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Regional - page 7

Dornback appointed Blackberry Township Supervisor

in Elburn/Regional by

BLACKBERRY TWP.—Blackberry Township Cemetery Sexton Fred Dornback was appointed Blackberry Township Supervisor on Tuesday in a 3-1 vote by township trustees. The one ‘no’ vote came from trustee Jim Feece, who had nominated himself for the supervisor position.

Dornback was sworn in following the vote. He said that he would continue his responsibilities for the cemetery on a volunteer basis until someone else was found to replace him, and asked that his stipend for the cemetery position be terminated.

Trustee Jim Michels, who had taken over discussions from former Township Supervisor Dennis Ryan regarding the township’s lease for McNair Field for use by Elburn Baseball and Softball, received a draft lease on Wednesday morning from owners TRC.

The previous lease negotiated between Blackberry Township and Burr Ridge, Ill., company Transmission Relay Corporation had lasted 10 years. The lease granted local athletic leagues the use of five of the corporation’s 20 acres located south and east of the intersection of Bateman and Rowe roads. The original lease expired April 30, 2013.

Michels said the dates of the lease are to be determined, but that it would probably be made effective sometime in March and go through the end of 2014. He said the township will attempt to negotiate a longer-term lease over the next nine months. The lease spells out that the field is to be used only for baseball and softball.

Photos: An inside look

in Kaneland/Regional by
5.

Illinois 4-H students on Tuesday made their annual spring trip to the Kane County Government Center so that they could learn more about government and see it in action. The students arrived at the Government Center at 8:30 a.m. and then attended the Forest Preserve 9 a.m. and County Board meeting at 9:45 a.m. About half of the County Board was shadowed by the 4-H’ers. Afterward, the 4-H students had lunch with County Board members at the U of I Extension Office. Jessica Poust (right), a Maple Park resident and junior at Kaneland High School, shadowed Kane County Treasurer and CPA Dave Rickert. 4-H members Maddie Marucco (below) of St. Charles and Erik Dunteman of Big Rock shadowed Kane County Board member and Sugar Grove resident Melisa Taylor.
1.

Winter 2014 fourth coldest in Illinois

in Regional by

Champaign, ILL.—The average statewide temperature for the three core winter months of December, January, and February was 20.8 degrees. It was 8.2 degrees below average and the fourth coldest December-February period on record, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel at the Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

This winter was in a three-way tie with 1917-1918 and 1976-1977. The coldest winter was 1977-78 at a statewide average temperature of 19.6 degrees. The winter of 1978-79 was in second place at 19.9 degrees.

The Illinois statewide temperature for February was 18.7 degrees, or 12.1 degrees below the long-term average. It was the seventh-coldest February on record.

The snowfall for February was above average across the state. The total snowfall ranged from 4 inches in far southern Illinois to 15 to 20 inches in north-central Illinois. The snowfall departures from average ranged from 1 to 5 inches south of Interstate 70 and between 10 and 18 inches between Interstates 70 and 80.

The statewide precipitation for February was 2.28 inches, which is .17 inches above average. Precipitation includes both rain events along with the water content of any snowfall. The result in February was that the above-average snowfall did not translate to above-average precipitation, because several of those snowfall events occurred in colder conditions when the snow density was lower (i.e., fluffier snow).

Snowfall this winter so far has been above average across the state. Snowfall totals ranged from 10 inches in the southernmost counties of the state to over 60 inches in the northeast. Some of the largest snowfall totals this entire winter were in the Chicago area and included Lincolnwood with 79.8 inches and Oak Park with 78.6 inches.

“This winter was comparable to the winters in the late 1970s in terms of the cold weather and snow,” Angel said.

Not too late to get a flu shot

in Health & Wellness/Regional by

KANE COUNTY—The Health Department continues to offer a walk-in flu clinic at its Aurora office, 1240 N. Highland Ave. Clinic hours are from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday. No appointment is necessary.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that flu activity is still elevated across the country and recommends that if you haven’t received your flu vaccine yet, you should do so now.

The Health Department accepts many insurance cards. Call the Health Department’s “Bee Wize, Immunize” phone line at (866) 233-9493 or at (630) 264-7665 to learn if your insurance is accepted, or you can log on to the Health Department website at www.kanehealth.com. Bring your insurance card with you. Without insurance the cost of the vaccine is $15, payable by check or cash.

Public health officials recommend that everyone six months of age and older should be vaccinated against influenza, especially pregnant women, young children, people 65 years of age and older, and anyone with underlying health conditions like asthma, diabetes, or a weakened immune system.

