It was a whirlwind of activity as the two America In Bloom judges, Linda Cromer and Rod Barnes. visited more than 20 community locations Thursday and Friday, July 26 and 27, 2018. The areas of judging included Urban Forestry, Flower Displays, Landscaped Areas, Community Vitality, Environmental Efforts, Celebrating Heritage and Overall Impression. It was a two-way learning experience for both the judges and the community participants. Judges learned about the community, while participants learned more about the America in Bloom program and the judges, but more importantly, what they learned about West Chicago. It demonstrated the many facets of which the community can be proud. Another big plus was the forming of new friendships.
Cromer is from Greendale, Indiana, serving as president of the Park Board and Tree Board and Planning Commission and Housing Authority Commissioner. She received a fine arts education at the University of Kansas, and was the owner and operator of a floral shop and greenhouse for more than a decade.
Barnes is the Town Administrator of Edmonston, Maryland, a small community in the Washington DC metro region. He has a Master of Public Administration from Kansas State University. In his more than 35 years of experience in local government, he was a Purchasing Agent, Finance Director, City Clerk City Manager. In Edmonston, his focus has been environmental efforts.
AROUND AND ABOUT
The West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission and West Chicago Public Library District host a dedication and reception for the new public art of the nine foot steel sculpture of “loveevenmore” created by renowned Chicago-based artist Matthew Hoffman. It takes place at 5:00 p.m.Wednesday, August 8, 2018, on the front lawn of the library, 118 West Washington Street.
West Chicago Cheers organization and Youth Football hold a Pep Rally at 6:00 p.m. Friday, August 10, 2018, at Hawthorne’s Backyard Bar & Grill, 1200 West Hawthorne Lane. The menu is hotdogs, hamburgers, roasted red potatoes, mostaccioli, garden salad, chips and soda drinks. The cost is $16, $8 for children four to 12 and free for children three and under. The cheer squads do a short performance. There also raffles and spirit wear for sale. For more information or to reserve tickets, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gallery Theater presents the comedy, “Southern Fried Funeral,” by J. Deitz Osbourne and Nate Espler. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, August 10 and 11, and at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, August 12, 2018, at Gallery Studio Theater, 129 Main Street. The ticket price is $16, $14 for senior citizens. To make a reservation, email GalleryTickets@gmail.com, visit the website www.Gallerytheaterstudio.org or call the box office at (630) 234-5919.
The members of the cast are Ben Gritton, Carol Townsend, Carolyn Larsen, Gail Cannata, Jack Smith, Jami Johnson, Jim Knapp, Kas Hesek, Lynda Porter, R. Scott Purdy and Tom Ochocinski. The director is Gina Palmer.
Healthy West Chicago hosts a Grocery Store Tour at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, August 9, 2018, at Jewel-Osco, 177 East Roosevelt Road. Jewel-Osco Registered dietitians lead the tour. Participants learn how to find healthier options, compare list prices to find bargains, read food labels, how to identify whole grains and how to stick to one’s budget. There are giveaways such as $10 produce gift cards, reusable grocery bags and healthy recipe ideas. To register, visit eventbrite.com.
In the Kids Lunchtime Entertainment series at The Shell, Mister Singer & the Sharp Cookies perform at 11:00 p.m. Friday, August 10, 2018. With its energetic sounds, the band encourages families and children to explore their love of music. Persons bring their own lunch and beverage.
Late Night Swim takes place from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, August 10, 2018, at Turtle Splash Water Park in Reed-Keppler Park.The cost is $6 for residents and $8 for non-residents, and $10 at the door. Pre-registration is required and may be made on line at we-goparks.com.
First United Methodist and Congregational Women hold their annual “My Trash—Your Treasure” rummage sale from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Friday, August 10, and from 9:00 a.m. to noon Saturday, August 11, 2018, at the Methodist church building, 643 East Washington Street. The popular “bag” special takes place from 11:00 a.m. to noon Saturday. Persons can fill a brown paper bag for $2 or a black plastic bag for $5. There also is a bake sale with these proceeds benefitting The Station youth program.Again this event corresponds with National Garage Sale Day. )www.merleburl.com)
Healthy West Chicago partners with Team Pineda for the Keep Moving Healthy West Chicago Community Walk at 9:00 a.m. Saturday, August 11. 2018 at St. Michael’s United Church Of Christ, 400 West Washington Street. It is a half hour walk.
