The Daily Herald from Arlington Heights, Illinois on March 9, 2008 · Page 149
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The Daily Herald from Arlington Heights, Illinois · Page 149

Arlington Heights, Illinois
Issue Date:
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Page 149
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SUNDAY, MARCH 9, 2008 DailyHerald SotrtliElpi Contact w Births Timeout! Sunday F1 Elgin woman remembered for community service efforts It's been a tough couple of weeks for Elgin. The city lost influential Hispanic grocer "Jose" Luis Diaz; and historian, genealogist and volunteer Rowena Swan. Now, Sher- Harry Hitzeman Elgin, S. Elgin man Hospital also has lost one of its fixtures and community leaders. Fern Marie Samples Risley, a lifelong Elgin resident, died Feb. 27. She was 78. She graduated Elgin High School in 1947 and Bradley University in 1951. She worked at the radio station WRMN before taking a part-time job helping with public relations for Sherman Hospital, which eventually grew into a 33-year career. After her retirement, she stayed active in fundraising for the Sherman Health Foundation Board. Risley also served with a battery of service and charitable organizations, including the Elgin Junior Service Board, Zonta International, Sherman Hospital Auxiliary, American Hospital Association, American Society of Hospital Marketing and Public Relations, United Way and Elgin Women's Club, according to her family. She also was the first recipient of the YWCA's Leader Luncheon Marguerite Henry Award for Communications and Technology in 1984. Risley was a huge Bears fan, and a season ticketholder for 30 years. She's probably singing "Bear Down, Chicago Bears" with NFL founder George "Papa Bear" Halas and Walter Payton right now. Risley is survived by her four children and seven grandchildren. Her husband of 54 years, J. Audley, died in January. A memorial service was slated for last Saturday in the Assembly Hall at Sherman Hospital. In lieu of flowers, Fern's family requests memorials in her memory be made to the Sherman Health Foundation, 934 Center St., Elgin, IL. 60120. The sky's the limit: Don't tell the folks at the Elgin-based Valley Air Service that the country's headed into a recession. The executive aircraft charter and aircraft management company recently reported that its sales were 42 percent higher in 2007 compared to the prior year. Established in 1994 by husband/wife team Stephen and Maureen Cosyns, the company has a fleet of jets at the West Chicago-based DuPage Airport. The airport is the third busiest in the state, and like the airport administration, Valley officials also target executives. "Approximately 80 percent of our clients are business executives," said Stephen Cosyns, who also is the company's chief pilot. "Because time is money, it is a wise investment for them to charter rather than fly commercial airlines. High-level executives appreciate the convenience of utilizing regional airports where they can avoid the long lines and flight delays of O'Hare or Midway. They can get more business accomplished." For information about Valley Air Service Inc. or to request a quote, contact the office headquarters at (847) 468-7473 or e-mail • Harry Hitzeman covers Elgin and South Elgin. To reach him, call (847) 608-2719 or send an } e-mail ty hhitzeman@daily- City grants give neighborhoods hand in sprucing up Elgin neighborhood groups can vie for a slice of $50,000 starting this month to help create newsletters, spruce up local parks and create new entryway monuments. The city's Neighborhood Improvement Grant Program, or NIGP, has provided a little more than $1 million toward 136 different projects throughout Elgin since 1996, said RuthAnne Hall who oversees the grants as the city's management analyst. "This money has gone a long way in uniting residents in projects which benefit the entire community," said Hall. "The grant involves a neighborhood group match of volunteerism and funds, so many people from throughout the city share in the success of these projects." Since funding this year is more limited than in the past, Hall hopes the city's estimated 25 neighborhood groups are putting the final touches on their project proposals, which ai'e due March 31. "We hope the limited funding this year helps groups produce'the best possible proposals," she said. "We may not do as many as we have done in years past." The $50,000 in improvement money is available on a first-come, first-served basis and is slated for two different grants, including a Small Sparks Fund for projects of $1,000 