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Around and About in West Chicago - 23 Jan 2013

Around and About

  • Scripps Spelling Bee

  • “Great Movies Made from Amazing Books”

  • Special Olympics of Illinois Basketball Tournament

  • Exhibition from the Department of Visual Arts at Blackburn College in Carlinville

  • Social Skills Group for Youths

              This should be the final wrap up of holiday 2012 news.

              Out of the 96 families eligible for Winfield Township Adopt-A-Family program, seventy were adopted. Local groups adopting a family or contributing to the Holiday Fund were St. Andrew Lutheran Church, Future Business Leaders of America at Community High School District 94, United Methodist Congregation Women, MC Group at Faith Community Church, First United Methodist Church of West Chicago, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6791 Ladies Auxiliary and Illinois Firefighters Local 3970.

              Again it was a successful “Keep the Wreath Red” program during the holiday season for the West Chicago Fire Protection District. There were no holiday-related fires during this time period. The district’s call count for 2012 was 3,002. In 2011, it was 2,908.


              Members of the West Chicago Elementary School District 33 Board of Education are available to meet with parents and community members from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 23, 2013 in the community room at West Chicago Middle School, 238 East Hazel Street. They will answer questions, provide details and consider feedback regarding the teacher negotiations. No presentations are planned. Spanish translation is provided. Persons also can submit questions to board members via email. The addresses are available on the district website

              Participating in the Scripps Spelling Bee for the third year, West Chicago Elementary School District 33 is in the midst of its semi-finals. The one for third graders took place Tuesday, January 22, 2013. Semifinals for other grades take place as follows: fourth graders on Thursday, January 24; fifth graders on Tuesday, January 29; sixth, seventh and eighth graders on Thursday, January 31, 2013. The District Final Bee is Thursday, February 7, 2013. All are at 6:00 p.m. in the cafetorium at West Chicago Middle School, 238 East Hazel Street. Spectators are welcome to attend.

              Judges and pronouncers are Sue Stibal and Chris Scheck from the district school board, Dan Czuba from Daniel and Associates Real Estate, Amanda Eakins from Turner School, Sara Phalen from the West Chicago City Museum, Erin Linsenmeyer from the West Chicago Public Library District, Julie Pearson from district school board, Shelly Campbell from West Chicago Public Library District, Pat Roszkowski from West Chicago Middle School and Dominique Roman from the West Chicago Public Library District.

              The top two spellers from the final bee are invited to participate in the DuPage Regional Bee with the opportunity to continue on to the Scripps National Spelling Bee.  For further information, email Maureen Navadomskis at

              The second showing in the West Chicago Public Library District series, “Great Movies Made from Amazing Books” is at 6:00 p.m. Thursday, January 24, 2012 in the meeting room, 118 West Washington Street. The featured film is “The Hunger Games,” based on the novel by Suzanne Collins.  The favorite movie snack of popcorn is served. Registration is not required.

              The West Chicago Garden Club meets Thursday, January 24, 2013 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 on pioneer gardens at 7:15 p.m. The speaker, Nancy Shumm-Burgess, discusses pioneer women and their knowledge of gardens and flowers, including medicinal uses. She is a writer/photographer/lecturer on regional history. Her articles have been featured in the “Chicago Tribune” and she has been a guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Shumm-Burgess has presented programs on barns, wildflowers, local history and pioneers since 1997. She is the author of “Wisconsin Barns.” The meeting is open to the public.

              Community High School District 94 Dance Production Performance, “The Show Goes On,” is at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, January 24, and Saturday, January 26, 2013 in Weyrauch Auditorium, 326 Joliet Street. The program includes a variety of ballet/lyrical, hip-hop, jazz and dubstep. Dubstep is a “genre of electronic dance music centered around bass, and with ‘new’ music comes dancers creating dances to this type of music,” explained dance director Julie Wyller.

              She has been director for three years. She was a dance major at Columbia College in Chicago and received her teacher certification at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.

              Dance Production is an auditioned course for which students try out in the spring.  The 21 girls enrolled in the course are three freshman, four sophomores, six juniors and eight seniors.  This is the 45th year for Dance Production.

