Tom Norton, Executive Director of Neighborhood Food Pantries, gave a presentation on the organization at the Western DuPage Chamber of Commerce Breakfast held Wednesday, April 10, 2019. He said 65,000 families in DuPage County are food insecure. To help meet this need, Northwest DuPage Walk-in Ministries was formed in 1999. “The name we are using now reflects what we really do.” In addition to the staff of three, there is a 12-member board of directors of which David Wenz from St. Andrew Lutheran Church belongs. Seven.three percent of the budget goes toward overhead and administrative costs; 92.7 percent goes directly to its mission of “providing food security for our neighbors in need.”
There are 34 churches in the organization and six food pantry sites, one being in West Chicago. The organization relies on food recovery to help stock the shelves with various grocery stores donating nutritious, perishable food, that is still good, but is destined to be tossed. Along with this source, the pantries purchase foods from Northern Illinois Food Bank. Monetary donations go a long way, “a $20 donation feeds a family of four for a month. We really appreciate the monetary donations as they give us better buying power, but we also appreciate the food and collection drives.” Norton mentioned there are some items that cannot be purchased through the food stamp program, such as toilet paper, personal items, diapers and laundry soap. The organization hopes to see more of the residents and businesses in communities be involved.
Schools and churches hold food drives throughout the year. Several clubs and organizations at West Chicago Community High School participate in drives and some students serve as volunteers, plus Benjamin School District 25 has several drives during the year. West Chicago Public Library has a Food for Fines event. Churches in the community hold food drives or have events that benefit the local Neighborhood Food Pantry. First United Methodist Church of West Chicago donates the proceeds from its Breakfast with Santa. St. Andrew Lutheran Church has drives on certain holidays such as filling a paper bag with an item food each day of Lent. St. Michael’s collects different offering each month such as cleaning products and paper products with fifth Sundays for pasta and rice, and always, toilet paper, plus do a Souper Bowl event. These should open up ideas for collection drives, every little bit helps. A newly formed group is Women of Impact, who raise monies for various project. Two of the 35 inaugural members are members of St. Michael’s United Church of Christ, Ward 4 Alderman Melissa Ferguson and Kathy Hummel. The group is still seeking members. Volunteers are always needed. For further information visit the website, www.neighborhoodfp.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (630) 375-7185.
Bob Dieckmann from St. Michael’s discussed the new facility for the Neighborhood Food Pantry, 123 Fremont. I will be writing about this exciting development in a future column. (www.merleburl.com)
AROUND AND ABOUT
The following is a schedule of worship services and Easter activities planned by local churches for Maundy Thursday, April 18; Good Friday, April 19; Holy Saturday, April 20; and Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019.
Apostolic Assembly Church, 464 Ann Street, Easter service is at 11:00 a.m.
Community Fellowship Church, 28W240 North Avenue, Good Friday service is at 7:00 p.m. The outdoor Easter Sunrise service is at 6:00 a.m. The Easter worship services are 9:00 and 11:00 a.m.
FaithBridge Church, 450 East Roosevelt Road, Good Friday service is at 6:00 p.m. Easter service is at 10:00 a.m.
Faith Community Church, 910 Main Street, Good Friday service at 6:30 p.m. The Easter worship service is at 9:30 a.m.
First United Methodist Church of West Chicago, 643 East Washington Street, Good Friday service is at 7:30 p.m. The Easter worship service is at 10:00 a.m.
Glen Arbor Community Church, 204 Church Street, Good Friday service is at 7:00 p.m. Easter service is at 10:00 a.m.
Hispanic Church of the Nazareth Easter worship service is at 1:30 p.m. This is at First United Methodist Church building, 643 East Washington Street.
Nueva Esperanza (New Hope) Church, 910 Main Street, Easter service is at 11:15 a.m.
New Life Bilingual Church, 468 Ann Street, Easter worship service is at 10:30 a.m. followed by an Easter Egg Hunt at 12:30 p.m.
New Jerusalem House of Prayer Church, 100 Wycliffe Drive, Shabbat service is at 10:00 a.m. Saturday. The Easter worship service is at 10:00 a.m.
Real Life Church, 525 North Neltnor Boulevard, Easter service is at 10:00 a.m.
Renewal Church Easter services are at 9:00 and 10:15 a.m. at the ARC in Reed-Keppler Park, 201 West National Street.