Party in the Park, hosted by People Made Visible, is from 10:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, August 11, 2018, at The Shell in Reed-Keppler Park. Guests bring a picnic lunch, blankets and chairs. The schedule for the free family event features something for all ages. The Spoken Word Showcase, sponsored by Teen Writers and Artists Project and West Chicago Public Library District, is from 10:00 a.m. to noon. The workshop is from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the ARC Center.
The Amateur Grill Off, sponsored by Wal-Mart in St. Charles, is from noon to 2:00 p.m. The contestants are Frank Lenertz and Paula Sabatino, Keith Coiley and his son Matthew, Ward 5 Alderman Matt Garling, Jerry Strickland and Barnest Patton II.
Ballet Folklorico performs from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Community building activities, sponsored by Play for Peace, are from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.
A music medley begins with 4th Point from West Chicago, from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m., Sammy and the Knights featuring former West Chicago resident Tony Reyes on the drums from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. and Project 7 from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tentatively set for the in between sets of the bands, El Ritmo School of Latin Percussion demonstrates and teaches various rhythms to those interested. Also Dr. Andrew Veit, a professional classical percussionist, plays the vibraphone.
Organizer and West Chicago Park District Commissioner Reggie Bass said, ”We are believing for a great day and working hard to get people out of their phones and out of their homes and into the park which is fun, festive and energetic. If we can do that, people might start talking to one another and in the process discover that we have more in common than we thought. Once that happens, we can each do our part in making the world a better place starting where we live.” (www.merleburl.com)
It is Grandparents Day Sunday, August 12, 2018, at Turtle Splash Water Park. Grandparent’s admission is free with one paying child.
The West Chicago Public Library District holds its first-ever library card design contest through Monday, August 13, 2018. This is part of the celebration of the Library’s 25th Anniversary at its current location. Artwork categories are Youth, Teen and Adult. Prizes are awarded for each group, with the announcement taking place on Friday, August 31, 2018. The cards with the new design will be available mid to late September. The winners receive their awards at the Library’s gala Open House Friday, October 5, 2018. The contest guidelines are available at https://wcpld.info/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/LIBRARY-CARD-DESIGN-FLYER-FINAL-6-28.pdf.
West Chicago City Museum Historiography program, a non-fiction book reading group, is at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, August 16, 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 Great Halifax Explosion: A World War I Story of Treachery, Tragedies, Extraordinary Heroism” by John U. Bacon.
The book is the account of the largest manmade explosion in history prior to the atomic bomb, which was caused by the collision of the Norwegian ship “Imo” and the French freighter “Mont Blanc,” and the equally astonishing tales of survival and heroism that emerged from the ashes. The freighter was carrying highly explosive munitions of picric acids, TNT, high-octane gasoline and gun cotton. Bacon is the author of five New York Times bestsellers, including “Three and Out;” “Fourth and Long;” and “Endzone.”
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)
In partnership with Cantigny Park, the League of Women Voters of Wheaton hosts a Civics Awareness program Thursday, August 16, 2018, in the McCormick House at Cantigny, 1S151 Winfield Road in Wheaton. Social time is at 6:30 p.m., followed by the program at 7:00 p.m. The topic is “Challenges Facing Education in the 21st Century.” A question and answer session follows. Complimentary coffee and dessert are served. Tram service is available. Registration is required for the free program. To register visit, www.wheatonlwvil.org. Parking is free.
The speaker is Paul Vallas, the former CEO of Chicago Public Schools. He also is the former CEO of the School District of Philadelphia, and former Superintendent Bridgeport Public Schools and the Recovery School District of Louisiana.
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. (www.merleburl.com)
It is time for the community pep rally at the Ninth Annual Wildcat Sports Festival, Blue and White Night, Friday, August 17, 2018, at West Chicago Community High School, 326 Joliet Street. The festivities, showcasing the school’s fall athletic programs, begin at 3:30 p.m. and end with the varsity football scrimmage around 8:00 p.m. In addition to football, the athletic teams include cross-country, golf, boys’ soccer, girls swimming, girls’ tennis, and girls’ volleyball.
