Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Peaceful Parlour owner has sense for marketing

    Shari Ralish, owner of Peaceful Parlour in Geneva, talks tea with a guest at the Geneva Public Library.                                                                                              Kevin Botterman photo

     Shari Ralish is a retailer with a keen sense for community-oriented marketing.
     Ralish owns Peaceful Parlour, 212 S. Third St. in downtown Geneva, an “eco-chic  boutique” she opened five years ago, during the early days of the Great Recession.
     Ralish partnered with the Geneva Public Library to provide tea service during a Civil War history presentation Nov. 8 at the library.
     During a program intermission, Ralish poured a variety of teas for audience members, explained characteristics of each offering and managed to share information about her business.
     “It’s a nice opportunity to meet people and tell them about my business,” Ralish said during a lull in the tea service.
     The tea proved popular with the audience. Several guests returned to the service table for refills or to sample another tea. Most asked questions about the teas and inquired about the business hours at Ralish’s shop.
     “It’s all very informal, and everyone seems comfortable asking questions,” Ralish said. “They learn about my products, and find a one or two they really enjoy.”
     Ralish said it is important for business owners to identify ways to build relationships with new customers while reinforcing existing ties, particularly during a weak economy.

     During the summer months, Ralish offers a series of musical programs on the grounds outside her shop and frequently hosts special events inside the store.
     The Civil War program was Ralish's second opportunity to share tea and product information at the library. She presented a program last January devoted to tea.
     “Attendance exceeded our expectations. We shared a lot of information and started some good relationships. It was wonderful” Ralish said.
     Kimberly Gotches, a public relations and outreach coordinator at the library, said Ralish’s program last January was so popular it serves as a model for the type of programming the library seeks to present in partnership with local businesses.
     The library encourages local businesses to submit program proposals, said Gotches. A popular program can offer benefits for everyone involved, she said.

     To learn more about Peaceful Parlour, call Ralish at 630-232-6300. For more information about the library's outreach efforts, call 630-232-0780.



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Friday, November 7, 2014

Museum, St. Charles Singers offer holiday programs

Submitted photo
Ellwood House offers holiday mansion tour
     Our friends at the Ellwood House Museum in DeKalb say they are ready for the museum’s annual holiday mansion tours beginning Nov. 15 and continuing through Nov. 30 on select dates. 
     The tours are a holiday tradition for many area residents, and the museum is one of our favorites. Visitors can enjoy a room-by-room tour of all four floors in the mansion. Each room is decorated for the holidays. The museum also will host a holiday open house weekend beginning Dec. 5 to Dec. 7. 
     The museum is operated by the DeKalb Park District and reflects the key role Isaac Ellwood played in the development of the barbed wire industry in the United States. The tours offer a glimpse of local history and are a wonderful way start the holiday season. For more information call 815-756-4609.

St. Charles Singers set annual Christmas performance
     Our friends at the St. Charles Singers tell us they will present the 31st annual Candlelight Carols Christmas program at 3 p.m. Dec. 7 at Baker Memorial United Methodist Church, 307 Cedar Ave. in downtown St. Charles. 

     The program will include 18 songs from the Renaissance era to today. Tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for senior ages 65 and older and $10 for students.

Fall weekends mean football

Here are some of the football games we’ll be following this weekend. Hope you enjoy the contests:

College
Youngstown State at Illinois State

Iowa at Minnesota
Michigan at Northwestern
Ohio State at Michigan St.
Penn State at Indiana
TCU at Kansas State
Auburn at Texas A&M
Notre Dame at Arizona State
Baylor at Oklahoma

NFL
Chicago at Green Bay
St. Louis at Arizona



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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Program to feature Kane County history


 Historical society to present The History of Medicine in Kane County
The Aurora Historical Society will host the History of Medicine in Kane County, featuring Dr. Wayne Polek of the Kane County Medical Society. Polek will discuss developments in medicine since the Civil War. The program will be presented at 2 p.m. Nov. 2 at the Pierce Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer Place, Aurora. Admission is $5. For more information, call 630-906-0650.

