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From the Editor’s Desk - page 2

Editorial: Meet the candidates this spring

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With several local electoral races currently kicking into high gear, now is the time to get familiar with the candidates seeking your vote on the April 7 Consolidated Election ballot. And the local community will have a few chances to do just that.

First up is the Kaneland School Board’s Candidate Forum, which will take place Thursday, Feb. 19, at Kaneland Harter Middle School, 1601 Esker Drive, Sugar Grove. As you might already know, the seven-member Kaneland School Board has four open positions this spring. The Candidate Forum event will feature an introduction of the candidates, as well as their respective statements. Those who attend the event will have an opportunity to submit questions to a moderator. The forum is open to all community members.

Next up is Sugar Grove’s Meet the Candidates night, which will take place Thursday, March 12, in the meeting room of the Sugar Grove Public Library, 125 S. Municipal Drive, Sugar Grove. Doors open at 6 p.m.; the event will begin at 6:30 p.m.

This is our second year co-presenting Sugar Grove Meet the Candidates. Our first go-around was in spring 2013, and we had such a great time helping introduce the community to candidates for Sugar Grove village president, Village Board, Park District, Community House, Public Library and Fire Department; Sugar Grove Township; Waubonsee Community College Board of Trustees; and Kaneland School Board; that we couldn’t resist another opportunity to work with Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce and Industry as co-presenters of the event. And while this will be our second Meet the Candidates event, it will be the chamber’s 22nd.

Those seeking office as a village of Sugar Grove trustee, a board member of the Sugar Grove Public Library, a board member of the Kaneland School Board, a trustee of the Sugar Grove Fire District, a commissioner of the Sugar Grove Park District, and a trustee on the Waubonsee Community College Board of Trustees, will all be invited to attend the Sugar Grove Meet the Candidates event, and will have a chance to introduce themselves to members of the public in attendance.

Admission to Sugar Grove Meet the Candidates is free. Community members will have an opportunity after the event to meet and speak with candidates. Candidates will be allowed to display and distribute political materials.

This event is being held prior to early voting so that everyone will have an opportunity to hear from candidates before casting a ballot. Early voting will take place from March 23 through April 5.

For more information on the Meet the Candidates event, contact Shari Baum at (630) 466-7895.

We’ll see you at the Kaneland Candidate Forum on Feb. 19, and Sugar Grove Meet the Candidates on March 12.

Editorial: A good time for a greater cause

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Within one of our issues each February is a preview of the annual Mr. Kaneland event. And that trend will continue next week when we preview the Mr. Kaneland 2015 gala and all of the fun stuff included with it.

Created in 2007, Mr. Kaneland is a male pageant meant to raise money for the Kaneland Cares fund and help those in need in the Kaneland Knight community. And it’s been successful, raising more than $25,000 over eight years.

This year’s event will take place Friday, Feb. 13, in the auditorium at Kaneland High School, 47W326 Keslinger Road, Maple Park. Bracelets will be available at the door on Feb. 13, starting at 6 p.m. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

Each member of the Mr. Kaneland Court will compete in a formal wear, casual wear and talent segment, as well as a Q&A portion. Each of the contestants can earn points in these categories, but most points are earned in the fundraising category. The contestants have been collecting funds around school and town to benefit those in need in the Kaneland community. The boy to earn the most points will be crowned Mr. Kaneland 2015.

The masters of ceremonies for Mr. Kaneland 2015 will be Omar Aguilar and Blaine Rivas. The court will include Dean Divizio, Johnathan Heumann, Noble Hwang, Andrew Lesak, Dillon Lynn, Philip Rawers, Diego Ruiz, James Tockstein and Joshua Yeggy.

