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Around and About in West Chicago - 02 May 2012

Around and About

  • Conservative Investing for Beginners

  • Wheaton Academy Spring Choral Concert

  • Kruse House Museum Summer Tour Season

  • We-Go Run

           History was made Monday, April 23, 2012 when the students in the high school’s broadcast production classes conceptualized, filmed, edited and produced the school’s first LibDub. A LibDub is a type of video that combines lip synching and audio dubbing, demonstrating spontaneity, authenticity, group participation and fun. The video is one continuous take, “which is kind of the only unspoken official rule about how to film a LibDub,” explained Dave Jennings, teacher of the broadcasting classes. Once the completed video was released Wednesday, April 25, the popularity and pride showered forth. “None of us could have prepared ourselves for the impact the video seems to have had upon the school, the community and the world at large...we have received words of screenings in England, Germany, Italy, Poland and South Korea.”

           To accomplish this feat involved not only hours of preparation time, but months to consider this possibility. “It became a class project after months of consideration, deliberation and planning. It took me a long time for me to convince myself that it was actually something we would be able to pull off successfully.” During this time, the students, credited for the “Planning and Production” on the film’s credits, did their best to convince Jennings and generate some reasonable ideas.

           “In late March, I announced it as a class project for my two Broadcast Production classes. We began communicating our plans to the school via our in-house weekly television program, “Wildcat Weekly.” About a week or two before the filming date, the students communicated more specifically with staff in smaller production teams. This helped to facilitate plans for assigned spaces and “making certain we did as much on the end as possible to ensure the success of all involved.”

           Since music is one of the main components of LibDub, the selection of the songs created the theme of the video. The songs are “Be True to Your School,” by the Beach Boys and “This is My City” by Timothy Victor.  Both songs “speak to the idea of being proud of where your are from, which is something our students can tend to struggle with from time to time.” Jennings added, “I thought it would be meaningful to soundtrack something with school-spirit, fueled with songs that spoke to owning where you came from in such a direct way.”

           The inspiration for the idea arose from a conference Jennings had with a parent in the fall. The mother discussed how she liked her daughters attending the school, “but felt bad for the undeserved, negative stereotypes some people espouse abut the school.” Essentially her words were “If only every parent could come in here and see all the awesome things that happen everyday, everyone would understand how great this place is.”

           Thus, the video production did open the doors for everyone to view and staff and students in the school to participate. “To my knowledge, almost every single person who calls CHS home was involved the LibDub,” involving approximately 2,400 persons in the production.

           “Production-wise, we filmed it Monday afternoon during the beginnings of an all-school assembly.” The film begins at the front entrance to the school, down hallways and in various rooms, “and the route ends in the same assembly with the Sole Stepper (the high school dance club) performance.” Although a continuous take is a challenge to film, it was relatively easy to edit, according to Jennings. “By Wednesday afternoon, we synced up the original audio track, added transitions and titles…and finished the final edit.”

           To view the 8 plus-minute video, go to or

           However the accolades for the Broadcasting Production students continues with the receipt of seven awards at the Chicagoland Television Educators Council High School Video Festival Friday, April 20, 2012. Jennings explained the festival “is essentially on level with a state-level competition open to any and all schools in the Chicagoland area with courses of study comparable to, and in many cases, light years beyond our own Broadcast Production program.” Judges are industry professionals.

           First place winners were Tim Almaraz in the Animation Category, Valentin Barrera in the Commercial Category, Zack Burghardt and Kevin Schwartz in the Public Services Announcement Category.

           Marco Aguilar and Eddie Fuentes won second place in the Animation Category. Winning second place in the Drama Category were Tyler Hunter and Kevin Schwartz.

           Valentin Barrera and Dylan Dewey won third place in the Documentary Category. Winning third place in the Documentary Category was Brad Larson.

           Part 2 of the West Chicago Public Library’s program,  “Cooking Around the World,” is at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 2, 2012 in the meeting room, 118 West Washington Street. Chicago-based Chef Daniel Herskovic demonstrates Mediterranean cuisine, emphasizing the use of fresh ingredients for authentic flavors.

           The West Chicago Public Library District, 118 West Washington Street, offers a three-course program, “Conservative Investing for Beginners,” at 7:00 p.m. Thursdays, May 3, 10, and 17, 2012 in the meeting room, 118 West Washington Street. Topics include the principles of creating liquidity/cash flow, protecting assets, and risk management. Presenting the program is Winfield resident Paul Daly, president and owner of OHM Partner Group.   He is on the adjunct faculty staff at College of DuPage and Waubonsee Community College. To make reservations, call the Library adult services department at (630) 231-1552, Extension 4.

