Various organizations reap the benefits from the giving spirit of the community.
Kramer Tree Specialists donated and decorated the holiday decorations for the Community Tree at 306 Main Street.
St. Michael’s United Church of Christ donated 205 coats for students at Educare of West DuPage. The coats were purchased through Operation Warm, at a cost of $17 per coat. Since the Clothing Closet at St. Michael’s United Church of Christ opened its doors more than 12 years ago, 86,671 items of clothing have been distributed to visiting guests. Coats donated from the Lend a Hand coat drive of the DuPage Bar Association now are available at the Clothing Closet. The church alternates on a monthly basis the collection of baby products and paper products to donate to the Neighborhood Food pantry. As of the end of December, the church donated a total of 461 items, plus 658 rolls of toilet paper.
In the Food for Fines program of the West Chicago Public Library District held from November 1 through November 22, 2017, 456 items (900 pounds) were collected. These were donated to the Neighborhood Food Pantry on the Real Life Church campus, 525 North Neltnor Boulevard.
During the months of October, the United Methodist and Congregational Women of First United Methodist Church of West Chicago collected donations of hats, gloves and mittens to donate for the low-income families in West Chicago Elementary School District 33. The church has been involved in the Shoeman Water Project since 2112 and has collected 27,993 pairs of shoes to date. The church collects the shoes, donated by many individuals and groups, and gives them to The Shoeman Water Project organization, who then sells the shoes to a broker for use in the US and beyond. This money is used to build wells in order to provide fresh, clean water to people in areas where there has been no potable water such as Africa, India and Haiti. Eight coats and snow suits were purchased for infants and toddlers attending Educare. A total of 29 toys and craft kits were purchased for the older children served by the Humanitarian Service Project. Christmas gifts were purchased for residents of the DuPage Care Center and a family was adopted for Christmas through the Winfield Township Office. Ninety persons attended the Breakfast with Santa, sponsored by the United Methodist Women and Men, Saturday, December 9. The proceeds from the breakfast and pictures with Santa totaled $656, which was donated to Neighborhood Food Pantry. This total includes $196 made through Photos with Santa. This payment to the food pantry was made possible through the generous donation of food supplies, and time with supplies by our professional photographer, Uwe Gsedl.
St. Andrew Lutheran Church had a vast array of homemade cookies available at its Cookie Bazaar Saturday, December 3. It was a double bonus for buyers. Not only did they have delicious treats to enjoy and share, but also a portion of the $1,200 raised went to the Neighborhood Food Pantry. The church adopted a family through the Winfield Township program. Members of St. Andrew Lutheran Church sang carols and visited with the persons Saturday, December 9, at Wood Glen Care Center. The confirmation and youth groups made Christmas cards for residents at Wood Glen Senior Residences.
The amount raised at the Cookie Decorating event held during Frost Fest was $327. FNBC Bank and Trust will add $330 to this amount and donate the monies to the Neighborhood Food Pantry.
Through a free will donation at the Veterans Day service November 11, $314 was raised for the Neighborhood Food Pantry.
With the donations of $25 from each of the 27 participating officers and donations from other members of the police department and residents of the community, West Chicago Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 85 presented a check of $1,000 to No-Shave November, a web-based, non-profit organization devoted to growing cancer awareness and raising funds to support cancer prevention, research, and education. With the permission of West Chicago Police Chief Mike Uplegger, members of the police department were able to forego shaving for the month of November. The No Shave November campaign promotes raising the awareness and monetary donations for the American Cancer Foundation and the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
Through its Coat Drive, West Chicago Lions Club collected more than 200 coats to be distributed to persons in need from 8:00 a.m. to noon Saturday, December 16, at First United Methodist Church of West Chicago, 643 East Washington Street.
Catholic Daughters of America #432 at St. Mary’s parish donated unwrapped items for residents of The Terrace Nursing Home.
Through donations, the Neighborhood Food Pantry in West Chicago distributed 425complete Thanksgiving dinners: 125 were from Jewel Grocery; doctors from Central DuPage Hospital purchased and delivered 300 dinners on Thanksgiving Day. Costco donated 60 turkeys. Site Director Ken Walker said, “It has been a good year for our clients.”
At its Christmas party celebration Thursday, December 7, 2017, members of the West Chicago Sister Cities collected a total of $355 to donate to the Neighborhood Food Pantry.
Through its play-a-thon held during Thanksgiving week, Debi Inch Piano Studio raised almost $1,000. The students requested sponsorships for a pledge of $1 to $5 per extra practice during the week. The monies go toward sending care packages to the men and women on the USS New York, which is scheduled for deployment in February 2018. There are 35 departments on the ship. Inch bought goodies with the money and the students are writing thank you notes and packing the boxes on December 18, 19 and 20.
