Lions 2015-16
 

Elburn Herald | Sugar Grove Herald

 
Trillium Sept2015
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Editorial/Opinion - page 32

Editorial: What does it mean to be a hometown newspaper?

in Featured/From the Editor's Desk by

What does it mean to be a hometown newspaper?

It means many things, but the overriding aspect of the term is “service.” As a hometown newspaper, it is our responsibility to serve our communities by helping strengthen the many connections that exist in our communities—the connections between residents and each other, their local governments and schools, as well as businesses and the various organizations that exist.

The responsibility of serving our communities means more than simply changing what a portion of our newspaper looks like for a brief period of time and calling ourselves a locally focused paper.

Rather, it means a long-term commitment of time and effort, a true desire to serve our communities, a relentless focus on attending as many of the meetings, events and activities in order to get to truly know as many of the people and organizations in our communities as humanly possible.

Our mission is to serve as community stewards, providing quality, truly local coverage of the communities that make up the Kaneland School District—Elburn, Sugar Grove, Maple Park and Kaneville—and do so in a manner that demonstrates how media companies can succeed as a business while also holding onto the ethical ideals of objective journalism. We strive to accomplish this mission by not only trying to provide as much local content as we can, but to also do so in a way that is accurate in both fact and context, without sensationalizing and without reporting pure speculation.

Our vision is to be a newspaper that serves to help strengthen the bonds that exist within and among our communities—whether they are person to person, person to organization, or organization to organization. We strive to realize this vision through our reporting, through our involvement in our communities, and through the way we conduct our business.

Our values dictate that we strive to never lose sight of the ideals of true journalism and ethical business practices. We seek and report the truth, and sometimes that makes people look good and sometimes that makes people look not so good, but how someone looks is based on the facts and not on our spin.

We strive to meet these challenges every single day, and there are times when we come up short, and no matter what, we are never satisfied. We always want to do better because we always can do better.

It is that combination of desires for a deeper connection with our communities plus constant improvement to better serve our communities that makes a newspaper a true hometown newspaper.

It is an honor to serve the Kaneland communities as their hometown newspaper, and we are proud to have served our communities since 1908.

We look forward to growing and changing with you in the years and decades ahead.

Letter: To my fellow voters

in Letters to the Editor by

I am writing in support of Karin Herwick for the office of Circuit Clerk of Kane County.

Karen has been a faithful and interested person in the Circuit Clerk’s Office for 20 years.

She is running against two lawyers. Is this what we want for Kane County, another lawyer? It seems no matter where you turn— county, state or federal government—we have another lawyer trying to tell us what to do. Please, not here again.

We need Karin’s experience, administrative business sense and good old common sense in this office.

Please cast your vote of Karin Herwick.
Nadine Flint
Kaneville

Letter: Endorsement for Kevin Burns

in Letters to the Editor by

I am writing to endorse Kevin Burns for Kane County Board chairman.

As a former alderman who served close to 10 years and had the privilege of serving with Kevin, both as a fellow alderman and then when he became mayor, I know from experience that this is the right decision for Kane County. Mayor Burns was never a cookie-cutter politician. He understands that we serve for the greater good, yet we must hear from everyone. We look at all sides of an issue and then we can reach conclusion. He is not afraid to make the tough “not so popular” decisions. I watched him break a few tie votes in city hall while others were intimidated by a couple of angry citizens. He voted what he believed to be right.

I have seen Kevin vehemently defend himself and city staff, as a good leader should. I want a board chairman that will assemble a staff that he can defend and weed out those that he cannot. I’ve read an article that other former alderman speak of being “taken to the woodshed” publicly. I want a board chairman willing to take other elected officials to task. Let them know they can’t be condescending to staff or to him, and they better be prepared. It’s time that people stop expecting their hands to be held.

