From the sounds of lively conversation, it was difficult to believe this was an early morning (7:00 a.m.) get together of students and adults at the annual Business Professionals of America and Western DuPage Chamber of Commerce Breakfast and Program at West Chicago Community High School. Chamber member Santo Ianno, Sr., co-owner of Matrix Coating Solutions, Inc., said, “ It was interesting to hear the students discuss their plans for their careers and they asked some great questions regarding our businesses and experience.” BPA member Daniella Almarales said, the breakfast provides “a common and intimate setting to meet the business people, talk to them and learn about their businesses.” Marcus Correa agreed. “It is a way to gain new experiences in a social setting and meet new connections.” LJ Taylor stated, “You really get to know people. It is helpful listening to them.”
Following the breakfast was the program, a panel discussion on entrepreneurs. Panelists were Dan Milinko of Veritrust Wealth Management; Dan Czuba, owner of Daniel and Associates Real Estate; Joe Buchholz, co-owner of Buck Services; and Steve Schwarz, owner of S.S. Schwarz Construction, Inc. As they discussed their businesses and backgrounds, all agreed, being an entrepreneur has both advantages and challenges.
Milinko explained that when he started his career, “It was focused on engineering and water sources.” As things changed, he began his career in financial services in 2011. “My career gives me the opportunity to grow, not age. There is nothing set in stone. You have to meet expectations. What I want a day to be is up to me. You need to strike a balance and get out of the comfort zone.”
Czuba said he had several careers before he ended up in real estate. I had an association with pet food and owned a pet store and was a hair stylist.” He said, “You learn a lot of things—the importance of creating a brand name, having an impact on your community and staff, being comfortable with the rules made and set. Yet we all make mistakes.
Buchholz said, ‘My start in this business was helping my father clean the school I attended, and eventually my brother and I established the business of cleaning, mainly for churches and schools.” The business has grown. “The business must be something you believe in. We are a part of so many lives. We continue to invest in our employees. Things good are hard to get and do not come easy. You must have the willingness to fight through it.”
Schwarz stated. “My father started the business in 1956 and I have continued in it… As an owner, you are responsible for many lives, employees and customers.” He cited the example of the recession in 2008, wiping out new construction on homes. “Even though we were taking a loss, it was important to finish constructing the homes we started. The homes were dreams of families, who had paid to have them built. We could not fail them.”
These messages resonated well with the students. Almarales said, “It was interesting to hear how their businesses started, how they keep it going and the struggles they had. You could tell they are dedicated and love what they are dong. I think this is a different time and would be harder to do alone.” Although he enjoyed listening to all the panelists, Correa stated, “My favorite was Buck Services. The stories he told were the best and his reflections on the business.” Taylor said, “It was interesting to hear the different paths they each took, finances involved and the trials and errors. They gave some great advice.”
Summing up the morning, Marc Wolfe, Division Head of Career & Technical Education, said, “I thought it was a great morning, a lot of very good conversations at the tables and the panel kept the students engaged.” Mia Wirth, BPA advisor, stated, “The students were very attentive and the panel passed along a lot of very valuable information.” Donna Durbin is the other BPA advisor.
As a side note two BPA students from WCCHS are BPA state officers. They are Marcos Correa, Vice President of Newsletters, and Sabrina Lutfiyeva, Vice President of Special Recognition. (www.merleburl.com)
AROUND AND ABOUT
West Chicago Elementary School District 33 has three groups presenting at the 42nd annual conference for Teachers of Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Students that takes place from Tuesday, December 4, through Friday, December 7, 2018. The groups participating are The Ballet Folklorico, Los Mariachis “Los Rayos,” and Latinos In Action. Teachers share information on how to begin these student groups and the benefits associated with student participation. Teachers and staff representing District 33 include Pilar Rocha, Maribel Rivera, Janet Sikma, Brad Rathe, Alexia Garcia, Rocio Fisher, Sal Tamayo and Humberto Ayala.
