Category Archives: Kaneville

Women helping women

[quote]Group offers networking, charitable opportunities
Lynn Meredith
KANEVILLE—Women helping women is a win-win situation, and that’s just what the local W.I.N.S. organization is all about.

W.I.N.S., which stands for Women Insight Networking and Service, is a business group that provides personal and professional development opportunities for Kaneland area women while also serving the community.

In 2005, four women from Kaneville who wanted to share their business skills and knowledge started the group. The idea caught on, and more and more women began attending the organization’s monthly luncheon meetings at Fireside Grill in Sugar Grove. W.I.N.S. currently has 60 members.

The organization’s goal is to educate members on business matters. W.I.N.S. hosts speakers who talk on topics such as business planning, motivation and women’s health issues.

The group also chooses a monthly service project that members may support.

“The ladies on the (W.I.N.S.) board ask themselves, ‘Who can we benefit in our community?’” said the organization’s marketing director, Michelle Brokop. “One time we donated to the Elderday Center in Batavia. We brought Play Doh, glitter and craft paper to the meeting. When we made the donation, it was like Christmas Day.”

Each month, the group holds a 50/50 raffle that benefits the W.I.N.S Scholarship Fund at Waubonsee Community College. The recipient is a female student with clear business goals and a well-rounded background in serving the community. This year, the award went to Tara Olsen.

W.I.N.S members come from a variety of backgrounds. Some are self-employed business owners, others work for corporations, and some are educators.

“It’s a good, mixed bag of women,” longtime member Barb Nielson said. “It’s very rewarding to meet face to face.”

Members can be as active in the group as they want.

“Sometimes it’s an escape from being a mom, and they just come out to enjoy lunch,” Brokop said. “Others simply do the donation part and don’t attend the meetings.”

Nielson started participating in the group after years of belonging to chambers of commerce and leads groups. She recalls when the “good ol’ boys’ network” was in place, and networking took place over drinks or on the golf course.

“I heard of a women’s group offered in the Kane County area that was not affiliated with chambers, that would be other women in business,” Nielson said. “I find that women have more in common. Most are juggling children and jobs. They have many of the same issues and a different outlook (than men).”

A wonderful life — memories of Bruce Conley

by Lynn Meredith
ELBURN—George Bernard Shaw once said, “I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live.”

It’s hard to imagine a person who lived more, worked more, and gave more than Bruce Conley. His death last Saturday from cancer cemented in people’s minds that his life was thoroughly used in ways that will leave a lasting impact on individuals, families and this community.

“I’ve always thought of Bruce as George Bailey,” said Carol Alfrey Director of Conley Outreach Services. “Humble, selfless, able to laugh at himself and totally unaware of the impact he had on others’ lives. And like George Bailey, he truly had ‘A Wonderful Life.’”

[quote]That impact was repeated over and over by friends and family members since his death on Saturday afternoon. His work as a funeral director for Conley Funeral Home was only part of what he accomplished.

“All those years he wore a suit, but underneath he was a great dad,” Ben said. “When I was young, I was asked if I wanted to follow in his footsteps. I wasn’t sure about that then, but I knew I wanted to be like him. The funeral director was the vehicle, but it was him I wanted to be.”

Who he was can only be illustrated by the stories and memories people have of him. His sister, Karen Howard, recalled last December when she was rushed to the emergency room and ended up in an intensive care unit.

“He got there not long after I did. Even though he was in chemo himself, he spent the night in my room and wouldn’t go home,” she said. “That’s who he was. He did for others.”

Cheryl Hackbarth received Bruce’s help not only during her husband’s death but years later, when her husband’s car, which she cherished, was totaled in an accident.

“He knew I was upset and asked me what I wanted to do. I jokingly said I wanted a funeral for it. He said, ‘Whatever you want. We’ll say some words.’ He dropped everything,” Hackbarth said. “He always put others first.”

Chris Halsey, who worked with Bruce on developing an innovative graveside sound system, said that Bruce was always a positive person and comforting to people in their time of need and distress.

“I always heard the term ‘unconditional love’ for many, many years, but until I met Bruce, I truly didn’t know the meaning of it,” he said.

Bruce was a huge part, not only of his own children’s lives, but also the lives of his nephew and niece.

“He was Shelia’s ‘Prince in Shining Armor’. When he would leave on Monday mornings to go back to college, she would sob when he told her goodbye,” Howard said. “He also wrote a song ‘Troubleshooters’ that he and Bill would sing when they went off on an adventure.”

Helping kids was one of the many dreams that Bruce made come true. Most recently this summer, he was pleased to take part in the grief camp at the Conley Farm, a dream that he was able to see realized.

“He knew that the kids would take to being outside with ample space and the gardens and the creek. They could soak in the sunshine and be able to run around. It would be different than being in rooms,” Howard said. “He drew such inspiration from being at the farm.”

One moment that Howard said has become precious to her is the afternoon right after Bruce’s diagnosis, when she and Bruce walked the creek at Conley Farm, up one side and down the other. They talked and laughed a lot.

“I told him that this was the first time we had ever done something like this and that we would have to do it again. You realize that it’s one of those things you’re blessed to have. The creek has a different meaning to me now,” Howard said.

Talking and laughing with people was one of Bruce’s greatest strengths. Halsey recalls a time he drove to Chicago with Bruce to get parts for the new sound system.

“We never stopped talking—about everything. He could converse on any topic. We got so engrossed I missed two exits,” Halsey said.

Dave Anderson, mayor of Elburn, said that Bruce’s sense of humor and ability to express himself always impressed him. When Anderson owned the grocery store, Bruce would come in for a snack, and they would have fun between the two of them.

“Bruce, the undertaker, would ask me how I was, and I’d say ‘Not ready!’ We’d laugh. He had a sense of humor like his father, Chuck,” Anderson said.

Ben said that Bruce’s goofy nature and sense of humor was not showcased because of what he did for a living, but it was definitely who he was.

“It’s what I hold in my heart. I was lucky to have him for a dad,” Ben said.

Anderson was also impressed with the journal writing that Bruce did on Caring Bridge, the website for cancer survivors.

“He put into words what a lot of us have felt or a lot of us have thought. It is a very unique ability,” he said.

Creativity was one thing Bruce had an abundance of, and he used it in every aspect of his life, from playing the trumpet and writing songs to writing books to creating remarkable and meaningful funeral services.

“He was such a visionary. He would just dream,” said Cheryl Kainz, Director of Programming for Conley Out Reach.

Kainz, a high school classmate of Bruce’s at Kaneland, came on board at the funeral home and joined in the creativity of making each service special and meaningful to the family. She creates digital scrapbooks that are given to the family.