The city of Geneva continually cuts the budget creatively without cutting services. We have a great staff, a great group of elected officials and a great mayor. Let’s make him county board chairman and help Kane County continue to move forward in a positive direction through teamwork and with people who truly care about the citizens of this great county.

Bob Piper
Former Geneva alderman
Second and third wards

Letter: In support of Corinne Pierog

in Letters to the Editor by

I wish to call your attention to Corinne Pierog and her extensive preparation and readiness to head to Springfield as our 25th District Senator. She has fresh ideas to bring to the table for solving our state’s serious problems, with a commitment to job growth, community development, and education for a 21st century workforce.

She can be entrusted with wise budgeting of scarce Illinois tax dollars, promoting policies that reinvest in new and sustainable job training opportunities and key education, supporting small business and inspiring entrepreneurship, and ridding the despondency that prevails in so many our state’s downtown communities, as well as spirits. I am enthusiastic in my support for Corinne Pierog, and encourage you to give her candidacy your serious consideration and back it up with your vote.

Take a closer look at ElectCorinnePierog.com. She is capable, positive, smart, hard-working and ready to represent us.

Cheryl Krauspe
Elburn

Letter: Thanks to everyone who participated in Five-O-Tattoo grand opening

in Letters to the Editor by

As Ambassador for the Elburn Chamber of Commerce, thanks to everyone who participated in the grand opening/ribbon cutting event on Friday, March 2, for Five-O-Tattoo located in Elburn. A special thanks goes to Elburn Village President Dave Anderson, who assisted Steve Winterstein, his wife, Stacy, and their two sons, Hunter and Jakob, with the scissors.

From my perspective, a welcome from the village president means a lot to a new business, and we are pleased that Dave could take time from his busy schedule to participate. A big thanks, too, to all the other business owners that showed up to wish the newcomer congratulations. I did not know much about tattooing and I learned a lot. The Elburn Chamber wants to see any new business be successful and encourage anyone contemplating a tattoo to check out this Elburn business. Steve and Stacy are very friendly and, I’m sure, will welcome your inquiries.

Jack Hansen
Elburn Chamber of Commerce

Editorial: An appeal for communication, time

in From the Editor's Desk by

If nothing changes, the parking lot in downtown Elburn at the corner of Main (Route 47) and Shannon streets will close March 15.

This has caused significant concern—rightfully so—among the downtown businesses, ourselves included. It is our view that a community’s downtown serves as the backbone of that community, and anything that makes it more difficult for consumers to access downtown businesses will reduce the success of those businesses—putting some in jeopardy.

The economy is struggling to recover from the massive dip experienced a few years ago, and while there remain several empty storefronts in downtown Elburn, local customer traffic and need for parking is actually increasing. This is a sign that the local economy is starting to improve, but that improvement will take a major step back if easy access to the downtown is denied. Additionally, reduced consumer access to the downtown will make it more difficult for those remaining empty storefronts to fill up.

These challenges will make it worse for everyone in Elburn, including the village government, because reductions in local business translates to reductions in village revenue, which in turn translates to additional pressure placed on Elburn homeowners to make up the difference in the form of increasing property taxes.

Yet, all of that being said, the parking lot is private property, owned by the Community Congregational Church. The church has every right to close access to its own property. If the church’s financial situation means that the property is for sale and needs to be closed until a sale is made, that is the church’s right, and it would be hard to find a reasonable person who would reach a significantly different conclusion if they were on the church’s board of directors.

One possible solution is for the village of Elburn to purchase the lot, take over its maintenance, and retain the property’s use for general parking. However, that is not a currently viable option because the village is facing its own budget crunch.

A group of downtown business owners gathered together and attended Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting to address this issue, and the village’s financial situation was made clear by Village President David Anderson: “We don’t have the money, and that’s it,” Anderson said when asked if the village had any interest in purchasing the property.