The Kane County Health Department provides a wealth of information about influenza at www.kanehealth.com. You will find the weekly report that details flu-like illness activity in Kane County, a locator map for additional locations where you can receive the vaccine, educational materials and more.

Williams announces Gengler as undersheriff

in Regional by

KANE COUNTY—Kevin Williams, Republican candidate for Kane County Sheriff, recently announced Aurora resident Pat Gengler as his choice to be undersheriff.

Gengler has over 17 years of service with the Sheriff’s Office and currently serves as the patrol lieutenant and public information officer. He has experience managing patrol operations, investigations, and internal affairs.

In his role as public information officer, he has been able to open the lines of communication between the Sheriff’s Office and the community. A cornerstone of Kevin’s campaign has been to build partnerships with the Kane County community, and having Pat on board with his public relations experience is a vital link to making it all work.

Gengler also has experience in labor management relations, serving as a past union vice president and as a member of the Sheriff’s negotiations team. Pat’s tireless work ethic and ability to “get things done” has earned him the respect of his co-workers within the Sheriff’s Office, as well as other agencies throughout Kane County.

According to Williams, it was never a secret that he wanted Pat to serve as his undersheriff, should the voters choose him to become the next sheriff of Kane County. He believes Gengler shares the same energy and passion for serving the citizens of Kane County, and also understands that the most important asset of the office are the employees, and in order to succeed the Sheriff’s Office must build a professional team that understands the needs of Kane County residents.

Hultgren announces Congressional Art Competition

in Regional by

GENEVA—U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) has announced the start of the 2014 Congressional Art Competition for high school students from the 14th District of Illinois. The winner’s artwork will hang in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., for an entire year.

“The 14th District is filled with talented young artists,” Hultgren said. “Every year, I am impressed by each entry and enjoy highlighting the work of our district’s artistic high school students to visiting constituents touring the Capitol.”

The Congressional Art Competition was created in 1982, and hundreds of thousands of high school students participated. One winner is chosen from each district, and the winner’s artwork is then sent to Washington, D.C., for display in the U.S. Capitol. However, submitted artwork will be hung at Water Street Studios for a reception announcing the winners, so make certain that your artwork is “ready to hang.” If selected, winners will be required to frame their piece for display in the Capitol Building. Each winner will also receive a roundtrip ticket to Washington, D.C., compliments of Southwest Airlines.

Last year, Avie Churchwell of Geneva was chosen as the winner from IL-14. Her winning piece, “Tea Party for One,” is currently one of those featured on the Congressional Art Competition website.

Entries for the competition are now being accepted and must be submitted to Rep. Hultgren’s district office by Friday, April 4. The entry only needs to be framed if it selected as the winner to be hung in the U.S. Capitol. The district office is located at 1797 W. State St., Suite A, in Geneva.

For any additional questions or to obtain a copy of the guidelines and student information/release forms when they become available, visit the official Congressional Art Competition Website or contact Ruth Richardson in Rep. Hultgren’s office at (630) 232-7104.

Waubonsee volunteers to provide free income tax preparation sessions

in Regional/Sugar Grove by

AURORA—A team of volunteers associated with Waubonsee Community College will not only help hundreds of local low- to moderate-income residents follow the law, they’ll also help them collect a bit of money due them.

The approximately 75 volunteers will also help to fuel the local economy.

That’s how George Sterling, Certified Public Accountant and instructor at Waubonsee, sees the mission of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

“Last year, we brought at least $1.5 million back into the local economy,” Sterling said. “That’s a big deal.”

This year, Waubonsee will again partner with the Center for Economic Progress to sponsor the free income tax return preparation assistance sessions for eligible members of the community.

The sessions will take place on Wednesdays, 5:30 to 8 p.m., and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., from Feb. 19 to April 12 at Waubonsee’s downtown Aurora Campus, 18 S. River Street.

The site will be closed during spring break between Wednesday, March 19, and Saturday, March 22.

At these sessions, volunteers from Waubonsee and the Center for Economic Progress will help prepare and electronically file income tax returns, including those requiring the 1040 Schedule C used by small businesses and the self-employed.

Those eligible for the program include families with annual incomes of $50,000 or less, and individuals with annual incomes less than $25,000. Those seeking tax return preparation assistance at the VITA sessions should bring a copy of last year’s tax return, if they have one; Forms W-2 and 1099 from all employment in 2013; Social Security cards for all family members; and a photo ID.

The free income tax return preparation is done on a first-come, first-served basis, and the site closes when capacity is reached.

Last year, VITA volunteers at Waubonsee helped complete about 800 tax returns, generating about $1.5 million in federal income tax refunds, including about $460,000 in federal Earned Income Tax Credits, to local families, said Sterling, who together with his wife, Therese, manages the Waubonsee VITA site.

