A good-sized crowd, young and old, attended the Community Memorial Day service Monday, May 29, 2023, at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Oakwood Cemetery. The incredibly blue sky and sunshine provided the perfect background to honor those who died while serving our country. The veterans, those currently serving in the armed forces, and members of the auxiliaries from American Legion Post 300 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6791 stood proudly, while those attending honored those who served and gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country and its freedoms. Kevin Driscoll was the moderator. “This day conveys the price in the quest for freedom, more than 1.3 million men and women since the Revolutionary War gave up their tomorrows for us to enjoy the sense of freedom… It is up to us to install into others the true spirit of loyalty for the flag and our country.”
Julia Doggett, chaplain of the American Legion Post 300, gave the opening and closing prayers. Members of the Legion Auxiliary presented the colors. Seven members of the Legion, VFW and volunteers did the execution of the 21-gun salute. Legion Auxiliary President Kathy Hummel and VFW President Terry Adams laid the wreath at the base of the monument. The West Chicago Community High School Band, under the direction of Marissa Janiszewski, played the National Anthem, plus a patriotic medley. Reverberating throughout out the cemetery were the poignant sounds of “Taps,” played by WCCHS trumpeters, Aaron Ruszczak and Connor Zentner. both seniors.
Mayor Ruben Pineda gave the featured speech. The following is a section from it.
“Today, like other communities across the United States, we gather to honor over 1.3 million men and women who courageously sacrificed their lives throughout our nation's history, so that we may live as a free country.
These fallen heroes were ordinary people – fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters – all who had hearts of steel who in times of uncertainty and grave danger, selflessly ran towards the threat, sacrificing themselves for the greater good of others and our country.
Long after the battlefield fell silent, the children of these warriors were left without parents, spouses without partners, and parents without sons and daughters.
So, as we remember the soldiers who died for our country this Memorial Day, let us also remember to support their families, who have sacrificed so much as well. We can do this by simply speaking about their loved ones who have passed, keeping the memories of these men and women alive and providing comfort to those who were closest to them.
Through these actions, we ensure that the American values for which so many sacrificed their lives are always honored and cherished…we must remember the men and women, along with their families, who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.”
Prior to the community ceremony, members of the Legion and the VFW visit Glen Oak Cemetery on Arbor Avenue, Calvary Cemetery on East Washington Street, and St. John Cemetery in Winfield. At each stop, they honor those who have served with the 21-gun salute and the playing of “Taps.” In preparation of Memorial Day Ron Segert and his staff at Norris Segert Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Winfield Township personnel and other volunteers helped with the placement of flags by the grave sites of veterans in each of the cemeteries. https://merleburl.com
AROUND AND ABOUT
- Winfield Farmers Market opens from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 31, 2023, in the Prairie Center, southwest corner of Geneva and County Farm Roads.
- West Chicago Park District offers free Public CPR/AED/First Aid Training Thursday, June 1, 2023, at the ARC, 201 W. National St. The training is from 4 to 8 p.m. The class is for persons age 15 and over. With an emphasis on hands-on learning, the course gives attendees the knowledge and skills needed to help save a life. Pre-registration is required at https://www.we-goparks.org/adult-programsA certification card through the American Safety & Health Institute may be purchased for $35.
- “Past Memories and New Beginnings” is the exhibit for the month of June at Gallery 200, 103 W. Washington St. It features the artwork of Kathi Kuchler.The artist’s reception is from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 2, 2023.
- The artwork highlights Kuchler’s botanical and landscape painting, showing different artwork from the past and now. She said, “I was inspired to show different artwork from the past by bringing my interests in subject matter from paintings that I had done 10-20 years ago to the most recent of Botanicals and Florals. My certification as “Botanical Watercolorist and Illustrator” completed in 2015 through Morton Arboretum’s program brought me to a period of painting flowers only and as the central focal point of the finished piece. However, I recently tried something new by incorporating flowers into landscapes which goes back to my roots of painting mountain scenes in Colorado which I am now calling, “New Beginnings.” https://merleburl.com
- Mexican Cultural Center DuPage hosts “Corazon de Carton” exhibit from Friday, June 2 to Friday, Aug.25, 2023, at Gallery 200, 103 W. Washington St. The opening reception is from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 3. The exhibit is cardboard art by cartoneros, informal pickers who collect recyclable materials, paper and cardboard. On display is a variety of cardboard art, including Alebrijes and piñatasTwo of the featured artists are Miriam Fernandez and Gloria Contreras.