“Bruce would say that the funeral is just the band-aid on the grief and that the scrapbooks were the Neosporin. They speeded up the healing process,” Kainz said.

Often their ideas would take them late into the night when last-minute inspirations came to them. She remembers when a farmer died, Bruce got the idea to build some barn doors. They stayed up to 2 a.m. making those doors. Another time, they hung animal pelts over the fence for a hunter who died.

“It’s going beyond and making things special. Bruce believed in celebrating their type of life. That’s what it’s about,” Kainz said.

So many people emphasized how much they learned from Bruce. Many saw him not only as a friend but as a mentor, including his own son.

“He taught me everything I know. I will take what he imparted and continue his lessons, his passion and his commitment,” Ben said.

Bruce’s wife, Kris Conley, said that sometimes they wondered if what they did mattered.

“We knew that it mattered, but still we asked ourselves if we were making any difference,” she said. “It was amazing; people did not wait until he died to tell us that it did. They told us before, so that he knew. I think that will help Ben in his work, that what he is doing does make a difference, that how you care for people matters.”

In the end, those closest to him say that his spirit remained positive and his faith strong. The family is comforted that the important things were said and that little miracles of timing occurred, so that his kids could be home before he passed.

Darlene Marcusson said that she learned so much from Bruce.

“We learned not only how to live well, but also how to die well,” she said.

It was Bruce’s wish that memorials be made directly to Conley Outreach to continue the work he started.

The power of a dream

Family helps church bring Christian singer to Kaneville for concert
by Lynn Meredith
KANEVILLE—The far-fetched vision of one Kaneville family is making a dream come true for their church and community.

The Wendlings, members of the Kaneville United Methodist Church, dreamed big enough to persuade Grammy-nominated musician Paul Colman to perform in the village on Saturday, Sept. 11, and also to share his message of faith at the church during the next morning’s service.

Australian-born singer and song-writer Colman travels the globe singing, speaking and sharing his songs, thoughts and faith. He has released 15 recordings, both solo and with various groups. He played with the Aussie rockers, The Newsboys, until 2008. Since then, he has been touring and recording in the studio.

The story of how this international musician came to book a performance at the Kaneville church is one that Russ Wendling is happy to tell. The story proves that it never hurts to ask, no matter how far-fetched something might seem, he said.

The Wendlings’ youngest daughter, Anna, 13, is a huge fan of Paul Colman and The Newsboys. The family had the opportunity last summer to attend a concert he headlined in McHenry at a Family Faith Night.

“It was awesome to see our favorite. We really enjoyed it,” Russ Wendling said. “Usually he plays at mega-churches for thousands of people. This venue was smaller, about 500 people.”

That smaller venue is what got Anna thinking out-loud on the way home from the concert with her parents.

“‘If Paul Colman would come to McHenry,’ she asked us, ‘do you think he would come to Kaneville?’” Wendling said. “We laughed a little bit at the thought. We went on dreaming about it as if it couldn’t be a reality. But I always say, it never hurts to check into things.”

Check in, he did. First he called his contacts at the K-LOVE radio station. They referred him to a booking agency which then referred him to a family friend of Colman’s. Wendling was surprised when he sailed through the list of referrals. Each contact answered his call on the first ring.

“I got goose bumps,” Wendling said. “Usually in these situations, it’s a series of voice mails and I’ll-get-back-to-you’s. But they each picked up on the first ring. This just doesn’t happen. I knew that God was working.”

In an e-mail, the musician agreed to play on Saturday. He then went on to ask if he could preach to the congregation on Sunday morning. Wendling was amazed that this international performer, busy with touring and a new CD release, would want to preach in their church.

Kaneville United Methodist officials then had to decide what the church could afford to pay Colman for his appearance. A small church has a small budget, Wendling said, and Colman’s usual fee was twice what they could fathom paying.

Eventually, they proposed splitting expenses with a church in Lake Zurich that wanted Colman to perform on Friday. To their delight, Colman agreed to split his fee and travel expenses between the two churches.

“It’s been an amazing process,” Wendling said. “It’s been a learning thing for all of us and a teaching thing for my kids. It never hurts to ask.”

Paul Colman

7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11
Kaneville United Methodist Church
General seating, $15.
Call (630) 557-2483 to reserve tickets.

Kaneville Crush Tryouts

Kaneville Crush will have tryouts for their KCBL teams’ upcoming 2011 spring season.

They will play a 16-game regular season schedule in the KCBL, plus some weekend tournaments.

Tryouts will be held at the Kaneville East Pony field on Saturday,Sept.11, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Boys must turn 14 after April 30, 2011 to compete.

Fee will be around $300.

Any questions, contact Steve Gaulin (847) 561-8775.

Show returns for 2nd year with new vendors

by David Maas
KANEVILLE—Several new businesses will have booths at this year’s Craft and Business Fair at Kaneville Fest.

Taking place both days of the festival, Aug. 28 and 29, from 9 am to 3 p.m., the show will be filled with a variety of businesses, crafters, and nonprofit groups from the surrounding area. Last year’s show had 40 different booths, and organizers are hoping this year will be just as big, if not larger.

Kaneville Fest organizers decided to bring the show back to the festival because of its popularity.

“The feedback was very positive,” said Karen Flamand, show coordinator.

New vendors include Scentsy of Aurora, Chiro One Wellness of Oakbrook, and Bathroom Crafters of Lombard.

Many vendors are returning for this year’s show, including Tastefully Simple and Miche Bags of Sugar Grove, Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival, Move Me Yoga of Elburn, and the Kaneville Historical Society, among others.

Other vendors will sell products that include candles, jewelry and home goods.

The show will be held in two different locations. On Saturday it will be at the Dave Werdin Community Center, 2 S. 101 Harter Road, and on Sunday, the show’s location will be one block from the Kaneville Fire Department, on Lovell Street.