Trinity Lutheran Church, 338 George Street, honors the Advent season with soup suppers at 6:00 p.m. followed by advent services at 7:00 p.m. Wednesdays, December 5, 12 and 19, 2018.
People Made Visible hosts a Community Forum at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 5, 2018, at St. Andrew Lutheran Church, 155 North Prince Crossing. Mayor Ruben Pineda, Police Chief Mike Uplegger and representatives from Community High School District 94 and West Chicago Elementary School District 33 discuss recent crime, crime prevention measures, and community programs to respond and prevent crime in West Chicago. The forum will be bilingual in English and Spanish. Persons can ask questions during the forum or submit questions before the forum by posting on the Facebook event, sending People Made Visible a Facebook message, by emailing email@example.com or leaving a voicemail for People Made Visible at (630) 473-0268. Light refreshments are served; childcare is available.
West Chicago Community High School’s Dance Production show, “Heartbreakers,” is at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, December 6, and Saturday, December 8, 2018, in Weyrauch Auditorium, 326 Joliet Street. Admission is $5; tickets are available at the door.
Students of the semester-long physical education class perform jazz, tap, hip hop, contemporary and musical theater pieces. All dances are student choreographed, showcasing their work and talent.
Participating students are Paige Arendt, Emma Hart, Emily Heath, Sophia McComb, Abigail Sullivan, Jenna Brown, Natalie Chavez, Cassidy Crenshaw, Autum Hosticka and Nataly Konovalchik.
Others are Megan Kordik, Joselyn Munoz, Morgan O’Mahoney, Caroline Orr, Denise Perez, Sarah Plumlee, Anna Reitz, Annie Gillespie and Bridget Weber. (www.merleburl.com)
As part of First Fridays in West Chicago, the City Museum, 132 Main Street, hosts a Candlelight Christmas during its Late Night at the City Museum from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Friday, December 7, 2018. Attendees can enjoy historic traditions and refreshments by candlelight. A silhouette artist is on hand to produce silhouettes for guests who have made a reservation, which can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (630) 231-3376. The Friends of the West Chicago City Museum hold its annual meeting at 8:00 p.m.
The Winter Show of Wheaton Academy is at 7:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, December 7 and 8, 2018, in the Fine Arts building 900 North Prince Crossing Road.
St Mary’s Catholic Church, 140 NorthOakwood Avenue, holds The Feast of the Immaculate Conception Bilingual Vigil Mass at 7:00 p.m. Friday, December 7, 2018. On Saturday, December 8, the English Masses are at 7:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. The Latin Mass is at noon. The Spanish Mass is at 6:30 p.m.
The United Methodist Men and Women host the 19th annual Breakfast with Santa from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, December 8, 2018, at the church, 643 East Washington Street. The menu includes pancakes, sausage, and beverage. The ticket price is $6 for adults, $5 for senior citizens, $3 for children age 12 and under, and $20 for a family of two adults and three or more children. Pictures with Santa are $5. This is a wonderful tradition for families, including grandparents, aunts and uncles, and/or a group of friends. Proceeds benefit the Neighborhood Food Pantry on the campus of Real Life Church. Tickets may be purchased at the door or call the church office at (630) 231-3344. (www.merleburl.com)
FNBC Bank & Trust, 600 East Washington Street, hosts Pictures with Santa from 9:00 a.m. to noon Saturday, December 8, 2018. Treats are served. (www.merleburl.com)
Because of an experience at his job three years ago, Marcus Alaniz, former West Chicago resident, started a foundation, “Bring Joy and Toys with Marcus,” choosing a different group each year to be the recipient. This year he selected West Chicago. He is the grandson of West Chicago resident Linda Alaniz. His parents are Andrew and Isela Alaniz. He is collecting toy donations at different businesses in the town where he now lives and will distribute them to children and families in need from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Saturday, December 8, 2018, at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6791, 431 North Neltnor Boulevard. To receive toys, families need to register by Thursday, December 6, by texting (331) 725-8169 or emailing email@example.com. Persons knowing a family that needs assistance also can register for the family.