- The West Chicago Environmental Commission hosts its annual on-site Paper Shredding and Medical Disposal event from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 3, 2023, in the Metra parking lot across from City Hall. The main entrance to the east METRA parking lot will be used to enter, the trucks will be setup in the west METRA lot and cars will exit out of the far east exit of shopping center. The medication drop off is the first stop, then comes the miscellaneous collection and last is the paper shredding
The event may end early if the shredding trucks of Accurate Document Destruction Inc. of Elk Grove Village are filled to capacity. There is a limit of 10 standard office-sized boxes for paper shredding; persons also can use plastic bags. The bags and boxes are not disposed of on site. Binders, rubber bands, plastic page protectors, plastic bags, plastic file tabs, CD’s and other hard items must be removed as they are a fire hazard for shred truck; staples and paper clips do not need to be removed.
The DuPage County Sheriff’s Department accepts expired or unused medications and vitamins, placed in a zip-lock bag and Medical sharps including syringes, epi-pens, lancets, and needles.All collected sharps are to be placed in a thick plastic container, such as a laundry detergent bottle, securing the lid with tape. Inhaler canisters, not the holders, are acceptable.
Persons can also recycle used American flags, eye glasses and hearing aids. Persons can pick up their pre-ordered rain barrel(s). https://merleburl.com
- West Chicago Police Department and West Chicago Park District host Touch a Truck 2023 from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday, June 3 in Reed-Keppler Park. It takes place among the roadway between Zone 250 and Wiggly Field. Youth and adults have the opportunity to explore, discover and climb on a variety of cars and trucks including big rigs, police cars, fire engines and tow trucks. There is a train for children to ride. The first half hour from 9 to 9:30 a.m. is sensory friendly time; there will be no flashing light and no loud noises/sirens.
Participants include Area DuPage Towing, CERT, City of West Chicago, Deluxe Towing, DuPage Airport Authority, DuPage County Animal Services, DuPage County Forest Preserve, DuPage County Sheriff's Office, DuPage Top Soil, Golf & Busse Towing and Groot Industries.
Others are Kramer Tree Service, Lakeshore Recycling Systems, Northwestern Medicine-Mobile Stroke Unit, Rapid Transport Towing, Inc., Salinas Lawn and Power, Septran, Swallow Construction Corporation, Wayne Township, Werner Enterprises, West Chicago Fire Protection District, West Chicago Police Department and Winfield Township. https://merleburl.com
- Wayne Township Electronic, Recycle and Shred Event is from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, June 3, 2023, in the Township building parking lot, 27W031 North Ave. Electronic items include computers, laptops, monitors, printers, circuit boards, servers, scanners, hard drives, projectors, cables/wires/power supplies, keyboards, mice, TVs, stereos, VCRs, power tools, appliances, gaming systems, cameras, exercise equipment, phones, microwaves, coffee makers, Christmas lights and metal. Some items have a charge. The costs are $20 each for televisions, $19 tube CRT monitors, $5 each for microwaves, $5 per piece for exercise equipment. Cash or checks made payable to Midwest Computer Recycling. Other items include tattered American flags, eyeglasses, large batteries, textiles. For paper shredding, there is a limit of five “Jewel/Grocery” sized plastic bags-no boxes. For further information, visit http://www.waynetwp-il.org/home.
- “Circuit Crafts:Wood Burning” is the West Chicago Public Library program at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 3, 2023, on the lawn, 118 W. Washington St. It is geared for persons age nine and older. Participants make a piece of wood art with wood burning gel and Cricut machine. The program is limited to the first 20 registrants. To register visit, https://wcpld.info/, under calendar. https://merleburl.com
- Goat Yoga, presented by Blue Sky Farm in partnership with Healthy West Chicago, is Tuesday, June 6, 2023, on the lawn of the West Chicago Public Library, 118 W. Washington St. The first session is at 6 p.m.; the second session is at 7:15 p.m. Guests bring their own mat. https://merleburl.com
- Lawn games for all ages take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, starting June 7 and ending July 26, 2023, on theWest Chicago Public Library lawn next to the parking lot, 118 West Washington Street. Among the many games available are badminton volleyball, soccer and bocce ball. In case of rain, there are board games inside the library.
- Through partnering with Healthy, West Chicago Park District hosts Yoga in the Park at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays in different district parks. Open to all age, it is 45-minute outdoor class of simple breath to movement postures and breathing exercises to gently connect mind and body. Attendees bring a mat or blanket. A perfect way for the new or seasoned yogi to end the day with some self-care. The classes on June 6 and 13 take place at Prince Crossing Park, 719 Hampton Course Drive. The classes on June 20 and 27 take place at Pioneer Park, 479 W. Forest Ave., near Educare. https://merleburl.com
- West Chicago Public Library offers Microsoft Word computer class at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 7, 2023, in the conference room, 118 W. Washington St.Persons learn the basics of Microsoft Word. Topics include creating a document, selecting and editing text, saving a document, and inserting page numbers and special characters. To register, visit https://wcpld.info/, under calendar.