He said the sessions annually draw a strong corps of volunteers, including Waubonsee students and local CPAs from throughout the region, including the communities of Aurora, St. Charles, Batavia, Naperville, Lisle and Montgomery, among others.

For more information, contact Waubonsee Community College at (630) 466-7900, ext. 2992, email VITA@waubonsee.edu, or visit the Center for Economic Progress website at www.economicprogress.org.

Blackberry Township Supervisor resigns

in Elburn/Regional by

BLACKBERRY TWP.—Blackberry Township Supervisor Dennis Ryan resigned his position last week, following numerous disagreements with township trustees on a variety of issues.

“I’m sorry to have to do this,” Ryan said on Tuesday. “There were just too many disagreements as far as policy.”

Ryan said that he was consistently outnumbered 4-1 in votes on issues.

One issue that had recently become problematic was regarding a lease the township had on McNair Field. The lease, which expired in 2013, was with Burr Ridge company Transmission Relay Corporation, and included a provision that granted use of 5 of the 20 acres for Kaneland area athletic leagues in exchange for a fee of $1 per year. According to officials, the checks were never cashed.

The township has been in the process of attempting to renegotiate a lease with the owners. Ryan was to follow up with the owners during the past month, but according to trustee Harley Veldhuizen, he had not contacted them.

Ryan said he did not agree with the township’s involvement with the property, and felt that the trustees were trying to create an “under the table” park district, without a referendum.

After the township meeting on Tuesday, trustee Tim Norris said that Ryan had been “out of his element” and that the position had been “more than he could handle.”

Norris defended the township’s involvement with the Kaneland athletic groups and McNair Field.

He said the township was simply enabling the local clubs to use the field. According to Norris, the township holds the lease for the property, but the clubs have done all the work on the field.

The township is now trying to come up with a reasonable dollar amount of rent per acre for the new lease. He said the township pays the rent and the liability insurance, and the clubs do everything else.

Trustee Jim Michels is taking the lead on the communication with the owners.

“We’re stepping in the right direction for Youth Baseball,” trustee Veldhuizen said.

Trustees on Tuesday unanimously voted to accept Ryan’s resignation and then tabled a decision to appoint a successor to replace him until the March meeting.

“The township has 60 days to replace him,” Township Road Commissioner Rod Feece said.

Ryan has only been in the position about a year, so unless the township has a special election, residents will have to wait another three years to elect someone else.

Bowl against bullying

in Kaneland/Regional by

Event seeks to teach participants to “be happy”
AURORA—Local adults will soon have a chance to go out, bowl and have fun while learning, too.

“Bowling Against Bullying” is a collaborative endeavor hosted by Kindness Campaign, Nick Edward Haben Foundation and Peak for Kids. The event will take place Saturday, Feb. 8, at 7:30 p.m. at Parkside Lanes in Aurora.

The idea of this fundraising event is to have fun and promote kindness. According to Renee Dee, founder of Peak for Kids, Inc., the groups hope to use some proceeds from the bowling event for Kindness in Kaneland Week and Sugar Grove Corn Boil ideas.

“Basically, we thought it was a good kickoff event for both of our organizations,” Dee said. “(The organizations) are brand new, so it was a nice way to network and get to know everybody and have everybody know who we are and what we do.”

Marc Ebert, owner of Sign FX in Sugar Grove, a planning committee member for the “Bowling Against Bullying” event. He said that the event is a good networking possibility for local business owners.

“It kind of helps get the word out about the bullying,” Ebert said. “If it can come to light by talking about it—that’s kind of our M.O. It’s just, if we can get people to start talking about it, then something good happened. And maybe it can come to light and then so people don’t have to hide with it anymore.”

Jeff Bean, president and founder of Act on Bullying, will speak at the event about the dangers of the cyber bullying epidemic.

Those who attend “Bowling Against Bullying” can munch on pizza, drink soft drinks and bowl. A cash bar of beer and wine will also be available during the event.

Gave Ortiz of Go 4 It Entertainment will DJ the event. Dee said she wants the music to be about “being nice and being happy.” She anticipates hearing Bobby McFerrin’s 1988 song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” during the event.

“I hope everybody will be dancing,” Dee said. “I’m meeting with the DJ. He’s got all sorts of little tricks that he does with the audience.”

There will even be some dance contests during “Bowling Against Bullying.” Attendees will also be able to place bids on silent and live auction items. Auction prizes include a week-long cabin in Wisconsin, and Chicago Cubs tickets. Raffle prizes include Kane County Cougars tickets, a beauty basket and restaurant gift certificates.

Author Amy Logan, a Joliet resident, will be in attendance to bowl and chat with attendees. She will also announce her book, “A Girl with a Cape.”

