Page 1

SERVING HINSDALE, BURR RIDGE, CLARENDON HILLS & OAK BROOK

FEBRUARY 2018

HINSDALE’S FIRST MAGAZINE $5 US VOLUME 8 ISSUE 2

FRED Andrea Thome HOIBERG Local Author Talks About Her Latest Novel

WEDDING STYLE

From the Bridal Bouquet To the Royal Details Bridal Looks Trending Now

PASSION FOR POLITICS Garry Grasso Mickey Straub


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PUBLISHER’S LETTER

Scott Jonlich FOUNDER & PUBLISHER

sjonlich@hinsdale60521.com

Local author Andrea Thome graces our February cover in an exclusive interview with Rosie Conway. Andrea is publishing her third novel, House of Belonging, in early June. The local novelist resides in Burr Ridge with her husband Jim and their children. Her new book follows up to her two previous books, Walland and Seeds of Intention, and you can buy them online and in bookstores. When not writing, Andrea is active in local charities, and has donated money from her book signings to several non-profit organizations. Andrea will also be volunteering with Hinsdale Junior Woman’s Club (HJWC) as a co-chairperson for the committee “The Art Of,” as she is an avid photographer and writer. Hinsdale Magazine looks forward to covering more of her work alongside the many other people and organizations in our community.

mission. If you would like to support this effort as a sponsor or volunteer, please reach out to Pam or the school to learn more. One of the year’s biggest events is about to get bigger with the HJWC’s annual benefit “Samba to Stop Hunger.” The Feb. 24 event will be held at Carnivale restaurant from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. in Chicago’s West Loop, and everyone in the community is invited to attend. Tickets are available online at https://hjwc.ejoinme.org/Benefit2018. Tickets are $150 per person, and the HJWC is hoping to pack the house with up to 1,000 guests, which would be a record gathering for a great cause. Preferred rates for overnight stays are available at the Peninsula Chicago and the JW Marriott Hotel. The HJWC wants to remind everyone that you don’t have to be a club member to join in on the fun. It’s an opportunity for anyone to WEDDING attend, and give back to the community STYLE From the Bridal Bouquet To the Royal Details by supporting HCS Family Services. Bridal Looks Trending Now

SERVING HINSDALE, BURR RIDGE, CLARENDON HILLS & OAK BROOK

HINSDALE’S FIRST MAGAZINE $5 US VOLUME 8 ISSUE 2

Burr Ridge residents Garry Grasso and Mickey Straub are stepping up in an attempt to help Illinois. Straub, the current Burr Ridge mayor, is running to represent the 82nd District of the Illinois House of Representatives, and Grasso, who preceded Straub as mayor, is seeking the office of Illinois Attorney-General, along with a field of contenders with Lisa Madigan exiting. Hinsdale Magazine spoke with both men, with Mike Ellis reporting.

FRED Andrea Thome HOIBERG Local Author Talks About Her Latest Novel

Pam Kalafut retired from teaching at Hinsdale Central more than four years ago when we featured her career work with students. In this issue, we revisit with her, and find that she is still involved with students at Central. You will read on p.44 about the LEAP into Africa club. The club is supported by student fundraising efforts throughout the year, making trips to Africa possible, and furthering LEAP’s organizational

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FEBRUARY 2018

Finally, Hinsdale Magazine invites local businesses and organizations to advertise in a special four-month series in March, April, May and June: Home Design, Outdoor Luxury, Women’s Issue and Men’s Issue. The HM staff will feature a spring lineup of promotional pages and local content of people, places and events you have come to enjoy over the past seven years. Also, let our advertisers know you appreciate their support, as the stories we publish on local non-profits and personalities are 100% funded by the small business owners in our communities. PASSION FOR POLITICS Garry Grasso Mickey Straub

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CONTENTS | February 2018 8

PUBLISHER LETTER

28 ON THE COVER

Andrea Thome Local romance author Photography by Nicee Martin

46 COMMUNITY SCENE

Hinsdale Hospital Foundation Howl It Up Children’s Home + Aid Sherry Party

35 16 LEADING OFF

54th annual Hinsdale Assembly Ball

18 TO DO LIST

February calendar of events

24 ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN

Making an entrance

35 WEDDING STYLE

Royal wedding

44 GIVING BACK

The leap movement

54 SPOTLIGHT

Passion for politics

64 PEAK PERFORMANCE

28

by Jim Fannin Success is Getting Up One More Time

FOR THE LATEST NEWS, HAPPENINGS AND PHOTOS, VISIT HINSDALE60521.COM 12

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JJ JULIE JONLICH I N T E R I O R S

