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Editorial/Opinion - page 17

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.

Community Corner: A thank you from Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters

in Community Corner by

by Denise Blaszynski
President, Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters

The autumn season, specifically Thanksgiving, is the perfect time of year for reflection—a time when we are thankful for what we have and what we have been given.

The Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters is thankful for the great work that has been achieved this fall. What many people may not realize is that most of this achievement would not be possible without the support and dedication of hardworking parent and student volunteers.

The Boosters would like to express their overwhelming appreciation to the following individuals for sharing their time and talents with our organization. From the heat and humidity of a late summer evening to a cold, damp night in October, the following community members braved the ever-changing elements at our football candy table. Thank you to Lois Kral, Teresa Witt, Valeria Mass, Judy Lopez, Shevon Ramirez, Sheila Albano, Laura Keske, Michelle Klecka, Colleen Weiberg, Sue Speckman, Laura McPhee, Kathy Zoppa, Dee Withey, Lisa Eaves, Jacque Bridge, Jennifer Matias, Trisha Mills, John Purnell, Joe Blaszynski, Sara Mitchinson, Jillian Mitchinson and Ally Mitchinson. We could not have done all of this without the behind-the-scenes work from Robin Urich for purchasing the candy, and Matt Gale, JoAnn Krueger and Trisha Mills for the setup for the evening.

There were even more opportunities for parental help throughout this fall season. It was 9 p.m. on a cold, wintry Friday evening in Almost, Maine, and magic can be seen in the twinkling lights of the Aurora Borealis. That magic of Kaneland High School’s fall play, “Almost, Maine,” was due in part to the many parents who helped with donating food and beverages for the cast and crew, coordinating meals for Tech Week, or donating time at each of the performances at either the will call or star table, as an usher, handing out programs or working in the box office. Thank you to Rose Miller, Anne DiSandro, Maggie Heinzer, Kristi Grams, Jay Grams, Tim Hayman, Darla Hayman, Kelly Gallagher, Tiffany Swain-Bolden, DeJon Bolden, Ryan Koeppen, Trisha Mills, Mike Miller, Charia Bolden, Gloria Swain, Jane Lynn, Lisa Eaves, Dani Hayman, Carol Tindall, Matt Gale, Kara Morris and Spencer Serwin. Thank you to Cathy Shaver for coordinating the box office and the volunteers for the play—an incredibly huge undertaking.

This Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., Kaneland Harter Middle School will present “Crumpled Classics,” a series of plays within a play. It’s a comedy treat sprinkled with outrageous takes on some very familiar characters, such as Romeo and Juliet, the Phantom of the Opera, Holmes and Watson, and more. Donated baked goods and candy will be sold at the concession table run by parent volunteers.

Parental involvement is one of the key pillars in any nonprofit organization. Whether you donate your time or your talents, the key to our success rests in our volunteers. For more information about the Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters, please send an email to info@knightmusic.org.

Editor’s note
The above community-submitted column is one part of our broader mission to help our readers connect with their communities. If you or your organization would like to be part of our Community Corner initiative, please contact Editor Keith Beebe at kbeebe@elburnherald.com. Please note that no for-profit or elected officials are eligible to be part of the Community Corner.

Letter: Knights Wrestling kicks off its season

in Letters to the Editor by

The Knights Wrestling community is on the move at all levels. Kaneland High School kicked it off by inviting the middle school and club wrestlers to join in their Johnsons Mound training session. They braved the weather last Saturday to spend three hours of hardcore exercising, strength training and team building. Each wrestler performed in excellent fashion.

The first meet for KHS will happen as the Knights travel to East Moline for a quad meet on Tuesday, Nov. 26.

Harter Middle School wrestlers are stepping up on the middle school circuit, sporting a very nice 8-0 record already with wins over Oswego’s Traughber, Bednarcik and Plank schools, as well as Aurora’s Jewel and Washington schools. HMS wrestlers also participated in a quad meet in St. Charles, claiming an undefeated streak. They will take a break and then return in December with an away meet at Batavia’s Rotolo Middle School.

