Downers Grove September 2021

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$5 US VOLUME 3 ISSUE 3 SEPTEMBER 2021

COMEDIAN KEVIN BOZEMAN Making his mark in Downers Grove and beyond FALL TRENDS

REMEMBERING 9/11 DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE

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LETTER from THE ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER

MAKING THEIR MARK Our editorial team has looked forward to creating this issue since our first team meeting nine months ago, as we discussed potential themes for each quarterly edition. This fall highlights many “making their mark” and features various residents and organizations that are paving the way in multiple areas and impacting our community and at large. Some are at the beginning of their journey, whereas others have managed to establish their path successfully. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to watch Kevin Bozeman at the Tivoli Theater for a comedy show sponsored by the local soccer club Roadrunners. The first year, I went along with some friends. The following year I demanded that my husband attended with me. He was laughing as hysterically as I was. When I reached out to Kevin about this issue, he was willing and able to participate, to my genuine surprise. His reaction – “yeah, that sounds like fun”. I guess I was not expecting such a straightforward response from a national headliner in the comedy arena. Thanks to Kevin for taking the time to be our local headliner.

Grove Economic Development Corporation. Quite simply put, their goal is to retain, expand and attract businesses to our community. Personally, I have always wondered how Michael and his team operate, and he delivered indepth answers on the critical objectives the organization sets out to reach for the Village.

$5 US VOLUME 3 ISSUE 3 SEPTEMBER 2021

COMEDIAN KEVIN BOZEMAN

Where were you twenty years ago on September 11th? This past spring, I read an article about a young student at Henry Puffer Elementary School who won the Downers Grove Fire Department’s Home Fire Escape Plan contest. The story mentioned that his family had a special appreciation for those in service due to his father’s experience on 9/11. I reached out to John Lazzeri to see if he would be open to an article. After much contemplation, John thankfully decided to share his story of that day (and days after) twenty years later, resulting in a powerful piece of remembrance.

Making his mark in Downers Grove and beyond FALL TRENDS

Enjoy the fall season and all that it brings including football, chili, and my favorite holiday Halloween. Our next issue will be published in November in time for the holiday season. In the meantime, keep the stories coming, and please support our advertising partners. They play a vital role in delivering these magazines to your mailboxes!

REMEMBERING 9/11 DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE

How many times have I said that stories come from anywhere and anybody? Quite a few. Our story on local author Katie Bolt is yet another example. This spring, I was having work done on my home by our long-time contractor and friend. He happened to bring up another house he was working on in the area. The owner was working on publishing a series of children’s books. This certainly piqued my interest. A few years ago, I had investigated how to forge my way into the literary world. I was overwhelmed and, honestly, just gave up. Katie has taken her passion project to the next level and producing her books all on her own. We celebrated our 14th year living in Downers Grove this summer. Businesses have come and gone, but the Village remains a vibrant location for many. I had the opportunity to talk to Michael Cassa in this edition’s Publisher’s Profile regarding the role of The Downers 8

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Sincerely,

Anne Healy Associate Publisher anne@hinsdalemag.com

To guarantee delivery of each issue of Downers Grove Magazine to your home, please subscribe to the print edition by visiting www.downersgrovemag.com.

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CONTENTS |

September 2021

14 TO DO LIST

Calendar of 2021 Fall Events

20 PUBLISHER’S PROFILE

Getting to know Michael Cassa

24 #WeAreDG

44

Downers Grove Bicycle Club

28 HOME GROWN

Katie Bolt-Children’s Author

32 SPOTLIGHT

Dan LaDuca-A Real-Life Superhero

36 COVER STORY

Comedian Kevin Bozeman

24

ELISE FOX

40 SPECIAL FEATURE

Remembering 9/11

44 HOME & DESIGN

Elise Fox-Very Vintage

48 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Anthony Michael Hall

#WEAREDG

51

51 GIVING BACK

EDGQ PRIDE

52 TRENDS

Hello Fall

60 COMMUNITY SCENE 64 YOUNG AUTHOR’S WRITING COMPETITION

GIVING BACK - EDGQ PRIDE

ON THE COVER: Comedian Kevin Bozeman Photograph by Carolina Menapace

FOR THE LATEST NEWS, HAPPENINGS AND PHOTOS, VISIT @DOWNERSGROVEMAGAZINE 10

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No person, organization or publication can copy or re-produce the content in this magazine or any part of this publication without a written consent from the publisher. The publisher, authors, contributors and designers reserve their rights with regards to copyright of their work. Downers Grove Magazine assumes no liability or responsibility for any inaccurate, delayed or incomplete information. The information contained about each individual, event or organization has been provided by such individual, event organizers or organization. The opinion expressed in each article is the opinion of its author and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Downers Grove Magazine. Comments are welcome, but they should be on-topic and well-expressed. Copyright ©2021 Hinsdale Magazine, Inc. All rights reserved.

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In our June 2021 special feature, Prajna,the daughter of Shaifali Bhalla and Jordan Stalker, was misspelled. We regret the error and extend our apology. 12

DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE


THE DRISCOLL CRISP TEAM Your Downers Grove Realtor Team

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Michael Tjaden Loan Officer 630.2685536 Michael.Tjaden@dkmortgage.com

Michael J Tjaden (NMLS ID # 2053260 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org) IL:031.0064491) is an agent of Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp. (NMLS:2551) an Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensee located at 1431 Opus Place, Suite 200, Downers Grove, IL 60515, 630-376-2100. IL: Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensee No. MB.0004263 - Licensed by the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Mortgage Banking Division, 100 West Randolph, 9th Floor, Chicago, IL 60601, (888) 473-4858. © 2021 Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp. All Rights Reserved. www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org


Downers Grove Magazine | To Dos

MOVIE IN THE PARK AT THE FORGE Photo courtesy of The Forge: Lemont Quarries

TO•DO•LIST “8th Annual Oktoberfest” hosted by The Education Foundation of Downers Grove District 58

Main Street Station 9/17 and 9/18 The Fest offers authentic German fare from local vendors and establishments, beverages for both adults and kids alike; childrenand family-based activities such as the Kids Zone, and Brat & Donut Eating Contests. A variety of live music will also be featured including Polka, Classic Rock, local children’s talents, Kids Karaoke and more for attendees. Visit: www.58foundation.net for more information.

Downers Grove Park District Party in the Park at Gilbert Park Gilbert Park 9/23 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Join the Downers Grove Park District for a party at historic

FALL 2021

Gilbert Park to celebrate its 75th anniversary. Families will enjoy hands-on activities, entertainment and more. All individuals must pre-register for this event at www.dgparks.org.

Movie in the Park at The Forge

The Forge: Lemont Quarries on Main Street 9/25 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Come on out to watch “Raiders of the Lost Ark” at The Forge. Battling against a snake phobia and a vengeful ex-girlfriend, Indiana Jones is in constant peril, making hair’s-breadth escapes at every turn in this celebration of the innocent adventure movies of an earlier era. Guests are encouraged to arrive early to select seating. Refreshments are readily available at The Foundry or from the Refuel Cart.

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DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE

District 99 Building Dedication

Downers Grove North High School Open House 9/25 2:00 p.m. The District 99 community is invited to witness the building dedication and explore the new space at Downers Grove North High School Thanks to the community’s investment, the Master Facility Plan renovations are complete and in use by students. The Dedication Ceremony will take place at 9 a.m. with the Open House immediately following until 2 p.m. The public may come and go to see the new space. Find more details at www.csd99.org/mfp. Editor’s Note: The Downers Grove South dedication occurred on September 11, 2021.


GREEN JADE PAGODA ON DISPLAY AT THE LIZZADRO MUSEUM Photo courtesy of The Lizzardo Museum.

Healthy Kids Running Series El Sierra School Field Sundays through 10/10 5:00 p.m. Heat Starts (youngest to oldest) The Healthy Kids Running Series helps engage communities and families by providing an inclusive youth running experience, inspiring kids to believe in themselves and lead an active healthy lifestyle. Register for a fall event online at https:// healthykidsrunningseries.org/. Walk ups are always welcome too.

The Lizzadro Museum

Free Admission on Wednesdays 1220 Kensington Road in Oak Brook 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Lapidary is the art of cutting and polishing stone. Lapidary has its roots in prehistory, as early humans began fashioning tools and weapons from stone. In time, these techniques were also used for items of personal adornment. Stone carving evolved as an art in many cultures throughout the world. The museum displays gemstone treasures, antiques to

modern, with a blending of earth science exhibits.

All Hollows Eve

Naper Settlement 10/15 and 10/16 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Enter the netherworld of Naper Settlement to experience over 20 sinister attractions, spooky vendors, and spine-chilling performances. This two-night event transforms Naper Settlement into a site for the eerie and bizarre with many of the museum’s historic buildings carefully transformed into the backdrop for short, spine-chilling performances and interactive experiences. Event is not recommended for children under 8 years old. Visit www.napersettlement.org for more information.

Reclaim13 Cherish the Dream Gala

The Westin in Lombard 10/16 6:00 p.m. Reclaim13 works to end the cycle of abuse and exploitation of children. Join the organization on DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE

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October 16 for its annual Cherish the Dream Gala, featuring live entertainment, dancing, elegant dining, and auctions to support victims of exploitation in our own communities. For tickets, visit reclaim13.org/gala.

Downers Grove Area AAUW Branch

“Women in Business” Free Public Program 10/21 7:00 p.m. Hear from local women who are running successful enterprises. Visit downersgrove-il.aauw.net for more details including location which is TBD.

Wheaton Hot Cider Hustle 3S580 Naperville Road in Wheaton 10/30 and 10/31 Times Vary Run the Wheaton Hot Cider Hustle 8 Mile and 5K. Everyone gets hot cider, a caramel apple and finisher mug at the finish line! Event times, dates, location and all other details are subject to change prior to the event. All official information is on the event’s website AllCommunityEvents.com.


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Downers Grove Magazine | Publisher's Profile

Downers Grove Economic and Development Corporation How Michael Cassa and his team promote business growth in the community PHOTO BY CAROLINA MENAPACE MICHAEL CASSA AT HIS OFFICE IN DOWNTOWN DOWNERS GROVE 20

DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE


A

nne Healy, Associate Publisher, had the opportunity to interview Michael Cassa, President and CEO of the Downers Grove Economic Development Corporation and Downers Grove Visitors Bureau, regarding their mission to enhance the economic vitality of the Village. As a seasoned veteran with nearly 30 years in economic development, Michael is the 1st Vice Chairman of the Illinois Economic Development Association (IEDA) and the Chairman of the 2022 IEDA Annual Economic Development Summit. He also is a member of the International Economic Development Council Public Policy Committee and was a participant in the two most recent White House Forums on Economic Development. At a high level, what role does The Downers Grove Economic Development Corporation play within the Village of Downers Grove? The Downers Grove Economic Development Corporation (DGEDC) is the official agency for economic development and tourism for the Village of Downers Grove. We are celebrating our 15th Anniversary this year. Our goal is to enhance the economic vitality of the Village of Downers Grove through the retention, expansion, and attraction of business that is conducive to improving the quality of life in Downers Grove. One key component of the mission of the DGEDC is attracting corporate and division headquarters. What do you consider some of the key wins in this area? Any that you were disappointed in losing to another town? There have been so many corporate and division headquarters office projects in the last ten years. Here are just a few: Advocate Health Care, Crown Castle, Ensono, Fresh Thyme, Glanbia plc, Instant Brands, NEC Display Solutions, Syngenta

