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Around and About in West Chicago - 16 May 2013

Around and About

  • 13th Annual Blooming Fest

  • West Chicago High School Annual Spring Fling Jazz Concert and Swing Dance

  • West Chicago Showdown Tournament

  • 15th annual West Chicago Elementary School District 33 Track Meet

  • Community High School District 94 Spring Band Concert

              With a myriad of activities, the 13th Annual Blooming Fest offers something for all ages. The fun begins at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, May 18, 2013 in the historic downtown area. Among the happenings are the garden club plant sale, garden-related craftsmen, children’s crafts and activities, car show, food booths, art displays, vendors and entertainment.

              Boy Scout Troop 33 once again serves a pancake breakfast from 8:00 noon in the American Legion Post 300 hall, 123 Main Street. On the menu are pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage and beverage. The charge is $6 per person; children age three and under are free. Proceeds help with the boys’ camp expenses.

              Family-oriented activities take place on Fremont Street and include the Chicago Corvette Club “Wheels” exhibit, Dachshund and Greyhound rescue groups and the West Chicago Park District Moon Jump Inflatable. At Rite-Way Automotive Service, there is a Mustang display, championship karts and junior dragsters exhibit, a Special Olympics display and the sale of hotdogs and hamburgers beginning at noon. The removal of the mementoes in the time capsule behind the building’s 1951 cornerstone is at 11:00 a.m.  The building was formerly known as Day’s Phillips 66 Service Station.

              The West Chicago Garden Club Plant Sale, in its 16th year, is under the big tent on Galena Street. Among the plants available are annuals, perennials, vegetables, shrubs and trees. Club member Tom Fessler said, “We have approximately 2,000 plants. Most of these are from the gardens of our members. The plants are reasonably priced.” Club members are on hand to answer questions. There is also an area for customers to pick up their purchased plants.

              Also located on Galena Street is the Speakers’ Tent, a new addition to the Fest. On an hourly basis starting at 9:00 a.m., five speakers discuss various garden and environmental topics.  In the order of appearance these are Container Design by Ball Horticultural Company, Natural Landscapes by The Conservation Foundation, Tree Diversity and the Emerald Ash Borer by Morton Arboretum, Urban Wildlife by Lincoln Park Zoo and Designing Your Garden by Cantigny.  Jesse Felix from the West Chicago Park District is on hand to discuss the America In Bloom program.

              Other businesses and organizations with a green thumb touch are Prestige Nursery, Kramer Tree Specialists, Sonny Acres, Community High School District 94 Transitional Program with handmade stone coasters and plants, and CHS Horticultural Club with flats of annuals.

              Various not-for-profit groups distribute information and sell items. West Chicago Sister Cities sells raffles for planters, Friends of West Chicago Library sell used books and Gallery Theater has local community theater information. West Chicago Elementary School District provides district information, staff members of the Department of Learning are available to discuss local issues and students from Dream, the after school and summer programs, sell painted flower pots to earn money for summer field trips. Girl Scouts from Troop 50386 sell Girl Scout cookies, the Elementary Teachers Association of West Chicago distributes free books, Feral Fixers offers cat toys for a donation and Bee Keepers of Kline Creek Farm offer bees wax candles and assorted beeswax items. First United Methodist Church of West Chicago has repurposed items to reduce landfill, Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church & Preschool distributes information, and Trinity Lutheran Church sells handcrafted cards. On the environmental side are West Chicago Environmental Commission distributing Adopt-A-Highway and recycling information and the rain barrel program information, plus SCARCE with recycling information and a hands-on project, a favorite of both adults and children.

              The monthly Coffee with the Mayor takes place at the City of West Chicago’s booth. Mayor Ruben Pineda and other City officials are on hand to answer questions and to chat with residents and visitors to the community. It also is the site for University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners, CERT representatives, first aid, City and Blooming Fest information and the distribution of “Goodie Bags.”

              At the City Museum is the “Earth to Table” exhibit, a history of West Chicago garden and farms combined with contemporary art. The reception for the eight participating artists is from1:00 to 3:00 p.m. The Museum craft project is decorating a plant marker. Also the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad depot, 134 Turner Court, is open.

              Art is the forefront at Gallery 200. Lewis Achenbach, the featured artist for the month, discusses his exhibit. Artists Marge Hall and Buddy Plumlee give demonstrations in their art genre. Persons have the opportunity to enter the drawing for artwork donated by Gallery members, plus vote for their favorite banner in the 2013 People’s Choice selection. The 11 banners, with the theme “A Question of Balance,” adorn the lampposts on Main Street in the historic downtown area. To honor the winning artists in the competition, there is a reception from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. After the Fest, ballots also are available at City Hall and the City Museum.