Knights Wrestling Club began their practices last week with plenty of new faces. We have begun reviewing basic moves and simple combinations, getting our new wrestlers up to speed with the returning ones. Due to the new sponsorship program we began this season, KWC was able to earn enough money to purchase new singlets this season. We are hoping to debut them at the Monty Jahns Knights Open, slated for Sunday, Dec. 15, at Kaneland High School. We will welcome 13 other clubs to compete while we run a full concession and various vendors throughout the day. This will also be the opening tournament for the Knights Wrestling Club.

Michelle Parks
President, Knights Wrestling Club

Letter: Putting in two cents on Kaneland’s proposed tax levy

in Letters to the Editor by

I just wanted to put in my two cents about the tax levy proposed by the Kaneland School District. Many of us out here in the private sector have not had a raise in years, and in some cases have taken cuts in pay and benefits. Some are working multiple jobs, and in many cases, multiple part-time jobs. You, as a taxing body, cannot continue to place this burden on the backs of people who are struggling.

I hear many teachers and administrators complain about pay, lack of teaching staff and materials. We here in Kane County have some of the highest taxes in the country. Well, how about the teachers taking a pay cut, or getting rid of too many administrators.

The schools complain that they may lose teachers or have bigger class sizes. Tough. There is no need to pay a superintendent a couple of hundred thousand dollars a year. If they do not like it, get rid of them. There are many qualified people and teachers who would be more than willing to have a job for less money.

The idea of buying out someone’s contract for big money is nuts. The idea of public workers retiring at 55 is also nuts. Everyone else in the private sector is lucky to retire at ages 65-70. Go into any Walmart or Home Depot and you will see seniors working to support themselves. They are having a hard time meeting their tax bills, and in many cases, must move. Most retired private sector people who are lucky to have 401(k) plans, etc., do not get yearly raises with their retirement, while school retirees do.

I live in Elburn, and the permit costs to build a $330,000 home here is approximately $14,300. I know this because I just did it. You can build a $500,000 home in Naperville for one-third of this cost in permits. At every turn in the road, you are taxing us out of this county.

Please do not tell me about taxes going down as property values drop. Have your taxes dropped? If so, how much? The most mine have gone down in the past five years is about $20.

While I do value a good school system, you, as our representatives, must have a firm resolve to change the way this system operates. We cannot continue to carry the tax burden for a broken system.

Dan Herring
Elburn

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.

Letter: Thank you for a great fall soccer season

in Letters to the Editor by

The Kaneland Youth Soccer Organization (KYSO) thanks the soccer community for its help in making a great fall 2013 season.

KYSO is a volunteer organization bringing recreational youth soccer to boys and girls ages 4 to 17, with nearly 300 players participating on 32 teams. Our coaches, volunteers, parents, sponsors, referees and trainers make this happen and are the key to the kids’ success and enjoyment of the game of soccer.

A special thanks to sponsors and community organizations for their support, including Kaneland School District, Sugar Grove Park District, RichWrap, Wireless Zone, The Elburn Herald, Hill’s Country Store, Hair Cuttery, Eddie Gaedel Grill and Pub, TeqWorks, ShoDeen Homes, American Tree & Turf, Paisano’s, Genesis Orthopedics, Rush Copley, Convenient Care, Spring Bluff Nursery, White & Ekker, Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, Elburn Auto Repair, Mill Creek Dental and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

This fall, KYSO also piloted a player and coach development program utilizing college level players and expanded coach curriculum. These efforts are designed to expose our players to additional skills, and support our volunteer coaches. The league took valuable lessons from this program and looks forward to expanding the program for the spring season.

KYSO is looking forward to starting the spring season in April 2014, and will begin registering players in January at www.kanelandyouthsoccer.com.