A bracelet will once again serve as this year’s ticket to the event. Each bracelet is $5 and allows entrance to the event and helps to support Kaneland Knight families in need. Community members and their families are invited to join in the fun. Bracelets may be purchased from any of the Mr. Kaneland Court or by contacting Student Council sponsors Lori Grant, lori.grant@kaneland.org, or Sally Wilson, sally.wilson@kaneland.org

We absolutely encourage everyone to attend this year’s Mr. Kaneland event. The performances are always first-rate—the product of a lot of preparation and hard work. We wish all of the contestants good luck, and can’t wait to see them take the stage on Friday, Feb. 13.

Editorial: Bullying continues to have devastating impact on young people

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by Ronnie Blair, News & Experts
New laws, media attention and public awareness campaigns have placed a greater emphasis on bullying in recent years than perhaps ever in the nation’s history.

Yet bullying remains a stubborn problem with far-reaching effects.

More than one in four students, 27.8 percent, report being bullied during the school year, according to a 2013 report by the National Center for Educational Statistics, but most victims never tell an adult.

That’s one reason it’s crucial that everyone—not just school officials—get involved in the battle, said TV personality Cindy “Rodeo” Steedle, who founded an anti-bullying initiative called Imagine No Bullying Now (www.imaginenobullyingnow.com) and often speaks on the subject at school assemblies.

“It’s so important to me because I was bullied as a child,” said Steedle, who rose to fame in 2007 as a contestant on VH1’s “Rock of Love” and subsequently has made numerous other TV appearances.

Steedle recalls as a teenager enduring the taunts of other girls because she couldn’t afford the nice clothes they wore. The bullying didn’t stop with words.

“They would hit me on the bus,” Steedle said.

The impact of bullying can be devastating. A 2012 report by the Centers for Disease Control said students who experience bullying are at increased risk for depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties and poor school adjustment.

Bullying is bad for the bullies, as well. The CDC reported that students who bully others are at increased risk for substance use, academic problems and violence later in adolescence and adulthood.

“How many times have each of us witnessed an act of bullying and said little or nothing?” Steedle asked. “After all, it wasn’t our responsibility. If our kid wasn’t involved, we figured, it’s none of our business.”

That’s the wrong attitude, Steedle said. She offered keys to facing up to bullying and doing something about it.

• No one should make excuses for bullies. Some people claim bullying is simply a part of life. If no one is physically hurt, they will say, “What’s the big deal? It’s just boys being boys and girls being girls.” Those people are wrong, Steedle said. “We must make it clear in our actions and our words that bullying will not be tolerated.”
• Parents should monitor their children’s cell phone and Internet use. Bullying takes many forms, and it’s not always in person. Text messages and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter can become sources of bullying.
• Schools must be at the forefront of the battle. Too many schools don’t take bullying seriously. School officials need to recognize the depth of the problem, and implement and enforce strong anti-bullying policies.
• But the problem goes beyond the schoolhouse doors. If we want to eradicate bullying in our communities, we can’t rely on schools alone, Steedle said. All public and private institutions need to do more to demonstrate that bullying is simply unacceptable in our workplaces and in our homes.

“This is not a failure of one group of kids, one school, one town, one county or one geographic area,” Steedle said. “Rather, it exposes a fundamental flaw in our society, one that has deep-seated roots.

“Until now, it has been too difficult, inconvenient—maybe even painful—to address. But we can’t keep looking away. We have to stand up and say, ‘No more!’ It’s up to us all to get more involved.”

Soup’s on

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For years it was our goal to feature a food-oriented column in the Elburn Herald, and we spent many company meetings kicking around ideas such as a dining review, weekly cooking recipes and even a Q&A with a local chef.

None of the above suggestions panned out, obviously. It’s a conflict of interest for us to review a local dining establishment, especially when we want to see each and every Kaneland area business flourish. And what if said establishment advertises with us? That’s a problem.

And in terms of running an “ask a chef” column, we simply couldn’t find the right person for the gig. Cooking is no easy task, so we couldn’t realistically expect a local chef to take time away from their business to handle a monthly column.