Trivia, led by DJ Ortiz, will center around bullying, community and kindness.

Those interested in attending the event can register by Friday, Jan. 31, by visiting peakforkids.org.

Individual tickets are $30 and include bowling, shoes, pizza and soft drinks. A registered group of 10 will get two lanes for some five-against-five bowling.

People can also count on more collaborations between Peak for Kids and groups from the Kaneland area and beyond. Dee said that there will be a leadership forum, performing arts projects and sport dedications to kindness.

“All of those specifics will be coming out in the next few months,” she said.

Meanwhile, the upcoming “Bowling Against Bullying” event is the current focus.

“I think (people) should (attend the event) because they believe that bullying is stoppable,” said Maria Dripps-Paulson, a committee member for the event. “And they want to be a part of that movement.”

Farm bill negotiations end with deal

in Regional by

BLOOMINGTON, ILL.—Illinois soybean farmers are pleased House and Senate conferees reached an agreement this week on the final version of the farm bill, and look forward to quick approval of the bill in both the House of Representatives and Senate.

“The bill provides for multiple soybean farmer priorities, including a flexible farm safety net that includes a choice between price-based and revenue-based risk management tools and maintains decoupling of payments under both programs from current planted acreage,” said Mike Marron, soybean farmer from Fithian, Ill., and Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) vice chairman. “While this has been a trying process, we believe conferees, including Rep. Rodney Davis, have produced a framework that will serve the best interests of Illinois soybean farmers.”

The bill includes a choice between an ISA-supported revenue program that covers both price and yield losses with county and farm level options, and a price support program which allows the optional purchase of insurance coverage under a Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO). The bill also eliminates direct payments while maintaining decoupled farm support programs that will minimize the possibility of planting and production distortions that could trigger new trade challenges. Farmers may choose between maintaining existing crop acreage base or reallocating current base acreage to reflect average acres planted to covered commodities from 2009 to 2012.

For crop insurance, the bill makes enterprise units permanent, allows the purchase of enterprise unit coverage, authorizes SCO, and will help strengthen the next generation of agriculture by providing a 10 percent increase in premium support to beginning farmers and ranchers.

The bill also secures agricultural research programs like the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) and the new Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR); the export promotion work done through the Foreign Market Development (FMD) and Market Access Program (MAP); and key energy programs, including the Biodiesel Education Program and a strengthened Biobased Markets Program. The bill consolidates 23 previous conservation programs into 13, while focusing conservation efforts on working lands.

“We know Illinois legislators have been working hard on behalf of the state’s farmers,” Marron said. “We look forward to a bill that provides effective, multi-year farm legislation and establishes practical risk management programs that will protect us in difficult times.”

The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) represents more than 45,000 soybean farmers in Illinois through the state soybean checkoff and membership efforts. The checkoff funds market development, soybean production and profitability research, promotion, issues management and analysis, communications and education. Membership and advocacy efforts support Illinois soybean farmer interests in local areas, Springfield and Washington, D.C. ISA programs are designed to ensure Illinois soy is the highest quality, most dependable, sustainable and competitive in the global marketplace.

For more information, visit the website www.ilsoy.org.

Waubonsee adds programs, involvement

in Regional/Sugar Grove by

SUGAR GROVE—The following are Waubonsee Community College (WCC) announcements for winter 2014. WCC’s campuses are located at 47 Waubonsee Drive in Sugar Grove, 18 S. River St. and 2060 Ogden Ave. in Aurora, and 100 Waubonsee Drive in Plano.

SBDC manager
elected to Illinois
Entrepreneurship Panel

Harriet Parker, Manager of the Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Waubonsee Community College, has been elected to the Coordinating Council of the Illinois Entrepreneurship and Small Business Growth Association.

She will serve as the council’s secretary.

Parker, of Naperville, Ill., has more than 20 years of experience running successful start-up businesses and helping other small business owners through the SBDC.

Parker actively supports the local business community through her involvement on numerous boards and committees.

Manufacturing-oriented
degrees, certificates
introduced

Waubonsee Community College will offer new degree and certificate programs designed to help students prepare for the demands of modern manufacturing.

On Jan. 15, the Waubonsee Community College Board of Trustees approved seven new degrees and certificates in Automation Technology and Machine Tool Technology.

The new degrees will enhance the college’s cohesive package of programs related to Advanced Manufacturing, including Computer-Aided Design and Drafting (CAD), Automation and Welding.

The programs will focus on Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Operation, CNC Programming, Manual Machining and Advanced Manufacturing Technology, among others.

