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Around and About in West Chicago - 24 May 2012

Around and About

  1. Annual Community Memorial Day Ceremony

  2. Opening Night Party for Turtle Splash Water Park

  3. “Rockin’ Oldies Tribute Show & Dance

  4. “Passport to Adventure program

              The annual Community Memorial Day ceremony is at 10:00
a.m. Monday, May 28, 2012 at the Sailors and Soldiers Monument in
Oakwood Cemetery, Oakwood Avenue and York Street. The service, organized
this year by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6791, is comprised of
members of the VFW, its ladies auxiliary, American Legion Post 300, its
ladies auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion. American flags are on
the gravesites of the veterans in the four local area cemeteries.

The ceremony includes the 21-gun salute and the laying of the wreath at
the base of the monument. Community High School District 94 Band, under
the direction of Steve Govertsen, plays a medley of patriotic songs.
The echoing sounds of “Taps” reverberate throughout the cemetery as the
two high school youths, Ben Stibal and Quinton Letts, play their
trumpets. The moderator is Kevin Driscoll, Legion Post Commander.
Reverend John Dumke, pastor of St. Andrew Lutheran Church, is the
chaplain. Acting Mayor Ruben Pineda is the key speaker.

Prior to the community ceremony, members of the Legion and VFW visit
Glen Oak Cemetery on Arbor Avenue, Calvary Cemetery on East Washington
Street and St. John Cemetery in Winfield. At each stop, they honor those
who have served with the 21-gun salute and the playing of “Taps.”

This year the members of the American Legion Post 300 and the Ladies
Auxiliary are in charge of the Buddy Poppy program, which benefits
disabled veterans who make the red paper poppies. They are selling the
poppies from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 25, and 26,
2012 at Jewel-Osco, 117 East Roosevelt Road; State Bank of Illinois,
600 East Washington Street; and Walgreen’s, 125 North Neltnor Boulevard.
Persons also may contribute to this fund by making a check payable to
American Legion Post 300 Poppy Fund and mailing to American Legion Post
300, P.O. Box 28, West Chicago, IL 60186-0028.


              Benjamin Middle School holds its All School Picnic and Ball Game at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, May 24, 2012.

The Spring Show for the Wheaton Academy Theater is “Guys and Dolls.”
Performances are at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 24, 25,
and 26, 2012 in the White Chapel, 900 Prince Crossing Road. The ticket
price is $10 and tickets are available at 6:30 p.m. at the door.

The West Chicago Garden Club meeting is Thursday, May 24, 2012 at Faith
Community Church, 910 Main Street. Social time is at 6:45 p.m., brief
business meeting at 7:00 p.m. and program at 7:15 p.m.  The program is
“Alternatives to Invasives” presented by Colleen Graudens and Tony Koch.
They discuss ridding the gardens of invasive plants and what to plant
in their place.

              Game Day U.S.A. Stars and
Stripes Memorial Day Classic is Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 25, 26,
and 27, 2012 at Pioneer and Reed-Keppler Parks. Approximately 50
baseball and softball teams from Illinois and surrounding states
participate in the tournament.

              The Opening
Night Party for Turtle Splash Water Park season pass holders is from
6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, May 25, 2012.  In celebration of the Park
District’s 40th Anniversary, season pass holders can bring a guest for a
40 cent admission. The evening of fun includes games and music. The
water park is open from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Memorial Day weekend,
Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

              The Creative
Writing Club at Community High School District 94 presents its fourth
annual production of “See What We Got” at 7:00 p.m. Friday, May 25, 2012
in Weyrauch Auditorium, 326 Joliet Street.

American Legion Post 300, 123 Main Street, hosts an evening of fun,
“Rockin’ Oldies Tribute Show & Dance,” Saturday, May 26, 2012. Mike
Valentine and the Valentine Singers provide an interactive show as they
perform the songs of Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Dion,
Bobby Darrin, Roy Orbison, Ricky Nelson, The Buckinghams and more. Cher
comes on stage through impersonator Ginger Ling. Rumor has it that
“Elvis” might drop in. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., pizza served at 6:00
p.m. and entertainment is at 7:30 p.m. Ticket price is $10 in advance
and $12 at the door. For information, call (630) 231-2112.

The Legion Hall is used for many community events and the Legion needs
some financial assistance. Attending the event, you can contribute to a
worthy cause and have fun at the same time. The post celebrated its 93rd
anniversary March 15, 2012.

              For its
summer schedule, the West Chicago Public Library District, 118 West
Washington Street, is closed Sundays, beginning Sunday, May 27, 2012.