Well, all of that changed in November when Janet Lagerloef, owner of Sugar Grove’s The Catering Gourmets, approached us with the idea of contributing a monthly cooking column dedicated to her favorite recipes and cooking methods. And because we long sought an opportunity to feature a chef column in our pages, we couldn’t say yes to Janet’s offer fast enough.

And lo and behold, the Elburn Herald’s guest chef column was (finally) a reality.

Janet’s first two columns instructed readers on how to create the “perfect” Thanksgiving mashed potatoes, and recreate a sugar cookie recipe passed down from her husband’s great-grandmother, Mina. This month, Janet will teach you how to make a signature dish from her all-time favorite cookbook. If it tastes half as good as it looks, you’re all in for a treat.

We hope you enjoy Janet’s column as much as we do. We look forward to further featuring her recipes, tricks and cooking insight in the Elburn Herald. Bon appetit.

Editorial: Give life by donating blood

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If one of your 2015 New Year’s resolutions was to help people and be a better person, we know of a way you can put check marks on both items. And in one fell swoop, no less.

The Elburn Fire Department will host a blood drive on Saturday, Jan. 17, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Fire Station, 210 E. North St., Elburn.

Look, donating blood can be a scary thing if you’re not a fan of needles (and we’d be remiss to not mention that most of us dislike the sheer thought of them), but think of it this way: it takes just a few moments to donate something that can literally change a person’s life for the better. Trust us, it’s worth it—so much so, in fact, that all blood donors on Saturday will receive a a T-shirt for their lifesaving donation. So not only can you tell people you’re a hero for stopping by the Elburn Fire Department to donate blood, you can prove it with a nifty new shirt.

Of course, those who donate blood should be sure to eat something rich in iron prior to their appointment. In case you’re wondering, iron-rich foods include red meat, poultry, fish, spinach, beans, raisins and iron-concentrated cereals (it will say so on the box). Also be sure to hydrate, and skip the alcoholic beverages the day of donation (we know, we know … but that shouldn’t be a problem if your appointment is early in the day).

To schedule a donation, call the Fire Station at (630) 365-9226 or sign up online at www.heartlandbc.org. Appointments are preferred; walk-ins are welcome.
Thank you for considering donating blood. It’s the most important gift one can give.

Editorial: Help from the community

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If you’re a frequent reader of the Elburn Herald, you’re no stranger to Elburn resident Meagan Seals, who was born in November 2009 with the rare conditions encephalocele microcephaly, anecephaly and lissencephaly (translation: she was born with the main part of her brain missing, and she has a rare formation of the brain, making it smooth).

As a result of her birth conditions, Meagan wasn’t expected to take her first breath, let alone live more than two weeks. She did both, however, and has been defying the odds ever since. And last November, she celebrated her fifth birthday.

Many of the stories we’ve written about Megan have focused on the ways the community has come through for her, including fundraisers and donated items such as an iPad and custom-built wheelchair.

Meagan continues to fight all of her medical complications, but it’s been anything but easy. She recently experienced a health setback, resulting in two emergency brain surgeries.

Meagan’s medical expenses are staggeringly high, but the good news is the community will have another opportunity to help the Seals family—parents Scott and Luellen, and their children, Ryan, Madison, McKenzie and Meagan—this time with a Meagan Seals Community Benefit on Saturday, Feb. 21, at 5 p.m. at Elburn American Legion Hall, 112 N. Main St., Elburn.

Tickets to the event are just $25 each, and include a meal and drink. Only 400 tickets will be sold. There will be a raffle, too, with 20 winners and a total payout of $2,500. Winners need not be present.

Ways the community can help include ticket purchase, table sponsorship, dessert and appetizer donation, help with decorations, volunteer work and monetary donation. Donations of goods and services can be dropped off at Paisano’s Pizza & Grill, 106 N. Main St., Elburn, and the Elburn Herald, 525 N. Main St., St. 2, Elburn. Event tickets can also be purchased at both locations.