The curricular changes come in response to requests from employers who are seeking a more skilled workforce, said Suzette Murray, Assistant Vice President of Career and Technical Education at Waubonsee.

The changes come as part of Waubonsee’s continued efforts to remain on the cutting edge of manufacturing technology training. The college has added seven new Haas CNC machines and upgraded manual equipment in the college’s machining lab, thanks to a Department of Labor Trade Adjustment.

Assistance Community College and Career Training grant awarded to the Illinois Network for Advanced Manufacturing.

The new degree and certificate programs will debut in the fall 2014 semester.

For more information on these new degree and certificate programs, contact Waubonsee’s Admissions department at (630) 466-7900, ext. 5756.

IT manager elected
next president of
Plano Rotary

Timothy Kjaer, Information Technology customer service manager at Waubonsee Community College, has been elected to serve as the next president of the Plano Rotary Club.

Kjaer, of North Aurora, has participated in the Plano Rotary for two years, helping to enhance the visibility of Waubonsee in the Plano community after the college opened its Plano Campus in 2011.

Kjaer said he volunteered to serve as president in 2014-15, and the club’s members elected him to the post on Dec. 3.

As the club’s president-elect, Kjaer will assist the current president and receive training until the current president’s term expires June 30. Kjaer will take up the full duties of club president on July 1.

As president, Kjaer will help organize the club’s meetings, as well as help lead its fundraising efforts and projects to serve the Plano community, including raising money for scholarships and supporting civic beautification projects.

Automotive Recycling
instructor publishes article

Patrick O’Connor, Automotive Recycling Program developer at Waubonsee Community College, recently shared his insight on the future of the industry’s workforce through an article published in the bimonthly magazine of the Automotive Recycler’s Association (ARA).

In the article, titled “Driven to Learn,” O’Connor, of Algonquin, Ill., discusses both how Waubonsee created and developed its Automotive Recycling Program, and what is being done to prepare students to work in the industry in coming years.

The article was published in the November-December 2013 edition of Automotive Recycling magazine. It will be available on the website of the Automotive Recycler’s Association, www.a-r-a.org.

The topics also formed the basis of a presentation delivered by O’Connor during the ARA’s annual convention and expo in November in Phoenix.

Additionally, O’Connor has been invited to be a regular contributor to the magazine in a column titled, “Tomorrow’s Workforce.”

Photo: A strong draw

in Elburn/Maple Park/Regional by

1-19_horsepower_Raffle
The Elburn Fire Department on Sunday held a raffle drawing for HorsePower Therapeutic Riding. The raffle winners were Roger Fronek (1st place, $4,675), Bob Ushman (2nd place, iPad Mini) and Jean Milz (3rd place, Amazon Kindle). The raffle altogether raised $22,071.32. HorsePower Board of Directors Chairman John Cain (left to right), Max Capes, Elburn Police Chief Steve Smith and HorsePower Director/co-founder Carrie Capes.

On a roll for HorsePower

in Maple Park/Regional by

HorsePower’s bowling fundraiser took place on Saturday at St. Charles Bowl. This was the second year for the event, and it sold out with 94 bowlers and 240 total tickets sold, according to event coordinator Carrie Capes of Maple Park.
HorsePower_Jan18_2
Gianna Hansen of Elburn sets out to have a good time bowling with her family during the HorsePower fundraiser.
HorsePower_Jan18_1
Noelle Brown, 10, of Gilberts, Ill., participated along with her brother, parents and grandparents.
HorsePower_Jan18_5
Meredith Mliz of North Aurora was excited to make different bracelets for the benefit.

Preparation begins for the International Crown

in Regional/Sugar Grove by
international-crown-logo

SUGAR GROVE—The International Crown, expected to be one of the LPGA’s largest events, will take place in summer 2016 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, and the Sugar Grove Village Board is ready to do what it can to ensure that the event is a success.

The Village Board is working closely with Rich Harvest Farms staff to plan the logistics of the International Crown for the duration of the event, and is concerning itself with the specifics of directing traffic, planning for emergencies, providing water out to the estate, and supplying police security to the course and facility.

All the planning for traffic and security for the International Crown event will be similar to what the Village Board did for the Solheim Cup in 2009, also held at Rich Harvest Farms. Village President Sean Michels said the village is already making arrangements for the International Crown event.

“The Village Board and I are working with Rich Harvest Farms to ensure that the International Crown is a great event,” Michels said. “On our part, a lot of the logistics and planning will be similar to what we did in 2009 for the Solheim Cup. Our Chief of Police, Pat Rollins, worked on the Ryder Cup in Medinah, Ill., and his expertise will help us greatly for the International Crown.”

