Mexican Independence Day Celebration, organized by Mexican Cultural Center DuPage, takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 16 & 17, 2017, in historic downtown district. The festive occasion recognizes Mexico’s freedom from Spain. The hours are from noon to 9:00 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 6:00 p.m. Sunday.
On Saturday children’s activities take place from noon to 5 p.m. Activities include trying to make a world record with the creation of a colorful mosaic design using more than 11,700 reusable cups with colorful lids from noon to 9:00 p.m. (more information elsewhere in column) and building a piñata from noon to 5:00 p.m. From 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. there is a special luncheon to honor Emma Rios and other local Mexican-American leaders. (more information elsewhere in column) The multi-mariachi concert is from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. Performing are Mariachi Aztlan from the University of Texas Rio Grand Valley, joined by harp specialist Maestro Ivan Velasco from the University of Veracruz Mexico. Others are Mariachi Herencia de Mexico, one of the top youth mariachi ensembles in the country, featuring a group of Chicago Public School students from the city’s immigrant barrios; CODA, a violin-only ensemble composed of regional middle school students; and Mariachi los Rayos de Leman Middle School.
On Sunday, the parade steps off at noon from the Leman Middle School parking lot on Joliet Street, north on Joliet Street to Conde Street, east on Conde Street to Wilson Street, over the A. Eugene Rennels Bridge, west on Main Street and ends in the historic downtown area. Participants are Parade Marshal Emma Rios, Mayor Ruben Pineda and West Chicago City Council, Acres Group, Septran Student Transportation, Citizens for Karina Villa, Arturo Machine Paving, Chilenos Danza, Gigantes de Oaxaca, Escolta, Rancho Los Robles, West Chicago Elementary School District 33, Miss Mexican Heritage and Court, Piñata, Dancing Horses, Inperio Chicago, Leman Middle School Ballet Folklorico, Educare West DuPage, World Financial Group and Republic Bank.
The official opening ceremony is at 1: 00 p.m. on the stage at Galena Street. Participating are Mayor Ruben Pineda. The true meaning of the event focuses on “El Grito de La Independencia.” The observance symbolizes the involvement of the Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo, who announced the beginning of the Mexican Revolution with the ringing of church bells September 18, 1810, in the village of Dolores, Mexico. Spain recognized the independence of Mexico September 27, 1821.The bell used in the ceremony here is on loan from the family of long time West Chicago resident the late Lorenzo Covarrubias, known as the “Patron de La Campana” (Patron of the Bell).
Entertainment begins with the Leman Folkloric Dancers at 2:00 p.m., Chilenos Danza at 3:00 p.m. and Gigantes de Oxaca at 4:00 p.m. The World Record Award Ceremony is at 5:00 p.m. followed by the countdown and release of candy from a 13-foot burro piñata created by West Chicago resident Victor Arellano.
Food is an important part of any festivity. In addition to the downtown area restaurants, the food vendors are Los Girasoles, Sonia’s, Knights of Columbus-St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Churro Factory, Jorge’s Paleteria and Neveria and Taqueria Santa Barbara.
Craft, organization and business vendors are Acres Group, Cricket Mobile, Tania Toys, Rocio S. Becerril Law Office, Source One, Daniel and Associates Real Estate, West Chicago Family Chiropractic, Educare West DuPage, Omel, Immigrant Solidarity DuPage, West Chicago Public Library District, Birth to 3, Republic Bank, World Financial Group, Royal Prestige, Verizon Mobile, and PHP Agency. It promises to be a fun event for everyone! (www.merleburl.com)
AROUND AND ABOUT
Hawthorne’s Backyard and Grill, 1200 West Hawthorne Lane, holds a fundraiser for Neighborhood Food Pantries from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Thursday, September 14, 2017. Fifteen percent of the beverage and food sales will benefit the pantries. The food pantry in West Chicago is located on the Real Life Church campus, 525 North Neltnor Boulevard.
The West Chicago Finance Committee meeting is rescheduled to 6:00 p.m. Thursday, September 14, 2017, at City Hall, 475 Main Street.
In preparation for the football completion against Larkin High School, West Chicago Community High School is at the peak of excitement with Homecoming 2017 activities now through Saturday, September 16, 2017. The theme is “WeGo Through Time” with each class representing different decades. Senior class is 1980s; junior class is 1970s; sophomore class is 1990s; and freshman class is Future. Staff is 1950s.