Wayne Township Seniors have a Happy Hatters group, who crochet hats for cancer patients. In four years, they have crocheted 5,781 hats, 650 this year.
Welcoming a family of 10 from Sudan to West Chicago, Faith Community Church has a Christmas Giving Tree, which is adorned with tags with gift wishes from the family members. Gifts the family is requesting include warm clothes, pajamas, blankets, winter coats and winter boots. Members of the congregation select a tag and purchase the mentioned gift. There also are cash donations to purchase unselected gift tags and for some toys for the younger children.
Opportunities for giving still exist.
Winfield Township enters its 29th year of its “Adopt-A-Family” program. Working in conjunction with Neighborhood Food Pantries located on the Real Life Church property at 525 North Neltnor Boulevard, the township has 70 families enrolled; 38 already are adopted, leaving 32 to be adopted. All registrants are screened for eligibility according to Emergency Assistance guidelines. The “adoption” of a family involves providing a gift for each child and a $50 gift certificate for a holiday meal from a local area grocery store. General Assistance Director Claudia Gabrels said, “Monetary donations for holiday meals or gift cards are always welcome for families who are not adopted or can be used throughout the year, if needed.” To make a donation or for more information, call General Assistance Director Claudia Gabrels at (630) 231-3591, Monday through Friday.
Wayne Township offers the “Adopt-A-Family” program. Businesses, persons and organizations purchase a meal and a gift for each member of the family, new toys for children age 0 through 14 and gift cards for youths age 15 and up, plus senior citizens. Donations for holiday meals also are needed. The cost is a $30 donation for a holiday meal for persons using the food pantry from the Northern Illinois Food Bank. Each boxed meal has a frozen turkey, side dishes, desserts and beverages for eight persons. “Gift cards and monetary donations are always welcome. There are 200 families on the list.” For further information or to adopt a family, call General Assistance Director Juanita Martinez at (630) 231-7173.
West Chicago Police Department once again is working with the DuPage County Marine Corps League to collect toys for the US Marines Corps Reserve “Toys for Tots” program. The ages are from infant through 16 years of age. Toys are donated to children in local area communities. Drop off new unwrapped toys during regular business hours of 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, through Friday, December 19, 2017 in the decorated box in the lobby at the police station, 325 Spencer Street. Stuffed animals should be placed in a clear plastic bag; toy weapons are not accepted. The toys then go to a warehouse, where they are sorted and distributed. For further information, call Police Officer Mike Zepeda, who coordinates the program in West Chicago, at (630) 293-2222.
West Chicago Police Department sponsors Operation “Warm and Fuzzy” for winter clothing such as coats, scarves, mittens, gloves, hats and boots for those in need. It takes place through Wednesday, December 20, 2017. Persons can drop off new or gently used items in the specially decorated Christmas boxes at West Chicago Police Department, 325, Spencer Street; Dunkin’ Donuts, 330 South Neltnor Boulevard the ARC, 201 West National Street; and West Chicago Public Library District, 118 West Washington Street.
Chris Mechanical Services, Inc. holds a Toy Drive through December 18, 2017. The business is located at 396 Fenton Lane, Suite 605.
AROUND AND ABOUT
Wheaton Academy holds its annual Christmas Concert at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, December 13 and 14, 2017, in the Fine Arts Center, 900 North Prince Crossing Road. It features all Wheaton Academy Choral and Instrumental musical groups.
The Concert and Symphonic Bands of West Chicago Community High School present their Holiday Concert at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, December 14, 2017, in Weyrauch Auditorium, 326 Joliet Street. The director is James Wallace.
Real Life Church, 525 North Neltnor Boulevard, hosts its annual Christmas party at 7:00 p.m. Friday, December 15, 2017. Activities include games, entertainment and an Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest and a pot luck supper; attendees bring a dish to share.
St. Andrew Lutheran Church celebrates Las Posadas, Spanish for “The Inns,” from Friday, December 15, through Friday, December 23, 2016. The celebration is based upon the Bible story of Mary and Joseph’s nine-day journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem and their search for shelter. The reenactment takes place at the homes of designated members of the congregation and includes songs, food and prayer. On the last day, the celebration takes place at 9:00 p.m. at the church, 155 North Prince Crossing Road. For further information call the church office at (630) 231-3787.
Because of the holiday, Coffee with the Mayor takes place from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. Saturday, December 16, 2017, at City Hall, 475 Main Street.
New Jerusalem House of Prayer, 100 Wycliffe Drive, has services for Hanukkah at 10:00 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, December 16 and 17, 2017, followed by One Shabbat.
Illinois Tejano Organization hosts a Winter Wonderland Christmas Dance from 7:00 p.m. to midnight Saturday, December 16, 2017, at American Legion Post 33, 123 Main Street. Music is by Brandon Michael y Puro Conjunto. The charge is free for members and $20 for non-members.
