Skip to content

Around and About in West Chicago - 28 July 2010

Around and About
  • West Chicago National Night Out
  • Community Days Weekend
  • Community High School District 94 Budget


     The 21st annual West Chicago National Night Out Against Crime and Drugs is from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 3, 2010 at Reed-Keppler Park. The event provides residents with information on crime and drug prevention, availability of resources and of prime importance is the cultivation of a feeling of trust with the police community. All events are free.

     The West Chicago Police Department and West Chicago Park District present several popular pre-event activities. With these, more people become involved, and are beneficial for those unable to attend the main event. “Police officers are present at all the pre-activities,” said Sergeant Chris Woodill, who is the organizer this year.

     Beginning at dusk Friday July 30, 2010, police officers lead a flashlight walk from the Turtle Splash Water Park parking lot to Diamond 3 for the Movie in the Park. The 2009 computer animated film is “Cloudy, With a Chance of Meatballs.” The entertaining plot revolves around inventor Flint Lockwood and his food-making invention.

     From 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Saturday, July 31, 2010, is the “Splish Splash Crime Prevention Bash” pool party at Turtle Splash Water Park. One of the favorite activities is the duck races with little rubber “duckys” dressed like police officers. Children have the opportunity to win a limited number of swim goggles. “Other activities and games are swimmingly fun,” said Anna Rosalez, member of the National Night Out Committee. Although this event was scheduled last year, it was cancelled because of rain.

     Members of the Police Department and the West Chicago Fire Protection District meet on field 7 for a friendly competitive and fun game of softball at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, August 1, 2010. Last year, the team players showed good-natured rivalry, with the final score of Police-16, Fire-6. In between innings or in the Seventh Inning Stretch, mascot races with Sparky, McGruff and Turtle take place on the field. If you are in doubt about which team to support, follow the famous motto, “cheer for the winning team.”

     Tuesday, the major celebration has many activities for all ages. These include fire protection district demonstrations, law enforcement displays, various information booths, silly shower, raffles and give away items. Members of the West Chicago Lions Club once again grill hotdogs, with the meat and buns supplied by Scooby’s Red Hots. Other tasty treats are from General Mills, Jel Sert, Augustino’s Rock and Roll Deli, Operation Lifesaver and Water 1. The fifth and sixth grade Pioneer School students, winners of the 2010 International Future Problem Solving Competition with their project of Eliminating Train Accidents, are on hand to meet persons in the community at a special display table. Sparky the Fire Dog and McGruff the Crime Dog are the special guests. Providing the music is DJ Alex Ortiz.

     Although the location and activities have changed throughout the years, one factor has remained constant, which is the receipt of an award each year from the National Association of Town Watch. Woodill said, “This is an excellent opportunity for the community and the police department to come together. The residents get to know the human face behind the uniform and the police car.”


     The West Chicago Park District hosts the Midwest National Championship Baseball Tournament, presented by Game Day USA, from Wednesday, July 28 through Sunday, August 1, 2010 at Reed-Keppler and Pioneer Parks. It features representation from Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Indiana and Canada with 40 to 80 teams competing. Tournament games begin at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, July 29, 2010. Park District President Frank Lenertz throws the first pitch. “This is a big tournament for West Chicago to host,” said Joe Urban, park district athletics director.

     “Annie” is the West Chicago Park District Community Theater all volunteer production. The 50-member cast presents an entertaining show for all ages. Playing the part of Agatha Hannigan is Rosemarie Nolazco. Director is Jamee Keeney, a sixth grade teacher at Turner School and is co-director of the school’s annual sixth grade musical.

     Cast members, their families and friends helped with set design and costumes. Tim Shelley, Joanne and Laura Gilbert worked on set designs, painting and rounding up props, explained Keeney. “The high school also has loaned us props and other stage settings.” Also the school was able to help with costumes. Mari Simanonis and Rosemarie Nolazco were the two main persons sewing and finding others to assist. Orchestra pit members are students from the high school and Elmhurst College. Performances are at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, July 29, and Friday, July 30, and 3:00 p.m. (NOTE THE CORRECTED TIME) Saturday, July 31, 2010 in the Weyrauch Auditorium at Community High School District 94, 326 Joliet Street. The ticket price is $5 in advance and $7 at door. Tickets are available at the Park District office, 157 West Washington Street. For further information, call the Park District office at (630) 231-9474.