              The last day for the City of West Chicago’s recycling program of holiday lights and extension cords is Friday, January 25, 2013. The offer is open to residents, businesses, churches, clubs and other organizations. Drop-off locations are Murphy’s Ace Hardware, 319 South Neltnor Boulevard; City Hall, 475 Main Street; First United Methodist Church of West Chicago, 643 East Washington Street; West Chicago Public Library District, 118 West Washington Street; and West Chicago Water Treatment Plant, 1400 West Hawthorne Lane.

              With an emphasis on art and fun during a Girls Night Out, West Chicago artist Britta Renwick teaches three classes on basic jewelry making, “Be Creative and Feel Beautiful.”  Designs incorporate the latest styles as seen in Switzerland during the summer of 2012. The first class, Stretch Bead Bracelet, is at 7:00 p.m. Friday, January 25, 2013 at Galley 200, 200 Main Street. The charge is $20 and includes all supplies. To add to the enjoyment, participants can accompany Renwick to one of the local restaurants after the class to socialize and show off their new jewelry. To register, call the Gallery at (630) 293-9550.

              Coffee with the Mayor is from 9:00 a.m. to noon, Saturday, January 26, 2013 at City Hall, 475 Main Street.

              West Chicago Elementary School District 33 hosts a Coffee Talk with the Department of Learning from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at Pioneer School, 615 Kenwood Avenue. The discussion focuses on curriculum and programs. It is open to all residents in the community.

              Community High School District 94 hosts the Special Olympics of Illinois Basketball Tournament from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Sunday, January 27, 2013 in Bishop Gym and Small Gym, 326 Joliet Street. Approximately 20 teams are playing. As a fundraiser, the WeGo Wildcats Special Olympics Club is manning the concession stands through the high school Boosters Club.

              In its second of three exhibits aligned with schools, the display for the month of February at Gallery 200, 200 Main Street, is an exhibition from the Department of Visual Arts at Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois. The ten artists represent sophomore through senior art majors and faculty. Their artwork highlights various genres such as photography, drawing, painting, digital media and ceramics.  The artists’ reception is from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Friday, February 1, 2013 and includes entertainment and the serving of light refreshments.

              The local connection with the college is West Chicago resident and well-known artist Fredericka Howard. She received her Associate of Arts degree in 1954 from the college. “Not only do persons have the opportunity to view the artwork of the seven students and three professors, but it allows the college a venue to showcase its art department in the Chicago area,” said Howard.

              The 176-year old private liberal arts college is located in Carlinville, Illinois, the county seat of Macoupin County. It is one of only seven federally recognized work colleges in the United States and has the only student-managed work program according to Wikipedia.  The program allows “students to gain leadership experience as they manage other students.” All resident students are required to work and receive a tuition discount for the hours they work in the program. The minimum requirement is 160 hours each semester. The school also is the least expensive private college in Illinois.

              The student population of approximately 500 students allows class sizes with a faculty student ratio of 12:1; students receive more individual attention and assistance. Howard said, “It is a unique experience, which allows you to grow in your area of interest. I still am in contact with some of my classmates.”

              Late Night at the Museum also takes place at the West Chicago City Museum, 132 Main Street, in conjunction with the reception hours.

              The selected film for the West Chicago Public Library District Focus Movie Discussion Group is quite appropriate for the date of Saturday, February 2, 2013. The featured 1993 movie is “Groundhog Day,” directed by Harold Ramis, starring Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell and Chris Elliot. The showing of the PG-rated comedy film is at 1:00 p.m. in the meeting room, 118 West Washington Street. Following the screening, attendees discuss the film. Light refreshments are served. To make a reservation, call the Library’s adult services department at (630) 231-1552, Extension 4.

              Benjamin School District 25 Foundation for Educational Excellence holds its Fourth Annual Valentine’s Trivia Night at 7:00 p.m. Friday, February 2, 2013 at the Carol Stream American Legion, 576 South Gary Avenue. The cost is $15 per person or $120 for a team of eight. This includes four rounds of trivia, light appetizers and dessert and beverage. Registration forms are available on the web site For further information, call Mercedes Nelson at (630) 293-5898 or Stephanie Incrocci at (630) 715-2466.

