Our community teems with the giving spirit and our schools demonstrate this in many ways.
Students at West Chicago Community High School were busy giving their resources and time to benefit others. Health Occupation Students of America held a food drive for hurricane victims September 18 through 22. The Turkey Suit Drive raised $300 and Student Council matched it, making the total $600. The Student Council sponsors a change drive to benefit the American Cancer Society. The female and male teacher who raises the most money wear the turkey suit the day before Thanksgiving break. Winners were student council sponsor Nick Kempski and math teacher Lynn Peto. AVID students sponsor Project Mistletoes, a holiday sock drive. The students collected new-holiday themed socks and donated them to Central DuPage Hospital Children’s ward and Ronald McDonald House. This year they collected more than 600 pairs of socks. Family, Career and Community Leaders of America held a canned food drive, collecting more than 1,400 cans and donated them to the Neighborhood Food Pantry on the campus of Real Life Church. Sponsors of the club are Angela Gentile and Brittany Bauer. WeGo Drama Club held a toy drive for Toys for Tots. Through the Start Giving /Tree, WCCHS staff adopted three families from the Winfield Township Adopt a Family program. More than 50 staff members purchased a variety of gifts. The presents were delivered to the families Thursday, December 14, 2017. (www.merleburl.com)
In West Chicago Elementary School District 33, the giving events mainly were for the families in need. The Student Council at Leman Middle School held a food drive for the food pantry located in the school. Alex Cowal, a Community School Coordinator in the District, worked with the Humanitarian Service project, a charity organization that provides Christmas presents to children in need and provides access to basic needs for families throughout the year. HSP donated gifts for 200 children, which were distributed among the six elementary schools. It was a significant donation as each of the 200 selected children received six to eight gifts. Gary and the Early Learning Centers partnered with Renewal Church to host a Breakfast with Santa. Members made pancakes for the families and each child received a book. Simon Malls (Aurora Outlet Mall) collected gift cards from various stores and WeGo Together for Kids distributed them to parents to use for Christmas shopping. WeGo Together for Kids used United Way Neighborhood Network funding to purchase new coats, hats, gloves and snow pants for parents and students throughout the District. School Staff Association gave out 600 pairs of children’s gloves during Frosty Fest.
Evergreen Elementary School and Benjamin Middle School in Benjamin School District 25 took part in several giving projects.
Evergreen adopted two classrooms to help a Texas community get back to normal after Hurricane Harvey. This involved sending a collection of needed school supplies and monetary donations. The school also donated school supplies to one of the more needy schools in the Chicago Public School system. For its Veterans Day Collection, staff and students collected items to support the Blue Star Moms organization. Students and staff brought in gifts for the Carol Stream Sharing Program affiliated with the Carol Stream Police Department. A fourth grade student ran a coat drive for the DuPage Pads organization. The school collected than 80 coats.
At Benjamin, fifth grade students visited two local assisted living faults to sing carols and give handmade cards to the elderly residents. The school had a smoothie sale with Jamba Juice with the profits going to Team Rubicon, a veteran organization that helps victims of hurricanes and other natural disasters. Seventh grade students organized a monetary collection, working with Wayne Township to adopt two elderly citizens from the Township’s giving tree.
AROUND AND ABOUT
St. Mary’s Catholic parish holds a Three King’s Dinner at the PADS location in the First United Methodist Church of West Chicago, 643 East Washington Street. Members provide a special meal and musical entertainment for the guests.
“Under Construction” is the exhibit during January 2018 at Gallery 200, 103 West Washington Street. It features digital photography by Judith Horsley and highlights the mundane to the majestic. The artist’s reception is from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Friday, January 5, 2018. Refreshments are served.