Albright to stage 'The Memory of Water'
The Albright Theatre Company in Batavia will present “The Memory of Water” starting Nov. 1 and continuing on select dates through Nov. 15. The production is directed by Veronica Krystal and features Antonia Arellano, Shelly Rolf, Cara Schuster, Michelle Bennett, Michael Yoder and Richard Holloman. The Albright Theater is located at 100 Island Ave. in downtown Batavia. For more information, call 630-406-8838.

Library to host Civil War presentation 

The Geneva Public Library, 127 James St., Geneva, will a host a presentation Nov. 8 about the role Illinois soldiers played in the battles of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson during the Civil War. Local historian Bill Lax will deliver the presentation at noon. Lax is a member of the Northern Illinois Civil War Round Table. The program will include music of the Civil War, and Shari Ralish, owner of Peaceful Parlour in Geneva, will serve tea. Admission is free, but registration is encouraged. For more information, call the library at 630-232-0780. 

Some of the football games we’ll be following this weekend: 
Nov. 1
Illinois State at Northern Iowa
Northwestern at Iowa
Maryland at Penn State
Indiana at Michigan
Oregon at Stanford

Nov. 2
Denver at New England
Arizona at Dallas


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Friday, October 24, 2014

K.Hollis to welcome Congressman Hultgren



K.Hollis to welcome Congressman Hultgren
Our friends at K.Hollis Jewelers will host a gathering with Congressman Randy Hultgren at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 30. The event is open to the public, and light refreshments will be served. K.Hollis Jewelers is located at 147 S. Randall Road, Batavia. For more information, call 630-879-8003.

Cantigny Park to host Veterans Day 5K run, pancake breakfast
Cantigny Park will conduct its annual Veterans Day 5K Run/Walk at 9 a.m. Nov. 1. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans in Wheaton. In conjunction with the event, American Legion Cantigny Post 556 will host a pancake breakfast from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the park’s visitors center. The breakfast will include eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy. For more information, call 630-260-8167.

Football we'll be following
Here are some of the football games we’ll be following this weekend. Enjoy the fun.

Oct. 25:
Minnesota at Illinois
Rutgers at Nebraska
NIU at Eastern Michigan
Missouri State at Illinois State

Oct. 26
Bears at Patriots
Green Bay at New Orleans

Oct. 27
Washington at Dallas

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Redbirds' success worthy of more attention

Brock Spack, Illinois State University football coach.

Illinois State University’s football team is 6-0 (3-0) as of Oct. 18, but many in Illinois, including many football fans, are not aware of the Redbirds’ success.

That’s too bad. Success should be applauded and studied, I think, and Brock Spack, ISU’s head coach, has the school’s football program on a winning path. Spack, a Rockford native, took over the ISU program in 2009. In 2012, Spack’s Redbirds posted a 9-4 record and their fourth consecutive winning season. ISU stumbled in 2013, finishing 5-6 overall. However, 2014 sees the Redbirds back to their winning ways.

ISU is ranked No. 9 in the nation in the FCS Coaches’ Poll and is tied with undefeated North Dakota State at the top of the Missouri Valley Football Conference. 

The Redbirds’ stats are impressive. The team posts points in every quarter of every game, and has outscored opponents 253 total points to 83. The Redbirds have a red-zone scoring average of 86% (61% touchdowns). ISU averages 42.2 points per game, mostly through rushing. 

I think it’s important to note Spack also recruits heavily in the state. Illinois residents make up nearly half of the team's player roster. Fox Valley residents might be interested to know the ISU team includes Barry Brannon of St. Charles, Christian Gibbs and Scott Kuehn of Aurora, Bryce Holm of Oswego, and Matt Biegalski of Winfield.

The Redbirds will host Missouri State, 4-3 (1-2) at 6 p.m. Oct. 25. It’s one of the games we will be following this weekend. Win or lose Saturday, we plan to follow the Redbirds through the remainder of the season.

We hope Spack and his Redbirds keep posting wins, and we hope the team receives the support and attention it deserves.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Waterline Writers to feature local columnist


Early October at West Main Community Park in Batavia.
Kevin Botterman photo

Waterline Writers event to feature KC Chronicle columnist
The Kane County Chronicle’s Jennifer DuBose will be the featured speaker Oct. 19 at the Waterline Writers literature event at 7 p.m. Oct. 19 at Water Street Studios, 160 S. Water St. in downtown Batavia. The gathering also will feature other local writers, including Dolores Becker and Angela Ogburn. A $5 donation is suggested. 