- The Gettin’ Crafty program at the West Chicago Public Library, is “Reading Journal,” Thursday, June 8, 2023. The virtual session is at 6 p.m.; the in- person session is at 7 p.m in the main meeting room, 118 W. Washington St. Participants make a reading journal from scratch and decorate using washi tape and stickers. To register, visit https://wcpld.info, under calendar. (https://merleburl.com)
- The West Chicago Park District monthly social gathering for senior citizens is at noon Thursday, June 8, 2023, at the ARC, 201 W. National Street. The theme is “Get Fit.” Following a healthy lunch, the district’s certified instructor teaches some chair Yoga. There is a $10 charge. Reservations deadline is Friday, June 2, and may be made at https://www.we-goparks.org/special-events.
- United Women in Faith at New Hope United Methodist Church (formerly First United Church of West Chicago) hold their annual “My Trash—Your Treasure” rummage sale from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 9, and from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 10, 2023, at the church building, 643 East Washington St. The popular “bag” special takes place from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday. The charge for a filled paper bag is $3; charge for a tall white plastic kitchen garbage bag is $5; and charge for a large white plastic trash bag is $10.
- The Summer Reading Program, “One World, Many Stories,” at the West Chicago Public Library begins Saturday, June 10 and ends Saturday, Aug. 5, 2023. The kickoff with Palau Hula Puanani hula dancers and snacks is from 1 to 3 p.m. June 10.
- Western DuPage Chamber of Commerce, West Chicago Park District and Warrenville Park District host the 3-W Golf Classic Wednesday, June 14, 2023, at Prairie Landing Golf Course, 2325 Longest Drive. It is an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start; banquet is at 1:30 p.m. The event includes 18 holes of golf including cart, and an awards banquet plus a raffle. There are trophies for certain golfing accomplishments.The cost is $165 per golfer, $650 for a foursome or $55 for banquet only. To register visit westerndupagechamber.com, under chamber events. (https://merleburl.com)
- West Chicago Park District hosts Party in the Park from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 14, 2023, at the Shell in Reed-Keppler Park, 129 W. National St. The family friendly event includes live music, concessions and children’s activities. Providing the entertainment is Classical Blast, a unique band dedicated to bringing the classical arts to mainstream rock and pop music.“From Bach to classic rock to metal to pop, we hope you’ll find our approach to music a refreshing change. It’s the past, present and future all brought together in perfect harmony!”(https://merleburl.com)
- West Chicago Park District hosts the Wandering Tree Estate Tour Thursday, June 15, 2023. The hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. After touring the botanical gardens, attendees view the expansive outdoor train layouts. Following this is a tour of the Harvey Silets Memorial Chicago Model Railroad Museum, which has O-scale trains running through a replica of the City of Chicago. Some of the familiar sights are Union Station, the Chicago Skyline, the underground L subway system and Millennium Park. This also could be a fun trip to take with grandchildren, age 6 and over. The charge is $40 per person, lunch is not included. Registration deadline is Tuesday, June 6, and may be made at https://www.we-goparks.org/adult-programs. (https://merleburl.com)
SUPPORT OUR LOCAL BUSINESSES
- We Grow Dreams Greenhouse & Garden Center, 1055 W. Washington St.,resumes its summer hours. Hours are from m. to-5 p.m. weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays.
- Twin Eagles Restaurant and Lounge, 105 W. Roosevelt Road, hosts its inaugural Luau Party from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 3, 2023. The $39 charge includes dinner, a cocktail, a traditional Luau dance with fire show. To make a reservation, call 630-231-1833.