The Station, the youth group at First United Methodist Church of West Chicago, 643 East Washington Street, holds a gift wrapping fundraiser from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Sunday 17, 2017. Persons can either drop off or drop-in with items to be wrapped. There is no set fee, just a donation. (www.merleburl.com)
A Holiday Craft show with more than 30 vendors takes place from noon to 5:00 p.m. Sunday, December 17, 2017, at American Legion Post 300 hall, 123 Main Street. It is a benefit show for Cathy Garcia.
The Filipino-American traditional celebration of “Simbang Gabi” is at 7:30 p.m. Monday, December 18, 2017, at St. Mary’s Church, 140 North Oakwood Avenue. The mass, originally called “Misa Aurea,” dates back from the seventeenth century. A reception follows the service.
The Leman Middle School Holiday Concert is at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, December 19, 2017, in the cafetorium, 238 East Hazel Street. Alexia Garcia is the choir director and Jane Sikma is the mariachi band director.
The choir performs “Dona Nobis Pacem,” “Children Go Where I Send Thee” arranged by Gene Grier and Lowell Everson, “Winter Wonderland” arranged by Jeff Funk, “It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas” arranged by Mac Huff, “Jingle Bell Swing” arranged by David J. Elliott, “ A La Nanita Nana” arranged by David Eddleman, “Carol of the Bells” (hand bells), “In the Bleak Midwinter arranged by Laura Farnell, “Jingle Bell Rock” (jingle bell) arranged by Teena Chinn and ‘Navidad de Paz y Amor.” “Burrito Sabanero” and “Silent Night,” in English and Spanish, are sing-a-longs with audience participation.
The mariachi bands also are participating. The beginning group plays “Arboles de la Barranca.” Mariachi los Rayos de Leman Middle School is accompanying the choir on “Navidad de Paz y Amor,” and leading the sing-alongs.
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. “Using the Calendar on Smart Phones” class is at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, December 20. “Using GPS on Smart Phones” class is at 2:00 p.m. Friday, December 22.
The West Chicago Park District holds a Drop N’ Shop events from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, December 22, 2017, 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.
The Friends of the West Chicago City Museum presents its 2018 ornament, Washington School. The price is $9 and it is available at the City Museum, 132 Main Street, and Gallery 200, 103 West Washington Street. Museum hours are 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Thursdays and from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Fridays. Prior ornaments also cost $9. For further information, call the Museum at (630) 231-3376 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of James L. “Shoes” Holderman, who at the age of 66 passed away Sunday, December 3, 2017.
Deepest sympathy is expressed to the family of Dennis Taylor, who at the age of 74 passed away Wednesday, November 29, 2017.
Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of Judith M. Morgan, who at the age of 75 passed away Thursday, December 7, 2017.
After interviewing candidates for the vacant trustee position, The West Chicago Public Library District Board of Trustees selected Tom Tawney as the new trustee. He will be seated at the Monday, January 22, 2018, meeting. Tawney replaces Rosario Herbst, who resigned for personal reasons in October.
Winners of the 11th annual Student Frosty Fest contest were third grader Piper K. at Gary School, fourth grader Dana S. at Turner School and sixth grader Dana T. at Leman Middle School, There were no entries in the first and second grade category. The question this year was “A new student is having trouble adjusting to his new school because he feels he is different from his new classmates. You want him to know that everyone is welcome in the West Chicago community. What things would you do or say to your new classmate to make him feel happy, special and welcome? Why are these things important to you?”
At the Monday, December 4, 2017, City Council meeting, Judith Horsley was honored as the People’s Choice winner in the 2017 Community Banner Competition. The theme was “Rails and Trails.” Also Ward 3 Alderman Mike Ferguson and Ward 6 Alderman George Garcia were recognized for completing the CERT Training session. This is the 12th year of the CERT training program in the City. (www.merleburl.com)
At the meeting, Council approved a Downtown Facade Grant program funding for the amount of $4,821 to American Legion Post 300. This is for replacement of the flat roof on the single story commercial building at 123 Main Street.
Council also approved a plat of easement for the installation of an Outdoor Warning Siren at West Chicago Fire Protection District Station #5, 1651 Atlantic Drive. The item summary states , “It is the intention of City staff to have the outdoor warning siren constructed by May 2018, $20,000 will be included in the FY2018 budget.” The City received a “Powering Safe Communities” grant in the amount of $9,368 from ComEd and the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus.
Council approved the three necessary Tax Increment Funding ordinances for the proposed Roosevelt Road/Fabyan Parkway TIF District. The area is irregular in shape and includes properties generally bounded by Roosevelt Road on the north, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad on the south and east and west lines of property lines of potential development sites generally fronting Fabyan Parkway and Roosevelt Road, plus three parcels west of Kress Road.