Sean Carmody
President, Kaneland Youth Soccer

Letter: Taxed to the max

in Letters to the Editor by

Are you kidding me? Another Kaneland tax increase. What is it for this time? As if I didn’t know …

Kaneland School District cannot keep up with the cities. We don’t have the commercial or industrial tax base. Therefore, it goes on the backs of the homeowners. I think it is time to ask for resignations of all board members who voted “yes” to the measure. After all, when was the last time they voted “no” to anything?

Since I drive a bus for District 302, and my pay has been cut three years in a row, I don’t have anymore money. It is time Kaneland lived within its means instead of having an open checkbook mentality. It is so easy to just tax residents more than do your job and balance a budget with what you have.

I would like to invite our two highest administrators to stay at my house for one month. I will show you how to budget with next to nothing. However, you will have to bring your own food and toilet paper, as I cannot afford those items anymore.

The next board meeting is Nov. 11. See you there.

Barry Pazin
Elburn

An invitation to support arts programs with your time and talents

in Community Corner by

by Maria Dripps-Paulson
KAI Initiative executive director

October was a full month for the Kaneland Arts Initiative (formerly the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival). The 2013-14 season started with two exciting performances that were very different from each other.

On Oct. 11, the Kaneland Arts Initiative (KAI) hosted Las Vegas magic act Garry and Mihaela Carson, who performed the “Magical Mystery Show” to the delight of the approximately 200 audience members attending the event. On Oct. 26, KAI was pleased to bring the Fox Valley Concert Band to the Kaneland Auditorium for the Fox Valley Concert Band’s Halloween Concert, which played to an audience of approximately 120.

Here are comments that volunteer members of KAI heard from those who attended the events:
• “(The magician) was really good. I mean, really, really good.”
• “I have been to all of your events, and they never disappoint.”
• “Thank you for bringing these types of performances to Kaneland.”
• “It’s great to hear wonderful live music like this in an amazing space.”
• “I cannot wait to see (these groups) again next year.”
• “I wish more people would come to these events. They really are amazing.”

In fact, KAI rarely hears a negative comment from audience members who attend KAI events, and 100 percent of the performers who take to the stage are willing and excited to come back to perform in Kaneland again.

We know that we are offering great arts programs to our community by the response the patrons give us who have attended an event, and by the eager requests to return that we receive from our performing artists. However, it is often difficult to assess when attendance at events is low. The Kaneland Arts Initiative provides a unique and affordable opportunity to experience the arts, and we invite every community member to partake in these events.

While two events on the KAI calendar have passed, there are many more still to come. By checking out the KAI website, www.kanelandartsinitiative.org, you will not miss another event.

Another way to support arts programs is to volunteer. Our volunteer coordinator, Laura McPhee, is fabulous at finding the perfect way for you to serve within our organization. We welcome volunteers of almost every age, and can use help with ushering and planning, as well as building and designing. Contact Laura at laura.mcphee@kaneland.org or by calling (630) 365-5100, ext. 180.

We invite you to support the arts at the following upcoming Kaneland High School and Kaneland Arts Initiative Events:

• “Almost, Maine,” the Kaneland High School fall play, directed by Christina Staker, will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 15-17, at KHS Auditorium. Tickets are on sale now at www.kaneland.org
• Auditions for The Laramie Project, the KAI Winter Theatre Production, directed by Diane McFarlin, will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 6 p.m. in the KHS Black Box Theatre. More audition information will be available soon at www.kanelandartsinitiative.org.

The arts are a vital part of life, and Kaneland has so many wonderful programs offered throughout the year. We hope that you will accept our invitation to support them.

Editor’s note
The above community-submitted column is one part of our broader mission to help our readers connect with their communities. If you or your organization would like to be part of our Community Corner initiative, please contact Editor Keith Beebe at kbeebe@elburnherald.com. Please note that no for-profit or elected officials are eligible to be part of the Community Corner.

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.

Support KBC’s Family Bingo Night and Silent Auction fundraiser

in Community Corner by

by Laura Gampfer, KBC PTO secretary
The Kaneland Blackberry Creek (KBC) PTO feels very fortunate to have support from our local community for our fundraisers. Fundraising allows us to purchase great items for our students and school, such as playground equipment, library books, Nooks, assemblies, field trips, bike racks and much, much more.