Friday is the busiest day of the week. Students wear class shirts for dress day. The announcement of Homecoming King and Queen takes place in the morning at the Pep Assembly. Nominations for Queen are Nicole Coco, Daniela Gaeta, Maribel Gonzalez, Emily Rivera, Madysen Simanonis and Sophie Szczesny. Nominations for King are Drew Brady, Dylan Davidson, Brandon Magana, Arturo Marquez, Fabian Medina and Michael Sawicki.
Food Fest begins at noon near Entrance H. Members of student clubs sell hot dogs, hamburgers, tamales, walking tacos, beverages, snacks and desserts. The public is welcome to participate.
The Homecoming Parade kicks off at 12:30 p.m. from the west parking lot. Led by the West Chicago Police Department and West Chicago Fire Protection District, the parade goes south on Wood Street and turns east onto Ann Street, proceeds south on Joliet Street, turns east on Hazel Street, south on Bishop Street and west on Forest Avenue, passing Leman Middle School and Gary Elementary School. It then turns north on Joliet Street, ending at Memorial Stadium.
Parade participants are West Chicago Police Department, West Chicago Fire Protection District, Homecoming Court, Superintendent Dr. Doug Domeracki, Principal Dr. Moses Cheng and Assistant Principal Pete Martino, Marching Band, Teachers and Support Staff, Horticulture Club, Tennis, Boys’ and Girls’ Cross-country/track, InterAct Club, Football, StuCo, OLAS, Lacrosse, Steppers, Creative Writing, FCCLA, Soccer, Art Club and Photo Club,Volleyball, Poms/Cheerleaders, WeGo Drama & Speech, Skills USA/Wildcat Preschool, Drivers’ Education, Wrestling and WeGo Buddies.
The Staff/We Gone Reception is from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. in the Learning Resource Center. At the same time the Powderpuff Games take place in Memorial Stadium.
The Varsity Soccer game against Kennedy High School in Chicago is at 5:00 p.m. and followed by the Varsity football game at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students. The Wild Cat Booster Clubs sells a variety of foods including pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs and nachos. Spirit wear also is available.
The Homecoming Dance is from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. Saturday in Bishop Gym. (www.merleburl.com)
Octoberfest takes place from 3:00 to 11:00 p.m. Friday, September 15, from noon to 11:00 p.m. Saturday, September 16, and from noon to 9:00 p.m. Sunday, September 17, 2017, at Sonny Acres Farm, 29W310 North Avenue. The hosting sponsors are West Chicago Rotary Club, Winfield Township Republicans, Wayne Township Republicans, Bike Bald and Allegra. Event activities include food, beer, wine, DJ and a German “Oompa” band. Attendees are encouraged to wear costumes. The entrance fee is $5. Sonny Acres will have their most of its Carnival Rides and Petting Zoo open.
The third 1.5-mile community walk in the Move with the Mayor Challenge is Saturday, September 16, 2017, at St. Michael’s United Church of Christ, 400 West Washington Street. Sign in and a pre-walk warm up and stretching session led by West Chicago resident Jessi Bass of Rhythm N Motion is at 8:30 a.m.; walk starts at 9:00 a.m., lasting about one half hour. Persons participating have the opportunity to win fun prizes and their names entered for the grand prize drawing of an all-expense paid trip to the Museum of Science and Industry or to Six Flags Great America. HWC is providing 10 bicycles and Northwest Medicine is providing bike helmets at World Heart Day celebration, Friday, September 29, 2017. Participants who walk in at least 3 of the walks, recorded in their Walking Passports are entered into a drawing for a bicycle.
Both participants and non-participants can log in their physical activity, either steps or minutes, during the month at www.westchicago.org, under Move with the Mayor. Since West Chicago Elementary School District 33 students are participating in the Mexican Independence Day Parade Sunday, no schools per se are participating in this walk.
Approximately 166 persons participated in the walk Saturday, September 9 at Gary School. Many of the participants were families of students at Gary School, Early Learning Centers and Project Hope.
