Category Archives: Local News

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Romp in the Park 5K to be held Aug. 30

MAPLE PARK—The 16th Annual Romp in the Park will take place Aug. 30, with check-in beginning at 7 a.m. and race times of 8 a.m. for the 5K and 8:05 a.m. for the two mile walk.

The race will start at the Maple Park Fire Department, 305 S. County Line Road in Maple Park.

Registration is $15 for the 5K and $10 for the two mile walk before Aug. 23, and $20 after that date or day-of.

Visit MapleParkFunFest.com/applications/ to download the flier or for more race information.

Nolan

Buzz cuts for a cause

Elburn resident, Dave’s Barbershop to hold fundraiser for childhood cancer research
ELBURN—Nolan Allen recently shaved his head, and he’s hoping he’s just the first of many Elburn residents who will shave it all off at “Cuts for the Cure,” a benefit for St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which funds research into childhood cancers.
Allen will hold the fundraiser on Saturday, Aug. 16, at Dave’s Barbershop, 132 N. Main St., Ste. 1.

“Cancer is a monster,” Allen said. “We want it to be stopped.”

It’s an emotional subject for Allen, a fifth-grader at Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School. He recently lost his uncle, Craig Larson of Batavia, to lung cancer. And a family friend is also battling brain cancer right now.

“We’ve had cancer affect us in a dramatic way,” said Julie Allen, Nolan’s mother. “His focus is on how we can help people with it. So when he suggested it, we just ran with it.”

He’ll be sporting his shaved head in the Elburn Days Parade on Friday night and passing out flyers and candy to advertise Saturday’s event. He hopes hundreds of people will come out to get their heads shaved or to donate to the cause, he said.

The cuts will be offered by Dave Rissman, the owner of Dave’s Barbershop in downtown Elburn, for a minimum $10 donation to St. Baldrick’s Foundation. People are also welcome to donate to the cause without getting a haircut, and they can do so online or in person, Julie said.

“It’s not going to be regular haircuts with scissors. It’s basically buzz cuts with clippers,” Rissman said.

Nolan hopes that by holding Cuts for the Cure during Elburn Days, many local residents will stop by to support the cause on their way to Lions Park. Many students also need back-to-school haircuts right now, Rissman added.

“On a national level, St. Baldrick’s fundraisers are generally held in September, but we decided to do this one before school starts so that people could bring their kids in for a cut,” Rissman said.

St. Baldrick’s sponsors head-shaving events around the country to raise money for a cure, but the organization also notes that shavees show their support for cancer patients by voluntarily shaving their heads.

Nolan is a member of Elburn’s Cub Scout Pack 107—his den has named itself the “Robot Ninjas”—and he hopes many of his fellow Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts will come out to get a buzz cut.

Nolan’s goal is to raise at least $1,000 for St. Baldrick’s at the event. Though $10 is the minimum donation for a haircut, people are welcome to donate more, he said.

“Whatever somebody donates to St. Baldrick’s will be great,” Nolan said. “Our goal is $1,000. But you know what would be ‘amazeballs’? $3,000 or $4,000. I think I would need about 400 people to raise that much, but I’m not going to get my hopes up, because Elburn is a very small town. But that’s what I’m hoping for.”

Though Rissman anticipates more men than women will participate, he said that if anyone came in with long enough hair, he’d donate it to Locks of Love.

“I do foresee the possibility that some young girl might come in and get her hair shaved off, and I’m not going to let that hit the floor,” Rissman said. “We’ll collect that for Locks of Love and send it off, a two-for-one deal. We might not get any of those people, because it’s got to be at least 8-to-9 inches.”

No matter the length, the buzz cut will be an Instagram-able moment, Rissman said.

“I do a stripe down the center of their head first,” Rissman said. “It makes for a great photo op.”

Julie urged people to come out and support the cause.

“It only takes five minutes to stop in and donate $10,” she said. “People don’t even need to get a haircut. It’s just five minutes out of your day. We’ve got families here in Elburn whose kids are suffering (from cancer). It’s not just supporting Nolan; it’s supporting all those people (with cancer).”

A number of other local residents will be volunteering at the event, including Danielle Stombres, Colleen Bergeson, Amy Mallers, Stacy Ashton, Meghan Nesci and Ocean Ashton.

Though the Allens originally approached Rissman about doing Cuts for the Cure on the sidewalk outside his shop during, he volunteered his shop instead.

“I said, what if it’s a 90 degree day? What if we don’t have enough chairs? And so I donated my shop. You know, me and my big mouth,” Rissman said with a laugh.

Rissman has done a number of similar fundraisers, including one last year for St. Baldrick’s at the Tilted Kilt in Roselle, Ill. He said he’s hoping hundreds of people will come out to support the cause and get a free haircut.

“We’re hoping for many people,” Rissman said. “People are calling in and making reservations for this to be done, and there will be a ton of walk-ins, too. We won’t turn anyone down.”

He doesn’t anticipate long lines because buzz cuts are quick to do, he said.

“For me, I can knock them out in two or three minutes. You gotta remember, I have a couple years of experience,” joked Rissman, who has been a barber in Elburn for 50 years. “Come out and support it, and make it a financially worthwhile event for the cause.”

Appointments are not necessary, but those who would like to make one can call Dave’s Barbershop at (630) 365-6288. To donate to Cuts for the Cure online, visit stbaldricks.org/fundraisers/mypage/586/2014.

Reynertson 1

Fund established for Kaneland grad’s cancer battle

ELBURN—Longtime Elburn resident, 2000 Kaneland graduate, football player, husband, brain cancer patient.

All of those things describe Mike Reynertson. All who know him know he’s a fighter. And after 12 long years, six surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation treatments, he’s still fighting Stage 3 brain cancer.

At the age of 33, Reynertson should be enjoying life with his wife, Erin. Instead, he’s worrying about the $480,000 of debt amassed in treating the life-threatening disease.

“That’s why I finally gave in to Breanna (Leuze) when she wanted to set up a Give Forward page for me,” Mike said. “I did it for Erin’s sake. I couldn’t leave my wife with this crushing debt and a mortgage. I just had to bite the bullet.”

Mike’s journey began 12 years ago. He was 21 years old and working toward an associate’s degree and playing football at Harper College. He also was being recruited to play ball in the Big Ten Conference.

After suffering a grand mal seizure so violent he was thrown from his bed, dislocating his shoulder, he learned he had a brain tumor. In May 2003, he underwent surgery and was diagnosed with Stage 3 malignant astrocytoma in his left frontal lobe.

After surgery, he received chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Even more devastating was learning that he would no longer be able to play football. After a second surgery in November 2003 to reduce swelling and remove cysts that had formed around the area of the first surgery, and various other treatments, Reynertson went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in political science at Northern Illinois University.

Five years after his first surgery, in 2008, he celebrated with a “gone into remission party,” inviting family, friends and everyone he knew.

“I have a very large family—my parents are both one of seven,” Reynertson said. “We invited cousins and friends and everyone we knew.”

Two years later, in 2010, the cancer returned. Again, he underwent surgery and chemotherapy. That same year, Reynertson proposed to his girlfriend, and they married and bought a home in Elgin, Ill.

By December 2013, the cancer had returned yet again. Last April, he underwent his sixth surgery.

On his Give Forward page, Leuze writes, “This last round of surgery has scared Mike to his inner core. He is terrified more about leaving his wife and family with debt of over $480,000 in medical bills, and regular bills they have fallen behind on. Mike has not been able to be approved for life insurance. He has also not been able to file for total disability yet.”

Reynertson said he will have to be cancer-free for eight years before he can purchase life insurance.

As of Tuesday, Aug. 11, the Give Forward campaign had raised $2,270 of its $25,000 goal, with 67 days left to give. For more information on the campaign to assist Reynertson, visit www.giveforward.com/fundraiser and search “Reynertson.”

Cates1

Sixth-grader’s solo concert to benefit KAI

ELBURN—Kaneland Middle School sixth-grader Bailey Cates will perform a solo guitar and piano concert on Sunday, Aug. 17, to benefit the Kaneland Arts Initiative.

