George A. Siebens

George A. Siebens, 77, of DeKalb. died on Saturday, Aug. 22, at Delnor-Community Hospital in Geneva, with his loving wife and all eight of his children at his side.

He was born on Dec. 10, 1931, to Elias G. and Zelma (Storm) Siebens in Sycamore, Ill., and he farmed for many years with his father.

He graduated from Maple Park High School in 1950 and married Carolyn Nieminen of DeKalb on Aug. 7, 1954. The couple recently celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary.

The family lived on its farm in Maple Park for more than 50 years before moving to DeKalb five years ago. In addition to farming, George owned and operated Siebens Arctic Cat for nearly 20 years and was a founding member of the DeKane Snow Trackers snowmobile club. He also was an operating engineer for Stahl Construction Company in DeKalb, and later for Harry W. Kuhn Inc. of West Chicago, Ill.

He was an 18-year member of the Kaneland Community Unit School District 302 School Board and a lifetime member of the Local 150 International Union of Operating Engineers. He was also a member of Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church in DeKalb.

George was active in both his church and the Maple Park community throughout his life. He owned a log cabin in Sugar Camp, Wis., which was the favorite vacation spot for his large family. He often opened the cabin to friends and visitors, most notably from Maple Park, many summers for an annual softball tournament in Sugar Camp, and youth members of Bethlehem Lutheran Church for ski trips many winters. Along with his brother, Richard, he also owned a fishing cottage in Western Ontario, Canada, that was built by their father. That also became a favorite vacation spot for many family members and friends.

He is survived by his wife, Carolyn; his brother, Richard (Marie) Siebens of Maple Park; his sister, Joann (George) Seyller of Missouri; and eight children, Deborah (Dean) Helfers of Aurora, Tamara (David) Farley of DeKalb, Peter Siebens of Waterman, Ill., Timothy (Tammy) Siebens of Oswego, Ill., Daniel (Sandra) Siebens of Green Bay, Wis., Melissa (Dale) Wawracz of Lakeville, Minn., Nathan (Carlye) Siebens of DeLand, Fla. and Alicia (Randy) Holley of Malta, Ill.

He is also survived by 21 grandchildren, Katherine Signorella of Naperville, Ill., Kimberly (Scott) Martin of Maple Park, Todd Signorella of Omaha, Neb., Andrew and Jacob Helfers, both of Aurora, Allison and Kristen Farley, both of DeKalb, Angela Jaeger of North Aurora, Ill., Matthew Jaeger of Palatine, Ill., Aaron (Misty) Siebens of Jacksonville, Fla., Jessica Drake of Oswego, Lance, Laura and Alexandra Siebens, all of Green Bay, Elias, Emma, Sophie and Sylvie Wawracz, all of Lakeville, Landon Siebens of DeLand, and Jared and Christopher Holley, both of Malta. He leaves behind 13 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by both of his parents and an infant grandson, Quentin Richard Helfers.

Visitation was Wednesday, Aug. 26, at Conley Funeral Home, Elburn. A funeral service to celebrate his life will be at 10:30 a.m., with visitation to precede the service from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m., Thursday, Aug. 27, at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 1915 N. First St., DeKalb. The Rev. Gary Erickson, pastor of the church, will officiate, and interment will follow at Fairview Cemetery, DeKalb.

A memorial has been established in his name. Checks may be made to the “George Siebens Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at

Robert Lewis Larsen

Robert Lewis Larsen, 86, passed away peacefully Aug. 7, 2009, at St. Judes Memorial Center in Fullerton, Calif.

He was born March 1, 1923, in Maple Park. In high school, he worked for different farmers to help pay for his education.

He left Maple Park to serve his country in the Air Force for four years in WWII.

When he joined the Elgin Fire Department, he met Arlene Olesen at the Blue Moon Dance Hall, and they were married Aug. 9, 1948, in Elgin.

They were blessed with two children; a son, Dale Larsen, and a daughter, Janet Hebner.

Robert was a member of the Elgin Fire Department for many years. When he retired, he and Arlene moved to Clearwater, Fla., where they bought a mobile home and lived for almost 35 years.

When Arlene died Oct. 8, 2008, he moved to Yorba Linda, Calif., to be near his son and family.

He is survived by his son, Dale and his wife, Cheryl; grandchildren, Derek, Kristine, Steven, and David; great-grandchildren, Dylan, Drew, and Lilly Marie; a sister, Loretta Christensen of Maple Park; a brother, Alfred Larsen of Florida; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his loving wife Arlene. They celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary Aug. 9, 2008, with Daughter Janet, his parents, two sisters and two brothers.

A memorial service is being planned for October at Lakewood Memorial Gardens, Elgin.

Arthur Gordon Miller

Arthur Gordon Miller, 86, of Dunnellon Fla., passed away Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2009. He was born on March 16, 1923, in Janesville, Wis., the son of the late Arthur G. and Maud May (Heath) Miller.

He served in the U.S. Marine Corps during WWII and was a member of the LaVerne W. Anderson Post No. 729 and American Legion of Sheridan, Ill.

Arthur is survived by his children, Judy Dodge-Seitzinger of Dunnellon, Fla., and Arthur (Evelyn) Miller of Montgomery; five grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; 13 great-great grandchildren; brother, Russell (Thelma) Miller of Yorkville; and sister, Irene (Dean) Schultz of Boynton Beach, Fla.

Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Marie; grandson, Randy Dodge; and sister, Dorothy Smith.

Visitation was held on Tuesday, Aug. 25, at The Healy Chapel, 332 W. Downer Place, Aurora. Funeral services took place on Wednesday, Aug. 26, at the chapel. Burial took place at Lincoln Memorial Park.

For further information, please call (630) 897-9291 or visit to sign the online guestbook.

Patricia L. Sanderson

Patricia L. Sanderson, 62 of Earlville, Ill., passed away suddenly at Mendota Community Hospital on Sunday, Aug. 23, 2009.

A memorial visitation will be held on Friday, Aug. 28, from 4 to 5:45 p.m., with a memorial service to celebrate her life following at 6 p.m. at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn. The service will also be webcast live at, beginning five minutes prior to the service, and will later be available as an on-demand video on the website.

A memorial will be established in Patricia’s name to benefit the COPD Foundation. Memorials checks may be made to the COPD Foundation and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes and memories may also be forwarded to the family at the same address or through her obituary at

Marion Nelson

Marion Nelson, 92, of Maple Park passed away Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2009, in Champaign, Ill., where she was recently receiving care.

