630) 365-3707

Photo: Blackberry Creek Turkey Bowl players assemble on the south soccer field at 8 a.m. every Thanksgiving to take part in a touch football game, and to collect canned goods and other nonperishable edibles for the Elburn Food Pantry. The neighborhood group welcomes spectators and participants, as well as additional food donation.
Courtesy Photo

Commercial development proposed for County Line, Rt. 38

by Martha Quetsch
MAPLE PARK—A commercial development called The Maples has been proposed for the southwest corner of Route 38 and County Line Road in Maple Park, which would consist of several commercial lots of 30,000 square feet.

Integritas System of Yorkville presented the proposal on behalf of the developer, Aberdeen Properties, during the Maple Park Village Board meeting on Monday.

Aberdeen would like to develop The Maples in phases. In the first phase, the company hopes to attract small retail businesses and a restaurant that serves breakfast and lunch. An office rental space also would be in this phase.

Village President Kathy Curtis said that although the concept was well received by trustees, “subsequent meetings will need to take place to address the challenges surrounding water and sewer services for the development.”

The developer will not need to request new zoning or seek annexation of the site. The property already has commercial zoning and previously was annexed into the village, Curtis said.

The property was owned and platted by John Clare Developers as part of their overall subdivision. Last year, John Clare sold the commercial piece of their project to Aberdeen Properties.

This was the first time a concept plan was pitched for the property, Curtis said.

The 18-acre site for the proposed development borders the west side of County Line Road (south of Route 38), and the south side of Route 38 (west of County Line). Proposed access to the development would be from both Route 38 and County Line Road.

Rosary beats Lady Knights in hoops opener

by Mike Slodki
AURORA—A fast start for one team usually means doom for another.

In that case, it was the Kaneland girls hoops team that was the victim on Tuesday evening.

The Lady Knights fell behind 21-4 after the first eight minutes en route to a 50-32 setback to host Rosary.

Kaneland, winless in season openers since 2005, fell to 0-1.

For KHS, Nicki Ott led the team with eight points, followed by Tesa Alderman with seven.

The Lady Knights were 15-for-45 from the field and 2-for-9 from the foul line. Rosary’s Jordan Rettig had a game-high 11 points.

“We had a chance to add them to our schedule,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “If you play a good team like that, it’ll make you better.”

Despite an Ott basket with 5:47 to go in the first to make it 8-4, Rosary went on a 13-0 run to close the quarter.

McKinzie Mangers’ bucket with 34.6 ticks left in the half put the Lady Knights in double figures at 28-11.

Alderman and Mangers came up with three consecutive steals in the fourth for a nice flurry, and Kaneland closed the deficit to 18 by the game’s end.

“I thought we were really tentative in the first half and came out a little nervous. I was happy in terms of the way we battled,” Colombe said.

The sophomores lost to the Royals by a final of 30-25.

The varsity troops try and best host East Aurora on Thursday, Nov. 19.

Photo: Lady Knight Trinae Coachman goes up for a bucket during the first quarter of Kaneland’s 50-32 loss at Rosary. Coachman pulled down five boards in the loss. Photo by Ben Draper

Kaneland Knight wrestlers look to be aggressive on mat

by Mike Slodki
This might be the Kaneland High School wrestling version of a high-powered passing offense in football or a run-and-gun in basketball.

“We are preaching attack, be aggressive and six minutes of offense,” Knights head coach Monty Jahns said.

Himself a state qualifier in 1980-81, the second-year coach realizes the importance of every match during a meet and is eager to see it unfold.

“This year, we’ll see how it goes; we have a lot of tough opponents to deal with,” Jahns said.

Gone are personnel like Matt Wagner, Emiliano Ponce and last year’s lone state qualifier at 145-pounds, Jay Levita.

“Kids really looked up to Jay and saw how hard he worked,” Jahns said.

Returning to the forefront is senior 125-pounder Deven Scholl, who nabbed 24 wins last year.

Also looking to contribute are returnees JT Webb, Joe Levita and Ben Gust, all seniors.

Jahns also likes the prospects of senior Dennis Brettman.

“Dennis is going to be at 130 and didn’t get a lot of time in varsity, but went undefeated in JV and has looked real strong,” Jahns said.

At 189 pounds, Alex Mollohan and Ethan Williams return to the ranks after a couple of years off.

Anchoring the 275-pound group is Jimmy Boyle, team leader in wins a year ago with 30.

“Jimmy is a hard worker and pushes himself so we don’t have to,” Jahns said with a laugh.

Kyle Davidson, with 21 wins in 2008-09, battles at 145 while Josh Kuefler returns to pin opponents at 119.

This also marks the final wrestling go-around with the Western Sun Conference.

“I have mixed feelings—we’ve been wrestling Geneva and Batavia forever and they are good teams; overall it’s a good move,” Jahns said.