Bailey has attended KAI’s Fine Arts Festival every year since she was 5 years old. She said she is excited about her upcoming performance, and is happy to be doing it to raise funds for such a good cause. She said she loves going to see the musicians perform at the festival. She tries to learn something from them each time, including how to be more confident when she’s performing.

Bailey began taking piano lessons when she was 5 years old. Her mom, Deanna Cates, who is also a pianist, said she knew that the earlier one starts music lessons, the better.

When Bailey was in third grade, Da Capo Music Studio came to Elburn, and Bailey started taking lessons there, with teacher Kristin Paxinos. When her dad received a gift of guitar lessons with Da Capo, Bailey would go with him to the lessons. It was there that she fell in love with the guitar.

“At first I thought it was a lot,” her mom said. “But she really took to the guitar.”

That year, Deanna and her husband gave Bailey a guitar for Christmas.

“It’s my favorite instrument,” Bailey said.

Deanna said she was impressed with how well the Da Capo teachers prepare their students, with all the recital opportunities they offer. Since 2010, Bailey has performed guitar and piano in more than 30 recitals. The opportunity to play in front of people is really important, Deanna said.

Bailey became so proficient with the guitar that last year, she was the only sixth-grade member of the Harter Middle School Jazz Band.

She also learned how to play the trumpet so she could participate in the regular school band, as well as singing in the school’s MidKnight Special singing group. MidKnight Special invites students to join the group after an audition, and they perform at various Kaneland schools during the year.

Bailey said she loves all types of music, including classical, jazz, pop, rock and more. She practices with each instrument every day, taking one-to-two hours with the guitar and 30-to-45 minutes each with the piano and trumpet.

“She’s only 12, and she plays at a college level,” Da Capo teacher Ben Westfall said. “She also works harder than anyone I’ve met. It’s inspiring. And she gets results.”

Kaneland Harter Middle School music teacher Dan Zielinski, in whose jazz lab band Bailey plays her trumpet, said he is looking forward to her concert on Sunday.

“A full recital is quite an accomplishment, especially for someone so young,” Zielinski said. “It says a lot about her character and her work ethic.”

He said not only is she performing the recital, but the fact that she is doing it to support a worthy organization shows her character and her community mindedness.

Her concert will include three sets: 15 minutes of classical guitar, 15 minutes of piano, and wrapping up with 15 minutes of jazz guitar. Her teachers will play with her and accompany her.

Deanna, who is the current president of the board for the Kaneland Arts Initiative (KAI), said she is happy her daughter’s performance will benefit the organization. Deanna has been actively involved with the KAI for the past seven years.

She said that the KAI offers high quality performing and visual arts experiences for the district and the community at affordable prices, as well as promoting the exploration of arts careers.

“It’ll be great to play for a cause!” Bailey said. “I’m really excited to play “Imagine” by John Lennon. It’s my favorite song.”

The concert, to be held at Da Capo Music Studio, 140 East Route 38 Unit C in Elburn, will be a mix of classical, jazz and pop performed on guitar and piano; repertoire will include “Moonlight Sonata,” Malaguena” and “Married Life from Up.” A dessert reception will follow.

The concert will be free and open to the public. A free-will donation will be taken, and all proceeds will go to the KAI. Donations should be made payable to Da Capo Music Studio, with KAI in the memo line. For more information about the concert, call (630) 777-2955 or email dcmusicstudio@gmail.com.

Maple Park Memorial Park operational plan

MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Village Board on July 1 approved a plan that will allow donations of benches, tables and trees to Memorial Park, located in the Heritage Hills Subdivision on the western portion of Maple Park, in DeKalb County.

Village President Kathy Curtis and resident Julie Little worked to get a plan together that would allow a process for park donations that is beneficial to both the donor and the village.

“We have already had donors approach the village about donating items to the park in honor of family members, such as trees and benches, so this plan really works out well for all,” Curtis said.

Potential donors can find a copy of the plan and the donation forms on the village’s website, www.villageofmaplepark.com, or at the village office, 302 Willow St., Maple Park.

If you are interested in making a donation or have any questions about the process, contact Village Clerk Liz Peerboom at (815) 827-3309, or epeerboom@villageofmaplepark.com.

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Major renovation planned for Anderson Animal Shelter

Photo: The current kennels for dogs are small, isolating and confining; new housing will include pens for small dogs and individual rooms for large dogs.
Photo submited by Holly Alcala to SONeill@elburnherald.com

Looking for 100 foster families to care for animals during construction
SOUTH ELGIN, ILL.—The 40-year-old building that houses the Anderson Animal Shelter in South Elgin, Ill., is about to undergo a major renovation, but Executive Director Beth Drake isn’t waiting until then to begin making changes.

When Drake took over the shelter in May of this year, she streamlined the adoption process and reduced the adoption fees for the cats. As cats have been adopted, reducing the cat population in the shelter, a number of the old-fashioned, stainless-steel cages have been removed.

According to Drake, these cages, closed on three sides with solid stainless steel, are cold and reflective, and both sound and light bounce around, assaulting the cats’ senses. This increases their stress level, causing emotional and physical distress and changes in their behavior.

She said that while the shelter’s current configuration was adequate for the time when the shelter opened, recent research has shown better ways to house shelter animals that make it less stressful and more comfortable for them.

Eventually, all of the stainless-steel cages will be removed, and many of the cat population will live in colonies.

“Cats like to climb onto ledges, and hide inside of things,” Drake said. “Our adoptable cats will be housed with other cats in cat colonies, or individually in large ‘kitty condos’ with perching and sleeping ledges, allowing them to feel more at home.”

Drake said it’s a common misconception that cats don’t get along with each other. She said the majority—80 percent—of cats enjoy being with other cats. She said they become more outgoing and friendlier, making them more adoptable, which after all, is the point.

Drake said that the shelter’s current dog kennels also have problems, one of which is that they are too small. With the renovation, there will be fewer, wider kennels. The small dogs will be housed in pens, with the bigger dogs in their own small rooms.

Other modifications to the dog areas will include additional outdoor areas for the dogs to play together, the replacement of chain link fences with landscaping material in the dog runs, the addition of agility jumping poles for more exercise opportunities and additional pea gravel in the play areas.

The $660,000 renovation project, in addition to updating its animal care areas, will expand the parking area and replace the outdated plumbing.

The shelter plans to shut down for the month of September for the construction and renovations. Some of the animals will be moved to a satellite adoption location, where adoptions will continue while the shelter is closed.

Anderson staff is currently looking for foster volunteers willing to care for an adult dog or cat or a litter of puppies or kittens for the transition period.

“We’re looking for as many as 100 foster homes willing to bring a shelter pet into their home for a period of one to two months while the shelter is under construction,” said Jon Koffenberger, the shelter’s Animal Care manager, in a press release. “You don’t need to be an experienced foster volunteer, but we do ask that you have some pet experience.”

The shelter will provide the food and any veterinarian care the animals would need. Shelter staff will also be available to assist if the fosters have behavior concerns about their foster pets.

“All we ask is that you love them and care for them as if they were your own until it’s time for them to come back to the shelter,” Koffenberger said.

Drake said that many of the animals at Anderson have been at the shelter for a long time. They’ve forgotten what it means to be part of a family and will need some help readjusting to that type of life.

“It can be very helpful to engage foster homes and get the animals out of our facility so that they can learn manners and work on potty training and those kinds of things,” Drake said. “Regardless of how wonderful a shelter is, it is an inherently stressful place to be.”

She said that at the end of the six weeks, if the families have fallen in love with their cat(s) or dog(s) and don’t want to bring them back, they would be given first priority for adoption.

“We currently have 120 cats and kittens,” she said. “I would love to adopt out half of them.”

In the meantime, Drake has instituted several new practices with the dogs at the shelter, all with the goal of making them more adoptable.

One such practice she calls “Nothing in life is free.” All of the volunteers now have treats in their pockets, and before a dog is given anything, they require the dog to sit first. They don’t tell them to “sit,” but they will be rewarded with a treat when they do.