           The special rates for season passes for Turtle Splash Water Park end Friday, May 4, 2012. Call the Park District office at (630) 231-9474 for more information.  

           At Wheaton Academy, the Spring Choral Concert is at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 4, and the Spring Instrumental Concert is at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, May 5, 2012.  Both are held in the Fine Arts Center, 900 Prince Crossing Road.

           The choral concert features performances by the Concert Choir, Kantorei, Women’s Chorale and Men’s Ensemble.

           Concert Band, Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble and Academy Jazz perform in the instrumental concert.

           The DuPage Veterans Foundation in association with City of West Chicago, CALAMOS and DuPage Airport Authority host a fundraiser to honor World War II veterans. It takes place Saturday, May 5, 2012 in the Calamos Hangar at DuPage Airport, 2700 International Drive. Gates are open from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

           Military vehicles and WWII aircraft are on display. Lunch is from noon to 1:30 p.m. The program begins at 1:30 with the presentation of colors and the Roll Call of WWII veterans. The Naperville Fire Department Highland Guard plays the bagpipes. The emcee is Steve Sanders, co-anchor of WGN TV Midday News. Legacy Girls provide the musical entertainment of the era as they perform the toe-tapping hits of the Andrews Sisters. There is a silent auction. The program ends with the playing of “Taps.”

           The ticket price is $30 in advance, $40 at the door, and $20 for youths under the age of 12. WWII veterans and Active Duty Military are free with ID. Tickets may be ordered online at, or by mail with the information of tickets needed and where to send them. Make checks payable to DuPage Veterans Foundation and mail to DuPage Veterans Foundation, P.O. Box 299, Wheaton, IL 60187. For further information, call either (630) 668-2050 or (630) 614-4533.

           Proceeds benefit Honor Flight Chicago, a 501c3 not-for-profit organization developed to give WWII veterans a day of honor by flying them to Washington D.C. to view the war memorials. The DuPage Veterans Foundation, a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, was established in 2011 to honor and support the men and women who served in the armed forces, recognizing the special needs of DuPage County veterans and providing fundraising efforts.

           The West Chicago Historical Society Kruse House Museum, 527 Main Street, opens for the summer tour season. Hours are from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturdays, beginning May 5, and ending September 30, 2012.

           The special exhibit is “Treasures of Tea.” On display are items relating to tea, including teapots, teakettles, tea caddies, diffusers and books. Some are from the Kruse House collection and others are on loan from residents in the community. For further information, call Joan Conkright at (630) 231-2321.

           “Needle Felting” is the West Chicago Public Library program at 1:00 p.m. Sunday, May 5, 2012 in the meeting room, 118 West Washington Street. The craft involves using soft-carded wool and taking special barbed needles to push the top layer of wool into deeper felt, basically felting without the use of soap and water. Presenting the program is Natasha Lehrer, owner of Esther’s Place, a fiber arts studio in Big Rock. Its exclusive Green Pastures Collection features wool from local Illinois flocks. There is a $7 materials fee. To make a reservation, call the adult services department at (630) 231-1552, extension 4.

           “Horse and Garden” is the exhibit for the month of May at Gallery 200, 200 Main Street. The display features the artwork of Kristine Plum, horse owner and watercolor artist. She paints from the perspective of a competitive equestrian and nature enthusiast. The artist’s reception is from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. Saturday, May 5, 2012. Light refreshments are served.

           The eighth annual We-Go Run, sponsored by the Parent-Teacher Organizations of West Chicago Elementary School District 33, begins at 8:00 a.m. Sunday, May 6, 2012 at Community High School District 94 Memorial Field, Wood and George streets. The run includes a 5K run/walk, a 10K run, a one-mile run for children 14 and under and a 100-yard dash for children ages eight and under. Registration fees for the 5K and 10K events are $20 and $25 on race day. The fee for the one-mile run is $1 for District 33 students and $4 for others and on race day, the fee is $8. There is no charge for the Kid’s Dash. The awards ceremony is at 9:45 a.m.

           Registration forms are available at district schools, the district office at 312 East Forest Avenue and online at We Go Run webpage. Pre–registration deadline is Saturday, May 5, 2012. For further information, email Alicia Carriveau at or call (630) 251-2588.

           The West Chicago Park District in cooperation with American Legion Post 300 and Legion Auxiliary host the annual 80 and Over Party from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Sunday, May 6, 2012 at the legion hall, 123 Main Street. The public is invited to honor these distinguished guests, and learn a little about their lives and the history of the community. Light refreshments are served.