At the Solheim Cup, Illinois State Police handled the traffic on Route 30, and Kane County Sheriff managed the security on the course and the facility. The Sugar Grove Police Department acted as a backup for the event, and they also managed any minor accidents. All of these responsibilities will be similar for the International Crown.

In addition to helping coordinate the logistics of the event, the Village Board is also working closely with the consultant for IDOT who is managing the road improvement plans for Dugan Road and Route 30, in an effort to also improve the traffic flow the day of the event. The road improvement plans are being finalized, with work expected to begin this year.

Carey family reunited following rough 2013

in Elburn/Regional by
carey

Photo: The Carey family, Tim, Dylan, Chris and Gavin, at home together just days after being reunited on Dec. 26. Courtesy Photo

SHABBONA, Ill.—When 3-year-old Dylan Carey was finally reunited with his mother, Christine Bateman Carey, on Dec. 26, he wrapped himself around her legs and wouldn’t let go.

Neither he nor his 6-year-old brother, Gavin, had seen her in three months.

Dylan, who has been undergoing treatment for a stage four neuroblastoma, had spent a month in quarantine at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago after a bone marrow transplant. Chris, who suffered head trauma in a car accident on Oct. 12, had been hospitalized at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, undergoing physical, rehabilitative and speech therapies.

Their reunion was “just really awesome,” Dave Bateman, Chris’ father, said.

“Dylan sat down on the couch and glued himself to his mom’s leg. He was just stuck there,” Bateman said. “There were some tears, some adjustments, and then time to play a little bit. Chris tires easily, and that’s to be expected, but the reunion was incredible. She was so glad to be home with the boys, and the boys were glad to see mom. It is the answer to a whole lot of prayers, I can tell you that.”

It was a rare moment of joy for a family that’s been twice touched by tragedy: Dylan’s diagnosis in July with neuroblastoma, a tumor of the adrenal gland that had metastasized into his bones, and the car accident in October that landed Chris in a neuro intensive care unit.

Chris, a 1995 Kaneland graduate and an Elburn native, was already on unpaid family medical leave from her job, as she shuttled Dylan to doctors’ appointments, surgeries and chemotherapy. After the accident, her husband, Tim Carey, also went on unpaid family medical leave to care for his wife and sons, living at Ronald McDonald House to be with Dylan during his surgery and month-long quarantine.

Their medical bills are sky-high. Their incomes have disappeared. The situation prompted friends and community members to raise over $38,000 for the family at the “Superheroes for Dylan” fundraiser in Sugar Grove on Dec. 6.

It was an outpouring of support that the family is grateful for, Bateman said.

“The one thing I want to make sure comes through is the absolute and incredible gratitude that Chris and Tim have for all the support they’ve had,” Bateman said. “The fundraiser, the girls who put on that fundraiser … there were people supporting them before the accident, but after, there was hardly a day that one of her friends didn’t come spend with her in the hospital. It’s been an incredible support from friends and community, and I know they want to express their gratitude for that, and I certainly do.”

Though Chris and Dylan are now home, both are still undergoing intensive treatment.

Dylan is starting targeted radiation therapy and travels to Central DuPage Hospital for radiation treatments five days a week.

“We’re a long ways from being done,” Bateman said. “There’s still a lot of pieces that need to get put together, but the doctors are optimistic about Dylan. I think I used the word earlier, ‘cautiously optimistic,’ and I still am, but I’m more optimistic than cautious at this point in time.”

Chris is traveling to Cadence Health in Aurora for additional rehabilitative therapies twice a week. She’s made dramatic progress since the accident, but she still has further to go, her father said.

“All the tubes are out,” Bateman said. “She can eat and converse, but her memory is not so great. She gets lost once in awhile, where she’ll come out of the woods, but for the most part she’s very conversant. She does not remember any part of the accident, and that’s a good thing. I told Chris, ‘The mind has the amazing ability to block some things, and it’s OK, your mind’s protecting
you from that.’ Everyday she remembers more people. It’s putting things in perspective.”

Chris was highly motivated to recover, Bateman said, because she wanted to go home and start caring for Dylan and Gavin again.

“For Chris, it was, ‘What do I need to do to go home?’ She really worked very hard at it, and she realizes there’s still a way to go, but she’s planning on having a full recovery,” Bateman said. “But we also know that it’s not going to be overnight. It could be more than a year before she’s back to normal, but you achieve a little more normalcy every day.”

Tim’s step-sister, Rachel Saltz, has come to stay with the family for the month, helping take Dylan and Chris to treatments and take care of Gavin, who is back in school. The family is trying to adjust to the dramatic changes in their lives, Bateman said.