2010 Kaneville Fest schedule

• Thursday, Aug. 26
5-8pm Library book presale,
$5 at door

• Friday, Aug. 27
9am Community
garage sales
10am-4pm Library book
8pm Movie night at
Hill’s County Store

• Saturday, Aug. 28
9 am Community
garage sales
9am-3pm Craft/Business Fair
10am Volleyball tournament
at ball fields
10am-2pm Library book sale
10am-3pm Smokehouse,
11am-1pm Police K-9 Unit,
DARE Car & Child IDs
Noon Horse-drawn wagon
rides by
Blue Meadow Belgians
1-3pm Kids games
with firemen
2pm Bags tournament at ball
fields, $5 per person
3pm Ice Cream Eating
Contest—Sponsored by
Colonial Ice Cream
5-7pm Band—Swing Assembly
Sponsored by
Ream’s Elburn Market
5:30-7pm Dinner—
Food for Thought
7-10:30pm On Stage—
Back Country Roads
9-9:30pm Fireworks

• Sunday, Aug. 29
9-2:30pm Car/Tractor Show—
Dr. Hardy’s office on
Harter Road
9am-3pm Craft/Business Fair/
Food Vendors
9:30am Community church
outdoor service at
11am-2pm On Stage—Demos,
local talent,
yoga classes
Noon Horse-drawn wagon
rides by
Blue Meadow Belgians
12-2pm Historical houses open,
2:30 pm Car Show trophies
3 pm Softball games

Ongoing activities both days include:
• inflatables
• pet a pony
• raffles
• games

Volleyball, bags, softball
Sign-up at Hill’s Country Store

Kaneville Fest: bigger and better

New activities, enhanced fireworks slated this year
by David Maas
KANEVILLE—On the weekend of Aug. 28 and 29, Kaneville once again will host its Kaneville Fest summer celebration.

Although Kaneville Fest has taken place for many years, this is only the second year in its larger format. The event offers activities for the whole family, including volleyball and bags tournaments, various raffles, a craft show, music groups, fireworks and more.

One activity organizers added to the festival is horsedrawn wagon rides offered by Blue Meadow Belgians from noon until dark on Saturday.

Another new event at this year’s festival will be an historical house tour. The tour will showcase two buildings in Kaneville, as well as old machinery including tractors and steam engines, and it will feature various demonstrations.

A particularly popular event at Kaneville Fest is the fireworks, which organizers expect will be even more spectacular than in the past.

“We worked hard on funding this year’s fireworks,” said Pat Hill, of Hill’s Country Store. “We raised more money for a bigger and better show.”

Both before and after the fireworks, live music will entertain the crowd. From 5 to 7 p.m., the Chicago-area band Swing Assembly will play, followed by local band Back Country Roads, which also will perform after the fireworks.

Last year’s Kaneville Fest had a strong turnout, and Hill is excited for another great event.

“I’m hoping the Kaneville community, and the surrounding community, will come and have a good time,” Hill said. “Most of the fest is free, so come out and enjoy yourselves.”

Library launches new website

Kaneville—The Kaneville Public Library recently launched its newly revised website with a new web address.

The new address for the library is, and the address for for the new library board/staff blog is

The new website was designed to promote ease of use and was set up to coordinate with a new online catalog that launched at about the same time. The online catalog gives Kaneville patrons access to not only their own library, but ready access to over 500,000 books through the joint catalog and circulation system.

The website will not only offer access to library’s resources and services, but also will serve as a link to community resources and area businesses, and will provide an online calendar for both library and community center meetings and activities.

For additional information,
contact Ray Christiansen
at (630) 557-2441,
or at his new e-mail address,

The new blog will provide an online posting of messages from the Library Board and staff to the community, as well as a regular posting of board meeting minutes.

For additional information, contact Ray Christiansen at (630) 557-2441, or at

Conley receives Excellence in Caring award

First-ever award named in his honor
AURORA—Bruce Conley received the first-ever Bruce Conley Excellence in Caring Award from The Alliance of Perinatal Bereavement Support Facilitators—Chicago Region on July 22 at Provena Mercy Center in Aurora.

Nancy Schmitz, a member of the Alliance, said the award was named in Conley’s honor because he embodies the spirit of caring and compassion that they would like to see in all who care for families experiencing this difficult type of loss.

“Conley was recognized for the great appreciation, and respectful, caring way he cares for babies and how parents can have the time that they want to be with their child, no matter his or her size,” Schmitz said at the ceremony. “The life stories (obituaries) that Conley writes come from the hearts of the parents as they talk to Conley about how much this little one meant to them. He has the gift of being able to put into words the heartfelt emotions of this baby’s family, and the result is a beautiful narrative that affirms the life and value of this child.”

Schmitz said when other children and siblings are present and parents are struggling to know how to help them understand this sadness, Conley and his son, Ben, always take the time to explain in a way that the child can understand what has happened, what this thing called death means, and what grief can feel like. Their questions are answered and they have a beginning at understanding this hard life lesson.

Schmitz said Conley’s caring also extends to families, in that he would meet with them in their homes as arrangements need to be made. He built on the legacy of his parents’ work as funeral directors, and developed the aftercare program at Conley Funeral Home and the Conley Outreach program to be a resource for families after their loss.

“It is truly evident that being a funeral director is not just a job for Conley, it is a calling to which he has faithfully and humbly given his best,” said Schmitz.

Conley accepted his award on behalf of his brother, Wayne, who passed away as an infant.

Conley described his brother’s short time with his family when accepting the award.

“Wayne’s brief life in this world has now changed and touched four generations of the Conley family, and the way we choose to care for infants and their families. Wayne was born in 1948 with spina bifida. My mother was kept from him so she would not ‘bond’ with Wayne, and it was believed her grief would thus be lessened. Of course, nothing could have been further from the truth. Both my parents suffered greatly at Wayne’s death a few months after he was born. That suffering wrought a deep conviction that no other infant, no other parents entrusted to our care would ever face the profoundly compounded grief that cultural and religious norms of the day had caused,” he said.

“In order that women like my mother could see and hold their children days after death when they left the hospital (remember this is 1948), my father literally invented ways of embalming and caring for newborns that were unheard of at the time. My mother hand sewed countless tiny infant outfits, complete with lace for the girls and trousers for the boys. The setting for parents’ viewing was, and still is, in a cozy room with a rocking chair and a fireplace and anything else that could make a parent feel ‘at home’ at the very hardest time in their lives,” Conley said. “My parents taught me all of these things, and I endeavored to improve upon them as I was called to meet the challenges of newborn death in my own career.”

Conley concluded by saying, “So as I receive this award in my infant brother’s honor, I say to all of you: for every family with whom you ‘endure weeping for the night,’ may these families and you, yourself find that ‘Joy cometh in the morning,’ for I believe with all of my heart, that there will come a day when you will see them again; and they shall be whole, and healthy and anxious to tell you how grateful they are for the care you gave when they passed through your hands and left footprints on your heart. God bless you all and thank you.”

In the future, The “Bruce Conley Excellence in Caring Award” will continue to be presented by The Alliance to funeral homes in the Chicago region which embody a spirit of caring and compassion as they work with families who experience perinatal loss.

Founded in 1987, The Alliance is an interdisciplinary professional organization of individuals from organizations including hospitals, social service organizations, churches, funeral homes and hospices in the Chicago area who provide education, support and resources for individuals who care for grieving families and their babies. The members are nurses, social workers, chaplains, therapists, funeral directors, photographers and physicians who have a leadership role in their organization’s support program. They work with families who have experienced a perinatal loss—miscarriage, fetal death, stillborn or newborn/infant death.