           St. Michael’s United Church of Christ and People Made Visible co-host the second Family Game Night Sunday, May 6, 2012. The potluck supper is at 6:00 p.m. followed by the playing of games in the Ehredt-Albin Fellowship Room, 400 West Washington Street.

           West Chicago’s 10th annual Citywide Collection takes place on regularly scheduled garbage pick up days from Monday May 7, through Friday, May 11, 2012. Using eight “universal” stickers, residents can dispose an unlimited amount of acceptable items. Helpful hint—affix your stickers to your 35 or 95-gallon garbage cart or to something that is definitely a throw away item. Otherwise you might see your stickers “walk away,” if someone decides your junk is their treasure. For a list of acceptable items, call Michelle Baldino at (630) 293-6628 or check the city’s website at, under Public Works.

           Also, the City’s brush pick-up program starts Monday, May 7, 2012.

           The West Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners holds a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, May 7, 2012 at Easton Park, 840 East Washington Street.

           The West Chicago Elementary School District 33 Spring Orchestra Concert is at 7:00 p.m. Monday, May 7 and the Band Concert is at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 8, 2012 in the gymnasium at West Chicago Middle School, 238 East Hazel Street. The concerts are open to the public.

           Performing in the orchestra concert are Beginners, Elementary Orchestra-fifth and sixth graders, and the West Chicago Middle School Orchestra. The concert begins with the middle school orchestra, who play the traditional Mexican folk song “Las Mananitas,” an arrangement of Maurice Ravel’s “Pavane,” the theme from the “Pink Panther,” and “Don’t Stop Believin.’” The beginners are next and play “Ode to Joy,” one of the themes from Beethoven’s9th Symphony, “Frere Jacques,” “French Folk Song” and “First Scale March.” Concluding the program is the Elementary Orchestra. They play a fun piece called “Grasshopper Chomp,” “St. Anthony Chorale” by Haydn, “America the Beautiful” featuring sixth graders, and “Samba La Bamba,” a Latin-style piece with percussion. The orchestra director is Janet Sikma.

           Performing in the band concert is the beginning band comprised primarily of fifth graders, the Intermediate Band, who are sixth graders and the Middle School Band, who are seventh and eighth graders. Starting the program is the Beginner Band, who play “High Adventure,” the traditional African-American faith song, “Peace Like a River” and American Spirit March,” which incorporates sounds from the national anthem. The Intermediate Band Begins with a fanfare and procession, “Glorioso,” an arrangement of “Amazing Grace,” a new band march, “Baton Rouge.” The Middle School Band concludes the program and plays an arrangement by the Black-Eyed Peas, “I Gotta Feeling,” “Black Forest Overture,” and “Gallant Marines” by American band composer Karl King. The band director is James Wallace.

           Wheaton Academy presents the Musical Theater Performances at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, May 8 and 9, 2012 in the Fine Arts Center, 900 Prince Crossing Road.

           Wayne/Winfield Area Youth/Family Services host an intergenerational event at 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 9, 2012 in the Wayne Township building, 27W031 North Avenue. Teens assist senior citizens in the navigation of cell phones and texting. There is no charge. For further information, call WAYS at (630) 231-7166.

           Community High School District 94 hosts its annual Community Forum at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 9, 2012 in the Resource Center, 326 Joliet Street, entrance F. Presenters are Lalo Ponce, Superintendent; Dr. Kim Chambers, Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services; Dr. Moses Cheng, Principal; and Gordon Cole, Business Manager. Topics under discussion are the district’s curriculum renewal plan, financial picture and strategic plan. This is a perfect opportunity for residents in the district not only to learn about these subjects, but also to have questions answered. For further information call Ponce at (630) 876-6210 or Chambers at (630) 876-6215.

           “The ABCs of Photo Organization” is the program at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 9, 2012 in the meeting room, 118 West Washington Street. Presenting the program is Monica Lee, Illinois Territory Manager of Association of Personal Photo Organizers. She discusses how to organize a lifetime of family photos ranging from loose photographs in a drawer to those on digital cameras and in the computer. This includes the steps of sorting, connecting themes, cataloguing and editing. Call the Library adult services department at (630) 231-1552, extension 4, to make a reservation.