She was born Jan. 11, 1917, the daughter of George and Laura (Towner) Gehrke, in Prairie View, Ill.

Marion grew up in Crystal Lake, Ill., and attended local schools, graduating from Crystal Lake High School in 1934. She then worked at The Oaks, a local factory for several years before she met Eric Nelson at the Blue Moon. Over time, friendship bloomed into love over the 35 miles of road that separated their homes.

She was united in marriage to Eric G. Nelson on Aug. 6, 1949, in Crystal Lake. They began their new life together working alongside Eric’s family dairy near Elburn. She especially enjoyed feeding the small calves and all of the barn cats.

Following Eric’s passing in 1969, her son Ken continued the dairy operation for several years. In more recent years, her son David was in charge of the operation. Deteriorating health limited her ability to work on the farm and recently necessitated a move to Mattoon, Ill., to be closer to her daughter, Marge.

She was a faithful member for over 50 years of Grace Lutheran Church in Lily Lake, where she taught Sunday school for many of them.

Marion was a child of the Depression and knew the value of making the most of what you had. In that spirit, she always planted a big garden full of a vast array of vegetables, especially parsnips and green beans. When autumn came, canning was a priority, and pantry shelves were filled with the harvest of hard work. She also was infamous for her homemade apple sauce, making so much that to this day there are still jars in her freezer though the tree had died long ago.

Marion made the most of her kitchen, and the fresh-baked smell of cookies and cakes lingered long after the goodies were gone. They never stayed gone for long, however, especially when friends would drop by and she had an excuse to make her patented 20-minute coffee cake. Other family favorites included chocolate chip cookies, ginger snaps and special chocolate layer cake on birthdays.

Despite her age, Marion also enjoyed feeding the calves well into her 80s. Her love of cats also grew from her years on the farm, and in recent years, she would make oatmeal just for them.

Marion made many friends over the years, but everyone knew not to call her on Tuesday nights when she and June Reed had their weekly phone call that routinely lasted over two hours as they exchanged the latest news and gossip. A legacy of love and recipes will be passed down to the next generation who will no doubt enjoy one as much as the other.

She now leaves three children, Kenneth (Julie) Nelson of Maple Park, Marjorie (Durwin) Sanders of Mattoon, Ill., and David (Peggy) Nelson of Maple Park; six grandchildren, Dan (Heather) Nelson of Ashton, Ill., Kathy (Ryan) Gibbs of Monroe Center, Ill., Nicholas (Halley) Sanders of Paris, Ill., Neil (Erin) Sanders of Bloomington, Ill., Rebecca Nelson of Maple Park, Eric Nelson of Maple Park; one step-grandson, Gabriel (Laura) Sanders of St. Charles; five great-grandchildren; two step-great-grandchildren; many nieces, nephews with whom she was very close; and a family of friends that span generations.

She now joins her parents; husband, Eric; and three siblings, Elsie Wiese, Bess Modin and George Gehrke, who preceded her in death.
Visitation was Tuesday, Aug. 25, at Grace Lutheran Church, Lily Lake. A funeral service to celebrate her life was held Wednesday, Aug. 26, also at Grace Lutheran Church.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in her name to benefit Grace Lutheran Church. Checks may be made to the Marion Nelson Memorial and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes and memories may also be forwarded to the family through

Nancy J. Bower

Nancy J. Bower of Clinton, Ark., formerly of Batavia, passed away on Aug. 15, 2009. She was born July 25, 1938, to Lee and Margaret Butts.

Nancy leaves her children, Steven (Cathy) Bower of North Carolina, Terri (Bob) Blahnik of Arkansas, Lyle (Liana) Bower of Illinois; eight grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; three siblings, Dorothy Struckman, Joe (Donna) Butts and Donna Vee (Don) Bower; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She now joins her husband of 50 years, Vernon (Butch) Bower, and her parents.

Burial will be at a later date. A memorial fund has been established in Nancy’s name, and remembrances may be sent in care of Bower, 615 W. State St., North Aurora, IL 60542.

Blessing of the beasts, pork chop dinner Aug. 29

AURORA—Cats, dogs, and other animals will be blessed at a “Blessing of the Beasts” worship service at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, at Fourth Street United Methodist Church, 551 S. Fourth St., Aurora.

The public is invited to bring animals to be blessed by Rev. David Eichelberger, church pastor.

A pork chop dinner to benefit the church will be served by the congregation’s United Methodist Men’s group at 5:30 p.m.

A one-chop dinner is $7.50, a two-chop dinner is $8.50. Dinners include potato, vegetables, salad, and a roll. Tickets at the door cost $1 extra.

Tickets are available after 10 a.m. Sunday worship services or at the church office from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday through Friday.

Paul Eggert of Aurora is coordinating a men’s committee sponsoring the dinner.

Call (630) 892-7202 for more information.

Two Guys and Free Spaghetti

ST. CHARLES—The event called Two Guys and Free Spaghetti will be held for the fifth time on Sunday, Aug. 30, from 5 to 7 p.m. at St. Charles Episcopal Church, 994 N. 5th Ave. (Route 25), St. Charles.

The event is hosted by Joe Ryan and Matt Rhead, who supply the free spaghetti dinner to anyone who attends. Spaghetti, meatballs, salad, garlic bread and dessert are free, supplied by Joe and Matt and their friends, who also cook and serve the meal.

The “Two Guys” recognize that many families would enjoy a free night out, good food and fellowship, especially in these difficult times. Everyone is welcome.

To attend please call (630) 890-6586 or just come.

Joseph Michael Masinick

Ted and Katy Masinick of Elburn announce the birth of their son, Joseph Michael, on June 30, 2009, at Delnor-Community Hospital. He weighed 4 pounds, 7 ounces, and was 17 inches long.

Joseph was welcomed home big brother Paul, 4.

Taylor Marie Gualdoni

David and Rhonda Gualdoni of Elburn announce the birth of their first child, Taylor Marie, on July 29, 2009, at Delnor-Community Hospital. She weighed 7 pounds, 6 ounces, and was 19.5 inches long.

The proud grandparents are Mike and Robbin Reimer of St. Charles, and Jack and Jean Gualdoni of Hampshire, Ill.

Adopting a rescue pet

Woman frustrated by process, organization wants good matches
by Martha Quetsch
County—Kathy Easter thought she would be doing the right thing if she adopted a rescue pet for her children, who desperately wanted a puppy. But she found the adoption application process overwhelming.