              Also on the artistic front are participants in ArtXposium. In addition to Achenbach, others presenting their interactive artwork are Claire Ashley, Sarah Beth Woods and Cole Robertson. Many of the vendors have artwork or artistic slants to their wares. Ken’s Art Barn is the booth for the watercolor artwork by West Chicago artist and resident Ken Tinnes.

              Entertainment is divided into two categories. The morning schedule features local groups and the late morning and afternoon segment features Local Music Night performances. Dan Czuba is the emcee.

              Community Choirs perform at 9:00 a.m. The presentation by Kantorei from Wheaton Academy is at 9:30 a.m. Taking to the stage at 10:00 a.m. is the West Chicago Park District with a short preview of its summer Community Theater production of “Seussical the Musical.” At 11:00 a.m. are dance demonstrations by Tango Argentina.

              Folk singer and guitarist Mike Warfel entertains at 11:30 a.m. With his repertoire of folk, acoustic and rock, Brian Daniel Billie comes on stage at noon. Starting at 12:45 p.m., the TriTone Sax Trio plays a range of music from Bach and Mozart to Metallica and Johnny Cash. Sleight Street, a diverse group of singers, takes the stage at 1:30 p.m. The five-piece rock band, The Spectators, perform at 2:15 p.m.

              There is an international flavor at the food booths. Wheaton Academy Grill once again offers hamburgers and hot dogs. Knights of Columbus Council 1555 from St. Mary’s parish serve pork chop sandwiches, skirt steak and sloppy joes. West Chicago restaurant Din Hua Asian Cuisine serves egg rolls, chicken fried rice, vegetable lo mein and sesame chicken. Fresh Ground Roasting of West Chicago serves coffee brewed with fresh roasted coffee beans from Ethiopia, Honduras, Mexico and Papua New Guinea. Sonia’s, Inc., offers Italian beef, curly chips, fries, gyros and chicken tenders. La Alianza Mexican Cuisine serves fajita brochettes. The other food vendor is Little Jimmy’s Italian Ice.

              West Chicago area businesses participating are Uncle Mikey’s What Not Shoppe, Bob’s Salt & Feed, Rite-Way Automotive Service, Main Street Family Dentistry, Daniel and Associates Real Estate, West Chicago Family Chiropractic, Kumon Math and Reading of West Chicago and Sam’s Honey Bees.

              While strolling in the area, take time to notice and enjoy the flowers planted by Boy Scout Troop 33.


              The West Chicago Elementary School District Student Art Show is Thursday, May 16, 2013, in the district Education Service Center, 312 East Forest Avenue. Selected artwork from students in all six elementary schools and the middle school are on display for a full year.

              As part of the WeGo for Wellness series, “Decadent Desserts” is the West Chicago Public Library District program at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 16, 2013 in the meeting room, 118 West Washington Street. Chef Michael Maddox demonstrates how persons can enjoy sweets and, at the same time, be mindful of their diets. Tempting dishes include fresh fruits, chocolate and pastries. Call the adult services department at (630) 231-1552, extension 4, to make a reservation.

              The Community High School District 94 Annual Spring Fling Jazz Concert and Swing Dance, hosted by the Music Boosters Club, is from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. Friday, May 17, 2013 in the Weyrauch Auditorium, 326 Joliet Street. The stage is cleared and turned into a dance floor. It portrays the era during the 40s and 50s when the auditorium was the only large space in the school where dances were held.

              Swing dance instruction is from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. The chamber choir and jazz band perform and guests dance from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. Dancing continues to recorded swing music from 9:00 to 10:00 p.m. Light refreshments are served.

              The charge is $5 per person. Proceeds are for the support of music scholarships and the purchase of new music.

              The Community High School District 94 annual Sports Fest takes place Friday, May 17, 2013. Eighth graders from Benjamin School District 25, West Chicago Elementary School District 33 and Winfield School District 34, all feeder schools to CHS, participate. The three sessions are divided into the sports and activities of each season, fall, winter and spring. The students select one sport and one activity during each session, explained Bill Lech, Physical Development Division Head and Assistant Athletic Director. Each student participating receives a West Chicago Wildcat t-shirt, similar to the ones worn by students in CHS physical education classes.

              The West Chicago Showdown Tournament takes place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 17, 18 and 19, 2013 at Reed-Keppler Park. Forty baseball teams and four softball teams participate.