           WeGo Drama at Community High School District 94 presents “Titanic: the Musical” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 10, 11, and 12, 2012 in Weyrauch Auditorium, 326 Joliet Street. The music and lyrics are by Maury Yeston and the book by Peter Stone, based on the RMS Titanic sinking on its maiden voyage April 15, 1912. The musical shares the stories of several individuals, both historical and fictional, from the three classes on the ship. At first everything thing goes smoothly on the voyage to America. Then the fateful moment occurs when the luxury liner, considered to be unsinkable, hits the iceberg. Many do not survive the sinking of the ship, a moment that remains in the minds of those that do survive. The thematic focus of WeGo Drama this season is “where every moment matters,” and 100 years later, this production captures the heart and mind of this tragedy.

           Members of the crew are Maggie Kazmer, Brie Steward, Emily Wittenberg, Ashley Anderson, Brian Berger, Lupe Blanco, Marissa Borchering, Jessie Hansen, Kevin Hauber, Marianne Kiel and Mikaela Kiel.

           Others are Breanna Kmiecik, Lindsey Krysinski, Ryan Lakics, Brad Larson, Edlyn Leon, Jackie Letzer, Farrell Lewis, Diana Lopez, Tara Lyne and Melissa Metzger.

           Also are Kari Miller, Johnny Quehol, Scott Schoeller, Jake Seeman, Kevin Seeman, Sam Spyrison, Paloma Bonilla, Pilar Bonilla, Cat Canestrelli, Matthew Loftus, Jacob Plant, Olivia Powrozek, and Lauren Russo.

           The director is Mark Begovich and assistant director is Maggie Haas. Vocal direction is by Brandon Fantozzi and orchestra direction by Allison Zabelin. Scenic design and technical direction is by Chris Jensen and lights and sound by Jim Anderson. Production stage manager is Sarah Quealy.

           The ticket price is $8 for adults and $5 for students. Tickets are available at the door or online at The musical is presented by arrangement with Tams-Witmark, New York.

           As their final production for its first season, Gallery Theater presents “Chapter Two,” a play by Neil Simon, at Gallery 200/STUDIO, 203 Turner Court. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, May 11 and 12, and at 3:00 and 7:00 p.m. Sunday, May 12, 2012.

           The delightful comedy focuses on the growth of love. Two hurt and lonely people struggle to overcome their individual pasts to create a joint future. Although it seems like a heavy subject, the wit and humor of Simon evokes a feeling of lightness, an enjoyable time of theater for the audience.

           Members of the cast are Debbi Dennison from Schaumburg, Mark Fortman from West Chicago, Amy Gray from Chicago and Christopher Williams from Aurora.

           The ticket price is $8 per person. To make a reservation, email or purchase at the theater. Call (630) 639-0594 for box office hours.

           With the assistance of residents, postal carriers are willing to carry an extra load Saturday, May 12, 2012. It is the 20th annual Stamp Out Hunger Food drive by the National Association of Letter Carriers. Persons place non-perishable food items, paper products, cleaning products and/or personal care items in a bag by their mail receptacle. Items are donated to local food pantries.

           The West Chicago Lacrosse Club holds a Car Wash fundraiser from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Saturday, May 12, 2012 at Murphy Ace Hardware, 319 South Neltnor Boulevard. The charge is $5 per vehicle.

           The West Chicago Public Library District hosts the Tenth Annual Mother-Daughter Tea from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Saturday, May 12, 2012 in the meeting room, 118 West Washington Street. The traditional Mother’s Day event is open to mothers, grandmothers and aunts along with girls age 5 through 12. In the program room, transformed into a Hollywood mansion, guests enjoy the music by harpist Julie LaPlaca, library circulation clerk. Refreshments include tea sandwiches, fresh fruit, sweet treats and beverage. Seating is limited. To make a reservation, call the Library youth services department at (630) 231-1552, extension 3.

           Benjamin Middle School, 28W250 St. Charles Road, holds its Band and Choir Concerts at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 15, 2012.

           “Eco Friendly and Beautiful Design for the Home” is the program at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at the West Chicago Public Library District, 118 West Washington Street. Interior designer and writer Susan Pantaleo, owner of Concepts of Design, presents the program. She discusses way to be green, not beige, and bring color into the home. Call the Library adult services department at (630) 231-1552, extension 4 to make a reservation.

           Wayne/Winfield Area Youth/Family Services conduct a Stress Management group for adults from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. Wednesdays at the Wayne Township building, 27W031 North Avenue. This is an on-going class, focusing on identification of stress levels, the effect in daily lives, and reducing stress. Call WAYS at (630) 231-7166 for more information.

           Sincere sympathy is expressed to the family of Elsie Ruth Schramer, who at the age of 91 passed away Tuesday, April 24, 2012.

           Deepest sympathy is extended to the family of George Van Der Molen, who at the age of 86 died Wednesday, April 25, 2012.

