You can ‘hear” everything growing. Best of all, the heavy coats can remain in the closet, gloves and hats can be stored. The daffodils are absolutely gorgeous. I see some forsythia in full bloom.
Because of the cool weather, everything seems to need to be done at once-clearing the gardens of leaves, preparing the gardens for planting, mulching, mowing, and more.
A true plus of working in the yard is seeing neighbors and friends and, all of us, taking time to chit chat a bit. One of my favorite things is just sitting in a sunny spot and feeling the warmth. The rain may fall, but, now we can say the rains will welcome the May and June flowers. Take time to enjoy this weather.
AROUND AND ABOUT
State Representative Mike Fortner (R-49) and State Senator Jim Oberweis (R-25) host the annual Senior Fair from 10:00 a.m. to noon Thursday, May 3, 2018, at American Legion Post 300, 123 Main Street. Their staffers are on hand to assist constituents with state government concerns. Various agencies, businesses, organizations and taxing bodies provide information on legal, financial, medical, assisted living and home health care services. Persons attending have the opportunity to win door prizes and enjoy the nutritious refreshments.
West Chicago Park District hosts the JP Sports baseball tournament, Midwest Sandlot Classic, from Friday, May 4, through Sunday, May 6, 2018, at Reed-Keppler Park.
“Art in Full Bloom” is the exhibit for the month of May at Gallery 200, 103 West Washington Street. The artwork of sixteen artists is on display. The artists are Lou Jacobson, First Star Art, Susan Delaney, Laurie Parker, Judith Horsley, Marita Valdizan, Andy!Kozlowski, Starla Snead, Kathi Kuchler, Margaret Bucholz, Nadine Buck, Sue Tripp, Marge Hall, Vicky Burris, Britta Renwick and Heide Morris.
The artists’ reception is from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Friday, May 4, 2018. Refreshments are served.
West Chicago Community High School Athletic Department hosts the eighth grade Sportsfest Friday, May 4, 2018. Students from Leman Middle School, Benjamin Middle School and Winfield Central School participate in the sports and clubs offered at the high school.
WeGo Drama at West Chicago Community High School presents the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, “Cinderella” the Broadway Edition. Performances are at 7:00 p.m. Friday, May 4, and Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Weyrauch Auditorium, 326 Joliet Street.The ticket price is $5 for students and $8 for adults. Tickets are available on-line at www.wegotheatre.com or at the door. The story is based on the classic tale, but with an updated look for the twenty-first century. It is filled with humor, a beautiful score and fantastic production elements.
The cast and crew are Abby Carr, Kenneth Correa, Dylan Davidson, Andres Espinoza, Ricky Geiser, Emma Hart, Emily Heath, Sammy Incrocci, Sarah Lighthiser, Luke Madden, Jay Ratphimpha, Yori Alarcon, Grecia Bahena, Jeremy Belingon, Kaylee Borja, Nathan Bradley, Andrew Brady, Emily Carroso, Ryan Castiglia, Eric Coss, Andres Espinal, Delaney Flynn, andAlexia Goutanis.
Others are Mandy Gove, Ben Hueber, Megan Kordik, Noemi Lara, Adrienne Loeli, Eli Manspeaker, Rudolfo “Jr” Mares Ramirez, Garrett Martin, Evy McLean, Amanda Metzger, Audrey Miller, Flora Thian Nei, Rachel O’Donnell, Gavin O’Keefe, Yoshi Pena, Latanya Phillips, Emily Pietura, Britney Prebis, Sean Renwick, Jeri Rethford, Sara Richert and Delaney Ringe.
The cast and crew also includes Neve Ryan, Citlali Santiago, Noah Schuning, Maddie Shwatal, Sarah Solver, Mikayla Vicente, Kyle Walsh, Leah Wheatley, Nora Zamora, Noah Zieche, and Hannah Bramos, Krissi Braun, David Brown, Jack Gillespie, Nathan Hiltner, Sarah Hurley, Abbie Lundblad, Jamie Mazurski, Kelly Mazurski, Madysen Simanonis, Natalie Thompson and Daniel Weber.
Mark Begovich is the director. Music direction is by Brandon Fantozzi. James Wallace is the orchestra director. Choreography is by Nancy Bocek. Technical direction is by Chris Jensen. Costume design is by Lauren Roarke. Make-up and hair is by Jaime Elza, Samantha Rebmann, and TCD Cosmo Club. (www.merleburl.com)
WeGo Run, sponsored by the Leman Middle School teachers, begins at 8:00 a.m. Saturday, May 5, 2018, at Leman Middle School, 238 East Hazel Street. The race includes a 5K run/walk, a 10K run, a one-mile run for youth 8 to 14, and a 100-yard Dash for children age 8 and under. Start times are 8:00 a.m. for the 5K /10K, 9:45 a.m. for the 1 miler and 10:15 a.m. for the Kiddie Dash.