St. Andrew Lutheran Church, 155 North Prince Crossing Road, bilingual Maundy Thursday service is at 7:00 p.m. On Good Friday, the bilingual Via Crusis (Stations of the Cross) begins at noon at the intersection of Easton and Main Streets, proceeds east on Main Street, then north on Prince Crossing Road to the church. The Good Friday Tennebrae service in English is at 7:00 p.m. The Easter Vigil in Spanish is at 7:00 p.m. Saturday. The Easter worship services are traditional at 8:00 a.m., contemporary at 10:00 a.m. and Spanish at noon. There is a breakfast brunch at 11:00 a.m. and Easter Egg Hunt at 11:15 a.m.
St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 140 North Oakwood Avenue, Holy Thursday includes Tenebrae at 5:00 a.m., live representation of the Lord’s Supper at 6:30 p.m. and the Mass of the Lord’s Supper in English and Spanish at 7:00 p.m. On Good Friday, Tenebrae at 5:00 a.m., Liturgy of the.Passion of the Lord at noon in English and Spanish at 3:00 p.m., the live representation of the Stations of the Cross is at 4:00 p.m. and the liturgy of the Passion is at 7:00 p.m. On Holy Saturday, Tenebrae is at 5:00 a.m., the Blessing of Food Baskets is at noon. The Easter Vigil is at 8:00 p.m. Easter Sunday observations take place at the regular Mass schedule.
St. Michael’s United Church of Christ, 400 West Washington Street, Good Friday service is at 7:00 p.m. The Easter worship service is at 9:30 a.m. followed by brunch.
Trinity Lutheran Church, 331 George Street, Maundy Thursday service is at 7:00 p.m. The Good Friday service is at 7:00 p.m. On Easter the worship services are at 8:00 and 10:30 a.m. and Spanish service at noon. Breakfast is at 9:00 a.m.
West Chicago Bible Church, 209 South Oakwood Avenue, Good Friday Service is at 6:00 p.m. Easter worship service is at 9:30 a.m.
West Chicago Church of Christ, 350 James Street, Easter worship service is at 10:30 a.m.
Wheaton Bible Church, 27W500 North Avenue, Good Friday services are at 6:00 and 8:00 p.m., Spanish at 8:00 p.m. Easter worship services are bilingual sunrise service at 7:00 a.m., traditional/contemporary at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. and Spanish at noon.
West Chicago City Museum Historiography program, a non-fiction book reading group, is at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, April 18, 2019, at the Museum, 132 Main Street. Guests can bring a lunch, dessert and a beverage are provided. The book to be discussed is “Sin in the Second City” by Karen Abbott.
The League of Women Voters of Wheaton and Cantigny Park sponsor three programs focusing on themes of civic awareness and encourage local participation in the democratic process. The second program, “Issues Facing DuPage County,” takes place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 18, 2019, in the McCormick House, 1S151 Winfield Road. The speakers are DuPage County Board members, District 6, Jim Zay; District 4, Tim Eliot and Mary Fitzgerald Ozog. Issues include consolidation of government units, affordable housing, transportation and the County’s strategic plan. To make a reservation visit the website wheatonlwvi.org.
League of Women Voters of Wheaton includes West Chicago, Warrenville, Winfield, Wheaton and Carol Stream. The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan organization that does not support or oppose any political party or candidate, but whose purpose is to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in government. (www.merleburl.com)
Breakfast with the Bunny, hosted by West Chicago Park District, is at 8:00 a.m. Saturday, April 20, 2019, in the ARC, 201 West National Street. It is geared for children ages two years and older. Activities include pictures with the bunny, breakfast and story time. The cost is $7 for residents, $9 for non-residents and no charge for children age one and under. All attending must preregister by Thursday, April 18, in person at the ARC or online at www.we-goprks.org.
American Legion Post 300, along with assistance from Sons of the American Legion, hosts its annual Egg Hunt at 10:00 a.m. SHARP Saturday, April 20, 2019, at Reed-Keppler Park, Arbor Avenue and National Street. The areas for children are divided into age groups of 1 and 2 year-olds, 3 and 4 year-olds, 5 and 6 year-olds and 7 and 8 year-olds. In each age grouping, there are prizes for two children, who find the “special” eggs. Children supply their own baskets for collecting the candy-filled eggs. The egg hunt is a community tradition that spans more than 50 years.
