Decorating Coaches transform homes

Photo:The Decorating Coaches, Mary Lynn Gehrett (left) and Chris Katkus, in action.
Courtesy Photo

by Susan O’Neill

ELBURN—Kim and Steve Warner have lived in the same house in Geneva for 20 years. They raised four children in the house, but now that their children are grown, they want to downsize and move into a town home.

Kim’s Realtor said she should hire a stager to get the house ready before she showed it. Although the Realtor had her own stager, Warner said she had read an article about Elburn residents Mary Lynn Gehrett and Chris Katkus and their new business, The Decorating Coaches. Warner said she liked what she read, and soon, Gehrett and Katkus were doing a walk-through of the Warner’s home.

Katkus explained that staging involves taking a home that is ready to sell, paring it down, taking out the clutter, repairing and neutralizing it to make it the most attractive to the general public. With the use of a comprehensive check-list, Gehrett and Katkus spent several hours with Warner, making notes on what should be done to get the home ready to market.

“A staged home is appealing to a buyer,” Katkus said. “It showcases the home’s best attributes and gives the potential buyer a vision of ‘home sweet home.’ You want the buyer to say to themselves, ‘I could live there; I could see myself there,’ she said.

On the other hand, you don’t want to pare it down too far. Warner said that she has seen some homes where the rooms look larger, but they are bare and not inviting.

“It looks like they can’t afford to live there,” she said.

Gehrett and Katkus met while teaching at the Cowherd Middle School in East Aurora. They discovered that they had a mutual love for design and began talking about a possible business based on that passion.

“I’ve been doing this my whole life,” Gehrett said.

When Gehrett was a child, she would redecorate her bedroom when the seasons changed. When she married, she and her husband built their dream house. Their home was featured in the November 2008 issue of the Country Sampler magazine.

Katkus, who continues to teach physical education at the Aurora school, not long ago took classes in drawing and painting with acrylics.

“That opened up a whole new world for me,” she said.

Some of her paintings have been displayed in local libraries, including the Sugar Grove Public Library. She was awarded second place when she entered one of her paintings in the competition at the DeKalb County Fair in Sandwich. Gehrett’s artistic endeavors include traditional rug-hooking. She dyes her own wool, and creates her own designs for some of her creations.

The two women decided to blend their “coaching” and communication skills that made them successful teachers with their creative flair and eye for color, design and style to create their new business venture. They obtained a certification in professional interior redesign and professional real estate staging from the Staging and Redesign Academy in Crystal Lake, then worked on getting the word out.

Their staging services provide practical advice for making a home more attractive to a broader range of potential buyers, increasing the odds that it will sell more quickly. According to Gehrett, staged homes sell 30 to 50 percent quicker than non-staged homes.

To stage the Warner’s home, Gehrett and Katkus rearranged and placed things differently throughout the house, adding accessories and various touches in the rooms as they went.

“You wouldn’t believe the transformation,” Warner said. “It looks like a different house.”

The Decorating Coaches’ home redesign services use the homeowner’s existing furniture, art and accessories in new and different ways to “jazz it up, pizazz it up, and not cost you an arm and a leg,” Gehrett said.

“We will work with people according to their budget,” Katkus said. “We can even just do one room at a time.”

Their services begin with a consultation and a check-list. Katkus said they will ask about the customer’s desires and needs for the space, and from that, develop a plan. Once the plan has been finalized, the client can either hire them to implement the plan or they can do it themselves.

“Whether you are looking for a small change that makes a big impact, or getting your home ready to sell, the Decorating Coaches can assist you,” Katkus said.

For more information about the Decorating Coaches, contact Mary Lynn Gehrett at (630) 272-8030, Christine Katkus at, or visit

Foundation to hold annual Hogfan Party fundraiser

by Amanda Niemi
ST.CHARLES—The Friends of Jason Gould Foundation will hold its fourth annual fundraiser for leukemia and lymphoma research on Saturday, Sept. 8, from 4 to 9 p.m. at the St. Charles Moose.

Gould was an Elburn resident and Northern Illinois University graduate who was diagnosed with acute leukemia in 2003. Jason was treated, and told that 80 percent of patients had no signs of remission. He was one of the 20 percent, and went back for treatment a year later.

In 2005, Jason underwent a baby cord stem cell transplant, which was a success in curing his leukemia. However, due to a serious infection complicated by a weakened immune system after surgery, Jason passed in January 2006.

Jason’s Hogfan Party directly supports the research efforts of Ohio State University’s Cancer Research Center and Dr. Rob Baiocchi. Dr. Baiocchi and his team have developed a vaccine to prevent the Epstein Barr virus which complicated Jason’s immune system, the vaccine is now headed to clinical trials and FDA approval. Dr. Baiocchi and Ohio State have partnered with the Leukemia Lymphoma Society and a pharmaceutical company to manufacture the vaccine, the first of its kind.

“I researched treatments for two years and found Dr. Rob in 2008,” Sandy said. “He is working on a vaccine to prevent that complication, which one of the highest mortality rates.”

The Cancer Research Center at Ohio State hopes to make the vaccine available within two years.

“People think there is cancer money out there, and there was none for Dr. Rob’s study. With $2,500 of our money, they were able to complete their study.” Sandy said. “There is money for the big-known cancers, but little or no money for the lesser-known cancers.”

A video will be shown at the fundraiser about one of the patients involved in the clinical trial of the vaccine who has been in remission since 2009.

When asked what the community can do to help those diagnosed with leukemia and lymphoma, Sandy said people don’t know how easy it is to become a donor just by getting their cheek swabbed and adding themselves to the donor registry.

One-hundred percent of the funds received from donations and Jason’s Hogfan Party go directly to a 501c3 public charity fund for leukemia and lymphoma research, and are tax deductible.

The Grand Raffle prizes this year will include an iPad 3, 32-inch flat screen TV, a Trek Bike, an American Girl doll and a ride in a hot air balloon.

For more information, visit or call Sandy Gould at (630) 554-5764.

Village receives ‘clean and unqualified’ rating

ELBURN—The village of Elburn received a “clean and unqualified” rating for the fiscal year ending April 30, 2012, from its auditors, Lauterbach and Amen. That rating is the highest rating assigned.

The village saw increases in its general fund of $170,184, and combined with other funds, totaled an increase of $339,069 in its total government fund balance. The operating funds saw an increase totaling $9,441.

“We felt we ended the fiscal year with a little more money in the fund than we thought. Kudos go to staff, as well as the board, for keeping an eye on the budget,” Village President Dave Anderson said. “The community has done very well by the decisions we have made.”