Photo: Junior Jimmy Boyle looks to make an impact in the 275-pound division for the Kaneland wrestlers. File Photo

With new home, bowlers look for welcome season

by Mike Slodki
DeKALB—When you are looking to turn the page on a program, you might as well start with a new home.

Looking to go on the comeback trail, the KHS bowling team has packed up its belongings after the shutdown of AMF Valley Lanes in North Aurora, and moved to Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb.

“It’s very different here, but the lanes are nice, it’s clean and well-managed,” Kaneland head coach Jim McKnight said.

The Lady Knights, who finished 5-15 in 2008-09 competition, lost seven seniors to graduation, but returned a valuable number of bowlers.

“We’re looking for Holly Thomas to be the big gun, with Jessica McHenry and Amy Kuryliw bowling full time this year,” McKnight said. “They’re throwing the ball real well so far.”

With Thomas (148 average) in her third year, McHenry (123 average) in her third year, and Kuryliw in her fourth, a stable core is key to Lady Knight success.

“McHenry is a natural leader and a hard worker, Thomas is working hard and bowls quite a bit year-round, and Amy is ready to step up and surprise people,” McKnight said.

Other varsity entries in 2009-10 include senior Jenna Bartel, senior Molly Lambert, senior Tierra Lee and sophomores Seleana Isaacs and Megan Scott.

Other competitors for Kaneland bowling looking to make a contribution are senior Sabrina Gabrielle, sophomore Madi Bluml and the lone freshman, Angela Charhut.

The Lady Knights start the regular season off with a matchup on Monday, Nov. 30 at Morris, and end the regular campaign on February 2 at Geneva for the final Western Sun Conference position night.

Photo: Bowler Holly Thomas, who bowled an average of 148, will be counted on heavily for good things at Kaneland. File Photo

Brian Johnson era begins for boys basketball

by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—West Aurora’s loss is Kaneand’s gain.

Brian Johnson, an assistant to Gordie Kerkbaum at West Aurora High School a year ago, makes his coaching debut next week in Sycamore.

With a first-year coaching gig on the way, and the challenge of trying to improve a team that went 13-13 (5-9 Western Sun Conferernce) on the way, the task can seem overwhelming.

“I still have a lot to learn,” Johnson said. “I’m learning how to handle the kids energy.”

But the former Judson College player has a built-in ace up his sleeve.

“It starts with Dave, who’s a very good player,” Johnson said.

College of the Holy Cross-signee Dudzinski returns for his senior campaign, having averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds per game last year. The senior was also nominated for a McDonald’s All-American honor this week.

Johnson also likes what he has with other players going into the 2009-10 season.

“We have guys that are tough—that are looking to get to the next level,” Johnson said.

Returnees include senior guard Ryley Bailey, forward Steve Colombe, who has a flair for the perimeter game, forward Sean Paulick, guard Donovan Williams, forward Chaon Denlinger and forward Pat Fleming.

“Ryley has had a real nice couple of weeks. He’ll be a really strong player for us. Denlinger has gotten a lot better defensively,” Johnson said.

New to the varsity ranks are forward Danilo Bruno, guard Zach Ringhouse, guard Andrew O’Herron, forward Matt Spitzzeri, guard Matt Cowans, forward Taylor Andrews and forward Tyler Callaghan.

“The guys will get used to playing with each other and learning their role and we’re still trying to see where guys will fit in for us, but guys like Taylor, Tyler and Sean are unsung guys who will do the little things,” Johnson said.

The Knights hit the Strombom tournament in Sycamore for Thanksgiving week, beginning with Aurora Christian on Tuesday, Nov. 24.

Photo gallery: KHS grad Cinto, WCC men compete at NJCAA National Meet

Kaneland grad and current Waubonsee Community College sophomore Erin Cinto (right) was the Lady Chiefs’ lone qualifier for the NJCAA Division I National Meet, placing 199th overall out of 263 runners with a time of 22:56 on the 5K course.

On the men’s side, Waubonsee’s squad placed 16th overall out of 35 teams. Drew Schmitt led Waubonsee by placing 63rd out of the 260 competitors in the field, with a time of 27:39. Greg Adelman was not far behind his teammate in 68th (27:34), Max Sliwa came in 75th (27:44) and Evan Ehrhardt placed 100th (28:09). Jared Klein and Chris Higgins, normally at the front of the Chiefs’ pack of runners, struggled to 118th (28:30) and 168th-place (29:38) finishes, respectively. Andrew Peters rounded out Waubonsee’s contingent with a 173rd-place finish (29:45).

Photos by Ben Draper

Rocky’s promotes first Master Sensei

Sugar Grove—Rocky’s Champion Karate Studio (C.K.S.) in Sugar Grove recently promoted its first Master Sensei, Chris Moore, 35, of Montgomery.

Moore was promoted to 5th Degree black belt after 17 years of karate instruction.