Horsley held her first show in 2015 at Gallery 200. In addition to being a member of the Gallery, she is a member of the DuPage Art League. Her photographs have been included in the juried photography show of the Bloomingdale Park District, the Community Banner Project, the Chicago Flower and Garden Show, DuPage County Forest Preserve Show at Mayslake and at Cantigny. Horsley was the People’s Choice winner in two of the Community Banner Project competitions. She also has participated in several joint art exhibitions at the Gallery and DuPage Art League. Horsley said, “A photograph is art, freezing a point in time that is neither the same before nor the same after…Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and in my case, what is framed through my lens. I continue to refine my skill as I capture the life of my family, the community in which I live and the natural world that surrounds us.” (www.merleburl.com)
St Andrew Lutheran Church, 155 North Prince Crossing Road, host a Blood Drive from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Sunday, January 7, 2018. To make an appointment, please call Jessiy at 630-408-4030 or go online at www.heartlandbc.org. Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are welcome.
Free collection of Christmas trees takes place during the weeks of January 8 and 19, 2018, on regularly scheduled garbage pickup days. No stickers are required.
The evening Adult Education Program of Community High School District 94 offers several tuition free classes. The District received state and federal grants that allow students to attend these classes at no cost. For further information, call (630) 876-6580.
One class prepares students for the General Equivalency Development Exam. Registration takes place at 5:30 p.m. Monday, January 8, 2018, at West Chicago Community High School, 326 Joliet Street, Entrance B. Classes are from 6:45 to 9:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, starting Wednesday, January 10, 2018.
Also offered are classes in English as a Second Language, Citizenship Preparation and Spanish General Education Development classes. The classes are Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:45 to 9:30 p.m. starting Wednesday, January 10. Registration is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, January 8, at WCCHS, 326 Joliet Street, Entrance H.
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. “Introduction to Facebook” class is at 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 9, 2018.
West Chicago Public Library District offers several two hour computer programs for both novices and those with a little more experience in the small conference room, 118 West Washington Street. Reservations are required and may be made by calling the adults services department at (630) 231-1552, extension 4.
Computer Basics is at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 9, 2018. Covered are basics such as opening/closing programs and documents, printing documents and computer vocabulary. For the following two programs, attendees need basic computer skills. Internet Basics is at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 10, 2018. Topics include basic internet terminology, how to navigate a browser, locate a website, identify common domains and stay safe while searching. Open Lab for Computer Basics and Internet Basics is at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, January 13, 2018. Staff is on hand to assist attendees and answer questions.
Healthy West Chicago and Common Threads once again join together to offer free cooking lessons. The five-session class is from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays from January 10 through February 7, 2018, in the Rockwell Building, 108 Sherman Street. To register visit, https://www.eventbrite.com/o/healthy-west-chicago-amp-common-threads-16056354187. There also is a link on the Healthy West Chicago Facebook page. The after-school program engages students in a global exploration through healthy meal preparation. With the support of community volunteers and a trained chef instructor, students from third to eighth grade expand their nutritional knowledge and world-view as they learn to follow a recipe and prepare a low-cost, healthy meal.
WeGo Wildcats Special Olympics basketball team has a game at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 10, 2018, in Bishop Gym at West Chicago Community High School, 326 Joliet Street. They play Glenbard East.
The West Chicago Park District monthly social outing for senior citizens is at noon, Thursday, January 11, 2018, in the ARC, 201 West National Street. On the menu is Cheese Ravioli with vodka sauce. Guests bring a dish to share and a complete place setting. The theme is “Get Around, Get Around…How to Get Around.” Sarah Blair, Mobility Outreach Coordinator with the Regional Travel Authority, discusses accessibility features on CTA, Pace and Metra, cost, safety tips and a free “travel training program”. Reservations are required by Friday, January 5, 2018 and may be made in person at the ARC or online at www.we-goparks.org.
The 2018 Illinois High School Theatre Festival, the largest and oldest non-competitive high school theatre festival in the nation, announced West Chicago Community High School’s production of “We Will Rock You: School Edition” will perform at the Festival. The festival takes place from Thursday, January 11 through Saturday, January 13, 2018, at Illinois State University in Normal.
The company of actors and crew are Abby Carr, Ryan Castiglia, Kenneth Correa, Andres Espinoza, Delaney Flynn, Megan Gee, Ricky Gieser, Sammy Incrocci, Nora Zamora, Grecia Bahena, Nathan Bradley, Andrew Brady, Vanessa Coss, Rigoberto Garcia, Alexia Gountanis, Megan Kordik, Noemi Lara, Lesly Lopez and Garrett Martin.