“I didn’t think it would be that difficult. I just wanted to get a dog for my kids,” said Easter, of Elgin.

Easter recently tried to adopt a border collie mix puppy from Help for Lost and Endangered Pets (H.E.L.P.) of St. Charles. She found the puppy, which was the kind she wanted, on the H.E.L.P. website. It was part of a litter that a “foster parent” in Elburn was taking care of for H.E.L.P., after the organization rescued the puppies’ mother.

Easter was shocked at how stringent the application process was, she said. First, she had to fill out what she called a lengthy application. Then, every member of her household, including her children and her parents, who live with her, had to go to the foster parent’s house in Elburn to meet her and the puppies. Her children fell in love with one of the animals, but the foster parent in a subsequent phone call to Easter said she did not think the family was a good match for the puppy, because the grandfather did not seem interested, Easter said.

Easter said she persuaded the foster parent to let her family adopt the puppy, but the foster parent later changed her mind and let another family adopt the pet.

“My children were very upset; they cried,” Easter said.

A frustrated Easter ended up purchasing a puppy of another breed after seeing a local sign along the road that advertised puppies for $100. The animal is not exactly the type Easter wanted, but she said at least her children now have a dog.

Marcia Teckenbrock, president of the H.E.L.P board of directors, said it is unfortunate when applicants do not receive the rescue pet they want but that she trusts the foster parents to make the right decision.

“They (the foster parents) are the ones who are familiar with the animal’s personality, and what type of environment they would be most comfortable in,” Teckenbrock said.

Teckenbrock said families who are turned down for one pet can still seek another one from H.E.L.P.

“We just want to make the right match,” Teckenbrock said.

Pets that the all-volunteer H.E.L.P. organization places among its 40 area foster homes range from those whose owners no longer can afford to keep their animals, to others that are abandoned. Because of the trauma many of these animals have experienced, H.E.L.P. wants to make sure that their next home is a permanent one and that the animal is not displaced again.

“If it is not a good match, it is bad for everyone,” Teckenbrock said.

Teckenbrock said the requirements H.E.L.P. foster parents place on adoptive families, whether having a fenced yard or a quiet household or room for the pet to run, depend on the individual animal’s unique needs.

“Each situation is different,” she said.

Volunteer training begins at hospice

GENEVA—Fox Valley Volunteer Hospice will hold its fall patient care training, beginning with orientation at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 9, at 200 Whitfield Drive, Geneva. For those who have already attended FVVH’s Orientation, Patient Care Training starts on Sept. 16. Registration is required by Aug. 28.

“As the hectic summer winds down and we move into fall, this is a great opportunity for anyone who’s been thinking about wanting to make a difference in someone’s life, or giving back,” said Elise C. Wall, FVVH’s Manager of Volunteer Services. “Patient Care Training prepares a volunteer to work with a client who is nearing the end of their life, which to some may sound sad. But time and time again, our volunteers tell us that the time they spend with their client is among the most meaningful and uplifting experiences of their lives.”

Mark Alleman, who has been volunteering with FVVH for many years, agreed and says that the patients enrich his life in many ways.

“These are courageous people. Many of them are more alive than the rest of us; they appreciate their days and make each day count. They lift me up,” he said.

Patient Care Training is a nine-week program for those interested in one-on-one hospice patient care or FVVH’s Hands of Hope program, which assists patients who are undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer. In addition, to ensure the best patient/volunteer relationship, FVVH offers ongoing volunteer training, like Personal Boundaries, which teaches volunteers to best serve their client while maintaining a sense of personal balance.

“For those who aren’t sure whether patient care is for them, we have many other opportunities at FVVH,” Wall said. “One alternative is one-on-one bereavement support, where a volunteer is assigned to a client who has lost a loved one and needs help with the grieving process. Coming to the Orientation session on Sept. 9 is the best way for someone to find out how they might fit into our agency.”

Attending Orientation is required before becoming an active FVVH volunteer, and there is a general information session which includes an overview of the agency, its history, mission and vision, and volunteer opportunities available.

An in-take interview is required before attending Volunteer Orientation, and registration is required by Aug. 28 by calling (630) 232-2233.

Fox Valley Volunteer Hospice is a community-based, nonprofit organization dedicated to serving those with life-threatening illnesses and those who have lost loved ones. In addition to one-on-one support, the agency also offers medical equipment loans, adult and children’s grief support groups, community education on end-of-life care and grief, and a community lending library. The agency serves all of Kane and Kendall counties, and parts of DuPage, Cook and McHenry counties.

All services are provided free of charge. Spanish interpretation for all programs is available, as well as printed materials in Spanish.

For more information, see, email, or call (630) 232-2233.

Delnor Men’s Foundation to raffle Mercedes SUV

Proceeds benefit LivingWell Cancer Resource Center in Geneva
GENEVA—The Delnor Men’s Foundation’s fourth annual Drive for Cancer Wellness raffle event is revving up as it crosses the halfway point and heads for the finish line. The raffle offers participants a chance to win their choice of a new Mercedes 2010 Mercedes Benz GLK350, the company’s new sport utility vehicle, or $30,000. The grand prize drawing will take place Oct. 11 at the Scarecrow Fest in St. Charles. Only 1,000 tickets will be sold for $100 each.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the LivingWell Cancer Resource Center in Geneva. LivingWell offers a range of free cancer wellness programs, education, support groups and exercise classes to those living with cancer and their families.

To purchase a ticket, visit or call (630) 208-3352.

Editorial: Have a ‘totally rad’ Elburn Days weekend

Get out your hair spray and acid-washed jeans, the 1980s’-themes Elburn Days festival is upon us.

The theme of the entire event is “Celebrating 80 Years of Family Fun in the Community,” but we all know that the place to be when it kicks off is along Route 47 in Elburn for the annual parade. This year, the parade theme is “Celebrating 80 Years of Fun, 80’s Style.”

Following the parade is a full weekend of fun events and opportunities to get out and meet your follow community members. Read through either of our Elburn Days special sections, and it becomes clear that there is more than enough to entertain people of all ages and interests.

Community events like Elburn Days, Sugar Grove’s Corn Boil, and the upcoming, new Kaneville Fest set for the following week, are examples of opportunities to connect with your community—whether that is to strengthen bonds that already exist, reconnect with those you may have lost touch with, or create new friendships.

The strength of a community lies in its people and their relationships with each other. It is these relationships that help turn a place where people live into their hometown, and it is a strong hometown that gives people security and improves their quality of life.