“Their default behavior will be butt-on-ground,” she said.

Once they learn that sitting will get them what they want, their behavior will be much more appropriate when they are visiting with a potential adopter, rather than jumping up or panting.

She said that this practice also leads to much more appropriate communication, speeding up the training process and making it a more positive experience.

Drake has also begun play groups with the dogs, in which three to five dogs are allowed to interact with each other off-leash. These groups are a way to reinforce appropriate dog-to-dog interactions, as well as provide a positive outlet for pent-up energy.

“Unless we allow them off-leash, they lose the ability to interact with other dogs,” she said.

Michelle Adams, who volunteers at the shelter on a daily basis, said that these play groups have made a big difference in many of the dogs’ behavior. She said when they are able to play together and get some good exercise, the dogs become calmer and become more enjoyable to be around—again, becoming more adoptable.

Adams said that, through another new program at the shelter, she has begun to work with some of the dogs as part of a behavior intervention team. Each week, Koffenberger creates new objectives for dogs with behaviors that could potentially keep them from being adopted. It could be a dog that’s afraid of other dogs, one who wants to chase everything in sight, or a dog that will too vigorously guard his food.

She has seen progress in several dogs already, as well as some major successes, where dogs with resolved problems have been adopted into loving homes.

Drake said she was brought in to Anderson Animal Shelter because they have some growing to do. Drake had worked at the Anderson shelter from 2000 to 2002 as the director of operations. She left to oversee the creation of the state-of-the-art TAILS Humane Society Shelter in DeKalb.
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“This organization has so much potential,” she said.

Last year, Anderson totaled 700 adoptions, and Drake said this year they are on track for 1,000 adoptions.

“There is no reason we can’t greatly exceed 2,500 adoptions in a year,” she said. “The more adoptions, the more lives we save. There is so much need in the welfare community that we all have to overachieve.”

The challenge
The Anderson Animal Shelter receives no governmental funding. Marco and Patricia Muscarello, on behalf of the Ivar and Ruth Anderson Animal Anti-Cruelty foundation, have donated generously toward the renovation project, but the shelter still needs to raise at least $400,000 to cover the cost.

If you’d like to donate, the shelter is seeking monetary and in-kind donations. Naming and sponsorship opportunities are available for those interested and donations of various items, including portable 6′ x 6′ chain link or panel dog kennels and pea gravel, are being sought.

For questions, a detailed list of options or to discuss areas of interest, contact Holly Alcala at halcala@andersonanimalshelter.org or (847) 697-2880 x33.

Interested
in fostering?

The shelter is looking for as many as 100 foster families that will care for the animals beginning in September for the six weeks that the shelter will be under construction. Food and vet care will be provided. Assistance with any potential behavioral issues or concerns will also be provided, if needed.
You don’t need to be an expert in pet behavior or medical issues, but you should have some pet experience.
Information about fostering cats and dogs is available online at www.andersonanimalshelter.org, by calling Jon Koffenberger, the shelter’s animal care manager, at (847) 697-2880, ext. 23. or emailing jkoffenberger@andersonanimalshelter.org.
An orientation for cat fosters will be held on Saturday, Aug. 23, and one for dog fosters on Saturday, Aug. 30.
Individuals are encouraged to fill out an online application at the shelter’s website, www.andersonanimalshelter.org.

Other ways to help:

Jewelry Faire
Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Sept. 5-7
www.events.org/
2014diggingfortreasure

Gala Dinner & Auction
Saturday, Nov. 8
www.events.org/
2014ANighttoPaws

1.

Close to the finish line

Exclusive group of area drivers stake claim at Speedway

SYCAMORE—Friday and Saturday nights during the summer months bring a lot of action to Sycamore Speedway.

That atmosphere draws familiar and enthusiastic crowds, but only a handful of racers from the Elburn area.

Racers that include husband and wife Frank and Rebecca Stubitsch of Virgil and Anthony Hansford of Virgil have a real passion for hitting the Speedway grounds, with an added benefit of it being as close as you can get.

As a demolition derby and spectator class competitor, Hansford, of Virgil, takes Ford Crown Victorias to smash and Chevy Caprices to excel.

“I just turned 28 last week and I’ve been racing since 2005. I’ve been going to the Speedway forever,” Hansford said.

Hansford enjoys the close proximity, with a locally renowned track providing benefits other tracks cannot.

“I love the fact that it’s close to home,” Hansford said. “I used to drive up from Yorkville and that was still better than travelling out of state for six to 10 races each year.”

Hansford looks toward a future where it’s likely just one night of competition, rather than two, making the Speedway outpost a great option to burn rubber.

“The cost gets up there for fixing your vehicles and then you have to get them up to the truck, so I like that it’s close,” Hansford said.

Drivers from the immediate area and beyond give a sense of camaraderie, no matter their place of origin.

“A lot of my friends are from St. Charles and Sycamore, and they come up and see me race. The other drivers I compete with are like my family. We have our bumps and bruises but we’re a family,” Hansford said.

Hansford looks to get more involved with working on cars for C3 Racing out of Dwight, Ill.

The Stubitsch clan has been able to excel in this activity with success, and it was something that could have a level of participation for both.

“It’s something we started doing five years ago when we moved to Virgil from Elgin, Ill.,” Rebecca said.

In powder puff and spectator classes, Rebecca loves the benefits of racing so close.

“It’s three miles down the road, and it’s great. It takes you a little while to get used to racing on the weekends, but we love it. We checked it out when one of Frank’s friends did it and we tried it; it just snowballed from there,” Rebecca said.

In some of her races, the benefits to her cars are minimal, but the intangibles to the driver are many.

“It’s made me more able to try new things, where I wasn’t willing to before,” Rebecca said. “I want to try the 25-lap races more, because you actually have to try and go somewhere for a time.”

Frank has fixed cars like Chevy Malibus and driven Ford Crown Victorias during his weekend warrior time, and he has noticed changes, as well.

“It’s really nice to go out there as a couple, and I notice I’m calmer, actually, and there are some aggressive drivers out there,” Frank said.

An electrician, Frank finds that racing on the weekends is somewhat of another full-time job, but something he and his wife continue to enjoy—a thread going through most local drivers.

“You need to fix what’s wrong with your cars and haul both of them up to the track. But you pick up stuff and you learn to read the track,” Frank said.

“We’re pretty happy there,” Rebecca said.

Real Estate Transactions 8-14-2014

6/13/14 CHRISTIANA GAMBILL from JAMES P. PHILLIP; 43W663 MARIAN CIRCLE S., SUGAR GROVE IL 60554-9501 for $320,000

7/21/14 NICHOLAS ROBERTS and DANA ROBERTS from CARMAX AUTO SUPERSTORES INC; 225 SOMERSET DRIVE, SUGAR GROVE IL 60554-9815 for $275,000

7/21/14 ELIZABETH J. BEYER from ZACHARY R. SCHINDLER; 702 WILLOW ST., MAPLE PARK IL 60151-7309 for $101,500

7/22/14 ROBIN M. LENART from FEDERAL HOME LOAN MTG CORP; 931 MERRILL NEW ROAD, SUGAR GROVE IL 60554-9210 for $200,000

7/22/14 KELLY BENAVIDEZ from FEDERAL HOME LOAN MTG CORP; 173 ARBOR AVE., SUGAR GROVE IL 60554-5403 for $168,000

7/24/14 MEGAN M. EVANS from DALE W. HAMREY; 2N924 GRAND MONDE DRIVE, ELBURN IL 60119-9427 for $288,000

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Celebrate the 85th installment of Elburn Days

Elburn Days website >>

Elburn Days on Facebook >>

Schedule of Events >>

The 85th installment of the Elburn Days festival will take place this weekend, Aug. 15-17, at Elburn Lions Park, 500 Filmore Ave., Elburn. This year’s event will include entertainment, a 5K run, a car raffle, mud volleyball, a carnival, a beer tent, live entertainment, a parade and so much more. And if it’s anything like previous Elburn Days events (and it will be), Elburn is in for quite a good time this weekend.