We will hold our inaugural Family Bingo Night and Silent Auction on Feb. 1, 2014. This event, for KBC families, will include free admission and Bingo, “celebrity” callers, a 50/50 raffle, silent auction items, classroom basket auctions, and teacher-donated items and events. It is a guaranteed fun night out for our KBC students, parents, and siblings.

If you or someone you know is interested in supporting this great family event, we are looking for donations of goods or services to use in our silent auction. Sporting goods, event tickets, memorabilia, electronics, services, products or gift certificates are all examples of great silent auction items. Monetary donations to sponsor this event are always welcome, too.

For donation forms and more information, visit the KBC PTO website at kbcpto.org, or e-mail us at kbc_pto@yahoo.com. All donations are tax exempt and are due by Jan. 3, 2014.

Editor’s note
The above community-submitted column is one part of our broader mission to help our readers connect with their communities. If you or your organization would like to be part of our Community Corner initiative, please contact Editor Keith Beebe at kbeebe@elburnherald.com. Please note that no for-profit or elected officials are eligible to be part of the Community Corner.

Letter: A thank you from the SG Chamber of Commerce and Industry

in Letters to the Editor by

The Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce & Industry would like to thank the volunteers of the 2013 Scholarship Fair committee—Carol Alfrey, Christy Seawall, Robbin Kaifesh and Sally McClellan—for a very successful and well attended event on Sept.19. More than 100 attendees were able to meet with representatives from over 25 organizations and schools, learn about available scholarships and attend workshops to help successfully apply for financial aid.

Thank you to Robbin Kaifesh, Dr. Lynn Burks, and Crystal Brennan, all of DeVry University, for speaking on the topics of “Doing an Internet Scholarship Search,” “Completing a Scholarship Application and Essay,” and How to Complete a FAFSA.”

The chamber sincerely appreciates our generous and supportive sponsors: Sugar Grove Fire Department Association, Waubonsee Community College, White & Ekker, P.C., Fifth Third Bank, Castle Bank, College Connections, Engineering Enterprises, Inc., Financial Security Group, Inc., Jewel and Learning Ascent.

Shari Baum
Executive Director, Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce and Industry

As weather cools down, Kaneland Music and Theatre departments stay hot

in Community Corner by

by Denise Blaszynski
President, Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters

While the local fall sports season is coming to an end, Kaneland’s Music and Theatre departments are still going strong. Countless rehearsals, auditions and competitions have filled the calendars of parents who often ask, “How can we do all of this?” Yet, those are the same parents who are beaming from ear to ear when they see their students perform and sad when it’s over.

There is nothing quite like the sound of the Kaneland Marching Knights to put a smile on your face on a crisp fall evening. This season, our band students have spent hours on Monday and Thursday evenings perfecting this year’s field show for competition and exhibition. The Marching Knights have performed at home football games, at the Rochelle Hub Exhibition, the Illini Marching Band Championships, and the Sandwich Musicfest. The KHS Marching Knights took home three awards in Sandwich: first place for music; first place for drum majors; and second place for Class 3A. Learning basic marching skills begins at the middle school level. Harter seventh- and eighth-grade band members took to the field in September at a middle school football game to perform, and joined their high school counterparts on the field at a high school game.

While the band students have been perfecting the skills of marching, KHS choir students have been equally as busy. For several weeks, students auditioning for IMEA attended twice-weekly rehearsals in preparation for the audition.

A bus filled with KHS students traveled to Addison Trail High School in early October for the District IX Illinois Music Educators Association auditions. District IX includes nearly 60 schools and is one of the most competitive in the state. As a result, 10 Kaneland high school students were selected to perform at the District IX music festival in November for choir, band or jazz band, and one student was selected to perform at both band and choir.

Our middle school students should not go unnoticed. Auditions were held on a Saturday morning in early October for the ILMEA junior division; and five Harter Middle School students were selected to represent Kaneland.