Photo: (From left) Judy Friedrichs, RN, and Nancy Schmitz, RN, award Bruce Conley the first-ever Bruce Conley Excellence in Caring Award from The Alliance of Perinatal Bereavement Support Facilitators—Chicago Region on July 22. In the future, the award will continue to be presented by The Alliance to funeral homes in the Chicago region which embody a spirit of caring and compassion as they work with families who experience perinatal loss. Photo courtesy of Todd Hochberg

Citizen Police Academy gives glimpse into police work

by Tammy Swanson
KANEVILLE—After Pat Hill’s business, Hill’s Country Store in Kaneville, was burglarized more than a year ago, she wondered why it took the police so long to take fingerprints. She had many other questions about the policing process, too, and found the answers by participating in the Citizens Police Academy that the Kane County Sheriff’s Department offers.

“(Sheriff) Pat Perez told me about it. He said it would be really cool,” Hill said.

And she found that to be true.

She liked the Citizen Police Academy so much, she was disappointed when the 10-week, weekly program ended this spring.

“I looked forward to it (class),” Hill said. “I hoped it was going longer.”

She learned a lot, including the reason for the fingerprint results delay.

“Now, I know,” Hill said. “It’s backlogged. The state is so backlogged with handling everything unless it is a violent crime. Mine was just vandalism.”

The academy gave Hill look into the life of a police officer. She learned how police officers train, as well as what constitutes their daily job duties. The academy also teaches about the different divisions in the Sheriff’s Department, including K-9, SWAT, 911, crime scene investigation, evidence, corrections, patrol and criminal.

“You get to see all the aspects of everything,” Hill said.

One of the highlights of the class for Hill was to ride along with a patrol deputy and see how the officer would handle different situations.

“When we went on patrol and had to pretend to stop people, I had to stop a guy who had a gun tucked away in the front seat and he flipped me off,” she said. “I had to pretend when he was pulling the gun and say, ‘Put your hands on the wheel’ and pretend to pull my fake gun out on him.”

Participants even had an opportunity to fire real guns.

“I had never touched a gun before in my life; I had never shot a gun before in my life, and I got to in the simulator,” Hill said. “I got to do the assault rifle, the pistol and the tazer. They were so heavy. You would not believe how heavy a gun is.”

She also enjoyed the the K-9 unit class.

“They (the Sheriff’s Department) have these dogs from Hungary or Germany,” Hill said. “You have to speak to them in that language. They are trained that way.”

Participants also had a chance to drive a patrol car and wear a bulletproof vest.

In addition to all she learned by participating in the academy, the classes made Hill respect police officers more.

“I totally gained so much from it,” said Hill.

Through the academy, Hill gained insight into how risky a police officer’s role can be.

“I have a deeper appreciation for how dangerous their job is,” Hill said.

To participate in the Citizens Police Academy, a person must live or work in unincorporated Kane County, be 18 years or older, have no felony convictions or any misdemeanor arrests within a year of application.

“You have to, of course, be fingerprinted and your name is put through the database to make sure you are not wanted as a felon or anything like that,” said Hill.

The Citizens Police Academy is free and allows 20 students per session. All of the police officers who teach the classes donate their time for the program.

After graduating from the academy program, Hill decided to establish a Neighborhood Watch in Kaneville focusing on communication and education.

“We want to start (one) in the area because we had a rash of break-ins a couple months ago where locks were cut off garages and stuff stolen from sheds,” Hill said.

Next session starts Sept. 1

Wednesday nights
Sept. 1 through Nov. 3
6 to 9 p.m.

Kane County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. John Grimes, Pat Hill, and Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez pose for a picture after Hill completed the Kane County Citizens Police Academy—A 10-week course offered by the Sheriff’s Department. Courtesy Photo

Students design new village sign

by Tammy Swanson
KANEVILLE—A visitor’s first impression of a community often is its sign, a unique statement of welcome. The sign may show a town’s history, where it has been and where it is going, and what makes it special.

When the Kaneville officials decided they wanted a new village sign, they invited Fox Valley Career Center (FVCC) students to enter a competition for its design. The winning entry would be the sign best reflecting the community’s hospitality along with its rich farming history, commerce and culture.

“We wanted something that reflected the … core values of the village,” Weiss said. “We’re proud of our little community.”

The village also wanted a sign that was easy to see and not too detailed, so that it would be easy for people to read as they drove by it.

FVCC instructor Nicole Larsen’s graphics arts class obtained the design parameters from the village. Later, about 30 students sent back their suggested designs. Village officials were impressed.

“Everything was unbelievable,” Village Clerk Sandi Weiss said. “They were so good.”

With so many strong entries, the village committee making the decision had a difficult time choosing the best sign design.

“They couldn’t make a decision. There were two of them that everybody liked and couldn’t decide between them,” said Weiss.

The committee decided on two winners: Liz Hylland and Shanna Pack. The final sign will combine both of their designs.

Hylland, a Kaneland High School senior, based her sign design on how much Kaneville means to its residents, which she knows about firsthand.

“My Aunt and Uncle used to live in Kaneville. I go to church there. I know a lot of people that live there,” Hylland said. “I know how much the town means to everyone that lives there. I just tried to make it (the sign) represent how cool the town really is.”

Both of the students’ sign designs have a rural theme.

“I definitely wanted it to be a farm kind of thing so I put a barn and silo and the life of corn. It (the corn) was smaller and went bigger kind of like the town,” said Hylland.

Village officials met with a contractor this week to discuss final plans and materials for the sign, which will be posted along roadways at the village limits, possibly within two months.

“We would like to have a couple of them up before Kaneville Fest which is the end of August,” Weiss said.

The village presented each sign-competition finalist with a small trophy and gave all the graphic arts students who participated cookies and fruit.

MP man arrested in connection with Kaneville burglary

KANEVILLE—A Maple Park man was arrested after police found him in possession of a vehicle stolen in a burglary, one of 13 burglaries that took place April 30 in Kaneville.

Kane County Sheriff’s detectives executed a search warrant on May 7 at 49W972 Peterson Road, Maple Park, where Dennis P. Walsh resided. They arrested Walsh on May 21 at his home, and he was charged with the following offenses:

• 3 counts of unlawful possession of a stolen motor vehicle a class 2 felony

• 3 counts of unlawful defacement of a vehicle ID number, a class 2 felony

• 4 counts of theft, a class 3 felony

• 3 counts of theft, a class A misdemeanor

• 1 count of criminal damage to property, a class A misdemeanor

Walsh is being held at the Kane County Adult Justice Center with a $75,000 bond.