- Hawthorne’s Backyard Bar & Grill, 1200 W. Hawthorne Lane, hosts its Painting & Potables at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 15, 2023. Weather permitting, it takes place for the first time in the pergola, otherwise inside. The cost is $48. Each attendee paints an 11x20 inch lighted summer gnome pallet. To register, visit HawthornesBackyard,com. If the class fills up, another class may be scheduled for Thursday, June 29. https://merleburl.com
Starting in June and ending in September, Hawthorne’s has live music three nights during the week, Thursday, Friday and Sunday, weather permitting. Thursday hours are from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday hours are from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Sunday hours are 1:30 to 4 p.m.https://merleburl.com
Beginning in June, Hawthorne’s offers pickleball in the two new courts located between the sand volleyball courts. To use the courts, make a reservation for a selected time and court. Persons should arrive five to ten minutes prior to reservation time and see the bartender inside to check in and pay. Rates are $30 Monday through Thursday and $40 Friday through Sunday.https://merleburl.com
- Sonny Acres Farm, 29W310 North Ave., hosts a Pro Rodeo and Bull Riding event. It takes place at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 18, 2023, Gates open at 4 p.m., and at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 18, gates open at noon.To order tickets, visit https://sonnyacres.com/. It is a family friendly for all ages experience. There is a mix of world class performances including Bareback Riding, Steer Wrestling, Saddle Bronc Riding, Girls Breakaway Roping, Cowgirls Barrel Racing and Bull Riding. Also available are the farm’s amusement rides, live musical entertainment, pony rides, petting zoo, kitchen & grill, garden center, and shops. https://merleburl.com
The DuPage County Health Department developed a dashboard to provide information on the total number of people, in DuPage County, who have tested positive for COVID-19. In addition, the dashboard includes a map which shows the distribution of reported cases by municipality and is updated at 4:00 p.m. daily. DuPage County's "COVID-19 Dashboard" is a one-stop-shop for all the information it offers including a town-by-town breakdown of cases. As of Monday, May29, 2023, there were11,938 cases and 67 deaths; this is the number from the beginning of track recording.
- Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of William H. Shipp Sr., who at the age of 77 passed away Sunday, May 21, 2023
- Deepest sympathy is expressed to the family of Douglas “Doug” B. May, who passed away Monday, May 22, 2023.
- Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of Patricia Volpert, who at the age of 87, passed away Friday, May 19, 2023.
- The last day of school for Benjamin School District 25 is Friday, June 2, 2023. Benjamin Middle School Eighth Grade Graduation was Tuesday, May 30, 2021.Personnel retiring from Evergreen Elementary School are Cindy Kuzzwurm, Ruth Morgano and Linda Cordina.
- Wheaton Academy Baccalaureate is Friday, June 2, 2023, in the Fine Arts Center.
- District 33 Ballet Folklorico program, “Una Noche De Folklore,” is Saturday, June 3, 2023, in the cafetorium at Leman Middle School, 238 E. Hazel St. Doors open at 4:30 p.m.; performance is at 5 p.m. The ticket price is $3. https://merleburl.com
- Anthony Hugelier is the new principal of Currier Elementary School. He replaces Kellie Barros, who starts her new role as the Director of Multilingual Learners July 1, 2023. He was the assistant principal at Leman Middle School. Prior to this, he also served as a third-grade teacher, fifth-grade teacher, and Summer School principal for West Chicago Elementary School District 33. His 14-year educational career provided him the opportunity to mentor teachers, connect personally with students and families, and bring about sustained growth and achievement. Hugelier holds a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction with an English as a Second Language endorsement and a Master of Arts in Leadership from Concordia University in Chicago. His Bachelor’s degree is from the University of Illinois at Chicago in Elementary Education with a specialization in mathematics.https://merleburl.com
- Retiring from West Chicago Community High School are art teacher David Exner, 34 years; Teacher/STAR Program Coordinator Marianne Melvin, 33 years; Athletic Department Administrative Assistant Rosalinda Campos, 22years;-Personal Care Assistant Valerie Cook, 23 years; and-Program Assistant Debra Reynolds, 8 years.
- West Chicago Community High School Honors Convocation was Monday, May 15, 2023. The program recognized the hard work of students and included those students Graduating with Distinction, those Graduating with Highest Distinction, scholarships awards, Departmental Awards, and myriad other special awards students have earned.
Soham Shah received the Davis Wayne Fox, Sr. Scholarship. Recipients of the Thorium Action Group./Kerr-McGee Chemical Corporation Scholarship Fund wereMelanie Coss, Leah Nika, Noah Herbst, Jack Riconosciuto, Kary Hernandez and Samuel Rutledge. Diego Martinez received the Houston J. Pineda Memorial Scholarship. Isabella Wiehle received the Terry Zimmerman Student Council Scholarship. Analucia Lopez received the Janet Sikma Memorial Scholarship. The recipient of the Cathy Devereux Memorial Scholarship was Mark Stavenger. Receiving the West Chicago Rotary Club Wayne & Helen Fox Interact Scholarship were Eftihia Giannoudakos and Soham Shah. The recipient of the Lee Yunker Scholarship Award was Jack Riconosciuto. Fernando Ortiz Beltran was the recipient of West Chicago High School Teachers Association Sharon L. Bokker Memorial Scholarship.