Ensuring that said good time goes on without a hitch is pretty tedious work, however. Preparing anything at the scale of Elburn Days, which draws an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 visitors, is a logistical challenge. The festival lasts just three days, but the Lions spend an entire year preparing for it. Elburn Days is their largest fundraiser of the year and raises the majority of the organization’s funds for its charity work with the visually impaired.

More than 50 chairpeople plan various events, from the beer garden to the pie-eating contest to the sanitation, attending monthly meetings and sending regular email updates to Dave Broz, this year’s Elburn Days chairperson. Hundreds of people from the Lions Club and the community also volunteer to work the actual festival.

As for the hot dogs and brats—another popular food item available at Elburn Days—they come from Ream’s Meat Market in Elburn, which is making about 2,800 brats and 3,000 hot dogs for this year’s Elburn Days installment.

Ream’s makes hot dogs and brats in batches of 100 pounds each, he said, and the order for Elburn Days is about 1,000 pounds and takes 10 batches. Just making that many takes a couple of mornings, he said, before they go into the smokehouses to cook.

Mainstage entertainment is a big part of Elburn Days, and this year’s lineup includes Back Country Roads on Friday, Arra on Saturday, and Mike and Joe on Sunday afternoon.

Speaking of Sunday, the Elburn Herald’s mud volleyball tournament will take place at noon, with check-in at 11:30 a.m. The event will feature 48 teams on six courts, battling for mud volleyball supremacy. The event is just as fun to watch as it is to actually do, and that’s a good thing, as the event is sold out in terms of participating teams.

A parade, good music and food, a 5K run, a carnival, mud volleyball and countless other activities. What more could a festival goer ask for? We’ll see you this weekend at Elburn Days 2014. Enjoy the event, everyone.

Letter: Make some memories at Elburn Days 2014

As the summer winds to a close, we can look back at some mild weather and hopefully some good times. Whether this summer was what you had hoped for, or whether it wasn’t, this weekend brings one last opportunity to make some memories.

As the chairman of the Elburn Days Festival this year, my summer memories have been humbling. I have had the great privilege of working alongside the fine people who make Elburn Days happen. It has been an amazing story of teamwork, dedication and people helping other people.

I would like to thank all of the folks who have been—and will be—volunteering at Elburn Days this weekend. Although it is often said that “we couldn’t do it without you,” there are no better words. Thank you.

I would also like to thank our sponsors, whose financial support we depend on. We couldn’t do it without you, either. Thank you.

When the parade kicks off Friday night, our community will come together for one last summer weekend—an opportunity to relax, have fun and perhaps make memories to last a lifetime. For those of you we see at the festival this weekend, I hope Elburn Days is everything you wish it to be, and that it lives up to this year’s theme, “Anything is possible when you follow your dream.”

On behalf of the Elburn Lions Club, thank you again to everyone who makes Elburn Days possible. See you this weekend at Lions Park.

Lion Dave Broz
Elburn Days 2014 chairman

Letter: Thank you to Sidewalk Sale participants, volunteers

The Elburn Chamber of Commerce would like to extend a generous thank you to all the participants and volunteers of this past weekend’s Sidewalk Sale event in downtown Elburn, and to the many who came out to support it.

Vendors such as Serenity Scarves, Splat Toys, Thirty-One, Premier Jewelry Designs, Accessorize Me Kelley, KeKe’s Sweet Shop, Costco, Olympia Chiropractic, Santschi Tree Service and Pure N Herbal all set up tent space to promote their goods and services. We also saw many of our local downtown merchants like Ream’s Elburn Market, Beautiful U ReSale Shop, Paisano’s, Tri-City Coin, Eddie Gaedel’s and Soaring Heart Vintage join in with lunch and merchandise specials for the weekend’s event.

In addition, an extended thank you goes out to Ream’s Elburn Market for allowing us to place a portable restroom in their parking lot as a convenience to our vendors and attendees of the event. We appreciate all the help and support from everyone who was involved with making this event successful. Thank you.

CeCe Rocha
Elburn Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sidewalk Sale Committee

Letter: Kaneland ‘ready to operate’? Not so fast

Superintendent Jeff Schuler said he is leaving the Kaneland schools “ready to operate.” Several School Board members express their appreciation (choking back tears at times) of his service and accomplishments as he leaves for his new job with the Wheaton-Warrenville School District.

Unfortunately, the respective school business details warranting such “love” between board members and Mr. Schuler are somehow missing in their candid dialogues.

Academic growth was good, according to our School Board majority, but not exemplary under Illinois standards. McDole Elementary PK-fifth-grade reading growth dropped to 98 percent, and barely met the average of 100 percent in Math. The High School students tested at 53 percent ready for college course work. We taxpayers are spending $11,563 per student to provide for our children’s education under Mr. Schuler’s direction, and the total will be increasing next year. We should expect all students’ learning growth to at least be average and increasing in improvement, corresponding with spending rates.

Mr. Schuler’s leadership is suggesting next year’s budget to be $66.5 million, or an increase of 7.1 percent. Financing this increase will be a 9.5 percent increase to our tax bill. Student enrollment has dropped by 12 in 2012 and 190 in 2013 for a 4.2 percent decrease, but at the same time Mr. Schuler increased his 2013-14 employee count (817) by 15 people to 832, or 1.8 percent. Employee salaries and benefits account for 80 percent of the School District’s expenses. Our district’s pension obligation is about $230 million as of now.

Such high increases in taxation have surpassed the PTELL Law guidelines of 5 percent tax caps. Within the last two years, the Illinois Board of Education Association lobbying group (Alliance) has successfully managed our state politicians to temporarily remove the tax cap from the Transportation Fund within our school system. Their lobbyist instituted another law to allow money to be transferred out of the “uncapped” Transportation Fund to the “capped” General Fund. This is another form of “backdoor referendum” in which the taxpayer has “no say” protection as to limits on taxation.

Mr. Schuler and staff are very aware of these changes in the law. In order to pay for the additional staff employed and non-open bid contracts this year into next, the district must rob from the Transportation Fund, and the law allows them to do it.

The intended money in the Transportation Fund is desperately needed to maintain the safety of the bus fleet. The district must bus children living over 1.5 miles from their assigned school. The district’s in-house maintenance staff of two mechanics and two garage stalls is appalling to expect our transportation team to keep our fleet up to standards. The 60-plus bus driver’s assigned meeting room and informational center will not house more than 15 people at one time. The shared single his/her restroom will not meet local health code compliance or decency of person’s self-respect. This transportation system is a picture of gross neglect by our school administration and board members, as well.

I will not labor the point of educational performance standards and administrator’s ability to manage any further. My experience is not a “love” tribute to Mr. Schuler, but an opinion of “unfortunate” to be a child in this school system.

Jerry Elliott
Sugar Grove Township

Letter: Williams death a great loss, like so many others

The recent death of actor/comedian Robin Williams by a suspected suicide was probably a shock for most of us. Often seen as a hyper, “always on” personality, he apparently was haunted by the mental illness known as severe depression.

In Illinois, almost 90 percent of people who commit suicide suffer from the biological disease of mental illness. Fully two-thirds of people who are mentally ill do not even seek treatment, mostly due to the stigma that the disease carries with it.

We may never know what led to Williams’ decision to end his life, or if he sought help, or was afraid of what people would think. All we can do now is to try and prevent this unnecessary loss on a local level. Each of us can listen—really listen—when a friend tells us he or she is having a really bad day. We can tell them it is OK to get help when you need it, just like any other medical condition, like diabetes or cancer.

We can assist them by getting them to seek the help they need from professionals in the field.

Locally, we are blessed to have two expert resources. Suicide Prevention Services (SPS) specializes in the issues involved in suicide. They can be reached at (630) 482-9696. The Association for Individual Development (AID) operates the Crisis Line of the Fox Valley with trained staff and volunteers. Their number is (630) 966-9393.

