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Around and About in West Chicago - 25 Oct 2012

Around and About

              On the November 6, 2012 General Election ballot, the City of West Chicago has the referendum question, “Shall the City of West Chicago have the authority to arrange for the supply of electricity for its residential and small commercial retail customers who have not opted out of such program?” City Council passed the referendum resolution at it Monday, July 16, 2012 meeting.

              Municipal aggregation allows local governments to bundle residential and small business electric accounts and to seek bids for a lower cost, similar to how the City negotiates contracts for waste disposal or cable television. Although all eligible residents and businesses are automatically enrolled, anyone can opt out of the program as two notifications are sent prior to the enactment.  The vendor, selected by City Council, is responsible for sending the opt-out notifications.  Persons would continue to call ComEd for service disruption and ComEd would send the monthly bills.

              Many communities in Illinois already approved the aggregation and have reduced residents Com Ed bill by 15 to 35 percent. Lori Chassee, Ward 1 Alderman and Public Affairs Committee Chairman, explained, “The aggregate process is not difficult, but the State requires several steps and having the question on the ballot is one of the requirements.” For further information, call (800) 856-3404.



              West Chicago Elementary School District 33 hosts a Nutrition & Food Tasting Expo, presented by the district’s food service, Aramark, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, October 24, 2012 in the West Chicago Middle School cafetorium, 238 East Hazel Street, enter through Joliet Street. Through displays and discussions, it highlights the new standards for school meals. A round table discussion comprised of registered dietitians is at 7:00 p.m.   Other activities are games, prizes and free samples from vendors.

              The West Chicago Garden Club meeting is Thursday, October 25, 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 the program, “Orchids by Hauserman,” at 7:15 p.m. The speaker, Don White, discusses the different varieties of orchids and how to care for them, plus has orchids available for sale. The meeting is open to the public.

              Wheaton Academy Theater presents a Fall Festival of three one-act plays at 7:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, October 26 and 27, 2012 in the Alumni Chapel, 900 Prince Crossing Road. The plays are “The 15-minute Hamlet,” “The Mad Breakfast” and “The Man in the Bowler Hat.” Ticket price is $10 and may be ordered on line at A limited amount of tickets are available at the door.

              The Community High School District 94 Fall Choral Concert is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, October 25, 2012 in Weyrauch Auditorium, 326 Joliet Street.

              Gary School, 130 East Forest Avenue, hosts its annual Fright Night from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, October 26, 2012. Activities include games, the haunted hall and cakewalk, some of which have a charge of $1 per participant.

              The West Chicago Park District sponsors the annual Halloween Parade Saturday, October 27, 2012, starting in the parking lot behind the West Chicago Library District building, 118 West Washington Street. Registration is at 11:30 a.m., judging at noon and award presentation follows the parade. Creativity, originality and overall impression are the basis for costume judging. Age categories are infant to five, six to 10, 11 to 15, and 16 and up.

              The parade steps off at 12:30 p.m. from Turner Court to West Washington Street, to Main Street and back to Turner Court. All participants receive a free trick or treat bag.

              Following the parade, the Library meeting room is the site of a Haunted Forest for children, ages three to 12. It ends at 3:00 p.m.

              Downtown “trick or treat” is from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Participating businesses display a pumpkin in their window. The festive route is on Main Street between Washington Street and Turner Court.

              Chili lovers have the opportunity not only to sample recipes of chili, but also to contribute to a good cause. “Chili for a Cure,” sponsored by Local Illinois Association of Fire Fighters Local 3970 and Hawthorne’s Backyard Bar & Grill, is from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Saturday, October 27, 2012 at the restaurant, 1200 West Hawthorne Lane. The sale of wristbands begins at 3:00 p.m.

              Fourteen teams compete for the Judges’ Choice Award and the Peoples’ Choice Award. Contestants are Manny Garcia Sr., Hawthorne’s Backyard, West Chicago Fire Local Union 3970, Kathy Burke, Dirk Gunderson, Duane Gill, Emery Jones, Mary P., Barb McGrath, Santo and Jan Ianno Jr., Addison Fire Department, Caliendo's Restaurant & Bar, Tom "Q," and Moore.

             Judges are Tony Quarto, Michelle Fortman and Joe Strock.

              In addition to chili, there are hot dogs and wings. Other activities include wiffleball, bags and sand volleyball. Among the many raffle prizes are an autographed Phil Humber baseball from the Chicago White Sox, an Entertainment Cruise for two on Chicago Cruise Lines, winetasting tours at Lynfred Winery, Chicago Wolves tickets and many gift certificates from local businesses. Pink Heals, the Pink Fire Truck, will be on view for part of the event. The cost is $7 for adults and $5 for children under the age of 10. Proceeds go to Scoobies for Boobies, benefiting the Keep a Breast Foundation.