              Local Music Night is at 7:00 p.m. Friday, May 17, 2013 at Gallery 200/STUDIO, 203 Turner Court. Performers are Jenn Gunn, Sleight Street and Jonathan Roth. The visual artist is Zach Morey.

              Gunn has a degree in Music Business and, as a teen and in her college years, sang with various bands. The backing musicians, the “Spectators” band, are her sons.

              Sleight Street is a diverse group of singers. The repertoire is from many genres and eras, but they focus primarily on jazz, swing and pop. All are current or former members of the Naperville Chorus. They also perform on stage during Blooming Fest, Saturday, May 18, 2013.

              Roth, a former West Chicago resident, is a guitarist and composer. He graduated from Pepperdine University in 2006. There, he studied guitar with Christopher Parkening. He received his M.M. and D.M.A. from the University of Southern California School of Music. His two albums are “Nostalgia” and “Meditations.”

              Open mic is at 8:30 p.m. Light refreshments are served. There is no charge, but donations are appreciated.

              West Chicago artist and resident Britta Renwick teaches jewelry making classes at 7:00 p.m. on Fridays, May 17, and May 24, 2013 at Gallery 200, 200 Main Street. Necklace styles include the hoop, knotted and crimp bead. The charge is $30.  The charge for the bracelets, either chain link or stretch, is $20. The charges cover the supplies. To reserve a space at one or both classes, call Renwick at (630) 639-2399.

              The 15th annual West Chicago Elementary School District 33 Track Meet is at 9:00 a.m. Saturday, May 18, 2013 at Community High School District 94 Memorial Field, 326 Joliet Street. Fourth, fifth and sixth grade students participate. Physical education teachers from the six elementary schools base their selection on performance and proficiency in gym class, effort in school, and good behavior and cooperation in all classes. Events are 1,600 meters, 800 meters, 400 meters, 4x100 meter relay and running jump leap. First, second and third place winners receive medals. Fourth, fifth and sixth place winners receive ribbons. CHS Head Varsity Cross Country/Track Coach and members of his track team organize and run the track meet.

              Senior students in the Poiema class at Wheaton Academy hold a rummage sale from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday, May 18, 2013 in the Commons, 900 Prince Crossing Road. Proceeds benefit the building of a fish farm, known as Aquaponics, in Zimbabwe, Africa.

              As the 2013 WeGo for Wellness series of the West Chicago Public Library District winds down, several of the on-going programs end. The last Wellness Day Check-in is from 10:00 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 18, 2013. The last morning We Go Walking activity is at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 21, 2013 and the last evening walk is at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, 2013.

              The West Chicago Public Library District presents “Downton Abbey Afternoon Tea & Lecture” from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Saturday, May 18, 2013 in the meeting room, 118 West Washington Street. While enjoying an English tea catered by the Dunham Woods Riding Club, guests enjoy the music of the harpist Julia LaPlaca, a resident of West Chicago. Landscape historian Barbara Geiger discusses the rise and fall of aristocratic families and the reason for the appearances of the grand estates, such as Highclere Castle. She teaches in the College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago Botanic Gardens and University of Chicago Graham School. To make a reservation, call the adult services department at (630) 231-1552, extension 4.

              Due to the Memorial Day Holiday, the West Chicago Public Library District Board of Trustees meeting is at 7:00 p.m. Monday, May 20, 2013 in the meeting room, 118 West Washington Street.

              There is a change of location for the Community High School District 94 Board of Education meeting at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, 2013. It will be in the Learning Resource Center. The Art Show is in the Administration Conference Room.

              Community High School District 94 Spring Band Concert is at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, 2013 in Weyrauch Auditorium, 326 Joliet Street. Steve Govertsen is the director.

              The Concert Band selections are “Zacatecas March,” “Summer Dances,” “Blue Ridge Impressions” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

              The Symphonic Band plays “Ride,” “O Magnum Mysterium,” “The Invincible Eagle” and Overture to Marriage of Figaro.” Another selection is “Non Piu Andrai” from the opera, “The Marriage of Figaro.” Singing the aria is Dave Govertsen, a member of the Lyric Opera and Chicago Symphony Chorus. Dave is the brother of Steve.

              The Benjamin Middle School Band & Choir Concert is at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, 2013 in the small gym, 28W250 St. Charles Road.

              Community High School District 94 hosts the Annual Community Forum at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, 2013 in the Learning Resource Center, 326 Joliet Street, entrance H. Topics include the district’s capital improvement plan, transparency initiative, update on joining the Upstate Eight Conference, focus on teaching & learning, and climate survey results from staff and students. Presenters are Business Manger Gordon Cole, Principal Dr. Moses Cheng, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kimberly Chambers and Superintendent Lalo Ponce.