Every loss by suicide is a preventable tragedy. Please do your share to stop the next one.

Jerry Murphy
Executive Director, The INC Board, NFP

Letter: Make some memories at Elburn Days 2014

As the summer winds to a close, we can look back at some mild weather and hopefully some good times. Whether this summer was what you had hoped for, or whether it wasn’t, this weekend brings one last opportunity to make some memories.

As the chairman of the Elburn Days Festival this year, my summer memories have been humbling. I have had the great privilege of working alongside the fine people who make Elburn Days happen. It has been an amazing story of teamwork, dedication and people helping other people.

I would like to thank all of the folks who have been—and will be—volunteering at Elburn Days this weekend. Although it is often said that “we couldn’t do it without you,” there are no better words. Thank you.

I would also like to thank our sponsors, whose financial support we depend on. We couldn’t do it without you, either. Thank you.

When the parade kicks off Friday night, our community will come together for one last summer weekend—an opportunity to relax, have fun and perhaps make memories to last a lifetime. For those of you we see at the festival this weekend, I hope Elburn Days is everything you wish it to be, and that it lives up to this year’s theme, “Anything is possible when you follow your dream.”

On behalf of the Elburn Lions Club, thank you again to everyone who makes Elburn Days possible. See you this weekend at Lions Park.

Lion Dave Broz
Elburn Days 2014 chairman

Letter: Thank you to Sidewalk Sale participants, volunteers

The Elburn Chamber of Commerce would like to extend a generous thank you to all the participants and volunteers of this past weekend’s Sidewalk Sale event in downtown Elburn, and to the many who came out to support it.

Vendors such as Serenity Scarves, Splat Toys, Thirty-One, Premier Jewelry Designs, Accessorize Me Kelley, KeKe’s Sweet Shop, Costco, Olympia Chiropractic, Santschi Tree Service and Pure N Herbal all set up tent space to promote their goods and services. We also saw many of our local downtown merchants like Ream’s Elburn Market, Beautiful U ReSale Shop, Paisano’s, Tri-City Coin, Eddie Gaedel’s and Soaring Heart Vintage join in with lunch and merchandise specials for the weekend’s event.

In addition, an extended thank you goes out to Ream’s Elburn Market for allowing us to place a portable restroom in their parking lot as a convenience to our vendors and attendees of the event. We appreciate all the help and support from everyone who was involved with making this event successful. Thank you.

CeCe Rocha
Elburn Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sidewalk Sale Committee

Letter: Kaneland ‘ready to operate’? Not so fast

Superintendent Jeff Schuler said he is leaving the Kaneland schools “ready to operate.” Several School Board members express their appreciation (choking back tears at times) of his service and accomplishments as he leaves for his new job with the Wheaton-Warrenville School District.

Unfortunately, the respective school business details warranting such “love” between board members and Mr. Schuler are somehow missing in their candid dialogues.

Academic growth was good, according to our School Board majority, but not exemplary under Illinois standards. McDole Elementary PK-fifth-grade reading growth dropped to 98 percent, and barely met the average of 100 percent in Math. The High School students tested at 53 percent ready for college course work. We taxpayers are spending $11,563 per student to provide for our children’s education under Mr. Schuler’s direction, and the total will be increasing next year. We should expect all students’ learning growth to at least be average and increasing in improvement, corresponding with spending rates.

Mr. Schuler’s leadership is suggesting next year’s budget to be $66.5 million, or an increase of 7.1 percent. Financing this increase will be a 9.5 percent increase to our tax bill. Student enrollment has dropped by 12 in 2012 and 190 in 2013 for a 4.2 percent decrease, but at the same time Mr. Schuler increased his 2013-14 employee count (817) by 15 people to 832, or 1.8 percent. Employee salaries and benefits account for 80 percent of the School District’s expenses. Our district’s pension obligation is about $230 million as of now.

Such high increases in taxation have surpassed the PTELL Law guidelines of 5 percent tax caps. Within the last two years, the Illinois Board of Education Association lobbying group (Alliance) has successfully managed our state politicians to temporarily remove the tax cap from the Transportation Fund within our school system. Their lobbyist instituted another law to allow money to be transferred out of the “uncapped” Transportation Fund to the “capped” General Fund. This is another form of “backdoor referendum” in which the taxpayer has “no say” protection as to limits on taxation.

Mr. Schuler and staff are very aware of these changes in the law. In order to pay for the additional staff employed and non-open bid contracts this year into next, the district must rob from the Transportation Fund, and the law allows them to do it.

The intended money in the Transportation Fund is desperately needed to maintain the safety of the bus fleet. The district must bus children living over 1.5 miles from their assigned school. The district’s in-house maintenance staff of two mechanics and two garage stalls is appalling to expect our transportation team to keep our fleet up to standards. The 60-plus bus driver’s assigned meeting room and informational center will not house more than 15 people at one time. The shared single his/her restroom will not meet local health code compliance or decency of person’s self-respect. This transportation system is a picture of gross neglect by our school administration and board members, as well.

I will not labor the point of educational performance standards and administrator’s ability to manage any further. My experience is not a “love” tribute to Mr. Schuler, but an opinion of “unfortunate” to be a child in this school system.

Jerry Elliott
Sugar Grove Township

Letter: Williams death a great loss, like so many others

The recent death of actor/comedian Robin Williams by a suspected suicide was probably a shock for most of us. Often seen as a hyper, “always on” personality, he apparently was haunted by the mental illness known as severe depression.

In Illinois, almost 90 percent of people who commit suicide suffer from the biological disease of mental illness. Fully two-thirds of people who are mentally ill do not even seek treatment, mostly due to the stigma that the disease carries with it.

We may never know what led to Williams’ decision to end his life, or if he sought help, or was afraid of what people would think. All we can do now is to try and prevent this unnecessary loss on a local level. Each of us can listen—really listen—when a friend tells us he or she is having a really bad day. We can tell them it is OK to get help when you need it, just like any other medical condition, like diabetes or cancer.

We can assist them by getting them to seek the help they need from professionals in the field.

Locally, we are blessed to have two expert resources. Suicide Prevention Services (SPS) specializes in the issues involved in suicide. They can be reached at (630) 482-9696. The Association for Individual Development (AID) operates the Crisis Line of the Fox Valley with trained staff and volunteers. Their number is (630) 966-9393.

Every loss by suicide is a preventable tragedy. Please do your share to stop the next one.

Jerry Murphy
Executive Director, The INC Board, NFP

poust

Elburn Lions celebrate 85th anniversary

Photo: Newly-inducted Lion Mathau Poust (right) with his father and sponsor, Kevin. Photo by Debbie Behrends

ELBURN—On the Saturday before its annual Elburn Days event, the Lions Club took time to celebrate its past and rededicate itself to the future.

Members from clubs around northern Illinois, as well as international level dignitaries, joined members of the Elburn Lions Club to celebrate the club’s 85th anniversary with a dinner at the clubhouse. The evening also included recognition of service for several members, and induction of two new Lions.

Elburn Village President Dave Anderson—a 36-year Lion—recounted some of the history of the local club, starting with the signing of its charter in September 1929 by Lions founder Melvin Jones. Beginning with just 20 members, the club is 185 strong today.

“On Saturday afternoon, Sept. 16, 1933, the club hosted its first-ever Elburn Day,” Anderson said. “Last year’s event netted $80,000; the first year, the club realized $21.22.”

Anderson recounted the purchase of property and expansion of the park and its facilities, successful and not-so-successful projects, Bingo, establishment of the Leos, and the recent addition of a monthly spaghetti dinners served free for the community.

“Elburn would not be Elburn without the Lions Club,” Anderson said. “Forward ever, backward never.”

Lions International President Joe Preston of Dewey, Ariz., said he wished he could be in town for Elburn Days.

“You’re doing so much,” Preston said. “And part of your success is your ability to partner with others.”

Preston complimented the club on being active, vibrant and energetic.

“I see Lion paw prints throughout your community, but it’s time to rededicate yourselves and keep the goal growing. Being a Lion is special; put your pin into action,” Preston said to attendees.