Although most activities are in Memorial Stadium, some take place in the pool area and Bishop Gym. The event includes athletic scrimmages, Corn Boil by Lootens Steam Engine, team recognition, raffles, concessions, Spirit Wear sales, the pom poms and cheerleading squads and the Wildcat Marching Band. To see the schedule, www.d94.org, click on calendar of events. For more information, email WCCHS Athletic Director Doug Mullaney at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (630) 876-6290. (www.merleburl.com)
Healthy West Chicago and WeGo Together for Kids host a Back-to-School event Saturday, August 18, 2018, at Reed-Keppler Park, 129 West National Street. Registration for the 5K Fun Run is at 7:00 a.m., the race starts at 8:30 a.m., followed by the Kiddie Dash. Age categories 10 and under, 11 to 14, 15 to19, 20 to 29, 30 to 39, 40 to 49, 50 to 59, 60 to 69 and 70 and over. There are awards to one overall male/female winner and one male/female winner in each age category. All children in the Kiddie Dash receive a finisher’s ribbon. The cost is $25 for adults, $20 for West Chicago residents and $10 for students. To register, visit, raceroster.com/events/2018/17880/back-to-school-fun-run-and-kiddie-dash. Persons must register by Monday, July 29, to receive a t-shirt. The Fun Run Award Ceremony is at 10:30 a.m. All proceeds from the race will be used for Healthy West Chicago sustainability and continuation of community programming for West Chicago residents.
Following the awards ceremony, the Back-to-School Supply event, sponsored by WeGo Together for Kids, takes place inside the ARC, 201 West National Street, and is only for residents of West Chicago Elementary School District 33.
The West Chicago business, The Kitchen Table, conducts food demonstrations of How to Pack a Healthy Lunch and Healthy Snack Ideas. The business is a family owned and operated catering company, which also has cooking classes for children.
Western DuPage Special Recreation Association leads the Games on the Lawn, silly games for all ages.
Wayne Township, 27W031 North Avenue, hosts its annual Reuse/Recycle/Shred event from 10:00 a.m. to noon, Saturday, August 18, 2018. Items accepted include cell phones, eyeglasses, hearing aids, inkjet and laser jet cartridges, tattered American flags, textiles such as towels, linens, clothing, belts and shoes. These can be reusable or non-reusable. For further information, call Cindy at 630-7140.
A fundraiser for Steve Wilson age 47, is at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, August 19, 2018, at Silver Spur Ranch, 45W223 Lees Road in Maple Park. He has been diagnosed with Bile Duct Cancer and needs a liver transplant. The cost is $25, $10 for children age 12 and under. The event includes food, games and raffle prizes. To order tickets go to PAYPAL.ME/WILSONFUNDRAISER/25. All proceeds go to fund medical and liver transplant expenses. Wilson has been an employee of the City of West Chicago for 23 years and currently is on leave undergoing radiation and chemo treatment at Robert H. Lurie Cancer Center in Chicago. He is a former resident of our community, graduating from West Chicago Community High school in 1989. (www.merleburl.com)
The City of West Chicago is holding a Local Government Academy. Adrian Marquez, City Outreach Specialist, said, “The purpose is to provide Latino middle and high school students an in-depth understanding of the working functions of the City, as well as to examine issues affecting City residents. The program also aims to promote civic leadership and participation amongst West Chicago Latino youth.”
The eight sessions are from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Thursdays, starting September 12 and ending November 1, 2018, at City Hall, 475 Main Street. The inaugural program is aimed at high school juniors and seniors. Students interested in the program need to submit an application by Friday, August 30, 2018, to Adrian Marquez by dropping them off at City Hall or email AMarquez@westchicago.org. With the submission of the application, the students need to first identify as Latino, submit a one-page typed statement stating the reasons for interest in the program and who they want to engage and serve in the community in the future.
In addition to featured speakers, who are personnel from City departments and community partners, there are field trips to various City facilities. After each presentation by the featured speakers, there is a question and answer opportunity for the students. Students are to complete a short reflection/evaluation on the session topic and speaker. All sessions are conducted in English.
Session 1 is “Welcome” and “What’s the Big Deal?” An Introduction to Local Government; Session 2, “The Big Picture” by City Administration; Session 3, “Connecting our Community” by Administrative Services; Session 4, “How to Build a Better Community” by Community Development; Session 5, “Public Safety and the Community” by Police; Session 6, |“Roads, Bridges, Land and Water” by Public Works; Session 7, Tour of Water Plant and Waste Water Treatment Facility by Public Works; and Session 8, “What’s Next?” with Civic Engagement / Leadership / Presentations.
The mini-exhibit at the West Chicago Public Library District highlights modes of communication from the past, which now are all applications available on Smart Phones. The items are from the collection of the West Chicago City Museum. The display is up until the end of August in the youth department display case, 118 West Washington Street. (www.merleburl.com)
The First United Methodist Church has an opening for a group to provide dinner and lunch fixings for PADS guests the third week of each month, October through May, eight times per season. (only 8 times per season).