International AG, and Univar. Downers Grove was the runnerup on the competition to land the corporate headquarters for Caterpillar a few years ago. They ended up locating in Deerfield. But we tried hard to win that deal. Competition among communities is intense for attracting new companies. What are the crucial elements that Downers Grove offers these companies to make our community their home? Downers Grove is a premier location for business. We are home to many corporate and regional headquarters. In addition to Class A office parks, Downers Grove has sites for commercial and industrial tenants and opportunities for redevelopment projects. Downers Grove is located in the heart of the I-88 and I-355 corridors. O’Hare and Midway Airports are less than thirty minutes away. Three Metra stations, including one in our vibrant downtown, serve our community. Downers Grove has seven hotels, including two fullservice hotels. Downers Grove is also home to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, which has the only Level One trauma center in DuPage County. How does the community benefit from new businesses and their investment in our town? New business investment in our community creates tax revenue for local government, including the Village of Downers Grove, the school and park districts, and several others. These revenues, which help pay for public services for our residents, include sales taxes, food and beverage taxes, and real estate taxes. In addition, these business projects create jobs for area residents. How does DGEDC work with Downtown Management Group, Chamber630, and other organizations within the area? The DGEDC has an excellent working relationship with the Downtown Management Corporation (DMC) and the DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE

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Chamber. All three organizations have seats on each other’s boards. We are an Executive Partner level member with the Chamber, and we work with the DMC on business projects for the downtown. I am a past board member of the Grove Foundation. Thea DGEDC participates in and sponsors Grove Foundation events such as Passport to Dining and their golf outing. I am a member of the Rotary Club, and the DGEDC is a sponsor of their signature event: GroveFest. There seems to be an inventory of commercial property in specific areas such as Grove Shopping Center or Meadowbrook Shopping Center with low retention rates. How does the DGEDC implement strategies to attract tenants? The occupancy rate for commercial retail properties in Downers Grove is at 90%, according to CoStar, which is the nation’s largest database of commercial properties. There are 5,202,000 sq. ft. of commercial property in Downers Grove, and some older shopping centers have struggled in recent years. Virtually every town has one or two older shopping centers that have difficulty attracting and retaining tenants. In Downers Grove, those are the Grove Shopping Center and Meadowbrook. The Grove Shopping Center on 75th Street is the largest retail center in Downers Grove. Redevelopment of the center is a long-term priority for the community. The center was initially planned as a major regional mall with substantial parking. The fundamental problem is that it is too large for an open-air center. However, the owner of the in-line space has made improvements to the façade, which has helped stabilize the tenant base. Meadowbrook is on 63rd Street and is also a redevelopment priority. The center’s owner has also made façade improvements and has attracted some new Continued on next page


Downers Grove Magazine | Publisher's Profile Continued from the previous page tenants. The DGEDC has made redevelopment and revitalization of these commercial centers a high priority. Who are our main competitors within the area? If they are looking at Downers Grove, what other towns are typically “in the running” as well? We primarily compete with neighboring municipalities in our “trade area,” including Oak Brook, Westmont, Darien, Lombard, Woodridge, and Lisle for commercial projects. As for Class A office projects, we primarily compete with Oak Brook, Naperville, Lisle, and the City of Chicago. Downers Grove is in the I-88 industrial submarket, and so we compete with all the municipalities in the I-88 corridor on industrial projects. The Downers Grove Visitors Bureau is part of the DGEDC. What is their role? An essential part of the local economy in the Village of Downers Grove is the tourism market. Visitors to our community contribute significantly to enhancing the customer base of several commercial segments, including lodging, dining, and shopping. These non-resident customers generate tax revenues for the Village. The Downers Grove Economic Development Corporation promotes tourism

through the Downers Visitors Bureau (DGVB).

Grove

The importance of overnight stays in our hotels cannot be overstated. Downers Grove has seven hotels that have 1,235 combined rooms. Hotel guests not only generate local hotel tax revenue, but they eat at local restaurants. There are 160 restaurants in Downers Grove. The Downers Grove Visitors Bureau also promotes local attractions such as the Downers Grove Golf Club and the Tivoli Theatre. The DGEDC launched the Partnership for Prosperity campaign to secure new investors. Did this have a positive impact? The DGEDC launched Partnership for Prosperity (PFP) to secure financial support from area companies and organizations. PFP invites local stakeholders to become “Investors,” which is what we call our members. While most investors support our work and become part of the DGEDC team, there are some “perks” such as recognition on our website, an invitation to DGEDC events, and referrals. Investors not only provide financial support, but they also contribute their time and expertise. In no small part, our success is due to the support of our public and private sector Investors.

summer. What accomplishments are you most proud of from the last ten years? There are so many projects I take pride in, including the Rexnord manufacturing and division headquarters in the Ellsworth Business Park, Bridge Point on Finley Road, and the ongoing project of Flavorchem to develop a corporate campus in the Oak Grove Commons Business Park. I am also proud of the many commercial and auto dealer projects on Ogden Avenue. And, of course, Cooper’s Hawk, which not only opened a new restaurant and winery in Downers Grove, they moved their corporate headquarters here and built a new distribution center. These projects would not have been possible without the support of the companies themselves, the DGEDC Board of Directors, and the team at the Village of Downers Grove. But I guess I am most proud of the DGEDC staff that work so hard: Lisa Wentzell, Millie Swift, and Barb Wysocki. ■

You are celebrating ten years as the President of the DGEDC this

Downers Grove Economic Development Corporation and Downers Grove Visitors Bureau Core Objectives: • Promote and facilitate business attraction, • Promote and facilitate travel, dining, and retention, and expansion of businesses in entertainment spending in Downers Grove, emphasizing overnight stays. Downers Grove. • Promote and facilitate development tools • Facilitate the dissemination of information and programs, including those identified in on workforce development programs to the Village’s Comprehensive Plan and existing and prospective businesses. Long-Range Plan. • Cultivate a diverse local economy. 22

DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE


A. Kathleen Barauski

Robert V. Borla

Gina Birmingham

A Professional Firm, Ready to Assist Watching Kevin Bozeman perform is fun, but taking your Estate through Probate? Not nearly as entertaining. Probate is expensive ($3,000 - $5,000), time-consuming (8-9 months), and open to public review. Contrary to popular belief, having a Will will not eliminate the need to probate your estate. What is probate? When a loved one passes away, any property in his or her name must be transferred to another living person. Usually, husbands and wives own property in joint tenancy. Under Illinois law, the surviving joint tenant automatically has the title. What if the surviving joint tenant dies? Absent a trust; the family will open a probate estate. A probate estate is a legal proceeding in which the court is asked to appoint a representative (the executor) to handle the payment of bills, collection of debt, and distribution of assets to beneficiaries. Contrary to the language in a Will, a Will does not appoint the executor. The Will nominates the executor and the Probate Court then appoints the executor. How can probate be avoided? First, one can spend all assets down, so upon death, the total value of everything owned (stocks, certificate of deposits, real estate) is less than $100,000. This simplified Small Estate process is the exemption to the requirement for probate. Sometimes life turns out that way, but not intentionally. The most practical and popular way to avoid probate is to create a Living Trust. A Living Trust can include provisions that provide for children, grandchildren, people with disabilities, charities, and pets. I invite you to call our office to arrange a free, no-obligation conference to discuss the pros and cons of a Living Trust and how it can assist you and your family. We look forward to meeting you.

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Downers Grove Magazine | #WeAreDG

Back In the Saddle Downers Grove Bicycle Club promotes exercise, awareness, and camaraderie. BY MAUREEN CALLAHAN

C

ycling is a great way to exercise, clear your head and unwind, no matter the season. If you’re looking for a way to get to know your community better, both physically and socially, The Downers Grove Bicycle Club is a great place to start. “Whether you’re a once-a-month casual rider or an avid cyclist, there’s a ride for you,” says club president Jeff Bolam. The club began over coffee one Saturday morning in 2006, while President Jeff Bolam and member Chuck Keenley were waiting for their daughters’ ice-skating lessons to finish. The two began chatting about their shared passion, and it was all downhill from there! About thirty or so people showed up to the inaugural information meeting. Since then, the club has

evolved to roughly 125 single and family memberships.

members. The whole point of this ride is to be social.

Regardless of skill level, members have a great time riding through town, parks and sometimes rougher terrain. All rides are “no drop” rides, meaning that nobody gets left behind. If someone is struggling, the group adjusts the pace. Most rides are led by a designated “ambassador” member.

Alternatively, newer riders are also invited to join intermediate riders on the Thursday Night Escape, the club’s most popular ride. Thirty or so riders break into groups and work on riding skills and gaining speed. The trip begins in McCollumn Park and travels to surrounding areas, including paved trails or adjacent roads. The ride moves inside as a virtual ride on Zwift, with group chat on Discord, when weather begins to force the issue, sometime in October. This way, riders of every ability can stay together, riding as a group all year long without losing ground.

Beginners, or those who have been out of the saddle awhile can show up to the weekly Monday evening ride, departing from Fishel Park. Usually about 10-15 miles in length, this is a low-key ride through less-busy local streets. This jaunt is perfect for women looking to get into group riding or back into the sport. Experienced riders are welcome as well; a stop at a local pub before returning to the park provides a great time to meet 24

DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE

BRambles, or Bike Rambles- riding to and exploring local bike trails- are a popular choice in warmer months, for those wishing to get better acquainted


MEMBERS OF THE DOWNERS GROVE CICYCLE CLUB GATHER AT MCCOLLUM PARK IN AUGUST FOR A WEEKLY RIDE.

with local parks and trail areas. For riders who wish to build up endurance, the weekly Wednesday Night Frontage Road ride encourages speed improvement. It’s also ideal for cyclists wanting to ride competitively. Although there is no designated leader on this ride, it always follows the same route and “members are happy to lend advice and encouragement to others new to this style of riding,” Bolam says. There is a contingency of die-hard mountain bikers who primarily ride at the Palos Triangle in Willow Springs, continuing with fat tires during winter months to roll over snow. A half dozen leisurely community rides geared toward residents of any age, from senior citizens to young children, take place from May through October, with a stop for ice cream along

the route. Riders are welcome to bring their families to this event. It’s either a six- or twelve-mile route that kicks off from Goldfinger Brewery. Riders choose which path to follow that day. Check the website, info@dgbikeclub.org, for upcoming dates. While the club’s primary goal is to promote bicycles as transportation, as well as fun and safe riding, there is also a social aspect. Meetings are typically held the second Tuesday of each month, at Goldfinger Brewery in the warm weather, and Emmett’s Pub when it’s time to move inside. An annual postholiday party in February at a local pub and a fall picnic in September round out the social calendar and give members a chance to catch up. Interested? “Anyone is welcome to come to a ride or two to check us DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE

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out,” says Bolam. “After that, the club appreciates your joining and paying dues.” Dues are $25 a year for a single membership and $30 for a family. Should you need your bike tuned up or some new riding clothes or accoutrements, the club endorses RTT Cycle Shop, 5116 Main St, Unit B (entrance around back in the alley, just east of the DG Public Library), for outfitting and advice. Trekk Cycle, at Ogden and Douglas in Downers Grove, is another great option. Downers Grove is a beautiful town, worthy of close-to-the street exploration. Experienced mountain bikers to those who just rode around the block as kids, are invited to check out the Downers Grove Bicycle Club. Don’t worry about how long you’ve been away; it’s like riding a bike! ■


GRAUE MILL & MUSEUM Very Important History Happened Here

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Graue Mill Water Wheel Learn about the famous giant water wheel that was so advanced for its time, the Graue Mill is recognized as an Illinois Historic Engineering Landmark “representing an important technology and ear in the history of America.” and, there’s so much more.