Knowing that a neighbor will be there when you find yourself facing a difficult time (and you know this because you would be there for them), knowing the people you see around town by name, knowing the people behind the organizations trying to help out others in need—these are what some may call “little things,” but it is these “little things” that can make all the difference in someone’s daily life.

In general, times may be hard, finances are tight, stress may be on the rise, but more and more, people are finding out that it is the strength of their communities that make those difficulties easier to handle.

With that in mind, we hope to see you at Elburn Days, at Kaneville Fest, and at as many of the other smaller community events that occur throughout the year. You may find that they are just what you need.

Majority of board says no to video gambling

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—A majority of trustees want to ban video gambling in Elburn. So although a new state law would allow the activity, it will not be coming to Elburn while the current board is in place, unless one of the opposing trustees changes his, or her, mind.

Following its second discussion in a week about whether to allow video gambling in Elburn, the Village Board on Monday voted against it. The board then directed the village attorney to draft an ordinance banning video gambling in the village.

Only one trustee, Jerry Schmidt, voted in favor of allowing video gambling in the village, saying it would be a pro-growth measure.

“If we ban it in Elburn and they have it in other towns, people are going to go there instead,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt said video gambling also would boost the village budget through tax revenue it would produce.

Voting to ban video gambling were trustees Patricia Romke, Bill Grabarek, Jeff Walter and Ken Anderson. Trustee Gordon Dierschow abstained from voting, saying the village should take more time to decide.

Grabarek said he wanted to ban video gambling now, as a “pre-emptive measure,” before the state adopts regulations he worries might prevent the village from banning it later. He said state estimates of tax revenue that video gambling could generate are way overstated. He added that most of the money from video gambling would go to bar owners.

“To me, that keeps the money within too small a circle,” Grabarek said.

The reason Romke voted for the ban was that she wants family-oriented businesses in Elburn, and if she had small children, she would not want to take them into an establishment with gambling. She said she finds the possibility of Elburn being a gambling destination, “scary.”

“It does not, in my opinion, fit the village of Elburn,” Romke said.

Trustee Ken Anderson is opposed to having video gambling in the village, because it could promote addiction to the activity, which he said can cause serious problems for gamblers and their families, he said.

Trustee Walter said most of the residents he has talked to about the issue are against having video gambling in Elburn. Like Grabarek, he said unless the village places a moratorium now on video gambling, he is concerned that it could lose the opportunity for that control.

Village President Dave Anderson said he understands the fear of not being able to opt out later, but is concerned that future regulations also might prevent the village from reversing a ban on video gambling.

When the ordinance banning video gambling is ready for the Village Board to vote on, he would not participate unless his vote was required to break a tie.

Voicing opposition

by Martha Quetsch
Darlene Marcusson, executive director of Lazarus House homeless shelter in St. Charles, spoke out against allowing video gambling in Elburn during Monday’s Village Board meeting.

“I have concerns about putting in video gambling here,” said Marcusson, who lives in Elburn.

She cited the risk of gambling addiction.

“I have worked with many people in the addictions field. Wonderful human beings can end up with a big problem,” Marcusson said. “Of all the addictions, and that includes ones as horrible as heroin, gambling has the highest suicide rate of all … I don’t think that is want we want in our town.”

Gov. Pat Quinn signed a law July 13 allowing video gambling in Illinois for establishments with liquor licenses, with up to five gaming machines in each.

Mary Baumstark, 123 S. First St., Elburn, also attended the Village Board meeting to object to video gambling in Elburn.

“I don’t feel that it is a good fit in our community,” Baumstark said.

She added that the state “taking out the smoking and putting in the gambling” in restaurants and bars is “bizarre.”

Kane County Board member Drew Frasz was at the Village Board meeting to hear the discussion on video gambling Monday. He is a member of a recently formed county task force studying how video gambling could affect the county and its businesses.

Talk to resume about train-whistle noise reduction

by Martha Quetsch
MAPLE PARK—Like its neighbors to the east and west, Maple Park wants to reduce train-whistle blares in the village.

“The noise level is disturbing to the community,” Planning Commmissioner Dale Weir said.

To meet federal safety requirements to rid Maple Park, for the most part, of train whistles, village officials are considering the installation of wayside horns at the rail crossings on County Line Road and on Liberty Street.

Weir and other planning commissioners will talk about that option during their meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 20, at the Community Center in Maple Park.

Elburn recently installed wayside horns at its First Street and its Main Street crossings. The horns emit their sound only in the area of the crossing, producing less noise than train whistles, whose blares could be heard throughout the village.

Maple Park could receive financial assistance to pay for the wayside horns from the county, under a project proposed by Kane County Board member Drew Frasz. The cost for each crossing is approximately $100,000.

Wayside horns are planned for crossings in La Fox, funded by state money Frasz recently helped to obtain for the county for that purpose.

Frasz is spearheading the county project to install wayside horns at crossings from LaFox westward if the county obtains more state funding. Illinois’ budget this year includes funding for wayside horns at two crossings in LaFox, and Frasz hopes the county will obtain additional state funding in the future for more. Frasz said he wants the entire western part of Kane County to be a semi-quiet zone to improve residents’ quality of life.

Even with the safety measure of wayside horns, the area cannot be a completely quiet zone; trains still will blow their whistles if the wayside horns are not functioning or if locomotive engineers see hazards.

On Thursday, Weir will talk about Frasz’ proposal, and explain how wayside horns work. He also will play videos of the wayside horns in DeKalb, so that residents can see them and hear how they sound.

Weir said that Maple Park, in the past, considered installing another safety device that would have allowed for the reduction of train whistles in the village. That device was a center road median extending from the tracks on County Line and on Liberty, to prevent drivers from scooting around the lowered gates at the crossings. However, that option would not have been practical, he said.

“The reason that won’t work in this community is that we have a lot of big farm equipment that is more than two lanes wide,” Weir said.

Fall sports preview: Departure means opportunity

by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—Second-year coach Tim Larsen has to deal with a lineup that sees personnel like Emma Anderson, Katie Hatch, Anna Rossi, Kristen Sanecki and Jen Zmrhal gone to graduation.

Larsen, however, returns several girls to the Lady Knights tennis squad that look to make good on opportunities created by the vacancies.

While singles and doubles slots are yet to be completely decided, Larsen feels that the initial practices were going well.

“I feel really good about it,” Larsen said about the current setup.

The intangible quality Larsen is most impressed with?