              American Legion Post 300 hosts a Halloween Party Saturday, October 27, 2012 at the hall, 123 Main Street. The doors open at 5:00 p.m. dinner of pizza and salad is at 7:30 p.m. Wearing of costumes is optional, but there are prizes for the best.

              Back by popular demand the Valentine Singers provide the entertainment, a “Rockin’ Oldies Tribute Show and Dance.” The group performs the songs of Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Dion, Bobby Darrin, Roy Orbison, Ricky Nelson, The Buckinghams and more. Ginger as “Cher” is one of the highlights of the program. A 50/50 raffle adds to the fun.

              The charge is $15 per person. Guests not only can have an enjoyable evening, but also contribute to a worthy cause.  For reservations or information, call the legion at (630) 231-2112.

              The City of West Chicago free leaf collection begins Monday, October 29, and ends Friday, November 30, 2012 on regularly scheduled garbage pick up days. Leaves must be placed in biodegradable “Kraft” bags; no plastic bags are accepted. Stickers are not required.

              As part of its Fine Arts Week, Wheaton Academy hosts its annual Visual Art Gallery from Monday, October 29, through Friday, November 2, 2012 in the Fine Arts building 900 Prince Crossing Road. The theme is “The Gospel through Art.”

              Citizens for Reed Rec Center hold a meeting from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Monday, October 29, 2012 in the commons area at Community High School District 94, 326 Joliet Street, Entrance H. There is a presentation on the West Chicago Park District referendum for the proposed 65,000 square-foot recreation center at Reed-Keppler Park, followed by a question and answer period. The referendum question reads, “Shall the bonds of the West Chicago Park District, DuPage County, Illinois, in the amount of $15,500,000 be issued for the purpose of constructing, building, furnishing and equipping a recreation center?” The referendum question appears on the general election ballot November 6, 2012.

              The proposed center includes a 12,000 square-foot fitness center, an indoor walking and jogging track, a senior area, multi-purpose basketball and volleyball courts, two aerobic dance studios, summer camp and after-school opportunities, an indoor two-story playground and childcare area, a birthday party area, a multipurpose area for indoor soccer and lacrosse. The yearly tax increase would be $50 for a $200,000 home and $64 for a $250,000 home.

              Trick or Treat Hours in West Chicago are from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, October 31, 2012. A few tips for a safe and happy Halloween include trick or treat participants only stop at homes beaconing a welcome with a lit porch light, carry flashlights, cross streets at intersections, wear costumes that allow freedom of movement and masks and face covering that allow easy visibility and go with friends and/or parents. Have a “spooktacular” time!

              “Thomas Jefferson, in person” is the West Chicago Pubic Library District program at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, November 1, 2012 in the meeting room, 118 West Washington Street. With his portrayal of Jefferson, Paul Lauracella from Prairie Star Productions gives a vivid description of the man, the history and its affects on life today. Not only was he the third President of the United States, but also the primary author of the Declaration of Independence, and his personal library was the foundation of the Library of Congress. Call the Library adult services department at (630) 231-1552, Extension 4, to make a reservation.

              “Switzerland, and Other Beautiful Things…” is the exhibit for the month of November at Gallery 200, 200 Main Street. On display are the photographs and handcrafted jewelry by Britta Renwick. In addition to the matted and framed images, photographs are available in poster prints, photo-imprinted cards, bookmarks and reusable tote bags.  Her sons, Sean and Alec, also have drawings and crafts on display. The artist’s reception is from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Friday, November 2, 2012. Refreshments include Swiss chocolate and other treats from Switzerland.

              Faith Community Church, 910 Main Street, hosts its annual Holiday Bazaar & Nearly New Sale from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, November 2 and 3, 2012 in the Mission Center. There are handcrafted items, bake sale and the popular new and gently used sale.

              4 the People of Illinois, a community organization in the West Chicago area, sponsors its Ninth Annual Prayer Breakfast at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, November 3, 2012 in the atrium at Wheaton Academy, 900 Prince Crossing Road. As always, the theme of the breakfast remains “People Helping People.”

              Luis Saltigerald, a deacon at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, gives the opening prayer. Reverend Robert Rosado, pastor of Crossroads Restoration Church, gives the reading from the Old Testament. Reverend Travis Else, pastor of Faith Community Church, gives the reading from the New Testament. Musical presentation is by Wheaton Academy Kantorei, under the direction of Joel Visker.

              The featured speaker is Reverend Chris McElwee, pastor of Local Impact at Wheaton Bible Church. He relates the various happenings in the West Chicago area and some future plans.

              The ticket price is $10. To order tickets in advance, call Don Earley at (630) 231-3060. Tickets also are available at the door.