For more information, contact Lynn Logan at LLogan@elburnherald.com or Annette Theobald at annerich@sbcglobal.net. You can also visit the Meagan Seals Benefit page on Facebook.

Kids say the darndest things

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We usually jump at any available chance to feature Kaneland-area youngsters in the Elburn Herald, as it never ceases to amaze us just how aware and enlightened kids are today. So when we came up with an idea last month to print New Year’s resolutions submitted to us by Kaneland elementary schoolers, well, we could hardly wait to see what the kids would send us.

And the students didn’t disappoint, either. Responses ranged from creating world (and sibling) peace and cleaning up the house to saving money and using a lemonade stand to fundraise the fight against ebola. One child even said his resolution was to weigh 82 pounds so his dad would let him play quarterback. Someone should tell that young man to enjoy his metabolism.

On a heartwarming note, several of the New Year’s resolutions we received included a goal to end bullying in 2015. That’s a huge win for Kaneland anti-bullying groups, as it’s clear that their message is getting through to so many youngsters in the School District. Keep up the great work, committee members.

It’s also important to note that we also received New Year’s resolutions from John Shields Elementary School fourth- and fifth-graders. And while we were unable to print their submissions this week, we plan on featuring them in the Jan. 8 issue.

Thank you again to the Kaneland elementary schools and students who participated in our New Year’s resolution feature. As for our New Year’s resolution, we intend to feature more student-oriented holiday content in 2015, beginning with Presidents Day in mid-February.

In the meantime, Happy New Year from the Elburn Herald. We’ll see you in 2015.

Top 10 stories from 2014 on ElburnHerald.com

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Our most-viewed stories of 2014

www.elburnherald.comTragedy and new beginnings dominated our 2014 top-ten most-viewed stories on ElburnHerald.com.

The list is quite diverse in terms of specific topic, but the common theme remains: the Kaneland community is all about the people that live here. Seven of the top 10 stories are about a specific person.

Happy Holidays from the Elburn Herald

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As the holidays draw near, and another year draws nearer to a close, we want to use this space to wish the Kaneland community and everyone else a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

From fabulously-lit Christmas homes to Christmas kettles and local holiday gathering and events, no community does Christmastime quite like this one, and we’re so blessed to be a part of it. And speaking of fabulous light displays, if you haven’t already stopped by the Elburn Town & Country Public Library to see its custom light show, we strongly encourage you to do so sometime between now and the beginning of the new year. The library light show is beautiful, and a lot of hard work on the part of Campton Hills resident Brian Larsen went into its design, construction and completion.

Also, speaking of Christmas activities, we’d like to take a moment to thank the community for participating in the numerous Kaneland-area Christmas events that took place in late November and early December. The new Elburn Christmas Stroll, now the Saturday following Thanksgiving, was a well-received event, as were Sugar Grove’s Holiday in the Grove, Maple Park’s Make and Take event, Christmas in Kaneville and the Elburn and Countryside Community Center’s inaugural Jinglepalooza gala. Is there a community that does Christmastime better than Kaneland? Perhaps, but we doubt it.

Last but certainly not least, Sugar Grove Village Board trustee Mari Johnson this week submitted a Letter to the Editor regarding the incredible spirit and character of fellow trustee Bob Bohler, who recently stepped down from the Village Board due to his declining health. Many of us at the Elburn Herald have at one time or another had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Bohler, and we ask our readers and the community as a whole to keep him in their hearts and prayers as he continues his battle against cancer. We’re thinking of you, Bob.

From everyone at the Elburn Herald, have a wonderful and safe holiday.

Community comes through for Elburn resident

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We featured a story last week detailing the theft of a Christmas light projector from Elburn resident Frances Kitz, and the special meaning the device holds for Frances and her family.