As Monday’s discussion continued—sometimes heated and sometimes calmly—potential for alternative solutions was found. Village Administrator Erin Willrett offered to facilitate discussions between the downtown businesses and the church, and village trustee Jeff Walter expressed a desire to see the village take the lead and helping find a solution—and the rest of the Village Board echoed those sentiments as the discussion wore on.

We believe that all three entities share an interest in finding a solution to this issue. The church has financial needs that need to be met, the village needs a continuation of the growth in downtown business, and the current downtown businesses need a continuation of being able to have convenient access for their customers.

We ask that the village remain engaged in the situation, and we thank Willrett for her willingness to facilitate discussions between the various entities. We ask the village to determine if there are available funds, or funding vehicles, in the form of grants or other programs designed for economic development or municipal downtown improvement. We ask that our fellow downtown businesses continue to communicate, remain open to the various possibilities that may arise, and explore what amount of funding that they would be willing to contribute—because it is likely that whatever potential solution arises will require financial contributions from the downtown businesses themselves. Finally, we ask the board of the Community Congregational Church to determine if there is any possible way to allow the downtown parking lot to remain open during the hopefully short period of time it may take to find a solution that fulfills the needs of all the interested parties.

Letter: Valente inconsiderate of KSB meeting attendees, disrespectful to expertise of Kaneland administration

in Letters to the Editor by

On Monday, Feb. 13, I attended the Kaneland Board of Education (BoE) meeting, with the agenda item of interest for me being the proposed areas of cuts to meet the 2012-13 school year budget.

During the meeting, there was an extensive presentation by Erika Schlichter, director of Educational Services 6-12, regarding the Response to Intervention (RTI) program as it relates to development and implementation in the high school, with an overview of data from the Harter Middle School.

As Ms. Schlichter attempted to move through her presentation, she was interrupted by board member Tony Valente repeatedly with extremely pointed questions about information that was not part of the presentation, taking the presentation off track and requiring those in attendance no choice but to sit quietly and wait for his pontifications to conclude. While the questions Mr. Valente asked are justifiable and deserving of a response, taking such a blatant approach is inconsiderate of those in attendance and disrespectful to the expertise of the Kaneland administration.

On an aside, having children in the Kaneland schools and seeing firsthand the RTI program come to fruition, along with networking among other districts, it is clear that the implementation of the RTI program in this district is far above many other districts. Anyone questioning the accolades Kaneland has received for their implementation of the RTI program is encouraged to perform some due diligence to ease their concerns.

While Kaneland faces harsh budgetary times, all time and money needs to be spent wisely. It seems that if Mr. Valente, like the other members on the BoE, could strive for a more unified approach and cohesive communications with the Kaneland administration, the ability to make the most of the district’s time and money would then be at the forefront for everyone involved.

Susan Hazen
Elburn

Letter: Last two ‘snow events’ a waste of fuel and wear and tear on city vehicles

in Letters to the Editor by

Regarding snow removal, the last two “snow events” we had—each of which produced a fraction of an inch—the city decided to unleash our snow plows, complete with salt spreading, when the weather forecast called for temperatures in the 40s later in the day.

I realize that we pay the city employees whether they’re “plowing slush” or playing solitaire back at the shop, but what a waste of fuel and wear and tear on city vehicles that results from this ridiculous waste of Elburn taxpayers money.

Joe Cacic
Elburn

Letter: Support for Karin Herwick Candidate for Kane County Circuit Clerk

in Letters to the Editor by

I would like the residents of Kane County to consider Karin Herwick for Circuit Clerk. Karin grew up in Sugar Grove with her parents, Gary and Kathi Wilson, and is a graduate of Kaneland High School and Aurora University. She is the only candidate with the knowledge and actual experience to analyze current business practices and effectively transition them into new business solutions to support the public.

Currently Karin is Chief Deputy Clerk and has extensive knowledge and understanding of the duties and responsibilities of the Circuit Clerk office. Of all the announced candidates for this position, Karin is the only one with the administrative knowledge and experience of how the Circuit Clerk’s office actually operates.