This year’s 36th annual Madrigal dinner, abundant with culture and gallantry, is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 13; Saturday, Dec., 14; and Sunday, Dec.15. An event this grand takes months of preparation and planning with students attending a two-day retreat in Oregon, Ill., in early November. Tickets for the dinner will be available for purchase in November.

Forty students were selected to join Harter Middle School’s choral ensemble, Mid-Knight Special, this year. From standard choral repertoire, to show tunes, and classics, these students rehearse weekly in order to perform at various events throughout the year.

Our theatre students, many of whom are in band, choir or both, have been rehearsing daily for months for their upcoming fall play. KHS will present “Almost, Maine,” a sequence of short vignettes that explore love and loss in a remote, mythical almost-town called Almost, Maine. The dates are Friday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 17, at 2 p.m. Tickets can be ordered online at www.kaneland.org.

What is sure to be a hit is this year’s Harter Middle School fall play, “Crumpled Classics.” The audience will discover a new and humorous way of looking at classic tales. The dates are Friday, Nov. 22, and Saturday, Nov. 23, at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the door.

What we can’t fail to mention is the amount of support and assistance that comes from parents. Each of the aforementioned events requires hours of rehearsals and planning, and a myriad of volunteers. The Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters is fortunate to have the support of the parents, while Kaneland students are fortunate to have some of the finest music and theatre directors in the area.

Editor’s note
The above community-submitted column is one part of our broader mission to help our readers connect with their communities. If you or your organization would like to be part of our Community Corner initiative, please contact Editor Keith Beebe at kbeebe@elburnherald.com. Please note that no for-profit or elected officials are eligible to be part of the Community Corner.

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.

Letter: A thank you from Paul and Judy Heyob

in Letters to the Editor by

Our heartfelt, sincere thank you goes out to all the kind and generous people who shared their love and support for Paul during a recently held benefit on Sept. 28.

We are very appreciative of all the generous donations, hard work, kind words and willingness to help out. The outreach among family, friends, neighbors and the community was very touching and overwhelming.

A special thank you comes from our hearts. To each and every one, we extend our deep appreciation for all you have done.
Paul and Judy Heyob
Shelbyville, Ill.

Letter: Paul Heyob Benefit Committee thanks fundraiser participants, supporters

in Letters to the Editor/Local News by

We want to take this opportunity to thank the numerous family, friends and businesses and the community for the outpouring of support for Paul Heyob.

Some donated silent auction items or raffle items. Some were instrumental in planning, organizing and assisting on the day of the benefit. Some traveled to the event and spent their hard-earned money to help Paul through this cancer fight. Some couldn’t attend, and instead offered monetary donations or other items to help raise money. Some went out their way to sell raffle tickets.

Many of you remembered Paul in prayer and/or sent a note of support. Regardless of who you are or what your contribution was, you helped make the benefit a huge success. We exceeded our expectations, raising approximately $30,000. This money will be used to offset the medical costs of Paul’s battle with cancer.

We are forever grateful for all of you, and the help and support you have given to us and Paul. It has been a very humbling experience for all of us. God bless each and every one of you.

Anna Mainhart
Paul Heyob Benefit Committee

Knights Wrestling Club readies itself for upcoming season

in Community Corner by

by Michelle Parks
President, Knights Wrestling Club

It’s October already, which means there are Knights wrestlers of all ages on the move. Knights Wrestling Club (KWC) has opened its doors for its first-ever online registration, which will run from now until Thursday, Oct. 31.

KWC is a feeder program designed for wrestlers who are ages 5-14, and it has been passing down knowledge of the sport for over 25 years. We work with multiple age groupings, as well as skill level. With practice times that are off-kilter, we allow both groups usage of the Kaneland High School wrestling room.

For our 8-and-under wrestlers, we focus on learning the basics while making the practice period fun. With games and repetition, we emphasize what they need to know to begin to participate in tournaments as they feel ready. We generally attempt to pick two rookie tournaments a year, which showcases wrestlers with one or two years of experience.