Preston’s theme for his presidential year is “Strengthen the Pride,” and he encouraged club members to “dig down deep and strengthen the pride.”

Also in attendance were Lions International First Vice President Dr. Jitsuhiro Yamada of Minokamo, Gifu, Japan, and Second Vice President Robert Corlew of Milton, Tenn.

Also during the meeting, new members Mathau Poust and Gregg Erickson were inducted.

Monarch chevrons were awarded for years of service to members Sharon Elgar, 10 years; Anna Mainhart and Dave Judd, 15 years; Brad Cornell, Phil Gladd and Scott Karas, 20; Lester Lee, 25; Jerry Schmidt, 40; Jim Gillett, 45; and Gordy Dierschow, 50.

Silver sponsorship awards were presented to Pam Hall and Kristen Damolaris for sponsoring two members each during the fall membership drive. A senior builder key award was presented to Chris Halsey for sponsoring 15 members. And Jan Callahan was presented with an appreciation plaque for her years of providing desserts for club functions.

6.

Kuipers enjoys a night under the stars

Photo: Gabee Delficco (from left), Liv Delficco and Erik Rychlewski, all from DeKalb, search for the Perseid meteor shower Tuesday night. Photo by Lynn Logan

MAPLE PARK—Kuipers Family Farm in Maple Park on Tuesday night hosted a stargazing event.

The event featured a presentation by Northern Illinois University’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), and then provided attendees with an opportunity to view the Perseid meteor shower.

About 60 people came out to Kuiper’s Orchard to listen to the presentation and then enjoy the meteor shower show. The Perseid meteor shower is an annual shower that occurs every year during mid-August. Observers get to enjoy the bright displays of the meteor shower each year thanks to the Earth passing through dust and ice from the comet Swift-Tuttle. The meteor shower was visible from the northeast direction, and Saturn, Mars, the moon and the meteors were visible during the evening.

STEM provided a presentation by Daniel Strange, David Hedin, and Sheldon Turner. Strange, manager at Davis Hall Observatory, covered different spacecraft missions to comets that led to the discovery of new information. Dr. Hedin, a Board of Trustees professor, spoke about the possibilities of other planets being habitable like Earth. Dr. Sheldon Turner presented information on why Pluto is no longer considered a planet, and the decision making process behind different subcategories of planets.

Kim Kuipers, wife to Wade Kuipers and owner of Kuipers Family Farm, was present for the event.

“Everything they’re talking about is really interesting,” she said. “I keep telling my kids there will be a test afterward. Everyone seems really excited about what they will see. I’m glad that the weather turned around. I was talking to someone from STEM, and they said its their second-biggest event.”

After the presentation, guests and STEM staff milled outside to view the Perseid meteor show. STEM brought its telescopes for interested guests to use during the meteor shower.

STEM is a group that provides different programs and activities throughout the year, centered around science, technology, engineering and math. Different types of activities for kids are available through STEM, including hands-on and demonstration programs, and other events where visitors get to explore STEM facilities at NIU. Some of the group’s most popular events are the Haunted Physics Laboratory during Halloween, demonstration shows involving chemistry experiments, Frontier Physics Road Shows and Davis Hall Observatory visits.

STEM events are otherwise known as “Cafe.” The next STEM Cafe will be “The Physics of Football” on Wednesday, Sept. 17, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at O’Leary’s Restaurant & Pub, 260 E. Lincoln Highway (Route 38) in DeKalb.

Amanda Malawski

Malawski excels on international track

Time in UK more precious than medals

SUGAR GROVE—Team USA’s youngest athlete, Amanda Malawski, brought home two medals from the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation’s (IWAS) World Junior Games, held in England from Aug. 2-8.

The 13-year-old Sugar Grove resident won a silver medal in the 4x100m relay, with a time of 1:10.45, with her teammates, Jessica Heims, Lauren Gates and Aubrey Headon.

She took home a bronze medal in the long jump, with a distance of 2.28 meters.

Amanda also set personal records in the 400m dash, with a time of 1:27, and in the javelin. She improved her time in the 200m dash from 38.75 at the National Junior Games in July to 36.73 and in the 400m from 1:28.53 to 1:27.72—times that will make her a contender for the 2016 US Paralympic team.

The 2014 IWAS World Junior Games were held at Stoke Mandeville Stadium in Aylesbury, England, and hosted teams from 32 countries. To participate, athletes must first qualify at the regional level, then qualify at the national level.

Amanda qualified at the Great Lakes Regional Games in Lake Forest, Ill., this year, then competed against more than 200 regional champions at the National Junior Games in Ames, Iowa, to earn her spot on Team USA.

“It’s a huge accomplishment, absolutely huge,” said Cindy Housner, the executive director of the Great Lakes Adaptive Sport Association (GLASA). “Amanda is an extremely talented and gifted athlete, and she’s worked really hard. She is competing against others in the same ability level and age group, and she rises to the top.”

In the games, Amanda competes in a class known as T36, for athletes whose disability affects only one side of their body. Amanda, who was born with cerebral palsy, is affected on her right side. Her twin, Alex, is affected on his left side.

Both Amanda and Alex train at the GLASA facility in Lake Forest on a weekly basis, working with specialized coaches. GLASA offers recreational and competitive activities for athletes with physical and visual disabilities throughout northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.

Housner praised Amanda as a particularly hard-working athlete.

“One thing that stands out in my mind is that Amanda is a good athlete, but what makes her really outstanding is her work ethic,” Housner said. “If you came out on a Saturday practice and watched her, she is just tireless. She goes on and on. Not many athletes are doing both track and field. She is just working hard and has a really positive attitude. She’s always looking for feedback, so she’s very coachable.”

The IWAS World Junior Games are a proving ground for the Paralympics, and though Amanda was the youngest member of Team U.S.A., she is already being scouted for the U.S. Paralympic team.

“We’ve talked to the Paralympics coach, and it’s amazing thinking that the Paralympic team is looking at our daughter,” said Lori Malawski, Amanda’s mother. “Never when you have a child with special needs do you think something like this is in their future.”

Amanda hopes to qualify for the IWAS World Junior Games again next year, in Amsterdam, and then be chosen to represent the US in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janerio.

To qualify for the Paralympics, she will need to compete at several events sanctioned by the International Paralympic Committee over the next year. The committee will select 40 men and 40 women to compete in the 2016 games; a number of spots are reserved for injured military veterans.

“If she does get selected, the next big event will be next August in Toronto, and then the one after that is in Qatar,” Matt Malawski, Amanda’s father, said. “The end of next year is when they start selecting athletes to represent the US in Rio.”

Despite Amanda’s achievements, few of her classmates at Harter Middle School realize just how fast she is.

“When I was on the track team for my school, I was considered slow,” she said. “Because I’m affected on one side of my body, I’m slower than able-bodied people because they’re not affected. It was kind of discouraging on my track team because I was always the last.”

That’s partly why competing in GLASA and the IWAS World Junior Games is so important to her, she said.

“There’s not a lot of programs for kids with disabilities,” Amanda said. “We are practicing, but we have to travel far. It’s worth it because we can talk to people with the same disabilities, and it’s a lot of fun.”

She qualified for the World Junior Games last year, but she was too young to participate.

“You have to be 14 the year of the games, so I was underage,” Amanda said. “They sent an email saying that I made the team, and then a week and a half later, I got another email saying that I was too young to participate. It was a little disappointing, but it kind of wasn’t, because it meant that I am faster than people who are 16 or 17.”

Going to the 2014 World Junior Games was a great experience for her.

“I was the youngest on the team, so it was kind of a good experience being with other people who have been competing for awhile and are older than me,” she said. “I just started competing internationally, and I liked competing against people with tons of experience.”

It was also a valuable lesson, she said.

“It taught me not to let my disability get in the way of things. If I did, I wouldn’t be where I am and able to compete,” Amanda said. “The people I made friends with (at the games) don’t let their disability stop them. They are normal when they compete, and that’s how I like it.”

