Elburn Herald | Sugar Grove Herald

 
Trillium Sept2015
Category archive

From the Editor’s Desk - page 4

Guest Editorial: Tips for protecting your identity, money

in From the Editor's Desk by

by Harold Valentine, News and Experts
At least 110 million consumers were affected by the recent hack involving Target and Neiman Marcus retailers. Whether or not millions more will have their identities manipulated and finances ruined within the coming months due to more breaches of security at other stores is anyone’s guess, says identity theft recovery expert Scott A. Merritt.

“By necessity, I became an expert on identity theft. My information was stolen in 2006, and in repairing the damage, I learned some not-so-obvious ways we can all protect against identity theft in the first place,” Merritt said.

Merritt’s problems began quickly. While disputing financial charges and dealing with resulting business problems, in 2007 he was stopped for a traffic violation and arrested on a false outstanding felony warrant. He immediately knew why.

“I had to enlist my U.S. congressman and convince the state police, NCIC, FBI and Secret Service that I didn’t commit the felonies. For a few years, I had to prove that the prints did not match the false record in question. After legal action, however, I was able to have this corrected.”

Unfortunately, the millions affected by the recent hacks may be dealing with similar repercussions in the years ahead, Merritt said.

Before you become a victim of identity theft, Merritt offers seven ways to guard against it.

• Understand how and where it happens. Identity theft is like being robbed when you are away from home; most thefts occur in places where you do business every day. Either a place of business is robbed, a bad employee acts improperly or a hacker breaches the office through the computer.
• Secure your wallet’s information. Photocopy everything in your wallet: photos, credit cards (front and back), membership cards—everything. Put the copies in the order the cards are arranged in your wallet, staple the pictures and place them in a strong box or safe.
• Make sure your information is consistent. For all of your identity and financial documents, make absolutely sure, to the smallest detail, that all of your personal information is accurate and consistent. Discrepancies such as using your middle initial on some documents, and not others, or having different addresses, can wreak havoc in proving your identity, and can compromise your credit score.

• Secure your digital habits and data. Change your passwords at least twice a year on a non-scheduled basis—don’t be predictable. Have a strong firewall if you shop online, and only access sites that are protected by a strong firewall and high industry standards. Access accounts of a financial nature only from your personal computer.

• Protect your banking information. While in the bank, keep account numbers and other data out of sight, and avoid stating account numbers, Social Security numbers and similar information out loud. When planning a bank visit, have items such as deposits and withdrawal slips prepared in advance.
• Account for your interactions with vendors. Every time you speak to someone with whom you do business, write down the time, date, name and the purpose or outcome of the call. If an identity theft occurs on the vendor’s end, you will be able to reference these prior conversations effectively. Be sure to note any animosity or reluctance from the vendor.
• Don’t carry around your birth certificate or Social Security card. Unless it’s necessary, keep those vital items in a safe, or at least a firebox. If you know someone is going to need a copy of your tax returns or your driver’s license, for example, make the copies ahead of time. This avoids the need for a firm’s employee to leave the room with such information.

“Of course, you can greatly reduce being a victim of such recent hacks that occurred at the major retailers by using cash more often,” Merritt said. “But if you’re going to use credit, use a card from a national bank or a national credit union and never a debit card, no exceptions.”

Editorial: Kindness Campaign events continue in 2014

in From the Editor's Desk by

We used editorial space last fall to preview Kindness in Kaneland (KIK) Week, as well as Kindness Campaign 2013 activities. And now that 2014 has officially arrived, we’d like to shed some light on the Kindness Campaign’s upcoming fundraisers and activities.

First off is the revival of Friday Knightlife, which began last week and will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. every Friday through March 21.

The newly reborn program will take place at the Elburn and Countryside Community Center, 525 N. Main St., and Sugar Grove Public Library, 125 S. Municipal Drive, and is intended for Kaneland-area students, grades fourth through eighth. The Community Center will feature activities such as basketball, floor hockey, dodgeball, Wii, air hockey and more, while the library will feature a movie, computer gaming, board games, crafts, music and more.

Java Plus Cafe at Sugar Grove Public Library will also be open during Friday Knightlife, and will offer 15 percent off coffee and live music by some of your favorite Kaneland area musicians.

Registration for Friday Knightlife is now open at www.peakforkids.org. Registration forms also available on the Kaneland School District virtual backpack system. Each student will get a free Friday Knightlife T-shirt. Cost is $75 per student; $50 for one sibling, and no charge for all additional siblings.

Later this month, The Kindness Campaign and Kaneland Arts Initiative (KAI) will lead a group discussion following performances of KAI’s Winter Theatre Production, “The Laramie Project,” which will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 24-26, in the Black Box Theatre portion of Kaneland High School, 47W326 Keslinger Road, Maple Park. Performances will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Sunday.

“The Laramie Project” depicts the account of residents of Laramie, Wyo., following the death of Matthew Shepherd in October 1998.

Tickets are available for purchase by calling (630) 365-5100, ext. 180, or emailing 10911@kaneland.org. Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $8 for students and senior citizens.

On the lighter side, local residents will have an opportunity to bowl against bullying during the Bowling Against Bullying event on Saturday, Feb. 8, at Parkside Lanes, 34W185 Montgomery Road, Aurora.

The event is for people age 21 and older. Pizza, drinks and a raffle will be available at 7:30 p.m. Bowling will begin at 9 p.m.

Tickets are $40 each, and include bowling, shoe rental, pizza and soft drinks. Tickets for groups of 10 (two teams, two lanes) are $350 and include bowling, shoe rental, pizza, soft drinks, and a free T-shirt for each of the 10 players.

The event will also feature trivia, 50/50 games, a DJ and dancing, bowling game and raffle prizes, a speak on cyber-bullying, gutter games, a disco ball and music bowling, and a cash bar.