Registration fees for the 5K and 10K are $30; in the 10 K, $10 for students; in the 5K $5 for district students; $10 and $1 for District 33 students for the one mile run; and no charge for the dash, but pre-registration is required. Proceeds benefit athletic programs at the district schools. The top overall female and male runners and the top three finishers in each age group receive medals and awards. Dash participants receive ribbons. Registration forms are available online at www.wegorun.org.
There also is food, entertainment, and multiple booths promoting local vendors and services relating to health and wellness. Food includes basic breakfast vittles such as fruit, water, milk, juice, breakfast burrito; sandwiches, plus popcorn and pretzels. The disc jockey is DJ Jazzy Jeff, one of the tech people at LMS and has been the DJ the last few years. The face painters are the Glitters Girls, a group of girls at the school that promote well-being among female students in the middle and elementary schools.
Businesses and organizations sponsoring the event are Elementary Teachers’ Association of West Chicago, Aramark, Athletico Physical Therapy, Republic Bank, Gianorio’s Pizza, Healthy West Chicago, Fraternal Order of Police-Lodge 85, Pedro Porcayo Real Estate, Hawthorne’s Backyard Bar & Grill, District 33 Support Staff Association, District 33 Custodial Facilities, Jel Sert, Supermercado Tampico and Dick Pond Athletics.
The DuPage Veterans Foundation hosts the Seventh Annual Honor Flight fundraiser to honor World War II and Korean War veterans and raise funds for one flight for WWII and Korean veterans to fly to Washington D.C. It takes place from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturday, May 5, 2018, in the Calamos Hanger at DuPage Airport, 2700 International Drive. The program begins at noon with a catered lunch of barbecue and Italian food. The price is $30 in advance, $40 at the door and $15 for children under 12, $20 at door. All WWII and Korean War veterans, and active duty military are free.
West Chicago Historical Society Kruse House Museum, 527 Main Street, opens for the 2018 summer tour season. Hours are from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturdays, beginning May 5 and ending September 29. The special exhibit is “A Tip of the Hat.” Some are from the Kruse House collection and others are on loan from persons in the community. Call Joan Conkright at (630) 231-2329 for more information.
West Chicago City Museum, 132 Main Street, and West Chicago Historical Society Kruse House Museum, 527 Main Street, are participants in the “Passport to Adventure” program, which runs now through Monday, September 3, 2018. The program is for children ages 4 through 12, who receive stamps at the participating locations, which includes more than 50 museums and nature centers in DuPage and Kane counties. Passports are available at both museums and the West Chicago Public Library District, 118 West Washington Street. The KHM hours are from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturdays. City Museum hours are 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Thursdays and 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
The Second Annual Bike Awareness Month BBQ, organized by GaleForce Productions, Toga Talent and DuKane A.B.A.T.E. , takes place from 1:00 to 8:00 p.m. Sunday, May 6, 2018, at Cairo Ale House, 2009 Franciscan Way. Ticket price is $10. The entertainment schedule is Backlash at 2:00 p.m., Convoy at 3:30 p.m., Blackmarket Democracy at 5:00 p.m. and Wunderlich at 6:30 p.m.
The 41st Annual 80 & Over Party, sponsored by the West Chicago Park District, is at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, May 6, 2018, at the ARC Center, 201 West National Street. In addition to the camaraderie of the event, desserts and beverages are served. Families and friends of the honored guests are welcome to attend the event. The videotape for the “Words of Wisdom Project” last year will be played. There is no charge, but pre-registration is required and may be made by calling (630) 231-9474.
West Chicago resident Louise Handel is a member of DuPage Chorale, who along with DuPage Orchestra, perform “Annelies” by James Whitbourne at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, May 6, 2018, in McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Boulevard. Ticket price is $15, $14 for senior citizens and $6 for students.
The brush pick-up for this month begins Monday, May 7, 2018.
West Chicago’s 15th annual Citywide Collection takes place on regularly scheduled garbage pickup days beginning Monday, May 7, and ending Friday, May 11, 2018. Using eight “refuse” stickers, residents can dispose of an unlimited amount of acceptable items. These include barbecue grills, bicycles, furniture, box springs and mattresses and household fixtures excluding electronics. Carpeting and household construction materials both have certain requirements. Some unacceptable items are hazardous waste, tires, automobile parts, fluids and batteries, oil-based paint pesticides, propane tanks and large household appliances. Helpful hint-attach your eight stickers to your garbage container, as your junk may be someone else’s treasure. For a list of acceptable items or for more information, visit the City’s website www.westchicago.org, under Residents/Services/Citywide Collection or call (630) 293-2255.
