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In Our Towns: Schools boost Elgin Lions Club’s food collection

Lincoln Elementary School Hoffman Estates collected record 2124 non-perishable food items for ElgLions Club food distributiprogram. From left are Assistant

Lincoln Elementary School in Hoffman Estates collected a record of 2,124 non-perishable food items for the Elgin Lions Club food distribution program. From left are Assistant Principal Lisa Cardenas; Principal Mariann Alyea; and Lions Club members Jim Beam, Tom Wahl and Ed Bates. | Submitted

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Updated: December 30, 2013 11:24AM

Members of the Elgin Lions Club have been collecting non-perishable food items from local elementary schools for the past three years and delivering the food to the Elgin Community Crisis Center and the Salvation Army.

“The children, their parents, and their teachers and staff have been very generous with their contributions,” a release said. “This year has seen a record in that generosity. Lincoln Elementary PE teacher Karen Peterson has been the driver for the record collection from her school.”

So far, for the month of November, the Elgin Lions Club has transported 4,216 units of non-perishable food items to the Crisis Center from community schools, according to the release, which noted that additional pick-ups next week are anticipated.

“It is hoped that through the generosity of the elementary school students, their parents, and their teachers and staff that some local families will be able to have a much happier Thanksgiving,” the release said.

Elgin: Museum to present bird feeding program

Thanksgiving weekend has morphed into holiday gift buying frenzy. If you want some ideas for a holiday gift that will keep on giving, but don’t necessarily want to deal with the mall traffic and crowds, the Elgin Public Museum has an alternate way to spend that Saturday morning.

Jim and Carol McGrath from Nature Discovery are returning to present Making the Ultimate Winter Bird Feeding Station for Maximum Birds and Enjoyment. Their last program was Finding and Rearing Giant Silk Moths.

During the winter birds seek food, water, and shelter. The Powerpoint presentation Saturday will be on hand feeders and seed. Ziegler’s Ace has donated four $10 gift certificates and all attendees will have a chance to win one in a drawing.

Seating will be limited, so advanced ticket purchase is highly recommended. The cost is $7 per person, $5 if you’re an EPM member. The program will be held at the museum, 225 Grand Blvd. in Lords Park, at 10:30 a.m. You can make reservations and purchase tickets by calling 847-741-6655 or visit and use PayPal. Reservations are required.

Hampshire: Santa Claus visit scheduled for Dec. 8

The Hampshire Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual “Santa Comes to Hampshire” event is slated for 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 8 at Hampshire Middle School along State Street.

Activities include lunch with Santa, free photos with Santa, the Junior Future Farmers of American petting zoo, craft show, kiddie games and local entertainment. Admission is free, although there is a minimal charge for games and crafts. Lunch with Santa reservations are due by Dec. 4.

More information is available from chamber Executive Director Bonnie Hanson at 847-683-1122 or at

South Elgin: Refresh and Renew program Dec. 3

For many, living a balanced life seems elusive, and finding down time to pay attention to things that bring restoration to life is difficult. Visiting Angels of South Elgin has taken note of this and is sponsoring Refresh and Renew, a monthly brown bag lunch meeting that gives individuals a chance to set aside the demands of work and life, a release said.

“We offer the community the unique opportunity to escape the stress of life and create an atmosphere to get spiritually rejuvenated,” said Re Kielar of Visiting Angels.

Each month, a new topic is presented by a local speaker. The next program is from noon to 1 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Visiting Angels Training Center, 65 Woodbury St. Elgin resident Carole Peto is the December guest speaker.

Make reservations by calling Kielar at 847-429-0100.

Algonquin: Laine named Torch Run Hall of Fame

The International Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics (ILETR) has inducted Algonquin Police Chief Russ Laine into the Richard LaMunyon Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Hall of Fame.

Laine was inducted for his selfless dedication to the athletes of Special Olympics, according to a release from the organization. He became involved in the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics in 1990 when the Illinois LETR raised just $20,000. This year, the Illinois LETR is expected to raise $3 million.