              The West Chicago Garden Club meeting is Thursday, May 23, 2013 at Faith Community Church, 910 Main Street. Social gathering is at 6:45 p.m., brief business meeting at 7:00 p.m. and the program at 7:15 p.m. The topic is “Low Maintenance.” Dave Wanninger, chief horticulturist at Boerner Botanical Gardens, is the speaker. The meeting is open to the public.

              “Solving Yard Problems Using Native Plants” is the West Chicago Public Library District program at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, May 23, 2013 in the meeting room, 118 West Washington Street. The program is presented in partnership with The Conservation Foundation and the West Chicago Environmental Commission. To make a reservation, call the adult services department at (630) 231-1552, extension 4.

              The Community High School District 94 Spring Choral Concert is at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, May 23, 2013 in Weyrauch Auditorium, 326 Joliet Street.

              The annual Community Memorial Day ceremony is at 10:00 a.m. Monday, May 27, 2013 at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Oakwood Cemetery, Oakwood Avenue and York Street.

              The last Wayne/Winfield Area Youth/Family Services senior seminar for the year is at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at Wayne Township, 27W031 North Avenue. The topic is “Young at Heart.” Jane Boumgarden, Associate Professor at Benedictine University, is the speaker. She sums up the various topics covered during the year, giving a general knowledge of all aspects of aging and how to do it with the healthiest outcome possible. The charge is $2. Pre-registration is required and may be made by calling (630) 231-7166.

              Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Gallery Theater production of “Give My Regards to Broadway,” scheduled to begin, Friday, May 31, 2013, is cancelled. However, due to popular demand, the production of “Over the River and Through the Woods” returns for one weekend only. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 8, and at 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 9, 2013 at Gallery 200/STUDIO, 203 Turner Court. Call (630) 234-5919 or email for further information.

              Wayne/Winfield Area Youth/Family Services offers a Summer Camp from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. starting Monday, June 3, and ending Friday, August 23, 2013 at Wayne Township, 27W031 North Avenue. The charge is $65 per week, with scholarships available based on family income. Also, there is an option of extended hours from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for an additional charge.

              The three main components of the camp are physical activity and nutrition, social skills and skills building, and community exploration, and include various field trips.

              Youths over 13 years are eligible as Junior Counselors. In addition to the camp activities, the youths receive specialized programming to help develop job-training skills. Junior Counselors receive $10 WAYS Bucks per week toward the camp fee.

              Call WAYS at (630) 231-7166 for further information or to register.

              The class of 1973 holds its 40th Reunion from 6:00 p.m. to midnight Saturday, July 20, 2013 at American Legion Post 300, 123 Main Street. The $25 charge per person includes an Italian Buffet dinner catered by Franco. Checks or money orders should be made payable to Class of 73/Hamlin and mailed to Roxanne Hamlin, 530 Conde Street, West Chicago, IL 60185. Attendees also are invited to a social with the Class of 1972 on Friday, July 19, at Hawthorne’s Backyard & Grill. The $10 charge for appetizers is payable at the door.  For more information, email Hamlin at 1973 alumni also are invited to the Class of 1972 Golf Outing at 11:04 a.m. Saturday, July 20, 2013 at Pheasant Run Golf Course. The $75 fee includes warm up range, 18 holes of golf, cart and prizes. To reserve a tee time, call Tony Reyes at (630) 669-0501 or email

              Keepers Community Garden still has garden plots available. These are for persons or groups to grow vegetables for either themselves or to share with the community. The plots are on the north side of Washington Street, across from St. Michael’s United Church of Christ at 400 Washington Street. The cost for a 7x7 feet plot is $20 and the cost for a 17x7 feet plot is $30.  For further information or to reserve a plot, email

              At the Monday, May 6, 2013 meeting, City Council approved re-appointments and appointments to several City commissions.

              Reappointed to the Cultural Arts Commission for a term ending April 2017 were Sara Phalen and Mandy Rakow. Appointed to this commission to an unexpired term ending April 2014 was Rosalinda Delgado. Appointed as an ex-officio member for a term ending April 2014 was Angelo Trapini.

              Reappointed to the Historical Preservation Commission for a term ending April 2017 were Garth Keck, Janet Dayton-Hale and Jennifer Maglinite-Timbrook. Appointed to the commission for an unexpired term ending April 2015 was Cheryl Waterman.

              Reappointed to the Environmental Commission for a term ending April 2017 were Steve Carrow and Robert Blaus.

              Reappointed to the Planning Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals for a term ending April 2018 were Juan Chavez and Barb Laimins.