Juan Chawuk is painting a mural on an 18-foot Jengo Tower from Monday, May 7, through Friday, May 18, 2018, at Mexican Cultural Center-DuPage, 103 West Washington Street. It will be presented at “El Palenque” during the DuPage County Fair and at the Mexican Independence Day celebration here. Persons interested in painting with him should visit https://www.facebook.com/MexicanCulturalCenterDuPage/ or call (630) 800-4554.
Chawuk is a Tojolobal Mayan artist from Chiapas, Mexico, who is currently working in the United States as a visiting artist through the National Museum of Mexican Art. Juan has worked on mural projects and held exhibitions in Kansas City, Los Angeles, Milwaukee and Phoenix. In 2016, he was here as part of the artist-in-residency program of People Made Visible. He painted a mobile mural of five-foot-tall three dimensional letters that spell out West Chicago. The letters were painted in bright colors with his paintings of images that depicted the history of the roots of the Mexican immigrants in the community. At this time, it is on display at Gallery 200.
West Chicago Public Library District holds several two-hour computer classes in the small conference room, 118 West Washington Street. To make a reservation, call adult services department at (630) 231-1552, extension 4.
Computer Basics is at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 8, 2018. Topics covered include opening/closing programs and documents, saving documents, printing documents, and computer vocabulary. Intro to downloadable collections of e-books and e-audiobooks is at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 9.
The library offers access to electronic collections of books, audiobooks, magazines, and music. The class, “Intro to Downloadable Collections,” is at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 9.
The class shows how to access the collections and download materials to a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Attendees must have basic computer skills and bring their own device or use one of the library’s laptops.
An Open Lab in Technology Skills is at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, May 12, 2018.Subjects include basic computer and mobile device skills, Word, Excel, Internet, social media, tablets and phones. Staff is on hand to assist persons. Persons bring their own devices or use the library’s laptops.
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. “Attaching photos to Emails or Texts” class is at 3:00 p.m. May 8, 2018.
The West Chicago Park District monthly social for senior citizens is at noon Thursday, May 10, 2018, at the ARC, 201 West National Street. This month’s event is an “Open House Special.” Persons bringing a guest, who has not attended a social between May 2017 and May 2018, receive a coupon for a discount on the next program or trip with the park district. The menu is Italian beef with French bread and sweet and hot peppers. Persons attending bring a dish to share and a complete place setting. Registration is due by Friday, May 3 and may be made on line at www.we-goparks.com or in person at the ARC. Persons bringing invited guests, register them at the same time.
Community High School District 94 hosts a Retirement Celebration Open House from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. May 10, 2018, in Commons at West Chicago Community High School, 326 Joliet Street. Retiring staff are Greg Hansen-26 years, teacher in the Physical Development Division; Kim Wallner-30 years, teacher/coach in the Physical Development Division; and Myrna Woodson-27 years, Deans’ Assistant. Community members are invited to join former students and retired staff as well as current students and staff.
In partnership with Cantigny Park, the League of Women Voters of Wheaton hosts a Civics Awareness program at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, May 10, 2018, in the McCormick House at Cantigny, 1S151 Winfield Road in Wheaton. The topic is US Supreme Court. A question and answer session follows. Complimentary coffee and dessert are served. Registration is required for the free program. To register visit www.wheatonlwvil.org.
Steve Schwinn, Constitutional Law Professor at John Marshall Law School, discusses major issues facing the US Supreme Court. Schwinn teaches, writes, speaks, and practices on issues related to constitutional law, comparative constitutional law, and human rights.
League of Women Voters of Wheaton includes West Chicago, Warrenville, Winfield, Wheaton and Carol Stream. The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan organization that does not support or oppose any political party or candidate, but whose purpose is to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in government.
West Chicago Community High School Annual Spring Fling Jazz Concert and Swing Dance, hosted by the Music Booster Club, are from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. Friday, May 11, 2018, in Weyrauch Auditorium, 326 Joliet Street. The stage is cleared and turned into a dance floor, portraying the era during the 40s and 50s when the auditorium was the only large space to hold dances.
Swing dance instruction begins at 7:00 p.m. The Chamber Choir and Jazz Band perform and guests dance from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. Dancing continues to recorded music until 10:00 p.m. Light refreshments are served. The charge is $5. Proceeds are for the support of music scholarships and new music.