Property tax due date reminder

KANE COUNTY—Kane County Treasurer David J. Rickert would like to remind taxpayers that the second installment of property taxes is due Tuesday, Sept. 4. If you are a new or existing homeowner and need a copy of the bill to remit payment, you may print off a bill from the Internet by visiting or contacting the Treasurer’s Office at (630) 232-3565.

Taxpayers can make payment by:
• Mailing the payment to the Treasurer’s Office. Mail postmarked by Sept. 4 is considered on time.
• Dropping the payment off in the property tax drop box available 24 hours a day. The drop box is located behind Building (A) at the Government Center, 719 South Batavia Ave., Geneva.
• Make payment at a participating Kane County Bank.
• Pay over the Internet by credit card or E-check (note there is a convenience fee for this service).

County Pavement Preservation, Rejuvenation Program to begin this week

KANE COUNTY—Work on the County Pavement Preservation and Rejuvenation Program began last week, with an anticipated completion date of September 2012, weather permitting. The program will involve the application of surface treatments to various county roads in order to extend the service life of the roadway.

Subject to change, the roadways are anticipated to be treated in the following order:
• West County Line Road (Main Street Road to Route 38)
• Burlington Road (Ellithorpe Road to Route 47)
• Burlington Road (Plato Road to village of Burlington railroad tracks)
• Dunham Road (Kirk Road to Old Stearns Road)
• Army Trail Road (Dunham Road to county line)
• Huntley Road (730’ west of Square Barn Road to 500’ east of Square Barn Road)
• Huntley Road (90’ north of Deerpath Lane to 1,540’ south of Deerpath Lane)
• Galligan Road (910’ north of Binnie Road to 550’ south of Freeman Road)
• David Road
• Swan Road
• Main Street Road (Route 47 to Harter Road)
• Beith Road (Route 47 to Thatcher Road)
• Silver Glen Road (Corron Road to Route 47)

Roads being treated will remain open during treatment and may be reduced to one-lane travel using temporary daily lane closures. Motorists should add extra time to their commutes, expect delays, watch for construction activity, obey flaggers and consider the use of alternate routes while traveling through the work areas.

Questions or concerns may be directed to John Guddendorf at (630) 816-9671. For all Kane County Traffic Advisories, see

Village water usage up in June and July

ELBURN—Village water usage during the drought in June and July was up significantly, according to Superintendent of Public Works John Nevenhoven. In June, the wells pumped 18 million gallons of water, an increase of 47 percent over last June. In July, the wells pumped 17.743 million gallons, up 16 percent over last July.

“The water table remains normal, but we pumped a lot of water,” Nevenhoven said.

Kaneville Fest action

Sarah and Erin Ball of Elburn, with Kyla Baldridge of Kaneville, sell their duct tape crafts to Emma Ball during the Kaneville Fest on Sunday.
Photo by Kimberly Anderson

To kick off the 2012 Kaneville Fest, Hill’s Country Store held its annual movie night on Friday. The event included raffle prizes, free popcorn provided by Rich’s Auto Service in Sugar Grove, free pizza from Paisano’s in Elburn, cartoons and the movie “The Lorax.” Here, Kyla Baldridge of Kaneville and Lauren Steers of Elburn watch the cartoons before the movie. The Humm family (below) of Maple Park gets a prime spot for their blanket before the start of Movie Night at Hill’s Country Store. Photos by John DiDonna

Village Board plans to adopt Route 47/I-88 resolution

ELBURN—The Elburn Village Board plans to adopt a resolution in support of the IL-47/I-88 full interchange that the Kane County Department of Transportation is considering.

“They (KDOT) are looking very seriously at it. It’s time for the Village Board and myself to go on record and support it. It’s a benefit to all of the communities in the county,” Village President Dave Anderson said.

Anderson seeks re-election

by Lynn Meredith
ELBURN—Elburn Village Board President Dave Anderson recently announced that he will run for re-election in 2013.

A life-long resident of Elburn, Anderson was elected board president in May 2009. Prior to being elected, Anderson worked as supervisor of Blackberry Township. He has also acted as chairman of the village of Elburn Zoning Board of Appeals, been a three-term board member and past president of the Kaneland Board of Education and chairman of the Delnor Hospital Board of Directors.

He attributes community support, board support and issues still to be resolved as being what led to his decision to run again in April.

“There are some issues that I’d like to see carried out. The Comprehensive Land Plan, the Anderson Road Bridge project, if not completed ( while in office), at least close to being completed,” Anderson said. “Hopefully, the economy turns so we can be on the positive side. Our wants are many, but our needs are few.”

The toughest challenge for Anderson during his term was the elimination of positions and the cutting of payroll. Budget constraints led to the commander position in the Police Department being cut, three full-time Building Department positions eliminated, and two administration positions lost to attrition not filled.

Anderson said that this term saw an increase in water and sewer charges, but that the contract purchasing of electricity helped ease the pain.

“The increase in water and sewer charges did not make any of us happy. But it was wrong for us to continue losing $20,000 a month,” Anderson said. “To offset that, we did get involved in contract purchasing of electricity more than balanced the increase of water and sewer with the decrease of electrical bills.”

Anderson sees the challenge of managing the budget as ongoing. He also continues to fight for the Local Government Distribution Fund that Springfield has taken back, reneging on its agreement to allow municipalities to keep 10 percent of local sales tax revenues. Anderson testified in Springfield a year and a half ago and led the board in writing state legislators to urge the state to continue this agreement.

If re-elected as village president, Anderson wants to focus on economic development.

“We want commercial and industrial development to get a good healthy balance with residential as far as residential taxes go. We want to be business friendly,” Anderson said.

Anderson expressed his support of the community.

“One of the things I’m most happy for the community is parental involvement and community involvement with our kids, watching kids in youth soccer, football, cheerleading, dance … that’s what makes Elburn the community it is,” he said.

KHS senior earns Miss Midwest Teen crown

by Cheryl Borrowdale
SUGAR GROVE—When Madeline Cole first inquired about competing in the Miss American Teen Pageant, she was told that the Illinois competition had already passed for the year—but that she could compete in the Midwest section instead.

The only problem? The pageant was just three weeks away, leaving Madeline, 17, with little time to prepare to go up against experienced competitors from across the Midwest.

“Some girls start when they’re little; they’ve been doing it all their lives. (Madeline) had done a couple of pageants previously, so it wasn’t like she was going into it cold turkey, but this was her first time in this one,” said Kim Cole, Madeline’s mother.