So there you go—a handful of great events in store for the Kaneland community, and that’s just within the first three months of 2014. The Kindess Campaign will certainly add more events throughout the year. And when they do, we’ll let you know. In the meantime, feel free to get out there and experience what the Kindness Campaign has to offer.

Editorial: Looking for a new you in the new year? Find time to pursue your passion

in From the Editor's Desk by

by Penny Carnathan, News and Experts
In January, the job search websites go crazy as people start the new year resolved to find work that’s more satisfying.

“While thousands of people are dealing with the tragedy of unemployment, many others are looking for jobs that are more fulfilling than the ones they have,” said attorney and author Pamela Samuels Young.

In January 2013, job search website Indeed.com had a record 17.3 million unique visitors—a 24-percent jump, and January 2014 will likely see a similar increase. Many of those job seekers won’t be looking for just a job, but one they’re passionate about.

“It’s great if your day job is your passion,” Young said. “But if it’s not, you don’t have to give up a position that pays the bills in order to pursue your dream. You can do both.”

Since 2006, Young has pursued her passion—writing legal thrillers—as well as her day job as managing counsel for Labor and Employment Law for Toyota Motors Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

“I enjoy practicing law and I didn’t want to leave Toyota, nor could I afford to. But I also had a burning desire to write mystery novels,” Young said.

She recently released her sixth novel, “Anybody’s Daughter,” described by Kirkus Reviews as a “fast-paced, well-written thriller that’s grounded in social issues.”

“I’ve always believed that if you have a dream, you should formulate a plan and make it happen. So that’s what I did.”

Young’s plan included rising at 4 a.m. to squeeze in some writing time before heading off to work, and turning weekends and vacation time into creation time.

“Sometimes it’s hard to believe that I’ve published six novels, while still practicing law,” she said. “The hard work and commitment have definitely paid off.”

Young offers these tips for busy professionals itching to pursue their own passions.
• Schedule time to devote to your passion. “On my calendar, you’ll find a few hours or full days blocked out as ‘Writing Time’ every week,” Young said. “You have to schedule time for your passion. If you don’t, the day-to-day demands of life will get in the way.”

• Put “passion” time ahead of “pleasure” time. If you’re working full-time and pursuing another “job,” you won’t have a lot of free time. “You’ll have to cut back on watching television, socializing with friends and even family time,” Young said. “Explain your goals to friends and family. People who have your best interests at heart will support you. “But do take an occasional break to relax. Otherwise, you’ll burn yourself out by working around the clock.”

• Learn from others. Surround yourself with people who share your passion. Sign up for newsletters, read books and join communities of other like-minded people. “There are tons of professional groups whose sole function is to help their members develop their creative talents and business goals,” Young said. She is a diehard member of Sisters in Crime, an organization that promotes the advancement of women mystery writers. “Not only will you get energy and inspiration from networking with others, you’ll grow.”

• Don’t put your day job on the backburner. Young said it’s important to give your day job 100 percent. “I never want my co-workers to think I’m phoning it in because I also have a writing career.” That attitude has paid off. “I have a strong support system at work. My co-workers read my books, critique my manuscripts and come to book signings.” Many of the people Young thanks in the Acknowledgements in each of her books are co-workers. Her fourth novel is even dedicated to another Toyota attorney.

“Don’t just dream about pursuing your passion,” Young said. “Make it happen.”

Editorial: Here’s to a healthy, happy 2014

in From the Editor's Desk by

We used much of last week’s issue of the Elburn Herald to allow local elected officials to reflect on what their respective municipality achieved in the year 2013. This week, we’re featuring the same elected officials as they project what’s in store for their respective municipality in the upcoming year, as well as any and all of their projects, goals, concerns, expectations, etc.

We’re featuring year previews this week as a way to kick off 2014, and we’re incredibly excited by the prospect of spending another year with you, our reader, and the Kaneland community as a whole. It’s hard to believe that 2013 is already over, but if the new year is anything like the previous one, we’re in for an intriguing election season, as well as forward strides for all local municipalities. Unfortunately, if 2014 is anything like the previous year, we’re in for a crummy spring, a miserably hot summer and a non-existent autumn.

On second thought, here’s to hoping that 2014 improves upon the previous year.

Happy New Year from everyone at the Elburn Herald.

The most wonderful time of the year

in From the Editor's Desk by

Christmastime. It’s the season when we celebrate friends and family, gifts and tasty desserts, freezing weather and ugly holiday sweaters.

It’s the season where we take a moment to reflect on the year as it comes to an end, and begin to make plans so that we can better ourselves in the new year.

It’s the season of tree decorations, classic holiday music and the inexplicable need to dress up pets like elves and reindeer.

For us, Christmastime is the perfect time to say thank you to our readers for helping make our holiday season such a joyous one. We enjoyed meeting with residents who visited the Elburn and Countryside Community Center during the Elburn Christmas Stroll, and we had so much fun entertaining the parents and children who participated in this year’s Kandyland. For us, 2013 was a fantastic year, and we look forward to better serving the Kaneland community in 2014.

Merry Christmas from the Elburn Herald.

Editorial: Christmas joy through giving a toy

in From the Editor's Desk by

We often hear about the spirit of Christmas and how it’s better to give than to receive. However, in today’s world of Black Friday punchout sales, an overflowing marketplace of technological gadgets and “hot Christmas gifts of the season,” and those obnoxious commercials featuring overpriced “luxury” automobiles wrapped with a big bow, it’s so easy to forget about the reason why Christmas exists in the first place: to bring joy to the loved ones in our life through both gesture and gift. And not just any gift, but rather gifts that are from the heart and not just the wallet.

Times are still hard in this country, though, and that means people do not have the privilege to wake up to a Christmas tree surrounded by neatly wrapped presents. It’s a sad truth that an overwhelming group of parents in this country do not have the financial means to give their children the Christmas morning they deserve. And when you consider that truth from the child’s perspective, it’s simply heartbreaking.