The Sheriff’s Department is continuing its investigation into the rash of burglaries in Kaneville. Sheriff’s detectives have been assisted in the investigation by all areas of the agency including patrol, special operation unit, community policing, school resource officers and a county crime analyst. Members of the Sheriff’s Citizens police academy also assisted with providing information in this case.

The charges against Walsh are not a proof of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Kane County Sheriff’s Detectives along with Detectives from the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office and members of the Kane County Auto Theft Task Force are continuing the investigation. Anyone with information relating to this incident is encouraged to call Kane County Sheriff’s Detective Ken Johnson at (630) 208-2028.

Rash of burglaries in Kaneville

Investigation under way, tips welcome
by Martha Quetsch
(originally posed May 3, 2010; updated May 6, 2010)

KANEVILLE—Elio Rizzi, 4, recently spent about a week in the hospital, and his mom promised him he could ride his dirt bike after he got home. Unfortunately, the bike was stolen in one of 12 burglaries that took place in Kaneville at the end of April.

Excited to ride his bike, Elio went out to the backyard shed on April 30 where it was stored, but it wasn’t there, and neither were his two brothers’ dirt bikes.

“He came running back and said, ‘It’s gone. They’re all gone,’” said his mom, Tracy Rizzi.

Someone had broken into the shed and taken the dirt bikes, as well as several tools, during the night. Rizzi said she knows that is when the burglary took place, because the boys had washed their bikes the previous afternoon.

The Rizzis, who live at 2S368 Harter Road, found out from neighbors and the Kane County Sheriff’s Department that many other sheds and garages in the area had been burglarized around the same time.

“We were just disgusted,” Rizzi said.

Sheriff’s Department Lt. Pat Gengler said that 11 incidents of burglaries to private property in a Kaneville neighborhood were reported on April 30, all of them occurring sometime in the early morning hours before daylight. Another burglary was reported to have occurred between April 24 and 29 in the same area.

In addition, on Wednesday morning, a resident reported that someone stole a four-wheeler and a lawn sprayer from his garage in the 2S300 block of Locust Street. Gengler said investigators were trying to determine when this burglary occurred.

Sheriff’s investigators believe all 13 burglaries may have been committed by the same perpetrators.

“They are in the exact same geographical area, so we are definitely looking into them as possibly related,” Gengler said.

Four Kane County Sheriff’s Department officers responded to the residents reports on April 30, and officers have been interviewing each victim since then. Gengler said the officers who patrol that area of the county were alerted about the incidents and will step up their patrolling there as much as possible.

Following are the burglaries for which Gengler had reports as of the Elburn Herald’s press time on Wednesday.
• Two tires were stolen from a trailer parked in a driveway in the 46W600 block of Elm Street sometime between April 24 and 27.
• Someone broke the lock on the door of a shed in the 46W600 block of Elm Street sometime between 9 p.m. April 29 and 4 p.m. April 30. Nothing was taken.
• Someone broke into a home in the 2S200 block of Locust Court, an officer discovered when in Kaneville investigating the other burglaries on April 30. A resident told the officer that he saw a light on in the home, which was a foreclosed, vacant home. The officer went to the house and found a door open.
• A Moped was stolen from a shed in the 46W500 block of Locust Street, sometime between 10 p.m. April 29 and 8 a.m. April 30. Officers found no sign of forced entry.
• A Honda lawnmower and a go-cart were stolen from an unlocked shed in the 46W600 block of Locust Street sometime betweem 8 p.m. April 29 and 8 a.m. April 30.
• A Honda dirt bike was stolen from an unlocked shed in the 2S200 block of Elm Court sometime between 3 and 5 a.m. April 30. The burglary was reported on May 1.

Other burglaries were to sheds and garages at the following addresses: One incident each in the 46W800 block of Elm St., the 2S300 block of Elm Court, the 46W600 block of Harter Road, and the 2S300 block of Dauberman Road; and two incidents in the 2S200 block of Elm Court. Tools, machinery and other items were stolen.

Lt. Gengler said sheriff’s officers are investigating the burglaries but have made no arrests. He asked that anyone with information they believe is related to the burglaries call the Sheriff’s Department investigations office at (630) 208-2024 or the crime hotline in the evening at (630) 232-6840.

“Anything can be useful in these types of situations, even if you noticed something in the neighborhood a week ago that didn’t seem right,” Gengler said.

Photo: Elio (left) and Otto Rizzi no longer have dirt bikes, since someone stole them April 30 from their shed. Their dad, Brett, had this sign made for the family’s front yard on Harter Road, announcing a cash reward for information on who burglarized his and 12 other properties in Kaneville. Courtesy Photo

3 Kaneville firefighters lauded for service

Photo: Kaneville Fire District Lt. Jim Long (left) has been with the district for 26 years, while Deputy Chief Dan Koebele (center) and Chief David Sigmund have each served for 25 years. Courtesy Photo
by Susan O’Neill
KANEVILLE—Three Kaneville firefighters were recognized recently for their years of service to the Kaneville Fire District. Lt. Jim Long has been with the district for 26 years, and Chief David Sigmund and Deputy Chief Dan Koebele have each served for 25 years.

For all three emergency responders, service to the community is a prime motivator for their dedication to the all-volunteer fire department.

“Most people want to help, in some way,” Long said.

Sigmund, who obtained his Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification quite a while ago, took the class again a few years ago when Kaneville began working more closely with the Big Rock Fire District.

Sigmund said that more than half of the Kaneville firefighters are trained as EMTs, which allows them to do everything medical except transport a victim from the scene. When an incident takes place in Kaneville, they are able to arrive quickly, take the person’s vital signs and have a head start on what needs to be done by the time Big Rock arrives with the ambulance.

The fact that they continue to learn new things, even after all these years, is appealing to them, as well.

“We all learn and train together and work together,” Long said.

The crew meets at the fire house every Tuesday night for training in some aspect of firefighting or emergency medical care, and most take additional classes at other times during the year.

The camaraderie that exists between them is also something that keeps them coming back, year after year.

“They’re all top-notch people,” Koebele said of his fellow firefighters.

Koebele, who was a police officer for the city of Aurora for 32 years before his retirement six years ago, was a patrol sergeant when he left the force.

“Supervising is the same, whether you’re fighting fires or bad guys,” he said with a laugh.

He said that Kaneville is one of the few remaining all-volunteer fire departments in the state, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. He said they can change it if they want after he leaves, but he likes the idea of an all-volunteer operation under his watch.

According to Koebele, it is a major commitment, but one that each individual takes willingly.