At the Commencement ceremony Wednesday, May 17, 2023, art teacher Dave Exner, retiring after 40 plus years in education, gave the Senior Farewell Address. The students in the senior class select the speaker. The 2023 Senior Class gift was ºWildcat Paws,” which will be painted in the bus lanes welcoming visitors to the high school. https://merleburl.com
- The fifth-grader team at Gary Elementary School recently earned the Highest Honors in the 2022-2023 WordMasters Challenge™—a national vocabulary competition involving nearly 125,000 students annually. The fifth graders placed tenth nationally in the overall competition with a cumulative score of 542 points out of a possible 600. Earning a perfect score of 20 in the recent meet were Gary School fifth-graders Zeke O. and Theo P. and Turner School fifth-grader Leonardo Z. .Nationally, only 59 fifth-graders achieved this result. Other students at Gary Elementary School who achieved outstanding results in the last meet of the year include fifth graders Kaylee C., Sheppard L., and Layla M. https://merleburl.com
- Wildcats Softball team is Regional Champion. West Chicago Community High Schools defeated Wheaton North High School with a score of 4-3. https://merleburl.com
- The first D33 Soccer Cup held Saturday, May 20, 2023, was a success. More than 100 elementary students registered to showcase their skills and have fun with their peers. The boys’ and the girls’ teams from Currier Elementary School, coached by Daley and Arturo Arvizu, were the winners of the tournament. Second place went to the girls’ and boys’ teams from Indian Knoll coached by Ricardo Dominguez.
COMMUNITY MEMBERS HIGHLIGHTS
- At the Lions Club state convention, West Chicago resident Lori Chassee was selected as the MD1 Council Chair for 2023/24. The Multiple District 1 is a part of Lions Clubs International, a network of volunteers who work together to answer the needs that challenge communities.
WEST CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT
- The rain that fell during part of the Dunkin’ Donuts “Cop on a Rooftop” Friday, May 19. 2023, did not deter the residents and businesses from going to one of the four Dunkin’ Donuts where West Chicago police officers were accepting donations for the Law Enforcement Torch Run to benefit Special Olympics Illinois. More than $7,000 was raised, which included the businesses who donated $100 for coffee and donut delivery by Police Chief Colin Fleury and Deputy Chief Anthony Cargola. Businesses donating were Mapei, Swallow Construction Corporation, Daniel and Associates Real Estate, Royal Polish Nail Salon, Gary Spielman Plumbing, and RestoPaint. https://merleburl.com
- The West Chicago Police Department, working alongside the Winfield Police Department, arrested Branford Yurko, age 20, from West Chicago for Burglary. On September 27, 2022, West Chicago Police Officers responded to the Naïve Vape and Smoke Shop, l 956 N. Neltnor Blvd., for a reported burglary. The suspect, later identified as Yurko, forced entry into the building and stole miscellaneous vape products and cash totaling more than $3,100. Then on October 1, 2022, Winfield Police officers responded to Prestige Puffs, 27W215 Geneva Road, and Tony Steamers, 27W213 Geneva Road, for reported burglaries. Investigation into these incidents led detectives to believe that Yurko was the suspect.
After an extensive investigation, Yurko was charged with one count of Burglary and pled guilty Friday, May 12, 2023. He also pled guilty to two additional counts of Burglary stemming from incidents in Wheaton and Naperville. He was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to pay $27,684 in restitution to the affected businesses.
Deserving a special thank you are the detectives, all involved agencies, who worked hard and dedicated so much time on these cases. Because of their dedication, along with the assistance of the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s, these cases came to a successful conclusion.
CITY OF WEST CHICAGO
- The weather was perfect for Blooming Fest 2023, and all who attended had a fun time. KidZone always had a crowd, with children beaming and many chasing the bubbles. The food trucks offered a variety of menus, satisfying the guests. Not-for-profit groups were spaced all together, giving guests the opportunity to discover what each had to offer. The variety of vendors allowed shoppers an array of items from which to choose.
The West Chicago Garden Club always had a line at its plant sale. Many shoppers arms were filed with plants and flowers. Garden Club president Dan Bebee said, “We had a great day for the plant sale. The weather and the crowds were fabulous. Our members really enjoyed spending time with other people interested in plants and gardening. We were glad to see all the plants finding new homes and are really happy that we ended up the day with over 22 new memberships to the club. We sold over 5000 plants and would like to thank the City of West Chicago, the West Chicago Park District and our sponsors for all their help and support leading up to and during the sale.” https://merleburl.com
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