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Festival of Trees benefit a major boost for Ecker Center for Mental Health

The 122nd Fideliter Charity Ball “Magic Music” was held Nov. 20  Boulder Ridge Country Club Lake Hills. Featured above

The 122nd Fideliter Charity Ball “Magic of Music” was held Nov. 20 at the Boulder Ridge Country Club, Lake in the Hills. Featured above are Kathy (Ball Chair) and Pat Hannell and Fideliter Club President Pat and Don Szpekowski.

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Updated: May 1, 2011 4:46AM

Karen Beyer thanked the festival committee guests, sponsors and tree designers for making the 2010 Ecker Center for Mental Health’s Festival of Trees at its most successful fundraiser ever. The major event sponsor for the 10th year was EFS Foundation. Many other businesses also participated as sponsors.

Some 42 themed and traditional holiday trees from designers like Debbie Herman of Everything Floral and Anton Engelmann of Town & Country Gardens, plus two wreaths were displayed and sold. The bidding was spirited and generous. There was much excitement and buzz around the buffet meal provided by Jim and Mary Catherine Walsh’s Cuisine America. Entertainment was provided by The Kevin Disch Trio. Auctioneer Terry Dunning kept the bidding exciting.

Tom Berna of Berna Movers transported trees from the Gail Borden Public Library, where they had been on display for the celebration at The Centre and later to their Happy New Year owners.

More than 130 guests were in attendance. Among them were Steve, Betty and Carol Rauschenberger, CEO of Elgin Symphony Orchestra Dale Loris and Kelly Loris, Joe Follrath, Mayor Ed Schock, George and Jacqui Irizarry, Councilman Mike and wife Laurel Warren, Dave Conroy, Ecker Board Chair Eric Fernandez, Libby Hoeft, Donna and Roger Burnidge and Floyd Brown, to name a few.

Karen Beyer commented, “Elgin is a warm-hearted community who cares!”

For more information about the Ecker Center, call 847-695-0484.

Stepping Out to the “Magic of Music”

This year’s bash was attended by more than 150 and was held at the charming Boulder Ridge Country Club on a beautiful evening. As we entered the evening event, guests were greeted by Elgin’s well-known singer of many talents, Jeorge Holmes, who sang a number of favorite and familiar songs. Chair Kathy Hannell looked stunning in her drop-dead red gown as she and husband Pat greeted guests in the receiving line, along with President Pat and Dan Szpekowski. Cathy Neuholfen of Interesting Developments was kept busy taking personal photos of couples in attendance.

After a wonderful dinner, guests enjoyed bidding on many attractive items. Dance music was provided by The Sophisticats and the dance floor was bustling all evening.

Flying home from Florida just to attend holiday activities were Emeritus members Dorothy and Milt Perlman. Among those in attendance were first-timers Ray and Joan Matejcak, Christie and Ryan Klejowa, Luis and Judy Cabrera, Shelly Lewis and husband. Others included Mary Jane Adkins, Larry Narum and Susan Marks, Fred and Sandy Imming, Chuck and Judy Emmert, Al and Janine Kirkland and Bill and Coco Skok.

Proceeds from the evening event will benefit children and families in the Fox Valley area. In lieu of table favors, Elgin Industries graciously donated scholarships to Elgin Children’s Theatre.

The Foundation Friends of Elgin Community College host reception at Onesti

More than 100 community leaders and friends attended this special reception with Elgin Community College President Dr. David Sam and Foundation Executive Director Norman P. Madsen. The event was given to gain insight and perspective on how Elgin Community College can better serve Community College District 509.

Guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and refreshments as they had the opportunity to have one-on-one conversation with the ECC president and board members.

If you would like to know more about ECC and the foundation board, call Madsen at 847-214-7377.

Places to be scene

The Elgin Symphony Orchestra presents the elegant and lyrical Haydn Cello Concerto featuring Alisa Weilerstein, cellist at 3:30 p.m. today at Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin. For tickets, call 847-888-4000 or visit

Elgin Community College Foundation invites you to join them for the 13th annual Founders Day Brunch “Building Our Future.” It begins with a strong foundation. The event is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 30 at Fox Valley University and Business Center at Elgin Community College, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin. A champagne reception will be held from 11 a.m. to noon with brunch at noon. For more detailed information, call Katie at 847-214-7377.

On Jan. 29, PADS of Elgin presents its annual Winter Harvest for the Homeless. This year marks the fifth anniversary of “Stars Dance for PADS.” The event will be at the Crystal Lake Holiday Inn, 800 S. Route 31 in Crystal Lake. For more detailed information, call the PADS office at 847-608-9744.

The Elgin Women’s Club begins the 2011 year with their opening meeting at 11:30 a.m. Feb. 1. The program will feature Sybil Shore from The Centre of Elgin. She will discuss senior fitness. The opening luncheon will be at the Holiday Inn, 495 Airport Road in Elgin. For reservations, call the hotline at 847-622-3614.

The Black Women’s Association’s seventh annual gala will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 5 at the Holiday Inn, 495 Airport Road (I-90 and Route 31) in Elgin. For tickets and more detailed information, call Velma at 847-888-0167.

Metropolis Performing Arts Centre at 111 W. Campbell St. in downtown Arlington Heights presents “The Boys Next Door,” a comedy-drama giving a glimpse into the lives of four men with special needs and their burned-out caretaker. For tickets, call 847-577-5982 ext 400. The performances begin Jan. 13 and run through Feb. 20.

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