illinois COLOR

Oswego’s Len Wass, right, accepted a $2,500 donation last week from the Aurora Council, U.S. Navy League, for the USS Illinois, a Navy submarine under construction. Left is Mike Eckblad, commander, Roosevelt-Aurora American Legion Post 84. Wass, chairman of the USS Illinois commissioning committee, said the Illinois is the 13th Virginia Class nuclear submarine and is scheduled to be launched in mid-2015. The commissioning committee was formed from volunteers from all over the state to help honor Illinois’ newest namesake ship. (Al Benson photo)


Aurora Christmas contest returns

An Aurora holiday tradition for more than 50 years returns. Nominations are now open for the 2014 Miss Merry Christmas and Jack Frost contest. The contest is open to Aurora residents between the ages of 4 and 7 years old.

Parents can enter their child by submitting a photo with the following information: name, age, birthday, parent/guardian name, address and phone number.

Hard copies of photos must be delivered during regular business hours (Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) to the City of Aurora Special Events Office, 5 E. Downer Pl. located next to the Subway Restaurant at the corner of Downer Pl. and Stolp Ave.

The entry deadline is 3 p.m. Thursday.

Six boys and six girls will be chosen as semi-finalists.

While all 12 semi-finalists will be part of the 2014 Court, the top three vote earners in each category will be the 2014 Finalists and entered into a random drawing that will crown the 2014 Miss Merry Christmas and Jack Frost. The drawing will be held during a special meeting with Mayor Weisner and members of the Aurora City Council on Tuesday, November 18 at City Hall.

Miss Merry Christmas and Jack Frost will lead the City of Aurora’s Winter Lights Parade and assist in lighting Aurora’s official holiday tree on Friday, Nov. 21 at 6:00 p.m. during the City of Aurora’s annual Winter Lights Festival in downtown Aurora.

For more information, call the City of Aurora’s Special Events Office at 630-256-3370 or visit our Frequently Asked Questions.


Steel Beam Theatre introduces new troupe

The Steel Beam Theatre of Saint Charles introduces a new traveling theater troupe that will perform a play exploring the impact that bullying has on the bullied, the bullies themselves and the bystanders.

Written by Tommy Lee Johnston and directed by the theater’s Artistic Director Donna Steele, a special performance of the play “Gifted” will be held on Thursday, October 30 at 7 p.m. at the Steel Beam Theatre to mark the end of National Bullying Prevention Month. The author, Tommy Lee Johnston will be on hand and will offer a “talk-back” discussion after the performance, the media and local school administrators, youth group coordinators are invited to attend.

The Gifted theater troupe, which is available for bookings at school assemblies, church groups, youth centers, etc., consists of six young actors and one adult actor. The play takes place in a high school class of gifted students where a substitute teacher faces his past as a former bully.

“This play takes a hard look at many of the issues that kids face today,” said Steele. “The play is about bullying, tolerance, acceptance and love.”

For more information about the play, to view a preview and to book a performance, visit or contact Donna Steele at 630-587-8521.


Raising funds for CASA

St. Charles city  employees  are  holding  a  bake  sale  and  raffle to  raise  funds  for  the  CASA (Court-Appointed  Special  Advocates)  Kane  County  child  advocacy  program.  Home-baked treats will be on sale in the reception area of the Municipal Building, 2 E. Main St., on Oct. 31 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Raffle tickets also will be available for $3 each. Prizes include theatre tickets, gift baskets, and more.

Stop in for a treat or to make a donation to CASA Kane County. And there’s still time to take part in these other CASAtober events around the community:

The Blue Goose is selling raffle tickets to win Blue Goose gift certificates

The St. Charles Park District is collecting donations of hats and mittens for the children at each of their locations

“Not only is the bake sale a great opportunity to buy home baked/cooked treats, you also will know that you are making a difference to the many children in Kane County who are in court due to abuse and neglect,” said Lynn Creedon, Benefits Coordinator. “By picking up a pie, cookies, brownies, homemade salsa or pasta, you will be helping a child in need.”

In addition, all month, donations from the City’s weekly “Jeans Dress-Down” days for employees are earmarked for CASA.

Donations will be used to develop volunteers to serve as Court-Appointed Special Advocates/ Guardians ad Litem for children in court due to abuse and neglect.  More at

For more information, contact the Human Resources Department at (630) 377-4446.


$10,000 donation for more trees in Geneva

Geneva’s downtown tree inventory received another boost this fall thanks to a $10,000 donation from the City’s Natural Resources Committee.

The money will reimburse the City for the purchase of 25 new trees, which were planted this month by Sebert Landscape at various locations along and adjacent to State Street. During the past two years, the committee has donated $20,000 to plant 55 parkway trees in the downtown.

NRC Chairman Jay Womack and other committee members presented the most recent donation to the City Council Oct. 20.

The NRC’s mission is to promote awareness and conservation principles in Geneva.

Residents can mark calendars for the next Wine, Cheese and Trees fundraiser scheduled for March 21, 2015.


Early voting now under way in Kane County

Early voting allows voters to cast a full ballot before the observed Election Day — and the 2014 early voting period is now under way.

“Although voters can still go to their polling place on Election Day, this is intended to make voting easier for everyone,” the Kane County Clerk’s Office website says. “This cuts down on lines at the polling place as well as allowing voters to vote when it fits their schedule.”

For the Nov. 4, 2014, General Election, early voting began Oct. 20 and runs through Sunday, Nov.2, 2014.

The ballot is the same whether voting absentee, early or at the polling place on Election Day. To find out how to look at your own individualized sample ballot online, see this article on Kane County Connects.

Keep in mind that early voting is not conducted at your usual polling place. (Polling places will only be open for voting on Election Day.) Early voting is conducted at assigned locations throughout Kane County. You may go to any one of the assigned locations to vote early.


Five homes part of Geneva holiday tour

Five charming homes, aglow with holiday decorations, will open their doors to visitors for the Geneva Christmas House Tour from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5 and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6.

The personality of each home will illuminate when local decorators and landscapers work with homeowners to create holiday magic. A Holiday Tea held at the Congregational Church in Geneva is included in the $30 price of the ticket.

The event is sponsored by the Geneva Chamber of Commerce. Proceeds of the House Tour are used to decorate Geneva for the holiday season.

Tickets will be available in November, but you can pre-order now by calling the Chamber at 630-232-6060.


Suburban  News Briefs  are compiled from submitted items and news sources