     Community Days weekend, an open house at DuPage Airport, is from Friday, July 30, through Monday, August 2, 2010. Hours are from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and from 9:00 a.m. to noon Monday. The event includes static displays from various airport tenants, vintage and military vehicles from Cantigny, flight schools, charter companies, Civil Air Patrol and DuPage Airport snow removal equipment.

     The Collins Foundation Wings of Freedom Tour features B-17 and B-24 WWII bombers and a P-51 Mustang. The charge for touring the interiors of these planes is $12 for adults and $6 for youths 12 and under.

     The Lima Lima Flight team and Ronald McDonald Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana host “Flying High BBQ” prepared by Kitty Hawk Cafe at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Other activities include the opportunity to pilot a T-34 Flight Simulator, moonwalk and children’s games. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for youths age 4 to 12. For further information, call the airport marketing coordinator Anna Normoyle at (630) 208-6182.

     As an extension of its special exhibit, “A Prairie Primer,” the West Chicago City Museum offers guided tours of the West Chicago Prairie. The second tour is from 10:00 a.m. to noon, Saturday, July 31, 2010. With their knowledge of the316–acre-site, members of West Chicago Prairie Stewardship Group explain the habitat, ecology, importance of prairie management, and identify the large variety of fauna and flora. Group size is limited to 15. To make a reservation, call the Museum at (630) 231-3376.

     The West Chicago Garden Club and West Chicago Historical Society once again sponsor the third annual “The Secret Gardens at the Kruse House” to cultivate interest in history and heirloom horticulture. The free event is from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. Sunday, August 1, 2010 at the Kruse House Museum, 527 Main Street. Garden Club members conduct tours of the garden. In the early afternoon, historical society docents give tours of the 1917 home. Refreshments are served. Parking is available at City Hall, 475 Main Street, and in the Metra parking lot.

     Also during the same time period, the garden club is hosting a Posy Mosey Garden Stroll, tours of five gardens that were in the 2009 Wonderful Gardens of West Chicago competition, sponsored by the garden club. Programs and maps for the tour are available at the Kruse House.

     One garden is on a large suburban lot, featuring trees and shrubs planted in honor of each grandchild, a small garden railroad and a large variety of plantings. Four gardens are on a cul-de-sac in the Woodboro Townhouse complex. The gardens were started 11 years ago, giving a park-like setting to the area. Garden highlights include a waterfall and pond, and unique garden ornamentations. For further information, call (630) 293-4953.

     Canadian National Railroad begins work to repair the grade crossing at Washington and Aurora Streets at 8:00 a.m. Monday August 2, 2010. The conclusion of the work, which requires complete road closure, is scheduled on or before 8:00 p.m. Friday, August 6, 2010. The detour route is Wood Street to the east, Church Street to the south and Clara Street to the west.

     Monthly brush pick up begins Monday, August 2, 2010.

     At the July 20, 2010 meeting for Community High School District 94, board members heard the latest budget update. Gary Saake, board vice president/treasurer, explained Director of Business Gordon Cole still is putting the numbers together, “but it does look like we will be able to make ends meet.” The tentative budget will be presented at the Tuesday, August 3, 2010 meeting, which starts at 7:00 p.m. It then goes on public display until the public hearing scheduled for Tuesday, September 7, 2010 followed by board approval the same evening. By state law, the budget must be in place by September 30 each year. “We do not like delaying the budget approval this long, but with what has been happening in Springfield, we are not given many options.” He added. “The unaudited results for 2009-10 show that despite the state owing the district $1,269.654.32, we operated not only within budget, but within actual revenue received…and with a $32,000 surplus. We operate on a cash rather than accrual basis, so this is an exceptionally impressive event.”

     Also at the August 3, 2010 meeting, there will be a public hearing on raising the Drivers Education fee to $500. Saake said, “We currently have a waiver that allows us to charge up to $300. However that does not cover our costs. The intent would be to apply for a five-year waiver that allows us to charge up to $500, but we would set the actual amount annually at a level that would cover actual costs.” If approved, the increase in fees would not take place until the 2011-12 school year.

     The West Chicago Park District Committee of the Whole meeting is rescheduled from 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 3, 2010 to 7:00 p.m. Monday, August 2, 2010.

