Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Valley Sheltered Workshop to mark 50th anniversary

The Valley Sheltered Workshop in downtown Batavia. 

Valley Sheltered Workshop and the Batavia Chamber of Commerce will celebrate the workshop’s 50th anniversary at 10 a.m. May 9 at 325 Main St., Batavia. Mayor Jeffery Schielke will lead an anniversary ribbon-cutting ceremony. The workshop opened in 1966 and provides job opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Visitors will have an opportunity to learn about the organization’s interesting history and its operations. The City of Batavia marked the workshop’s anniversary with a ceremony April 18, during a Batavia City Council meeting.

And pancakes too
The Valley Sheltered Workshop and the Batavia Lions Club will partner to host the workshop’s 50th annual pancake breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to noon May 1 at 325 Main St. The meal will include pancakes, sausage, fresh strawberries, orange juice and coffee. Take-out service will be available. The event also will include a cash drawing, a silent auction, and basket raffles. Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for seniors age 65 and older, and $3 for children age 12 and younger.

Farm Bureau to offer mature driving program

The Kane County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee will host a 55 Alive Mature Driving Program April 26 and 27. The eight-hour course discusses defensive driving techniques and related safety information. The program will meet from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day at the Kane County Farm Bureau, 2N710 Randall Road, St. Charles. Registration is required. The fee is $15 for AARP members and $20 for all others. Participants must attend both days to successfully complete the course. Some insurance companies offer discount auto insurance for drivers age 55 and older who complete the course. For more information or to register, call the Farm Bureau at 630-584-8660.

Concerto concert on April 24
Our friends at the The Fox Valley Philharmonic Orchestra will present a free concert featuring two soloists at 3 p.m. April 24 at Our Savior Lutheran Church, 420 W. Downer Place, Aurora. The concert will feature Kristine Mertens, the orchestra’s senior oboist and Lily Johnson, 12, the youth winner of the Fox Valley Academy Concerto Competition. For more information, call 630-476-9092, or click here.

Library program highlights 'British Invasion' music
The Batavia Public Library will present The British Invasion, featuring musician Dave Rudolf and the music of the Beatles, Donovan, The Who and others, at 2 p.m. April 24. The show is part of the library’s Sundays on Stage program. Admission is free, but registration is encouraged and can be completed by calling 630-879-1393, ext. 200.

Save the date
The Pottawatomie Garden Club of St. Charles will host its annual Garden Walk July 9. The theme for this year’s event is A Day in the Country and will feature six gardens. The walk will be conducted from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, or $20 the day of the event. The event benefits the club’s scholarship program. For more information, click here. 

A special reminder 
More than 100 volunteers from local churches and organizations will lend a hand with The Batavia Interfaith Food Pantry’s annual Food Sharing Days collection effort April 30 and May 1 at the Berkeley Food Store in downtown Batavia and the Jewel-Osco store on Randall Road. Volunteers will offer shoppers lists of suggested items needed to restock the pantry’s shelves. The collection effort will be conducted 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. 




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Monday, January 18, 2016

Still plenty to do in a busy January



I like to think I manage time well, but I am always surprised (and a little intimidated) by how fast time passes. I looked at my calendar this afternoon and realized the first month of new year is more than half gone and running down quickly. I've jotted down a few items on scraps of paper and wanted to share them with you.

Library program to feature Wright Brothers Jan. 21
The Books Between Bites program at the Batavia Public Library will host a presentation about “The Wright Brothers,” David McCullough’s account of the Wright Brothers journey to Kitty Hawk. Barbara Kalina, a former history and literature teacher with the Batavia school district will lead the presentation and discussion from noon to 1 p.m. Jan. 21 at the library, 10 S. Batavia Ave. For more information, call the library at 630-879-1393. 




Music boosters to host pancake breakfast
The Marmion-Rosary Music Boosters will host their annual pancake breakfast from 8:30 to
1 p.m. July 24 at Marmion Academy’s Lux Dining Hall. The event will include musical entertainment. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for children ages 3 to 12. The breakfast will include unlimited pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns and beverages. For more information, call 630-897-6936.