Mothers Club to host annual crafts show
The Batavia Mothers’ Club Foundation will conduct its 29th annual Arts & Crafts Show Oct. 25 at Batavia High School, 1201 Main St., Batavia. The show will include seasonal decor, jewelry and items for all ages. The event also will include a bake sale and raffle. The sale will be open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is $5 and includes a raffle ticket. 

Cantigny to host catapult contest
Cantigny Park will host a catapult contest at 10 a.m. Oct. 25. Contestants can compete in three categories — distance, shot group, and accuracy. Awards will be presented for 1st and 2nd place finishers in each category. The park is located at 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton. For more information, call 630-688-5161.

Games we'll be following this weekend
We follow a variety of collegiate athletics, particularly football. However, we also make time to watch some NFL games. Here's a list of some of the games we'll be following this weekend. We always welcome suggestions and comments. If there's an upcoming contest you think we should watch, or a team we should follow, send us a note at kbotterman@gmail.com.

Oct. 18
Notre Dame at Florida State
Miami (Ohio) at NIU
Iowa State at Texas
Missouri at Florida
Georgia at Arkansas
Nebraska at Northwestern
Purdue at Minnesota

Oct. 19
Miami at Bears
Giants at Dallas
49s at Denver


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Monday, October 13, 2014

Elburn Lions to host book drive


Our friends at the Elburn Lions Club will conduct a book drive from 4 to 8 p.m. Oct. 17 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 18 at Lions Community Park, 500 Filmore St., Elburn. Books can be dropped off at the park’s south garage on Stetzer Avenue. The club is collecting new and gently used books for ages 1 to 18. 

Arts center sets reception for faculty show
The Fine Line Creative Arts Center, 37W570 Bolcum Road, St. Charles, will host a reception Oct. 17 to celebrate the opening of the 2014 Faculty Show. The reception will be conducted from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and is open to the public. Admission is free. For more information about the event and gallery hours, call 630-584-9443. 

Haunted Quarry opens Oct. 17
The Batavia Park District’s Haunted Quarry opens Oct. 17 for the Halloween fright season at Hall Quarry Beach, 400 S. River St., Batavia. The Haunted Quarry will be open 7 to 10 p.m. Oct. 17, 18, 24 and 25. Admission is $8. 

Ride the rails with trolley museum's Ghost Story Train
The Fox Valley Trolley Museum will conduct its Ghost Story Train Oct. 18 and Oct. 25. The train will travel from the museum to the John Duerr Forest Preserve, where guests will hear ghost stories and enjoy treats around a campfire. The program is suitable for all ages, and guests are encouraged to attend in costume. Tickets are $13.50 for all ages and reservations are required. Trains will depart the museum at 5 p.m, 6:15  and 7:45. The museum is located at 365 S. LaFox St., (Route 31) in South Elgin. For more information, call 847-697-4676.

St. Charles church to host annual craft show
The St. Charles Episcopal Church will conduct its annual arts and craft show from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 18. The juried show will include autumn and holiday decorations, jewelry, toys and more. Admission is free. The church is located at 994 N. Fifth Ave., St. Charles. 

Lions club offers up annual German dinner
The Elburn Lions Club will host its annual German Dinner from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 18. The buffet dinner will include bratwurst, pork loins, red cabbage, sauerkraut, spaetzel, German potato salad, pretzel rolls, dessert and coffee. A cash bar will offer German beer and wines. Tickets for the dinner are $13.50 for adults, $12.50 seniors age 65 and older, $9 for children ages 4 to 11. Children ages 3 and younger are admitted free. The club is located at 500 Filmore St., Elburn. For more information, call 630-365-6315.

St. Charles Park District, Steel Beam Theatre partner for Zombie 5K
The St. Charles Park District and the Steel Beam Theatre in St. Charles will partner to present Zombie Run, a 5K run and walk, at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 19 at Primrose Farm, 5N726 Crane Road, St. Charles. On-site registration will begin at 4 p.m. The registration fee is $25 for St. Charles Park District residents and $38 for nonresidents. Participants are encouraged to dress in costume, prizes will be awarded. For more information, go to www.stcparks.org.

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