Through November 7. Thursday-Fridays 10am-4pm, Sundays 12pm-4pm

Learn About the Underground Railroad

Christmas at the Mill

Journey on Friday and Saturday October 1, 2, at 6:30pm and 8pm Evening journey will involve music a walk in the woods, and other activities to give you a flavor of what it was to follow the escape route slaves took to freedom in the north to Canada. Dress accordingly. Reservations required; $15 adults, $10 for under 18

Graue Mill & Museum

We reopen Saturday and Sunday, November 13, 14 from 10am -5pm. Shop our Holiday boutique for handcrafted gifts and freshly ground corn meal. Free Admission.

Cornelius (Corny) reminds you to bring your masks

Adults $5

Seniors $4

Children 4-12 $2

Under 3 Free

Call 630-655-2090 or 630-920-9720

for more information on group rates and reservations.

3800 York Road, Oak Brook, just north of intersection with Ogden Avenue.


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Downers Grove Magazine | Home Grown

LOCAL AUTHOR KATIE BOLT SHARES HER NEW BOOK WITH SON OLIVER.

A New Take on a Familiar Story New Mama books find the humor in early baby days. BY MAUREEN CALLAHAN PHOTOGRAPHY BY CAROLINA MENAPACE 28

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whether her child is three or fortythree, any mother remembers the challenges that came in the first year of her baby’s life. That joyfully stressful time can be blurry to recall until later, when the humor of those memories becomes apparent. Just ask Downers Grove resident Katie Bolt, author of the New Mama Collection of children’s books, and mother of it’s two-year-old inspiration, Oliver. Like any new mom, Katie plodded through the late-night feedings and changed the scores of diapers that are part and parcel of motherhood. The idea for the books came late one night on a particularly long search for missing pacifiers. It occurred to Katie and husband Chris that the difference between a permanent induction to zombie-hood and a few hours’ rest hinged on something so absurd as a little pacifier! It was their a-ha moment. The New Mama Collection is a series of four books. These aren’t the typical nursery selections. “They’re intentionally designed and written for the reader herself, New Mom,” read Katie’s initial pitch. Nighttime Party covers the irony of baby wanting to hang out and eat, usually at the exact moment exhausted mom shuts her eyes for the first time in many hours (or days!). Swaddle Escape profiles a little escape artist’s wish to wiggle out of the comfort cocoon, only to regret it seconds later and call for backup. Where Did All the Pacifiers Go? relays frustrated parents’ need to play detective, always when they’re in a hurry, and for the grand finale: Oops I Poops. Spoiler alert on this one! Written on storyboard, versus paper, the reading experience is more tactile for baby. As mom and baby turn the pages together, mom will relate to humorous takes on stressful situations, while baby will notice the colorful, yet simple, geometric graphics. The illustrations are a modern take on traditional kid-book images.

“I wanted something a bit more geared toward mom than Goodnight Moon. But nothing against the classics,” Katie laughed. A Graphic Design and English major from University of Illinois, Katie’s education and professional marketing and design experience largely made New Mama a one-woman show. How did a brand-new mom working full-time while learning the ropes of parenthood see this project to fruition? Almost entirely on her own. “I did a little every day. Even if it was only five minutes on busy days, just to keep continuity,” Katie said. A daily train commute afforded dedicated time in which to work. Except for hiring a printer and a photographer to capture the project while still in the proposal phase, Katie did it herself. The design, typography and images are her own, tapping into her English background to come up with the verbiage. After investigating the arduous task of bringing a book to print, “I decided to self-publish,” Katie said. Then there were the costs. Financial resources and initial investment are often huge hurdles to such a project. To circumvent them, Katie pitched her idea to Kickstart, an online funding program for wouldbe artists wanting to make a go of a proposed project. In addition to helping an artist raise funds to start a venture, it helps the entrepreneur gauge public interest in the proposal over a thirty-day period. “It’s a more accurate predicter of the success of the project, since it’s total strangers

weighing in on your idea; as opposed to just the encouragement of friends and family,” Katie explained. The series will be perfect for a baby shower, or new baby gift. “While Baby will be smitten by the colors, simplicity and everyday objects, this is really something for you, Mom,” New Mama’s Kickstart description states. Available this fall at Anderson’s Bookstore, The New Mama collection may be viewed on Instagram, @ newmamaco. In the very near future, the books will also be available on Etsy and directly through Katie’s website, newmamaco.com. What’s next for this graphic designer-come-author? A new baby due mid-August! When asked if she has plans to write more books, Katie laughed. “We’ll see what happens with the new baby. There might be inspiration for a second series!” ■

THE BOLT FAMILY OF DOWNERS GROVE

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Downers Grove Magazine | Spotlight

A REAL-LIFE SUPERHERO Marvel Associate Art Director Dan LaDuca describes his dream job working in the gaming division at Marvel Entertainment BY EMMA WOLF PHOTOGRAPHY BY CAROLINA MENAPACE

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hile many kids grow up watching Marvel movies and reading Marvel comics, Downers Grove resident, Dan LaDuca, gets to work for the entertainment company and live the dream that many kids fantasize about. “I grew up reading the comics and watching the cartoons,” LaDuca said. “Now I get to work in the same industry that so strongly shaped my childhood. That’s pretty amazing.” Founded by Martin Goodman in June 1998, Marvel Entertainment, LLC. is owned by the Walt Disney Company and is based in New York City. Marvel Entertainment has four divisions: games, movies, comic books, and toys. This means there is something for every age group, ranging from young children to adults.

want to get out of the game I’m designing. I have to make sure we design a game that will be fun and attractive to people,” LaDuca explained. “The game also has to have a good appearance and the graphics must be on point.”

hours I work,” LaDuca said. “My daughters are five and seven and now I get to spend more time with them, which is huge. I love getting to watch my seven-year-old run around the house in her Black Panther pajamas.”

Being the Associate Art Director for the company means LaDuca produces 3D concept draw-overs and animations, specifically with apps, video games, and PC games.

But for LaDuca, working from home still entails him to work in multiple time zones on any given day.

“All gaming formats are extremely popular, but console/video games are definitely the most popular,” LaDuca said. “Apps are also huge because of the digital age we live in, but there are still a lot of diehard PC gamers out there who love the good old-fashioned computer games.”

“I work on a California schedule by day and a China schedule by night,” LaDuca said. “That means I usually have Zoom meetings that range from 11PM-1AM. There are always hour-long gaps between my work meetings, but I am a night owl, so it works out.” Having such an abnormal work schedule does have its perks. For LaDuca, this means he has more time to spend with his family in his hometown of Downers Grove, where he and his wife met as high school sweethearts.

“It’s so cool to experience other cultures and see how differently they approach life; my job is definitely not a typical 9-5 office job.”

As far as education goes, “My wife and I met — DAN LADUCA, MARVEL ASSOCIATE ART DIRECTOR LaDuca went to school for in Downers-we’ve been animation before landing a together since high school,” LaDuca works with five different teams, job working at Disney Land in California. including the Chinese government. LaDuca said. “We really do love living LaDuca knew in first grade that he wanted here.” to work for Disney someday. As it turns “I deal with China-only based launches Working at Disney previously means out, he ended up doing just that. of our games, which means I work directly that LaDuca lived in California up until with China’s team that launches the While LaDuca has worked at Disney games,” LaDuca said. “First, we launch in he found his way back home to Downers for about five years, he has only worked the U.S., then we launch in China, and Grove, where he and his wife put their at Marvel for six months. LaDuca works then the next step is to launch globally.” roots down. with a team of ten people in the gaming “To me, family comes before work,” division where he is an “Art Director” in Having such a special job gives LaDuca LaDuca said. “I wanted my kids to know the credits, but an “Associate Art Director” a sense of pride that no other job could their family and moving back to my and on paper. Pre-Covid, he frequently traveled give him. my wife’s hometown was the best way to to China where he designs and markets “It really is a huge honor to be able to do that. This is our little piece of paradise.” games internationally. work for such an amazing company like Speaking of paradise, LaDuca has “It’s so cool to experience other cultures Marvel,” LaDuca said fondly. “It feels like nothing but optimism for Marvel’s future and see how differently they approach life,” I have found my tribe and my true calling plans and goals. LaDuca said. “My job is definitely not a in life.” typical 9-5 office job.” “The future is looking bright for Marvel Not only does LaDuca have a strong Far from a typical 9-5 office job, relationship with his work family, but as a company. We have lots of new and LaDuca’a favorite part of his job is seeing he also gets to spend more time with his exciting games to be released in the next the long-term impact it has on video family at home than ever before. Ever year,” LaDuca said. “A Guardians of the gamers. Designing video games means since the pandemic started in 2020, he Galaxy game, a Future Revolution game, LaDuca must not only work on the has been working from home, which an Avengers game, and a Super Wars game creation side of it, but also look at it from enables him to be more present in his in China.” the marketing side. young daughters’ lives. If you’re a Marvel fan, make sure to check out LaDuca’s work in the upcoming “I always have to ask myself what “I’m happier working from home and ■ releases! customers (in this case, the gamers) would having more flexibility in terms of the DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE

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Downers Grove Magazine | Cover Story

Making His Mark

Comedian Kevin Bozeman serves up lots of laughs BY VALERIE HARDY I PHOTOGRAPHY BY CAROLINA MENAPACE KEVIN BOZEMAN IN DOWNTOWN DOWNERS GROVE 36

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tand-up comedian Kevin Bozeman and his family live in Downers Grove, and while some locals know him as neighbor and friend, for many, Bozeman became a household name after his performances at the Tivoli Theatre to benefit the Roadrunners soccer club. Bozeman has been a road comic since getting started in the late 1990s, traveling 40-45 weeks per year in nonpandemic times, and has performed at colleges and clubs across the nation. Additionally, he is an adjunct faculty member in DePaul University’s College of Computing and Digital Media, hosts the podcast “Ball Hog,” and has released multiple comedy albums (with another recorded in August for upcoming distribution). The day after one of Bozeman’s recent Chicagoland performances, Downers Grove Magazine caught up with him about his career and what comedy means to him.

appreciate them], but I remember Ms. Gardner, my 7th grade teacher, said to the class, “You don’t appreciate Kevin and what he does.” I think she saw something in me that others didn’t see. Interview her today, and she would not be surprised that I am a stand-up comic.

If you didn’t study stand-up or set out to become a comic, what was your road to a comedy career? In college, my roommate and I used to watch “Def Comedy Jam.” I was like, “I could do that!” My roommate was like, “Stop saying you can do it. Do it.” So, I pulled out the yellow pages and looked up comedy clubs in the area, and I went on [stage during an open mic night] in a comedy club in Madison, WI. I tried it for the first time. It wasn’t going to be an award-winning set, but it was such an adrenaline rush!

Did you always know you wanted to be a comedian?

Did you fall in love with doing stand-up comedy and go after it following that first performance?

Not at all. [In college], I had never even thought about doing stand-up. It was not even on my radar. I kept changing my major. I was just doing kind of what people and society tell you you should do.

Nah – I’m not one to fall in love easily. I did it once, did it twice, then wasn’t back on stage for a year. But after that year, I was like, “Man, why don’t you try to see if you can get good...”

I got a degree in communications, but I always had an emptiness, feeling I’m not doing what I was supposed to do. I worked in group homes with cognitively disabled kids and emotionally distressed kids. I sold insurance. I delivered water. They were just jobs…just checks. I never loved any of them…

Then every week I started going up on stage… In WI, there were [basically just two open mic opportunities] – in Madison and in Milwaukee – and I’d alternate weeks [at each]. Finally, the one in Madison gave me a paycheck, and I was like, “What?!”