Moore grew up in Chicago and later moved to Aurora. Like many boys in his neighborhood, Chris collected comic books, watched Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris films and dreamed of being a martial arts hero.

“I realized later in life that wanting to be a hero meant wanting to be better tomorrow than I was the day before,” Moore said.

At 17 years of age, he joined the Army National Guard, where he learned self-respect, leadership, team work and the importance of physical fitness.

“I learned to be tough growing up in Chicago, but the Army taught me practical self defense,” Moore said. “My passion for martial arts began, and during Army down time, I was fortunate to train with Lo Pen, a fellow soldier and black belt in Tae Kwon Do and Muy Thai.”

At 18, More decided to take a karate class at Waubonsee Community College with long time friend Carlos Carranza. They joined Rock Troutman’s Champion Karate Studio (C.K.S.) and were immediate hooked on the sport. This began his martial arts journey that has led him to become the first Master Sensei under Master Rocky Troutman and Grand Master Ron Troutman.

Moore has been training under both Troutmans for more than 17 years, along with many other black belts that have preceded him.

“When I joined C.K.S., I knew instantly that I had found my place with martial arts” Moore said. “I have entrusted my training to the Troutmans because they understand the fine art of self defense and self development. You can feel the confidence in the Isshin-Ryu system they teach. This style of teaching is well balanced with both punches and kicks. It has a type of defensive style which is very effective with a counter-striking approach as well.”

A requirement of promotion to 5th Degree Black Belt is learning and perfecting a new weapon which has not been learned within the traditional Isshin-Ryu system, in addition to the ability to develop basic techniques and a form that can be taught to C.K.S. students.

Moore chose to study Eskrima, or Philipino “stick fighting.”

“I love this weapon because it is a dynamic extension of my arms and is super fast with surprisingly powerful techniques that keeps me two feet or further away from my attacker,” he said.

Moore has many credits to his name. He has competed in many open martial arts tournaments both locally and nationally. As a Green Belt, Chris won the 1994 A.K.A and 1995 A.O.K.A. Grand National. As a Black Belt, he won the 2000 C.K.S. Brown and Black Belt Championship, 1st Midwest Tae Kwon Do Invitational and 2nd place at 2005 A.O.K.A. Grand Nationals. He plans to continue to compete at these levels as much as possible.

“I am honored to have received the rank of 5th Degree Black Belt, especially from such a well respected martial arts school and teachers,” Moore said. “I plan to continue to improve and do my best to be a positive force for our students and represent Champion Karate Studio the way it is should be—the best.”

Supporting the troop

Boy Scout Troop 7 of Elburn recently received a donation from the Sugar Grove Corn Boil Committee. Troop members, families and friends shucked corn for the event for the second consecutive year. The funds will be used for new tents and needed camping gear for the troop. Pictured are front, holding the check, Connor Madziarczyk, Andrew Burroughs, Andrew Carroll and Brendan Madziarczyk. In the back are Assistant Scout Master Jay Markuson, Alex Markuson, Zack Weilgos, Nick Weilgos and Corn Boil President Kevin Geary. Courtesy Photo

Kaneland Boys Cross Country 5th in state

Holm earns All State honors
by Ben Draper
Peoria—On an unseasonably warm day for early November, the Kaneland High School boys cross country team etched itself into the record books once again, placing fifth in the class 2A state finals in Peoria, Ill.

The finish bettered last years’ eighth place finish, and was the highest finish for the Knights since 1999, when they placed second in the class 1A field.

Led by junior Trevor Holm, the team featured a 36-second split between their lead runner and junior Grant Alef, Kaneland’s fifth and final scoring team member—a historic feat according to head coach Chad Clarey.
“Today we raced to a school-record (for the state finals) 36-second pack split, bettering the 1987 (Kaneland) state champs by two seconds,” Clarey said. “The pack was outstanding today.”

Clarey was pleased with how his team faired overall.

“These boys put themselves right among the best in the school’s great history at the state finals,” he said. “Every bit of this awesome performance was satisfying.”

Holm earned personal accolades, placing 23rd overall with a time of 15 minutes, 35 seconds, which was good enough for All State—the 10th Knight in school history to achieve the honor.

“Holm got into medal contention early, held on for All State, and gave us the strong start in team points,” said Clarey.

In the 2008 state finals, Holm placed 100th, 53 seconds behind his 2009 time.

The 2009 boys cross country team after the state meet. Courtesy photo
The 2009 boys cross country team after the state meet. Courtesy photo

On Holm’s heels, seniors Dominic Furco (44th overall, 15:56), Edgar Valle (60th, 16:08) and Matt Reusche (63rd, 16:11), and junior Grant Alef (64th, 16:11) rounded out the Knights’ scorers. Seniors Logan Markuson (76th, 16:19) and Joe Levita (121st, 17:02) battled for Kaneland as the team’s sixth and seventh runners.