The two researched the pageant, bought an evening gown and prepared Madeline for the three sections: an eveningwear competition; an introduction, in which contestants are scored on their poise, personality and appearance; and an interview with the judges.

“This is a Christian-based pageant, so they are not looking superficially at outer beauty, but they are looking for the complete package. They want to see that you’re giving back and have strong academics. It’s about standing for something,” Kim said.

Madeline, who volunteers at soup kitchens and as an ambassador for Feed My Starving Children in Aurora, said she knew immediately she wanted to stand for hunger relief.

“I’ve gone to church my whole life, and to Lord of Life in La Fox since I was three, and our church is really active in the community,” she said. “We have different places that we go to monthly, and most of the ones I was doing were for the hungry. (I enjoy it because) you can make immediate impact and can make a difference.”

Neither mother nor daughter expected Madeline to win in her first attempt. They thought the experience would prepare her for next year’s pageant, Kim said.

Madeline was not only crowned Miss Midwest Teen, winning a $500 scholarship and a chance to compete in the national pageant, she also won the Volunteer Service award for the Midwest region and was named in the top four for the Academic Achievement award.

She will compete in the national pageant, which will be held at Disney World in Orlando, Fla., from Nov. 19-24. The national winner receives a $2,500 scholarship, plus a travel allowance to return to Disney World and crown the next queen, said Meg Hemphill, Assistant State Director of MAC Pageants.

The interview with a panel of judges, which counts for one-third of the overall points, is considered the most challenging part of the pageant.

“The judges can ask them any questions; they just can’t be political or religious questions,” Hemphill said. “There’s no right or wrong answers; they are looking for poise and personality, the overall package.”

Approximately 400 girls will compete in six different age divisions, Hemphill said.

If Madeline wins, she said she hopes to use her crown to promote hunger relief nationwide.

“It’s not about being in parades, it’s about being out there meeting with state officials and being able to truly make a difference,” Kim said.

Winning Miss Midwest Teen has already given her the opportunity to meet some Illinois politicians. Rep. Randy Hultgren visited her parents last week while Madeline was at school, and Gov. Pat Quinn’s office is supposed to contact her and make arrangements to meet.

Madeline said that although many assume all pageants are about beauty, she wanted to be taken seriously and chose to participate in the Miss American Coed Pageant system because it is more about inner beauty than outer beauty.

“There’s a lot of misconceptions about it. This is not the kind of pageant you go to with a fake tan. It’s a natural pageant with minimal makeup. It’s not like ‘Toddlers and Tiaras,’” Madeline said. “(Winning Miss Midwest Teen) has been opening doors (for me). People respect me now, and they see that I’m dedicated and driven and I have goals for my life.”

For this Kaneland High School senior, those goals include attending Hope College, a Christian college in Holland, Mich., and majoring in communications.

“I want to be a photojournalist and travel globally, to photograph third-world countries, so I’m minoring in Spanish so I can talk to people there,” she said. “I really want to go to Haiti. I helped a lot after the catastrophe there; I did a lot of drives for them through my church and raised food and clothes, so I’d like to go with (my church).”

Cutting it close

Photo: Wide receiver Dylan Nauert gets away from a Brooks tackler during Kaneland’s 25-24 road win on Saturday. Photo by Ryan Wells

Knights overcome slow start for 25-24 win
by Mike Slodki
CHICAGO—It wasn’t the start the Kaneland Knights football outfit wanted, but it’ll take the finish.

A late touchdown pass from junior quarterback Drew David to receiver Zack Martinelli with 3:11 remaining in the fourth quarter capped the comeback mountain against Chicago’s Brooks Prep Eagles on Saturday for a 25-24 week 1 win.

The second-half flurry completed a 24-6 comeback over the vastly improved hosts at Gately Stadium, which lays a field goal away from Chicago State University.

It was 365 days earlier that Kaneland’s attack produced a running clock for the entire second half in a 44-0 rout over Brooks.

Saturday’s contest echoed last year’s 17-point comeback win in September 2011 at DeKalb, and was a mirror image of sorts to Montini Catholic’s late comeback over Kaneland in the Class 5A State semis.

Kaneland has now won 20 consecutive regular season games in a row, and 25 of its last 27.

The streak was in jeopardy often on Saturday, due to the offensive output from Brooks quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw and tailback Cleveland Clark. Brooks tallied 324 total yards.

“They were running sweeps outside and then started running some options, and we had problems with our option responsibility,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “In the second half, we made some adjustments and tried to bring a little heat from the outside.”

For Kaneland, David went 14-for-30 for 275 yards with two touchdown throws and a pick.

Martinelli caught six passes for 163 yards and two scores.

In the first quarter, Brooks hit paydirt first on its second drive, when Clark powered in from the one-yard line with 3:14 remaining for a 7-0 lead after a nine-play drive.

Dylan Nauert helped answer with a reception, and combined with a face mask penalty, the play netted 30 yards. Back Nate Dyer scored the first Knights touchdown of 2012 with a six-yard plunge, but Matt Rodriguez missed the point afterward to keep it 7-6 with :57 left.

Brooks continued to control the ball and clock in the following frame, and it led to a 21-yard field goal by Jesus Miranda with 5:12 to go in the second quarter for a 10-6 lead.

A Nauert touchdown pass was called back due to offsetting penalties, and the Knights were forced to punt.

Brooks made good on the new opportunity with a Clark five-yard touchdown run to make it 17-6 with :23 left in the half.

Bradshaw accounted for a 39-yard touchdown run on an option play to make it 24-6 with 4:32 to go, but Martinelli caught a 62-yard rainbow 12 seconds later to make it 24-13.

The fourth quarter started to shift the way of KHS, and after a Brooks punt, Nauert’s 48-yard catch brought the ball into Eagles territory. Nine plays later, Dyer’s two-yard touchdown run with 8:29 left closed the gap to within 24-19 after a missed two-point try.

Brooks punted again, allowing Kaneland to orchestrate its go-ahead drive. Martinelli grabbed a 29-yard slant pass to set up his touchdown reception that saw him juke a defender on a screen.

‘We’ve had a lot of hitches all week,” Martinelli said. “We’re coached to turn outside and I saw him turn inside.”

Martinelli knew the offensive side of the ball had to adjust in the final two quarters.

“I talked to Drew at halftime and told him it was just like DeKalb,” Martinelli said. “We’ve got to step it up and calm down. Once he calms down, Drew is probably one of the best quarterbacks in the state.”