The Kaneville Fire District coverage area is 36 square miles, which includes approximately 1,250 residents.

Planning begins for KanevilleFest

Plans already under way for August KanevilleFest
by Susan O’Neill
Kaneville—After last year’s successful event, planners Karen Flamand, Sandy Weiss, Kim Wendling, Paul Ross, Margie Jordan and Cathy Kovach met Feb. 25 to brainstorm ideas for this year’s festivities.

Possibilities for additional activities include Bingo on both days, more games for the children, a bouncy tent, a petting zoo, touch-a-tractor or truck activity, firemen vs. children obstacle course, a dunk tank, local musical talent, bomb squad and drug dog demonstrations.

Activities for Saturday will include volleyball and bags, and softball will take place on Sunday. The two-day library book sale on Friday and Saturday will be preceded by a pre-sale on Thursday, and neighbors are welcome to hold garage sales to coincide with the events.

Planners have reserved the band Back Country Roads for Saturday’s entertainment. A fireworks show also will take place again on Saturday night.

Mike Harnack agreed to hold the car show again on Sunday, but rather than a village-wide picnic, fest-goers can rely on food vendors such as Food for Thought, Hill’s Country Store and others.

Members of the planning group said they would try to spread the jobs around to more volunteers this year, to give everyone a chance to enjoy a part of the weekend. The next planning meeting is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, March 25, in the village office. Ideas and offers to help are welcome.


Saturday & Sunday, Aug. 28-29
The next planning meeting:
Thursday, March 25 • 7 p.m.
in the village office

Ebert appointed Kaneville Township Supervisor

Kaneville—The Kaneville Township Board appointed Dan Ebert to finish Leon Gramley’s current term as the Township Supervisor at its Feb. 8 meeting. The term will last another three years, at which time an election will be held for a new supervisor.

Gramley, who was elected as a trustee to the Township Board in 1993, was elected as supervisor in 1997. During Gramley’s last term, he took the leadership role in the incorporation of the village of Kaneville, which became official in November 2006.

Ebert, who grew up in Lily Lake. has lived in Kaneville for the past 15 years. He has been a township trustee for close to nine years. Trained in the military as an aircraft electrician in the United States Navy, Ebert is an electrician by trade.

Progress made on Ravlin stormwater management

by Susan O’Neill
Kaneville—Significant progress is being made with the stormwater management of the Ravlin Subdivision, thanks to the efforts of three residents. Once the contractor, Tree Service Co., removed the 10 trees from the ditch in the subdivision, Dale Pierson, Don Angell and Gary Koehring volunteered their time and Pierson his equipment to clear the brush and other debris that had been causing the subdivision’s drainage problems.

“It’s made a big difference,” Village President Bob Rodney said. “They did one heck of a job.”

JULIE will survey the entire drainage route before the tree service comes back to grind down the tree trunks and clear the trees away.

It’s been a major endeavor that has not cost the residents additional money in taxes, Rodney said.

MP village notes

Incident plan will
reflect national standards

MAPLE PARK—The Village of Maple Park will establish an incident plan that adopts the standard procedures of the National Incident Management System.

Maple Park’s fire and police chiefs will develop the plan, Village President Kathy Curtis said Monday. Having the plan will allow the village to be eligible for federal incident management grants for streamlining management of emergency personnel, communications, facilities and resources.

NIMS is a federal initiative to improve the readiness of government agencies on the state, local and national level to address potential terrorist threats.

Board will discuss Kaneland request
MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Village Board will discuss whether to renew an intergovernmental agreement with Kaneland School District at the village’s next Committee of the Whole meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, March 15.

District Superintendent Charles McCormick has asked all Kaneland villages to renew their four-year agreement with the district to provide developer impact fees to the schools.

Village officials cited the changing housing market and the differences in development among the Kaneland communities as reasons for wanting to study the issue further before making a decision.

Kaneville loses a good friend

by Susan O’Neill
KANEVILLE—Kaneville lost a stalwart member of the community last week, when life-long resident Leon Gramley passed away on Friday. Kaneville Township Supervisor, volunteer firefighter, Memorial Day committee member and Kaneville Cemetery Board treasurer were just a few of the roles that Gramley took on throughout his lifetime in Kaneville.

Add loving father, playful grandpa, thoughtful and romantic husband, and that only begins to describe the person most people in Kaneville have known for years.

Mary Niceley, former owner of the Kaneville General Store, remembers mornings when Gramley would stop by the store for a cup of coffee. People would notice his truck parked outside, and pretty soon any number of people would stop in to ask for his help with all kinds of things.

“He was always fixing something,” Niceley said. “He would say, ‘Don’t worry about it,’ and it would be taken care of.”

Niceley said Gramley was in charge of the Community Center in Kaneville when she was on the Library Board.

“He never raised our rent,” she said. “When the lights went out, he got them fixed. When the sidewalks needed to be shoveled, he got it done.”

Big things; little things; he took care of it all. She said one day a little boy came into the store after he had missed the school bus.

“’Come on,’ Leon said, and he gave the kid a ride to school,” she said. “It was all these little acts of kindness that go unnoticed. He didn’t do it for the glory; he did it from the kindness in his heart.”

Gramley was born on Oct. 31, 1943, in Aurora. He grew up in Kaneville and he graduated from Kaneland High School in 1962. Shortly after graduation, he enlisted in the United States Army and served during the Vietnam War.

Taking an active part in Kaneville’s Memorial Day Service was an important honor for him. For more than 30 years, he marched in the color guard, and made sure that every veteran’s grave was adorned with a flag.

His son Stephen said that some of his best memories about his dad were when Stephen was a teenager.

“My dad was a farmer who could fix anything and a fireman who could help anybody,” he said. “My dad was ‘the guy.’ He was Superman. He could just do it all.”

In addition to being a firefighter for the Kaneville Fire Department, Leon was a paramedic for the Elburn Fire Department. Stephen remembered his dad’s pager going off in the middle of the night and he would run out the door to go help somebody. When the call was to Kaneville or someplace close by, his dad would take off in his truck, arriving at the scene before the ambulance arrived.

“It made him feel good to go and help out an elderly person alone and scared in the middle of the night,” Stephen said.

It was his work with the ambulance service that would lead him to the woman he would describe as the love of his life, Mary Fecht. A co-worker introduced the two on July 4, 1991, and they hit it off right away.

“He was very romantic and very thoughtful,” Mary said.

While they were dating, he sent her flowers every Friday. When they got engaged, he bought her a ring with two rubies that he said represented their two hearts and their love. Recently, he bought her a ring with 18 stones that represented their years together.

He and Mary were married in 1992, and they spent the years since then traveling, going to concerts, and sharing their children and grandchildren. Although they traveled all over the country, he had a special place in his heart for Disney World, where he had as much fun as his granddaughters did.

