The end of the year is a time for looking forward and a time for looking back. Here are 12 of the top stories featured in the pages of the Valley Life during each month of 2018.
JANUARY – Café 432 brings coffee
to the halls of Somonauk schools
Café 432, a coffee cart class in the life skills program for special education students at Somonauk Middle School, delivered hot beverages and snacks to the teachers, faculty and staff of Somonauk schools. On Mondays, the students visited James R. Woods Elementary School and on Wednesdays they visited the middle school and high school.
FEBRUARY – Equine Dreams hosts open house
for new riding simulator and therapy room
An open house took place at Equine Dreams on Feb. 9 after the nonprofit received a $100,000 grant through the Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation’s Innovation and Collaboration Tour. The grant allowed Equine Dreams to purchase a F.E.I. Dressage Racewood Riding Simulator and climate-controlled therapy room. Equine Dreams is a PATH International Premier Accredited Center and nonprofit organization that provides equine-assisted activities free to children, adults and veterans living with physical, cognitive and social disabilities.
MARCH – 10th annual St. Baldrick’s event
at Herman E. Dummer School
More than 60 people, including students, faculty, staff and family members, had their heads shaved March 15, in Herman E. Dummer School’s gym during the 10th annual St. Baldrick’s event. The event helped raise money for childhood cancer research.
APRIL – Indian Valley Community Band leader steps down after spring concert
Director Richard “Dick” Hart led the Indian Valley Community Band a final time April 15 for IVCB’s 32nd annual spring concert. The performance at the Sandwich Opera House, 140 E. Railroad St. in Sandwich, featured favorite pieces Hart has conducted in the past. IVCB’s new director, Jeff Ford, played at the band’s spring concert. Hart and his wife, Christel, continue to perform in the band.
MAY – Save a Life Tour stops in Leland
To stress the dangers of texting while driving and other forms of distracted driving, the International Save a Life Tour came to Leland High School on May 3. The tour is a safe-driving awareness program that travels to all 50 states and more than 30 countries, sharing the effects of impaired and distracted driving.
JUNE – Open Door Rehabilitation Center clients make birdhouses
Members of the Bird Crafters class at Open Door Rehabilitation Center in Sandwich met weekly to build birdhouses. The Bird Crafters class started in October 2017. In May, after staff from Open Door visited the woodcarvers group at Fox Valley Older Adults, asking for woodworking advice, the woodcarvers donated wood, safety equipment and screws. The woodcarvers also started volunteering, teaching the Open Door clients how to make birdhouses.
JULY – Shabbona Lake State Park celebrates its 40th anniversary
Shabbona Lake State Park, DeKalb County’s only state park, opened in 1978. It features 318.8 acres of lake and 1,550 acres of park land. The lake, designed specifically with fishing in mind, features more than 12 species of fish. The park has been nicknamed the “Muskie Capitol of Illinois” and “Illinois’ Best Fishing Lake.” Four state muskie records and two state hybrid crappie records have been set at the lake.
AUGUST – Back-to-School block party features backpack giveaway
Thirty-two backpacks full of school supplies were given away, each to a family in need with children in first through 12th grades, during the back-to-school block party Aug. 11 in the commons at the Wilshire and Wentworth Apartment Complex in Sandwich. The backpacks and supplies were donated by the Kendall County Food Bank.
SEPTEMBER – Sandwich Fair marks 131st year
The Sandwich Fair featured not only carnival rides and games for entertainment, but also a diverse lineup of live entertainment including country music star Justin Moore, indie-rock Christian band Carrollton, NTPA-sanctioned truck and tractor pulls and demolition derbies.
OCTOBER – First Baptist Church of Plano hosts Halloween costume exchange
First Baptist Church of Plano, 116 N. Hale St., hosted its second annual Halloween costume exchange Oct. 13. Event attendees could choose from more than 100 costumes and costume accessories.
NOVEMBER – POW/MIA monument dedicated
A monument to American soldiers who were prisoners of war or missing in action was donated by Rolling Thunder Illinois Chapter 1 to VFW Post 1486 and American Legion Post 181, both housed at 713 S. Main St. in Sandwich, during a Veterans Day celebration Nov. 11.
DECEMBER – A Sandwich Christmas celebrates the holidays
A Sandwich Christmas, hosted by the Sandwich Area Chamber of Commerce and the Sandwich Park District, took place the weekend of Dec. 1 and 2. The event featured the Kris Kringle Craft and Home Business Show and Festival of Trees at the Sandwich Fairgrounds. In downtown Sandwich there was a tree-lighting ceremony, a Christmas village with Santa Claus and a trolley tour of decorated homes. “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” a benefit for the Gil Morrison Memorial Scholarship Fund, was performed at the Sandwich Opera House and a living nativity was featured at Our Savior Lutheran Church.