Kaneland travels to Huntley High School to face the Red Raiders on Friday, Aug. 31. Kaneland has earned the upper hand in the last three meetings.

As a pack

KHS boys XC team takes 6 of top 7 spots in season opener
Kaneland—Pack running has long been the mantra of the Kaneland High School boys cross country team under head coach Chad Clarey. If the team’s performance in Tuesday’s season-opener is any indication of what to expect this year, the Knights will be just fine.

“We are happy with our first run on the home course,” Clarey said after Tuesday’s win over West Chicago and Wheaton Academy. “We clearly have a lot to work on, but this has a very good feel for the start of a strong campaign.”

The Knights took six of the top seven spots on their way to a 19-point team tally, taking first place by far in the three-team field. Wheaton Academy took second in the tri-meet with 53 points, followed by West Chicago with 108.

Kyle Carter took the top individual spot with a time of 16:39, well in front of the second-place finisher, Noah VanDyke of Wheaton Academy, who crossed the finish line at 17:24.

“Kyle Carter broke away from the pack and finished with our fastest course time for an opening night,” Clarey said.

The Kaneland pack closely followed, as Knights took spots three through seven. Connor Johnson finished third in 17:38, closely followed by John Meisinger (17:40), Louis Acosta (17:43), Ryan Bower (17:46), and Brandon Hueber (18:05).

“Johnson, Meisinger, Acosta and Bower all were within eight seconds of each other. We’ll take that any day of the week,” Clarey said.

Nathaniel Kucera finished as the KHS seventh-man, placing 10th overall with a time of 18:56.

“Our boys opened the season with a very encouraging pack performance,” Clarey said. “We loved seeing them pair up and push through the hilly Elburn Woods course.

The Knights will host another tri-meet on Tuesday, Sept. 4, when East Aurora and Yorkville pay a visit to Elburn Woods.

Tennis overcomes early bump

Photo: The Kaneland varsity girls tennis team is off to a good start this year. Here, Senior Aly Harner serves during their home match against Belvidere on Aug. 23, which Kaneland won 4-3. Photo by Kimberly Anderson

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—A win last week at West Chicago had Kaneland tennis on a smooth track early.

That was until the Lady Knights met up with Wheaton Academy on Aug. 22 in Maple Park.

A 5-2 dual loss was then overcome on Thursday in a 4-3 squeaker against the visiting Blue Thunder of Belvidere North.

Kaneland now has a 3-1 record in dual play, as the schedule gets busier.

In the 5-2 loss to the Lady Warriors, the lone wins were handled by No. 1 singles entry Sammie Schrepferman in a 7-5, one-set affair, and by No. 1 doubles tandem Jelly Emmanouil and Madi Jurcenko in a 6-0, 6-0 sweep.

Wheaton Academy also bested Kaneland JV action.

Against Belvidere North, singles wins were gathered by Schrepferman, 6-4, 6-3, and by No. 3 star Stephanie Zwick, who held her counterpart at bay, 6-1, 4-6, 6-1, after Kaneland had already lost three matches.

Emmanouil and Jucenko took their match, 6-2, 6-0, while extra duo Colleen Landers and Kaylee Shoaff won the final match, 6-3, 6-1.

“Madi and Jelly played very good tennis and beat a couple of really good players,” KHS coach Tim Larsen said. “Sammie struggled but kept her composure for a good win. The hero of the day was Stephanie Zwick.”

Monday’s action saw the Lady Knights sweep Glenbard North in a 7-0 home victory, with every match going Kaneland’s way in straight sets.

Schrepferman cruised to a No. 1 singles victory, 6-2, 6-0. Steph Karolewicz earner her first varsity win of the season, 6-1, 6-2. Zwick completed the singles side of the sweep with a 6-4, 6-3 win from the No. 3 spot.

In doubles action, Jurcenko and Emmanouil breezed through a 6-1, 6-0 match. Jennifer Bicos and Jessica Woodward battled for a tough straight-set victory, 6-3, 7-5. Colleen Landers and Sarah Grams earned a 6-2, 6-1 win, and Abby Meyer and Kaylee Shoaff completed the sweep with a 6-2, 7-6 win.

Tuesday’s contest hosting DeKalb High School was rescheduled for Thursday, Aug. 30, and the Lady Knights will take on IMSA at home on Tuesday, Sept. 4.

Lady Knights find top-half finish in Wheaton

Photo: Co-captain Lauren Banbury gets a shot through the block in their first match versus Montini, which Kaneland won 25-14 and 25-21. Photo by Patti Wilk

Banbury makes All-Tourney team
KANELAND—”Two out of three ain’t bad,” and in the case of Kaneland volleyball, it nets a fifth-place finish.

Setting off for more action after an initial split of two encounters last week, Kaneland finished with a respectable two out of three wins on Saturday at the Wheaton North Invite.

The Lady Knights record is 4-2 overall after a loss to Stagg, but wins over St. Viator, Wheaton North and Burlington Central.

Against the Palos Hills, Ill. outfit, Kaneland fell 25-22, 18-25, 25-20.

KHS won the next two battles, beating Arlington Heights, Ill. team St. Viator by a final of 25-12, 20-25, 25-22, and mastering the hosts 25-11, 25-19.

Accumulated statistics featured Lauren Banbury getting an All-Tournament team nod with 15 kills. Teammate Ashley Prost had 26 kills and 21 digs.

Ellie Dunn of Kaneland added 11 kills, while fellow Lady Knight Lyndi Scholl had 17 kills.

Kaneland weapon Jenny Lubic had 62 assists and 16 digs, and Metea Valley transfer Shayna Tucek had 51 digs.

Tuesday saw the Lady Knights defeat visiting Burlington Central High School in two games by identical 25-17 scores.

Lubic led the way with 21 assists and 13 digs.

The Lady Knights move on to Hinckley-Big Rock for a match on Tuesday, Sept. 4.


Knights top W. Aurora, DeKalb after loss to Marengo
KANELAND—Kaneland High School golf coach Mark Meyer knew his team wasn’t as deep as in years past, but believed the talent at the top could more than make up for any holes.

In the first several dual meets of 2012, that talent pool was enough for wins in two of three contests.

In Rochelle on Aug. 22, the Knights took a 157-174 win, before dropping a 174-179 matchup with host Marengo on Thursday.

On Friday at Orchard Valley GC in Aurora, Kaneland took care of the West Aurora Blackhawks in a close 161-167 affair.