Imagine a child in this community waking up on Christmas morning with the understanding that their home wasn’t a stop on Santa’s route, even though they were extra good all year long, and even though they asked for so very little. No child should have to feel that way on what is supposed to be the most joyous of mornings. Yet so many do.

Several groups within the Kaneland community hold children’s clothing and toy drives as a way to help make it a special Christmas for every child in the area. We ask that you seriously consider donating at least one toy this holiday season. It’s the most selfless act possible, and even a little can mean so very much to an underprivileged child in this area.

If you’re interested in donating a toy or gift item, call your village hall and ask them if the village has a toy dropbox available.

There are other ways to give back this holiday season. Holiday Spirit, a joint program between the Kaneland Schools and Conley Outreach/West Towns, is in need of groups to adopt local families in need this holiday season. Last year, Holiday Spirit provided assistance to 160 children in 63 families through the donations. The program anticipates that the need will be just as great this year.

Those interested in adopting a family can contact Kaneland John Shields Elementary social worker Nicole Pryor at (630) 466-8500, ext. 108, or nicole.pryor@kaneland.org or West Towns Coordinator Carol Alfrey at (630) 365-2880 or conleyor@conleyoutreach.org. Visit www.conleyoutreach.org to download the donation form. Monetary donations are also needed to purchase last minute gifts and for gas gift cards. Checks payable to Holiday Spirit can be sent c/o Conley Outreach, P.O. Box 931, Elburn IL 60119.

The Sugar Grove Food Pantry is also accepting toys and donated goods through Monday, Dec. 23, at its drop spots located at the Green Acres dry cleaning next to Sugar Grove Jewel, Village Hall, Sugar Grove Animal Hospital, Old Second National Bank and Castle Bank.

Remember, a little bit of time and money on your end can go toward making sure that this Christmas is the best one ever for a local child. And that’s true happiness on what should be the most joyous of holidays.

Editorial: Thank you for supporting local Christmas events

in From the Editor's Desk by

No one does a Christmas celebration quite like the Kaneland community, and last weekend gave us a chance to experience holiday excitement and cheer via Elburn’s Christmas Stroll, Sugar Grove’s Holiday in the Grove, Kaneville’s Christmas in Kaneville and Maple Park’s Make and Take event.

All four events were spectacular (as usual), but what really continues to impress us is the Kaneland community’s high level of support and turnout in regard to local Christmas events. Friday’s Elburn Christmas Stroll was a well-attended event throughout the village, despite frigid temperatures. And Saturday’s Christmas in Kaneville and Holiday in the Grove festivities brought out local residents of all ages for some holiday fun, including breakfast with Santa Claus, and the opportunity to shop for Christmas gifts.

Just another successful year for local Christmas events we’ve come to know and love.

Each of the four Christmas-themed events represent local groups putting in countless hours of planning and development in order to pull off a one-of-a-kind Christmas spectacle that appeals to everyone while embodying the uniqueness of the village it calls home. The work that goes into putting on Elburn Christmas Stroll, Holiday in the Grove, Christmas in Kaneville and Maple Park Make and Take, is staggering, and that’s why it’s so important to get out there and show support by attending these local events. We want to give out a big thank you to everyone who took time out this weekend to attend at least one or two of our local Christmas spectacles. And if you managed to attend all of them, give yourself a pat on the back—you represent your community well.

On our end, it’s truly a joy to cover and photograph each event every year. And we’re already looking forward to next year’s festivities. For us, it isn’t officially Christmas season until the local Christmas spectacles are underway. And with that, we’re now on the fast track to Christmas and the end of the year.

Thank you again for making this year’s local Christmas events so memorable.

Editorial: ‘Cupcake Wars’ winner shares tips for gluten-free holiday desserts

in From the Editor's Desk by

by Ginny Grimsley, News and Experts
If there’s one downside to fabulous, food-filled holiday celebrations, it’s the gurgles and groans of post-feasting indigestion.

“We assume it’s because we overate, but for a lot of people, that pain and sick feeling may not be about how much you ate but what you ate,” said Kyra Bussanich, three-time winner of The Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars,” and author of a just-released recipe book, “Sweet Cravings: 50 Seductive Desserts for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle.”

“About 2 million Americans have celiac disease—an auto-immune reaction to gluten, the protein in wheat,” said Bussanich, whose painful symptoms became life-threatening before she was finally diagnosed with the illness. “Most of those people aren’t diagnosed though, because the symptoms look like so many other intestinal ailments.”

People with celiac disease must completely avoid gluten, which is also in rye and barley, to avoid a case of painful and gut-damaging indigestion. But as Harvard Medical School reported earlier this year, avoiding gluten also appears to help people with less serious digestive issues.

“It really does seem to provide some improvement in gastrointestinal problems for a segment of the population,” said Harvard assistant professor Dr. Daniel Leffler.

For Bussanich, a chef, there was no choice—one speck of gluten would make her ill. But she refused to give up pastries, cakes and other treats, so she perfected gluten-free varieties. Her award-winning desserts left their flour-based competition in crumbs on “Cupcakes Wars” in 2011 and 2012, and she was a runner-up on the show’s “Cupcake Champion.”

Bussanich offers these tips for whipping up gluten-free baked goods this holiday season:
• If you’re following a recipe, don’t substitute the listed flour or starch with another type unless you’re familiar with its properties. There are many different types of gluten-free flours and starches, including millet, sorghum and sweet white rice flour, and potato and tapioca starches. Each has its own idiosyncrasies. For example, millet flour has a slightly nutty flavor and is well-suited for goods with a hearty texture. Sweet white rice flour holds moisture well and is good for recipes that have a slight gumminess to them. Potato starch is light and good for fluffy cakes.