This is Marcus’ story as told by his father. “Marcus is a 19-year-old young man who started his own foundation at the age of 17. One day, while working as a cashier at Target, Marcus was approached by a little girl who was trying to pay for a toy. As Marcus looked at her he could see that she was suffering from a medical illness. The little girl appeared to be frail and had patches of hair missing. As Marcus rang up her toy she handed Marcus her money; however, she didn’t have enough to pay for her toy. Marcus could see the disappointment and sadness on her face when he gave her the total. Marcus decided to pay for the little girl’s toy instead of turning her away. Marcus came home that evening, and with tears in his eyes, told his mother and I what happened. From that moment on, Marcus began collecting toys for children and families in need.”
The first year, toys were donated to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Central DuPage Hospital and the second year to Shining Light.
We Grow Dreams Greenhouse and Garden Center, 1055 West Washington Street, hosts its annual Open House from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Saturday, December 8, 2018. Items for sale include the unique table top reindeer, poinsettias, Christmas planters, house plants and succulents and jewelry fashioned by the District 200 transition team members. Refreshments are served. Orders for table top reindeer need to be placed by Sunday, December 9, by calling (630) 231-0100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The greenhouse mission, a not-for-profit organization, is to provide people with disabilities the opportunity to lead fulfilling lives and to train and work in a supportive, safe and caring environment while producing and providing products and services to the community. (www.merleburl.com)
The Eleventh Annual Holiday Celebration for the Community, sponsored by American Legion Post 300 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6791, is Saturday, December 8, 2018, at VFW hall, 431 North Neltnor Boulevard. Social hour begins at 5:00 p.m. followed by dinner at 6:00 p.m. Providing the entertainment is a DJ. Door prizes and raffles add to the fun of the evening. Cash only bar. The VFW is the organizer this year.
Ticket price is $15. Purchase tickets in advance at the VFW or the Legion, 123 Main Street. The event is open to the public. For further information call (630) 231-9823.
West Chicago Cheerleading Organization is participating in the Eleventh Annual Illinois Recreation Cheerleading Association State Championship completion Friday through Sunday, December 7 to 8, 2018, at Sears Centre, 5333 Prairie State Parkway in Hoffman Estates. There is no admission charge, there is a $10 parking fee. The eighth grade team performs at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. If they place first, second or third, they compete again around 7:30 p.m. Sunday. The fifth grade squad performs in the championships at 9:45 a.m. Sunday. The fourth grade squad performs in the championships at 11:00 a.m. Sunday.
Although Norris-Segert Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 132 Fremont Street, is not hosting Tree of Memory service, the two trees displaying more than 700 ornaments bought by families and friends in memory of loved ones who have died are available for persons to view. Persons wanting to place ornaments on the tree may register from Saturday, December 8, through Monday, December 31, 2018. Call the funeral home at (630) 231-0060 for more information.
The West Chicago City Museum now is closed on Saturdays, starting December 8, 2018. Saturday hours begin again in March 2019.
Since the recent winter storm damaged a large amount of trees and shrubs, the City crews begin tree removal and brush collection services starting Monday, December 10, 2018. These services will be secondary to additional snow removal operation and other winter emergency work. Any brush placed at the curb after December 10, 2018, will not be collected and will need to be removed from the parkway and stored elsewhere on the property until spring.
Wayne/Winfield Area Youth/Family Services offers hour-long computer classes for senior citizens, 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 1:00 p.m. Tuesdays. “Downloading Games on iPad or iPhone” class is at 4:00 p.m. Monday, December10, 2018.