Belvidere North won the team title with 77 points behind individual winner Paul Zeman, followed by Normal University’s 119 and Springfield’s 132, to round out the trophy winners. Peoria Notre Dame’s 168 and Kaneland’s 192 rounded out the top five.

“We wanted to leave Detweiller Park leaving everything on the course, and with no regrets,” Clarey said. “We accomplished everything we set out to do—and five seniors will savor this day the rest of their lives. We are so grateful for all they’ve given.”

The Knights cross country team says goodbye to seniors Furco, Levita, Markuson, Jemmar Parrenas, Reusche, Nick Sinon and Valle.

file photo

Michels makes it official

Sugar Grove village president says he is running for state senate
SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels said Monday that he intends to run for state Senator in the 25th District.

“I’m throwing my hat in the ring,” he said Wednesday.

Michels said he is proud of what he has accomplished during the 10 years he served as village president of Sugar Grove.

Michels said that during his tenure, Sugar Grove was recognized in 2007 by Business Week as the “Best Affordable Community” in Illinois, based on low crime, affordable housing and good schools.

Sugar Grove’s bond rating was upgraded from an A to an A+ by Standard & Poor’s for its strong financial management, and Sugar Grove won the Governor’s Hometown Award this year for its Alive at 25 driver’s education program.

He said that the infrastructure and road improvements he was instrumental in bringing to the village will help foster commercial development for the area. In addition, he said his involvement with the Metro West Council of Government has helped the village identify issues at the state level, giving Sugar Grove a louder voice in Springfield.

He said it is this experience and commitment that he wants to take to Springfield.

“That experience has taught me the benefits of working with others to improve the community and the region,” he said. “The successful Solheim Cup is an example of how regional cooperation has benefited the area. As your state Senator, I will pledge to work with other elected officials in the district and the state to get things done.”

Michels said his goals, if elected, are to make Illinois a work-friendly state, get people back to work and bring back more tax dollars to the area.

Michels scheduled a campaign kick-off event for Wednesday night, to formally mark the start of his campaign.

Turkey Drop-off brings meals to local families

by Martha Quetsch
MAPLE PARK—Two Maple Park churches want to make sure as many local people as possible can celebrate Thanksgiving, even those who cannot afford to put a turkey on the table this year.

Two years ago, Grace Methodist and St. Mary churches started their Turkey Drop-off, a food drive for families in need during the fall holiday.

“We wanted to do something so every family that could, would celebrate Thanksgiving with a special meal,” Grace Methodist Pastor Mark Meyers said.

This year’s Turkey Drop-off will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22. Anyone who would like to contribute a turkey, ham or canned goods may drop the items off during those hours at Grace Methodist, 506 Willow St., Maple Park.

Meyers said that last year, people dropped off 100 turkeys that were delivered by church volunteers to local food pantries, the Salvation Army, the Maple Park Family Fund and Kaneland schools.

“We had places for every one of them,” Meyers said.

Volunteers also take some of the food directly to families that the churches know are in need. The Family Fund and the schools are aware of other families that would appreciate the food and distribute it to them.

Turkey Drop-off
Thanksgiving food drive

10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Grace Methodist Church
506 Willow St., Maple Park
Donations of turkeys, hams and canned goods welcome.
Collection will benefit needy families
To inquire about receiving food items, call the Rev. Mark Meyers,
(815) 827-3559.
Privacy will be respected

Maple Park’s Hallowinners

Maple Park—More than 200 participants gathered at the Maple Park Civic Center for the annual community costume contest on Halloween.

The event was sponsored by the Maple Park Recreation Council, Old Second Bank in Maple Park, Maple Park Lions Club and Lincoln Highway 4-H Club.

The winners in each category are under each photo. All are courtesy photos.

Infants to 3-year-olds
1st place, Brynn Humm (cupcake); 2nd place, Ryan Needham (wolf); 3rd place, Jackson and Connor McPhartlin

4 years old-kindergarten
1st place, Bella Humm (Mary Poppins); 2nd place, Victoria Alvaravo (witch); 3rd place, Parket Violett (Woody), Brandan O’Shea (Buzz)

First and second grade
1st place, Jack Miller (Einstein); 2nd place, Ava Olsen (pirate); 3rd place, Jenny Linden (ladybug)

Third and fourth grade
1st place, Jacob Baumgarten (Darth Vader); 2nd place, Tim Fillipp (Indiana Jones); 3rd place, Michael Finnan and John Paschal (gangsters)

Fifth and sixth grade
1st place, Bryan Prado (nerd); 2nd place, Mace Jendruczek (Spartan); 3rd place, Nicole Williams (spider)

Seventh and eighth grade
1st place, Brett Dienst (Michael Jackson); 2nd place, Abby Needham (Sailor); 3rd place, Ashley Larson (Army girl)