Meyer was glad to see the events on West Aurora’s turf unfold.

“Golf is a game that depends heavily on confidence,” Meyer said. “I was glad that we had a match the day after Marengo, because we were able to put that performance behind us and regain some of our confidence.”

Against the Northern Illinois Big XII conference-sharing Hubs, the Knights saw top scores from medalist Connor Williams with a 36, Brody Kuhar and Luke Kreiter with a 39 and Matt Yonkovich with a 41.

Rochelle’s Brandon O’Rourke and Zach Pauser each had 42 for the Hubs.

JV action had Jesse Denton shoot a 42 to lead KHS to a 184-221 win.

On Thursday against Marengo, the Knights saw a 41 from Yonkovich and 45 from Williams and Kreiter.

Against the Blackhawks, the Knights were paced by co-medalist Williams’ 39, while Kuhar managed a 40.

The JV crew had a handy 181-219 win, in part to Jeremy Faletto’s 42.

Tuesday’s action against visiting DeKalb saw the Knights win 160-167, with Yonkovich earning medalist honors with a round of 36.

Thursday, Aug. 30, in Sterling sees the Knights have a NIB-12 crossover dual.

Soccer takes 2nd at Jacobs

Photo: Defender Sam Rymarz (top left) goes up to block a corner kick in the first half of Kaneland’s 4-1 road win at Marengo on Aug. 21. Photo by John DiDonna

Knights win 2 of 3 in Fox Valley area
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Jacobs High School’s tournament in Algonquin, Ill., usually provides a nice early-season test for Kaneland soccer.

Taking on three teams at the tournament, KHS finished with a passing grade.
With two wins and a loss, Kaneland is now 2-1-1 in 2012.

The hosts took it to the Knights on Friday by a 4-1 clip, but a rebound transpired with a 3-0 Saturday win over Crystal Lake Central and a 1-0 win in penalty kicks over Harvard soon after to clinch second place.

Against Jacobs, Kaneland fell behind 3-0 after the first 40 minutes, and even a Kushstrim Ismaili goal on a feed from Ben Longson with 28:42 left couldn’t undo the damage.

Kaneland got momentum on its side once Saturday hit, thanks to goals from Anthony Parillo (29:28), Ismaili (9:04) and Evan Bohorquez (8:15, second half) vs. Crystal Lake Central.

The uplifting conclusion to the round-robin affair happened after a scoreless regulation against the Hornets. Kaneland’s 5-4 edge in penalty kicks was the difference in match played without the benefit of six Knights due to injury.

“I would say that we did as well as we could with the injuries we have had early in season,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “The Jacobs game was a less than stellar effort but we regrouped on Saturday and played a little better. I want to see how we play when we are at full strength.We have been practicing PK’s all season and it paid off.”

Kaneland battles former Western Sun Conference rival Geneva in Maple Park on Thursday, Aug. 30.


Lady Knight XC opens season with win by taking 4 of 5 top spots

Kaneland—Kaneland High School’s girls cross country team on Tuesday started its season on the right foot, earning a victory in a tri-meet over West Chicago and Wheaton Academy on Tuesday.

The Lady Knights took four of the top five spots in the meet on their way to a 28-point team total. West Chicago took second with 43 points, followed by Wheaton Academy’s 57 points.

Victoria Clinton was the top runner overall, leading the Lady Knights with a 15:01 time. Abby Dodis took third for Kaneland, with a time of 16:01. Brianna Bower earned fourth at 16:26, and Amanda Lesak closed out the overall top five with a time of 15:56.

Kaneland helped its cause with a pack of Lady Knights closing out their top seven as Jessica Kucera (17:22), Maggie Brundidge (17:25) and Catherine Deno (17:30) taking 15th through 17th place.

Kaneland will travel to the Oregon Invite on Saturday, Sept. 1, with a 9:15 a.m. start.

Letter: Kaneville FPD remembers Bob Rodney

The Kaneville Fire Protection District would like to extend its most heartfelt condolences to the family of former Village President Bob Rodney. We are very appreciative of the generous donations to the Bob Rodney Memorial Fund.

The Fire Protection District presently supports a 911 pendant program for citizens in our area. These pendants will dial 911 and allow the user to speak to the 911 operator when they are in a position where they cannot get to a phone. We feel using the memorial donations to further fund this project will be an excellent way to continue Bob’s dedication to help the Kaneville community and its citizens.
David B. Sigmund, Kaneville Fire Chief

Letter: A thank you from the Friends of Jason Gould Committee

The fourth annual Hogfan Party, in memory of Jason Gould, will be held Saturday, Sept. 8, at the Moose in St. Charles. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for your past support, and I hope you will be able to find it in your hearts to support us again this year. Our little grass roots organization made the Ohio State University (OSU) Impact Cancer magazine.

All of our proceeds go to Dr. Rob Baiochci at OSU and The James Cancer Hospital and the cancer research center. Dr. Baiocchi and his team have developed a vaccine to prevent the Epstein Barr virus (which is what caused Jason’s lymphoma. Yes, viruses do cause cancer.), and it is now headed to clinical trials and FDA approval! Dr. Rob and Ohio State have partnered with the Leukemia Lymphoma Society and a pharmaceutical company to manufacture the vaccine, the first of its kind! This vaccine could have saved Jason’s life and will surely do that for many others in the years ahead.

Jason would be thrilled to hear that his dream of helping others survive is being realized. Come join us again this year for the fourth annual Hogfan Party to support leukemia and lymphoma research. It’s a great family event with great food, a silent auction, lots of raffle prizes and good fun. Saturday, Sept. 8, 4 to 9 p.m. Can’t make it? Support us by buying raffle tickets or making a donation. The grand raffle prizes this year include an iPad 3, 32-inch flat screen TV, a Trek bike, an American Girl doll and a ride in a hot air balloon.

If you’d like event tickets or raffle tickets, email or see Click on Hogfan 2012 for details or call (630) 267-6374.

Many thanks for your past, continued and future support of this incredible research. We couldn’t meet our goals without your support.

Sandy Gould and the
Friends of Jason Gould Committee

Letter: A thank you from the Elburn Chamber of Commerce

The Elburn Chamber of Commerce would like to thank the Elburn Lions Club for hosting yet another great Elburn Days event. The weather held out in our favor for the three-day event, so the flea market and sidewalk sale vendors were able to set up on time. We are very thankful for the great turnout of downtown vendors, as well as the crafters located at the park. We had a number of booths, which filled our capacity, and everyone seemed to have a wonderful weekend.