I just had this ability to make people laugh. I grew up as the youngest of 10 children… In some ways, I feel like I had to be funny in order to be noticed, to get a plate of food… I was not class clown growing up, per se, but I did have this moment where I used to write funny stories – imaginary stories – where I would roast my classmates. Both my 7th and 8th grade teachers would let me read them out loud. They weren’t always nice, and [my classmates didn’t always DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE

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How did you manage to go from performing at the club in Madison to doing shows in venues across the country? I only knew I was funny but didn’t know why I was funny or how to be funny. I didn’t know the rules of the game… Then Chris Farley passed, and in Madison, they did a show for a foundation they started [in Farley’s memory]…Comics were there from “Saturday Night Live” – bigger name Continued on next page


Downers Grove Magazine | Cover Story

KEVIN BOZEMAN AND HIS SONS Photo courtesy of Kevin Bozeman

Continued from the previous page comics – and Comedy Central was there. From there I got the show “Premium Blend” on Comedy Central in 2003. I was in WI at the time when I got that show, and I filmed the show in Los Angeles. That was my first real legit TV credit… Then I auditioned for the new “Star Search” show with Arsenio Hall, and I got that… The judges shredded me on national television… That was humbling. When I auditioned for “Last Comic Standing” on NBC in 2015, I was better prepared. I made it to the semi-finals. They probably saw 3500 comics, and I made it to the top 40 or something like that.

How did you come to expand your professional ventures beyond

doing stand-up to podcasting and teaching as well? I started my podcast seven years ago, and it’s called the “Ball Hog” because I don’t really have any guests. It’s sports and pop culture, rarely politics. It’s a lot about sports gambling. I love that. It’s mostly therapeutic [for me]. I have a small cult following. [As for teaching], back in 2012, the head of the film department at DePaul University saw me perform live in Chicago and said, “You should come teach comedy at DePaul.” I [initially] said no, because you can’t teach people to be funny, but you can teach them about the history of standup and about how comics go about creating material. [In the class], the students prepare material for a live audience, and I host a show for them… 38

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Teaching has made me a better comic, being ready to answer the question: “Why are you doing that?”

What advice do you have for your students or others who might want to pursue a stand-up career? I’d say, “Good luck!” No, I encourage them…There’s nothing better than having a job that you love to go to… [However, proceed with caution]. With stand-up, it’s different than any other art: you’re the writer, director, producer, star. When it doesn’t go well, it hurts your soul because there’s nobody else to blame. It’s almost like you’re being rejected by people that are there to be entertained, and you’re the entertainment… You should be uncomfortable. You should sweat a little bit on stage. It’s


the most humbling experience. That’s what’s so great about it. I tell younger comics, “You’ve got to take a lot of little L’s to get the big W.” Sometimes you drive hours just to get five minutes on stage… If you’ve ever gotten a paycheck for stand-up, you’ve already succeeded. Kudos to you. You have to discipline yourself. There’s no time clock, there’s no punching in, no scheduled days off… That’s what weeds out a lot of the comics… I’ve known way too many stand-up comics who died to suicide or died to drug addiction… Sometimes… it’s that people turn to doing stand-up as an outlet because they had a lot of problems before, but [the life of a stand-up comic can be] very lonely and depressing… When I’m on the road…I’m literally by myself at least 20 hours of the day…Stand-up is only an hour a day; there are still 23 hours you need to fill – spent alone, or at bars with seedy people. [There are so many potential] pitfalls, so many traps, so many bad habits you can fall into.

What has allowed you to escape the pitfalls of the profession?

alone time. I can go to restaurants by myself. I can go to movies by myself…

You mentioned your family earlier. Any other comedians in your family? I’m the only performer of the family. My family is super funny though. We sit around and laugh a lot. There’s a difference between KEVIN BOZEMAN AT HIS BEST being funny in front Photo by @j.lenaiphotography of friends and family and being funny in therapy. It’s medicine. Laughter is a front of strangers though. real emotion. Laughter is the ultimate Do you include your family sign of happiness. If you laugh, that members as subjects of your means you’ve enjoyed yourself so much your body makes a weird noise. comedy?

“With stand-up, it’s different than any other art: you’re the writer, director, producer, star. When it doesn’t go well, it hurts your soul because there’s nobody else to blame.”

I came from a solid family… [Also], very seldom am I on the road more than a week at a time. Even if I’m [performing back to back in the same general area] – like Dallas then Tulsa – I’m coming home… I like to sleep in my own bed, be in my own house, see my family. I still…hang out with my friends (including lifelong friends I’ve met in Downers Grove) and do things I enjoy… I go to Humidor [Cigar Lounge] all the time. I would love to just go and be a bourbon and cigar aficionado. I’m also a foodie – I love food. That’s the great thing about travel, [getting to sample all different cuisines]… My job is the most extroverted, but I’m very much an introvert… I enjoy

— KEVIN BOZEMAN, Comedian

My kids [three sons - ages 18, 16, and 3] show up in my comedy the most. My family probably always shows up though, just in their influence and the way I view life more than jokes about them. But I have jokes about everything…because stand-up is really only funny if it is relatable… My rule in comedy is nothing is off limits until it’s off limits.

What do you think is the value of stand-up comedy for the audience? A lot of people have talked about how miserable they were and how laughing was just so good for them. It’s DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE

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Is there a quickhitting joke or segment from your shows that is one of your favorites? How about this one: “You ever go stand up in a wedding and you know that those two people don’t belong together, but you don’t say anything [because] you really want cake?!!”

Bozeman is scheduled to perform at Zanies Comedy Club in Rosemont, IL Dec. 2-5, but fans in need of a dose of laughter sooner might consider a road trip to see the comic in action. For more information about Bozeman and to view the full calendar of his upcoming shows, visit kevinbozeman. com. ■


Downers Grove Magazine | Special Feature

REMEMBERING 9/11 John Lazzeri shares his experiences from that fateful day and how he has moved forward from it BY VALERIE HARDY 40

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ohn Lazzeri, a Downers Grove resident since 2013, at the time of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks was living on the Lower East Side of New York City and working at the American Stock Exchange located just a few buildings away from the World Trade Center. A few years prior, Lazzeri, an aspiring actor, had moved to Manhattan, and - after burning through the money he had earned bartending while working as an extra in and on production of television and film projects – had a friend connect him with a trading clerkship that, he said, “was a job you couldn’t say no to.” He was grateful to have landed that initial trading job, and by 2001, then 29-year-old Lazzeri had ascended to a more advanced position as a market maker on the American Stock Exchange trading floor. However, the morning of 9/11, he was running 10 minutes behind schedule (typical for him at the time) and was admiring the extended summer weather, wishing he did not have to go to work. “It was a Tuesday – an absolutely beautiful day,” Lazzeri recalled. “I was viscerally moved at what a beautiful day it was.”

As he emerged from the subway, Lazzeri heard a massive explosion. He vividly recalled the dark sky and “singed papers flying everywhere, like confetti when the Yankees win the World Series.” Still focused on getting the clerks off the premises but continually unable to get through to them by phone, he said he instinctively walked toward the American Stock Exchange building, passing Trinity Church, “this beautiful building where Alexander Hamilton – who I think literally invented the Exchange that I worked on – is buried.” It was as he started walking that he heard someone say an airplane hit the World Trade Center, but “nobody on the ground seemed to know what was going on yet,” Lazzeri said. “It isn’t unprecedented for a small plane [to accidentally] hit a skyscraper.” Still uncertain about the circumstances surrounding him and intent on ensuring the clerks were safe, Lazzeri continued toward the wreckage. He was not alone, though. “It was like being on the highway and

Despite wanting to take full advantage of the beautiful day, Lazzeri left home to catch the train to his office. Upon reaching the bottom of the stairs of his apartment building, he noticed a few men at the corner of his block looking up and pointing. When he reached the end of the block himself, he saw what the men had been pointing at: one of the World Trade Center towers on fire and with a “gaping hole in it,” Lazzeri explained. There were no smartphones at the time, so Lazzeri and the others nearby could only speculate about what was going on. Lazzeri figured something like a burst gas pipe had caused the fire and hoped it would be contained quickly. His primary concern was the two young clerks who he knew would have been in his office early, “running sheets before the traders arrived,” he said. He tried to call and alert them about the fire, but to no avail. He could not get a cellular signal to get any calls through, so he boarded the J train and headed to the Financial District.

THE LAZZERI FAMILY Photo by Carolina Menapace DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE

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there’s those rubbernecking delays,” he explained. “You’d think the flow would be going away from [the burning and crumbling buildings], but it felt like every one of the million people [near the scene] were going toward it. It was a very weird, apocalyptic thing to see.” Lazzeri made his way through the crowd, but when he reached the American Stock Exchange, it was locked. He contemplated how to get into the building. He worried about his girlfriend at the time who was attending law school a couple blocks away. He tried to get in touch with her and with his parents in North Carolina, thinking they might have information from news sources about what was transpiring around him, but he was still unable to get any cellular service. “I’m not panicking, but I’m just kind of standing there listlessly – in shock,” Lazzeri recounted about finding himself amidst a shower of burning papers, falling pieces of twisted steel, and “the occasional really chunky piece of building.” However, when a phone call rang Continued on next page


Downers Grove Magazine | Special Feature Continued from the previous page through on his cell phone from his friend, Josh, in Raleigh, NC checking to see if he was safe and briefly explaining about the terrorist attacks, Lazzeri said he quickly snapped out of shock and into action. He asked Josh to contact his parents to let them know he was ok, then hung up and attempted to make a beeline toward his girlfriend’s school. Lazzeri just needed to travel two blocks to reach his girlfriend, but there were mobs of people held back by a line of first responders. He ducked behind a cordon the fire department or police had put out, and while behind it, he

became increasingly aware of the severity of the crisis. “I realized that the sound I was hearing – like a loud, wet balloon popping – was bodies hitting the ground. That will shock you dumbfounded,” he said somberly. Still in shock, but with his survival instincts fully activated, he explained to a firefighter fortifying the area that he had to get uptown. Lazzeri said that firefighter let him through and “saved my life that day. It was because they let me behind that line that I could run uptown,” away from the burning buildings and consequent carnage. He made his way through the throng

of people, zigging and zagging his way to his girlfriend’s law school, on a mission to get her away from the danger but with no clue of her exact whereabouts. A security guard at the law school refused to let Lazzeri into the building, but just as he was preparing to push past the guard, his girlfriend ran by. Lazzeri grabbed her and said, “Let’s go!” As they ran, Lazzeri heard a sound 20 times worse than the “horrible metal on metal sound made by the brakes on the subway,” he said. That torturous sound was the first World Trade Center tower collapsing. Even more excruciating than the sound of the building falling, however, was the realization that “all those people I had just run past were now underneath that building, Lazzeri said. “People I was just five feet away from, I watched them get hit by the rubble.” Yet in spite of the sobering reality of the situation around him, Lazzeri continued to run, escaping the “dust, gravel, and masonry that just tsunamied down the street I just ran down,” he said. Driven by adrenaline, Lazzeri – along with his girlfriend – got back to his apartment just in time to turn on the television and witness the second twin tower fall. “I left my apartment before the second [World Trade Center building] got hit and was home before the second one fell,” Lazzeri said of his unsolicited “front row seat” of the horrific events of 9/11. Lazzeri lived in “Zone 1 of impact,” and one by one, various friends who were also fleeing the destruction made their way to Lazzeri’s apartment. By noon that day, there were around 10 or 12 of them coming and going, and they spent days together navigating the aftermath of the events of Sept. 11. For Lazzeri, there were many questions. What if he had gotten to the office earlier that morning? What if he had taken one train later and been trapped underground for hours? What would have happened if he had “wasted any more time in the law school building?” Why did he survive, when so many of the people he had run past - who “had all the survival skills I have” – died that day? More than the questions, ensuing

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trauma, and persistent survivor’s guilt Lazzeri experienced in the wake of 9/11, however, he walked away with endless gratitude. He is eternally grateful for the wisdom he garnered from his dad (about protecting loved ones), from his football coach (about not acting too quickly), and from his karate teacher (to keep going, even when he had the wind knocked out of him). The voices of all of these influential men in Lazzeri’s life flooded his mind as he fought his way through New York City on 9/11. He is forever grateful to the friend whose phone call on 9/11 broke through his shock and allowed him to evacuate to safety.