Those interactions were more precious than the medals to her parents.

“It was an amazing week. Yes, she worked really hard, but the interaction with the teammates is what will stay with her forever. It made it all worth it,” Lori said.

Amanda Malawski Photo submitted by Jennifer Drews/GLASA to sports@elburnherald.com

Big Rock Plowing Match set for Sept. 19-21

BIG ROCK—The weekend of Sept. 19-21 will play host to the 120th annual Plowing Match in Big Rock.

A traditional competition based on Welsh heritage, this event began in 1894 under the direction of Big Rock farmers S.A. Chapman, W.D. Powell, and Walter Scott. Located just west of Aurora on Route 30, this farm show is one of the longest running events of its kind.

Activities get underway on Friday, Sept. 19, with the carnival wristband night from 6 to 9:30 p.m. The concession stand will sell hot dogs, chips and pop. This year, Big Rock will welcome back Darrin Lee, who will be the DJ from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Antique Steel and Rubber category plowing begins on Saturday, Sept. 20, at 9:30 a.m. A Western & English Horse Show will begin at 8:30 a.m. and continue until 5 p.m. 5-B’s Catering of Waterman at 11:30 a.m. will prepare pork chop and chicken dinners. The Ladies Fair auction will be held at 1:30 p.m., and the Jr. Fair auction will take place at 1 p.m. The round bale roll-off will be at 4 p.m.

Following a community church service on Sunday, Sept. 21, Reuland’s Catering will provide a roast beef dinner starting at 11 a.m. A watermelon-eating contest will also take place at 11 a.m. Plowing will resume at noon, and the 4-H Beef Show will begin at 1 p.m. The Prince and Princess Contest will be at 1:30 p.m., followed by Big Rock Park District Bingo at 2:30 p.m.

A must-see is the craft and art show, included in one of the last Plowing Match festivals held in Illinois. All types of hand-crafted items are available, and the event will include over 50 vendors. For more information, call Jeanne at (630) 556-3779.

Other attractions this weekend include train rides and a horseshoe tournament. For more information. call the following:

• Plowing—(815) 495-9418
• Business Space Rental—(630) 556-3171
• Ladies Fair—(630) 556-4771
• Junior Fair—(630) 556-3171
• Horse Show—(630) 556-3501
• Horseshoe Tournament—(630) 556-3547
• Prince/Princess Contest—(630) 556-3238
• Pedal Tractor Pull—(630) 327-2512
• Tractor Trot 5K fun run—(630) 417-0340

Wu

Waubonsee’s Wu elected to Fox Valley United Way

SUGAR GROVE—John Wu, director of Emergency Management and Safety at Waubonsee Community College, has been selected to serve as chairman of the board of directors for the Fox Valley United Way.

Wu, of Naperville, was pre-elected to the position a year ago, when the board selected him as its vice-chairman for 2013-14.

He will serve a one-year term as chairman.

In that role, Wu will work with the organization’s chief executive officer to set strategic direction for the Fox Valley United Way and coordinate the board’s activities and the organization’s public events.

Fox Valley United Way exists to support communities in the Aurora area by measurably improving lives of area residents working in partnership with dozens of other area agencies.

Wu said he is looking forward to the opportunity to serve in leadership on the board.

“It’s another opportunity to contribute to the area,” Wu said.

Kaneland Foundation golf outing Sept. 18

SUGAR GROVE—The 21st Annual Kaneland Foundation Golf Outing, which will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 18, at Bliss Creek Golf Course, 1 Golfview Drive, Sugar Grove.

Check-in and lunch begin at 11 a.m., followed by a shotgun start to the golf. Dinner is served at 5 p.m.

The outing format is a four-person scramble. Individual registration is $100, a foursome is $400 and a dinner-only ticket is $40.

There will be a variety of contests throughout the course, including a 50/50 drawing, Par 3 betting holes and longest drive.

Sponsorship opportunities are available, ranging from $250 to $3,000. Sponsors are asked to contact Beth Sterkel at (630) 365-8295 or Beth.Sterkel@kaneland.org or visit kaneland.org.

‘Cut for a Cure’ at Dave’s Barber Shop Aug. 16

ELBURN—The community will have an opportunity to donate to the Cancer Research Centers of America during the Saturday of Elburn Days, Aug. 16, at Dave’s Barber Shop, 132 N. Main St., from noon to 4 p.m.

Nolan Allen was inspired by his cousin making the choice to shave his head in a “Saint Baldricks” event to support cancer research. After hearing about the fundraiser, he wanted to create a local event in Elburn. Fueled by another family connection, with his uncle Craig succumbing to stage four lung cancer earlier this year, Nolan doesn’t want to wait any longer to make a difference.

Understanding that most people are not willing to shave their heads bald, this event will host a great chance for people to receive a back-to-school haircut or make the “Saint Baldricks” commitment, with all proceeds being donated to cancer research.

Flapjack Frenzy: Scouts offer pancake breakfast during Elburn Days

ELBURN—Elburn Eagle Scout Jacob Sheehan and Boy Scout Jake Grisch will be working at the Elburn Boy Scout Troop 7 all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast on the Saturday of Elburn Days, Aug.16, from 7 to 10:30 a.m.

This year’s Elburn Days event will take place at the American Legion, 112 N. Main St. in Elburn. Tickets are $5, and can be purchased at the door or from any Troop 7 Boy Scout. Kids ages 4 and under eat free.

Sheehan invites the public to come to the breakfast, which he describes as a really good deal, with pancakes, sausage links from Ream’s Elburn Market, juice and coffee.

“They make some darn good pancakes,” he said.

The pancake breakfast is Troop 7’s primary fundraiser, with all proceeds helping to provide opportunities for local Scouts to attend camp and participate in other activities throughout the year.

Grisch, who will soon enter sixth grade at Kaneland Harter Middle School, recently returned from summer camp in Napowan, Wis., where he earned badges in swimming and rifle shooting and safety, and worked on a badge in archery.

Grisch said the six-day camp experience teaches Scouts to take more responsibility for themselves. He’s not sure what task he will be given during the breakfast, but he stands ready to help in any way he is needed.

“This will be my first (pancake breakfast),” Grisch said

Sheehan, who at 18 is a senior at Kaneland High School, has been a Scout since he joined the Cub Scouts in first grade. He is considered a leader in the troop, and said that much of Boy Scouts is really run by the boys.

He said he has had a lot of opportunities for leadership in the Scouts, and his experiences have helped him to gain confidence in speaking in front of groups, as well. The friendships he has made are also a major part of his Scouting experience, and he also has found that having his Eagle Scout experience on applications for schools has been a big plus for him.

Elburn Troop 7 is a very active troop, with monthly camp-outs through the year. Sheehan, along with other older Scouts, has participated in a number of week-long, high-adventure treks to places such as the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, where they spent two weeks backpacking, and the Quetico Boundary Waters along the Minnesota and Canadian border, where their time is spent in canoes.

Kent Roethemeier, Troop 7 parent and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Coordinator, who organizes the breakfast, said the past year’s activities also included rock climbing, biking, hiking and swimming. STEM outings, such as the August Airfest in Joliet, give the boys an opportunity to learn about aviation and weather.

The troop participates in a number of local community service projects, for organizations such as the American Cancer Society, the Elburn American Legion, St. Gall’s Church, Marklund, the village of Wasco, the Elburn & Countryside Fire Department, as well as roadside clean-up along Hughes Road.

Elburn Troop 7 was established in 1924 and is celebrating 90 years of continuous service to the Elburn community. Roethemeier said the troop would like to invite any boy who might be interested in joining Boy Scouts to attend the Monday, Aug.11, meeting at Community Congregational Church, 100 E. Shannon St., Elburn.

The meeting will begin at 7:15 p.m.

Maple Park approves street maintenance, upkeep

MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Village Board on Tuesday voted 5-0 to approve a resolution for maintenance of streets and highways. The resolution was intended to authorize the village to use Motor Fuel Tax funds for the maintenance and upkeep of streets within the village.