• Use eggs and butter at room temperature. Eggs are often used as a binder, the protein that substitutes for the missing gluten. Eggs and butter are both easier to work with when used at room temperature, and room-temperature egg whites whip up fluffier. If you forget to pull the butter out of the refrigerator beforehand, heat it for 7 to 12 seconds in the microwave. Put cold eggs in warm (not hot) water for 30 to 60 seconds.

• Don’t overwork batter and dough with xanthan gum in it. Corn-based xanthan gum is often used as a stabilizer and thickener in gluten-free baked goods, sauces, dressings and soups. Once this ingredient is added, overworking the dough can give it a slimy, gummy texture, and cause it to lose flavor (a good substitute for xanthan gum is ground psyllium seed husk).

• Heat higher, cream longer for lighter cakes. One complaint people sometimes have about gluten-free baked goods is that they’re too dense. To prevent this, try setting the oven temperature 25 degrees warmer than you would for flour. This will cause the butter in the recipe to release its water as steam, which helps the cake rise quickly. Also, cream eggs and butter together longer—about 10 minutes—than you would for flour cakes.

Try some gluten-free desserts and maybe your holidays will be indigestion-free this year, Bussanich said.

“If your recipe doesn’t turn out wonderfully the first time, don’t give up,” she said. “I promise you, anyone can make delicious gluten-free desserts. It just may take a little practice.”

What we’re thankful for this Thanksgiving

in From the Editor's Desk by

It’s officially that time of year again.

Thanksgiving. It’s a time when we cut the work week short (or nix it entirely), load up on mass doses of turkey, football and shopping (preferably in that order), and then conclude festivities by breaking out the Christmas decorations and erecting a freshly-cut Christmas tree (or a fake one, if you’re into that).

All of this is, of course, in the name of the pilgrims who dined in Plymouth 392 years ago. And with Thanksgiving this Thursday, the Elburn Herald has much to be thankful for this holiday season, including …

• We’re thankful for upcoming local holiday events, including Elburn Christmas Stroll, Holiday in the Grove and Christmas in Kaneville. And we’re excited to roll out our life-sized “Kandyland” at the Elburn and Countryside Community Center during the Stroll on Friday, Dec. 6. Kandyland is a game that takes kids and adults alike through a winding path of yuletide decorations, and we never get tired of seeing the enthusiasm exhibited by its participants. Plus, candy awaits at the end of the game path. Not a bad way to conclude your trip to Kandyland, if you ask us.

• We’re thankful for the generosity of our readers and the local community as a whole. We reported last September about Maple Park native Becky Nelson and her journey back from the severe brain trauma and broken pelvis that she suffered when she was struck by a vehicle in the Cayman Islands on July 1. Becky didn’t have medical insurance at the time of her accident, and with the extent of her Medicaid coverage in question, the Nelson family and local resident Audry Buchanan got together and planned a “Help Becky Bounce Back” fundraiser to help defray some of Becky’s medical costs. Nearly 400 people attended the event, which raised $24,000. If that’s not a sign of community goodwill and “togetherness,” we don’t know what is.

• We’re thankful for the endless run of ‘80s and ‘90s films that will air all day on Thanksgiving (we’re less thankful for the fact that each movie will be four hours long as a result of commercials).

• We’re thankful for our friends and family, and for the opportunity we have to spend time with them this holiday season.

• We’re thankful for you, the reader, and the many subscribers who await our paper each and every week. It’s our belief that we’re based in the greatest community around, and it’s truly a pleasure to feature news from Elburn, Sugar Grove, Maple Park, Kaneville and beyond.

Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at the Elburn Herald and Kaneland Publications, Inc.

Editorial: Local municipalities dive headfirst into holiday season

in From the Editor's Desk by

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, local municipalities are getting ready to put their respective holiday-themed events on display for the entire Kaneland community to enjoy.

Each local holiday event is unique—no question about it. However, all of the events boast familiar themes: the spirit of Christmas, the joy of giving and the celebration of friends and family.

Kicking off the holiday festivities is Maple Park’s “Make and Take” event, which will take place Wednesday, Dec. 4, 6 to 8 p.m. at the Maple Park American Legion, 203 Main St.

The Make and Take is a crafting night meant for children ages 3 and up. However, everyone is welcome to participate. There will be seven different craft stations set up so that participants can walk around and visit at their own pace. Some items participants can make this year include: ornaments, letters to Santa, gift bags and gift boxes. Cookies and lemonade will be served during the event, and festive holiday music will be played. This is a free event, but monetary donation tubs will be available, if anyone would like to support the Fun Fest Committee’s efforts. Any donations received will help to fund all the activities the Fun Fest puts on throughout the year.

Next up will be the Elburn Christmas Stroll on Friday, Dec. 6, from 5 to 8 p.m. around Elburn. Mr. and Mrs. Claus will arrive at the Town and Country Public Library (via transport provided by the Elburn Fire Department) and have their picture taken with children in attendance. Elburn firefighters will host a tree-burning demonstration at the Fire Station. At the Elburn and Countryside Community Center will be a Holiday Crafters Bazaar, wreath silent auction and the Elburn Herald’s life-sized “Kandyland” game.

Remember our veterans as you view the decorated Christmas tree in front of the American Legion Hall, and be sure to visit the many beautiful nativity displays from around the world at St. Gall’s Church. You can also observe Conley’s annual manger dedication on Route 47 and Pierce.

Amazing Grace Antiques and Ream’s Elburn Market will also participate in the Stroll, as will Main Street eateries, including Paisano’s Pizza and Grill, Schmidt’s Towne Tap, Alice’s and Eddie Gaedel’s.