American Legion Post 300, 123 Main Street, holds a Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Saturday, April 20, 2019. The menu is spaghetti, salad, bread and dessert for the charge of $11, no charge for children under the age of 10. There is an additional charge for meatballs, $2 each.
If you are planning to dine out on Easter, check the specials at the local eating establishments.
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. Beginner classes are at 3:00 p.m. Fridays. “Uploading Pictures to Facebook” class is at 4:00 p.m. Monday, April 22, 2019.
West Chicago Public Library offers a two-hour Microsoft Excel Level 2 class at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, 2019, in the conference room, 118 West Washington Street. The class goes beyond the basics, teaching formulas, tables, charts and graphs. To make a reservation, call adult services department at (630) 231-1552, extension 4.
Beginning Thursday, April 25, 2019, the one-year pilot Ride DuPage Transportation Program, sponsored by Winfield Township, City of West Chicago and City of Warrenville in cooperation with Pace Suburban Bus Service, begins The service is available to seniors, age 65 and older, and person with disabilities age 16 and over with a RTA Rate Reduced Fare Card, who reside in the Winfield Township limits. Participants can travel to any location in DuPage County for a fee of $2 plus $1 for each mile traveled and be paid in cash; one companion can travel for free. Service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To participate in the program, persons must be registered. Forms are available at Winfield Township, 132 Arbor Avenue, and City Hall, 475 Main Street. For further information, call the Township office at (630) 231-3591.
The Winfield Township Senior and/or Disabled Bus Service continues to be available from 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday. The driver has lunch from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. The charge is $4 round trip per rider and allows for three stops to locations within Winfield Township boundaries. The boundary exceptions are Wheaton Eye Clinic, Wheaton Medical Clinic, Aldi, Target and Kohl’s on County Farm Road, and DuPage County Complex. Reservations must be made one day ahead of appointment time, by calling (630) 520-0054. The phone line opens at 8:00 a.m. Persons must be registered for this service. Persons must be preregistered. Applications are available at Winfield Township office, 130 Arbor Avenue of online at www.winfieldtownship.com.
The West Chicago Garden Club meeting is Thursday, April 25, 2019, at St. Andrew Lutheran Church, 155 North Prince Crossing Road. Social time is at 6:45 p.m., short business meeting at 7:00 p.m. followed by the program at 7:15p.m. Ed Max discusses ephemerals, plants marked by short life cycles. Examples of spring ephemerals include Trillium, Asian Bleeding Hearts and Virginia Bluebells. I had the bluebells in my yard and it was such a cheerful sight to see the sea of blue in the gardens. Best of all, no upkeep was necessary.
Max has more than 30 years of experience as a landscaper, owning Max’s Green Place in West Chicago for about 23 years. He received certification in the Naturalist program at Morton Arboretum and acts as a docent on nature excursions for a variety of groups, including people with special needs.
A Ceramics Bird class, divided into two two-hour sessions, takes place at Gallery 200, 103 West Washington Street. The first session is at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, April 27, where students create a small bird from red clay and add their own details and textures. The second session is at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, May 11, and students gaze the fired piece to add color. The charge is $25 and includes all materials. The class is geared for adults. To register for the class, visit http://peoplemadevisible.com/gallery-2…/ceramic-birds-class/.
West Chicago Police Department holds an informational Neighborhood Watch meeting at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 30, 2019, at the West Chicago West Chicago Firefighters Training Academy, 320 Kress Road. Topics under discussion is the explanation of program, joining a group or forming a group. Neighborhood Watch is about neighbors helping neighbors, extra eyes and ears for reporting crime and suspicious activity. It is a proven and effective way to reduce crime.
WeGo Drama at West Chicago Community High School presents its Spring Musical, “Mama Mia!” Performances are at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 2, 3, and 4, 2019, in Weyrauch Auditorium, 326 Joliet Street. Seating is reserved. The ticket price is $8, $5 for students. Tickets are available at www.wegotheatre.com and at the door.
This touching and funny show tells the story of a mother and daughter on the eve of a wedding. Old family history and true love is discovered through the songs of the pop group ABBA. Two of the hit songs included are “Dancing Queen” and “Take A Chance on Me.”
In the company of performers and crew for the show Jacklyn Camp, Abby Carr, Philip Calabrese, Maggie Hancock, Emily Heath, Sarah Lightheiser, Jack O’Donoghue, Kevin Weier, Kathryn Wenberg, Nora Zamora, Gerardo Avila, Eduardo Bahena-Avila, Grecia Bahena, Anais Bazant, Nathan Bradley, Emily Carroso, Ryan Castiglia, Keyara Cervantes and Christina Champagne.