              Students from Community High School District 94 took third place in the 2013 Illinois Personal Finance Challenge State Finals Monday, April 23 at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Team members are Amanda Gosbeth, Grant Hosticka, Doug Murphy and Nicole VanDoren. The coach is Candace Fikis, CHS economics teacher.

              The state finals consisted of individual and team tests, and a final “Quiz Bowl” round of competition.

              The Illinois State Treasurer endorses the IPFC, which takes place during Money Smart Week. It is a program of Econ Illinois with partial funding provided through BMO Harris and in-kind support from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. The program is designed to recognize students who demonstrate high levels of comprehension and application of personal finance concepts and skills, and to reward teachers for outstanding practices in teaching personal finance courses. All students in Illinois are required to take a consumer education/personal finance course.

              Community High School District 94 students made a great showing at the Annual CTEC Video Festival Friday, April 26, 2013. Awards are given to student-made films submissions in descending order beginning with Best in category—Platinum, and then gold, Silver, Bronze and Merit, explained teacher Dave Jennings.

              Josh Brown received a Platinum award in the Humorous Narrative category, earning third overall with “Where’s Waldo?”  Winning the Platinum award in the Stop-Motion Animation category was Adam Rawski with his production of “Guitar Hero.” Jennings said both of these awards were impressive as “this was our first year competing in the Single A Division alongside schools with entire Broadcast Production departments, let along single classes or instructors.”

              Receiving silver awards were Valentin Barrera and Dylan Dewey in the Movie Trailer category; Manny Muñoz and Lindsey Krysinski in the Dramatic Narrative category; Manny Muñoz and Valentin Barrera in the Dramatic Narrative category; Adam Rawski in the Commercial category; Lindsey Krysinski in the Stop-Motion Animation category; and Danny Cuomo in the Computer Animation category.

              Winning Bronze awards were Zach Burghardt in the Music Video category; Ericka Hauptman and Taylor Karg in the Documentary category; Ericka Hauptman and Andie Lazzerini in the Commercial category; and Ericka Hauptman and Taylor Karg in the Stop-Motion Animation category. These films can be viewed on

              Approximately 13 persons age 90 and over, plus 28 persons age 80 and over, attended the party honoring them Sunday, May 5, 2013. Hosting the event were the West Chicago Park District, American Legion Post 300 and its Ladies Auxiliary.

              The oldest man present was Ken Richardt at the age of 94. The oldest woman present was Evelyn Marschinke at the age of 95. Life long resident Richardt also was the male who lived in West Chicago the longest. The woman who lived here the longest was also a life long resident, Jane Rodriquez, age 87. Recognized for having the most grandchildren was Rita Kitching; she has 13. Having the most great-grandchildren was Mary Nellis; she has 16. With a residence in Kentucky, Bill Treudt lives the farthest from West Chicago. The longest married couple was Lorraine and Marvin Lindner; they have been married 65 years.

              Lately, Community High School District 94 has had an international flair. The latest group of foreign visitors were involved in the student exchange program between CHS and Lycee Mounier in Grenoble, France. The 20 students and two teachers stayed with the families of students here studying French and two CHS teachers from Friday, April 12 through Friday, April 26, 2013.

              A whirlwind of activities filled their schedules. The beginning and ending of the visit consisted of parties at the homes of host families. At the high school, there was a teambuilding course to encourage relationship development and communication. Another day, the French students shadowed their host students through a typical school day.

              An art/painting project facilitated by West Chicago resident and artist Ken LeVey took place at Gallery 200/STUDIO, where the Underground Art Club meets on Mondays. He organized the club several years ago. “Actually, my son (who is studying French) volunteered me for the student art project. I was there, but the teachers did most of the work.” The students, sitting at tables and using acrylic paint, created and discussed their works of art.

              The students from France toured the Chicago Art Institute, the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum. Other activities in Chicago included shopping, time at Lincoln Park Zoo and at the Hancock Building for a view of the City.

              The exchange between the two high schools started in 1985. As with the German and Spanish student exchange programs, it “is quite unique among area high schools since students actually stay with a host family both in West Chicago and when we travel to Grenoble,” said CHS French teacher Lindsey Evans. “It truly is a cultural and linguistic exchange, not just a vacation!”

              At the Tuesday, May 7, 2013 meeting, Community High School District 94 Board of Education elected its officers. They are Gary Saake, president; Kathy Doremus, vice president; Ruben Campos, secretary; and Kevin Kotche, treasurer.

              Chuck and Shirley Schramer celebrated their 55th Wedding Anniversary Friday, May 10, 2013.

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