SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday gave proclamations of appreciation to residents Stan Schumacher and Lil Adams for their community service.
President Sean Michels read the proclamations, which gave an overview of their volunteer work.
Schumacher served 28 years at the Sugar Grove Community House, spearheading youth sports programs such as the Northern Illinois Thunder Softball Team. He’s known for his love of nature and his work to outfit the Community House with ample trees and landscaping features.
Adams served at the Sugar Grove Community House for 36 years, and oversaw numerous projects and Community House improvements. Michels noted during the proclamation that Adams shoveled snow and maintained the building so it was always open for use with scout meetings, weddings, and luncheons.
“Adams is a true example of the spirit of voluneteering,” Michels said.
Schumacher and Adams received standing ovations from those at the meeting.
Schumacher said he was honored for the recognition.
“I appreciate all the years I’ve spent working at the community house,” he said. “The young adults group has especially been rewarding. We’ve got some good people on the board who will continue to think of it as their home, as we always did.”
Board trustee Robert Bohler said Schumacher and Adams put forth the most efforts on behalf of local youth.
“You guys really created the Park District programs for all these years,” Bohler said. “A lot of memories were created. The community appreciates those memories.”
Photos: Thanks to Lil’s tireless efforts over the years, a garden was created at the Community Center this summer in honor of her recent retirement. It will forever be known as “Lil’s Garden” and adorned with a plaque. Courtesy Photo
by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—Lil Adams, a 45-year Sugar Grove resident and long-time board member, manager and caretaker of the Sugar Grove Community House, is retiring from those responsibilities after 35 years of dedication.
Adams joined the Sugar Grove Township Board of Directors for the Community House in 1977. Upon retiring from her career with AT&T in 1989, Adams took over custodial duties for the building. Since then, she has managed the maintenance of the building, as well as scheduling and managing all the activities and events.
“I was going to do it until they found someone else,” she said.
The Sugar Grove Community House, built in 1929 for community events and township resident use, has been host to the Scouts, 4-H clubs, homeowners association meetings, youth basketball, soccer and other youth groups, men’s indoor basketball league, Rocky’s DoJo kick-boxing matches, Sugar Grove Fire District pancake breakfasts and spaghetti dinners, as well as aerobics classes, wedding receptions, showers, anniversary and birthday parties over the years.
“You name it; we’ve had it,” Community House Board President Stan Schumacher said. “Without Lil’s assistance, there’s no way we could have functioned that well in that capacity. It wasn’t just a 9-5 job. Whenever she needed to be there, she was right there.”
Schumacher said that Adams was already on the board when he joined 26 years ago.
“I first met Lil and her husband Tom through the Sugar Grove Young Adults group,” he said. “You could tell her love for that building. She always kept it in tip-top clean shape. Her dedication was seven days a week. She was always right there to make sure people could get in and to lock up afterwards.”
Adams in 2011 was recognized by the village of Sugar Grove last year with the Sugar Grove Citizen of the Year Award. Adams received several nominations for Citizen of the Year from United Methodist Church, Sugar Grove Township, Conley Outreach and many of her close friends. The village also received numerous letters of support from local residents and businesses.
“I never dreamed they would do that (for) me. I had no idea I’d receive the award, even
though a lot of my friends were behind it all,” she said at the time. “It was a very well-kept secret.”
This spring, while Adams was on vacation, volunteers installed a water feature in front of the Community House in honor of her many years of service. During a dedication of the feature on Nov. 17, a plaque was also mounted on the front of the building so that future generations would know of Adams’ contributions. Native plantings complete the area now known as “Lil’s Garden.”
“That was so nice. It was such an honor,” Adams said. “People out here have been so good to me. I think I’ve been getting too much attention lately.”
Sugar Grove residents don’t see it that way.
“Lil’s a wonderful person, and she loves Sugar Grove,” Sugar Grove Chamber Executive Director Shari Baum said.
Baum said the business community and residents wanted to show how much they appreciate her dedication to the preservation of the building over the past 35 years.