West Chicago is one of 10 cities participating in the Move with the Mayor Challenge, an initiative of the National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention, in the month of September. (www.merleburl.com)
As part of its 15th Annual Fall Fling Event, Athletes by Design Club, a not-for-profit organization based in Winfield, hosts three of its four bicycle races in the DuPage Business Center. All three have a start time of 9:00 a.m., end between 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. and include different categories. The first one takes place Saturday, September 16, 2017 using Innovation Drive and southbound Technology Drive between the roundabouts intersecting Discovery Drive and Innovation Drive. The other two races take place Saturday, September 23, 2017 using Discovery Drive and Technology Boulevards between Roosevelt Road and Fabyan Parkway and using Discovery Drive and Technology Boulevard between the roundabouts intersection Discovery Drive and Innovation Drive. The parking lot of Simpson Strong-Tie will be used for parking of participants and spectators. For complete information on races, locations and registration, visit the club’s website www.abdcycling.com.
With the assistance of persons attending Mexican Independence Day festivities from noon to 9:00 p.m. Saturday, September 16, 2017, the Mexican Cultural Center DuPage seeks to set a world record with the creation of a colorful mosaic design using more than 11,700 reusable cups with colorful lids. To highlight the connection between the railroad history and the Mexican heritage of West Chicago, the design features a box car design surrounded by the colorful pattern in a Mexican motif. The mosaic will be on the 100 block of Main Street. To take part in the creation of the mosaic, or its disassembling from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Sunday, visit http://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080845aba62aa2f85-west. Republic Bank and People Made Visible sponsor this event.
As part of the MID festival, MCCD is presenting its First Lifetime Achievement Award to Emma Rios, a long-time resident of West Chicago. She was a mentor, helping those in need and serving as a business entrepreneur role model for many residents. Her business, Casa Rios, was a staple in the downtown area for more than 35 years. A luncheon in her honor, plus other past and present Mexican-American local leaders is from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Saturday at American Legion Post 300, 123 Main Street. Mariah Aztlan Mariachi provides the musical entertainment. The ticket price is $45 per person, $300 for a table of eight. To reserve tickets, call Angie at (630) 440-4053.
Trinity Lutheran Church, 338 George Street, holds its annual Rally Day from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Sunday, September 17, 2017. A potluck lunch is in Fellowship Hall followed by games in Parsonage Park.
Through the Make Your Way Program of WorkNet DuPage, youths between the ages of 18 through 24, have the opportunity to explore career paths in the fields of manufacturing, logistics and office/administration. The program takes place in September/October, at the Western DuPage Chamber, 306 Main Street. Eligible youths receive four weeks of career and employer exploration, get a paid internship up to eight weeks, get help finding a job at a local employer in West Chicago and receive financial help for school or technical training. For further information call (630) 955-2074 or email email@example.com.
The West Chicago Public Library District holds a two-hour computer class, “Introduction to Email,” at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 19, 2017, in the small conference room, 118 West Washington Street. Attendees learn how to set up an email account and to send and receive messages. Basic computer skills are required. To register call adult services department at (630) 231-1552, extension 4.
The location of the Tuesday, September 19, 2017, meeting of the Community High School District 94 Board of Education has been changed to the Commons at West Chicago Community High School, 326 Joliet Street, Entrance H. Two public hearings take place at 7:00 p.m., followed by the regular meeting. One hearing is for the tentative budget for the 2017-2018. The other is for the Driver Education Waiver, a renewal of a previously approved waiver application to allow the district to use computer simulators for 12 hours of practice driving in lieu of three hours of behind-the-wheel instruction in a car with dual operating controls operated on public roadways.
The West Chicago High School Teachers Association had a lengthy statement regarding contract negotiations on social media. The statement said negotiations have been going on since July 2016 and very little progress has been made. The association members voted to suspend volunteer sponsorship and coaching of student organizations and teams until there is an agreement between the union and the Board of Education. Board members may make a response to the statement at the meeting.
Wayne/Winfield Area Youth/Family Services offers hour-long computer classes for senior citizens at Wayne Township, 27W031 North Avenue. Not only do seniors learn basic skills, but also have the opportunity to socialize. The fee is $2. Reservations are required and may be made by calling (630) 231-7166.
“Creating a Free Email Account & Email Basics” is the class at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 20, 2017 “Using Contact Lists in Email” is the class at 2:00 p.m. Friday, September 22, 2017.
As part of the countywide Voices of DuPage, the West Chicago City Museum, 132 Main Street, hosts its third Town Hall Share at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 20, 2017. The topic is “Talking 180 Years of Bilingualism in West Chicago.”
Voices of DuPage is a collection of cultural institutions that serve DuPage County residents that seek to preserve and promote our historical legacy. The members, primarily museums and libraries, focus on oral history programs.