Others are Evy McLean, Audrey Miller, Flora Nei, Ahley O’Donnell, Rachel O’Donnell, Gavin O’Keefe, Paola Suarez, Guadalupe Vigil, Kyle Walsh, Leah Wheatley, David Brown, Nathan Hiltner, Leo Johnson, Abbie Lundblad, Neve Ryan, and Madysen Simanonis.
Mark Begovich is the director. Scenic Design and Technical Direction is by Chris Jensen. Vocal Direction is by Brandon Fantozzi. Choreography is by Lora Vodicka. Costume design is by Lauren Roark and hair and make-up design is by Jamie Elza. WeGo Drama presented this production in November 2017.
More than 4, 500 students, teachers, university representatives, exhibitors, and volunteers come together to put on theatrical workshops and various high school productions. IHSTF Executive Director Nathaniel Haywood from Downers Grove North High School leads the Festival, themed “The Power of Transformation.” (www.merleburl.com)
The West Chicago Park District holds a Watercolor class from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Fridays, starting January 12 and ending February 16, 2018, at the ARC, 201 West National Street. Students learn the aspects of color, composition and value. The teacher is Pat Helbig 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.
Dean Klapatch, pastor of Glen Arbor Community Church, holds his fourth “Build Your Own Drone” class starting January 2018. The orientation class is at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, January 13, at the church, 204 Church Street. This is an informational session. He is a radio control enthusiast and FAA certified drone pilot. Parents and their children learn how drones work, all the science behind them, and build a 450 mm drone and learn to fly it. It is a six week class followed by three flying lesson. There is a $250 charge for the class. For further information, call (630) 890-7161. (www.merleburl.com)
West Chicago Public Library District in partnership with the City Of West Chicago hosts a Small Business series. The first program, “Small Business Workshop: Marketing Your Business,” is at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 17, 2018, in the main program room, 118 West Washington Street. Tia Juarez from the Women’s Development Center discusses marketing and the branding of business through customer awareness. To make a reservation, call the adult services department at (630) 231-1552, extension 4.
West Chicago City Museum Historiography program resumes in March. The book to be discussed is “Ulysses S. Grant” by Ron Chernow. Since the book has 1,000 pages, this allows persons to have the time to read it.
Both of the West Chicago veterans’ organizations hold Bingo as a fundraiser on a weekly basis. American Legion Post 300, 123 Main Street, games are on Fridays. Doors open at 5:00 p.m., games start at 7:00 p.m. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6791, 431 North Neltnor Boulevard, games are 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 expressed to the family of Donald H. “Don” Thielking, who at the age of 82 passed away Tuesday, December 26, 2017.
After 31 years at the same location of 121 West Roosevelt Road, Ge Mar Design recently closed its doors. Georgia Anderson was the owner. Vanity Hair Salon has opened in the same location.
Bev and John Day celebrated their 45th Wedding Anniversary, December 29, 2017.
The doors to Bowling Green Sports Center, 243 West Roosevelt Road, were closed Saturday, December 29, 2017.
After serving more than six years as Associate Athletic Director at Wheaton Academy, Brad Byrne was named Athletic Director. In addition to serving as Associate Athletic Director, Byrne also coached more than 20 sports seasons in his 11 years at the academy. He has been the head baseball coach since 2011, served as assistant varsity basketball coach from 2007 through 2011, as JV football coach from 2008 through 2016, and as athletic rental coordinator since 2011.
Platinum Dance Academy, 956 North Neltnor Boulevard, closed its doors Saturday, December 29, 2017.
Din Hua, 1939 Franciscan Way, is closed.
For persons wanting to know why Mr. Papa’s, 129 West Roosevelt Road, did not renew its liquor license, it is permanently closed.
Community High School District 94 was named to the College Board’s Eighth Annual AP® District Honor Roll. The honor Roll recognizes 447 school districts in the United States and Canada that have increased access to AP coursework while maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP exams.
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