Hawthorne’s Backyard Bar & Grill, 1200 West Hawthorne Lane, hosts its annual Backyard Golf Outing, Saturday, May 12, 2018. The shotgun start is at 8:30 a.m. at Pheasant Run Golf Club, 4051 Main Street in St. Charles. The $100 charge includes golf, cart, driving range at the golf course, followed by the pig roast at the restaurant. There is a $10,000 hole in one prize. The proceeds benefit Boy Scout Troop 33. The funds will be used for outdoor education and activities. The name of the winning team is engraved on the annual golf outing plaque. For further information or to register, call (630) 293-6700 or at Hawthorne’s. (www.merleburl.com)
Volunteers are needed to help with the planting of flowers in the garden beds in the historic downtown area from 8:00 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 12, 2018, and finishing with a pizza luncheon provided by the City of West Chicago. Persons should bring shovels/ trowels and work gloves and meet at the Fox Community Center, 306 Main Street. Spearheading this activity are the service organizations of West Chicago Lions Club, the West Chicago Rotary Club and Kiwanis of West Chicago. To volunteer, register at www.givingdupage.org under Opportunities.
This community improvement project is a part of the partnership between the City and the West Chicago Park District, along with committee members, to work toward an America in Bloom designation. The initiative is designed to include opportunities that invite full participation from the community in a variety of ways, giving everyone involved a sense of pride of ownership in their hometown. America in Bloom provides a framework for continuous improvements in quality of life through its national awards program and educational offerings. The six criteria involved in the judging includes Flowers, Landscaped Areas, Urban Forestry, Environmental Efforts, Celebrating Heritage, Community Vitality, and Overall Impression. When West Chicago participated in 2013, it received a 3 in the bloom rating of 1 to five, plus a special mention in Urban Forestry. (www.merleburl.com)
West Chicago City Museum Historiography program, a non-fiction book reading group, is at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, May 17, 2018, at the Museum, 132 Main Street. Guests can bring a lunch; dessert and a beverage are provided. The book to be discussed is “Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West” by William Cronon. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The author gives an environmental perspective on the history of the nineteenth century. With his exploration of the ecological and economic changes that made Chicago America’s most dynamic city and the Great West its hinterland, Cronon shows anew sector of the national past. The book was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and winner of the Bancroft Prize.
During Blooming Fest, Garden Works Project holds a “Your Vegetable Gardening Questions Answered,” panel discussion from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Saturday, May 19, 2018, at its Resource Center, 103 West Washington Street. Persons from the community interested in serving on the panel should call Tina Koral at (630) 791-3003 or email email@example.com.The organization also is having an organic vegetable seedling sale during the Fest. To request specific seedlings persons may pre-order now through Tuesday, May 15, at http://www.gardenworksproject.org/seedling_presale
Artéculture, under the auspices of West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission, takes place 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Friday, May 18, and throughout the Blooming Fest activities from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturday, May 19, 2018, at Kindred Coffee, 148 West Washington Street. Inspired by the Fine Arts Fiesta, Artéculture features work of local artists and those in the Chicagoland area.
The two-dimensional work such as paintings, photographs, drawings, prints, mixed media, computer art, stained glass and fiber must be ready to hang. Preferred are framing with wire and eye hooks. Also sculpture and crafts are eligible for entry. The registration fee is $5 for each piece of work with a limit of two per artist. Proceeds support Commission sponsored art projects and programming throughout the year.
All artists must sign a Waiver of Responsibility for the artwork and a Hold Harmless Waiver for their participation upon drop off. Work must be delivered from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Thursday, May 17, at Gallery 200, 103 West Washington Street, and picked up from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. Saturday, May 19, at Kindred Coffee.
Persons interested in exhibiting their artwork should visit https://form.jotform.com/80805854118156. For further information, or to arrange for different drop off and pick up times, email firstname.lastname@example.org. (www.merleburl.com)
Nik Kmiecik, former West Chicago resident and 2011 graduate of West Chicago Community High School, is in the cast of “Once” at the Paramount Theater in Aurora. The show ends Sunday, June 3, 2018.
Applications are being accepted for the Sixth Annual Miss Mexican Heritage Scholarship Pageant. Requirements for the entrants include being between the ages of 17 and 22, residency in DuPage County, bilingual in English and Spanish, good academic standing and have one parent of Mexican authenticity. The young women must be able to attend mandatory workshops, classes, practices and events. The queen wins a $1,000 scholarship and first and second runners up receive $750 and $500 respectively. For more information, visit the website www.mccdupage.org or email email@example.com. to arrange for a personal interview, email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your personal interview.