TiggerNinth grade and above
1st place, Brittany Larson (Fairy); 2nd place, Amber Pauly (Raggedy Ann); 3rd place, Tyler Fabrizius (Tigger)

Veterans Day salute

(Right) Veterans from the Elburn American Legion Post 630 marched to Memorial Park on North Street in Elburn. Waubonsee Community College hosted a Veterans Day Observance (below) that featured the East Aurora High School Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps and a placing of a wreath by Aurora Armed Forces recruiters.
Photos by
Martha Quetsch and Ben Draper

A lively Sugar Grove open house

animals_2_4CA cockatoo and macaw (left) were among the more colorful visitors at the Sugar Grove Animal Hospital’s open house event at its new facility on Saturday. Approximately 600 guests attended the event that featured free nail clipping, professional photos of pets, pet-friendly goody-bags and door prizes. A bulldog smiled his approval of the new facility. Photos by Susan O’Neill

Conley offers Handling the Holidays event

Elburn—Conley Outreach Community Services, together with Conley Funeral Home, will offer special support during the upcoming holiday season.

Handling the Holidays, featuring speaker Bruce Conley, will be held Sunday, Nov. 15, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Great Lakes Leadership Campus, 526 Main St., Elburn. This family event will include children’s activities and refreshments. Child care will be provided for infants and toddlers. Please call (630) 365-2880 to register by Friday, Nov. 13.

Conley Outreach will offer a second support opportunity, “Surviving the Holidays,” a GriefShare event, on Sunday, Nov. 22, at 3 p.m. This event is designed for grieving adults and features video instruction and insights as well as group discussion. Surviving the Holidays will be held at the Sugar Grove United Methodist Church, 176 Main St. in Sugar Grove.

Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, Friendship Night will meet on Thursday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. at the Great Lakes Leadership Campus, 526 N. Main St. in Elburn. Friendship Night is a free, self-help group for grieving adults. This month’s topic is: “I’m Not Ready for the Holidays.” Light refreshments and a time for informal sharing will follow the group discussion.

Photo: Carol Alfrey (left to right) of Conley Outreach Services; and Kaneland W.I.N.S. board members, Barbara Nielsen, Doris Covey, Michelle Brokop, Colleen Weinberg and Sarah Mumm, gather together after the group delivers items from its October collection. The donations helped fill the needs of the Good Samaritan Fund through Conley Outreach Community Service in Elburn. Courtesy Photo

Henningson contributes at next level

Kaneland class of 2008 Knight Jody Henningson (10), shown here catching a hail-mary touchdown pass in Bemidji State University’s 35-34 loss to Minnesota-Duluth on Oct. 24, is getting some increased playing time for the Beavers.
The former Kaneland WR/QB had 15 catches for 165 yards and 3 touchdowns. Bemidji State football is 8-3 for the season.
Courtesy of BSU Sports Dept.

The journey

High school actors worked with playwright through process
KANELAND—Kaneland High School’s Drama Department received special treatment while preparing for its fall play.

Professional playwright James Carter, the son of director and drama teacher Ilene Carter, wrote “Reaching Outpost” specifically for the Kaneland students; and the play is set in the Kaneland area in the not-too-distant future.

In addition to that, the students hosted Carter for a weekend in September to work with him prior to the final re-write.

“The experience for me was sort of refreshing,” Carter said. “The kids don’t B.S. you; they’re very honest.”

[quote]Carter said that when a writer is in the midst of writing a play, he or she is in a bit of a bubble. Watching the students rehearse each scene gives the play an opportunity to breathe, and for the playwright to find the holes and to tweak the lines.

“It was an opportunity for the students to ask, ‘Why is that character doing that?’” he said.

The chance for the cast to work with the playwright paid dividends for student and professional alike, especially for KHS senior Chelsea Roberts. Roberts, who usually plays character roles, will perform in the lead role as 18-year-old Zeada. She said that playing the main character has been a challenge, but one she has enjoyed taking on.

Roberts, who usually plays character roles, said that playing the lead role Zeada has been a challenge, but one that she has enjoyed tackling. Zeada is a strong female character, and Roberts has found characteristics within herself that she draws on to play the role.

“I asked her, ‘What are you most afraid of? What do you want most in life?’” Carter said.

One of the other more challenging roles is played by KHS junior Dylan Draper, who portrays a boy raised by wolves when he lost his mother in the disaster. The boy was traumatized yet again when the wolf who had become his mother was killed.

Draper’s character has a neurotic tic and a profound stutter. Draper said that in order to learn how to effectively play someone with a stutter, he watched people on YouTube and practiced until he perfected it.

Carter said he wanted to write something with many parts to give as many students as possible an opportunity to participate. The play has 12 speaking parts and features many extras and crowd scenes.