His building had been closed for about three months post-Sept. 11, and on the first day back to work after the office reopened, Lazzeri and some coworkers took the elevator upstairs to get a view of the recovery progress at the site of the World Trade Center. It was then that he met two ironworkers from Chicago who had dropped everything and driven halfway across the country on Sept. 12 to help with the repair efforts in Manhattan. Not only did they leave their own beloved hometown “to help fix ours,” Lazzeri said, but they thanked Lazzeri and his

of neighbors during others’ times of need coupled with the easy commute from Downers Grove to Chicago (much quicker than what he knew he would face back in New York) that sealed the deal. Does Lazzeri, who grew up in New Jersey and spent much of his adult life in New York, miss living out east? Sure. Particularly the New York bagels and pizza, he said. “Why would you cut a round pizza into squares? The party cut bewilders me,” Lazzeri quipped about Chicago pizza. Thankfully, they get back to New York to visit family once or twice a year, so Lazzeri can semi-regularly get his New York bagel and pizza fixes.

“It was a Tuesday – an absolutely beautiful day. “I was viscerally moved at what a beautiful day it was.”

“I have this tendency to say ‘I’m just lucky to be here,’” Lazzeri said. “I know people who had much worse days than I did. I can’t qualify that enough.” Lazzeri had friends who died on Sept. 11, but he acknowledged, “I didn’t lose family members. I didn’t lose my father.” While losses from 9/11 abounded, Lazzeri worked hard to focus on what he gained rather than what was sacrificed. “Having survived 9/11 has given me the strength and resiliency to get through other stuff – including the last year – too,” he said. He also appreciates that he - the selfdescribed “kid who woke up on Sept. 11, 2001 very arrogant – not a bad guy, just living a vain and self-centered existence” - is now a “man humbled by the world.” He cherishes knowing “100 percent about myself how I’d react if the sky was falling – what I’d do for the people I love.” Today, at the center of this circle of loved ones are Lazzeri’s children - Alexa (almost 12) and Jake (almost 10) – and wife, Maryann, who he met a couple years post-9/11 and to whom he attributes his healing and finding “true happiness.” Years before building his family, however, Lazzeri was counting down the days until he could finally return to work at the American Stock Exchange, committed to showing that the terrorists had not won. Rather, New York City was stronger than ever, as was the nation.

— JOHN LAZZERI

colleagues for having them in their beautiful city. It was the character of Chicagoans like those ironworkers that ultimately led Lazzeri to relocate to the Midwest. While Lazzeri stayed in New York for over a decade following the 9/11 attacks, when a job opportunity through the bank at which he was employed became available in Chicago, Maryann and he seized the chance to make the move. He reached out to numerous friends and colleagues in New York who were originally from Chicagoland (most of whom have since moved back) for guidance on what suburbs to consider. On all of their recommendation lists – regardless of where they hailed from – was Downers Grove. That, coupled with the fact that Maryann – who is from a close-knit Italian family from Queens, NY– had a second cousin who had lived in Downers Grove for 30 years, led the Lazzeris to relocate to the community. While their move was originally intended to be short-term (two years), after six months in Downers Grove, the Lazzeris knew they wanted to stay. Maryann’s involvement with the Downers Grove Newcomers played a key role in the decision to plant roots in Downers Grove, as did her success growing her local early childhood education business: Super Learners LLC. For Lazzeri, it was also the generosity DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE

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And while New York and the impact of 9/11 will always be with him – “the aftermath will be with all of us, whether we were there that day or not,” Lazzeri said – two decades later, he chooses to harness the good that came of it. “Carrying the pain and grief and fear around for 20 years does not help me.” Instead, Lazzeri vows not to take anything for granted, especially his family. “I’m a dad, and I want to be the best dad I can be,” he said. He hopes that his children – and everyone else – will reflect on the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and “stop defining ourselves by our differences from each other” and instead prioritize “our shared humanity,” Lazzeri said. To honor this year’s 9/11 milestone, Lazzeri planned to do what he has done on 9/11 every year since he met his wife: take a moment of silence in the morning but dedicate the rest of the day to celebrating his wife whose birthday just happens to be Sept. 11. NOTE: Lazzeri was reluctant to share his story, not wanting “to be the public face of 9/11 in this community,” he said, because “the events of that day, and its aftermath, had a profound effect on so many people.” However, he hoped that sharing his personal experiences might help someone with something with which they might be struggling. ■


Downers Grove Magazine | Home & Design

VERY VINTAGE

Elise Fox describes her design aesthetic and how it led to her having over 100,000 followers on Instagram BY VALERIE HARDY PHOTOGRAPHY BY CAROLINA MENAPACE

O

ver 100,000 people follow Elise Fox on Instagram (@thefoxfamilyden), but she did not set out to become a highly visible social media content creator. Rather, when construction began on Fox’s Downers Grove home in 2018, she set up an Instagram account separate from her personal one simply to document updates on the house for herself, family, and friends. However, when Fox, her husband, and their two sons moved into the home in 2019, she kept the Instagram account going. “It was a hobby of a thing, and then it became something else entirely,” Fox said. Fox attributes her significant following, especially early on, in large part to her home’s exterior. “It is very memorable,” Fox said. “It has been shared a ton,” including by wellknown interior designer and lifestyle influencer Becki Owens. While Fox herself is not a professional interior designer, people really responded to her sense of style. As the momentum of her following grew, Fox began to receive products from various brands and realized her Instagram account might, in fact, be professionally lucrative. She started adding hashtags to her

posts and sought out others with home interior design accounts. “Meeting that community was massively influential to my growth,” Fox said. Fox’s background also helped. She worked in operations prior to starting her family and “knew the guts of business,” she said, describing social media influencers as outsourced advertising departments for brands. While Fox continues to feature home design trends, she has shifted to broader lifestyle content. Her posts are “a bit entertainment, a bit tipsharing, whether it’s design or baking or whatever,” Fox explained. Lately, she has enjoyed sharing about clothing, flowers, and plants over furniture. “I have an indoor tree in my backyard that I’m trying to get healthy,” Fox said, noting how helpful it has been to crowdsource tips about this and other gardening-related matters from her followers. Fox is willing to go beneath the surface with her content too. She has a degree in social policy and does not shy away from posts of political nature. She also shares her struggles with anxiety, even when it is uncomfortable, because it is important to her to normalize mental health concerns. Fox said she also intentionally shares her “messy house… and wild children a lot. I try to 44

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portray that things here aren’t balanced or clean.” This is what makes Fox relatable to so many. Yet Fox was quick to point out: “I’m not for everyone. It is impossible to please everyone.” Fox sincerely appreciates her social media success, but notes that it comes with some strings attached. For example, “People have ‘met’ me before they’ve met me,” Fox said. “All of my neighborhood friends knew me before I knew them.” Another challenge Fox faced is finding the balance between her family and her work. Being a social media content creator “can take over your life. You’re on your phone all day, and it can become something so unhealthy,” Fox said. Getting swept up in the numbers game can be problematic also, Fox added. “I try not to pay too much attention to likes on a post or number of followers…but that’s not to say I wasn’t really excited when I hit 100,000 followers.” ■


INSPIRATION FOR THE EXTERIOR OF THEIR HOME CAME FROM THE TUDOR THEY LIVED IN IN DENVER. FOX AND HER HUSBAND, BILL, HAVE A SIMILAR DESIGN AESTHETIC WHICH SHE DESCRIBED AS “VINTAGE MODERN – CLEAN LINES, TRADITIONAL SHAPES, BUT WITH A MODERN SPIN ON THEM.

FOX AND HER 14-YEAR-OLD DOG BOBBY JENKS (NAMED AFTER THAT CHICAGO WHITE SOX PLAYER) ENJOY THE HOME’S ENTRYWAY, WHICH IS ADORNED WITH A FICUS AUDREY TREE. GREENERY IS AN IMPORTANT COMPONENT OF FOX’S INTERIOR DESIGN.

A BLACK FIREPLACE ANCHORS FOX’S FAMILY ROOM. THE MANTLE HOLDS HER COLLECTION OF CANDLESTICKS AND CANDLES, INCLUDING THE “TWISTY ONES” THAT SHE MADE HERSELF WHEN EVERYTHING SLOWED DOWN DURING THE PANDEMIC. DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE

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Downers Grove Magazine | Home & Design

FOX ALSO VALUES FEATURING HER FAMILY’S ARTWORK THROUGHOUT THE HOME, INCLUDING A PAINTING HER SON JACK MADE ACCOMPANYING THE OIL PAINTINGS IN THE KITCHEN AND A WALL OF DRAWINGS IN THE BASEMENT THAT HER HUSBAND, BILL, CREATED AS PART OF AN ONLINE COURSE – “30 FACES IN 30 DAYS” – HE AND JACK TOOK DURING THE PANDEMIC. Photo credit: Courtesy of the Fox family

A VINTAGE PEW FROM A CHURCH IN CHICAGO THAT THE FOXES HAD CUT DOWN TO REPURPOSE AS SEATING AT THEIR DINING TABLE

FOX, PICTURED WITH HER SONS JACK (ALMOST 7) AND LEO (4) ALONG WITH HER HUSBAND, BILL, SAYS THE LIBRARY IS HER FAVORITE ROOM IN THEIR HOUSE. FOX IS A BIG READER AND SAID ALMOST ALL OF THE BOOKS – STRATEGICALLY ORGANIZED BY COLOR – WERE IN THEIR COLLECTION PRIOR TO THEIR MOVE. “MAYBE FIVE PERCENT OF THE BOOKS WERE BOUGHT AT GOODWILL TO SUPPLEMENT,” SHE SAID. 46

CENTRAL TO THE KITCHEN DESIGN IS A COLLECTION OF OIL PAINTINGS - BY VARIOUS ARTISTS - PURCHASED AT THRIFT STORES.

DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE


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MAGAZINE

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BOB BARNETT REFLECTS ON HIS FIRST YEAR IN OFFICE INSTAGROVE: CELEBRATING THE CLASS OF 2020 SPECIAL FEATURE: DOWNERS GROVE GARDENS FOOD & DRINK: RESTAURANTS REINVENTED

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Downers Grove Magazine | Arts & Entertainment

THE GROVE’S BRUSH WITH THE SILVER SCREEN

Tivoli rolls out the red carpet for Anthony Michael Hall and Friends BY MAUREEN CALLAHAN

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F

or those of us old enough to remember the John Hughes films of the eighties and nineties, and young enough- at the time- to appreciate them, Tivoli recently turned the clock back a few decades. An actor that personified some of Hollywood’s best teenage romantic comedies walked the red carpet for an Evening with Anthony Michael Hall. A Q&A with the actor, followed by a screening of The Breakfast Club, and ending with a late-night bowling party with Hall and his family, gave fans a chance to meet the comedian.

either. There are some definite similarities, for sure. It’s a high-school setting.”