In the Neighbor section of the Tuesday, April 24, 2018, issue of the “Daily Herald,” a photograph of West Chicago resident Tom Knutson was featured. It is a picture of his son and grandson hiking at Matamuska Glacier in Alaska.
The Community High School District 94 Board of Education meeting Tuesday, April 17, 2018, was quite active. The board approved a parameter’s resolution for the sale of the remainder of the bonds, $28.54 million. Board president Gary Saake explained, “This delegates authority to the Treasurer and the Superintendent or Director of Business to authorize the sale of the bonds any time in the next six months within the parameters set forth in the resolution. This allows the bonds to be sold when the market conditions seem most favorable. The bond underwriter, Raymond James & Associates, Inc. will advise us as to the timing. We are moving forward with permitting all the remaining bonds to be sold now, rather than some now and some in 2019, due to the concern over interest rate risk.”
Also approved was a contract for Naviance, a new web-based college and career planning tool for students and parents. “Apart from the planning tools, it also provides follow-up data that tracks students into college and career so we will have a better picture of their actual success after they graduate. This provides a powerful new dimension to our ability to align curriculum to student needs.”
The Board approved a program to dispose of the original Chromebooks by offering to sell them to graduating seniors for $10 each. “We are now in a cycle of purchasing a new set of Chromebooks for incoming students which they will keep for their four years. We explored other avenues of disposing of them without success.”
Other actions included that all board meetings will now take place to the Commons at the high school, starting to report on the staff time and legal fees involved in both Freedom of Information Act and board requests for data, adoption of an updated Workplace Harassment policy as required by state statute, approval of administrator salary increases for the 2017/18 and 2018/19 school year and approval of the superintendents goals that align with his contract for the 2018/19 school year.
As part of the Fig Foundation, students on the “inspiration” bus to support young Latinas toured three locations Wednesday, April 18, 2018. One was Mexican Cultural Center, 103 West Washington Street. Joining the students were Mayor Ruben Pineda, staff from the City and the West Chicago Public Library. The other locations were the Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora and the Berwyn Police Department. The Fig Factor Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations that supports young Latinas ages 12 to 25 to pursue their dreams by providing educational leadership platforms, mentorship and powerful experiences through a context of sisterhood.
Students from Columbia College Chicago recently were filming a segment of a movie at the former site of Luigi’s Pizza, 1315 Sarana Avenue. Approximately 30 persons were involved for this class project.
In the Hotshot section of the May 2018 issue of “Firehouse” magazine, page 59 to be exact, there is a photograph of a West Chicago Box Alarm fire from March 10, 2018, by West Chicago resident and photographer, John Tulipano of JLT Photography. In the picture are Lieutenant Will Gray and firefighters Michael Buenrostro and Miguel Ochoa for Engine 5 of the West Chicago Fire Protection District.
West Chicago Community High School students Jeremy Grant, Gabe Hosticka, Manav Patel, Britney Prebis, and Mike Sawicki and their LifeSmarts coach, Don Zabelin, were featured Wednesday, April 25, 2018, in the Chicago Tribune. They participated in the national competition. Zabelin is a retired teacher from WCCHS and was named one of two LifeSmarts coaches this year. The team placed ninth in the competition. LifeSmarts is a national consumer literacy competition hosted by the National Consumers League, the country’s oldest consumer watchdog organization.
Chris Felinski, computer science teacher, was named Wheaton Academy Teacher of the Year and is the recipient of the 2018 Wilbur A. Hiller Memorial Teaching Award. He has been a teacher for 14 years at WA.
Several individuals in West Chicago Elementary School District 33 were recipients of the Illinois Chapter of the National School PR Association Distinguished Service Awards. Michaela Powers, speech language pathologist, and Patty Rodriguez, teacher in the Intermediate Autism Room at Indian Knoll, won in the category of Team for the Maximo Cafe. They were nominated by Indian Knoll Principal Jen Tapia. Receiving the award in the Parent category was Heidi Kuharich, long time District 33 parent. The Leman Middle School Dual Language Team of Teachers and Gary School Principal, Stephanie Drake nominated her. Sandy Warner, principal of the Early Learning Center, received the award in the Administrative category. Ciara Thomas, Community School Coordinator, nominated her. This award honors individuals and groups who have consistently gone above and beyond on behalf of their schools and whose efforts have enhanced education and conveyed its importance to the community at large.
Per its website, “The mission of the Illinois Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association (INSPRA) is to provide a source of connection, collaboration and professional development for school communicators in order to strengthen support for Illinois public schools, which leads to greater student success.”
My email address is email@example.com.