Dinner can be provided any way that works for the group, such as cooking at the Methodist Church, cooking at home or volunteer’s church and transporting or ordering from a restaurant.
Lunch fixings include lunch meat, sliced cheese, bread, water bottles, fruit, chips, and a sweet treat. They can be in bags, ready to go, or can be assembled by the overnight volunteers. For more information or to volunteer, call the Church office at (630) 231-3344.
Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of Karen E, (Lapp) Gerber, who at the age of 59 passed away Friday, July 29, 2018.
American Legion Post 300 Auxiliary collected items for “Christmas in July” gifts for local veterans. They also received monetary donations. With those funds, the members were able to cater a dinner for 24 veterans at the DuPage Care Center Tuesday, July 31, 2018, and present each with wrapped gifts from the items collected. Auxiliary Secretary/Treasurer Melissa Ferguson said, “It was a wonderful experience to be able to treat the Veterans to a nice meal and personally thank them for their service.” (www.merleburl.com)
A ground breaking ceremony took place for Ditch Witch Midwest facility Wednesday, July 25, 2018, at 1555 Atlantic Drive. Taking part in the ground breaking were West Chicago Mayor Ruben Pineda, Mark Harbaugh, CEO of Ditch Witch: and Fred Schramm, President of Schramm Construction Company. With the continued growth of Ditch Witch Midwest and Rentals along with the startup of 1st Choice Equipment, the companies have outgrown their current facility and yard space in Carol Stream. The new 40,000 plus square-foot facility includes two advanced training rooms, a 3.000 square-foot showroom, covered equipment storage, more than 14,000 square feet of service area, private offices and conference rooms, plus more than one-half acre of outdoor space to educate clients on the proper use of equipment , operation and safety. Founded in the 1970s by Earl K. Harbaugh, Ditch Witch Midwest provides quality products for purchase or rent, as well as parts and service for underground construction. The company currently operates five facilities with locations in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. (www.merleburl.com)
Everyone was hitting the ball for Special Olympics Illinois at the charity softball game between the West Chicago Fire Protection District and West Chicago Police Department Sunday, July 29, 2018. The bats were quite active with the final score of 18-10, a police department victory. At times, no one was certain of the score. It is a B & B year for the police department as they were the winners of both the basketball and baseball wins at the “competitive” games. The fire district won the softball game last year. West Chicago resident Chris Chavez threw the first pitch. He participated at Special Olympics USA, winning two gold medals and two bronze medals.
The perfect weather was also a big factor at the Pig Roast at Hawthorne’s Backyard & Grill. The big success was the sales of raffles, silent auction sales and donations, amounting to more than $1,000, which makes Special Olympics Illinois the real winner of the day. Police Chief Mike Uplegger presented Police Detective Robbi Peterson with the Civic Achievement Award “in recognition of your extraordinary commitment and dedication to the success of your time and raising of funds for Special Olympics Illinois and the Michael Browning Scholarship Fund.” His family, wife Nicole, son Jayden and two daughters Taylor and Isabella, also received a Certificate of Appreciation for all they do in supporting his endeavors, including doing the Polar Plunge. (www.merleburl.com)
Support our local businesses as they not only contribute to the community through taxes, but also generously contribute through monetary and in-kind donations to clubs, churches, organizations and schools. Contributing to the success of the West Chicago Fire Protection District and West Chicago Police Department softball game and pig roast for Special Olympics Illinois were West Chicago Park District, Hawthorne’s Backyard Bar and Grill, DJ Raul and A Positive Image, Elite Chicago Athletes, Mr. A’s Liquor Emporium, Mr. A’s Arbor Liquor, Supermercado Tampico, Scooby’s Hot Dogs, Jewel-Osco, State Farm Insurance-Dan Jimenez and Sarah Bass Photography.
Contributing to the City’s efforts with America in Bloom were Kindred Coffee Roasters, Egg Yolk Café and Al Chulo Restaurant who provided meals during the judges’ two-day tour of the community.
Glow Shine & Body by Gretchen is now located inside the Niala Conte Boutique, 1250 West North Avenue.
Extruded Solutions, Inc. is moving from its Carol Stream location to 1185 Hawthorne Lane in West Chicago. The company is a rubber extrusion business and needs the additional space to add a new production line.
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