Throughout the years, he remained committed to his community. Although Gramley lived outside of the boundaries of what would become the village of Kaneville, he gave much of his time and his efforts to the village’s incorporation in 2007.

During the two-year process, he helped with legislation in Springfield that made the incorporation possible, facilitated meetings where residents helped determine their future, and encouraged others to take on leadership roles once the incorporation was complete.

Although he shouldered a lot of responsibility, Leon had a light heart. His sense of humor, his jokes and his infectious laughter will be missed by many.

His death leaves a void in many lives and in the life of the community.

“Kaneville lost a good friend. He was always there when anyone needed anything,” Pat Hill said. “I miss him.”

Photo: Leon Gramley with his wife of nearly 18 years, Mary Gramley. Courtesy Photo

Fishermen’s Inn finished

For 45 years, restaurant drew customers from near and far
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—For more than four decades, Fishermen’s Inn in Elburn was a popular place for fine dining and receptions, attracting people from throughout the Chicago area with its fresh trout, scenic grounds and country atmosphere. The tradition ended Dec. 21 when the restaurant closed because of a decrease in customers in recent years.

Clifford Spence, Fishermen’s Inn president since 2005, said the economic downturn and competition from new restaurants in the area were the reasons for the closure.

“There was a steady decline in business in the last two years,” Spence said. “Every time a new place opened, our business dropped.”

Spence said he found out that Fishermen’s Inn was closing on Dec. 21, from officials at Old Second Bank, which oversaw a trust that owned the business.

“Basically, the business was dissolved,” said Spence, who worked for Fishermen’s Inn for 11 years.

Spence said the drop-off in customers started in spring of 2008, coinciding with the start of the economic recession. Fishermen’s Inn’s banquet business, which brought in one-third of the restaurant’s revenue, began to suffer as people scaled back on the size of wedding receptions and other gatherings.

By fall of that year, the situation had worsened.

“We had five cancelled weddings in one month (November 2008).”

Spence said more cancellations took place as people’s uncertainty about the economy heightened.

Among the many local people who frequented Fishermen’s Inn over the years and regret its closure is former Elburn dentist and village president, Jim Willey. Willey said he attended countless business and government gatherings at the restaurant during the 30 years he lived in Elburn.

Fishermen’s Inn also had a strong regional draw.

“People came from all over. It really had a landmark status,” Willey said. “I think they liked that it was really different.”

Fishermen’s Inn opened in 1964 in a renovated barn on Main Street Road just west of Route 47. Its founder, Orville Mercer, installed ponds behind the restaurant and stocked holding tanks with trout. The fresh fish became a restaurant specialty.

Mercer also created walkways around the ponds, where people could take a stroll on the grounds after dinner or while waiting for a reservation. Many people found Fishermen’s Inn to be a perfect place for weddings because of its picturesque setting.

Willey recalled his sister’s wedding reception there 20 years ago.

“It was a really nice place to have it,” Willey said. “The guests could go and walk around the ponds and the weeping willows.”

Aside from going to many meetings and receptions at Fishermen’s Inn, Willey often went there for dinner with his wife Cathy. He remembers one evening, while they were enjoying a meal and the view from the broad back windows, a customer jumped off the balcony into the pond and disappeared. The fire department brought divers to the scene to look for the man, who as it happened, dove in on a lark and left the scene unseen.

When his wife passed away in 2007, Willey decided to hold a memorial dinner for her at the restaurant.

“It was one of our favorite places, so it was an easy choice,” Willey said.

Willey remembers something that longtime Fishermen’s Inn manager Dick Walt would always tell customers as he regaled them with funny stories:

“He would say, ‘You may leave here a little taller, but no wider.’”

Fishermen’s Inn History
• Orville Mercer and his family started Fishermen’s Inn at 43W901 Main Street Road, Elburn, in 1964, in a renovated barn built in 1898. The Mercers lived in a house across the street.
• In 1972, the Mercers sold Fishermen’s Inn to Ralph and Ann Schleifer of Kaneville. The Schleifers later built a home in the woods behind Fisherman’s Inn.
• The Schleifers broke ground in June 1985 for a new banquet facility seating 200, to complement Fishermen’s Inn’s barn restaurant.
• A fire caused $1.4 million in damage to Fishermen’s Inn in October 1985. The blaze took firefighters nearly 24 hours to extinguish, burned the barn beyond repair and caused extensive smoke and water damage to the new banquet facility. As a result, the restaurant closed.
• In fall of 1986, Fishermen’s Inn reopened, after the Schleifers built a new barn and repaired damage to the banquet facility during the summer.
• Following Ralph Schleifer’s death in 2005, Fishermen’s Inn was turned over to a trust at Old Second Bank, which named restaurant employee Clifford Spence as president of the business.
• Fishermen’s Inn closed Dec. 21, 2009.

Photo: The rustic, scenic setting of Fisherman’s Inn in Elburn was part of its attraction as a place for weddings, private dinners and other social gatherings since 1964. Photo by Martha Quetsch

Murdock’s Annual Hometown Concert set for Jan. 8

KANELAND—Lee Murdock’s Annual Hometown Concert returns to the rural theme in 2011 as he welcomes southern Indiana farmer-songwriter-actor Tim Grimm as the special guest on the first Saturday of the new year.

As part of the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival’s Concert Series, the concert takes place at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 8, at the Kaneland High School auditorium, 47W326 Keslinger Road, Maple Park. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door.

Tim Grimm is an award-winning songwriter, actor and hay farmer, living and working on the family homestead—a farm originally homesteaded by a family named Needham. In the late 1990s, Tim left Hollywood and a successful acting career to focus his life on his family and his art, a conscious choice to live a life of significance rather than one of “success.” Tim’s songs are full of the rural rumblings that have shaped his life, celebrating the inextinguishable national romance with the idea of the family farm and the vanishing landscape of rural America. 

Tim’s movie appearances include “Clear and Present Danger” with Harrison Ford, and “Public Enemies” with Johnny Depp and Christian Bale.

Lee Murdock is known internationally as “North America’s Great Lakes Balladeer,” and also as a fluent instrumentalist on six- and 12-string guitar. In addition to the songs of Illinois history and maritime music, Murdock also has a strong affinity for Irish music and Illinois history, as well as blues, ragtime and a bit of classical guitar. Murdock and his wife, Joann, have been Kaneville residents since 1982.

Audiences at the Hometown Concert can expect a round of impromptu jamming between Murdock and Grimm in the second set. Each year, the concert opens with a short set by Lee and by the guest artist, followed by an intimate “song swap” with both artists on stage for the second set.