           Sincere sympathy is expressed to the family of Joseph E. “Joe” Bialek, who at the age of 96 passed away Friday, April 27, 2012.

           The West Chicago Fire Protection District recently finished the rehabilitation of Station 1 (district headquarters), 200 Fremont Street. The last major renovation was more than 12 years ago. After the facilities review by FGM Architects, problem areas addressed were a leaking roof, old and inefficient heating, air conditioning, lighting and replacing of entry doors. The addition of new windows increased natural lighting and ventilation in the apparatus bay. Other improvements included painting, carpeting and ceiling replacement.  There was a complete reconfiguration of the kitchen and bunkroom.

           “Wildcat Chronicle,” the Community High School District 94 student newspaper, was well represented at the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Conference in New York, March 13 through 16, 2012. Editor-in-chief Carly Tubridy and editors Giuliana LaMantia, Keyuri Parmar and Elizabeth Ramos presented a seminar on what it takes to become an editor on an award-winning newspaper. This was an honor, as students normally are not selected to speak. Mainly professionals present seminars to offer guidance to scholastic journalists.

           “Wildcat Chronicle” recently won First Place with special Merit, earning 950 out of 1000 points, from the American Scholastic Press Association. Ramos also won Best News Photograph.

           The newspaper won a silver certificate from the Northern Illinois School Press Association. Tubridy won a blue ribbon for Individual In-Depth reporting for her story on the high school teachers’ contract and an Honorable Mention Award for Photography. Parmar won an Honorable Mention for Review Writing. Ramos won and Honorable Mention for News Writing. Brandon Jackson won an Honorable Mention for Editorial Writing.

           A recent project with a dual purpose was beneficial to both students in the English as a Second Language class at Community High School District 94 and first grade students in the dual language program at Gary School. ESL students from Mexico, Iraq and Vietnam studied bullying and then worked in teams to write and illustrate three different and original coloring books and word games for the elementary school children. The high school students wrote in English and then translated into Spanish. They also wrote scripts based upon the books, filming and editing one script.

           Presenting the program at Gary, the ESL students showed the movie and discussed how first graders could help the little boy being bullied. Breaking down into smaller groups, the students read their books and played word games with the young children. Each first grader received a coloring book and word game to take home.

           The high school ESL teacher is Allison Baxter and the Gary School first grade teacher is Lillian Figueroa.

           The West Chicago Public Library District recently received a “Going Green” award from Fitzgerald Lighting & Maintenance Company. This award is in recognition of the Library’s lighting retrofit from T12 to T8 throughout the building, resulting in an overall reduction of 40 percent (1,178 watts) in energy consumption.

           For the second year, students at Wegner School participated in the American Diabetes Association SCHOOLWALK for Diabetes.  They surpassed their goal to walk 690 miles and raise $3,450. Walking during scheduled gym time, the students walked 1,010.75 miles and the amount raised was $5,798.06.

           Benjamin Middle School received the Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The grant funds the school’s “Understanding Illinois Biodiversity through Outdoor Education Program.” The program allows students to demonstrate skills in the hands-on environment of Laredo Taft. These include drawing and labeling the layers of temperate deciduous forest and organisms living there, sketching and labeling the parts of a deciduous or coniferous tree, explaining food chains and food webs, explaining the cycles of water, carbon and oxygen, and nitrogen, searching for signs of habitats and man’s disturbance of such, identifying leaves, participating in animal tracking and using a compass and navigating through a forest.

           West Chicago Democrat Art Ludwig is a new member of the bi-partisan DuPage County Election Commission, a three-person panel consisting of two Republicans and one Democrat.

           Twenty-six students from West Chicago Middle School attended the first “Diversity on the Bench” presentation, hosted by DuPage County Bar Association. Teachers selected the students based on various criteria such as leadership skills, positive character traits and eagerness to learn. Principal Pat Roszkowski and school counselor Lindy Ayala accompanied the students.

           The students visited with Judge Bonnie Wheaton in her courtroom and had lunch with several local attorneys. After lunch, Magistrate Judge Arland Keys of the U.S. District Court discussed his life experiences leading up to his current position. Also, the students met a variety of legal professionals during the day.

           The main focus of the presentation was to encourage young people, emphasizing that through perseverance and hard work goals can be obtained regardless of financial status, gender, ethnicity or other obstacles.

           Remember to support our local businesses that give to our community not only through tax monies, but also with monetary and in-kind donations to clubs, churches, organizations and schools. For news on local businesses, read my monthly Business Highlights column at

           My email address is 


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