A ribbon cutting took place Tuesday at the new Jimmy John’s, located at 472 N. Route 47 in Sugar Grove. On hand for the event were Dino Divizio (left to right), Kenny Abbott, Sally McClellan, Bryce Carey, Lisa Lund, Richard Young, owners Vanessa and Aaron Leuer, their daughter Lilly, Mayor Sean Michels and Dave Barroughs.
Photo by John DiDonna
by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVEâ€”A fire in Sugar Grove last week left a Kaneland family homeless and two youngsters and their mom with nothing but the clothes they were wearing at the time.
The fire, which started in the garage of the Lawrence family’s townhome on Capital Drive on Aug. 5, gutted their home and did structural damage to their next door neighbor’s homes on both sides.
Jordyen, a Kaneland High School freshman, her brother Ryan, a sophomore, and a friend were home at the time. All three escaped the house unharmed. Sugar Grove firefighters rescued one of their cats, but the other is unaccounted for.
â€œIt took an hour to get the fire under control,â€ Fire Chief Marty Kunkel said. â€œUnit C (the Lawrence’s home) will have to be torn down completely,â€
Although the fire is under investigation, Kunkel said there is nothing suspicious about its origin.
Sugar Grove Police Chief Brad Sauer said that a number of people within the community have stepped up to help the family.
â€œIt’s a bad time for this to happen,â€ Sauer said. â€œPeople are getting ready to go back to school. Just think of it. They literally had nothing left.â€
Kaneland High School Assistant Principal Diane McFarlin has been in touch with Melissa Lawrence, the mom. The family is temporarily staying with some friends in the area.
McFarlin said that the family’s friends, neighbors and church community have all been ready, willing and able to help.
â€œIt’s been awesome,â€ she said.
Castle Bank employee Lisa Lund said that since Melissa and her children are currently staying with friends, they are still in the process of figuring out what they need.
â€œShe’s just pretty overwhelmed,â€ Lund said.
by Susan O’Neill
The Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce and Industry honors several of its members each year with awards in one of five categories. This year the chamber also recognized several organizations with special awards for their contributions to the community.
Press release award
The village of Sugar Grove won this category for its speed and thoroughness in keeping the community informed. Village Clerk Cindy Welsch regularly provides information to the community through press releases, the village website and announcements with utility bill mailings about the normal flow of events and services. In addition, village staff were quick to provide vital information to residents during the village’s recent floods.
In the Groove award
Castle Bank received this recognition for employee Lisa Lund’s role in promoting chamber membership and making sure that new members feel welcome. Chair of the membership committee, Lund helped increase membership through several membership drives in the area. She also implemented an orientation process for new members that combines a formal introduction to the community and the organization with informal follow-up and contacts.
Looking So Good Award
Waubonsee Community College won in this category for the new construction on the Sugar Grove campus as the college moves forward with its 2020 Master Plan. Attractive and functional, the Science Building completed in 2006, the Academic and Professional Center in 2007, and the Student Center in 2008 feature state-of-the-art technology to enhance the learning and social experiences of its students.
Chamber Spirit award
Engineering Enterprises, Inc. is recognized with this award for its consistent support of the business and residential community. A sponsor of the Farmer’s Market, Corn Boil and other chamber community events, EEI provides office support and equipment, funding and employee volunteers to ensure their success.
Brightest Stars Preschool owner Amy Peters has only been in town a short time, but she has jumped in with both feet to participate in community events. In addition to her morning and afternoon pre-school classes, Peters has provided musical and educational programs for children through the library, the Farmer’s Market and the Sugar Grove Corn Boil.
In recognition for stepping up
Special recognition goes to the Village Bible Church and Conley Outreach for providing a place and comfort to students following the fatal accident that claimed high school students Blake Denton and Jeff Malewig.
The Village Bible Church immediately made its building available for students to congregate, and Conley Outreach provided counseling and support as students and teachers attempted to deal with the tragedy.
In recognition for keeping your cool under pressure
Special recognition goes to Oak Trust Credit Union employees for their courage and assistance in apprehending the man who attempted to rob their Sugar Grove branch. Thanks to their quick thinking and observational skills, the Sugar Grove Police, together with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, were able to quickly locate the man and bring him into custody.