“That’s what education is all about,” he said. “You never know—someone with a very small part could someday end up on Broadway.”

Photo: Chelsea Roberts (above, left) and Jordan Withey play sisters in ‘Reaching Outpost,’ the screenplay written for Kaneland High School’s Drama department. Photo by Susan O’Neill

Kaneland High School fall play,
“Reaching Outpost”
A world premier written
for Kaneland by New York
playwright James Carter

7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13 &
Saturday, Nov. 14; 2 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 15

Kaneland High School

Tickets on sale now; cost
for adults is $5; $2 for children
for ticket order form

‘Reaching Outpost,’ by KHS, for KHS
The Kaneland High School fall play, “Reaching Outpost,” is about a group of children left on their own after when a pandemic wiped out an entire population of anyone over 9 years old. The disaster left 9-year-old Zeada, played by KHS senior Chelsea Roberts, in charge.

The children, assisted by videos containing lessons on how to live made for them by their parents, have forged a society with its own rules and ethics.

A decade later, after five years of silence, a distress signal from an outpost 50 miles away calls the children to set out on a journey to answer the questions: Who is calling, are they really in trouble, and is there really anyone else out there?

Zeada leads a group of seven children on a journey to find the Old Downtown Chicago outpost, while the others await their discovery.

Mike Stoffa honors fallen firefighters at national event

by Martha Quetsch
Elburn—Mike Stoffa knows how risky the work of a firefighter can be, having been one for many years, along with other family members. So he was honored to take part in the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend Oct. 3-4.

“It’s some great recognition for people who have given so much,” said Stoffa, of Elburn.

The event, for families and co-workers of firefighters nationwide who lost their lives in the line of duty, takes place annually at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsville, Md.
This year, the event honored 122 firefighters who died from injuries on the job. The weekend included special programs and ceremonies for survivors, including one accompanied by 100 bagpipers.

“It was quite a touching thing,” Stoffa said.

Stoffa was a firefighter for the Elburn Fire Department for more than three decades, retiring as a lieutenant. Currently, he volunteers for the Cortland Fire Department. Stoffa also is a member of the Illinois Firefighters Association board of directors.

He was among 172 firefighters selected to escort and represent families of fallen firefighters during the memorial weekend.

Stoffa has wanted to be a volunteer and finally was invited to take part in this year’s ceremony.

“I’ve been putting in my name for the past eight years,” he said.

He was among several hundred firefighters from throughout the country who asked to participate.

Stoffa’s father, George, was with the Elburn Fire Department for 35 years. His son, Todd, has been a DeKalb firefighter for 11 years; and his brother, John, was a lieutenant with the Geneva Fire Department. Stoffa’s daughter, Sarah, is an emergency medical technician who worked for Rescue Angels and now is with TriCom.

Stoffa said he remembers several times his dad’s life was endangered in the line of duty, and is thankful that he and the rest of his family of firefighters have never suffered a loss like those experienced by people attending the memorial weekend.

Some of the deceased firefighters’ survivors cannot attend the event for various reasons. Stoffa represented one of them.

“The family I was selected for was unable to make it,” Stoffa said. “For some, it’s just too emotional.”

The fallen firefighter was Robert Roland, a volunteer with the Anderson Valley Fire Department. Roland died July 3, 2008, after experiencing respiratory distress the previous day while serving as a lookout on the Oso fire near Boonville, Calif.

In his firefighter dress uniform, he carried a folded American flag and a rose to place in a nearby chapel for the family. Each firefighter’s family was given one of the flags, all previously flown over the White House and over the National Fire Academy.

Photo: Mike Stoffa carried a flag and a rose for a surviving family during the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend in Maryland. Courtesy Photo

You can’t keep a good clown down

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove resident Karen McCannon (Jo-Jo the Clown) is alive and getting well at The Tillers Rehabilitation Center in Oswego, Ill.

After completing surgeries that gave her two new hips and a new knee earlier this year, McCannon fell in June. She broke her femur and ended up at The Tillers after several surgeries.

Jo-Jo missed her Fourth of July duties this year, leading the children’s Independence Day parade down the streets of Sugar Grove.
But you can’t keep a good clown down.

On Halloween, McCannon donned her clown face and costume and handed out candy to approximately 500 children, who came to The Tillers to trick-or-treat.

The Tillers began a program of residents handing out candy to trick-or-treaters eight years ago, as a way to provide a safe environment for children each Halloween, as well as to cheer up the residents.

“She was a big hit with the trick-or-treaters,” The Tillers’ Activity Director Mary Walsh said.

McCannon and her clown friends call themselves HOPE, which stands for Humor Opens Possibilities Everywhere. They have also brought their clown ministry to the Sugar Grove First United Methodist Church, where they and her grandchildren have performed at Sunday church services.

McCannon is determined to be able to get into a car by Nov. 20, when her granddaughter will appear in the Kaneland Middle School play, “Anchors Away.”