On Sunday we had our annual Elburn Herald and Elburn Chamber Mud Volleyball tournament. We reached our max of 48 teams, with over 360 players. The winning team this year was the “Dirty Ball Slappers,” and we congratulate them on their win and invite them back next year to defend their title.

The Elburn Chamber had a fantastic turnout at each event and would like to thank everyone who participated, all of our vendors, our volleyball players and our volunteers. Without the support of our members and the community, none of this would have been possible. We as a chamber are very grateful for each and everyone who participated in every way, and we thank the Elburn Lions Park for putting on such a wonderful yearly event that gives us these great opportunities. See you all next year.

Visit the Elburn Chamber at or “like” us on Facebook to keep updated with our local events. You may also contact the chamber administrator at (630) 365-2295 or email

Jamie Jump
Chamber administrator

Guest Editorial: Start of school requires extra precautions while driving

by Lt. Pat Gengler
Kane County Sheriff’s Office

With the start of school comes the need to remind drivers to be aware of school buses, school bus stops and children waiting for school buses.

Last year, the Kane County Sheriff’s Office fielded countless complaints of reckless driving and speeding near school bus stops in residential neighborhoods and on county roads while children were waiting to go to school. These complaints often came from residents who live in subdivisions near Randall Road and involved drivers in search of a short cut.

This school year, in an aggressive effort to promote safety for school children, the Kane County Sheriff’s Office will enforce school zone traffic regulations by encouraging drivers to follow the law relative to school buses, and to stay on the main roads and avoid neighborhoods where children are waiting for school buses.

Enforcement details will be established near schools and bus stops in unincorporated Kane County. Specific areas will be along Crane Road, Burr Road, Route 30 in Big Rock, the Mill Creek subdivision, the Red Gate Ridge subdivision, and the county roads near Kaneland and Burlington Central high schools.

Last year, the majority of drivers who were stopped by deputies in these areas were parents who were taking their children to school or driving to work. The question deputies posed to them was, “What if that was your child at that bus stop that you just sped past?”

An added reminder that cell phone usage in school and construction zones is unlawful.

SGUMC announces new fall schedule

SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove United Methodist Church,176 Main St., Sugar Grove, recently announced its new fall schedule beginning Sunday, Sept. 9.

Worship times are 8 and 10:30 a.m., with Christian Education classes (for all ages) at 9:15 a.m. Special worship times this Labor Day weekend are at 8 and 9:30 a.m.

All are welcome to attend. Stop in and see all the new programs and people.

Phyllis A. Wolf

Phyllis A. Wolf, 73, of Maple Park, passed away suddenly Sunday morning, Aug. 26, 2012.

She was born Feb. 24, 1939, in Anoka, Minn., the daughter of Roland L. and Irene R. (McDonald) Sanderson.

Her family moved to Sugar Grove when Phyllis was only nine years old. Her father worked as a farm hand on a local farm that became the Aurora Airport in 1960.
Phyllis attended Sugar Grove Elementary School and graduated from Elburn High School in 1957.

She found a dancing partner for life when she was only in fourth grade. Rex Wolf and Phyllis had their first dance lined up as square dancing partners. Friendship became something more when they reached their junior year of high school, eventually becoming the homecoming king and queen a year later.

On March 15, 1958, they were united in marriage at the Sugar Grove Methodist Church. They began their new life together in Aurora for a time. Phyllis worked as an operator for Illinois Bell while Rex worked as a truck mechanic for International Harvester. In 1960, they moved back to Sugar Grove to live on the farm where she spent her growing up years. Farming acres became runways for the airport, with Rex tending to both over the years. In 1983, Rex and Phyllis picked up their belongings and made the move to Maple Park, where they continued to make their home and raise buffalo.

Phyllis had a strong work ethic and a heart that was full of love for her family. When she wasn’t at home raising her children, she spent many years at the Stop-N-Go in Sugar Grove, where everybody knew her name and she, in turn, fondly remembered theirs. When it closed, Phyllis went to work at The Bank of Sugar Grove, now Old Second, until her retirement in 2002.

Phyllis was a member of the Sugar Grove United Methodist Church and served on the Sugar Grove Library Board for many years. She also was a member and volunteered at the Sugar Grove American Legion.

Phyllis was more than an avid reader. Her trips to the library numbered in the thousands. Her copies of Gone with the Wind were well worn, as was her copy of the movie. Romance novels were also a favorite, along with classic country music, westerns and her beloved Elvis. Her constant companion (other than Rex) was her dog Charlie—who only allowed Phyllis to pet him. Charlie was found wandering in Bliss Woods and became her “four legged fierce protector” for many years. She enjoyed bowling leagues and loved to not only watch but participate in local tractor pulls. The Booster Barn at Kaneland became a second home while her children played in sports with her ever-present cow bell rang encouragement on every play. She also coached girls’ softball while her daughters played.

Phyllis was a whiz in the kitchen, often utilizing her spoons and spatulas not only for cooking but also for “correction” when the children misbehaved. She never met a stranger and became close friends with many in her community. Her heart was happiest when surrounded by her family, especially her grandchildren. “Back to School Weenie Roasts,” riding the golf cart around the Buffalo Farm, and daylong Christmas celebrations are only a few of the thousands of wonderful unforgettable memories she made with each and every one. She now lives on in their hearts, and her legacy will never be forgotten.

She is survived by her loving husband of 54 years, Rex Wolf; four children: Lisa (Tony Lampros) Landes, Dan Wolf, Lynda (Tim) Fillipp and Denise (Larry) Secor; 10 grandchildren, Daniel Landes, Heather Lampros, Haley Lampros, Andrew (Katelyn) Fillip and their son, Ben, Tyler Fillipp, Timothy Fillipp, Kaelyn Fillipp, Haley Secor, Sophey Secor and Joseph Secor; three sisters, Joyce Matalone, Shirley (Donald) Hinds and Sharon Sanderson; many nieces, nephews, cousins, a community of friends, and special loving caregivers Elaine, Kim and Michelle.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Roland and Irene Sanderson; and one grandson, Joseph Daniel Wolf.

Visitation will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 30, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn. A funeral to celebrate her life will take place Friday, Aug. 31, at 10 a.m. at the funeral home. Interment will follow at Kaneville Cemetery.

A memorial has been established in her name to benefit her favorite charities. Checks may be made to the “Phyllis Wolf Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at where you can also find her full life story.