DuPage County Memorial Day observance is at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, May 27,
2012 at the Veterans War Memorial in the DuPage County Complex, 421
County Farm Road. Dirk Enger, District 6 County Board member and a
director of DuPage Memorial, Inc., is the moderator. Terry Owens, a life
member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6791, leads the Pledge of
Allegiance and Chuck Scheckel, Chaplain of VFW Post 6791 and American
Legion Post 300, gives the invocation. The keynote speaker is Tom Day,
founder of Bugles Across America.

              Both the
City Museum, 132 Main Street, and West Chicago Historical Society’s
Kruse House Museum, 527 Main Street, are participants in the “Passport
to Adventure program, which runs from Monday, May 28 through Monday,
September 3, 2012.The program is for children ages 4 through 12. They
receive stamps at the participating locations, which includes more than
50 museums and nature centers in DuPage and Kane counties. Passports are
available at both museums and in the youth services department at the
West Chicago Public Library District, 118 West Washington Street. The
current exhibit at the City Museum is “Rites of Passage.” The exhibit at
the Kruse House Museum is “Treasures of Tea.”

Benjamin Middle School graduation is at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 30,
2012 at Community Fellowship Church. Ninety-two students are graduating.
Principal Joe Salmieri said, “I am very proud of this class and I am
looking forward to the great things they will do in high school and

              In order to accommodate all
students and four guests per student, West Chicago Middle School
Graduation Ceremony takes place on two nights in the gymnasium, 238 East
Hazel Street. The first one for students whose last names begin with
letters A to K is at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 3, 2012. The second one
for students whose last names begin with letters L to Z is Thursday, May
30, 2012. There are 399 students graduating,

The “Cooking Around the World” series continues with the Mediterranean
cuisine program at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 30, 2012 in the meeting room
at the West Chicago Public Library District, 118 West Washington
Street. Chicago-based chef Daniel Hersovic emphasizes the use of fresh
ingredients and authentic flavors. To make a reservation, call the adult
services department at (630) 231-1552, extension 4.

“Perception” is the exhibit for the month of June at Gallery 200, 200
Main Street. The soft pastel paintings of featured artist Heide Riemann
Morris highlight her inspiration from travels and personal interests.
The artist’s reception is from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Friday, June 1, 2012.
Light refreshments are served.

Touch-A-Truck, organized by the West Chicago Police Department and West
Chicago Park District, is from 9:00 a.m. to noon, Saturday, June 2, 2012
in the Turtle Splash Water Park parking lot at Reed-Keppler Park,
Fremont and National streets. Adults and children have the opportunity
to sit in fire trucks, police cars and road construction vehicles. There
are giveaway items and refreshments at the free event.

Wayne Township Recycling and Reuse event is from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 2, 2012 in the township parking lot, 27W031 North
Avenue. It takes place rain or shine.

Artist Buddy Plumlee offers a watercolor class from 9:30 to noon
Saturdays, June 2, 9, 16 and 23, 2012 at Gallery 200/STUDIO, 203 Turner
Court. Subjects covered are watercolor basics such as setting up a paint
box, understanding color and basic painting techniques. Projects are
landscapes, still life or individual subjects based upon the student’s
interests. The class is open to persons age 12 and up and at all skill
levels. The charge is $20 per session. For additional information and a
materials list, call (630) 876-1264 or email To
register, call Gallery 200 at (630) 293-9550.

Gallery Theater conducts two workshops at Gallery 200/STUDIO, 203
Turner Court. Script writing sessions are at 7:00 p.m. Tuesdays, June 5,
12 and 19, 2012. This is an opportunity for writers to work together,
whether it concerns a play already written or have a plot line, but not
developed any further. The goal is to interact with others in a
nurturing atmosphere and learn firsthand how an audience might react.
Guidelines are available to insure concise critiques within the meeting
time frame. The fee is $15.

              The Scene Study
Workshop is at 7:00 p.m. Thursdays, June 7, 14, 21 and 28, 2012. This is
geared toward persons wanting help with a monologue or playing a
certain type of character. Persons may either select a scene they have
not performed before or be assigned a scene, working with a small group
of peers. There are guidelines for encouragement, not criticism and an
acknowledgement of Sanford Meisner’s technique, “To live truthfully
under given imaginary circumstances.” The fee is $60.

              To register for the workshops email

The Western DuPage Chamber of Commerce holds its annual “Swing into
Summer” golf outing Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at Prairie Landing Golf
Course, 2325 Longest Drive. Registration begins at 7:00 a.m. Tee time
starts at 8:00 a.m. Banquet and awards are at 2:00 p.m. The fee is $150
per individual, $600 for a foursome and $50 for banquet only. The
registration form is online at the Chamber website For further information, call the Chamber
office at (630) 231-3003.