Photo: Jo-Jo the Clown stayed active this Halloween, passing out candy to trick-or-treaters at the Tillers Rehabilitation
Center in Oswego, Ill., while she recuperates from a broken femur. Courtesy Photo

Trustee takes run at County Board seat

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove trustee Melisa Taylor announced her intention to run for a seat on the Kane County Board, representing Sugar Grove and the surrounding area.

Taylor said that the incumbent, Bill Wyatt, has been on the board for a number of years, and she thinks that it might be useful to have someone who would look at things with fresh eyes.

[quote]Taylor, who was elected to the Sugar Grove Board in 2007, has lived in the village for more than 10 years. Prior to becoming a trustee, Taylor has been active in a number of local volunteer organizations, including the Kaneland John Shields Parent-Teacher Organization, through which she chaired the After Class Enrichment Program (ACE) for seven years.

Most recently, she has been responsible for bringing people together to open a food pantry in Sugar Grove, which starts Thursday, Nov. 5.

Rather than sitting on the sidelines and criticizing about what is or is not being done, she felt it was important to take ownership and to be part of the solution. She said the county is currently dealing with a number of issues, including major problems with the county budget.

Taylor said she thinks the county’s resources need to be shared more consistently across the entire county, and she would strive to make that happen. She said she would work more proactively with state and local government to communicate the region’s needs.

“I’ve got the energy and I’ll do the work and the research it takes to learn what I need to,” she said.

Taylor said that she wants to show her children that if someone sees a problem, that they can be part of the solution.

“Things are not beyond your reach,” she said. “People are hungry; you can do something about it. If I get involved, I’m part of the solution.”

Boys XC heads off to State

by Mike Slodki
Watch out, Peoria.

The Kaneland boys cross country team rose to the occasion at the Class 2A Belvidere Sectional and took care of business, nabbing a fourth-place finish en route to a State berth at Detweiler Park this coming weekend.

Kaneland’s 144 point total was behind Belvidere North (36), Prairie Ridge (113) and Sycamore (142). Marmion Academy also qualified (148).

[quote]”We were fortunate to make it out on the strength of our pack, and the heroic efforts of unexpected runners,” KHS coach Chad Clarey said.

Leading the way for the state-going Knights was Trevor Holm, in 13th place with a time of 16:40, and Matt Reusche in 23rd.

“Course conditions were very slow with all the recent rain. Every point counted today,” Clarey said.

Dominic Furco finished 25th with a time of 16:52. Edgar Valle was 36th-best at 17:06, while Grant Alef finished 57th at 17:23. Throw into postseason fire, freshman Billy Hart contributed to the Knights’ effort with a 75th place time of 17:47.

Dudzinski selects Holy Cross for hoops stop

Senior averaged 17 points, 10 boards in 2008-09 season
by Mike Slodki
Kaneland senior Dave Dudzinski made quite the tough decision on Tuesday; one that will make life tough for opposing teams in the Patriot League.

Dudzinski, a six-foot-nine center that has come into his own patrolling the floor for the Knights, verbally commited to Holy Cross for his college basketball stop.

The Crusaders are based in Worcester, Mass.

“It’s like an Ivy-League alternative,” Dudzinski said on Tuesday. “I think I fit in well with the team, and I really worked hard on all parts of my game.”

Dudzinski was also considering Loyola of Chicago and Austin Peay.

“He had a big smile on his face and glad to have this decision out of the way,” new KHS boys basketball coach Brian Johnson said. “They want to use him as a power forward that can run the floor and he’s going to develop his skills at the college level.”

The Crusaders finished second in the Patriot League a year ago.

“The schools I was looking at were similar, but I liked the coaching staff and they like what I can do,” Dudzinski said.

Holy Cross hired Sean Kearney this summer, after he served as an assistant for Notre Dame hoops.

Dudzinski came into the college process with his parents already having gone through it themselves. Father Dave and mother Barb participated in football and swimming, respectively, at Northwestern.

“The whole process is tough,” said the elder Dudzinski, who played under Dennis Green for the Wildcats. “I’m proud of him for making the decision. It’s a really strong, quality program and he’s really worked on his game.”

Meanwhile, the Kaneland boys gear up for its opening challenge, the annual Strombom Tournament which starts on Tuesday, Nov. 24, in Sycamore at the home of the Spartans.

Spartans oust Knights in 5A opener

Kaneland caught in rush during 40-13 loss
If this were a major production, then Sycamore stole the second act.

Getting revenge for a September contest in which the Kaneland Knights beat the Spartans 21-14, Sycamore ran, ran and ran some more in a 40-13 first-round beating of Kaneland.

The loss on Saturday evening put an end to the KHS Class 5A playoff quest at 6-4. Sycamore will now host 16th-seed Wheaton Academy on Saturday, Nov. 7, at 1 p.m., after the Crusaders upset top-seeded Hillcrest in the lower bracket.

