Looking at the calendar, I know it is Spring. However, I think Mother Nature is playing a long April Fool’s trick. Looking at all the Easter Egg Hunts held in the community, I saw the children were not wearing lightweight jackets. No, they were in winter coats and hats. People were scurrying to their cars, not ambling to take in sights of nature.
Yet, there are some signs of Spring. I see some of my crocuses peeking out of the ground. I saw snow drops in Bill Zimmerman’s yard. West Chicago Garden Club member Billie Childress had some miniature irises and daffodils in her yard. Like most gardeners, I am eager to start working in the yard, but I dare not rake the leaves from the gardens as long as we have the frigid night temperatures. I am certain it will not be long before we can walk and see the lovely flowering shrubs and bushes. At least, I think I am.
AROUND AND ABOUT
During the month of April, more than 50 students from West Chicago Community High School display their artwork at Gallery 200, 103 West Washington Street. Attending the artists’ reception from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Friday, April 6, 2018, are some of the students and art teachers Megan Dulkinys and David Exner. Featured artists include Yori Alaron, JJ Bangert, Cielo Cabael-Castro, Vanessa Cortez, Melissa Gonzalez-Ramirez, Fernando Hernandez, Claudia Mora and Maddie Romolt. Refreshments are served. There is a wide range of artwork from traditional to contemporary in the areas of drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, digital photography, graphic art and 3D Design. (www.merleburl.com)
The West Chicago Park District holds an Expressive Acrylic Painting class from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Fridays, starting April 6 and ending May 11, 2018, at the ARC, 201 West National Street. The basis of the class is in technique and practice with students learning line, value and color theory. The teacher is Jenny Nagle 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 a grant 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.
Cascade Drive-in Theater, 1100 North Avenue, is scheduled to open Friday, April 6, 2018.
Although the production of “Love, Loss and What I Wore” by Gallery Theater was scheduled to begin Friday, April 6, 2018, the prior heating problem at the theater’s location at 129 Main Street has put the performances on hold. The board, at this time, is discussing the continuation of the 2017-2018 season. As soon as something is definitely decided, I will put it in my column.
West Chicago Public Library holds an Open Lab from 10:00 a.m. to noon, Saturday, April 7, 2018, in the small conference room 118 West Washington Street. Persons can practice computer skills; staff is on hand to answer questions and offer assistance. To make a reservation, call adult services department at (630) 231-1552, extension 4.
First Star Art, a member of Gallery 200, is a participant in the Winter Market of the Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin. It takes place from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Saturdays, April 7 and April 21, 2018, inside ARTSPACE, 51 South Spring Street.
The Team Pineda Community Walk is at 9:00 a.m. Sunday, April 8, 2018, at Turner School, 750 Ingalton Avenue.
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 1:00 p.m. Tuesdays. “Uploading Pictures to Facebook” class is at 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, 2018.
Every year townships in Illinois hold their Annual Town meetings on the second Tuesday in April, which this year is April 10, 2018. Winfield Township is at 7:00 p.m. at Winfield Township Road District building, 30W375 Roosevelt Road. Sign-in is at 6:30 p.m. Wayne Township meeting is at 7:30 p.m. in the Senior Center at Wayne Township, 27W031 North Avenue. Sign-in is at 7:00 p.m. Elected officials and staff are on hand to answer questions and give reports. The meetings are open to all residents in the township.
As part of the Town Hall Share program, West Chicago City Museum and West Chicago Elementary School District 33 celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Indian Knoll School at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, 2018, at the school, ON645 Indian Knoll Road. Included in the event is a meal, a slideshow of the 50 years and a short historical presentation of the school and the area. Persons are encouraged to share a memory and/or contribute an item to the 2018 time capsule. Reservations are recommended and may be made by calling the school office at (630) 293-6020.
The West Chicago Park District’s monthly social gathering for senior citizens is at noon Thursday, April 12, 2018, at the ARC, 201 West National Street. The event is the popular baked chicken luncheon sponsored by the West Chicago Police Department. Guests bring a dish to share and a complete place setting. There is no charge, but reservations are required by Friday, April 6, 2018 and may be made in person at the ARC or online at www.we-goparks.org. (www.merleburl.com)
To celebrate the 60th Anniversary of National Library Week, the West Chicago Public Library District is hosting Retro Board Games at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, April 12, 2018, in the main meeting room, 118 West Washington Street. The board games include Trivial Pursuit and Husker Du. Persons are encouraged to bring some of their old favorites. To make a reservation, call adult services department at (630) 231-1552, extension 4.
Citizens Advocacy Center, Immigrant Solidarity DuPage, League of Women Voters, College of DuPage and Elmhurst College present a Candidate Boot Camp-Local Government Candidacy for Beginners from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Saturday, April 14, 2018. It takes place at COD in the Culinary and Hospitality Center, 425 Fawell Boulevard, Room2001, in Glen Ellyn. The program is free with a lunch provided by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. To make a reservation visit www.citizenadvocacycenter.org/event.
Wayne/Winfield Area Youth/Family Services celebrates its 35th Anniversary, at the annual Luncheon and Silent Auction, “35 Years and Still Growing Strong,” Tuesday, April 17, 2018, in the Wayne Township building, 27W031 North Avenue. Networking is at 11:30 a.m. and the luncheon, catered by Augustino’s Rock and Roll Deli, is at noon. There is a presentation of Community Awards to individuals and groups. The ticket price is $20. Raffle tickets also are available for the price of $1 or $5 for six tickets. Reservations are requested by Wednesday, April 11. To purchase raffle tickets or to make a luncheon reservation, call WAYS at (630) 231-7166 from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday.