              Sincere sympathy
is expressed to the family of John C. “Jack” George, who at the age of
56 passed away Wednesday, May 16, 2012.

The Main Street and Turner Court Rehabilitation project has resumed.
This involves the milling and resurfacing of Main Street from the A.
Eugene Rennels Bridge to Route 59 and of Turner Court from Main Street
to West Washington Street. The work currently is occurring at the Main
Street location. Immediately after finishing the grinding on Main
Street, the work begins on Turner Court.

The fourth Wellness Walk in West Chicago Elementary School District 33,
sponsored by WeGo Together for Kids, was Friday, April 27, 2012. The
goal was 24,901 miles, a virtual walk around the world. Participating
were students, staff, administration and community leaders, walking
24,472 miles. WeGo Together for Kids Director for Wellness, Safety and
Achievement Marjory Lewe-Brady said, “If we walked east from West
Chicago, we would have made it almost all the way around the world,
leaving us on the western edge of Iowa. We hope through the May physical
activity logs, we will walk the remaining 429 miles to make it home!”
Students who complete the activity log receive a one-day pass for up to
six family members to Turtle Splash Water Park.

Turner School and West Chicago Middle School received grants for the
Fresh Fruit and Vegetable program for the 2012-2013 school year. The
Illinois Board of Education distributes the grant monies received from
the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Schools are selected on the number
of students receiving free or reduced-price lunches. Through the
program, schools provide fruit and vegetable snacks during the school
day and are available to all students in the school. The purpose of the
program is increasing the fruit and vegetable consumption by children,
exposing them to different varieties and encouraging them to develop
lifelong healthy eating habits. This is the fourth year that Turner
received the grant.  Principals of individual schools apply for the

              For a three-week period, the third
graders in the class of Allison Yount at Pioneer School paired up with
high school seniors from Matea High School in Aurora, exchanging pen pal
letters in Spanish. The high school students are in Advance Placement
Spanish Classes and needed to practice some real-life writing and
speaking skills.

              To culminate the pen pal activity,
the high school students visited the third graders Thursday, May 3,
2012. The students had lunch together giving them time to socialize. The
high school students brought a book and spent time with discussion
questions, using the more academic framework of the Spanish language
rather than the informal usage.

unusual events in the school year led to the announcement of an expected
surplus at the Community High School District 94 Board of Education
meeting Tuesday, May 14, 2012. Board vice president Gary Saake said, one
factor was “a very mild winter, therefore a significant cost savings on
energy, approximately $150,000.” The other factor was a “lower than
anticipated outside placements for Special Education students,
approximately $75,000 to $100,000.” He explained the district “budgets a
significant amount as a contingency as we do not know who will move
into the district during the year, or be diagnosed as needing outside
placement. Usually the contingency money is used in a normal year as
some placements can have a very high cost.”

              “We are
recommending that the projected surplus be spent on a number of items
that directly impact the classroom,” which the district had planned to
do over the next couple of years. One of the largest areas to be
upgraded is in the science department, but it is not limited to that
department only. “This is not frivolous spending…these are items that
have been deferred over the years.” One example he mentioned was, “Many
of our telescopes are up to 40 years old. We also will be doing some
heavy maintenance on the science labs over the summer. It is time.”
Since there are no inter-fund transfers and it involves just line-item
transfers, no specific board action is needed. The board agreed, “This
is the proper direction to go rather than it just increasing our fund

              Although these were the plans discussed
at the board meeting, the failure of the large chiller, which is the
unit that makes cold water for air conditioning, failed Friday morning
(May 18, 2012). Monday, repairmen were tearing it down to determine the
cost of repair. Saake said, “The cost will be substantial. It will cut
into our plans for the surplus, but hopefully not wipe it out. We are
running on the small chiller and crossing our fingers on temperatures.”

A buffer on the southeast side of the West Chicago Prairie was one of
the five DuPage County forest preserves designated as an Illinois Nature
Preserve at a dedication ceremony Tuesday, May 8, 2012. This gives the
lands an extra ecological protection. The Truitt-Hoff Nature Preserve at
West Chicago Prairies already has this designation.