The Christmas fun will continue on Saturday, Dec. 7, with the Christmas in Kaneville event, which will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and include an inaugural tree lighting, Cookie Walk, craft show and bake sale, and a Customer Appreciation promotion at both Hill’s Country Store and Old Second Bank’s Kaneville location.

In addition, the Kaneville Public Library will host kids crafts, story, basket raffles and free drawing. Local musical students will put on a musical performance.

Last but not least is Sugar Grove’s Holiday in the Grove event, which will take place on Saturday, Dec. 7 at the Sugar Grove Community House, John Shields Elementary School and Sugar Grove Public Library.

Breakfast with Santa can be found at the Community House from 8 to 10 a.m. Cost of the meal is $6 per person.

Baking and decorating cookies will also be part of the event. Mrs. Santa Claus will have a Sweet Shoppe set up at the Sugar Grove United Methodist Church. The church will sponsor wagon rides this year as a way to transport people from the church to John Shields Elementary School, 85 S. Main St., Sugar Grove.

At the school, there will be a Kids Holiday Shop, where participants will be able to buy Christmas gifts for their families and friends. Various holiday crafters and vendors will offer a section of their display for kids to buy items priced between $1 and $6. Gift wrapping will also be offered free of charge, separate from the vendors.

The Sugar Grove Public Library, 125 Municipal Drive, Sugar Grove, will also host several activities such as crafts, stories, games and movies. The Kaneland Madrigals will also be on hand to perform at the library during the event. Refreshments will be included.

As you can see, there are many Christmas-themed events to partake in early next month. And because each event is special in its own right, we recommended experiencing all four of them and taking a moment to appreciate the long hours and hard work each municipality has put into its event.

Editorial: Thank you, veterans

in From the Editor's Desk by

It’s an age-old question: what would you do for your country? How far would you be willing to go to ensure the United States’ safety and prosperity? How much is your freedom worth to you?

Honestly, those are questions many of us won’t ever have to seriously consider—as non-military, it’s unlikely we’ll be asked to be put in a position where we may have to make the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

We’re afforded the luxury of not having to put our lives on the lines for our country, and that’s because of the brave men and women who have actively sought out the opportunity to serve in the United States’ armed forces. For these men and women, the question of “what would you do to protect your country?” needs only a simple response.

“Whatever it takes.”

Veterans Day was Monday, and we had the privilege of being in attendance for the flag-raising cremony at Kaneland John Stewart Elementary. We also had the privilege of sharing in the moment with several men and women who have committed to do what is necessary to protect the United States of America, and we couldn’t have been prouder to share the same space with such heroes. What an honor.

To the veterans in the Kaneland Community and beyond, we thank you for everything you’ve done for this country. Your courage is immeasurable; your strength and committment infallible. And it’s safe to suggest that this country, as well as the rest of the world, would be a very different place without your respective contribution.

Happy Veterans Day from the Elburn Herald.

Editorial: ‘Tis the season to give back to the Elburn Food Pantry

in Elburn/From the Editor's Desk by

For many, the holiday season begins the moment Halloween ends (the fact that local stores are already carrying holiday lights and decorations confirms this). And now that Oct. 31 is in the rear-view mirror, the Elburn Fire Department is kicking off the holiday season offering the Kaneland community a chance to give back in a subtle-yet-awesome way.

The Fire Department this holiday season will collect food and additional household items for donation to the Elburn Food Pantry. Any local residents who are able to help the Fire Department stock the Food Pantry are encouraged to make some sort of item donation at either the pantry’s location in the Elburn and Countryside Community Center, 525 N. Main St., Elburn Fire Station No. 1, 210 E. North St., or Fire Station No. 2, 39W950 Hughes Road, Elburn.

What items are needed for donation? Great question. The Food Pantry is in need of items including macaroni and cheese, stuffing mix, canned vegetables, canned pasta meals, bar soap, boxed potatoes, toilet paper, etc. And if you’re unable to swing by the designated donation locations, give the Fire Department a call, and they’ll have a representative swing by your home and pick up the donated items. Simple, right?

Members of the Fire Department will also set up shop in front of the Elburn Jewel on Sunday, Nov. 24, from 9 a.m. to noon, to collect donations. And during the Elburn Christmas Stroll on Friday, Dec. 6, the Fire Department will host its annual Open House event at Fire Station No. 1. Attendees are encouraged to bring a canned good for donation.

So there you have it. It may be early November, but we’re already approaching the season of giving back. And with so many opportunities to donate an item or two to the Food Pantry during the holidays, we’re confident that the Fire Department’s donation effort this year will be a successful one. You, of course, can help make that a reality by contributing to the Food Pantry’s cause.

Editorial: Is this a great community or what?

in From the Editor's Desk by

In September and October, we used this editorial space to remind residents about the then-upcoming Becky Nelson fundraiser event in Kaneville, urging them to participate and get in on the fundraising effort regarding Becky’s mammoth hospital bills.

Nearly two weeks removed from the “Help Becky Bounce Back” event, we can look back and safely say that the event was an absolute success, with over $24,000 raised.

Becky isn’t the only winner here, though. Rather, that distinction can be applied to the countless local residents who took time out of their usual Sunday routine and headed over to Kaneville to help make a difference in the life of a young woman who spent last summer clinging to dear life, and is now taking it one day at a time as she rehabilitates from the brain trauma and broken pelvis she suffered as a result of being struck by a car in the Cayman Islands on July 1.

Seriously, we couldn’t be more proud to call the Kaneland area home, and the public showing, output and support demonstrated during Becky’s fundraiser only served to further confirm something we already knew: when it comes to sticking together, doing what is right and making a difference, the Kaneland community is second to none. It’s not even close.

We’ll continue to keep tabs on Becky’s recovery and update our readers on her rehab status. In the meantime, an additional fundraiser will take place Sunday, Nov. 10, at Eddie Gaedel Pub and Grill at 117 N. Main St. in Elburn. The restaurant—a new eatery from Dick and Annette Theobald, the owners of Paisano’s—will donate 10 percent of the day’s sales to the fundraising effort and will host a 50/50 raffle.