“How to Spot Fake News” is the program at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 20, 2017, in the meeting room at the West Chicago Public Library District, 118 West Washington Street. Library staff lead the program by looking at websites and print publications, examining how the news is presented and showing how to check facts to receive a more well-rounded picture of current issues. To register, call the adult services department at (630) 231-1552, extension 4.
West Chicago City Museum Historiography program is a non-fiction book reading group. The discussion group meets at 1:00 p.m., Thursday, September 21, 2017, at the museum, 132 Main Street. Guests can bring a sack lunch; dessert and drinks are provided.
The book under discussion is “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien. In his third book about the Vietnam War, novelist O’Brien writes a collection of short stories about a platoon of American soldiers in the war. It is based upon his experiences as a soldier in the 23rd infantry Division. Copies of the book are available at the Museum and West Chicago Public Library District, 118 West Washington Street. Call the Museum at (630) 231-3376 for further information.
During the fall, the League of Women Voters of Wheaton and Cantigny Park, present a series of programs focusing on the theme of civic awareness. The first program begins with a reception of wine and appetizers at 6:15 p.m. Thursday, September 21, 2017, in the Visitor’s Center, 1S151 Winfield Road in Wheaton. LWV members receive two drink tickets; a cash bar is available. Dessert and discussion follows each presentation. There is no charge for the program and parking is free. Registration is limited to 100 attendees per event. Advance registration is required and may be made at http://www.wheatonlwvil.org/civics-awareness.html#news
The program, “News Literacy—Fake or Not?” begins at 7:00 p.m. Peter Adams from the News Literacy Project speaks about the evolution of various forms of misinformation and the tools available to combat it. Persons learn how news literacy can help them gain trust in the media and know what to believe.
Taking place at 7:00 p.m. Thursdays, the other two presentations are “Why We Need People to Run for Office,” October 19, 2017 and “Money in Politics: How Much Is Too Much?” November 16, 2017. West Chicago resident Barb Laimins and Mary Tworek-Tupper, Co-Presidents of the League of Women Voters of Wheaton, stress that the series touches on one of the major goals of the League to helping encourage voter engagement and involvement.
The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. The League of Women Voters of Wheaton serves the people of Wheaton, Winfield, West Chicago, Warrenville, and Carol Stream.
Cantigny Park, part of the Chicago-based Robert R. McCormick Foundation, is the 500-acre Wheaton estate of Robert R. McCormick (1880-1955), long-time editor and publisher of the “Chicago Tribune.” It is home to the McCormick House, First Division Museum, formal gardens, picnic grounds, walking trails and a Visitors Center with banquet and dining facilities.
For more than 25 years, the First United Methodist Church of West Chicago has provided a site for Public Assistance to Deliver Shelter every Thursday evening to Friday morning from October through May. This is a multi-church effort and new volunteers are needed each year to provide a safe haven for the homeless living in DuPage County. There are a variety of on-site and off-site tasks that need to be completed each week and vacancies on each shift from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., 9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m., 1:00 to 5:00 a.m. and 5:00 to 7:30 a.m. The start date is Thursday, October 5, 2017. The most critical needs this year are an opener for the 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. shift and staffers for the 1:00 to 5:00 a.m. shift. This is typically a rather slow shift with responsibilities for laundry and making the morning coffee. At least one man is needed for this shift.
An orientation for new volunteers is at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, September 21, 2017, at the Church, 643 East Washington Street. To volunteer, call Brian Hendricks at (630) 333-0640 or (630) 231-3344 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The West Chicago Park District holds a Colored Pencil Techniques class from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Fridays, starting September 22 and ending October 27, 2017, at the ARC, in Reed-Keppler Park. Students observe demonstrations using Clorox Bleach and colored pencils, and experiment in many colored pencil methods and principles in design. The teacher is Pat Helbig from the Community School of Arts in Wheaton. Supplies are included in the cost of $12 for residents and $15 for non-residents. To register, stop in at the ARC or online at www.we-goparks.org.
The Brush for Art classes are made possible through grants from the JCS Fund of the DuPage Community Foundation. It is for individuals 55 years and older and allows the District to offer different art programs at a reduced rate.
Gallery Theater, 129 Main Street, opens its eighth season with the play,” “Grace and Glorie,” by Tom Zeigler. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, September 22 and 23, 2017 and September 29 and 30, 2017 and at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, September 24, 2017 and October 1, 2017. The ticket price is $14, $12 for senior citizens. To make a reservation, email GalleryTickets@gmail.com, on the website www.Gallerytheaterstudio.orgg or call (630) 234-5919.