The consolidated election for officials in the City of West Chicago, West Chicago Public Library District, West Chicago Elementary School District 33, Community High School District 94, and Benjamin School District 25 is Tuesday, April 2, 2019. There still is time for persons interested in running to pick up candidate election packets. The first day for filing election packets is Monday, December 10. The last day for filing is at 5:00 p.m. Monday, December 17, 2018.
The candidate election packets are available at the respective taxing body locations, except for schools. School board candidates must either pick up packets at the DuPage County Election Commission, 421 North County Farm Road in Wheaton, or go the commission website http://www.dupageco.org/election to obtain the forms. The telephone number for the election commission is (630) 407-5600. Packets include information sheets, nominating petitions, statement of candidacy, loyalty oath (optional), and a statement of economic interest to be filed with the DuPage County Clerk. All candidates must be 18 years and older, a registered voter and a resident of the respective taxing body.
City of West Chicago positions open are four-year terms for one alderman in each of the city’s seven wards, plus three unexpired two-year term in Wards 2, 5 and 6, Packets are available from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at City Hall, 475 Main Street.
In the West Chicago Public Library District, there are four four-year positions open for the Board of Trustees. Packets are available from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the library, 118 West Washington Street.
West Chicago Park District has two six-year terms and one three-year unexpired term open for the Board of Commissioners. Packets are available from 8:30 a.m.to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday at the ARC, 201 West National Street.
In West Chicago Elementary School District 33, there are three four-year seats open for the Board of Education. In Community High School District 94, there are three four-year positions and one two-year unexpired position open for the Board of Education. In Benjamin School District 25, there are three four-year terms positions for the Board of Education.
WeGo Wildcats Special Olympics Club basketball game against Downers Grove District 99 is at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 12, 2018. The team played against Glenbard South Wednesday, November 28. Club president Dave Hempe said, “It was a fun game to watch, but we could not score the easy buckets and came up on the short end of a 44 to 35 score.”
West Chicago Public Library presents the program, “Medicare 101: Understanding Medicare Basics,” at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, December 12, 2018, in the main meeting room, 118 West Washington Street. A Senior Health Insurance Program Counselor from DuPage County Senior Services describes some of the basic information, such as enrolling in Medicare and coverage from Medicare parts A, B, C and D. To make a reservation, call adult services department at (630) 231-1552, extension 4.
West Chicago Park District monthly social activity for senior citizens is at noon Thursday, December 13, 2018, at the ARC, 201 National Street. For the holiday celebration, the district provides ham, whipped sweet potatoes, roasted root vegetables with balsamic and honey, steamed corn with butter and dinner rolls. Guests bring a $5 or under gift, wrapped in holiday wrappings for the gift exchange. Guests also can bring a holiday dessert, if they wish. The charge is $11 for residents and $13 for non-residents. Reservations are due by Thursday, December 6, and may be made online at www.we-goparks.org or in person at the ARC.
The Concert, Symphony, and String Orchestras of West Chicago Community High School present their Holiday Concert at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, December 13, 2018, in Weyrauch Auditorium, 326 Joliet Street. Alexandra Wojciechowski is the director.
Symphony Orchestra plays “Highland Holiday” arranged by David Giardiniere, “Iditarod” by Soon Hee Newbold and “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson. Selections by the Concert Orchestra are “On Pilgrim’s Road” by Jeffrey Bishop, “Ice Sculptures” by Brian Balmages and “Bassically Christmas” arranged by Bob Phillips. String Orchestra plays “Fantasia on an Original Theme” by Joseph Phillips, “I’ll Be Bach for Christmas” and “Very Viola Christmas.” The Chamber Orchestra performs “Palladio” by Karl Jenkins. C-Choir plays “Far Away” arranged by John Reed.
The West Chicago Park District holds Drop N’ Shop events from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Fridays, December 14, and December 21, 2018, at the ARC, 201 West National Street. Sign up is required a week in advance. The charge is $20 per child for residents and $24 for non-residents. Parents drop off their children for an evening of fun in the gym and Treehouse, which includes a G-rated movie and cheese pizza. It is for children age 2 and older. To register, visit the ARC in person or online at www.we-goparks.org. For further information, email Gina Radun at email@example.com.