After a lengthy discussion, City Council approved the wording of the referendum question on Video Gaming for the March 20, 2018, primary election. The question will read, “Shall Video Gaming, such as video poker and blackjack, be permitted within the corporate limits of the City of West Chicago?”
Also Council approved an ordinance allowing home kitchen and cottage food operations. Mayor Ruben Pineda and Fifth Ward Alderman Kurt Meissner received a request from Amy and Aaron O’Brien regarding this. Excerpts from the email describes the request and positive reasons for doing so. “We are writing to ask you to bring the issue of Illinois PA 098-0643, also known as “The Cupcake Law” to the attention of all the city council members. Just recently, the neighboring city of Wheaton chose to adopt this Illinois ordinance, and we request that the City of West Chicago would join them in welcoming and encouraging entrepreneurship in our community. We love this city, and we see the ongoing efforts that are being done to help our town grow and flourish. We have started a new business in our home called The Kitchen Table that offers cooking classes for children ages preschool through preteen. Our dream is to someday own a brick and mortar location on Main Street in West Chicago. Renting a shared commercial kitchen space is cost prohibitive for a start-up business, and creating such a space in one’s own home would be even more expensive. Just to provide some background, Illinois has two different laws that allow the sale of certain homemade food. Both laws have limits as to how much a home bakery is permitted to sell. Home Kitchen Operations also known as ”The Cupcake Law” – allows for home-baked non-perishable baked good to be sold directly to customers. This law applies “only to home kitchen operations located in a municipality, township, or county where the local governing body has adopted an ordinance authorizing the direct sale of baked goods.” It is the most restrictive with maximum earnings of $1000 per month. “Neighboring communities such as Aurora, Naperville, Plainfield, Joliet, Channahon, Crystal Lake, Cary, Wheaton, and Woodstock have already adopted this ordinance and opened the door to home bakers who cannot make it to farmers markets, and others who cater to special occasions including holiday parties, weddings, graduations, birthday parties, etc. To be sure, there are restrictions in place in the “Cupcake Law” to ensure the health and safety of the public. Furthermore, many local municipalities are encouraging home bakers to take an online food safety course to ensure public health and safety. By supporting this law, The West Chicago City Council will encourage entrepreneurship and business opportunities within our community. 2. Allow many home bakers the chance to supplement the family’s income. 3. Allow home bakers to possibly save up for their dream of opening a brick and mortar bakery.”
Michael Guttman celebrated his 20th Anniversary as City Administrator Thursday, November 23, 2017. He said, “I enjoy working for the City. Council is supportive and I receive good direction from them.”
Recognition of the businesses of the ninth annual Brilliance in Business Awards included the showing of a video and the presentation of trophies at the Monday, December 4, 2017, City Council meeting. The business winners are Buck Services, Inc. for Outstanding Achievement for Health, Safety and Environment, Chris Mechanical Services, Inc. for Outstanding Small Business of the Year, American Standard Circuits, Inc. for Outstanding Achievement in Design and Innovation, and Timber Lake Apartments LLC for Outstanding Achievement for Health, Safety and Environment.
Buck Services, a family owned and operated full service cleaning and maintenance business, celebrates its 30th Anniversary in 2018. This is the second award for the company, located at 401 Industrial Drive, receiving the Economic Development Award in 2010.
Chris Mechanical Services, 396 Fenton Lane,-Suite 605, is a family owned heating and air conditioning business located in West Chicago for 14 years. The business serves DuPage, Kane and portions of Cook and Lake counties.
American Standard Circuits, 475 Industrial Drive, is an established leader in the manufacture of quality-printed circuit boards serving numerous industries form medical and automotive to defense and aerospace markets.
Glenn and Cornelia Mueller, owners of the 576 unit apartment complex at1200 Kings Circle, used their business acumen to revitalize the downtrodden properties and have a caring philosophy of compassion for its residents and staff. Renovations in their 10 years of ownership include playgrounds, resource center, outdoor gathering spaces and improvements in apartments one at a time. (www.merleburl.com)
WeGo Wildcats Special Olympics basketball team continues to play a great game, even when losing. Club president Dave Hempe commented on the Wednesday, December 6, 2017 game. “It was a great game tonight very exciting with several lead changes, but in the end Glenbard South defeated West Chicago 52-44. The Wildcats are really pulling together as a team and the players enjoy playing together. I am beginning to think this year’s fundraiser (Kwasman Classic) is going to be a great time with the different personalities on the team.”
The Thursday, December 8, 2017, bilingual “Reflejos” newspaper featured West Chicago resident Fernando Ramirez, including a full front page color photo. The story also appeared in the Monday, December 11, issue of the “Daily Herald.” Ramirez is the founder of Mexican Cultural Center DuPage, which involves the Miss American Heritage Pageant and organization of Mexican Independence Day Fest.
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