or less and a Large Project Fund for more costly initiatives up to $15,000. For each one, neighborhood groups must pay for half the project in the form of volunteerism, in-kind donations or cash. The project must be a physical improvement to a neighborhood that's located on public property, such as sig- nage, lighting or parkway tree replacement. Groups can also request money to stage neighborhood festivals and other community-building events. Residents must wrap up their projects by spring 2009. Enhancements the city funded last year include a but- terfly garden on Douglas Avenue organized by the North East Neighborhood Association; new entryway monuments at Oakwood Hills on East Chicago Street and into the Eagle Heights subdivision on North McLean Boulevard; and a photo survey of houses in the Elgin Historic District by the Gifford Park Association. Other pending projects include a new neighborhood identity campaign hosted by the Summit Park Neighbors and Settlement and a neighborhood playground proposed by the Neighbors of South East Elgin. The South West Area Neighbors also already pitched the idea of securing money to run a neighborhood marketing campaign designed to bring new home buyers into their older area north of the Route 20 Bypass and immediately west of Route 31 or State Street, said Hall. "I'd love for more groups to come forward with ideas related to lighting, entryway monuments, improvements to parkways and neighborhood planning," she said. To receive an application, visit Elgin city hall at 150 Dexter Court, download the information from the city's Web site at or call Hall at (847) 931-6104. • Mark Billings can be reached by mail at Daily Herald, 385 Airport Road, Suite A, Elgin, IL 60123, by fax at (847) 6080849, or e-mail foxvalley@ All kinds of bueno Hablamos Espanol Expo shows off culture, gathers help for daily life in one place PHOTOS BY GEORGE LECLAIRE/ Somos Colombia ("We are Colombia"), an Elgin-based group, dances at the Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce's third annual Hablamos Espanol Expo, which was held Sunday at The Centre in Elgin. See the video at T he third annual Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce Hablamos Espanol Expo, held Sunday at The Centre in Elgin, served a variety of purposes in both Spanish and English. Hablamos Espanol illustrated the diversity of Hispanic culture, with dancers and other cultural groups, and an art show. Chamber members to market their products and services. Governmental representatives talked about what they do and listened to questions from attendees. There also were voting machine lessons, and appearances by McGruff the Crime Dog and Ozzie from the Kane County Cougars. Mariano Mercado, an artist and a teacher at Abbott Middle School in Elgin, has child-related and Hispanic themes in his work. Kids write for kids in KV Chronicles BY LENORE T. ADKINS Got a big mouth? Apparently, nearly 20 kids reporting for the Lake in the Hills-based KV Chronicles newspaper do, and they're proud of it. KV, which stands for "kids view," is all about children, and chronicles news and events that matter to them. The quarterly newspaper is written for kids and by kids — and like most grown-up newspapers, offers an online component that includes video stories. For example, if you click on a story about a "Fear Factor"-style eating contest at, you'll hear Luke Anderson, 9, of Lake in the Hills, guiding you through the images. Don't worry, the only gross things that went down the hatch were brus- sels sprouts and chocolate chip cookies covered in cheese sauce. For all intents and purposes, the kids are real reporters. They carry press passes, notebooks, business cards, cameras and boundless curiosity wherever they go. Michael Geheren, 12, of Huntley serves as the senior reporter, Webmaster and occasional managing editor for KV Chronicles. Like reporters from grownup newspapers, he carries a press pass to cover events for the paper. All of the story ideas come from the children as well. "We don't give them any leads," said Lynn Anderson, the program's head instructor. In the most recent issue, the kids PHOTOS BY GEORGE'LEC:LAiRJE/g]cclairt@dairyh^ Local children are behind KV Chronicles, a Lake in the Hills-based newspaper that's for and by kids. Here, head instructor Lynn Anderson of Lake in the Hills edits the newspaper's Web page with several child reporters. The group meets at the Labahn-Hain House in Lake in the Hills. They're on hiatus for now, but See woson PAGE 2 will start back up again in April. I

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