“It’s just an ongoing process of getting reacquainted,” he said. “You’ve got a family that has been totally devastated over the last six months, and it’s a matter of adjusting to the new reality. It’s never going to be quite like it was. It’s going to be close, but never quite the same. I give (Tim) an immense amount of credit, simply to be able to weather that storm. As he said, ‘You do what you have to do.’ And that was Chris’ attitude before she was hurt: ‘I can’t change what it is, but I can work on my attitude, and my attitude is that we’re going to get through this.’”

The family is still in need of financial help, he said, and additional fundraisers are being planned. Though the Carey family has health insurance, there are co-pay fees for every doctor visit and every medication, as well as co-insurance, the percentage of hospitalization costs and treatment that the family has to pay. Chris’ three-month stay in the hospital was particularly costly, Bateman said, and the bills for her treatment and Dylan’s treatments are just starting to arrive.

Yet despite the challenges, Bateman said he felt hopeful.

“I feel just overwhelming gratitude,” he said. “It’s the answer to prayers that we are so grateful for. And I’m going to be a little selfish and say, we need continued prayers because we’re certainly not done yet. We’re not out of the woods, but we’ve seen some clearings.”

Monetary donations can be made to the “Superheroes for Dylan” account at any Castle Bank, including the Sugar Grove branch at 36 E. Galena Blvd.

HorsePower to host 2nd annual bowling fundraiser

in Maple Park/Regional by
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ST. CHARLES—HorsePower Therapeutic Riding, a not-for-profit organization in Maple Park, will host its second annual bowling fundraiser on Saturday, Jan. 18, from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at St. Charles Bowl, 2520 W. Main Street in St. Charles.

There will be two bowling sessions during the event, with one from noon to 2 p.m., and the other from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at www.horsepower.ticketleap.com/bowling. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for kids who are age 10 and under. There will be no charge for children under the age of 3.

Non-bowlers are also encouraged to attend with a reduced ticket rate of $15. There is an unlimited amount of tickets available for non-bowlers.

The fundraiser will feature silent auctions, cupcake sales, jewelry sales, pizza and a 50/50 faffle.

Carrie Capes, program director and co-founder of HorsePower, hopes to raise $17,000 at the event on Saturday. The money raised will help to purchase lesson equipment and benefit the students HorsePower currently has on scholarship, while also allowing for more scholarships.

“Our scholarships put kids and adults up on a horse when they normally wouldn’t be able to take lessons,” Capes said. “We currently have seven students who are on scholarship now, and we hope to have fourteen students on scholarship this year.”

There are 35 students who currently take riding lessons at HorsePower. Students who have a physical, mental, emotional or cognitive disability benefit in a huge way from horse riding lessons, gaining communications skills, physical stability and emotional empowerment.

HorsePower Therapeutic Riding was co-founded by PATH certified instructor Capes and Wholesale & Correspondent Lending Officer Justin Yahnig in March 2012 with the hope that people with disabilities would experience the healing and empowerment that comes from a horse.

Anyone interested in donating to HorsePower can visit their website at www.horsepowertr.com and click on the donate button.

Don’t delay—test for radon today

in Health & Wellness/Regional by

KANE COUNTY—January is National Radon Action Month, and the Kane County Health Department, in conjunction with the Kane County Healthy Places Coalition, recommends that it is a good time to test your home for the presence of radon. Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas that occurs naturally from the breakdown of uranium and is one of the leading causes of lung cancer in the world, along with smoking and secondhand smoke.

Rocks and soil can contain uranium. Radon gas can enter through cracks in homes/buildings/schools and expose people to the radiation. Because of the geology in the Midwestern United States, homes in Kane County have the potential for higher levels of radon.

The Health Department’s Community Health Improvement Plan targets chronic diseases such as cancer as threats to the community’s health and wellbeing, and the department recommends that all homes in Kane County be tested for radon. Testing kits are available for $15 from the Kane County Health Department and Kane County Development Office. This cost includes the kit, cost of mailing to a certified lab for analysis, and results. Kits are available at these locations:
• Aurora Health Department Office, 1240 N. Highland Ave., Suite 5, Aurora, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
• Kane County Development Office, 719 S. Batavia Ave., 4th Floor, Geneva, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
• Elgin Health Department Office, 1750 Grandstand Place, Suite 2, Elgin, Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to noon

Test kits also are available at most local hardware stores.

A speakers bureau has been created to offer free radon presentations to the community. Questions, contact Terry Roman at (630) 264-7653 or RomanTerry@co.kane.il.us More information and resources about radon is available on the Health Department’s website at kanehealth.com/radon.htm.

The Kane County Healthy Places Coalition is a group of community residents and stakeholders interested in environmental health. You can participate in the next Kane County Healthy Places Coalition Meeting from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 30, at the Kane County Government Center, Building A, Ground Floor Auditorium, 719 S. Batavia Ave. Geneva.