Hughes’ movie soundtracks, and other decade favorites, played while guests waited in line from the front marquis to the stage to take pictures and chat with Hall as he signed movie posters. He politely greeted each person with interest and enthusiasm.

Contributing Editor Maureen Callahan chatted for a few minutes on the red carpet with Hall, about The Class, due out next spring, and some favorite memories.

At the request of a friend stricken by a degenerative, neurological condition, Hall and other cast members from his upcoming movie held the event as a fundraiser for Multiple System Atrophy (MSA). “If I can help, I like to,” Hall smiled as he started Q&A, “so let’s have a great time tonight. Ask me anything!” Hall revealed that The Class, a “Breakfast Club-esque” movie he was filming and coproducing at Elmhurst University, echoed Hughes’ cult classics themes- peer pressure, loneliness, parental discord, etc. The Breakfast Club profiled five strangers put into boxes as to where they’re perceived to fit in. Forced into isolation together one Saturday, the students realize how much they actually have in common. Said Hall during the Q&A, “The Class is not a sequel to The Breakfast Club, but it’s not a re-make

Red carpet guests were surprised to also meet platinum singer Debbie Gibson. When asked how she came to star in this project, she replied “the arts in education are everything to me, so I come by this role easily.” Gibson also said that she felt a personal connection to the issues the characters face. “One of the students is in foster care. My dad was raised in the foster care system, so that resonates with me. It’s actually how I got into music. He found it to be grounding, after always moving around,” Gibson recounted.

Can you give us any hints about the plot?

Was there anyone you emulated on your way up?

The Class re-examines the issues young people have always dealt with, but in this moment. Their today is different than my today, which was yesterday, (Hall laughed). The movie offers a fresh take on the problems this generation faces. Like The Breakfast Club, strangers are thrown together, this time to make up a missed test. They get to know each other and the concerns they’re facing come out. Inevitably, the question of “are we all still friends on Monday?” might subtly resurface.

The Second City guys. John Belushi, Dan Akroyd, Harold Ramis. They were my guys, a lot of my inspiration, so another great thing about Chicago.

How did you decide to co-produce a project like The Class? I think it’s getting time for the next generation of actors to take over. I like mentoring young people. Hannah (Kepple), Colin (McCalla), Lyric (Ross) and the other cast members; they’re a very talented group of rising stars.

What made you decide to film in the Chicago area?

REY AND AMIE TOPETE FROM WOODRIDGE MEET THE STAR.

ANTHONY MICHAEL HALL AND DEBBIE GIBSON UNITE IN DOWNERS GROVE.

I have great memories here. Chicago reminds me of John Hughes; it’s where it all started for me. When we were working on his movies, he would take me out around the city with his kids. He was really my best friend. We went to see Buddy Guy at Kingston Mines, we saw The Pretenders one weekend, went to record stores. I felt like his third son. So, this city kind of holds my heart. We were looking for an authentic school setting, so Elmhurst University is perfect. DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE

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How did you come to work on multiple Hughes projects? I landed the role of Rusty in National Lampoon’s Vacation before I ever met John. After that, I flew to New York to audition for Sixteen Candles. From there, John kind of took Molly (Ringwald) and me under his wing and kept hiring us. I owe him so much. I would not be standing here right now without him.

Do you ever see any other Brat Pack actors? Now and then. I’ve kind of see them from time to time over the years. I see Ally (Sheedy) around once in a while. I worked with Molly (Ringwald) on that show Riverdale. I saw Judd (Nelson) at Comic-Con last year. I haven’t seen Emilio (Estevez) too much; I think he has a vineyard up north now. Hollywood is kind of like high school. You run into people, and it’s always great to reconnect when you do.

Which of your movies do you like best? It’s always the one I’m working on! So right now, it’s The Class. ■


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Downers Grove Magazine | Trends

Hello Fall BY EMMA WOLF

Fall is almost here and that means it’s time to celebrate the autumnal season! Our list of trending fall items, activities, and destinations showcases what’s hot for the next few months. Whether you’re a pumpkin lover or you enjoy admiring the colorful fallen leaves, there is something guaranteed to make everyone smile as we depart from the hot months and welcome the transition from Summer to Winter.

Handheld Apple Pies If you end up picking more apples than you know what to do with, put your leftovers to good use and make handheld apple pies! Instead of making a traditional size apple pie, handhelds are quicker and easier! Perfect for little hands, these treats make the perfect dessert or on-the-go snack for kids.

Apple Picking There is something incomparable about biting into a crispy, handpicked apple fresh from the orchard. Honey Hill Orchard in Waterman is the perfect destination for such a special treat! Along with several varieties of apples, the orchard also makes their own apple cider, caramel apples topped with a generous amount of peanuts, apple pies, and famous apple cider donuts. Honey Hill is open daily from 9am-5:30pm from September 10th-October 31st. 11783 Waterman Rd. Waterman, IL. 60556

Seasonal Candles Calling all candle connoisseurs! The new trio of Fall scents at Anthropologie is perfect for anyone seeking to bask in the aroma of Autumn. The scents include Balsam & Cedarwood, Fig Tree, and Pumpkin & Sweet Vanilla, each with completely different fragrance notes. Featuring gorgeous colored glass vessels in a 15.25 oz size, these hand-poured candles make the perfect gift for anyone, including yourself!

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Wheaton Oktoberfest A fall-time favorite tradition that originally started in Munich, Germany, the world’s largest beer festival can now be accessed locally! Downtown Wheaton’s annual Oktoberfest is set to take place on October 2nd at the Central Athletic Complex. The fun includes the obvious beer garden, traditional German food (hint: German sausage and pretzels), live music and entertainment, and a children’s area. Admission is free, while any donations go to the DuPage County Historical Museum Foundation.

Chunky Knit Blanket

Pumpkin Patch

Nothing says “Fall” quite like a warm, chunky knit blanket. The “Colossal Handknit Throw” from Pottery Barn is an absolute must. 10 colors, extra cozy and handcrafted with chunky yarn, wrapping up in this blanket feels as good as putting on your favorite sweater.

The pumpkin patch is a classic Fall tradition that never goes out of style. Bengtson’s Pumpkin Farm in Homer Glen is a family favorite that has many fun activities for small children, such as tractor-pulled hayrides, a haunted barn, a fun barn, a 90-foot mega slide, pig races, and a petting zoo. This season is the perfect time to begin a new and soon-to-be Fall tradition at Bengtson’s! 13341 W 151st St. Homer Glen, IL. 60491

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SPECIAL ADVER TISING FEATURE

Downers Grove Magazine PRESENTS

DENTAL AND ORTHODONTIC PROFILES Downers Grove Orthodontics Esplanade Dental Care Grove Dental Associates Wo o d l a k e F a m i l y D e n t a l Zach Frazier Orthodontics

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DMG DENTAL AND ORTHODONTIC PROFILES SPECIAL ADVER TISING FEATURE

Downers Grove Orthodontics Locations 1330 Ogden Avenue Downers Grove, IL 60515 Phone (630) 515-2727 email info@dgortho.com Web downersgroveorthodontics.com THESE DOCTORS ARE AMONG

THE BEST

ORTHODONTISTS IN AMERICA

Each doctor is a member of Excellence in Orthodontics, an experienced and trusted resource who’s mission is to help you make informed decisions when selecting an orthodontist for your family. We include only one orthodontist per geographic area, and each is carefully vetted to ensure compliance with the highest standards of clinical care and patient service.

CALIFORNIA Brian Bergh, DDS, MS Bergh Orthodontics 1111 N Brand Blvd #201, Glendale, CA 91202 818.659.5382 berghorthodontics.com

ILLINOIS Meena Balakrishnan, DMD, MS Downers Grove Orthodontics 1330 Ogden Ave Downers Grove, IL 60515 630.216.4739 downersgroveorthodontics.com

NEW JERSEY David Caggiano, DMD

Caggiano Orthodontics 316 Parsippany Rd Parsippany, NJ 070545 973.240.9473 morriscountybraces.com

NEVADA Victoria Chen, DMD, MS Significance Orthodontics 2777 W. Craig Rd. #101 North Las Vegas, NV 89032 702.647.8114 significanceorthodontics.com

UTAH Chase Dansie, DDS

Dansie Orthodontics 11996 Anthem Park Blvd #100, Herriman, UT 84096 801.829.9680 dansieorthodontics.com

Dr. Meena Balakrishnan, DMD, MS

Cover picture: Dr. Meena Balakrishan, DMD, MS and staff

Dr. Meena Balakrishnan has been dedicated to the Downers Grove community for over 13 years. The family has deep roots in our community. Her husband Dr. Balu Natarajan is a Downers Grove North alumnus! Dr. Balakrishnan has been giving her patients a reason to smile by providing braces and aligners to thousands of children and adults in our community since 2007. Dr. Balakrishnan was awarded the “Master Carver Award” on Clinic and Research Day at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2001. She received the merit award for Periodontology in 2003 from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in Philadelphia, PA, where she was also class valedictorian. Other accomplishments while at the University of Pennsylvania include being inducted into the Omicron Kappa Upsilon Honor Society, and earning second place in Clinical Research on Clinical and Research Day. While attending Bangalore University in India, she earned her Indian Dental Association Merit Certificate as valedictorian of the class of 1996, and received gold medals for her work in Orthodontics, Restorative Dentistry and Endodontics, Periodontology, and Prosthodontics. She also earned the Merit Award for Periodontology from the Indian Society of Periodontology in Mumbai, India.

www.excellenceinorthodontics.org

Dr. Balakrishnan is a member of Excellence in Orthodontics (EIO), which is a prestigious program in which only ONE orthodontist per geographic area is selected, and each is carefully vetted to ensure compliance with the highest standards of clinical care and patient services. Only orthodontists who meet the highest standards and quality are considered to be a part of the program. She was also elected as “One of the Best Orthodontists in America” by Excellence in Orthodontics. Visit them at https://www.excellenceinorthodontics.org/dr-balakrishnan/ Dr. Balakrishnan has taught the dental students at the University of Illinois College of Dentistry since 2003 while she was an Orthodontic resident. She continues to teach dental students and orthodontic residents at UIC. The topic that interests her most is “Non-surgical orthodontic expansion in adults and children”. Her research was recently published in “Orthodontics and Craniofacial Research”. You can read her paper here - https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/ abs/10.1111/ocr.12359 Dr. Balakrishnan supports many causes that are close to her heart. Downers Grove Orthodontics sponsored “Noah’s Hope” for several years. Her practice also sponsors several District 58 events and local sports clubs. They are involved in the Wellness Fairs held at the Downers Grove North and South High Schools, educating students about the importance of dental and orthodontic health. Downers Grove Orthodontics is a supporter of “Climb Higher at Highland”, a project to raise money to build a playground that is safe and accessible for the students. Dr. Balakrishnan’s passion to educate patients and parents about orthodontics led her to author her first book – “Grin and Wear It”. Her book is available on Amazon.com. Visit her book site at https://www.drmeenasmiles.com/. Dr. Balakrishnan has also been featured in Parents Magazine and Family Fun magazine. You can learn about orthodontics by reading her book, Grin and Wear It, or you can meet this expert right here, at Downers Grove Orthodontics, 1330 Ogden Avenue!

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DMG DENTAL AND ORTHODONTIC PROFILES SPECIAL ADVER TISING FEATURE

Esplanade Associates Locations

Esplanade Dental Care 2001 Butterfield Rd Suite 140 Downers Grove, IL 60515 Phone (630) 493.0914 (630) 493.0917 Web www.esplanade-dental.com Atrium Family Dental 1938 E Lincoln Hwy Suite 104 New Lenox, IL 60451 Phone (815) 462.9990 (815) 462.9991 Web atriumfamilydental.com

Standing from left to right: Christine Snow, DMD, Sherif Albert, DDS, Alyssa Stylski, DMD.