For our older divisions, while we do cover the basics, we strive to begin teaching them more complex moves and defensive strategies. Pairing partners with similar skill abilities, we condition and train them for competition.

Middle school wrestlers are always welcomed into the room, and are greatly encouraged to attend our program at a discounted rate after the completion of middle school’s season in December. We offer growth in their “off” season, as well as build on what they learned in the HMS wrestling room.

Your registration fee will cover everything for the wrestling season, from tournament selection to usage of our unique headgear and shoe-lending bin. We do have hardship grants available. Wrestling season will begin on Monday, Nov. 11, and run through February. To take advantage of our easier sign up, or learn more about KWC, check out our website, www.kanelandknightswrestlingclub.com/.

Editor’s note
The above community-submitted column is one part of our broader mission to help our readers connect with their communities. If you or your organization would like to be part of our Community Corner initiative, please contact Editor Keith Beebe at kbeebe@elburnherald.com. Please note that no for-profit or elected officials are eligible to be part of the Community Corner.

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.

Great opening events for the Kaneland Arts Initiative

in Community Corner by

by Maria Dripps-Paulson
Executive director, Kaneland Arts Initiative

The newly renamed Kaneland Arts Initiative (formerly the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival) presents the opening event of the 2013-14 season, which promises to be magical.

Las Vegas magician Garry Carson will make the Kaneland Auditorium a stop on his cross country tour. The “Magical Mystery Show” will be held at the auditorium on Friday, Oct. 11, at 7 p.m.

Carson started performing magic at the early age of 8 years old, becoming professional by the time he was 14. His interest in the art of magic led him to perform for many fundraising events, clubs, and his educational school program, “Knowing the Magic Words,” throughout the Midwest, all before graduating from high school. Working hard to perfect his magical talents, Garry, then-25 years old, was chosen out of hundreds of magician’s worldwide to open the new MGM Grand Casino and World’s Largest Hotel in Las Vegas. The six-month contract was held over for two years, with Garry performing 12 shows a day, hitting a world record of over 8,000 shows.

You will not see a magician and an assistant jumping in and out of props. You will witness two performers working together as a team. Garry combines his magical talents with his partner, who just happens to be his beautiful wife Mihaela (carsonentertainment.com).

Carson has generously offered to perform this event at no cost to the Kaneland Arts Initiative (KAI), making the opening event a fundraising opportunity as well as entertainment. One hundred percent of the ticket proceeds will go toward KAI’s continual efforts to bring the fine arts to the Kaneland community.

Tickets are now on sale for the Oct. 11 event. Seating is general admission. Prices are $10 for adults, $8 for students/senior citizens/preschoolers, and $25 for a Family Ticket. The popular Family Ticket admits all family members currently living in one household for the total price of $25. Since this event is a fundraiser, preschoolers require a ticket.

Also mark your calendars for the second KAI event, the Fox Valley Concert Band Halloween Concert, which will take place on Saturday, Oct. 26, at 3 p.m. Tickets are now on sale for this event. Seating is general admission. Prices are $10 for adults, $8 for students/senior citizens, and $25 for a Family Ticket. For this event, preschoolers are free. Costumes welcome.

The Fox Valley Concert Band had its first rehearsal in January of 1983 as an outgrowth of an ensemble started in 1981, and has grown from a core group of charter members to its current size. The mission is both to provide the residents of the Fox Valley with quality concert band music year-round, and to provide an opportunity to perform to those people who would like to exercise their musical talents (fvcb.org).

You may reserve your tickets for any KAI event via phone, (630) 365-5100, ext. 180, email, kaitickets@kaneland.org, or purchase tickets at the door on the day of the event. For more information regarding the Kaneland Arts Initiative, visit www.kanelandartsinitiative.org.

Editor’s note

The above community-submitted column is one part of our broader mission to help our readers connect with their communities. If you or your organization would like to be part of our Community Corner initiative, please contact Editor Keith Beebe at kbeebe@elburnherald.com. Please note that no for-profit or elected officials are eligible to be part of the Community Corner.

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