Others are Anna DeJong, Lucia DePaz, Delaney Flynn, Javier Garcia, Emma Hart, Josie Kotke, Noemi Lara, Daniela Luna, Eli Manspeaker, Garett Martin, Audrey Miller, Grace Miller, Sarah Miller, Evy McLean, Jose “Rudy” Muñoz, Flora Nei, Maura Nika and Gavin O’Keefe.
Also included are Felipe Perezchica, Alec Renwick, Delaney Ringe, Sarah Solver, Hannah Thompson, Joe Valliquette, Olivia Wesling, Leah Wheatley, Garrett Bennema, Justin Blackburn, David Brown, Hannah Brown, Mikail Herrera, Sarah Hurley, Megan Kordik, Elizabeth Ryan, Neve Ryan, and Jazmin Wilkins.
Mark Begovich is the director. Scenic Design and Technical Direction is by Chris Jensen. Music Direction is by Brandon Fantozzi with James Wallace. Choreography is by Nancy Bocek. Costumes are designed by KClare McKellaston. Hair and make-up is by Jamie Elza.
“Mama Mia!” features music and lyrics by Benny Anderson, Björn Ulvaeus, and some songs with Stig Anderson. The book is by Catherine Johnson and was originally conceived by Judy Craymer. It was originally produced in London by Judy Craymer, Richard East and Björn Ulvaeus for Littlestar in Association with universal. Additional material and arrangements are by Martin Koch.
Registration for the 2019 season of West Chicago Cheerleading Organization has started. This is for children entering first through eighth grade. For further information visit http://www.leaguelineup.com/welcome.asp?url=wegoyouthcheer. The fee is $350. The early bird registration ends Wednesday, May 1, 2019, and increases by $50 to $400. In person registration is from 10:00 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 27, at West Chicago Community High School, 326 Joliet Street, Entrance C. Registration forms must be completed on line before coming to make payment. The teams of the organization usually do well in competitions. They won two state championships in 2018.
West Chicago Elementary School District 33 hosts its Fifteenth Annual WeGo Run fundraiser. It begins at 8:00 a.m. Sunday, May 5, 2019, at Leman Middle School, 238 East Hazel Street. The race includes a 5K run/walk, a 10K run, a one-mile run for youth 8 to 14, and a 100-yard Dash for children age 8 and under. Start times are 8:00 a.m. for the 5K /10K, 9:45 a.m. for the 1 miler and 10:15 a.m. for the Kiddie Dash.
Registration fees for the 5K and 10K are $20; in the 10K, $10 for students. $5 District 33 students; in the 5K $5 for district students; $5 and $1 for District 33 students for the one mile run; and no charge for the dash, but pre-registration is required. Proceeds benefit athletic programs at the district schools. The top overall female and male runners and the top three finishers in each age group receive medals and awards. Dash participants receive ribbons. Registration forms are available online at www.wegorun.org.
There also is food, entertainment, and multiple booths promoting local vendors and services relating to health and wellness. Food includes basic breakfast vittles such as fruit, water, milk, juice, breakfast burrito; sandwiches, plus popcorn and pretzels. Providing entertainment are Mariachi los Rayos de Leman Middle School and the Ballet Folklorico of Leman Middle School. The disc jockey is DJ Jazzy Jeff, one of the tech people at LMS and has been the DJ the last few years. The face painters are the Glitters Girls, a group of girls at the school that promote well being among female students in the middle and elementary schools. (www.merleburl.com)
The Summer Camp of Wayne/Winfield Area Youth/Family Services runs from Tuesday, May 28, through Friday, August 16, 2019. Hours are from 10:00 to 4:00 p.m. with extended hours from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for working parents. The camp is for youth in grade school and middle school, ages 6-13. Full camp cost is $70 a week, and an additional $40 for extended hours with sliding-scale scholarships available based on annual household income and family size. Both prices include breakfast and lunch. A professional staff of counselors will lead camp using research-based skill building activities in a group format. Camp programming includes nutrition, financial literacy, job skills and career exploration. Registration is now open, Call WAYS at (640) 231-3376 for more information or to register.