              Community High School District 94 offers swimming lessons for persons age four and older and at different ability levels. These are six-week sessions with half hour classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Class times are from 5:00 to 5:30 p.m. and from 5:30 to 6:00 p.m., beginning February 5 and ending March 21, 2013. 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 at

              We Grow Dreams Greenhouse and Garden Center hosts its Eighth Annual Bowlathon from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Sunday, February 10, 2012 at Brunswick Zone, 1555 West 75th Street in Woodridge. Persons bowl three games with prizes for various levels of achievement. Also there is a Grand Raffle for three prizes. The ticket price is $10 or six for $50.

              The greenhouse provides job training and employment opportunities for person with disabilities. For further information or to register for the Bowlathon and/or purchase tickets, visit the website

              Wayne/Winfield Area Youth/Family Services offers a Social Skills Group for youths in grades third through fifth. Meeting from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Tuesdays at Wayne Township, 27W031 North Avenue, youths learn to improve their social skills by working toward understanding their selves, others and engaging in positive interactions with peers and adults. The focus includes problem solving, decision making, respecting others and managing emotions. Call WAYS at (630) 231-7166 for further information.

              Although the temperature is on the cool side, summer is just around the corner. The West Chicago Park District has Turtle Splash Water Park season tickets at Early Bird special rates until Tuesday, April 30, 2013.

              Sincere sympathy is expressed to the family of Sandra “Sandy” Velichkoff, who at the age of 62 passed away, Monday, January 14, 2013.

              Deepest sympathy is extended to the family of Richard W. Wissing, who at the age of 87 passed away Monday, January 14, 2013.

              Sincere sympathy is expressed to the family of Robert V. Chasteen, who at the age of 86 passed away Monday, January 21, 2013.

              Tatiana Jackson, a junior at Community High School District 94, is the recipient of the December PeaceBuilder of the Month. She actively assists other students and staff. Her guidance and encouragement for one struggling student is particularly newsworthy. Her grandmother is her model of peace. Jackson credits her with teaching her to let go of things that make her angry. She tries to surround herself with positive role models, who also believe in helping others. Her favorite class is Spanish.

              She is a member of Future Business Leaders of America and the Photography Club. Upon graduation, Jackson plans to study criminal justice.

              The West Chicago Lions Club recently donated $1,895 to Literacy DuPage, which is bringing a tutor to the West Chicago Library District in hopes of providing tutors to the 50 West Chicago residents on the waiting list.

              Andrea Skipor, a senior at Community High School District 94, is the Student of the Month for December. She is the recipient of the Scholar Athlete Award and Outstanding Performance in Math Award and Academic All-Conference, plus was inducted into the National Honors Society and the French Language National Honors Society.

              She was a member of the CHS Volleyball team for four years, earning All-Conference Honorable Mention and serving as captain this year. Skipor was a member of Habitat of Humanity, Pep Club and Student Ambassadors. For one period each day, she is a math tutor to her fellow students.

             Also she is a PADS volunteer, a Sunday school teacher, and participates in the Humanitarian Service Project. Upon graduation, Skipor plans to attend Columbus State University in Georgia, majoring in psychology and continuing her volleyball career.

              For those questioning, Dominick’s Cucina & Pizzeria, 207 Main Street, is officially closed. The restaurant was a mainstay on Main Street for more than 37 years.

              Winfield Township and Wayne Township recently held a lottery for party placement on the April 9 Consolidated Election.

              In Winfield Township, the Democratic Party has the top billing. The only contested race is for Highway Commissioner. Dennis Clark is the Democratic candidate and John Dusza is the Republican candidate.

              In Wayne Township, the Republican Party has top billing. Contested races are for Highway Commissioner and trustees. Republican candidates are Ken Spitz for Highway Commissioner, Joan Mruk, Mark Jatczak, Brandi Fike Romundo and Matt Zimmerman for trustees. Democratic candidates are Martin McManamon for Highway Commissioner and Jerry Culotta for trustee.

              At the Monday, January 21, 2013 meeting, City Council approved the appointment of Juan Chavez to the Plan Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals for an unexpired term ending April 30, 2013. Council also approved the reappointment of Anni Holm to the Cultural Arts Commission for a term ending April 30, 2016.

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