“A lot of leadership. They were here for four years and had (Cindy) Miller as varsity coach. But we have eight seniors returning this year, and I feel very good that we can be competitive this year,” Larsen said.

Liz Webb was singled out by Larsen has having good prospects coming into the season and has played throughout the year.

“I really do think she’s going to fill the void that Katie Hatch left,” Larsen said.

Varsity singles option Lindsay Jurcenko comes back for a second straight year after playing volleyball in the lower-class days.

Gone from the doubles and captains front are Sanecki and Zmrhal.

“They were captains along with Emma and kind of held the team together. Just having girls like Jen and Kristen around was a calming influence for everybody else,” Larsen said.

Kelsey Lenhardt and Liz Webb, doubles tandem a year ago, also make their return to the Lady Knight court in 2009.

Olivia Emmanouil, No.1 singles player from a year ago, returns, as does the doubles duo of Tessa Kuipers and Mel Mazuc.

For whatever kinks need to be worked out in the game, time will be saved on having to garner court time and experience.

“(The) really rewarding thing is that we’re just ironing out little bugs at this stage, just working on the little things with the returning players. It helps that I could be their coach when they were freshmen and again as seniors,” Larsen said.

The personnel representing Kaneland will continue to work toward improving on last season’s fortune, even with new faces.

“I want to go into matches thinking ‘we can win this,’” Larsen said.

This upcoming season marks the last in the short history of the Western Sun Conference, an arrangement which more often than not, gave KHS fits on the court.

“I feel good and bad about it. I think we’re still going to play Geneva and Batavia, and they serve kind of a measuring stick. I’d like to see as we continue to grow and improve, to see how we measure up against those teams in the future,” Larsen said.

The season serves up its first contest on Monday, Aug. 24, at Marmion Academy as Kaneland battles Rosary at 4:30 p.m.

The first conference battle is vs. Batavia on Thursday, Sept. 10, at 4:30 p.m., with the final regular season matchup at the Western Sun Conference tournament in Geneva on Saturday, Oct. 10.

Fall sports preview: Kaneland golf hope youth is strong

by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—While Kaneland High School golfers are sure to be missing a senior presence from last year, the younger golfers moving up bring experience.

Coach Mark Meyer, now in his fourth season, is eager to see what the Knights crew is capable of.

“We are pretty young for sure; golfers that didn’t get a lot of varsity time are going to be stepping up, but it does make a difference,” Meyer said.

The golfers returning include J.C. Gillette, Tyler Hochsprung, Hayden Senese, Jon Hedrick and Josh Schuberg.

Also returning is fixture Hayley Guyton, who comes back as a junior after competing in tournaments in the summer and a top-50 finish at the IHSA Girls Golf State meet.

“She makes steady progress each year. There has never really been a dramatic drop in her scores, because she started out so low anyway,” Meyer said.

After tryouts, the Knight golfers are still situating their top six, which will include senior captain Gillette and junior captain Guyton, but Meyer said that big things are capable from sophomores like Troy Krueger, Adam Grams and Zach Douglas.

This campaign will also mark the final Western Sun Conference venture for the golfers before moving on to the Northern Illinois Big 12 in the fall of 2010.

“I’m excited about the new conference and new teams. They’re teams we haven’t played before. It’s tough to leave teams behind, because you build relationships with the other coaches, and the players get to have friendships with other players on other teams,” Meyer said.

Kaneland golf kicks off on Thursday, Aug. 20, at the Geneva Invite, while going into conference play on Tuesday, Sept. 1, vs. Sycamore.

Fall sports preview: Loaded with talent, ready to unload on opponents

Kaneland football looks to return to playoffs in ‘09
by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—Watch out, Knights football fans.

The Kaneland Knights football roster got a taste of playoff action a year ago after being absent in 2007, and liked what they had.

Even losing a close battle to Sterling in the Class 5A first round last November in a 23-21 affair, there is still much to build on.

“It was huge, the intensity of the playoffs is something you have to experience to see what its like,” said third-year coach Tom Fedderly.

Despite losing offensive weapons like Hayden Johnson and Tyler Suerth and defensive assets Steve Tosaw and Will King, the Knights return players that have impressed with dedication to the craft.

It begins with returning quarterback Joe Camaliere.

“You can definitely tell we have experience coming back at the position, if you look at last year to this year. We just picked up right where we left off,” Fedderly said.

Brock Dyer and Eric Tattoni will get carries in the backfield.

Catching passes at wide receiver will be the returning Ryley Bailey, Taylor Andrews and Tyler Callaghan, all who spent time in the end zone a year ago.

The offensive line features Eric Dratnol and Brett Ketza, with competition still going strong eight days from the opener for the other slots.

On the defensive side, Jimmy Boyle tows the line and Bailey features prominently in the secondary. Dratnol brings experience to the line, with competition still hammering itself out on the linebacking corps.

Fedderly eyed Boyle as someone who’s putting himself in a noteworthy spot through hard work.

“He’s just a gym rat, working out all the time, and doing the extra stuff to make himself better,” Fedderly said.

Taylor Andrews also looks to hit the secondary, as well.

Following the much-talked about kicking of graduate Chris Ott, Fedderly hopes it can happen again.

“It’s big, every time you get a point on the board that way, it’s huge. We have a number of kids looking to try it after they saw Ott,” Fedderly said.

With all the talent coming back, Kaneland looks to get further in determining what a successful season brings.

“Always making the playoffs means you had a good season, especially in this conference, but you want to contend for a conference championship. We’d like to get a home playoff game. Those are some goals we’ve set,” Fedderly said.

The festivities begin on Friday, Aug. 28, vs. Burlington Central, and the Knights host Huntley for the first time ever on Friday, Sept. 4.

The WSC slate begins on Friday, Sept. 11, at Rochelle, and the regular season ends on Friday, Oct. 23, at Yorkville.

Fall sports preview: Knights stride for better things

by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—When Kaneland boys cross country finishes eighth in the Class 2A State gathering in 2008, what do they want to do for an encore?

There’s seven more spots to move up.

Despite graduating runners like Ben Brown, Paul Davies and Matt Weaver, the Knights return talented runners and don’t seem to be hurting for depth.

Matt Reusche returns after finishing 14th in the state a year ago, as does Dominic Furco, who finished 37th overall.

“We have six of our top seven back; we had a really good summer with solid consistent training,” head coach Chad Clarey said. “We’re ready to get started.”

Seniors are Joe Levita, Edgar Valle, Jemmar Parrenas, Furco, Nick Sinon, Reusche, Logan Markuson and Tyler Howland.