WeCo Drama presents the Fall Studio production, “We Just Live Here,” at 7:00 p.m. Friday, December 14, 2018, in Weyrauch Auditorium, 326 Joliet Street.
West Chicago Fire Protection District promotes holiday decoration safety through the “Keep the Wreath Red” program. The wreaths are on display at all three stations, 200 Fremont Street, 1651 Atlantic Drive and 1800 Commerce Drive. Red bulbs on the wreaths are replaced with a white bulb if the cause of a fire is holiday-related. During the 30-plus years of participation in the program of the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association, the wreaths have remained red most of the time. Precautionary measures for a live Christmas tree involve checking the water level on a regular basis and placing it and other greens away from a heat source, with the latter step also applying to artificial trees and greens. Locate candles in safe locations, away from window treatments and evergreens. NEVER leave candles unattended in a room; keep them out of reach of children and pets. With the use of battery-operated flickering tea candles and tapers, persons can have the warmth and festive aura in a safe manner.
The Friends of the City Museum 2018 ornaments now are available at the City Museum. Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Indian Knoll Elementary School and the 25th Anniversary of the West Chicago Public Library’s building at 118 West Washington Street, the ornaments are the latest installments to the Historic West Chicago Ornament Series. The price is $9. They are available at the City Museum, 132 Main Street; hours are from 10 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Thursdays, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Fridays. They also are available at Gallery 200, 103 West Washington Street. Hours are from noon to 6:00 p.m. Thursdays, noon to 8:00 p.m. Fridays, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturdays and from noon to 4:00 p.m. Sundays.
Both of the West Chicago veterans’ organizations hold Bingo as a fundraiser on a weekly basis. The games at American Legion Post 300, 123 Main Street, are on Fridays. Doors open at 5:00 p.m., games start at 7:00 p.m. Games at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6791, 431 North Neltnor Boulevard, are on Wednesdays. Doors open at 5:00 p.m., games start at 7:00 p.m. The Auxiliary games are Sundays. Doors open at noon, games start at 2:00 p.m.
Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of Anastacio Morcado Solis, who at the age of 67 passed away Thursday, November 22, 2018.
Deepest sympathy is expressed to the family of Ed J. Darr, who at the age of 88 passed away Tuesday, November 27, 2018.
Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of Dick Neville, who at the age of 80 passed away Wednesday, November 21, 2018.
Deepest sympathy is expressed to the family of Erendira Patino-Soto, who at the age of 55 passed away Tuesday, November 13, 2018.
The newest playground addition at Reed-Keppler Park, Playcube Pyramid, is a unique climbing structure, providing participants a fun new way to increase their physical activity. It was featured at the 2018 National Recreation and Park Association Conference. In the director’s report at the Tuesday, November 13, 2018 West Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners meeting, executive director Gary Major stated, the Reed-Keppler Park location “services the ARC, the preschool, the ball fields and any other activity seeker. The area will take on some other amenities and paths to the venue and be a striking presence for fitness and activity. ” (www.merleburl.com)
After a successful drive for donations of new/slightly used coats, The West Chicago Lions Club,
Rotary Club and Kiwanis Club held the distribution do the coats Saturday, November 17. 2018. Receiving coats were 278 families. There were 50 coats left, which were given to the local Neighborhood Food Pantry on Real Life Church campus.
A correction from my November 28 column, City Administrator Michael Guttman has held this position for 21 years.
MidCity Cocktail & Supper Club, 124 Main Street, is closed. The business and building are for sale.
This is a little update on the West Chicago Community High School basketball team per Bill Recchia, Head Boys Basketball Coach. “We are 3-2 so far, having won 3 in a row after losing our first row games by 4 and 2 points respectively…We look forward to keep improving!!”
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.