Those who are interested in following the continuing fundraising effort and receiving updates on Becky’s progress should “Like” the Help Becky Bounce Back page on Facebook.

Guest Editorial: Lead Poisoning Prevention Week seeks healthy future for children

in From the Editor's Desk by

by Tom Schlueter
Communications coordinator, Kane County Health Department

During National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, currently underway, the Kane County Healthy Places Coalition and the Kane County Health Department is raising awareness of the dangers of lead poisoning.

According to the 2010 Illinois Lead Program and Healthy Homes Annual Surveillance Report, Kane County has the fourth highest county rate of childhood lead poisoning in the state. Nearly 1,500 children in Kane are known to have elevated blood lead levels. The Kane County 2012-2016 Community Health Improvement Plan lists childhood lead poisoning as one of the six major threats to the residents of Kane County’s health and well-being.

Major sources of lead exposure include lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust in deteriorating buildings. Children can also be exposed to lead from additional sources including contaminated drinking water, take-home exposures from a workplace, and lead in soil. To emphasize the importance of prevention, the Kane County Board voted at its meeting Oct. 15 to proclaim this week as Lead Poisoning Prevention Week in Kane County.

Despite the continued presence of lead in the environment, lead poisoning is entirely preventable

This year’s NLPPW theme, “Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future,” underscores the importance of testing your home, testing your child, and learning how to prevent lead poisoning’s serious health effects.

Parents can reduce a child’s exposure to lead in many ways. Here are some simple things you can do to help protect your family:
• Get your home tested. Before you buy an older home, ask for a lead inspection.
• Get your child tested. Even if your young children seem healthy, ask your doctor to test them for lead.
• Get the facts. The Kane County Health Department can provide you with helpful information about preventing childhood lead poisoning. Learn more by visiting our website, www.kanehealth.com/lead.htm.

The Kane County Healthy Places Coalition, a voluntary group of community advocates, has developed lead prevention materials for local paint stores to distribute, advising customers about safe ways to remove paint in homes built before 1978, when lead was no longer allowed as a component of paint. In addition, residents of Kane County will be offered lead prevention bookmarks by many local agencies and organizations such as libraries, doctor offices and social service agencies. To print out your own bookmarks, visit www.kanehealth.com and look up “lead” on A-Z services. Information about the Healthy Places Coalition can be found under “H” in the A-Z services.

Editorial: Make time this Sunday for a great cause

in From the Editor's Desk by

We at the Elburn Herald try out best to avoid repeating ourselves when it comes to the editorial section. But in a month best known for ghosts and goblins, jack-o’-lanterns and scary treats, it’s kindness and compassion that have been the most prominent themes found on our pages this October, partly due to Kindness in Kaneland Week (Oct. 13-19). So we can’t think of a better time than now to bring attention back to the story of Becky Nelson, the Maple Park native who suffered severe brain trauma and a shattered pelvis after she was struck in a hit-and-run incident in the Cayman Islands on July 1.

Becky’s journey since that fateful day has been a long and tedious one. She was in a coma for several weeks, and had to be flown from the Cayman Islands to a hospital in Miami in order to receive proper treatment. She was eventually flown to Chicago to continue treatment, and she’s currently undergoing physical therapy as she attempts to get her life back on track. Problem is, she didn’t have health insurance at the time of the hit-and-run incident, and her Medicaid application is still in the “processing” stage. Considering the amount of transport and treatment Becky has needed during the past three and a half months, her medical bills are going to be astronomically high.

Enter Becky’s family, and Elburn resident Audry Buchanan, who have come together and planned a fundraiser for Becky as a way to offset and potentially cover her medical costs. The fundraiser will take place this Sunday, Oct. 20, 1 to 5 p.m. at the Kaneville Community Center.
Sundays in the fall is typically reserved for football viewing, apple picking and leaf raking. However, if you have the chance to spare an hour or two this Sunday, consider heading over to the Kaneville Community Center and joining in on the fundraising fun.

Families can purchase $15 wristbands at the door to give their children unlimited access to activities. Families with three or more children can purchase wristbands for $10 each. Tickets for individual activities will be available, as well. Activities that will be offered during the fundraiser include live music for the adults, a bean bag tournament, 50/50 raffle, bucket raffle and silent auction. Teams can register for the bags tournament for $20 a team.

Food from Paisano’s and Hill’s Country Store will also be for sale, and some of the proceeds will go toward the fundraising effort.

This Sunday, set your DVR for the Bears-Redskins game and then make the trip to Kaneville to participate in the Help Becky Bounce Back fundraiser. That way, you can take comfort in knowing that while the Bears spent their afternoon sacking the living daylights out of Robert Griffin III (let’s be honest: the Redskins are terrible this year), you spent your afternoon helping Becky sack her medical expenses. That’s a pretty great way to go about your Sunday, if you ask us.

Guest Editorial: A letter to District 302 teachers

in From the Editor's Desk by

by Leigh Ann Reusche
Co-founder, Kindness Campaign 2013

To all District 302 teachers:
The Kindness Campaign wishes to acknowledge and thank each and every one of you for your unwavering commitment to our children. We want to acknowledge the importance the amazing teachers at Kaneland play in the lives of our children.

Outside of our families, teachers are perhaps the single most important influence our children will experience growing up. We want to thank you for inspiring our children to be the best they can be while making learning fun. Thank you for not giving up on our children, even when they give up on themselves. Thanks for never losing your enthusiasm for learning and instilling the value of life-long learning in our children. Thank you for your humor and your patience. Thank you for giving our young people your best, even on those days when your own kids were up sick, you graded papers all night so as not to disappoint a class; when you came to school putting on a happy face while grieving the loss of a loved one; after your graduate school professor passed along another brilliant assignment to complete; or when any number of personal issues have come up. Thank you.