Grace, a feisty 90 year-old cancer patient, has checked herself out of the hospital and returned to her beloved homestead cottage to die alone. Her volunteer hospice worker, Glorie, is a Harvard MBA recently transplanted to this rural backwater from New York. Glorie is tense, unhappy and guilt-ridden, her only child having been killed in an auto accident when she was driving. As she attempts to care for and comfort the cantankerous Grace, the sophisticated Glorie gains new perspectives on values and life’s high and lows.
Members of the cast are Carolyn Larsen and Das Hasek. The director is Gail Cannata. (www.merleburl.com)
College of Dupage holds its annual Food Truck Rally and Sunset 5K Saturday, September 23, 2017. The Kid Zone hosts family activities from noon to 5:00 p.m. The Food Truck Rally is from 2:00 to 7:30 p.m. and features more than a dozen Chicago and DuPage mobile eateries.
The 100-Yard Dash with three age divisions of 4 to 5, 6 to 7 and 8 to 9 begins at 4:00 p.m. on the football stadium track. The charge is $5.The Sunset 5K is at 5:00 p.m. The entry fee is $20 through Saturday, September 16, 2017; $25 through Friday, September 22, 2017and; $30 day of the race. All proceeds benefit COD student scholarships with each high school district served by COD had a dedicated scholarship for its graduates who attend COD. Twenty-five percent of West Chicago Community High School students choose COD as their first college. Thus persons registering can help support a dedicated scholarship for a Wildcat attending COD. To register, visit cod.edu/5K , or for information call Ami Chambers at (630) 942-3823.
The Fourteenth Annual Concert in the Park fundraiser is from 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Saturday, September 23, 2017, at Hawthorne’s Backyard Bar & Grill, 1200 West Hawthorne Lane. The $20 ticket price includes dinner, a chance to win the door prize of a television, games and musical entertainment of Karaoke with Laronda and live music by Wolf’s Crossing. Many raffle opportunities are available. This is a great event to meet friends, have an evening of fun and support a good cause.
Proceeds benefit the Houston J. Pineda Scholarship Fund. Each year a senior graduating from Community High School District 94 that has good grades and is a participant in baseball and/or soccer is the recipient of the scholarship. Pineda was a sophomore at CHS, who died from the result of an automobile accident in 2002.
Persons unable to attend and want to make a donation can make a check payable to the scholarship fund and mail to Houston J. Pineda Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o DuPage Community Foundation, 104 East Roosevelt Road, Wheaton, IL 60187.
West Chicago Citizen Corps offers a seven-week Community Emergency Response Team training course at the Regional Firefighting Training Academy of the West Chicago Fire Protection District, 302 Kress Road. Classes take place from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesdays, starting September 27, 2017. Participants must be at least 18 years old and live or work in West Chicago or the WCFPD. To enroll send name, address and contact telephone number to West Chicago Police Detective Robbi Peterson at email@example.com.
CERT training provides basic training in disaster preparedness, which increases the ability of citizens to survive until responders or other assistance arrives. Topics covered include weather safety, fire and life safety, medical, light search and rescue, CERT organization, psychology and terrorism.
Two businesses in the community have changed their hours. El Coco Loco, 205 Main Street, now is open until 10:00 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. We Grow Dreams Greenhouse and Garden Center, 1055 West Washington Street, is open from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Sundays now through October.
Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of Dolores Cerny, who at the age of 91, passed away Saturday, September 3, 2017.
Deepest sympathy is expressed to the family of Robert B. Jones, who at the age of 85 passed away Friday, September 8, 2017.
Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of Diane L. Yuroff, who at the age of 78 passed away Friday, September 1, 2017.
Deepest sympathy is expressed to the family of Joan Moore Sleeman, who at the age of 77 passed away Tuesday, September 5, 2017.
Ward 5 Alderman John C. Smith, Jr., submitted his resignation effective immediately, citing health problems of his wife, Kathy.
Turtle Splash Water Park received a five star review on the last Safeguard Audit, plus the ones in July and August.
The painting, “Salt Creek Moving” by Maggi Capettini won a second place ribbon for the Ed Shore Traditional Landscape Award in the LaGrange Art Gallery and League juried art exhibit.