Our initial hope upon running the story was that a local resident would come forth with some information regarding the whereabouts of the projector. However, there’s never a guarantee that a stolen item will turn up, even in a kind, close-knit village such as Elburn. So we’d be remiss if we didn’t admit that we were prepared to accept the projector’s vanishing act as permanent, going the way of Jimmy Hoffa or a vessel traveling through the Bermuda Triangle.

Well, we’re incredibly pleased to announce that Frances’ light projector was returned within hours of the public reading Elburn Herald reporter Susan O’Neill’s story on the theft. The anonymous return didn’t include an explanation or even a note—just the projector in all its glory.

Was our story directly responsible for the item’s return to its rightful owner? We’ll likely never know, and that’s perfectly OK with us. All we wanted was for the community to step up and help out a local resident, and it went above and beyond that expectation. As a result, Frances and her family can enjoy a spectacular Christmas light show made possible by Frances’ late husband, Marty.

To the person (or persons) who returned the light, you helped make a family’s Christmas just a little bit better and a little more meaningful. And for that, we are so grateful.

And to the local community as a whole, thank you for continuing to be a tight-knit, caring, selfless group. Should we ever again need to call you to help locate something lost or stolen, we’ll know we’re enlisting the best group available.

Editorial: Community helped make Jinglepalooza a success

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We want to thank the community for their attendance and support of the Elburn and Countryside Community Center’s first annual Jinglepalooza event, held Friday evening.

The Elburn Herald has hosted its annual Candyland event—in which we create a life-sized Candyland game for area kids and those who are kids at heart—for 18 years. Up until this year, Candyland was part of the Elburn Christmas Stroll event. When that event changed dates to Thanksgiving weekend, we had to choose between forcing our employees to come in during the Thanksgiving holiday to build Candyland in preparation for the Elburn Christmas Stroll, or merge our event with the first annual Elburn and Countryside Community Center’s Jinglepalooza on the traditional first Friday of December.

We chose the latter, and we are happy to report that the attendance exceeded everyone’s expectations.

We had hundreds of children play life-sized Candyland, and there are few greater things we experience each year than a child’s eyes light up as they round the bend through our Peppermint Forest and see the entirety of Candyland before them—all in life-sized splendor.

We had hundreds of adults accompany those children, and their children’s joy was clearly contagious, as the entire evening was filled with smiles and positive comments.

We owe a lot of people a lot of thanks for helping make Candyland the best its ever been in 2014. To the Community Center’s Senior Exercise Group, we want to thank you for volunteering to help at Candyland, and we hope to see you next year. To our fellow organizations and businesses who also participated in Jinglepalooza, such as MidTown Martial Arts, Creative Beginnings Preschool, GTP Activewear, Fox Valley Wildlife Center, Jazzercise, Hope Anglican Church, Elburn Jewel, Elburn Economic Development Corporation and Elburn American Legion, we want to thank you for being wonderful partners and helping the overall event be such a success.

To all the crafters filling the gym with wonderful items, many of which already committed to next year’s event, we want to thank you for your dedication to your craft and your participation in the event.

To those who decorated a wreath for the Community Center’s wreath auction, thank you for donating your time and decorative items to help raise money for the center. As a tenant of the Community Center, we know how much every dollar counts, as the center receives no money from tax revenue or any outside source. So thank you to those who bid on the wreaths, as it is your dollars that help the building maintain itself and continue to improve.

To Santa and his elves, thank you for spending time with our community’s children; we know it’s a busy time of year, what with building all of the presents for the entire world going on, so we appreciate the time you spent with us.

To the Community Center, we want to thank you for pulling all of us together for a wonderful holiday-season evening. There are so many people behind the scenes working to make sure everything came together—volunteer administrator Kristen Damolaris, Community Center Board President Pat Leyden and the staff of Leyden Electric, as well as board members Bill Brauer, Dan Hannemann and Brian Herra, who each came and did their part to make sure the whole event was a success.