The past 20 years Karin has been employed at the Kane County Circuit Clerk’s office. She started as Family Division Supervisor, and due to her dedication to service and compassion for the customer, was promoted to customer service manager. She has held the position of chief deputy clerk for the past seven years and is expected to know all the procedures of the clerk’s office.

Karin lives in North Aurora with her husband, Scott, and their son. She has great ideas as to what works and what could be more efficient in the Circuit Clerk’s office. I would like you to meet Karin on Sunday, Feb. 26, from 2 to 4 p.m. at my home, 108 Cross St. in Sugar Grove.

Karen McCannon
Sugar Grove

Letter: In support of Chris Lauzen

in Letters to the Editor by

As a lifelong resident of Kane County and a member of the Kane County Board, I have an admittedly biased opinion that Kane County is a great place to live, work and raise a family.

I am also proud of our county and local government’s ability to maintain our high quality of life in Kane County. To that end, I am wholeheartedly endorsing Chris Lauzen for Kane County Board Chairman.

Chris is a model father, husband and citizen. As a longtime member of the state Senate, Chris’s reputation for returning all calls and doggedly following up on his constituents’ issues is well known. He is a CPA and a Harvard MBA, which will serve us well, overseeing a $230 million budget and 1,300 employees.

Chris puts his constituents’ needs well above party politics and has vowed, along with other reform candidates, to eliminate the cloud unethical campaign contributions has cast over county government.

It is important to note that Chris’ opponent has stated that he plans on hiring a full-time county administrator. This would be a new six-figure salary position with full benefits. Kane County taxpayers must ask themselves, why vote for a candidate that is planning on hiring someone else to do the job?

Please consider voting for Chris Lauzen for Kane County Board Chairman and supporting his longtime vow to “Work hard, stay honest, and use common sense.”

Drew Frasz
Elburn
Kane County Board member
District 26

Letter: In response to ‘My family was needlessly scared’

in Letters to the Editor by

Last week a letter was posted in the Elburn Herald from Jennifer Hall.

She stated that she was terrified when city workers came to her home at 10 p.m. and knocked on her door. Mrs. Hall was concerned for the safety of her family, and no one can blame her for that. However, posting a letter in a public forum stating the time your husband leaves for work, the fact that you are alone with your children, and the ages of your children is not the best way to protect yourself. The only thing needed is your address, and that is just a quick Internet search away.

Mrs. Hall did the right thing by calling 911, and it is understandable that she was afraid, but hiding from possible intruders and not turning on lights or yelling through your door would only affirm that no one was home.

I am sure the family that was experiencing the sewer back-up was appreciative that the city was there within an hour and a half. Mrs. Hall couldn’t understand why the city did not call her before the workers showed up at her door (probably wearing either a reflective vest or uniform). I am guessing that they did not have her number. Looking at a map of the sewer lines wouldn’t give them her phone number. Perhaps this could be a topic of discussion for the city staff and a protocol can be put in place to advise the police if there is a public works emergency.

In this situation, the city workers must be commended. I am glad that they are dependable and would leave their own families at night to respond to a resident’s complaint of a sewer back-up. The situation may have been avoided if the city workers had the opportunity to identify themselves or if their vehicle was close by. I have to assume they were trying to get the problem taken care of as soon as possible and did not realize that anyone was home or awake at the Hall residence.

Shevon Ramirez
Elburn

Editorial: Let’s follow the Mallard Point example

in From the Editor's Desk by

At the end of January, we devoted this space to echoing the sentiments of many residents and leaders in the area by publicly urging Sugar Grove officials to return to the negotiating table to find a resolution for the years’ long search for a way to end the drainage problems in the Mallard Point and Rolling Oaks subdivisions.

At the time, the multi-part negotiations that involved the village, Rob Roy Drainage District II, homeowners in the area of a proposed drain tile, Kane County (acting as mediators and as partial funders) and the affected homeowners broke down when the village announced it was walking away from the negotiating table.