The vote resolved that the village of Maple Park is to receive $170,000 in Motor Fuel Tax funds for the purpose of maintaining certain streets that have been previously approved by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

“The Committee of the Whole is scheduled for Aug. 19, at 7 p.m., (and) our (village) engineer (Jeremy Lin) will be providing a report at that meeting,” said Village President Kathy Curtis.

School Board approves Schuler resignation

KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board on Monday voted 4-2 to approve Superintendent Dr. Jeff Schuler’s resignation.

Schuler last week accepted an offer to become superintendent for schools in the Wheaton Warrenville School District, where he will make a base salary of $225,000. His current salary at Kaneland is $194,000.

Schuler will continue working for Kaneland until he takes his new position on Sept. 2. The new Kaneland school year will begin Aug. 20.

School Board members Veronica Bruhl and Tony Valente voted against approving Schuler’s resignation. School Board President Cheryl Krauspe was absent from the meeting.

Bruhl said she has received many calls from taxpayers regarding Schuler’s move to the Wheaton Warrenville School District.

“Taxpayers are very angry,” Bruhl said.

She added that taxpayers have asked how the School Board “could let this happen.”

“People are very, very unhappy,” Bruhl said.

Schuler’s most recent contract with Kaneland was slated to run through June 2016. However, the contract was not written in a way that would hold Schuler responsible should he leave prior to the conclusion of his deal.

“We made a commitment,” Valente said. “The board made a commitment.”

Bruhl agreed with Valente.

“Where I work, you have a contract,” Bruhl said. “You hold to the contract.”

Valente suggested holding Schuler’s certificate until the Kaneland superintendent position is filled.

“I don’t think that’s anything that would be done in good faith,” Witt said, referring to such a move as “vindictive.”

Witt spoke in a choked-up voice while giving Schuler high praise. She said that she was not surprised that Schuler had been recruited and hired by a “high caliber school district.” She noted District 302’s accomplishments during Schuler’s time as superintendent, including Harter Middle School’s recognition as a “school to watch”; an attempt to further engage the Kaneland community; a balanced budget that at times required “painful cuts” to be made; and AP and Spanish classes at Harter Middle School this year.

She then spoke as a Kaneland parent.

“I am forever grateful,” Witt said. “He leaves us in a much better place.”

Stargazing event at Kuipers Family Farm

MAPLE PARK—The annual Perseid meteor shower in mid-August will radiate from the Perseus constellation and appear throughout the sky, and NIU’s STEM Cafe will once again be there to watch it.

STEM Cafe will present “Star Gazing at the Orchard” on Tuesday, Aug. 12, 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. at Kuipers Family Farm, 1N318 Watson Road in Maple Park.

At this free, family-friendly event, NIU experts will discuss everything from NASA’s latest missions to the meteor shower to the ex-planetary status of Pluto. After the talks, attendees are welcome to use NIU telescopes or bring their own to get a better view of the meteors.

Village gives thumbs-up to ‘Shop Elburn First’

ELBURN—The Elburn Economic Development Commission (EDC) received a big thumbs-up from the Elburn Village Board on Monday to move forward with the “Break the Habit, Shop Elburn First” campaign. The board also committed funding to help pay for the commission’s efforts.

Elburn EDC Chair Joe Kryszak, president of JDW Institutional Paper and active Elburn Lions Club member, along with CeCe Rocha, National Bank & Trust representative and active Chamber member, attended the Village Board meeting to discuss their request.

In a letter sent to board members last week, the EDC, created by the village in November 2013, outlined its goals and described some of the activities it wanted to pursue. Among the activities is a marketing effort directed toward Elburn residents, asking them to shop in their village first, as opposed to automatically turning east to head to Randall Road.

“The hurdle that the committee is running up against is not being funded,” Village Administrator Erin Willrett said. “We are requesting $5,000 this fiscal year to bring back the “Break the Habit, Shop Elburn First” campaign.”

Willrett said the money would go to pay for a logo, banners, tote bags, and other items that would raise awareness of the Economic Development Commission’s vision and market Elburn’s business community to its residents.

“No matter what you do, it’s going to cost money,” Kryszak said.

He noted that the cost for the Shop Elburn First campaign is the least of the money that they would need, although he also said that some of what the commission wants to accomplish could be done through donations from local businesses. As an example, he suggested that local businesses could potentially donate the asphalt to pave the existing parking lots.

Kryszak said that signs directing people to the parking lots would also be important.

“When people come through town, and they don’t see parking and there’s no sign to tell them where the parking is located, they won’t stop; they’ll just keep driving,” he said.

Village President Dave Anderson commended the group for the work that it has already done, noting that they have come up with some “good, sound suggestions.”

Trustee Jeff Walter threw in his support of the group and its request.

“I’ve been a proponent of economic development for some time,” he said.

Walter added that the increased business this could create would come back to the village in sales tax dollars.

“Eventually it pays for itself,” he said.

Trustee Pat Schuberg concurred that you have to invest in marketing in order to grow your businesses.

“I’m absolutely behind you guys,” she said.

The board agreed to take half of the money coming to the village from the video gaming machines in town, originally set to go toward improvement of Elburn’s parks, and make it available to the commission for this and other projects. The village currently receives an average of $1,000 per month from the gaming revenue.

Anderson asked Kryszak to come up with details for how much money they will need for the campaign, as well as specifics on where it will be spent.

“You’ve got some hoops to jump through,” Anderson said. “I appreciate the hard work you’ve done. The direction is straight ahead.”

The Economic Development Commission was created last year to assist the village in attracting new economic growth and new businesses, and retaining and revitalizing current businesses within the village.

Sugar Grove considering Route 47 name change

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday discussed the process of changing the name of the stretch of Route 47 in Sugar Grove to “Sugar Grove Parkway.”

The Economic Development Corporation (EDC) of Sugar Grove originally recommended renaming Route 47 to Sugar Grove Parkway for marketing purposes.

“All agencies and property owners will be notified to change all their records,” said Development Director Walter Magdziarz. “The postal service will continue to get their mail delivered to their address because it’s a state highway. The cost will be very low as well.”

The concept of change was the chief concern brought up in regard to the potential name change.

“I think it’s a burden for the people living there to have to change everything,” said Village Board trustee Rick Montalto. “I don’t think it will generate any business.”

Other members of the board brought up a different way to look at the potential name change.

“I think we were more rural in nature, so (the name change could be) more familiar,” said Village Board trustee, Mari Johnson. “I don’t think we should put (the name change) off.”

Village President Sean Michels referenced a local highway as an example of how the name change could be successful.

“People out east refer to Route 38 as Lincoln Highway,” Michels said. “I think Sugar Grove Parkway will catch on. I think now would be a better time since it would affect less people. Five years from now, I don’t think people will question it.”

The Village Board will vote on the Route 47 name change at its meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 20.

Elburn Lions to celebrate 85th year

ELBURN—Just prior to the Lions Club-sponsored Elburn Days Aug. 15-17, club members will take an evening to celebrate a milestone: the club’s 85th anniversary.

The special event will be marked with a dinner on Saturday, Aug. 9, for members and their significant others.

“The dinner is a club function and not open to the public,” said Elburn Lions Club President Bob Thomas. “We’ll have several members recognized with Chevrons for their years of service, and we’ll induct three new members.”

Thomas said Lions International President Joe Preston will speak following the dinner.

Elected in July at the 97th international convention in Toronto, Canada, Preston is a member of the Bradshaw Mountain of Dewey-Humboldt Lions Club in Dewey, Ariz. Preston’s theme for the year is “Strengthen the Pride.”

According to the club’s website, the Elburn Lions Club was chartered by Lions Clubs International on Sept. 14, 1929. The initial club had 15 members and was sponsored by the Lions Club of New Lenox.

Today, the club maintains a membership of about 200 members and a 25-acre park in the heart of Elburn with a club house, playground, baseball and softball fields, and open pavilion.

Internationally, the organization boasts 1.35 million members who perform community service in 209 countries and geographic areas. All share a core believe that “community is what they make it.”