Juniors are Trevor Holm, Tommy Whittaker, Grant Alef and Cory Gotteau.

Sophomores are Devin Swearingen, Jake Ginther, Kelvin Peterson, Frankie Furco, Clayton Brundige, Stelios Lekkas, John Michek and Nate Rehkopf.

Freshmen are John Meisenger, Nick Messina, Ryan Paulson, Gus Stott, Conor Johnson, Billy Hart and Brad Kigyos.

Developming the competitive mindset with the returnees was hatched in the spring during Knights track, according to Clarey.

“I think from last track season, these kids had some great experiences, both good and bad. Logan won at State, Matt had a good sectional race but didn’t qualify in the 2-mile. So they are more focused than ever, and it makes you hungrier,” Clarey said.

Levita, Brundinge, Ginther and Whittaker were pointed out by Clarey as returning members who could sneak into a higher profile in 2009.

What will determine a successful campaign for the crew always looking to go the distance?

“In the end, if all of our athletes are healthy and have had a full season of training, I anticipate they’d want to set their goals to surpass what they did last fall,” Clarey.

The boys cross country season kicks off on Tuesday, Sept. 1, against West Chicago and Wheaton Academy at Elburn Woods, while the Eddington Invite takes place on Saturday, Sept. 19.

The regular season is scheduled to end at Rochelle for the Western Sun Conference Invite on Saturday, Oct. 17.

Fall sports preview: Knights soccer turns new page

by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—Plenty of encouraging signs were all around during last year’s Kaneland High School boys’ soccer season.

A regional win producing six goals over Yorkville, and encouraging play from a core featuring Santiago Tovar, Chris Ott, Matt Haffner, Nick Williams and Kevin Durrenberger, gave the team a solid base.

“Those guys were on varsity for so long, it was tough for these guys to get a spot, and you hope these guys can step up,” Kaneland coach Scott Parillo said.

Now, Kaneland will have to seek out new personnel to replace the departed seniors in a Western Sun Conference that doesn’t seem to have gotten weaker.

Ending last season at 10-10-3 and still looking for its first regional championship since 2004, returning coach Scott Parillo reflected on the task ahead.

“You try not to dwell on the past too much,” Parillo said. “You always think, ‘man, what could we have done differently.’ But that’s over with; we graduated 12 seniors. This is a new beginning once again.”

In order to make a go of it in the last season of the WSC and beyond, Kaneland will need to look to Gennaro Garcia, senior forward and midfielder, forward and midfielder Derek White, defender and midfielder Joe Garlinsky, defender and midfielder Marcos Dorado, who has recovered from surgery, goalkeeper J.P. Minogue, and midfielder and forward Anders Winquist-Bailey.

Personnel also expected to contribute are midfielder/forward Kevin Szatkowski, defender/midfielder Pedro Perez, midfielder/forward Jordan Escobedo, defender/midfielder Thanasi Pesmajoglou, defender Trevor Wolf, plus new varsity additions Alex Gil, Chad Swieca, Alex Dorado, Mark Breon and Jake Tickle.

The current crop of Knights might do the trick, provided several things happen.

“Lot of good kids, just need to get them experience and get them to gel. We need to have some of the older kids to take the reigns,” Parillo said.

Kaneland looks to meet its goal of double digit wins again.

“Our goal all the time is to win as much as we can, never had the guns to do it. We’ll see. If we can get double digit wins, we’ll need some conference games. I think we can do it,” Parillo said.

Even with the wins amassed by the Knights last season, Kaneland spent a lot of energy with shots on goal, not always seeing the goals match up to the output.

“There were lots of shots, and the goals never matched up. I hope we shoot a bit. The ones who shot a lot graduated, so we need guys like Gennaro and Derek to step up,” Parillo said.

To begin the 2009 season, the Knights set up vs. Marengo on Tuesday, Aug. 25 and host Wheaton Academy on Thursday, Aug. 27.

Yorkville becomes the first WSC opponent for the season on Tuesday, Sept. 15, and the Oswego East Wolves host Kaneland for the final regular season match on Wednesday, Oct. 14.

Kaneville talks priorities

Draft of village plan addresses top concerns: Prairie Parkway, encroaching growth
by Susan O’Neill
KANEVILLE—The Prairie Parkway, a proposed and partially funded highway intended to connect Interstates 80 and 88, and the growth of the neighboring villages remain two of the biggest concerns Kaneville residents have about the village’s future.

During an open house last Thursday set up for residents to view the Kaneville comprehensive draft plan, a number of the approximately 40 people who attended ranked what happens with the Prairie Parkway as their highest priority for the future.

Lynette Werdin said she feels it is vital that the Prairie Parkway does not cut the village off from other destinations, such as Aurora and other nearby towns. She thought the plan addressed her concerns, in that it included overpasses to keep access open.

She said she realizes that plans for the Prairie Parkway will not be based on Kaneville’s feedback alone, but now that it is an incorporated village, its officials at least have a seat at the table.

She and her husband Dave live outside of the village limits but within Kaneville’s planning area. Werdin said she thought the plan commissioners who worked on the plan did a good job of representing the desires of the residents for slow and planned change.

“They know we like things the way they are,” she said.

She said she was somewhat surprised by the commissioners’ attention to detail in the plan, including a plan to upgrade the sidewalks.

“I roller-skated those sidewalks when I was a girl,” she said. “And they were bumpy then.”

Plan Commissioner Joe White said he and the other commissioners tried to address as many of the issues that people had raised as possible. The two-year process has involved a number of meetings with local landowners and a survey of the residents to ask for their input.

Among the 15 areas included in the plan are land use, natural resources, transportation, economic development, housing, historic preservation and community facilities.

Residents were asked to place stickers on six items, to identify their top six priorities.

White said Julie Ann Fuchs, a Kaneland School District official and Kaneville resident, asked where a school site might be located. He said that Kaneland Superintendent Charlie McCormick told him that 600 homes would be needed before a school would be built in town.

With only approximately 435 residents within the village, that would be a number of years down the road, he said.

Jody Springsteen, who lives near the corner of Dauberman and Harter roads, said that one of her biggest concerns was that village officials keep residents informed of what their neighboring communities, such as Elburn and Sugar Grove, are doing.

The village has tentatively scheduled a public hearing for Thursday, Sept. 24, which will be the time for formal feedback on the plan. White said he does not anticipate any major changes in the text. The plan will then come before the Village Board for approval, likely on Thursday, Oct. 15.