Lee Murdock’s Hometown Concert is an annual event which now draws people from all across the Chicagoland area. Advance reservations are not needed, but call (630) 557-2329 for directions or further information.

The Hometown Concert continues its second season in collaboration with the Kaneland District’s Fine Arts Festival. This is the second of four major events, to be followed by the free multi-stage and multi-media event from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, April 10, and by the Second-annual Kaneland Community Theater production running for two weekends in July.

For more information on the Kaneland Community Arts Festival, contact Maria Dripps-Paulson, Community Liaison for the festival, at (630) 365-5100 ext 180  or .

KHS hosts annual Murdock concert

Kaneland—Lee Murdock welcomes this year’s special guest, Bob Zentz, traveling all the way from Norfolk, Va., to share an evening of songs and jolly-good tales at Murdock’s Annual Hometown Concert on Saturday, Jan. 2.

Always the first Saturday of the new year, the concert begins at 7 p.m. The concert will be held at the Kaneland High School auditorium, 47W326 Keslinger Road in Maple Park. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door.

Lee Murdock is known internationally as “North America’s Great Lakes Balladeer,” and also as a fluent instrumentalist on six- and 12-string guitars. In addition to the songs of Illinois history and maritime music, Murdock has a strong affinity for Irish music and Illinois history, as well as blues, ragtime and a bit of classical guitar. Murdock and his wife, Joann, have been Kaneville residents since 1982.

Audiences at the Hometown Concert can expect a round of impromptu jamming between Murdock and Zentz in the second set. Each year, the concert opens with a short set by Lee and by the guest artist, followed by an intimate on-stage “song swap” with both artists on stage for the second set.

The Hometown Concert continues its second season in collaboration with the Kaneland District’s Fine Arts Festival.

Lee Murdock’s Hometown Concert is an annual event which now draws people from all across the Chicagoland area. Tickets for the annual Hometown Concert are $10 at the door. Advance reservations are not needed, but call (630) 557-2329 for directions or further information.

Photo: Musician Lee Murdock of Kaneville will perform an evening of songs and jolly-good tales at the Annual Hometown Concert on Saturday, Jan. 2. at 7 p.m. at the Kaneland High School auditorium. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door. Courtesy Photo

Kaneville Historical Society elects leadership

Kaneville—The following people were elected for the Kaneville Historical Society: Karen Flamand, President; Lynette Werdin, Vice-President; Sandra Weiss, Secretary/Treasurer.

The Historical Society is looking for new members and volunteers. There are many ongoing projects that need helping hands. Many ideas were discussed in recent meetings for the upcoming year to bring in funds and be more visible in the community.

To become a member or volunteer, please call Sandi Weiss at (630) 557-2450, Lynette Werdin at (630) 557-2202 or attend the monthly meetings on the fourth Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Kaneville Village Board room.

The Kaneville Historical Society is looking for family stories from Kaneville families, past or present. Anyone with stories should contact either Karen or Sandi, or mail to the Kaneville Historical Society, PO Box 7, Kaneville, IL 60144.

VNA offers seasonal flu shot clinic

Kaneville—VNA of Fox Valley will hold a seasonal flu shot clinic at Kaneville Community Center, 2S101 Harter Road, Kaneville on Thursday, Dec. 3, from 9 to 11 a.m.

Seasonal flu shots, pneumonia shots and tetanus (T-dap) shots will be offered. Seasonal flu shots are $20, pneumonia shots are $35 and T-dap shots are $45. VNA will bill Medicare Part B for the seasonal flu and pneumonia shots only for patients who present a valid card. All others may pay by cash or check. For more information, call VNA at (630) 978-2532.

Christmas in Kaneville set for Dec. 5

Kaneville—The village of Kaneville will bring Christmas to the area a bit early when Christmas in Kaneville comes to town on Saturday, Dec. 5.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., there will be a variety of holiday activities at a number of locations throughout the village. Following is a list of places to go, as well as things to see, do and eat:
• Horse-drawn wagon rides between various points in the village
• Cookie walk at Kaneville United Methodist Church from 9 to 11 a.m.
• Visit Santa at the Fire Barn on Lovell Street
• Various area business/crafters will have displays of their products for purchase in the Dave Werdin Community Center gym
• Cake walk in the gym
• Hill’s Country Store will give out free peppermint ice cream and cocoa, hold a gift basket drawing
• Kaneville Community Child Care Center will offer raffle tickets and cookie decorating
• Kaneville Public Library will host children’s crafts and story time, basket raffle and free drawing for a prize
• Kaneville Township Historical Society will have its 1840s historical Farley House open to the public for viewing, with a display of old toys and free popcorn balls
• Old Second Bank, Kaneville branch, will host a customer appreciation/20th anniversary open house
• The Village Board invited all village residents to participate iin an outdoor Christmas Decorating Contest.

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, “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,, or directly to his CaringBridge account at

Library receives memorial donation

Kaneville—The Kaneville Public Library announced that it received a significant memorial donation from the family and friends of the late Audrey Ledbetter.

At the request of her husband, Jerry Ledbetter, a collection of Bible-related books and media items for both adults and children were purchased and added to the library’s collections.

Other area residents interested in making memorial donations or establishing a legacy gift for the library are asked to contact Ray Christiansen, the Library Director, or Karen Kneller, President of the library’s Board of Trustees.

For additional information about the Kaneville Public Library, contact Ray Christiansen at (630) 557-2441.

On the same page

School District begins fee discussions with municipal leaders
by Susan O’Neill
Kaneland School District officials began discussions with municipal leaders regarding an intergovernmental agreement for standardized developer fees in support of the schools. The agreement will expire at the end of 2010.

The meeting, which included village presidents of all municipalities in the district except for Virgil, took place on Monday, Nov. 16.

“From past experience, we all realize it’s best to work together,” Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels said.

Sugar Grove led the way several years ago in the creation of an intergovernmental agreement between the School District, and its municipalities that defined formulas for fees associated with residential development across the district.

“We all agreed we have to renew the agreement,” Maple Park Village President Cathy Curtis said.

Elburn Village President Dave Anderson said that all the Kaneland villages are in the same boat financially, from a development standpoint.

“We didn’t talk about money, we talked about philosophy,” Anderson said. “We’re all in agreement that we need to be united in terms of impact and transitional fees and in aiding the School District in any way we could.”

Anderson stressed the importance of having a single voice in terms of talking to developers about School District fees. He said that although he was not in office when the agreement was created, he wholeheartedly supports it.

“Whoever’s idea this was, it was an excellent thought,” he said. “Because they’re all our kids.”

Another meeting is scheduled for Jan. 14, 2010.