Based on Assistant Editor Keith Beebe’s story on page 1A in this week’s edition of the Elburn Herald, those negotiations did ultimately continue; as everyone involved had hoped they would. While there are still documents to be signed and it is by no means a final agreement, it is clear that communications continued among the various parties, and a final deal is much closer today than it was then.

So, just as we back then questioned Sugar Grove’s decision to walk away from the table, today we must praise their decision to return to it. From an outside perspective, it appears it is a combination of their willingness to listen and continue to communicate, as well as the other parties’ willingness to continue trying to reach an agreement, that led to the brink of a solution to a problem that has been troubling residents for decades.

We hope their collective example is followed by a similar group of wide-ranging interests in Elburn. Last week, we reported that the Community Congregational Church announced that it plans to close its parking lot, in downtown Elburn, to public use, citing maintenance costs that are cost-prohibitive. In their announcement, a church representative said they had approached the village of Elburn and the Elburn Chamber of Commerce to see if either entity had the interest and the means to purchase the property. Because neither entity was able to pursue the lot’s purchase, the church said it would close the lot Thursday, March 15.

This is a lot that has been used by the public for years, and for many of the downtown businesses, is essential for their success. Elburn’s downtown is struggling, and losing easy customer access would just make those struggles more difficult to overcome.

Any roadblock you put between the public and a local business—even if it is just a degree of inconvenience—reduces that business’s ability to maximize their revenue. And in today’s struggles, anything that makes it more difficult to conduct business can actually put that business in jeopardy.

So, just as we urged the village of Sugar Grove to return to the negotiating table with the Mallard Point drainage issue, we urge the Community Congregational Church to hold off on their final decision to close the lot. Too many businesses rely on the ease of access it provides, and there is too much potential lost revenue at stake to not entertain ideas beyond simply offering it for sale to either the village or the chamber.

Give the various interested parties some time to explore solutions, come to the negotiating table with us all, and like Sugar Grove and the Mallard Point drainage issue, ongoing communication will bring a solution closer, while no communication accomplishes nothing.

Letter: My family was needlessly scared

in Letters to the Editor by

Not sure if this is considered “news,” but I thought I would share in hopes that it doesn’t ever have to happen to anyone else.

Recently, in early February, my husband left for his overnight shift as an air traffic controller at 9:30 p.m.

I was left home with my three kids, ages 5, 6 and 7. At 10 p.m. my door bell rang and my dogs began to bark. I looked through the peep hole and saw a man I did not recognize standing outside my door. My first instinct was to not answer because I am a woman, it’s late at night, I do not know the man and I am at home with my sleeping children. The man continued ringing my bell, and I could hear my storm door handle being opened and him talking to someone else. I stayed where I was and could hear the man talking with someone else outside of my house.

After several attempts of ringing the doorbell, the man then walked through my front yard. Looking out the peep hole again, I did not see any vehicles at or in front of my house. Next thing I know, my dogs are barking at my back window and I see two men walking around my back yard with flashlights. Scared doesn’t even begin to describe the emotion I was feeling. I dialed 911 and explained to the operator what was going on. I asked her if there was an emergency in my area and these were possible police or fire trying to tell me something. She told me she did not have any emergencies at the moment and advised me to stay on the phone with her while an officer was dispatched to my house. I was informed that the officer was driving up and down my street, the street behind me and checking out my back yard. I was told to make sure all of my doors were locked and to stay on the line until the police officer came to my door.

After 10 minutes or so, I hung up with 911 when the police officer came to my door. He was smiling and told me not to worry because “it was just the village of Elburn on an emergency call.” As he was telling me this, I saw someone come from my back yard to my front yard and into the street in front of my neighbor’s house and turn on the yellow lights of the Public Works truck.