Once the plan has been approved, one of the next priorities will be to engage in boundary agreements with officials from neighboring villages, such as Elburn, Sugar Grove, Maple Park and Big Rock. The current maps show some overlap in the villages’ planning areas that will have to be addressed.

Young golfers a focus at Solheim Cup

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—Members of the Northern Illinois University Golf Team helped golf professionals teach nearly 200 young golfer hopefuls how to perfect their swings at Tuesday’s Ronald McDonald House Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) tour Junior Clinic. The clinic took place on the driving range of Rich Harvest Farms, the site of the 2009 Solheim Cup.

Damilola Oyeyipo, a student from the Latin School in Chicago, said she received some tips during the afternoon that will help her game. Oyeyipo said she recently began to play golf, and participated in a caddy program this summer at the Park Ridge Country Club.

“It’s really fun,” she said.

NIU Assistant Coach Ashley Anast said the young golfers came to the clinic from all over the country, as well as Canada. For three hours, they worked with golf pros and the NIU “Husky Helpers” at the driving range.

“You could tell they were all having a blast,” Anast said.

NIU women’s golf coach Pam Tyska, an LPGA golf professional for more than 30 years, said that Rich Harvest Farms is home to the NIU team, courtesy of owner Jerry Rich, an NIU alumnus.

“He’s been kind enough to let us practice here,” Tyska said.

In return, the team members help with the Kids Golf Foundation in November and February, during their off season. The Kids Golf Foundation, established in 1998 by Rich and Don Springer, introduces children between the ages of 5 and 15 to the sport of golf, its fundamentals, rules, history and etiquette.

However, Holly Alcala of the Hook-A-Kid-On-Golf Foundation of Illinois said the intangibles are the most important things the program can offer.

Alcala said that often, the youngsters walk away with other benefits such as patience, a boost in their self-confidence, an increase in their ability to concentrate and an understanding of the rules of good sportsmanship.

“If they come away with these other things, we’re just as happy,” she said.

Tyska said Rich places a high priority on introducing young people to the sport, and that to her knowledge, no other Solheim site has had a program of this magnitude for young people.

NIU team members will work as ball spotters later in the week, when the tournament begins, she added.

Fall sports preview: Girls XC sees return of talent

by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—With the Lady Knight girls cross country roster getting stopped after a sixth-place finish at the Class 2A Belvidere Sectional a year ago, the group wishes to hold off offseason plans a little later, in to November.

For head coach Doug Ecker and crew, the work for postseason glory begins now, with a return of many of their top runners.

“We return the top five from sectionals, plus Haley Johnson, so it’s six of the top eight, and we have talented freshmen coming in,” Ecker said. “You never know what they’re going to do, but they’ll at least add depth.”

Junior Andie Strang returns, as does sophomores Kelly Evers and Kris Bowen, seniors Lisa Roberson and Shelby Koester.

“The other teams return good people. Our girls can compete and have worked pretty hard and have been consistent this summer,” Ecker said.

Junior Sam Collins and senior Johnson also come back.

Sophomore Jen Howland is not returning in exchange for a go on the national triathalon circuit, and Ali Olson, Laney Deligianis, Chassidy Mangers and Kelli Patterson are gone due to graduation.

Krissy Chapman also makes up the senior side.

Sydney Bilotta, Shaela Collins, Arianna Espino, Liz Hylland, Jessica Stouffer and Bethany Swartz are the juniors.

Sophomores include Ashley Diddell, Jordyn Lawrence, April Smith and Carolina Tovar, while the freshmen are Maggie Brundige, Ashley Castellanos, Abby Dodis and Mikayla Ness.

With depth now on their side, Ecker will try and swat away all challenges, including the injury bug.

“You always get people hurt. Injuries can pop up anytime, and it happens to all teams,” Ecker said.

All that’s left is practice until the starting gun goes off for real.

“Right now, the top five are in good shape. Evers had a good track season and could be considerably better, and Strang is probably our top runner going in,” Ecker said.

The Lady Knights hit Elburn Woods to host West Chicago and Wheaton Academy on Tuesday, Sept. 1. The girls host the Eddington Invite on Saturday, Sept. 19, and the regular season ends with the Western Sun Conference Invite at Rochelle on Saturday, Oct. 17.

3rd-graders strike out for stroke

Awareness, early intervention key in childhood stroke
by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove third-graders Alex and Amanda Malawski threw out the first pitch at the Schaumburg Flyers baseball game on Thursday, Aug. 13, as a part of a Strike out for Stroke event. The activity was a fundraiser and awareness event connected with the Alexian Brothers Hospital’s support group for stroke supporters.

Alex and Amanda, born 11 weeks premature, both suffered strokes when they were born. Due to the strokes, each has a mild case of cerebral palsy. Alex’s muscles on his left side were affected, as were Amanda’s muscles on her left side.

“They’ve been in therapy since they were born,” said Lori, their mom.

Lori said she joined a support group for parents dealing with childhood stroke when she found out about it from a flyer on a doctor’s office desk. The group, Childhood Stroke and Hemiplegia Connections of Illinois, has been a tremendous help to her.

Lori said that although some parents are afraid to find out what might be wrong with their child, the biggest thing that she and her husband have learned in speaking with other parents is the importance of early intervention.

She said some parents are afraid to find out what might be wrong with their child.

Her husband went to Washington, D.C. in 2006 to lobby Congress and to Springfield this year regarding raising the awareness of childhood strokes and the importance of hospital guidelines for what signs to look for to recognize a stroke in a child.

Lori said that Kaneland John Shields Elementary School has been wonderful in working with her to obtain what she needs for her children, but that other people might not be that lucky.

She encourages parents to join a support group, because it is easy to feel lost when they encounter this problem.

“People are not alone,” she said. “My husband and I feel seasoned in all of this. You need to ask for what you need for your kids.”

Through the Fox Valley Special Education Program and the Kaneland School District, Alex and Amanda are involved in a number of physical activities that have also helped them, including as Sunshine through Golf, a tennis camp, a swimming team and adaptive sports, such as water skiing.

They both got the ball across the plate, Lori said of the baseball event. Alex’ pitch was very dramatic, as he began with a big wind-up.

“It was really exciting and nervous,” Amanda said. “My whole family was there cheering for me.”

“She’s very competitive,” Lori said of Amanda. “She won’t let this get in her way.”