Our biggest thanks of all goes to everyone who attended, everyone who brought their children and spent their family time with us enjoying the holiday season. We can’t wait until next year!

Send us your Elf on the Shelf photos

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Each December, countless households celebrate the upcoming Christmas holiday by taking in a cute little elf. He’s not just any elf, however—he’s the Elf on the Shelf. And his sole purpose is to spy on children (on their parents’ behalf, of course) and make sure they’re behaving and deserving of the presents Santa Claus will bring them on Christmas morning.

For an elf meant to help police the behavior of young boys and girls and everywhere, he sure has a hard time behaving himself at times.

And that’s where you, the Elburn Herald reader comes in. If you have photos of your elf acting out, send them to Photos@elburnherald.com or post them on the Elburn Herald’s Facebook page.

We can’t wait to see what the local elves are up to.

Editorial: Let’s get ready to Jinglepalooza

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Those in attendance last Saturday for the Elburn Christmas Stroll might have noticed that the Elburn and Countryside Community Center was absent from this year’s downtown event. Fans of the Community Center’s Stroll activities in year’s past can breathe a sigh of relief, however, as the center will host its inaugural Jinglepalooza event on Friday, Dec. 5.

Jinglepalooza’s maiden voyage comes about because the Community Center was unable put forth a slate of Christmas activities for this year’s Elburn Christmas Stroll, which was rescheduled from its usual first-Friday-in-December slot to the Saturday following Thanksgiving. So while beloved Community Center activities such as the Holiday Bazaar, sleigh rides and the Elburn Herald’s life-size Candyland game were unfortunately nowhere to be found during the Christmas Stroll, you can bet they’ll be found at the Community Center on Friday night.

Jinglepalooza will feature many family favorites including photos with Santa, the Polar Express Elf Train, life-sized Candyland, martial arts demonstrations, wildlife interaction, cookie decorating, a wreath auction, craft show and more.

Community Center visitors will have a chance to check out the fun inside and outside the center, and then ride the Polar Express Elf Train. It features a train of sleighs pulled through a maze of nearly a dozen large holiday inflatable decorations.

Fortunately for the public, the majority of Jinglepalooza’s events will take place inside the Community Center. There, everyone is invited to have a photo taken with Santa, who will be on hand to hear Christmas gift requests. Cookies will be available to decorate, and holiday wreaths will be auctioned as a fundraiser for the center.

And as mentioned earlier, Candyland and its accompanying world of Christmas treasures and life-size sweets (inedible, unfortunately) will be available in the Community Center’s dance studio. The Elburn Herald has presented this beloved event for 17 years, and it continues to get bigger and better each year.

There is absolutely no charge to attend Jinglepalooza. However, residents may stop by any Elburn bank to purchase a jingle bell to help ring in the holidays at Friday’s event.

For more information regarding Jinglepalooza or the Community Center, call ECCC volunteer program director Kristen Damolaris at (630) 365-6655.

Editorial: From the classroom to the newsroom

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by Madeline Mohatt and Shannon Gilkey
Kaneland Krier staff

As staff members of the Kaneland Krier, the chance to spend a day shadowing the staff of the Elburn Herald was a great way to expand our knowledge as student journalists.

On Nov. 11, we took over the Elburn Herald newsroom. In the midst of invasion, we were given the opportunity to observe the editors and staff who construct Elburn’s local paper every week.

We were able to broaden our editing, photography and design skills by watching the staff in action. We also noticed that things are run differently in the Krier newsroom compared to the way things are done in the Elburn Herald newsroom.

The Krier staff is made up of students all within high school grade levels. Within the staff, the students are divided into four different levels of authority, which is different from the Elburn Herald. That means someone younger and less experienced could potenitially have a higher position of authority with the Krier.

Unlike the atmosophere of the Kaneland Krier, the Elburn Herald is much more organized and collected. Our school newspaper comes out on a monthly basis, whereas the Elburn Herald is a weekly paper. This gives them an opportunity to cover more timely news on a tighter deadline—an advantage that we do not have.