Geneva school district unveils new website
Geneva School District 304 officials recently unveiled the district's new website, featuring a crisp and bright look. I still enjoy visiting websites just to see the type of design and presentation techniques organizations employ to tell their stories. I think the school district did a fine job with their redesign effort, but visit the site and decide for yourself.

Slow down and enjoy better health
One of the best ways to improve overall health and peace of mind is to slow down, according to a recent report from our friends at AARP. The report offers some simple steps to follow in the new year. One of my favorites is the suggestion to slow life’s busy pace with writing. It seems making time to sit down and write (either with pen or keyboard) offers many benefits, including an easing in our need for speed. I added “write more” to my new year’s resolution list, and I hope the health benefits alone will be motivation enough to make writing more a resolution I can keep throughout the year.


Extension offers valuable tips
I always enjoy reading the University of Illinois Extension's blog posts and reports. The extension's staff covers everything from agriculture and gardening to nutrition and consumer tips. I particularly enjoy the gardening advice and enjoy thinking about gardening activities during January's bitter-cold days. Planning for springtime tasks helps to keep me going when daytime high temperatures are in the single digits.
 

Movin’ On
Sending out some tardy congratulations to Ryan Klassy, who recently ended a good run as information director at the Kane County Farm Bureau to take on a new job at a local community college. I met Ryan about eight years ago while I was working for the Chicago Tribune and always enjoyed coordinating the Tribune’s coverage of the farm bureau’s activities. I also enjoyed reading Ryan’s columns in the farm bureau’s monthly publication. Best wishes in the new gig, Ryan.



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Saturday, December 19, 2015

Tis the season for ugly sweater parties


The Lodge on 64, 41W379 Route 64 in Campton Hills, will host an ugly sweater party at 9 p.m. Dec. 23. Admission is free and prizes will be awarded. For more information, call 630-443-8000.

The Geneva Park District will host a Christmas caroling event from 11:15 a.m. to
12:30 p.m. Dec. 22 in downtown Geneva. Participants will meet at 11:15 a.m. in the Geneva BRIA Center lobby, 1101 E. State St. Those younger than 16 must be accompanied by an adult. The program is free but registration is encouraged and can be completed by calling 630-232-4542.

The Geneva Public Library will feature photographer Anthony Nevins’ black-and-white photos during December. The exhibit features 21 photos and is displayed in the library's lower level gallery. The library is located at 127 James St., Geneva. 


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Monday, June 8, 2015

Flag Day event to benefit Batavia's fireworks show


Batavia will observe Flag Day with a special celebration from 4 to 7 p.m. June 14 at the Peg Bond Center on the Batavia Riverwalk in downtown Batavia. The event will include an ice cream social, entertainment and the Batavia Community Band. Admission is free, but donations will be collected to support the annual Independence Day fireworks display. The event is presented by the Batavia Fireworks Committee and the Batavia Access Committee.

Kaneland Foundation sets annual Knight Run
The Kaneland Foundation will host its annual 5K Knight Run at 8 p.m. June 19 at Kaneland High School, 47W326 Keslinger Road, Maple Park. The event also will include a quarter-mile run for children and a one-mile fun run and walk. The children’s run will start at 7 p.m., and fun run will start at 7:30 p.m. The fee is $25 for the 5K, $10 for the fun run and $5 for the children’s run. For more information, call 630-365-8295.


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Friday, May 29, 2015

Batavia Farmers' Market opens for season June 6


The Batavia Farmers’ Market opens for the season June 6 on north River Street in downtown Batavia. The market will be open 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays through Oct. 17. The June edition of the Kane County Farm Bureau’s Kane Farmer publication includes a listing of farmer’s markets in the area.

More from the Farm Bureau
Be sure to visit the Farm Bureau’s updated Bounty of Kane website for information about 38 local farms that sell direct to consumers. The website is part of the bureau’s popular Discover the Bounty of Kane program. 

 
Trolley museum plans ‘Rails to Victory’
The Fox River Trolley Museum will host its “Rails to Victory” World War II reenactment program May 30 and May 31 at the museum, 365 S. LaFox St., South Elgin. The program will include battle reenactments, trolley rides into occupied France and a baseball game featuring the Rockford Peaches. Trolley excursions will begin at 10:30 a.m. May 30. For more information, call 847-697-4676.