     Heide Morris is conducting a coil clay bowl class at Gallery 200/STUDIO, 203 Turner Court. The two-part class is construction of the bowl at 10 a.m. Wednesday, August 4, 2010 with the glaze portion at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, August 11 2010. The class is geared for persons ages 9 and up, with a charge of $20 for both classes. Class size is limited to six. To enroll, visit the gallery, 200 Main Street; call (630) 293-9550; or online at

     Britta Renwick is the featured artist for the month of August at Gallery 200, 200 Main Street. Her exhibit, “My Switzerland,” displays photographs of her home country. The artist’s reception is from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Friday, August 6, 2010.

     The last Summer Morning Camp at the West Chicago City Museum, 132 Main Street, is from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, August 10, 2010. The activities and games are geared for children ages five to 13. There is no charge for this event. To register, call the Museum at (630) 231-3376.

     The West Chicago Park District is hosting a Community Pep Rally from 6:30 to 10:00 p.m. Friday, August 13, 2010 on Diamond 7 in Reed-Keppler Park. In addition to the introductions of West Chicago Youth Football players and cheerleaders, and Community High School football players and cheerleaders, there also is entertainment by the Red Woody Band and inflatable rides.

     Mexican Independence Day Parade and Celebration is from noon to 9:00 p.m. Sunday, September 12, 2010 in the historic downtown area. Crafters, artists, businesses, organizations and food vendors are welcome to participate. The deadline for registration is Friday, July 30, 2010. Call Valeria Perez at (630) 293-2200, Extension 170 to register or for more information.

     Sincere sympathy is expressed to the family of Richard Lee “Rick” Hanson, who at the age 60 passed away Tuesday, July 6, 2010.

     Condolences are expressed to the family of Neill Sorensen, who at the age of 55 passed away Sunday, July 25. 2010. He was the husband of Margaret (Zimmerman) Sorensen.

     The Community High School SkillsUSA team attended the 45th annual National Leadership and Skill Competition, sponsored by SkillsUSA, held in June in Kansas City, Missouri. More than 214 delegates attended, representing all 50 states, District of Columbia, Guam, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. High School Sophomore Jeffery Pekosh was a bronze medal winner in Technical Related Math. Nineteen Illinois students won medals in the 92 occupational and leadership skill areas. Eleven were from colleges and eight from high schools. Out of the seven state officers, three are from our high school. They are Mayuri Parmar, secretary and past president; Steven Celmer, treasurer; and Mehak Damani, historian. Accompanying the students to the national competition was retired teacher Patti Kozlowski, who was their advisor. SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce.

     The First Annual Law Enforcement Torch Run Car Show, presented by the West Chicago Police Department and Sign-a-Rama, Saturday, July 10, 2010, was a success. Officer Fred Cadena said, “We had a good crowd and quite a few cars.” Peoples Choice Award winners are Mike Vicha for Best of Custom with his 1974 Plymouth Cuda; Donald Ziender for Best of Show with his 1954 Chevy Pickup; Jeff Swanson for Best of Mustang with his 2007 Ford Mustang GT; and David Seper for Best of Camaro with his 1969 Chevy Camaro. Through the decades winners are William Danna for Best of 2000 to present with his 1010 Chevy Camaro SS; Jim Gende for Best of 90s with his 1992 Chevy Camaro; Ernie Vanscoit for Best of 80s with his 1986 Olds 442; Jim Anthony for Best of 70s with his 1970 Chevy Cheville; Bill and Rita Lecory for Best of 60s with their 1965 Pontiac Bonneville; and Bob Abbott for Best of 50s with his 1950 Chevy. The winning automobile for Best of pre 49 was a 1931 Ford Roadster. All proceeds benefited Special Olympics Illinois.

     Liz Weibler, daughter of West Chicago residents Barbara and Phil Weibler, recently started a website as a means to display her artwork. While still in high school, she attended evening classes at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In undergraduate classes, she experimented with sculpture, photography and performance art. Heading toward warmth, she moved to Tucson, Arizona where she worked on storefront animatronics displays and constructing costumes for professional theater productions. This led to extensive travel throughout the United States. However her desire to return to the sunshine and warmth of Arizona, led to her taking up residence in the small mining town of Miami. This vista opens up new influences, which have a vast impact on the quality and subject matter of her paintings. “These paintings are very much inspired by my love of architecture, dance, music and nature.”

My e-mail address is


No Trackbacks


Display comments as Linear | Threaded

No comments

The author does not allow comments to this entry