The next morning, I placed a call to the non-emergency line of the police department, and they transferred me to the village administrator. I was told that an emergency for a sewer backing up was called in at 8:30 p.m. that night and the access to the sewage line was behind my house. I told her I was terrified that someone was breaking into my house and my children were woken up to barking dogs and their mommy on the phone with 911.

How could the village have let this happen? How is it that an emergency was phoned in at 8:30 p.m. and between then and 10 p.m., no one called me. I will not open my door to anyone when it is late, dark, and I am in the house with my children.

Had the village of Elburn called my house, they could have saved me and my children a night of being terrified. If they new enough about my property to know that a line ran behind my back yard, then surely they knew enough to have a phone number. I still maintain that no woman should open her door to a stranger, and am appalled how the city handled this situation. Hopefully in the future, no one has to go through this.

Jennifer Hall
Elburn

Letter: Who is wasteful?

in Letters to the Editor by

The Hinckley Lions Club has held their annual auction for 38 years. During that time, funds have been raised through those efforts that have allowed the club to make donations to Lions International to assist the blind, programs for the blind and research for blindness and diabetes.

Funds have been raised so that locally the Hinckley Lions Club has been able to put money into the community for scholarships, eye glasses, youth sports programs, senior citizen activities, reading and drug programs at the local schools and for donations to those families hit with personal tragedies. Funds have been raised so that the Hinckley Lions Club could participate with other area Lions Clubs to hold a summer fishing day for individuals with handicaps and for a day of skiing for the blind.

This annual auction brings hundreds, and in some years, thousands of people to our community where they made purchases at local gas stations, bars, grocery store and restaurants adding to our local sales tax base.

Over the years, this annual event has been made possible not only with the help of some very dedicated Lions members, but through the cooperation and help of an entire community. The patience the members of the community have shown with an increase in traffic and, in some years mud, the cooperation of the local churches providing the concessions (raising funds for their own use), and local government for their help, understanding and use of equipment.

Unfortunately, after 38 years tragedy has befallen this great event. A local resident has taken it upon himself to consider the use of the local government-owned equipment a wasteful use of taxpayer money and has insisted that such equipment not be used to make this another successful event.

It is heartbreaking to think that I am now living in a community that has citizens among us that have no understanding of the meaning of friendly, helpful or community. If only such an individual could have spent as much time helping to make this event a success as they spent in destroying the community spirit that has made this event so successful over the years, maybe he would find understanding of the words volunteer, kindness and pulling together.

I truly feel sorry for an individual with such hate in their heart they cannot see the overall benefit of such a community event.

Dave Maroo
Hinckley

Letter: Supporting Lauzen for KC Board chairman

in Letters to the Editor by

This letter is in support of Chris Lauzen, running for Kane County Board Chairman. In my 20-plus years as a community activist/campaign coordinator, Chris Lauzen has stood for one thing above all others: representing the constituents who voted him to serve them in office and look after their needs.

My family has known Chris and his family going back to my Grandpa, Lou Sr., and he is a public servant, not a politician. The difference between the two is quite simple. A public servant is one who speaks for the voters/constituents that elected them; a politician is in office for his own personal monetary/patronage gains and his business cronies (lobbyists and special interests) that will rob your government for two to four years—the length of their term.

Chris’ opponents yak about how he doesn’t go along to get along, but people, that is the fundamental reason ol’ USA governmental bodies, from federal to state to city governments, are bankrupt, 90 percent politicians and 10 percent public servants. Wow, not what we were promised/taught in civics class in high school, eh?

Chris knows how to bring together people, as evidence of his recruitment of North Kane County ally, Sen. Steve Rauschenberger—another “plain speaker” when it comes to attempting to wrest the evil out of our political system.

If the above hasn’t convinced you enough yet to support Chris and vote for him for Kane County Board chairman in the upcoming primary and general election in the fall, just take a look at his resounding vote totals of past Senate elections. Land slides. That should tell you something. He delivers for his voters.