The Silent Auction features baskets ranging in value from $10 to more than $200. Baskets feature gift cards from restaurants, salons, boutiques, salons and unique fun opportunities. Persons unable to attend can call WAYS a week before the event to receive a bidding list and then submit a bid.
Proceeds support WAYS day camp program to provide scholarships for children in need. More than 25 percent of WAYS campers are from families below the poverty level and another 50 percent are struggling families, who need a safe, healthy camp while they work. In addition to the summer camp program, WAYS provides individual, family and group therapy in English and Spanish, anger management and parenting classes also in English and Spanish, and youth tutoring. WAYS is a community based not-for-profit agency serving West Chicago, Winfield, Wayne, Warrenville, Bartlett, Carol Stream, and Hanover Park. Providing funding for WAYS are Wayne Township, Winfield Township, Village of Hanover Park, Ecolab Employees’ Foundation, client fees, insurance, donations and fundraisers. (www.merleburl.com)
West Chicago City Museum Historiography program, a non-fiction book reading group, is at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, April 19, 2018, at the Museum, 132 Main Street. Guests can bring a lunch, dessert and a beverage are provided. The book to be discussed is “The 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic: The History and Legacy of the World’s Deadliest Influenza Outbreak” by Charles Rivers Editors. Copies of the book are at the Museum and West Chicago Public Library, 118 West Washington Street. Reservations are not required for this free program. For further information call the museum at (630) 231-3376 or email email@example.com. (www.merleburl.com)
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 Glenn Stewart, who at the age of 52 passed away Tuesday, March 21, 2018.
Deepest sympathy is expressed to the family of Michael Cain, who at the age of 71 passed away Thursday, March 29, 2018.
Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of Thomas R. Kwosek, who at the age of 96 passed away, Monday, March 26, 2018.
Deepest sympathy is expressed to the family of Rosario Escalante Lopez, who at the age of 54 passed away Sunday, April 1, 2018.
As part of their fifth annual National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day on Saturday, May 5, 2018, the National Fire Protection Association and State Farm presented a $500 grant to the West Chicago Fire Protection District. The grant is to be used for two new chain saws and safety equipment for personnel on the recently purchased Brush 6, a wild-land firefighting vehicle. WCFPD was one of 150 communities receiving the grant.
The WCFPD has responsibilities for service through a functional cooperation with neighboring communities referred to as the West Suburban Fire/Rescue Alliance, comprised of fire districts from Bloomingdale, Carol Stream, Roselle, Wheaton, Winfield, and West Chicago. The Alliance responds and works together in a partnership and covers 80 square miles and 210,000 residents. The Alliance has seen an increase in the number and severity of wild-land fires.
More than 140 persons attended the Winfield Township Open House March 10, 2018. Donated items received were one tote of food, 127 cell telephone ones, 135 eye glasses and six flags. These were then given to the appropriate organizations.
WeGo Drama from West Chicago Community High School placed fourth in the Illinois High School Association Sectionals, the largest one in the State. The competition lasted 14 hours. The Group Interpretation Company received All-Sectional votes. Most of the cast in drama and lighting crew received All-Sectional votes. Named all Sectional winners were Megan Kordik, Danny Weber and Drew Brady. Nathan Bradley, Ricky Gieser and Natalie Thompson earned double All-Sectional medals.
The Wheaton-West JV Hockey team is the 2018 JV combined State Champions. The team is comprised of players from West Chicago, Wheaton-Warrenville South, Wheaton North, Wheaton Academy and St. Francis High Schools.
West Chicago Police Chief Michael Uplegger administered the oath of office to the new police officer Justin Rigler on Thursday, March 29, 2018. He now is at the police academy at Suburban Law Enforcement Academy at College of DuPage. His is a familiar face in West Chicago as he was a Community Service Office since 2015. (www.merlebur.com)
The Illinois State Board of Education issued the highest financial profile score of 4.00 for the year 2017 to Community High School District 94. The high school has received the highest designation every year since the beginning of the Financial Profile Score 15 years ago. ISBE developed the “School District Financial Profile” to help monitor the finances of school districts and identify which are in or are moving toward financial difficulty. Indicators that make up the Total Profile Score include fund balances to revenue ratio, expediter to revenue ratio, days cash on hand, percent of short-term borrowing ability remaining and percent of long-term margin remaining.
To celebrate Women’s month, the Aurora Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce honored outstanding women in the community that go above and beyond to create a positive impacts at its Mujeres in Business event. Tuesday, March 27, 2018. Two West Chicago business owners received recognition for their leadership. Honored were Martha Ocampo, owner of Supermercado Tampico, and Gloria O. Perez, owner of Gloria’s Jewelry. Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti was the special guest and keynote speaker. She is the first Hispanic to be elected to the office of Lt. Governor and the first female Hispanic Lt. Governor in the United States.
The weather was not exactly spring-like, but more than 100 children participated in the annual American Legion Post 300 Easter Egg Hunt Saturday, March 31, 2018, at Reed-Keppler Park. It started at 10:00 a.m. SHARP and by 10:05 am., not a single egg was left on the ground. Winners of the specially marked eggs in the 1 and 2-year-old category were Valerie Mohrs and Alex Munoz. In the 3 and 4-year-old age group, the winners were Tyler Gasparini and Aiden Zupancic. Winners in the 5 and 6-year-old age category were Carlos Gonzales and Caleb Wagner. In the 7 and 8-year-old groups, the winners were Riley Smith and Emmanuel Lopez. (www.merleburl.com)
After 161 years First Congregational Church is permanently closing its books in West Chicago and is donating its monies to various causes. Recently there was a donation of four oak trees and a memorial bench at Reed-Keppler Park. These are to honor former members, the late Chauncey W. Reed and Christine Keppler.
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