Thank you for the pencils, erasers, notebooks and binders you willingly purchase and hand out. Thank you for the endless hours you spend outside of school working, prepping, and studying—all in the name of bettering the learning experience for our kids. Thank you for not being afraid to call home, visit a home, bring over a meal or offer a ride … or a hug.

Many demands have been placed on teachers in recent years due to changes in our educational system in the United States, Illinois and Kaneland. We want to acknowledge that we know it is impossible to do all that you do within the school day, and that we know your dedication to our students remains your top priority, even when it means sacrificing your personal time. While we are hopeful these changes will result in a better educational experience for our children, it is hard to see “better” with all the “best” Kaneland already has.

We know that you all are an example of the saying, “To teach is to touch a life forever,” and we thank you for that commitment.

Helping Becky bounce back

in From the Editor's Desk by
558060_4953907401789_1875787003_n

We reported last month the story of Maple Park native Becky Nelson, who suffered extensive brain trauma and a shattered pelvis when she was struck by a vehicle in the Cayman Islands on July 1. Nelson didn’t have health insurance, and was flown from the Cayman Islands to a Miami hospital before she was finally transferred to a hospital in Chicago. She is currently undergoing therapy at Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. However, her application for Medicaid is still being processed.

To say that Becky’s treatment is going to cost a lot of money is a severe understatement, and the amount of her bills that will be covered by her pending insurance is still unknown. Right now, she’s just working with a physical therapist to sit up and balance again and while beginning to regain her ability to speak.

As is typical of the Kaneland community, local residents have stepped up and put together a fundraiser for Becky in an attempt to cover her medical expenses.

Elburn Herald reporter Cheryl Borrowdale’s feature story on Becky’s fundraiser details the efforts of the Nelson family and Elburn resident Audry Buchanan as they work to put together the Help Becky Bounce Back fundraiser, which will take place Sunday, Oct. 20, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Kaneville Community Center.

Becky is a preschool teacher, and the event will feature numerous children’s activities, including a bounce house, Halloween-themed arts and crafts, wagon rides, games and face painting. Families can purchase $15 wristbands at the door to give their children unlimited access to activities, and families with three or more children can purchase wristbands for $10 each. Tickets for individual activities will also be available.

There will also be live music for the adults, as well as a bean bag tournament, a 50/50 raffle, a bucket raffle and a silent auction. Teams can register for the bags tournament for $20 a team.

Raffle prizes include two tickets to see the Chicago Bears play the Detroit Lions on Nov. 10 at Soldier Field, a queen-sized Sealy mattress and a Stihl leaf blower. Tickets are $5 each or five tickets for $20; they are available now at Old Second Bank locations in Elburn, Kaneville and Maple Park, as well as at the event.

Silent auction items include a Kaneland Knights jersey autographed by Don Beebe, Blackhawks and Bears jerseys, a wine tasting for a party of eight, a photo session, a quilt, a private group yoga session, gift certificates and a variety of gift baskets. Donations of prizes are still being accepted, and the list is growing.

Food from Paisano’s and Hill’s Country Store will also be for sale, and some of the proceeds will go toward the fundraising effort.

We’re not surprised to see the local community doing everything it can to help one of its own, and these efforts remind us that we’re so fortunate to have the opportunity to serve the Kaneland area. If you have some time to set aside on Oct. 20, consider attending Becky’s fundraiser. It promises to be a great time for an even greater cause.

Editorial: Elburn Herald to work with Kindness Campaign 2013

in From the Editor's Desk by

If you’re one of the Elburn Herald’s regular readers, you know that most weeks we feature a Community Corner column authored by a local group, the likes of which include Kaneland Arts Initiative, Performing Arts Boosters, Sports Boosters and Blackberry Creek PTO.

The purpose of the Community Corner column is to provide local groups and causes with a space on Page 2A of the Elburn Herald so that they can get their respective messages out to local residents and the Kaneland community as a whole. So when we were first approached by the Kaneland area’s Knights Against Bullying (KAB), a group focused on solving the issue of bullying in the Kaneland School District and beyond, about the possibility of featuring Kindness Compaign 2013 content in the Elburn Herald, we couldn’t say yes fast enough.

We were there when Kaneland parents, students, faculty, staff and administration gathered at Harter Middle School in September 2012 to participate in a forum to discuss the issue of bullying in the School District. We heard testimonies from concerned parents, including Leigh Ann Reusche and Darlyne Dwyer—both of whom are KAB representatives. We helped report the news last fall that the Kaneland School District would work closely with KAB, a collaboration that resulted in the creation of a task force and district-wide bullying prevention plan. And we were able to check in on the group at its meeting in late July at the Elburn Town and Country Public Library.

And now the Elburn Herald during the next six weeks will feature plenty of material regarding Kindness Campaign 2013, the core of which will take place throughout October.

We look forward to featuring the campaign’s press releases and further information in our issues through the next six weeks and beyond as a way to further get the group’s message out. And as our Community Corner column continues to grow in popularity, we hope to feature commentary on the behalf of additional local groups in an attempt to get their respective messages out to the community, as well.

Editorial: America’s darkest day, 12 years later

in From the Editor's Desk by
Screen shot 2013-09-13 at 8.35.28 AM

Yesterday marked the 12th anniversary of the darkest day in American history. And as hard as it is to believe that it’s actually been more than a decade since we, as a nation, witnessed the atrocities of Sept. 11, 2001, it’s even harder to believe that a group of people was actually capable of carrying out the crimes that took place that day.

That last detail is something that goes through Sugar Grove Township Board member Mike Fagel’s head each and every day.