Fishermen’s Inn to reopen as event center in 2014

in Elburn/Regional/Weddings by
fishermansinn

Photo: Fishermen’s Inn in Elburn, closed since 2009, will reopen as an event center in 2014, featuring a silo that will serve as the main entrance. The Fishermen’s Inn building was purchased in October 2012 by Mark and Patricia Southern. Courtesy Photo

Restaurant has already booked 40 weddings prior to its grand reopening

by Natalie Juns
ELBURN—When Elburn’s Fishermen’s Inn closed back in 2009, the community lost a place where people could gather together for reunions, get-togethers, banquets and weddings. Five years later, Fishermen’s Inn is back with a completely updated facility.
Mark and Patricia Southern, the new owners of Fishermen’s Inn, purchased the facility in October 2012 with the intention of renovating it while still preserving its original barn style. The Southerns are accepting reservations for weddings and events, and already have 40 weddings booked for this year.
The Southerns plan to open Fishermen’s Inn to the public on certain holidays, but they aren’t sure of the specific dates just yet.

“We’ve been getting a lot of feedback on our website (fishermensinn.fishermensinnelburn.com),” Mark said. “People are excited that Fishermen’s Inn is reopening, but they think that it won’t be open to the public. We do want to include the community, and our plan is that we will be open on holidays for the public. We are hoping to open on Easter day to the public.”

There will be three banquet rooms in Fishermen’s Inn: The Veranda on the lower level and the Great Room and the Loft Room on the second level. The Great Room will be sided with historic barn siding from the Kane County area. Outlooking the Great Room, they will have a 3,000-square-foot brick patio bar that is expected to open the middle or later part of 2014.

Beyond the patio bar, there are interconnected brick pathways that wind up to the ceremony site behind the restaurant. In preparation of the weddings they will host, the Southerns last fall planted 20,000 tulip bulbs next to the ceremony site and by the pathways.

The Southerns are in the midst of building a silo that will be the main entrance from the parking lot on the west side of the building. The entrance will feature a curved circular ceiling with a sweeping staircase that will drop off visitors at the second level between the restaurant’s Great Room and the Loft Room.

Mark’s sister, Linda Hagen, and Patricia are managing the marketing, promoting and corresponding side of the new Fishermen’s Inn. Those who are interested in booking a wedding there can call (630) 365-9697 for more information.

“The word has spread, and we are looking forward to the grand re-opening,” Hagen said. “We are also thrilled to provide it and give back to the community this way. People will enjoy reliving their memories and creating new ones with their families.”

WCC offers career bridge program to GED students

in Regional by

AURORA—Thanks to a bridge program at Waubonsee Community College, students can prepare for their GED test while also training for a career in health care or manufacturing.

The tuition-free bridge program is 16 weeks long, with the first eight weeks devoted to GED/basic skills work and the second eight weeks devoted to career training. Students on the health care track train to become a certified nurse assistant (CNA), while students on the manufacturing track earn Waubonsee’s Basic Industrial Maintenance Certificate of Achievement.

“The idea is that, once students complete the program, they’re ready to both take the GED test and get a job,” said Alyson Gaspar, Adult Education Special Programs manager.

Students should apply now for classes starting Jan. 21. The Test for Adult Basic Education (TABE) and an interview are required.

To apply or for more information, call an Adult Education Transition advisor at (630) 801-7900, ext. 4661 or ext. 4244.

Waubonsee’s bridge program is funded by a Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant.

Waubonsee students take first, second place in regional writing contest

in Regional/Sugar Grove by

SUGAR GROVE—Two Waubonsee Community College students captured the top two spots in the poetry category at the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Writers’ Competition and Festival.

Carolyn Schroeder of Geneva captured first place in the poetry category for her poem, “Crabgrass.” The win marked the second time Schroeder had placed in the competition, as she added the poetry award to her 2011 first-place short story entry, “Yellow Shoes.”

John Merrow of Plano took second place in the category for his poem, “I Smell Money.”

The works were judged during the competition and festival on Nov. 22 at Oakton Community College in Des Plaines, Ill.

The competition included works submitted by students from Waubonsee and seven other Skyway Conference member schools, including Oakton, Elgin Community College, Morton College, Prairie State College, Moraine Valley Community College, McHenry County College and the College of Lake County.

Students’ work was judged in four categories: poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction and drama.

Also attending the competition were Waubonsee non-fiction writers Kenneth Rupp and Rebecca Jimenez, Assistant Professor of English Todd Laufenberg and Student Life Manager Mary Tosch.

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