What is Esplanade Dental Care’s goal?

At Esplanade Dental Care, we understand that enjoying a happy, healthy smile takes a lifetime commitment, and Dr. Sherif Albert, Dr. Christine Snow, Dr Alyssa Stylski, and the rest of our team want to partner with patients every step of the way in the pursuit of this important goal. Going to the dentist’s office doesn’t have to be a dreaded experience – patient comfort is an important priority for us, and we also enjoy forming lasting friendships with the people we treat. Whether you’re seeking a six-month checkup or advanced restorative care for extensive tooth loss, we have the time-tested skills and genuine passion needed to leave you smiling again and again.

What sets our team apart?

A patient deserves to feel relaxed and at ease at the dentist’s office, and our excellent team goes a long way towards helping them achieve this. Our hygienists, assistants, and coordinators are not only highly knowledgeable and great at their jobs, but also extremely friendly at every stage of treatment. They’ll make sure that your questions are always answered and that any concerns are addressed to your liking. Additionally, you can see that a vast majority of our online reviews compliment our dynamic staff and their ability to help our patients.

Is going to the dentist convenient for busy schedules?

Far too often, patients struggle to find a good time for important dental care because of their busy work, school, or family schedules. That’s why Esplanade Dental Care offers extended hours several days a week. For instance, we open at 7:20am on Wednesdays and stay open until 7:00pm on Thursdays. We enjoy being able to accommodate your needs and help you achieve your best, brightest smile without unnecessary strain.

What is the office’s take on technology?

The dental field is constantly in motion, developing better techniques and technologies that will benefit patients. At Esplanade Dental Care, we strive to stay right at the forefront of this growth. We believe that our state of the art technology gives us the ability to treat patients more conservatively while avoiding more invasive and expensive procedures because we are able to detect problems earlier than we were with traditional diagnostic tools used in the past. Our office features several modern touches that help to improve every stage of dental treatment, including digital X-rays, intraoral cameras, and even a state-of-the-art 3D Cone Beam technology for exceptional preciseness.

What precautions are you taking during the COVID-19 pandemic?

We take the safety of our patients and staff very seriously. Prior to safely reopening in late May, as a team it was our goal to go above and beyond the IDPH, CDC and ADA guidelines required. Therefore, we sat down to come up with more advanced protocols and procedures for the safety of our patients and team. Some of the key changes you will notice when visiting our office are: • Virtual waiting room • Patient screenings prior to entering our office • Doctor and patient flow changes to minimize traffic and person to person proximity • Installation of air purifiers with H13 true HEPA filters in every patient room • Specialized high vacuum suction equipment to capture aerosols during aerosol generating procedures • Utilization of digital technology such as text and email to communicate more effectively with our patients as well as improvements to our billing process

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DMG DENTAL AND ORTHODONTIC PROFILES SPECIAL ADVER TISING FEATURE

Grove Dental Associates Four Convenient Locations 6800 Main St., 3rd Floor Downers Grove 630.969.5350 www.grovedental.com 160 E. Boughton Road Bolingbrook 630.759.8940 2 E 22nd Street, Suite 201 Lombard 630.627.4680 55 East Loop Road, Suite 201 Wheaton 630.653.8899

Dental Specialities General Dentistry Pediatric & Special Needs Dentistry Orthodontics Oral Surgery Endodontics Periodontics Emergency Treatment IV Sedation Dentistry

Since 1968, Grove Dental has been the community’s go-to choice for comprehensive and compassionate dental care. With over 30 dentists and specialists, Grove Dental is a multi-specialty practice that cares for the whole family, from the first tooth to the golden years. The services Grove Dental offers include general dentistry,pediatric dentistry,special needs dentistry,oral surgery,orthodontics, endodontics, and periodontics. General dentistry consists of routine teeth cleaning and exams, cosmetic dental procedures, fillings, crowns, bridges, and dentures. Pediatric dentistry covers general dental care for infants and children. Specialty dentistry encompasses the art of orthodontics which improve many types of dental problems with the most common being overcrowding, crossbites, overbite and underbite. Oral surgery focuses on wisdom tooth removal, a suspicious lesion that needs a biopsy, or any other oral health condition requiring surgical diagnosis. Grove also offers under one roof, endodontics and periodontics which are dentists who specialize in root canal therapy and diagnosing and treating gum disease. With a wide range of services to offer for each and every patient, the following dental professionals at Grove Dental shared their personal testimonies and words of dental advise to best care for your smile. Pediatric dentist, Dr. Mark Cabana, was once a pediatric patient at Grove. A Downers Grove native, he is proud to work at the practice that gave him a confident smile. Grove offers a kid-friendly environment with décor, movies, and fun prizes. Grove prides itself on being gentle and patient with younger children. Grove’s pediatric dentists and specialists have advanced training beyond dental school in working with all children, including those with special health care needs, making the experience as comfortable and worry-free as possible. General dentist, Dr. Kevin Moss, loves how patient-centric Grove is. With flexible office hours six days a week and a team full of specialists, great things happen for patients when they put their trust in the doctors at Grove. Dr. Moss believes the patient’s personality makes their smile unique and beautiful, and their smile can make the patient more confident. Dr. Moss adds,“If you take care of your smile, your smile will take care of you.” Oral surgeon, David H. Smith, DMD., advises patients to treat surgical issues sooner rather than later. Time is key because waiting too long can cause pain and/or infections to occur that can be avoided by seeking proper oral treatment right at the start of a problem. Orthodontist, Dr. Sam Allen, says the best “feel good” part of his job is seeing the happiness and contentment on his patients’ faces when they are done with their treatment, especially after seeing their beautiful smiles after their braces are removed. Dr. Allen cherishes the relationships he gets to form with his patients over the course of treatment, as both orthodontist and patient have the same end goal: to achieve the optimal result of straight teeth and giving the patient the ideal smile. Grove Dental is also heavily involved in the community, making it a long-time local favorite.This includes free dental exams for veterans and their immediate family members, a coat drive for military families, candy for the troops, and a community food drive. Every February, Grove Dental specialists go to nearby elementary schools and give oral health talks and toothbrushes to young students. Grove Dental in Downers Grove proudly sponsors local causes, such as the BBQ Bolt Run at McCollum Park, as well as various local youth sports programs. Because of its excellent and professional dental care in a state-of-the-art environment and its caring approach and community involvement, Grove Dental is the superb choice for multigenerational smiles all across Chicagoland. Now that is something to smile about! Schedule your next appointment at any one of Grove’s four convenient locations.To learn more visit, grovedental.com

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DMG DENTAL AND ORTHODONTIC PROFILES SPECIAL ADVER TISING FEATURE

Dr. Amit Sud

Woodlake Family Dental Locations 2309 63rd Street Woodridge, IL 60517 Phone (630) 791-4163 2879 95th Street Suite 131 Naperville, IL 60564 Phone (630) 753-9955 3253 S. Harlem Ave., 1C Berwyn, IL 60402 Phone (708) 788-4444 email woodlakedental@gmail.com Web www.woodlakefamilydental.com

Dr. Amit Sud was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. He attended University of Washington for his undergraduate education where he obtained his BSC in cellular and molecular biology and attended New York University for his dental degree. Dr. Sud continued his education at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management where he obtained a certificate in the executive management program for dentists. He is also a member of the international congress of oral implantologists and has trained extensively on implant placement and restorations. Dr. Sud’s hobbies include biking and watching football and hockey. He is a big fan of the Bears and the Toronto Maple leafs. Dr. Sud and Dr. Verma opened Woodlake Family Dental in 2007.

Dr. Anita Verma Dr. Anita Verma was born in New York City and raised just outside of Princeton, New Jersey. She attended New York University in an accelerated BA-DDS program where she obtained her undergraduate and graduate education. After graduating from NYU, she completed a general practice residency at Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. Dr. Verma moved to the Chicagoland area in 2006 with her husband, Dr. Sud. Dr. Verma and Dr. Sud have three children and a recent addition to her family−a puppy named Chewy. She enjoys reading, baking and crafting in her spare time. Dr. Verma has continued her education by taking courses through Spear Education, Cosmedent, and Illinois State Dental Society. Dr. Verma’s practice philosophy is based upon creating a healthy and beautiful smile in a comfortable and safe setting.

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DMG DENTAL AND ORTHODONTIC PROFILES SPECIAL ADVER TISING FEATURE

Zach Frazier Orthodontontics Location 4909 Forest Avenue Downers Grove, IL 60515 Phone (630) 541-3696 email info@ZachFrazierOrthodontics.com

Can you share your journey to becoming an orthodontist? I started my education here in Downers Grove at Highland Elementary School, Herrick Middle School, and Downers Grove North. Growing up, I never had my thoughts set on being an orthodontist; instead, I thought about doing something that involved healthcare. My parents are both in healthcare, and I had many extended family members involved in that field as well. After high school, I studied molecular biology and Spanish at The University of Illinois, and after graduation, I began working for an oral surgeon. After this experience, I decided to apply to dental school at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), followed by my orthodontic specialty degree from Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. I was drawn to orthodontics in dental school as I felt like it was the “fun” part of dentistry - no numbing, no needles, etc. I enjoyed the cosmetic and artistry part of orthodontics. What makes Zach Frazier Orthodontics unique? A few things make us unique. First, our mission is to serve and improve the community, which is why we are so heavily involved in supporting many schools and organizations locally. Internally, we are seriously dedicated to customer service and communication. We believe there is nothing more important to us than making our patients and their families happy, and we are willing to go above and beyond to prove this. Service, communication, and transparency are sometimes overlooked in the medical field, but those are our key priorities. Straight teeth and a healthy bite are the expectation with any orthodontic office, but we strive to make the experience better than anyone else. As heavily involved in the community as you are, what are some of the organizations you support and why? In the six years that we have been in business, we have made over $40,000 in contributions to 36 community groups/schools/organizations. There are so many to name! We have made many contributions to District 58 & District 99 schools and the private schools in Downers Grove. I attended District 58 & 99 schools growing up, and I love giving back to the schools that helped shape my future. We also have provided support for some schools in the towns surrounding Downers Grove. We are a huge sponsor for many Downers Grove area sports clubs, including Roadrunners soccer, Rebels softball, Hitmen baseball, Fury baseball, Longshots baseball, Panthers football, Downers Grove Youth Baseball, and many more. It is an incredible opportunity to support so many kiddos who come into our office and sponsor their teams. Within Downers Grove, we also support many community groups, such as Downers Grove Junior Woman’s Club, Navigate Adolescence, and The Grove Foundation. Besides bringing beautiful smiles to your patients, what is the most rewarding part about being an orthodontist? One of the most rewarding parts is meeting so many great people. Our dental specialty is very social, and seeing families come in over many years is fun. I love seeing old classmates in the office with their kids. As a native of Downers Grove, what was your experience growing up here? I loved growing up in Downers Grove. I grew up watching movies at the Tivoli with my family, getting ice cream at Every Day’s a Sundae, and heading to McCollum for soccer games. There are so many great memories of playing for Downers Grove North soccer at Carsten’s Field. One thing that is awesome about Downers Grove is that many of my friends who share those memories still live here, too, and we are now reliving those memories with our kids. That’s one of the unique things about Downers Grove – people come back here to settle down and raise their kids, and I think that says a lot about the vibe of this town.