Mike “Leo” Leonardi
Aurora

Letter: In support of Hartwell for Circuit Court clerk

in Letters to the Editor by

Like many Kane County residents, I have supported both Republicans and Democrats throughout the years. Indeed, I make it a point to support individuals over parties, integrity over ideology. And that is what brings me to Tom Hartwell, candidate for clerk of the Circuit Court.

Although Tom is conservative and I am not, I nonetheless had an occasion to work with him some years ago on a County Board project, which had nothing to do with party politics. The underlying issue proved to be contentious (albeit inexplicably so), and more than a few of his colleagues turned tail and ran. Hartwell did not.

At a time when no one was looking, he wasn’t running for anything and it would have been easier to bail out. He kept his word. To me, that is essential, especially in public service. I don’t care if we agree or disagree, I just need to believe what you tell me, and that you will tell me the same thing tomorrow.

We need more of Hartwell’s honor and candor in government, and I hope voters who have the opportunity to vote for him will do so. He is who we say we want to represent us, and this is our chance to prove it.

Kay Catlin
St. Charles

Letter: To the residents of Mallard Point and Rolling Oaks subdivisions in Sugar Grove

in Letters to the Editor by

The Rob Roy Drainage District No. 2 has submitted a signed IGA (intergovernmental agreement) between the village and the district. In keeping with our intentions of moving the project forward as we have all along, we accepted the VSG revisions to the several submissions we have authorized, and it is our sincere hope that the Village Board of Trustees will move forward with this important project for the betterment of the community.

Michael J. Fagel
Sugar Grove

Letter: Blood drive in Sugar Grove

in Letters to the Editor by

The date has been set. Your donation of blood is urgently needed. Please plan on donating the “gift of life” on Monday, March 5. There is a shortage of every blood type, especially O-Negative.

The Sugar Grove Firefighters Auxiliary, along with the Sugar Grove Fire Department, will hold the blood drive at the Sugar Grove Fire Department, located at 25 Municipal Drive. You may donate from 3 to 7:30 p.m.

We encourage appointments, but walk-ins are welcome. Please call Joy at (630) 466-7190 or Kathy at (630) 466-4634 for information or to make an appointment.

We thank you and appreciate your urgently needed blood donation.

Joy Rubo
Blood drive coordinator
Sugar Grove Firefighters Auxiliary

Letter: HMS food donation project

in Letters to the Editor by

Eighth-grade students at Kaneland Harter Middle School are participating in a food donation service project to support the Northern Illinois Food Bank from now to March 1.

During the two-week project, students will learn about hunger in the local area and the purpose of the Northern Illinois Food Bank, which supports various food pantries in the Kaneland area. Hunger is an issue not commonly discussed, and many don’t believe it is an issue. However, according to the Northern Illinois Food Bank website, one in eight Illinois residents received emergency assistance from the food bank or a partnering agency last year, and in any given week, approximately 61,600 different individuals receive assistance.

To help meet the needs and deal with the issue of hunger, students and their families will be encouraged to donate items that will be collected through their homeroom teachers. Each homeroom has a theme in order to collect as many different products that are in need at the food bank. Some homerooms are collecting paper products or baby items such as diapers, while others are collecting canned vegetables or boxed meals.

At the end of the service project, the items will be delivered to the food bank by teachers. In addition, students will have the opportunity in the spring to volunteer as a group at the food bank.

The Kaneland community is welcome to join the eighth-grade students and teachers in this service project. Participation may include food items or monetary donations. Items can be dropped off at Harter Middle School, and monetary donations may be made through a web link accessible from the school’s website, www.kaneland.org/kms.

Participation in the donation collection for the Northern Illinois Food Bank is encouraged, from now through March 1, at Kaneland Harter Middle School.

Pattie Pattermann, Eighth-grade teacher
Kaneland Harter Middle School

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