In addition to the Community House, Adams’ community and volunteer work have included the school PTA, Sugar Grove Lions Club, Sugar Grove Election Board, Sugar Grove Corn Boil, as well as her roles with the Sugar Grove United Methodist Church. Adams has managed the church’s pie-baking efforts over the years for the annual Corn Boil, performed in the handbell choir, and served on various committees and boards.
Adams has been helping with the transition to the new custodians, and will serve on the board until next April. Then she said she is going to sit back and relax a bit more.
“It’s real soothing just to sit on the bench (outside the Community House) and listen to the water flow,” she said.
But Adams won’t sit still for too long. In addition to her church activities, she belongs to the Red Hat Ladies Club out of Oswego, goes to movies, and plays cards and dominos with her fellow club members.
“There are a lot of nice ladies in the group,” she said.
Of her years with the Community House, Adams said that it has been a great experience.
“I met a lot of nice people, had a lot of parties, big responsibilities and a “very, very nice board to work with,” she said.
When she joined the board, Dale Storck and Elaine Fox were trustees. Schumacher replaced Storck, and Jerry Murphy recently became a trustee.
“Our community owes a great deal of gratitude to Lil for everything she has done for them,” Schumacher said.
by Susan Oâ€™Neill
When a Sugar Grove Township Community House Board member decided to retire, the opening encouraged two Sugar Grove residents to get involved.
The three positions on the board are president, secretary and treasurer. The elected board decides how to split the responsibilities.
The Community House is a public facility open to the community for meetings, parties and sports events. It has a gym, kitchen and large gathering areas. The board maintains and makes improvements to the building, oversees its operations, keeps it stocked and schedules its use.
The election involves two long-term board members and two new candidates for the three positions.
Lil Adams, who has served on the board for more than 30 years, said she has the maturity and the sense of responsibility to successfully handle the responsibilities involved. She said it is a seven-day-a-week, 24-hour-a-day-job. She said she has a strong feeling for the building and has worked hard to keep it updated. She would like to continue providing her services to the community, keeping the building accessible to everyone in the community.
Stan Schumacher, who has served on the board for approximately 25 years, said that with his background in finance, he is equipped to handle the budgets and has been successful in organizing and running projects to improve and maintain the building.
His other community involvement has included organizing girls’ softball in Sugar Grove. He was coach and board member for the Northern Illinois Thunder, a girls traveling fast pitch team. He is a past commander of the American Legion.
He said the Community House is a fixture in the community, and he takes a lot of pride in its upkeep and use. He wants to make sure it stays well-maintained and presentable. His company, Midwest Ground Cover, designed the landscaping for the building and upgraded everything a few years ago.
Dan Long said he has a lot of energy and would like to help expand the activities and programs offered for children, as well as generate some new activities in the gym, such as an adult volleyball league. He has coached grade school and high school sports and was a successful fundraiser for the girls’ basketball team.
Tim Wilson said that owning a home for 16 years has given him a good understanding of what it takes to maintain a building and hire others for some of the work. He lives directly across the street from the Community House and said his proximity is a plus for keeping a watchful eye on the building.
He said he would like to make the building even more accessible and available than it is currently. He said he considers the building the crown jewel of Sugar Grove and wants to keep it in good shape.
â€¢ Currently board treasurer and
community house scheduler
â€¢ Adams makes reservations, collects
money from users and pays the bills.
She keeps the building supplied and
works with maintenance people
â€¢ 41 years in Sugar Grove
â€¢ Served on the board for
more than 30 years
â€¢ Retired telephone operator for AT&T
â€¢ Current board president
â€¢ Schumacher oversees the building
operations and coordinates with
township, manages projects for
capital improvements, creates the
budgets and tax levies
â€¢ Served on the board for
approximately 25 years
â€¢ VP of Finance for Midwest Ground
Covers, St. Charles
â€¢ 16 years in Sugar Grove
â€¢ Outside plant technician for AT&T,
Sugar Grove area
â€¢ 13 years in Sugar Grove
â€¢ Material handler for parts distribution
center for International Truck and
Engine, West Chicago