Fun Fest: Schedule

Saturday, Sept. 1
7 a.m.
Romp in the Park 5K Run/ Walk (North Park)
8 a.m.
Men’s Slo-Pitch Softball
(Civic Center Fields)
10 a.m. 6 p.m.
Crafters and Vendors
(Main & Pleasant streets)
10 a.m. to noon
Civic Center Open House
10:30 a.m.
Inaugural Bags Tournament (North Park)
11:00 a.m.
Food and beer garden opens
12:30 p.m.
Fun Fest Bike Parade with Decorating
Station. Decorating begins at
11:30 a.m. (Main Street)
1 p.m.
8th Annual Toilet Bowl Challenge
(Main Street)
1 to 4 p.m.
Horse-drawn wagon rides
(Main and Summer)
2 to 5 p.m.
Dedication ceremony and activities
at the Fire Station
6 p.m.
Parade on Main Street

n On stage saturday
M&M Dance Group
12:30 p.m.
Just For Kix Dance Group
1:30 p.m.
Destination Unknown
2:45 p.m.
Drift Away
5 p.m.
Hillbilly Rockstarz
9 p.m.
Hi Infidelity

Sunday, Sept. 2
7 a.m. to noon
American Legion Breakfast Buffet
8 a.m.
Men’s Slo-Pitch Softball Tournament
at the Civic Center Fields
8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Car Show on Main Street
11 a.m.
Food, beer garden opens
8:30 p.m.
Fireworks show

n On Stage Sunday
2:30 p.m.
PK & The Groove
5 p.m.
Back Country Roads
8 p.m.
Raffle winners announced

Monday, Sept. 3
7 a.m. to noon
American Legion Breakfast Buffet
8 a.m.
Men’s Slo-Pitch Softball Tournament
at the Civic Center Fields
8:30 p.m.
Rain date—Fireworks show

Fun Fest: Small-town festival, big-time entertainment

by Lynn Meredith
Maple Park—Started in 1998, Maple Park Fun Fest features three days of bands, crafters, vendors, a toilet bowl race and a 5K fun run, all taking place over Labor Day weekend and culminating in a fireworks display. This year’s festival lives up to its mission of being a small-town festival with big time entertainment.

The celebration begins on Saturday with a 5k run/walk. The day ends with music by Hillbilly Rockstarz, followed by the parade on Main Street at 6 p.m. Hi Infidelity will round out the evening at 9 p.m.

New to the lineup this year is the inaugural Bags Tournament. This bean bag toss will pair up competitors to vie for the top prizes. The tourney will start at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday at North Park.

The Lion’s Club will sponsor a Kids’ Make and Take where kids can make a craft to bring home. At 1 p.m., the Toilet Bowl Race draws the crowds to watch teams compete for “Best in Show,” the best decorated toilet bowl, or for first place as the fastest toilet bowl in town.

The Maple Park Fire Department will hold a dedication ceremony and other activities, from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Fire Station. The department will dedicate stone pavers with the names of firemen who have passed away etched in them to be placed in the Memorial Garden in front.

Sunday begins with the American Legion Breakfast from 7 a.m. to noon. After a year break, the car show will return from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday on Main Street. At 2:30 p.m., PK and the Groove will play, followed by Back Country Roads at 5 p.m.

The winner of the cash raffle fundraiser will be announced on Sunday at 8 p.m. The first-place winner will receive $1,000; $500 for second place and $250 for third place. Tickets cost $10. By 8:30 p.m., the crowds are ready for the fireworks (rain date is 8:30 p.m. Monday).

On Monday, the Legion will once again serve up its breakfast buffet, and the men’s slo-pitch softball tournament will continue. Crowds can wash down the activities of the day with some brews in the Beer Garden, open daily at 11 a.m.

Fun Fest: Titleholders retire

Passing down the commode to a new generation
by Lynn Meredith
Maple Park—The combined forces of three women decorating a toilet bowl to win Best in Show in the eighth annual Toilet Bowl Race for the last several years. Their husbands have won for speed five years in a row. Both winners will give way to the next generation as they pass down the commodes to their kids.

Celina Slowick, Lexi Slowick and Aly McPhee will replace Best in Show titleholders Colleen Slowick, Amy Jendruczek and Beth Miller in this year’s race. Evan Catanag, Mace Jendruczek and Josh Cline will take over for speed winners Chuck Miller, Lorenzo Catanag and Craig Askew.

“It’s an extremely sad story,” Beth Miller said. “Basically, my entire team retired on me. So, we are handing over our toilet to the young’uns in the neighborhood.”

Over the years, the trio would spend an entire year looking for just the right items to decorate their themed commodes. One year, it was “Pretty in Pink.” Another year it was “Pot of Gold.” Last year’s winner,“Holy Crap,” was decorated with beautiful angels.

The husbands not only won for speed last year, they took the Best in Show title from their wives with a rig entitled “Poo Brothers” based on Blues Brothers.

Miller, with tongue firmly in cheek, calls it like she sees it.

“The husbands are also retiring … because they are too old and can’t take the pressure. It’s the only form of exercise they get. I guess it proved too much for them,” Miller said. “Their toilet will be handed down to the next generation of runners. The teenage boys of the neighborhood will race.”

The event begins at 1 p.m. Saturday on Main Street. Each team consists of one pilot and two pushers. Time trials will be held as racers run the course in more or less random pairings.

“When you have a group of big burly guys and a group of teenage girls, it’s hard to pair them up,” race organizer Pat Mudinger said.

Mudinger said that he typically doesn’t know how many contestants there will be until race time. In order to encourage advanced registration, he offers a $5 discount for those who let him know ahead of time. Otherwise, the fee is $15 to race.

Prizes are $100 and a trophy for first place, $75 for second place and $50 for third place.

Fun Fest: Kids bike, wagon parade returns for 2nd year

aMaple Park Fun Fest
Bike and Wagon Parade

Saturday, Sept. 1 • 12:30 p.m.
Main Street, Maple Park
Children up to 12 years of age may participate

Cash prizes for the most creative
and the most patriotic

for a form to register

by Susan O’Neill
Maple Park—The bike and wagon parade was such a hit last year that it is back again for this year’s Maple Park Fun Fest. According to organizer Brittany Altepeter, there were 35 entries in the parade last year, and they were “pretty decked out.”

The age limit on the high end is 12 years old, but there is no limit for how young the riders can be. In fact, strollers are also be welcome, Altepeter said.

Contestants will compete for one of two $25 cash prizes—one for the most creative; the other for the most patriotic.