The Mexican Culture Center is accepting applications for its Sixth Annual Miss Mexican Heritage Program. The winner is announced at the pageant held in September. The queen receives a $1,000 scholarship and first and second runners up receive $500 and $250 scholarship respectively. Requirements for entrants include residency in DuPage County, bilingual in English and Spanish, female between the ages of 17 and 22 enrolled in school, good academic standing and having one parent of Mexican ethnicity. To apply online, visit www.mccdupage.org. For further information and deadlines, call MCC president Fernando Ramirez at (630) 555-2507 or email email@example.com.
The MMH program runs from June through September. During this time participants are required to attend workshops that include professional development, modeling/dancing class, volunteering and social events. Winners continue for a consecutive year.
Under the sponsorship of People Made Visible, a committee is working to publish a new cookbook, “One West Chicago: Near and Far,” highlighting the diversity of the community through recipes from the people and organizations in the community. Persons who are a resident, a former resident, work in West Chicago, visited friends or family here, or belong to a West Chicago organization, sports club, other not-for profit organization or church can submit a recipe. The publication is scheduled for fall of 2019. Handwritten or typed recipes can be submitted until Sunday, June 30, to Attn: Sara Phalen, West Chicago City Museum, 132 Main Street, West Chicago, IL 60185; Recipes can be submitted electronically until Wednesday, July 31. For further information or to fill out a recipe form, visit the Facebook page, One West Chicago: Near and Far or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Forms also are available at the City Museum; West Chicago Public Library, 118 West Washington Street; or City Hall, 475 Main Street.
The West Chicago Police Department front lobby has new business hours. Until further notice, the records department is open from 7:00am to 5:00pm. Monday through Friday. After normal business hours, persons press the help button just inside the first set of doors. This is a connection to the dispatch center, and an officer will be sent to respond.
Gary School is undergoing construction this summer of its innovation center. Since there will be much dirt, everything in all classrooms and offices needs to be covered. Wanting to do this as ecologically as possible, the school is asking for donations of old sheets. This way plastic tablecloths or paper do not have to be used. Persons wanting to donate can drop them off at the school office, 130 East Forest Avenue.
Newly re-elected officers of American Legion Post 300 Auxiliary are President, Kathy Hummel; Vice-President, Dona Smith; Secretary/Treasurer, Melissa Ferguson; Chaplain, Julia Doggett; and Membership, Barb Hensel.
Marcos Correa, a senior at West Chicago Community High School, is the Student of the Month for March. This is due to his outstanding leadership, scholarship, and being a caring member of the Wildcat community. He has been on the High Honor roll or Honor Roll all four years. He has a cumulative weighted Grade Point Average of 4.490, and was nominated to the United States Presidential Scholars in Career and Technical Education.
Correa is involved in extracurricular activities. He serves as a Student Ambassador. He is quite involved in Business Professionals of America, serving as Vice President at the school level, and serving as Vice President of the State Newsletter at the state level. Correa qualified for BPA state competition twice, and is going to Nationals this year in his leadership role. Additional activities include Student Council, Photo Club, WeGo Global, Pep Club and Tech Crew, plus is a member of the Illinois Personal Finance Challenge team. Outside of school, Correa interns in the accounting department at a local company, and has been involved with Puente de Pueblo for two years.
Upon graduation, he plans to attend University of Illinois Circle Campus or Aurora University to study Finance, Accounting or Economics, hoping to have a successful business in the future. (ww.merleburl.com)
Marjory Lewe-Brady, Director of Partnerships, in West Chicago Elementary School District 33, was the recipient of the DuPage Illinois Association of School Administrators Recognition Award for 2019. The award recognized her for two roles. One included her work on the DuPage County School Safety Task Force and her facilitation of a county-wide model safety crisis management plan. The other was for her role ROE/YWCA Initiative and assisting in the continuous engagement of problem solving that ensures effectiveness in meeting the goals of Early Childhood Education from 0-3. Dr. Darlene Ruscitti, Regional Superintendent of Schools for DuPage County, nominated her.
Lewe-Brady, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, has been with the District since 2005. She facilitates WeGo Together for Kids, a collective impact initiative using the community schools strategy as foundational philosophy toward achieving population level outcomes related to academic achievement, youth and family health, family stability, community engagement and emergency preparedness with families. (ww.merleburl.com)
St. Andrew Lutheran Church collected 19 bags for its Lent Food Drive. The congregants are encouraged to collect 40 cans of food for the 40 days of Lent. The food then is donated to the local Neighborhood Food Pantry. (ww.merleburl.com)
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