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Downers Grove Magazine | Community Scene

Wine, Women & Shoes This annual event took place on June 25th at Ruth Lake Country Club. With nearly 300 guests, attendees enjoyed a day of fashion and compassion, all in honor of helping the 100+ families served this year by Bridge Communities.

DEBBIE PAWLOWICZ AND KRISTI GORSKI

GRETCHEN MUNGAN AND ANGELA DEPPE

MANY WOMEN FROM DOWNERS GROVE ATTENDED THE SUCCESSFUL EVENT INCLUDING ELIZABETH DEAN AND MICHELLE GENTILE (FRONT LEFT TO RIGHT).

West Suburban Humane Society West Suburban Humane Society kicked off its summer of ‘Yoga with Adoptables’ classes in June. These beginner-level yoga classes were led by Amanda Rhodes from Yoga by Degrees Downers Grove and classes were sponsored by Gerald Subaru of Naperville. The pictured June classes were at ‘socially-distant’ capacity and attendees enjoyed refreshments and socialization time with Adoptable puppies Dunkin, Peet and Caribou after the class.

DUNKIN, PEET AND CARIBOU WITH ATTENDEES Photo by Jill Clavet

DUNKIN AND PEET ATTENTIVELY LISTEN FOR DIRECTIONS Photo by Jeremy Dixon

The Downers Grove Area Branch of AAUW The organization enjoyed their only in-person meeting for the 2020-2021 year with a June installation of board members. Two scholarship winners attended via Zoom to share updates on their educational progress. AAUW was proud to have awarded three Back-to-theBooks Scholarships last year thanks to the generous donations of 34 members since the 2020 Used Book Sale was cancelled due to the pandemic. Find dgaauw on Facebook, Twitter, or its website (downersgrove-il.aauw.net) to find out what is planned for their 72nd year! 60

2021/2022 BOARD MEMBERS EMILY OWENS, HARRIETT LINDSTROM, KRISTEN BEIRNE, KIM VENZON, COLEEN WALTER, PATTY PAGE, SANDRA SANSONE BRENNAN (JULIA VENETIS WAS NOT PRESENT)

HOSPITALITY CHAIRS JOAN FISHER AND SUE SCHALL DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE


The Downers Grove Garden Walk The annual event took place on July 10th and featured six very different gardens. Attended by over 250 people, the 15th walk was presented by the First United Methodist Church of DG, partnering with Bridge Communities, in order to support three previously homeless families. The outpouring of support from the community and overall feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

ALL PLANTS DO NOT HAVE TO BE IN THE GARDEN TO BE LOVELY – DETMER GARDEN

THE OLSON’S GARDEN IS A NATURE LOVER’S PARADISE WITH NATURAL HOMES FOR POLLINATORS AND WILDLIFE, CONSISTING PRIMARILY OF PLANTS “NATIVE TO ILLINOIS.”

A COOL, INVITING PATIO AT THE DETMER GARDEN

Downers Grove Park District The Downers Grove Park District hosted a special grand reopening celebration at Prince Pond in July. The Party in the Park featured fishing and fish-themed crafts and snacks with a special dedication celebration.

A MOTHER AND SON ENJOY FISHING AT PRINCE POND DURING DOWNERS GROVE PARK DISTRICT’S PARTY IN THE PARK

VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE COMMISSIONER DANNY GLOVER, DOWNERS GROVE PARK DISTRICT BOARD PRESIDENT CATHY MAHONEY, AND DOWNERS GROVE PARK DISTRICT BOARD SECRETARY BOB KOTULA CELEBRATE THE GRAND RE-OPENING OF PRINCE POND WITH A RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY

A LOCAL ATTENDEE EXCITED TO FISH AT THE GRAND RE-OPENING OF PRINCE POND

FRIENDS POSE FOR PHOTO BEFORE CASTING THEIR FISHING LINES AT THE DOWNERS GROVE PARK DISTRICT PARTY IN THE PARK DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE

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Downers Grove Magazine | Young Author’s Writing Competition

DOWNERS GROVE Magazine Young Writer’s Competition After reading through the submissions of the first annual Downers Grove Magazine Young Author’s Writing Competition, the editorial staff selected winners from middle school and high school. Congratulations to our winners who answered the question, “if you could live anywhere besides Downers Grove, where would it be?” Their entries have been published in their original form. tiny mounds in Lisle, called Four Lakes did nothing to challenge my skills. That rope lift though, left me with sore arms for a week! Arriving in Wisconsin. My eye caught the sign welcoming beginners to the easy, green trails. A chairlift scooped us up effortlessly, so Eloise and I could experience the adventure of skiing down the snow-packed trail. So, it’s goodbye to skiing in the Midwest and on to my next chapter which will start in Colorado-the home of 26 ski resorts. I heard if you want to ski, Colorado is the place to be. I jam all my stuff into my used Honda Pilot. One thousand miles later, I have arrived in the town of Keystone, Coloradoknown for its porkchops and skiing. I finally make it to my apartment shows the JENNY CARLSON spacious windows in the 7TH GRADE STUDENT AT HERRICK MIDDLE SCHOOL cramped living room which offers a fantastic view of the vaulted Keystone mountains. My kitchen is medium sized with a grandiose counter that runs from one WRITTEN BY JENNIFER CARLSON end of the kitchen to the other. Hours later I finally place the last item left o long Downers Grove, I in my car, into my new home. The have to go, but I will miss day is over and tomorrow will bring you. I’ve skied those big hills, me an opportunity to conquer those that they call the Midwest imposing mountains. Mountains at Alpine Valley and Wilmont in Wisconsin. Those

So Long Downers Grove

S

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I open my eyes and am greeted by a full sunrise. My phone buzzes to tell me that I have a message from Eloise. A hundred questions hit my mind. How did she get here? That’s right. She once told me that she always wanted to live here. The text continued: meet me on trailmarker 97, just outside the town of Copper. I quickly checked my phone-7 miles away. I jumped in my Honda Pilot and head out. We talk for what seems like hours. We spot a quaint, breakfast place right off Interstate 70. Meal completed, we head to the lifts. Dressed in our ski gear we realize that it’s almost emptywe have beat the crowds-we might even be the first ones down the trail today. Medium trails were marked with blue squares. While we were in the middle of the run, I looked away from the trail and my right ski crossed with my left. Flat on my back, I saw Eloise look at me with concern. “Are you OK?” she said, as she muffled a small laugh. I was now separated from my skis but thankfully I spotted them a yard away. I sprang up, grabbed my abandoned skis and clipped them back on. We skied until we tired and the sun was going down. We realized that we only had a few precious minutes before our adventure ended for the day. I was left with more questions than answers. Is Colorado, the place for me? Or, should I continue to seek it out. No, I think I have my answer. Yes! I’m staying.


ROSELYN LEE 9TH GRADE STUDENT AT DOWNERS GROVE NORTH HIGH SCHOOL

The “Perfect” Place WRITTEN BY ROSELYN LEE

A

s I listen to Spotify, I ponder on the smart-alec answer to this entry question. (“If You Could Live Anywhere besides Downers Grove, Where Would You Choose to Live? Why?”) The “smart answer” would probably be, “I wouldn’t want to live anywhere besides Downers Grove, since it’s so great!” But a clear, honest voice deep inside of me says just a flat-out “no” to that dry response. It’s not that I hate Downers Grove, it’s just that that answer isn’t mine. But anywhere? There’s too much earth on this planet to decide. Can it be a hypothetical and self-imagined place or an actually established

one that exists in the world today? But to be honest, you could ask me at any time of day, in any emotional atmosphere, at any place, or whatever activity I may be doing at the present moment and my answer to the question would be: “I don’t know.” Being Captain Obvious, there’s no place in the world without any imperfections. NO amount of lists with pros and cons would be able to give me an answer, since some pros and cons weigh more than others, and we all know that. I could give the most pictureperfect representation and description of a perfect community and place to live, but that would also be flawed- since I’m also an imperfect human being that is writing this entry currently.

do something impactful. I want an environment where I won’t feel suffocated by others, but also be inspired and awed by the people around me. I’d want the place to be accepting of others, no matter what conflicting opinions people have. I’d also like for people there to be less conforming. It pains me to see people have all of the same opinions because of peer pressure: and this I can notice through peer pressure, societies, different cultures and traditions, beliefs, and some adults’ political beliefs. It wouldn’t hurt people to question things. And all in all, I probably haven’t touched everything that works in a community and society to make sure it’s a livable place, but I think the social part is just fine.

In my perspective, every person currently lives on a twirling, giant, molten rock that gets hotter and hotter every year, where all of us misunderstanding humans try to get along with each other, survive, and make a life for ourselves. It doesn’t matter if it’s a dormant place that’s stationary or one on the move. We live, survive, thrive, and adapt- or at least, try to in a sense. So, as I write this, I realize that there’s no right answer to this question, except that a “perfect place” would differ and vary with each person, and especially where I would live, or at least, the type of place I would like to. However, the type of place I would like to live in would be somewhere where I can make something for myself. Be something for me. Fit in. ( Somewhat ) And

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Caring For Your Family’s Smile Since 1968

$99 Exam, Cleaning & Xrays Includes regular cleaning, xrays and exam for adults and children. Adults regularly $199. Pediatric patients may include fluoride and 2-bite wing x-rays. Regularly $257. All other x-rays at additional cost. New patients only.

30 DENTISTS AND SPECIALISTS CARING FOR YOUR FAMILY’S SMILE- FROM THE FIRST TOOTH TO THE GOLDEN YEARS!

Free Orthodontic Exam & Evaluation Includes orthodontic exam and panoramic x-ray, treatment recommendations (including Invisalign), estimated treatment time and fees.

At Grove Dental, our staff of multispecialists provide comprehensive and compassionate dental care in a state-of-theart environment.

GENERAL & PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY

ORTHODONTICS

$199 Zoom! Whitening With our in-office teeth whitening procedure, your teeth can be brightened several shades in just one appointment — and, for only $199.

ORAL SURGERY

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Downers Grove 6800 Main St., Third Floor

Call Today!

630-969-5350

Abbas, Komail

Allen, Samuel B.

Bennett, Michael W.

Cabana, Mark D.

Cunningham, Michael P.

Freebeck, Gregory M.

Bhimji, Sanaa

Islam, Samar

Khandaker, Naushin

Kunath, Eric J.

Moss, Kevin T.

Smith, David H.

General Dentistry

Orthodontics

General Dentistry

Pediatric Dentistry

Periodontics

General Dentistry

General Dentistry

General Dentistry

General Dentistry

Endodontics

General Dentistry

Oral Surgery

Wiersema, Chad R.

WWW.GROVEDENTAL.COM

Endodontics

4 Locations to Serve You Better Bolingbrook

Lombard

630-759-8940

630-627-4680

160 E. Boughton Rd.

2 E. 22nd St., Ste. 201

Wheaton

55 East Loop Rd., Ste. 201

630-653-8899

THE PATIENT AND ANY OTHER PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYMENT HAS A RIGHT TO REFUSE TO PAY, CANCEL PAYMENT, OR BE REIMBURSED FOR PAYMENT FOR ANY OTHER SERVICE, EXAMINATION, OR TREATMENT THAT IS PERFORMED AS A RESULT OF AND WITHIN 72 HOURS OF RESPONDING TO THE ADVERTISEMENT FOR THE FREE, DISCOUNTED FEE, OR REDUCED FEE SERVICE, EXAMINATION OR TREATMENT. New patients without dental insurance will receive the $99 exam, xrays and cleaning. Patients with insurance will receive insurance plan pricing. We reserve the right to cancel the promotions, discounts, free offers, and incentives without any prior notice or reason. Professional Dental Alliance of Illinois, Andrew Matta DMD.


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