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

K. Hollis Jewelers marks 10th anniversary

Karen and Rob Hollis and the staff at K. Hollis Jewelers in Batavia will celebrate the store’s 10 anniversary from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 11. The store is located at 147 S. Randall Road, Batavia, near the Jewel store. The event will include hourly raffles, refreshments and a few special surprises. Lori and I plan to attend. Join us as we celebrate Karen and Rob’s success.  For more information, call the store at 630-879-8003.

Dinner to benefit Loyalty Day Parade
The Batavia VFW Ladies Auxiliary will host a spaghetti dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, April 11 at VFW Post 1197, 645 S. River St., Batavia. Proceeds from the event will benefit Batavia’s Loyalty Day Parade on May 3. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. The event will include music, a 50/50 drawing and raffles. Each dinner ticket includes one ticket for a raffle drawing for a laptop computer. For more information or to purchase advance, tickets call 630-879-9630.

Kane County Flea Market opens April 11-12
The Kane County Flea Market will be open noon to 5 p.m. April 11 and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 12 at the Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall Road in St. Charles. The market offers a variety of merchandise, including antiques, furniture and crafts. Admission $5 for adults. Children ages 12 and younger are admitted free. Parking is free.

Kiwanis to host spaghetti dinner
The Batavia Kiwanis Club will host an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner from 4:30 to 7 p.m. April 16 at Riverview Banquets, 1117 N. Washington Ave., Batavia. For details, including ticket information, click here.

Friday flashback features Dave Edmunds
My Friday flashback for April 10 is “Slipping Away”, Dave Edmunds' 1983 hit about a fading romance. The song was Edmunds’ second Top 40 hit and was written and produced by Jeff Lynne of Electric Light Orchestra. Edmunds was a favorite of mine during his days with Rockpile and during his solo years. Enjoy.


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Monday, February 16, 2015

Cougars ticket sales, the Albright Theatre and more

Single-game tickets for the Kane County Cougars' 2015 season go on sale Feb. 21. The Cougars will host their home opener April 9.

Albright Theatre’s ‘Mousetrap’ continues
The Albright Theatre Company will continue its production of Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap” with weekend shows Feb. 20 to Feb. 28. The play involves a murder and a group of strangers stranded in a London snowstorm. Michael Yoder and Mitch Jacobs direct the show. The cast includes Richard Holloman, Katy Steel, Chris Contreras and Bobby Dunn Jr. The show is presented at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 p.m Sunday. The Albright Theatre is located inside the Batavia Government Center, 100 N. Island Ave., Batavia. For more information or to buy tickets, call 630-406-8838.



Kane County Flea Market to open 2015 season
The Kane County Flea Market will be open  noon to 5 p.m. Feb. 28 and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 1 at the Kane County Fairgrounds, located near Randall Road and Route 64 in St. Charles. The fair features antiques, collectibles and a wide variety of other merchandise. Admission is $5 for adults. Children ages 12 and younger are admitted free.

Cougars share theme night dates
The Kane County Cougars’ theme night schedule for the 2015 season includes two Star Wars nights, a Military Appreciation Night, two Bark in the Park nights and a two-day celebration marking the Halfway to Halloween. The theme nights offer fun and activities for all ages. All event take place at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark in Geneva. The team will announce additional theme nights in the coming weeks.

Boomers hot for area ranch-style homes

Baby boomers are on the move in Chicago’s suburbs, downsizing from two-story colonials and buying one-floor, single-family units, according to an article by Jean Murphy in the Daily Herald’s Feb. 14 edition. Ranch-style home built in the 1950s and 1960s are in high demand with baby boomers and empty-nesters between the ages of 45 and 64, according to the report. The baby boomers are seeking the convenience of a one-floor structure and the privacy of a single-family home. While the baby boomers seemed focused on existing housing stock, the good news is they typically conduct large-scale renovation of the homes they purchase, seeking open kitchens, larger master bedrooms and family rooms. Many also add exercise areas or hobby spaces, according to the article.



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