Despite tight deadlines, the Elburn Herald never fails to run an exceptional paper. In regard to story ideas, brainstorming exists at the Elburn Herald and Krier. However, while brainstorming it is one of the most important aspects of production for the Krier, many of the Herald’s stories are the result of reader input and a constant dialogue with the community. Therefore, the Krier hopes to incorporate more input from the student body in issues to come.

Editorial: Helping one of our own during a time of need

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Like many of you, we received news late last week that Kaneville Village President Pat Hill is currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer. This week, Elburn Herald reporter Susan O’Neill spoke with the Kaneville community to get a better sense of the next steps in Hill’s fight against her cancer. Meanwhile, the next step on our end is to encourage the entire Kaneland community to participate in two upcoming fundraisers that will benefit Hill and her family.

The first event is called “Pink Out for Pat,” and will feature Premier Designs jewelry. It will take place Saturday, Nov. 8, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Kaneville Community Center, 2S101 Harter Road, Kaneville.

Pink Out participants will have an opportunity to browse through versatile, affordable jewelry, so be sure to bring your Christmas list. And if you purchase a total of $75 (before tax and shipping), you can choose another item, up to $50 in value, for just $10.

Cash or check is preferred for this event. If you can’t stop by the event, contact Tina Romas at (630) 363-5477 or tinaromas@mediacombb.net and place an order. To view an online catalog, visit www.yourjewelrygenie.mypremierdesigns.com. Access code: 1234.

The second fundraiser to assist Hill with her medical bills will take place Saturday, Dec. 6, at Fishermen’s Inn, 43W901 Main Street Road, Elburn.

Even if you’re unable to donate much to this cause, every little bit helps. Pat Hill has worked tirelessly to make Kaneville and the local community a great place to live and visit, and we urge the public to consider giving back during this time of great need.

Editorial: Oh, look: some good news

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We’d like to take a moment and step away from the ongoing story involving the Nov. 4 Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District disconnection referendum to focus, albeit briefly, on some local news.

Elburn recently saw the addition of not just one, but two coffee shops.
The first coffee shop, The Corner Grind, held its grand opening on Monday, and enjoyed a very successful debut following last week’s “soft opening.” Elburn Herald reporter Debbie Behrends this week spoke with The Corner Grind owners Tony and Ann Cobb about the new store and how and two local residents came to open a coffee shop in downtown Elburn. You can read the entire piece on page 1A.

The other coffee shop, Dunkin’ Donuts, is no stranger to America’s enjoyment of a strongly caffeinated breakfast. The Elburn location, which sits in a brand-new building just east of the local Jewel-Osco, opened its doors on Oct. 16. And ever since, countless residents have been seen piling through the doors.

If you’re a local resident who seriously enjoys a coffee fix, be sure to visit both of Elburn’s new coffee-minded stores.

And in the non-Elburn, non-coffee news, Sugar Grove officially became home to a new Ace Hardware store on Oct. 16. The store is located on Route 47, next to the Jewel Osco, and it’s hardly a one-trick pony, featuring an indoor shop and a separate section designated for the sale of premium cat, dog and bird food.

For more information on the new Sugar Grove Ace Hardware location, check out Elburn Herald reporter Natalie Juns’ story on page 5A.

So there you have it—three great additions to a great community. Now get out there and enjoy them!

Editorial: Have your say on Nov. 4

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As you likely know, our Letter to the Editor section this month has served primarily as an outlet for local residents to weigh in on a fire district disconnection referendum that will appear on the Nov. 4 General Election ballot.

On that day, voters in the northeast section of the Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District’s territory will decide whether they want to disconnect from the district and join the Fox River Fire/Rescue District. The portion of territory in question is home to 3,000 residents.