Some of the West Chicago businesses and groups that collected and sent donations to victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas were Buck Services, Paws in Time, St. Andrew Lutheran Church, Benjamin School District 25 and the family of Karina Villa.
The scores for the high school football games played Friday, September 8, 2017, were West Chicago-14, Bartlett-33 and Wheaton Academy-47, Chicago Christian-7.
Excitement and anticipation are the words to describe the audience attending the fifth Annual Miss Mexican Heritage Scholarship Pageant Friday, September 8, 2017, in the Fine Arts Center at Wheaton Academy. As the time for the announcement drew near, not only the contestants but also family and friends held their breaths in nervous anticipation,
“And Miss Mexican Heritage is (drum roll) Bianca Reyes, who represented Jalisco. She is a sophomore at Western Illinois University, studying International Relations and Spanish with a minor in Criminal Justice. Reyes won a $1,000 scholarship.
First Princess is Joanne Andrade, who represented Zacatecas. She is a sophomore at College of DuPage, aspiring to be a pediatric nurse. Andrade received a $750 scholarship.
Second Princess is Vanessa Delgado, who represented Guanajuato. She attends Lewis University and wants to become a doctor. She won a $500 scholarship.
Other contestants were Leslie Soto representing Michoacan, Maritza Cuautle representing Ouertaro and Karen Amaro representing Estate De Mexico
Judging included attributes of education, poise, and expression. Prior to the event the judges interviewed the young women, assessing them on quality of answers, technicalities of speech, emotion and personality and overall interpretation, plus read the written research papers.
During the pageant itself, there were two areas of activities for judging. One involved the contestants choosing the costume of the state in Mexico they represented and giving a three-minute presentation of its food, terrain, culture and traditions. The final judging was the Evening Gown Competition. Prior to the pageant the contestants were judged on their research papers and personal interviews; although not in the judging criteria, the contestants along with the folkloric dancers from Leman Middle School performed two dances.
Judges were Veronica Jimenez, Director of Bilingual Education and World Languages at West Chicago Community High School; Dr. Norma Salazar, retired professor/administrator and a former elementary bilingual education teacher; Ivette Dubiel, Director of Educational Equity for Indian Prairie School District 204; Elizabeth Gomez De La Casa, College of DuPage Bilingual High School Admissions Representative; and Gloria Trejo, Principal of Pioneer School in West Chicago Elementary School District 33.
Assisting the young women to prepare for the event were Ismael Hernandez of BHF organization, dancing instructor; Carolina O’Campo of Maria Bonita Modeling Agency, walking and posing instructor; Evelyn Canabal, West Chicago resident and owner of Professional Development Services, public speaking coach; Tom Tawney, interview coach; Omar Espinosa of Republic Bank, financial and money management coach; Jacqueline Comacho-Ruiz of Fig Factor Foundation, motivational coach; Carolina Ocampo, posture and modeling coach, Mary-Megan Kelvin, research and writing coach; and Maria de Leon Manzo, politics coach. Lizette Ramirez was the pageant director.
The emcee was Maria Deleon Manzo, Senior Outreach Coordinator for Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL 11). Playing the national anthems of America and Mexico, plus other music during the pageant were Mariachi Monumental De Mexico. For six consecutive years, Mariachi Monumental de Mexico has been the preferred and official mariachi of the Chicago White Sox, Chicago Bulls, Chicago Fire Soccer Club, and many Fortune 500 companies in the Chicago-land area.
The 2016 royal court of Suheall Diaz, Miss Mexican Heritage; Stephanie Mata, First Princess; and Alma Rios, Second Princess, gave their farewell speeches. It is always amazing to see how much the young women have matured and have so much self-confidence.
The mission of Mexican Cultural Center-DuPage, a not-for-profit community organization based in West Chicago, is to encourage and promote heritage through cultural, ethnic and civic activities designed to educate the Mexican community and the community at large.
Executive board members are Fernando Ramirez, president; Sara Phalen, vice president; Lizette Ramirez, secretary; Alvaro Guerrero, treasurer; and Omar Espinosa, community outreach. Other board members are Kristina Davis, Jackie Gutierrez, Fil Guipoco and Thomas Tawney.
Sponsors of the event were Daniel and Associates Real Estate, Republic Bank and Supermercado Tampico. Local businesses contributing to the pageant were Los Girasoles Mexican Restaurant, Earth Care, Tony’s Remodeling, Salinas Landscaping, Mexico Chiquito, and Iris Hair Salon. (www.merleburl.com)
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.