              United Methodist and Congregational Women of First United Methodist Church of West Chicago, host their annual Holiday Bazaar and Luncheon Saturday, November 3, 2012 at the church, 643 East Washington Street. The bazaar is from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Sale items include handmade gifts and ornaments, gift baskets, baked goods, white elephant goodies, and fresh candied and plain pecans.

              Luncheon is served from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The menu is hot roast beef sandwiches, a large variety of assorted salads and many delicious desserts. The price is $7 for adults and $3.50 for children ages 3 to 12.

              In partnership with the Office of Letters and Light, West Chicago Public Library District participates in “Come Write In” for National Novel Writing Month, in which the novel writing challenge is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. In addition to the weekly “Come Write In,” the Library hosts three different events. For information, call the adult services department at (630) 231-1552, Extension 4.

              The NaNoWriMo kick off event takes place at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, November 3, 2012. Participants have the opportunity to meet some published authors, mingle, seek advice and munch on refreshments. The second event, “Midway Party,” is Saturday, November 17, 2012 and the third event, “Wrap Up Party,” is Sunday, December 2, 2012. All take place in the meeting room, 118 West Washington Street.

              Sunday write-ins are from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m., beginning November 4 and ending November 25, 2012. Persons can bring in paper pen/or pencil, or laptops to get the creative juices flowing.

              NaNoWriMo writers’ initiative started with just 21 authors in 1999 in San Francisco. Last year there were more than 250,000 participants, who logged more than three billion words.

              The West Chicago Lions Club holds its annual Fall Pancake Breakfast from 7:00 a.m. to noon Sunday, November 4, 2012 in the cafetorium at West Chicago Middle School, 238 East Hazel Street, entry is off of Joliet Street. Breakfast menu is pancakes, sausage and beverage. Ticket price is $6 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and $4 for children ages 12 and under, and includes the chance to win a door prize. Raffle tickets are available, plus a 60/40 raffle. Proceeds benefit the many programs and services the club provides the community.

              Community High School District 94 offers swimming lessons for persons age four and older, and at different ability levels. There are six-week sessions with half hour classes Tuesdays and Thursdays. Class times are from 5:00 to 5:30 p.m. and from 5:30 to 6:00 p.m. The second session begins November 6 and ends November 29, 2012. The fee is $60 per student. To register or for more information, call either Nick Parry at (630) 876-6296 or email or Nicole Cleveland at (630) 876-6296 or email The third session begins in February 2013.

              Wayne/Winfield Area Youth/Family Services has a Stress Management Group that meets from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. Tuesdays. Topics covered include learning about different types of stress and the affect on a daily basis, identification of level of stress, and ways to reduce it and the prevention of future stress.

              Heather Falls is a new tutor at WAYS. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education, with more than 35 years experience in classroom management and tutoring of children in grades kindergarten through eighth. In addition to science, she tutors in the subjects of reading, writing, spelling, math and social studies. WAYS provides year round tutoring.

              The stress management group and tutoring are at Wayne Township, 27W031 North Avenue. For further information, call WAYS at (630) 231-7166.

              At the Monday, October 15, 2012 meeting, City Council approved the bid for tree stump removal and lawn restoration program to Tree Tech Pros of West Chicago for an amount not to exceed $65,673.50. Approximately 380 parkway trees required emergency removal due to damages sustained from the storm July 1, 2012. Public Works Director Rob Flatter said the stump removal should begin in the next week or two. “Restoration work must be completed by Friday, November 30, 2012.” Restoration work involves removing woodchips, adding soil and seeding.

              Council also approved the cost of $6,626.46 for a downtown rehabilitation façade improvement for the building at 131 Main Street. Work includes doors, windows, painting, masonry, tuck-pointing, front deck and façade repair.

              Council approved the appointment of Sara Phalen to the Cultural Arts Commission for an unexpired term ending April 30, 2012.

              At its Thursday, October 18, 2012 meeting, the West Chicago Elementary School District 33 Board of Education approved the appointment of Dr. Kathy Wolfe as Interim Superintendent during the medical leave of Superintendent Dr. Ed Leman. Leman suffered a stroke October 10, 2012. Wolfe is the district Assistant Superintendent of Business and Operations.

              Mark Begovich, English, Drama and Speech teacher and Theater Director at Community High School District 94, is the recipient of the 2012 Award of Honor from the Illinois Theatre Association. This is the highest honor awarded to a member of the ITA. The presentation of the award took place at the 39th ITA annual Convention, “Ignite Your Creative Spirit,” September 22, 2012 at the Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago.

           Aimee-Lynn Newlan, Executive Director of the Illinois Theatre Association, said, “Each year the Illinois Theatre Association recognizes both individuals and organizations for their significant contributions of promoting quality theatre throughout the state of Illinois.”

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