“We encourage people to do their decorating ahead of time, but we will have some decorations available,” Altepeter said.

Altepeter said that participants are encouraged to sign up ahead of time by using the form on the Fun Fest website. However, they may also register the day of the parade at the decorating station on Main Street. The decorating station will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., when the line-up will begin.

The parade begins at 12:30 p.m. and will move down Main Street.

Cream King, the owner of the ice cream truck serving Maple Park, will provide free ice cream to the participants once the parade is over. Participation in the parade is also free.

To access the registration form, visit the Fun Fest website at

Fun Fest: Parade

Maple Park
Fun Fest Parade

Saturday, Sept. 1
6 p.m.
Main Street, Maple Park

Miss Illinois 2012,
other groups to appear at Saturday festivities

by Susan O’Neill
Maple Park—Brittany Altepeter and her fellow Maple Park Fun Fest organizers Melissa Brady and Emma Smith were successful in booking the 2012 Miss Illinois, Megan Ervan, to appear in this year’s Maple Park Fun Fest Parade.

Ervan, who recently earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Western Illinois University, is promoting the Fight against Childhood Obesity and Inactivity as part of her platform throughout the year.

Also new to the parade is veterinarian Dr. Margaret Rogers of Maple Park’s Wingate Animal Clinic, together with some of her animal friends. Cami the camel, LeBronkey the miniature donkey, as well as a goat or two will accompany Rogers in the parade.

Cami, who lives with Rob and Marlene Davy in unincorporated Maple Park, will be available for rides during the Fun Fest from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday at Wingate Animal Clinic on Maple Park Road.

Another new entry in the parade will be Connexion Communidad, a DeKalb-based social service organization. The organization will perform ethnic dances for the audience. Connexion Communidad provides classes, services and a meeting place for the local Latino community.

Honest Automotive owner Dennis Lexa will once again kick off the parade when he sings the National Anthem. The parade begins to roll once Lexa is done singing, at about 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1. Rich and Pam Ferdinand will be the masters of ceremony for the parade.

According to Altepeter, most of the 60 or so entries will be local businesses. Four local school bands, including those from Burlington Central High School, DeKalb High School, Kaneland High School and Kaneland Harter Middle School, will play and march in the parade.

Crowd-pleasers Marilyn’s Majorettes from Sycamore will be back again this year, as well.

“It should be a pretty good parade again this year,” Altepeter said.

Fun Fest: Ready for a Romp

Event welcomes runners, walkers
by Lynn Meredith
Maple Park—Maple Parkers like competitions, but they also like their fun. The Romp in the Park, which features a two-mile walk and a 5K run, combines them both. For the 14th year, racers will line up for an 8 a.m. Saturday race to compete for fun and prizes.

The course starts at North Park, runs down Washington and out of town on County Road 23. For the walkers, the course goes out for a mile and comes back. The 5K runners will go to Howard Road, turn around and come back.

Most years the races attract 75 to 85 competitors. One of the Romp organizers, Helen Olsen, said they have had over 100 racers some years.

“We get a lot of locals, but we also get some from Elgin, West Chicago. This year we’ve even got one form Wisconsin,” Olsen said.

The fee to race for the 5K is $10 when pre-registering and $13 the day of the race. For the two-mile event the fee is $7 when pre-registering and $10 the day of the race. Winners collect medals.

“It’s just a fun thing,” Olsen said.

Fun Fest: Casual fun gets official

Fun Fest hosts inaugural bags tournament
by Lynn Meredith
Maple Park—Tammy Mocedy, her husband and their friends always spent time at the Mocedy’s house playing a triathalon of games after the Maple Park Fun Fest’s Romp in the Park and before going to watch the Toilet Bowl Race. They would all kick in $5 and play three different games. Then Tammy had the idea to expand the games.

“We like to do active stuff. We can only include six couples (in the bean bag toss) or it’d take all day to play,” Mocedy said. “At the drawdown for the fireworks, I thought ‘I’m such an organized person. I really should get involved.’”

True to her nature, Mocedy got on the Fun Fest Committee to talk about what they could do that would be something different. She pitched the Bags Tournament, and the committee approved.

The tournament will take place at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at North Park. It will be a blind draw, so participants don’t need to have a partner to enter. There will be at least eight boards, borrowed from members of the community, and the partners will be drawn randomly.

“It’s just a fun way to get friends together. Even if you have a bad partner, you’re still going to have fun,” Mocedy said.

The atmosphere will go along with the fun, with music by Mocedy, who herself is a D.J., and alcoholic beverages will be permitted at the event.

The game will follow the legal rules for bean bag toss, in which the object is to hit 21 points, versus local versions that take points away if a player goes beyond 21.

With a Maple Park league of bags already established in town, Mocedy’s friends may have a contest on their hands.

Fun Fest: Local expert to stage fireworks show

Maple Park Fun Fest
Fireworks Show

Sunday, Sept. 2
8:30 p.m.
View from the baseball field,
Casey’s General Store,
Heritage Hills or
Squire’s Crossing subdivisions
Free parking

Rain date: Monday, Sept. 3
by Susan O’Neill
Maple Park—In a field where you’re only guaranteed a job one day a year—on the 4th of July—pyrotechnician and Maple Park resident Roger Kahl performed a total of 17 shows last year. Kahl, who will do the show for Maple Park Fun Fest, has been doing fireworks shows for events in the local area for the past 14 years.

Kahl began his pyrotechnician career when he and other Maple Park Fun Fest committee members were researching the possibility of fireworks for the Maple Park event. He ended up taking the ground class in pyrotechnics and passed the test.

“It’s been fun ever since,” he said.

The show will begin at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 2, in the Squire’s Crossing Subdivision, although people will be able to view the show from the baseball field, Casey’s General Store, and from homes in the Heritage Hills Subdivision. Parking is free.

Kahl said that local businesses donate items for the raffle as well as money to support the fireworks, and the Maple Park Lions Club and the Maple Park American Legion post are major sponsors. Organizers raise money from the sale of 400 tickets at $10 each, which allows people into a raffle event in July. Each of 13 different raffles offers three chances to win prizes, which include items such as gift certificates, a round of golf and others.

Kahl does the fireworks for events in Burlington, Montgomery, at Bob-Jo’s race track in Sycamore and NIU’s football games, among others. He and the seven or eight people who help him with the Maple Park show donate their time, so all of the money collected goes toward the fireworks. He said the show should be pretty good, with a finale featuring an 8-inch shell traveling 800 feet into the air.

“People remember your finale,” he said.