Sycamore gained an immense 415 yards on the ground, while passing only once for 13 yards. Kaneland gained 207 yards on offense, while rushing for 62 yards.

For Sycamore, running back Joe Dougherty ran for 209 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries, while teammate Markie Hayes had 172 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns.

QB Joe Camaliere was 17-for-32 for 145 yards for the Knights, passing for two touchdowns. Blake Serpa rushed for 56 yards on 12 carries.

Taylor Andrews caught five balls for 79 yards and a touchdown.

The Spartans got the scoring underway with 6:34 left in the first quarter on a Hayes 9 -yard touchdown run. Kaneland tied matters just 61 seconds later with a Andrews touchdown catch from 43 yards out.

Hayes gave Sycamore a lead it would never relinquish on an 8-yard touchdown run to go up 14-7 with 1:08 left in the first.

Sycamore scored three touchdowns in the second quarter, beginning with Dougherty’s 51-yard touchdown run with 5:28 left for a 20-7 lead. Dougherty struck again with a 29-yard scoring run to go up 27-7, with Spartans QB Trevor Mathey hitting CJ Compher on a 13-yard touchdown pass with eight ticks remaining in the half for a 33-7 lead.

With no scoring in the third quarter, Dougherty scored his third TD of the contest, a five-yarder with with 10:16 to go. On the final play of the game, Camaliere found Ryley Bailey for a 9-yard touchdown for the final 27-point deficit.

Photo: Knight Taylor Andrews (11) takes to the air during Kaneland’s first-round exit to visiting Sycamore on Saturday. Photo by Ben Draper

Couples Clinic offers seminar: ‘The Secrets of Successful Partners’

Geneva—”The Secrets of Successful Partners,” a free marriage seminar given by Paul Weiss, M.S., of the Couples Clinic in Geneva, will be offered Saturday, Nov. 7, from 10 a.m. to noon at St. Charles’ Episcopal Church, 994 N. 5th Avenue (Route 25) in St. Charles.

Weiss will explore the results of a series of landmark studies that identified what people who succeed in relationships do differently than those who fail. Weiss is part of a team of therapist/educators who have pioneered new methods for improving relationships. The team’s ideas have appeared in the Washington Post, Oprah Magazine and other publications.

Participants are welcome to come with a partner or alone, but registering would be helpful by e-mailing or calling (630) 232-7457, ext. 115. Childcare will be available upon request. More information on The Couples Clinic is available from

Food pantry opens in SG—young resident helps out

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—Seven-year-old Sugar Grove resident Ty Spillane counted out the $116 on the counter of the Between Friends Food Pantry of Sugar Grove before handing it to Melisa Taylor, who has been the force for opening the food pantry in Sugar Grove. Spillane had earned the money for doing chores around the house, yard work, taking care of his little brother, and some had come from his birthday.

The Kaneland John Shields student heard about the food pantry from a flyer sent home with him from school. He and his mother Carrie decided that the pantry would be a good place to donate his money, to help area families who needed it.
The food pantry will open its doors on Thursday, Nov. 5, in an area on the west side of the Engineering Enterprises, Inc. building off Route 47. Taylor said the pantry will operate in a fashion similar to a grocery store, with individuals able to choose their own items off the shelves

Taylor said that once she decided to open a food pantry in Sugar Grove, people just started showing up to help. EEI donated the space, Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez donated the shelves from the old jail, and Sugar Grove resident and Plan Commission member Jim Eckert was instrumental in physically getting the pantry up and running.

A website design class at Waubonsee Community College is in the process of designing the website. Area churches have offered to provide volunteers to work at the pantry each week.

“It’s really cool how everyone just stepped up,” Taylor said.

The food pantry is named for two friends, Jeff Malewig and Blake Denton, who died last year in a car crash. Taylor said the idea behind the name and the pantry is that we all have to take care of our friends.

She said the area that the food pantry hopes to serve is the Kaneland School District and the Prestbury Subdivision. The criteria for who is eligible to use the food pantry will be fairly open-ended.

“I truly believe that we’re all going to fall in life,” she said. “It’s about how many hands come out to pick you up. We’ve got to take care of each other.”

Taylor said donations are more than welcome. She said that contributions of food are great, but the pantry can make money donations go further by buying its food from the Northern Illinois Food Bank.

Ty told his mother Carrie he hopes that other people will help the food bank when they see that he was able to do it.

“I’ve always told him, ‘If you give, you get back,’” she said. “This was all him. We’re super-proud of him.”

Photo: Between Friends Food Pantry of Sugar Grove Executive Director Melisa Taylor waits as 7-year-old Sugar Grove resident Ty Spillane counts out the $116 he is donating to the food pantry, which opens Thursday, Nov. 5. Courtesy Photo