West Chicago Elementary School District 33 hosted its annual Retirement
and Recognition Social Tuesday, May 15, 2012. Retiring faculty and
staff are Dr. Barbara Clark Associate Superintendent for Human Resources
and Staff Development with 29 years; Cindy Foran, teacher at Turner
School 28.8 years; Marlene Rau, teacher at Turner School with 23 years;
Diane Matallanes, teacher at Gary School with 19 years; Anne Trotta,
teacher at Gary School with 23.5 years; Andrea Farnham, teacher at Gary
School with 26 years; Kevin O’Connor, teacher at Gary School with 27
years; Vivian Stogis, teacher at Gary School with 16.3 years; Jim
Grothendick, principal at Wegner School with 37 years; Lupe Jimenez,
teacher at Wegner School with 32 years; Maria Lindquist, teacher at
Indian Knoll School with 37 years; Pat Wilson, secretary at Indian Knoll
School with 19 years; Pat Stacey, teacher at West Chicago Middle School
25.6 years; Denise Garman, English as a Second Language teacher at
Indian Knoll School and Pioneer School with 19 years; and Bryan
Rehfeldt, Director of Technology with 11 years. This totals 383.2 years
of experience.

              Also recognized were persons
employed by the district from five to 35 years. Sue Libberton from
Turner School celebrates 35 years. Kathy Cruz from Gary School and Patty
Pentek from West Chicago Middle School celebrate 30 years. Celebrating
25 years are Chuck Osborne from West Chicago Middle School, Jami Monge
from Indian Knoll School, Kathy McKee from West Chicago Middle School,
Mel Dixon from Turner School, Pam Gierman, from Preschool, Shelly Heyer
from Wegner School and Tina Doran from West Chicago Middle School.

Evergreen Elementary School students corroborated with the Humanitarian
Science Project to collect food for the Kids Project. They collected
300 items.

              At the Thursday, May 17, 2012
West Chicago Elementary School District 33 Board of Education meeting,
the drawing was held for the Foundation for Educational Excellence
scholarship raffle. The first place winner for was District 33 student
Lucy Fuentes, who received a $1,215 scholarship. Winning the second
prize of a $500 savings bond was Elseo Carrillo. The amount of the
scholarship is based upon the amount of tickets sold, with the
foundation receiving 50 percent of the monies raised. The foundation
uses the money for enrichment programs and other projects to enhance the
quality of education and to provide students and staff with extended
learning experiences. DuPage National Bank donates the savings bond.

More than 400 students participated in the annual West Chicago,
Winfield, Carol Stream Sports Festival for seventh and eighth graders
from West Chicago Elementary School District 33, Benjamin School
District 25 and Winfield School District 34. Community High School
District 94 Physical Development Division was the host for the feeder
schools to the high school Thursday, May 17, 2012. The event “was filled
with activities, athletics, food and fun,” said Clay Reagan, assistant
Athletic Director and Physical Development Division Head. Activities
included golf, tennis, football, basketball, chess, track and field, and
ultimate Frisbee. The participants displayed “great character and
conduct.” Benjamin Middle School was triumphant in the Tug-of-War
competition. Winfield Middle School won the Sportsmanship Award.

              At the Monday, May 21, 2012 meeting, City Council elected Ward 1 Alderman Lori Chassee as Mayor Pro Tem.

It was summer-like weather at Blooming Fest Saturday, May 19, 2012. The
gentle breeze made it a perfect day for participants and guests to
enjoy all the activities of the event

              The West
Chicago Garden Club again had a successful plant sale. “People were
waiting in line at 8 a.m. and we finally opened at 8:30 a.m.,” said Tom
Fessler, garden club member. We sold out of vegetables quickly.” The
club had 50 purple coneflowers, which is the official flower of the City
and had “only six left.” At the end of the day, there were less than
100 plants remaining out of the original 2,500. “We gave these to the
park district. We had a great time and it was a good fundraiser.” 
Fessler explained the club uses the money for speakers at the meetings,
donations of subscriptions to the library and other projects in the
community. “Last year we donated the benches for the memorial garden at
Reed-Keppler Park.”

              The pancake breakfast, hosted
by Boy Scout Troop 33, was a success. Troop Committee chairman Rita
Butler said, “We had a nice turnout. It all went very well. It was slow
and steady all morning, so we were able to mange nicely.”

Waterman, a member of Friends of the West Chicago City Museum, said,
“Blooming Fest was fabulous.” Many people visited the museum.

There were approximately 40 participants in the My Pet Rocks dog
contest. “For the first time holding the event, the participation was
great,” according to Glory Spies, West Chicago Park District
Communications/Marketing Director. “I feel we had great publicity and
participation from the community…It was a great opportunity for the park
district to showcase and let people know about our Wiggly Field Dog

              Listening to comments of persons attending, I
am hearing the general consensus of  “It was great and we had a fun

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