Just about all of the letters we’ve received regarding the disconnection referendum have been in Elburn & Countryside Fire District’s favor, with a letter from Fox River & Countryside Fire Chief Greg Benson serving as the lone exception. We expect to receive many more disconnection referendum letters from local (and even non-local) residents between now and Nov. 4, and we encourage our readers to submit a letter as a way to offer their two cents on the referendum.

However, we’ve yet to hear from an Elburn resident who is in favor of the disconnection, although a petition to disconnect from Elburn and join the Fox River and Countryside Fire Rescue District suggests there are approximately 128 residents who support the referendum. If any of those 128 residents are interested in sending a letter stating their reasons for backing the potential de-annexation, send it our way. We’re interested in reading your thoughts on the matter.

We also encourage all of our readers to visit the election polls on Nov. 4 and cast their General Election ballot. This week marks the debut of our General Election 2014 pre-coverage, and we look forward to bringing you information on local candidates. However, our pre-election coverage is only valuable if you vote this fall, so be sure to mark Tuesday, Nov. 4, on your calendar (or phone). When it comes to voting, you’re either in or you’re out. Make sure you’re in.

Editorial: Celebrate with some Class in a Glass

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Declining temperatures notwithstanding, October is typically an excellent month for local weekend activities and fundraisers. So if you’re looking for something fun to do on Saturday, Oct. 11, consider “classing” things up with a trip to the inaugural Class in a Glass wine-tasting event from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Elburn and Countryside Community Center, 525 N. Main St. The event is presented by the Community Center and Elburn Liquors.

During the event, you’ll have an opportunity to relax, learn about wines, sample food on hand, and place orders that will be ready for Halloween.

Tickets to the event are $20 each, and available at the door. Tickets are also available at Elburn Liquors, 319 S. Main St.; the Elburn and Countryside Community Center, 525 N. Main St.; and the Elburn Herald office, 525 N. Main St.

You must be 21 years of age and have your ticket present to enter the Class in a Glass event.

Fall might’ve just arrived, but with colder temperatures on the horizon, now is certainly the time to get out and enjoy local events and fundraisers while you can still go outdoors without donning a parka. Get some friends together and put some additional class in your Saturday afternoon. It’s bound to be a great event.

Celebrate the second annual Kindness in Kaneland Week

in From the Editor's Desk by

Last fall, we helped announce the creation of Kindness in Kaneland Week—seven days of programs and celebration meant to promote friendship, respect, happiness and, most important, anti-bullying, in the Kaneland community.

The collaboration between organizers and the Kaneland School District was unquestionably a success, as it helped put forth a message that went above and beyond any sort of ordinary “bullying is wrong” campaign. Rather, Kindness in Kaneland Week last year promoted the importance of positive interaction with everyone around us, looking for the good in people, helping those who are in need, aspiring to be the person we expect others to be, and treating everyone the way we expect to be treated.

That might all sound like a common-sense concept, but too often and too easily, society loses sight of the privilege that is life—how fragile it is, and the impact our words and actions can have on another human being. Life is short, so it makes absolutely no sense to spend it by making things tough on others. When a child is bullied or made fun of at school, they feel negative feelings—feelings of shame, humiliation and hurt. They then take that hurt home with them, and maybe, if they’re not too embarrassed, they’ll share the negative experience with a parent. And when a child hurts, their parents hurt just as much. And now that parent has to worry about their child’s emotional well-being whenever they’re away, and whether their child will be further targeted by bullies at school, on the playground, or anywhere else.

No child or parent should ever have to worry, and that’s why Kindness in Kaneland Week, and the Kindness Campaign overall, is such a powerful social device and group, respectively.

As the Kindness Campaign celebrates its first full year of making a difference, let’s help ensure that the second annual Kindness in Kaneland Week, scheduled for mid-October, is even more successful this time around. Be a leader. Be a role model. Be a friend. Be a great person. Be kind. All of that should encompass what the Kaneland community is all about.

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