Fagel was a responder for the Department of Justice at the time of the 9-11 terrorist attacks, and he witnessed firsthand the horror and carnage of Ground Zero when he arrived in New York City on Sept. 13, 2001. Fagel looks at 9-11 as a time to remember what happened back then, and that we must remain ever vigilant in the face of these uncertain times, and he believes it’s a must to recall that we are still at war with the unknown terrorist … be they domestic or international.

Fagel had been a member of the North Aurora Illinois Fire Protection District since 1975, working in Emergency Medical Services, Emergency Planning and disaster preparedness. He also served as a reservist with FEMA beginning in 1995, with his first deployment occurring during another terrorist-conceived American tragedy: the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

At 11 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001, Fagel’s pager went off to contact, and he was put on standby with travel orders to be forthcoming. He arrived at Ground Zero two days later. As Fagel recalls, “We were in the midst of extreme and utter destruction, the likes of which I have never witnessed before.”

Just about everyone remembers what they were doing that morning upon learning that American Airlines Flight 11 had crashed into the World Trade Center’s North Tower. Seventeen minutes later, American Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower. The attacks resulted in the deaths of all 137 civilians on the two aircrafts, as well as 2,500 civilians who were in the World Trade Center buildings or near Ground Zero during the plane crashes and subsequent collapse of both towers.

Fagel can picture it: debris piled as high as you could see—the result of collapsed buildings 110 stories tall reduced to piles of twisted steel, cement, billowing smoke. In Fagel’s words, the piles were tombs, final resting places of nearly 3,000 souls that perished in this heinous attack on America, and the free world.

A similar assault on the Pentagon, resulting in the deaths of 179 innocents, as well as the hijacking of United Airlines Flight 93, resulting in the deaths of 40 innocents, occurred soon after the initial World Trade Center attacks. In the following days, as America mourned and began to clean up the rubble in an attempt to make sense of all of the terrible things that happened on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, one thing was very clear: no one in this country would ever be the same.

“Every day, the emergency service personnel, the military and government workers sworn to protect the citizenry daily, are still fighting the battle on many fronts. We must be right 100 percent of the time, while the bad guys must only be right once,” Fagel said on Monday. “Look at the Boston Marathon bombing, self-radicalization and the things that are happening daily.”

While we continue to keep alive the memory of all those who perished during the 9-11 terrorist attacks, Fagel and those involved in Homeland Security in this country continue to do everything they can to ensure that the events of Sept. 11, 2001, aren’t repeated.

“We must remain vigilant, but not be vigilantes,” he said. “Support your local emergency response planners and staff, help them help you to be prepared and be safer.”

Words to live by as we look back on America’s darkest day, 12 years later.
As Fagel raised the 9-11 flag on his house yesterday morning, he took pause to think of what happened that fateful day 12 years ago.

“A blue sky, a normal day, that would forever change the destiny of many—change the world as we know it,” he said.

Fagel met many people at Ground Zero—many of whom are now deceased or dying of some illness they received from spending many months on the site.

“I was on site for 100 days, and I, too, have some long-term illness that came from my service,” Fagel said. “I would—and will—do it all over again. For the people we serve—for those that come after we are gone—I say, ‘Let’s do our best, and remember those who came before us.”

Words to live by as we look back on America’s darkest day, 12 years later.

Editorial: Toilet Bowl Races a staple at Maple Park Fun Fest

in From the Editor's Desk/Maple Park by
Toilet_Courtesy

A big part of building up your brand is carving out a niche—something that is unique and immediately recognizable; something that defines your product.

A great example of “branding” can be found in the Kaneland community’s four local summer festivals, as they each possess a niche that compels members of the community and outside public to return to the festivities year after year. We associate Sugar Grove Corn Boil with fireworks, main stage entertainment and, well, corn. When we think of Elburn Days, truck pulls, mud volleyball and a maze of food vendors come to mind. Kaneville Fest triggers thoughts of cookouts, horse-drawn carriage rides and ice cream eating contests.

As for Maple Park Fun Fest, it features a little bit of everything: fireworks, craft and food vendors, a spectacular parade and a three-day-long men’s softball tournament. Those are great activities, but the heart and soul of Fun Fest may lie in a simple event that is a creativy tour-de-force and manages to draw a heavy crowd despite lasting only a half hour.

We’re talking about Fun Fest’s annual Toilet Bowl Races.

Yes, the Toilet Bowl Races concept is fairly straightforward: dress up a toilet with as much or as little decorations as you like, affix it to something with wheels, and then pilot it down Main Street in Maple Park with two teammates. Yet, therein lies the true magic of the event: it’s not just about how fast you can race a toilet bowl; it’s about how good (or ridiculous) you look while doing it (the smart teams emphasize the latter).

On Saturday afternoon, four teams took to Main Street, custom toilet bowl racers in tow, with hundreds of residents lined up on the sidewalks, ready to witness the action. One team, the Barbed Wire Betties, was decked out in all pink, while another team was dressed up as the cast of “Duck Dynasty.” A third team, Winning the Pooh, had its toilet bowl done up with Winnie the Pooh and friends, while the rear of the racer was covered up to look like Ashdown Forest.

The fourth team kept it simple: a toilet bowl, crudely emblazoned with “Rigged Up,” mounted to a skateboard.

Well, simplicity was indeed genius on that Saturday afternoon, as the “Rigged Up” racer proved too much for the other three toilet bowl contraptions, edging out Winning the Pooh in the final race to take home the title of Toilet Bowl Races 2013 champion.

The “Duck Dynasty” crew took home the award for most original racer, and rightfully so.

Toilet bowls as a niche? You bet. You’d be hard pressed to find an event that mixes such high levels of competition and creativity, and at different age levels. And it’s a niche that helps put the “fun” in Fun Fest.

courtesy photo

1 2 3 4 5 6 16
Go to Top