Photo: Alex and Amanda Malawski of Sugar Grove, accompanied by pitcher, Carmen Pignatiello of the Schaumburg Flyers, threw out ceremonail first pitches before the game on Aug. 13 at Alexian Field. Photo by Mike Slodki

Risk factors for pediatric stroke include:
• Sickle-cell disease
• Congenital or acquired heart disease
• Head and neck infections
• Head trauma
• Dehydration
• Maternal history of infertility
• Maternal preeclampsia
For more information about pediatric strokes and support groups, visit

Teen ready to rock in American Miss contest

Elburn youth will compete in local pageant
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Ashley Taylor of Elburn wants to act when she grows up, and she already has performed in two school theatrical productions. Next weekend, the 12-year-old will take the stage again, as a contestant in the National American Miss Pageant Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 5-6 at Pheasant Run in St. Charles.

The state-level contest winner will receive $1,000 and a trip to Hollywood and Disneyland, and go on to compete in the national pageant. Although Ashley finds those prizes enticing, what really interested her was the contest’s opportunity to practice poise in front of an audience, a must for any actor, she said.

Unlike other pageants, contestants do not model swimsuits or wear make-up, although the competition does feature a formalwear category. Its main focus is on personality and presentation, which appeals to Ashley.

“I like that it is not just about what is on the outside but what is on the inside, which is what really matters,” Ashley said. “It’s about being confident and knowing you are a valuable person.”

Other contest categories are a personal introduction and an interview.

Ashley also chose to take part in an optional category, acting. She will deliver several lines of a commercial for Target teen wear, starting, “Girls, are you ready to rock?”

Ashley already has raised the $440 in pledges required to participate in the pageant, from sponsors including local businesses Harry Krausbe DDS, Bob Jass Chevrolet, Party Animals, J & R Herra, Papa G’s, the Shipping Place, and Xsport fitness, and family members, said her mother, Maria Taylor.

Now, Ashley is looking for a full-length gown to wear, one that expresses her personality but is not too expensive, she said.

During the next two weeks, she also will be polishing her commercial segment lines and responses to interview questions such as, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” She already knows the answer to that question.

“I’ve always wanted to be an actress,” said Ashley, who was in the cast of “Oklahoma” and “Much Ado About Coconuts” at Kaneland Middle School.

Elburn Days offers fun for kids of all ages

by Susan O’Neill
ELBURN—This year’s Elburn Days offers activities and entertainment for kids as young as pre-schoolers, with a Pretty in Pink dance exhibition by students from the M&M Dance Studio. A free dance lesson with Miss Maggie on Saturday afternoon at the Community Stage.

Teens hoping for their chance at local fame in this year’s Teen Elburn Idol contest can pick up some pointers from 2008 winner Alyssa Parma, when she opens for Catfight on the Main Stage on Friday night. This year’s contenders will show their stuff during the finalist competition on Saturday.

The Talent Contest set for Sunday afternoon offers young people with talents other than singing an opportunity to show what they can do. Previous contestants have included dancers, local garage bands, an accordion player and bagpipe players.

New this year to Elburn Days is a teen dance band, The Public, who will take the stage on Saturday evening. The local group, together for one-and-a-half years, features rock and alternative rock music. The band plays original and cover music such as Sublime and Metallica.

A dance party on Sunday afternoon offers 7- to 10-year-olds the chance to hop on stage and learn a hip hop dance.

Contests for kids and adults alike include a hula hoop contest and an all-you-can-eat ice cream contest, sponsored by Colonial Ice Cream.

For more information about these and other dance and gymnastic events, visit the Elburn Lions website at

Trained volunteers will boost safety

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—A few Kane County Sheriff’s officers usually help with traffic control and safety during Elburn Days events, but they will be busy this year with those tasks at the Solheim Cup in Sugar Grove. However, Elburn Police Chief Steve Smith is not concerned, because he has a new source of assistance, the village’s Citizen Emergency Response Team.

“I think we’ll be fine,” Smith said.

The village held its C.E.R.T. training program in March for residents who want to help local authorities with emergencies and disasters. The free classes taught skills including first aid, disaster-victim psychology, and parking and traffic control.

Smith also is seeking help from other local communities C.E.R.T. programs, to help the village with public safety during Elburn Days, Aug. 21-23.

“We’re just going to have to be a little creative this year as far as where our assistance will come from,” Smith said.

Smith said the C.E.R.T. volunteers will help mostly with parking, for the parade Friday evening and at Lions Park during the weekend festival.

Solheim rookies excited to be here

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—U.S. Solheim Cup team member Kristy McPherson said they haven’t had a chance to see much of the area since they arrived earlier this week, but she’s not complaining.

“They’ve been keeping us here, but it’s not a bad place to be,” she said.

McPherson was referring to the spacious grounds of Rich Harvest Farms golf course in Sugar Grove, where later this week the team will play the European women’s team.

“I really wanted to go to Lollapalooza, but oh well,” Michelle Wie said.

The Solheim Cup, a prestigious international team event in women’s golf, features the best women professionals from the United States against the top European-born players from the Ladies European Tour (LET).

McPherson said the last time some of the team members came to practice at Rich Harvest Farms, they went to a Cubs game, but not this time.

“They’ve been keeping us pretty busy,” she said.

When they are not practicing, McPherson said the team members have been spending their time horseback riding, fishing, visiting owner Jerry Rich’s car museum, biking around the property or engaging each other in putting contests and table games, such as ping pong.

The three rookies, Brittany Lang, McPherson and Michelle Wie, said they were excited to have the chance to play in this tournament with the other, more seasoned players for whom they have much respect.

“She (Captain Beth Daniels) was always my idol,” McPherson said. “I always looked up to her, and when I found out she was going to be the captain, that just gave me more motivation to want to be on this team.”

Growing up in South Carolina, McPherson said that she grew up watching Daniels play.

“It’s a dream come true,” McPherson said. “The coolest thing is just hanging out with 11 cool girls that are just good friends, and for one week every two years, we get to play with each other, pull for each other and have each other’s backs and play for our country together.”

At 19, Wie is the youngest member of the U.S. team. She has set multiple records during her junior and amateur careers, beginning at age 10, when she became the youngest to qualify for the USGA Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship in 2000.

Chosen as a captain’s pick, Wie said she was honored and thankful that Captain Beth Daniels picked her for the team.

“I’ll do my best not to let her down,” she said.

Photo: Fellow Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Solheim Cup team player Kristy McPherson (left) listens as Michelle Wie responds to a question during a press conference at the Solheim Cup event on Tuesday at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove. Photo by Susan O’Neill