“Through his years of involvement, Chief Laine has guided his department to one of the state’s leading fundraising departments, raising nearly $110,000 over the last five years,” the release said. “He has led by example by actively recruiting new agencies across the state and participating in nearly every fundraiser Illinois has created, including plunging into Lake Michigan as part of the Polar Plunge. Chief Laine began serving on the Special Olympics Illinois Board of Directors in 2010, providing a law enforcement voice and insight to this group.

“His involvement over the years in the International Association of Chiefs of Police has paid huge dividends for the ILETR. He has been instrumental in renewing their support and enthusiasm for the Special Olympics movement. Chief Laine has led the ILETR efforts not only in Illinois but throughout the world. From his installation as sixth vice president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police to his rise to president, he worked tirelessly on behalf of the ILETR. In addition, he participated in the 2007 International LETR Final Leg event in China, as well as two USA Games Final Legs as a support member.”

Geneva: Program on night sky program set for Dec. 4

People can learn about the night sky — and how excessive outdoor illumination has impacted our society — at a Dec. 4 “Learn from the Experts” nature program.

Experiencing the night sky is part of the common heritage of mankind. Excessive outdoor illumination prevents us from experiencing the night sky as our ancestors did just a few decades ago. At the same time, modern technologies have made the beauty of deep-space accessible as never before, albeit on an indirect basis, a release said.

Members of the Fox Valley Astronomical Society will lead this evening program and discuss ways in which these opposing trends can be balanced on a personal and philosophical basis. The program will include a lecture and viewing outside with telescopes.

“Learn about The Night Sky: A Missing Component of Modern Mankind’s Heritage” will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Dec. 4 at Peck Farm Park, 38W199 Kaneville Road.

Registration for this “Learn from the Experts” program is $15 per person and is for adults ages 16 and older. To register, call 847-741-8350 or e-mail

“Learn from the Experts” programs are co-presented by the Forest Preserve District of Kane County along with the St. Charles and Geneva Park Districts. Programs are taught by experts in their respective fields and offer in-depth information and learning opportunities about our local ecology.

For more information or to view the full roster of Forest Preserve District nature programs, visit

Elgin: Northern Kane Wild Ones holiday party set

Northern Kane County Wild Ones will hold a holiday party at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 5 at Christ the Lord Lutheran Church, 12N462 Tina Trail.

New board members will be elected, a photo contest will be held and a slide show of the year in review will be presented by Jim Cudney. Bring food to share and your own plates, utensils, silverware and napkins. Beverages will be provided. If you have any milkweed seeds you have collected from your garden, bring them (minus the fluff) to send to Monarch Watch.

For more information, email or call 847-794-8963.

Elgin: Church of Brethren camp coordinator named

Jenna Stacy of Campobello, S.C. has recently undertaken a Brethren Volunteer Service assignment with Youth & Young Adult Ministries in Elgin.

Stacy will be working with the Global Mission and Service program of the Church of the Brethren to support, assist, and continue to develop the denomination’s workcamp ministry. This ministry coordinates 25 to 30 workcamps — short-term mission trips that connect service with Christian faith — each summer for youth, young adults, and adults. She will assist in coordinating as many as 10 of these summer workcamps.

She can be reached through the BVS office at 1451 Dundee Ave.

West Dundee: Franchisee wins Travel Leaders award

Lynne and Edward Chittim are recipients of the 2013 Travel Leaders Agency of Excellence award.

Each year, these premier awards are presented to the top echelon of Travel Leaders Associates franchisees. This year, only 24 agencies received this distinction — which recognizes their leadership and business success — out of hundreds of Travel Leaders locations throughout the United States.

To earn the Agency of Excellence distinction, each Travel Leaders agency is scored in several categories that reflect business growth; utilization of marketing programs to effectively reach local consumers; participation in key training programs to enhance service to their clients, as well as in local and national business networking meetings, and their overall promotion of the Travel Leaders brand, which includes “We Get You, We Get You There” branding anchored by the tagline “Travel Better.”

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