RESIDENTIAL

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COMMERCIAL

FOUNDER & PUBLISHER Scott Jonlich sjonlich@hinsdale60521.com CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Mike Ellis mike@hinsdale60521.com CREATIVE DEPARTMENT Cheryl Chrzanowski Julia Sinogeikina CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Rosie Conway Julie Jonlich Kerrie Kennedy Madeleine Miller COLUMNISTS Jim Fannin Dan Meyer FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHERS Daniel Garcia Kyle Hampson Nicee Martin Marco Nunez Marcello Rodarte ADVERTISING SALES Larry Atseff Gino Cosentino Renee Lawrence Advertise@Hinsdale60521.com Hinsdale Magazine, Inc. 3 Grant Square, #201 Hinsdale, IL 60521 630-655-3400 Hinsdale60521.com

Serving Hinsdale, Burr Ridge, Clarendon Hills and Oak Brook.

1333 BURR RIDGE PARKWAY 2ND FLOOR BURR RIDGE IL WWW.JULIEJONLICH.COM 630 915 9360

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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. Hinsdale Magazine, Inc. 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 Hinsdale Magazine, Inc. Comments are welcome, but they should be on-topic and well-expressed. Copyright ©2018 Hinsdale Magazine, Inc. All rights reserved.


Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. Š 2011, 2013, 2016 Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC. All rights reserved.


LEADING OFF

The 2017 Hinsdale Assembly Debutantes and Honor Guard enjoy their night at the ball.

54TH ANNUAL HINSDALE ASSEMBLY BALL

More than 500 guests enjoyed a magical evening on Dec. 23, when 23 debutantes and 28 honor guard members were presented at the 54th annual Hinsdale Assembly Ball. The ball is the culmination of a busy year for the young men and women, who have learned about the importance of philanthropy and community service through a variety of volunteer service experiences. Later this month, the assembly will complete a $1 million Photography by Daniel Garcia donation to the cancer institute, thanks to the generosity of debutante and honor guard families, community members and local businesses.

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TO•DO•LIST

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2018

Displayed annually at the Museum of Science and Industry since 1970, the Juried Art Exhibition is the longest-running gallery of AfricanAmerican art. For the seventh year, a youth category will offer opportunities for high-school students to have their work displayed in the exhibition.

2/9-10

Ice Festival

Unique ice sculptures line the streets of downtown Downers Grove, while visitors enjoy an array of events. Live icecarving demonstrations will be held at a variety of locations throughout the downtown area. Event times will vary depending on the activities. downtowndg.org

2/10

Band Together

Rock out to The Millennials and local favorite Infinity. Proceeds directly benefit the Willowbrook Corner Youth Learning Program, an outreach program of The Community House. thecommunityhouse.org

2/10-11

Travel & Adventure Show

Features more than 1,200 travel experts from the world’s top destinations, tours and suppliers to help travel

enthusiasts find, plan and book their dream vacation. travelshows.com/shows/chicago

2/10-19

Chicago Auto Show

From the hottest designs to the latest technologies, experience what’s next in the auto industry. chicagoautoshow.com

2/13

Swingin’ Sweethearts

Bring your special Valentine to our sweetheart music and dance kid rock party. Enjoy musical activities incorporating Valentine’s Day, hearts, friendship, chocolate candy, flowers and more. cantigny.org

2/17

Valentine’s Murder Mystery

Our murder mystery dinner is sure to liven up your night out. mysteryltd.com

through 2/21

Juried Art Exhibition

The Black Creativity Juried Art Exhibition features more than 100 dynamic works—including paintings, sculpture and mixedmedia—from African-American artists across the country. msichicago.org

2/24

Samba to Stop Hunger

The Hinsdale Junior Woman’s Club’s 2018 benefit, “Samba to Stop Hunger,” promises to be an incredible event with music by one of Chicago’s most coveted entertainers. Guests will also revel in entertainment by aerialists, fire breathers and a casino, where players will have an opportunity to win raffle items. www.hjwc.us

2/24

Extreme Ice

Through dramatic images and time-lapse video, Extreme Ice captures the pace of the world’s

glaciers melting—and the immediacy of climate change. The event is free with museum admission. msichicago.org

2/24

Polar Adventure Days

Explore Northerly Island and come face-to-face with live animals, engage in winter activities, and create natureinspired crafts. Events take place both outdoors and inside of the visitor center. www.chicagoparkdistrict.com

3/3

Polar Plunge

The Polar Plunge is a unique opportunity to support Special Olympics athletes by taking a leap into the frigid waters of Oak Brook Bath & Tennis Club. Participants must raise $100 in donations from friends, family and co-workers in exchange for jumping into the icy waters. www.plungeillinois.com

Hinsdale Magazine’s event calendar is provided as a service to the Hinsdale area community. Hinsdale Magazine does not endorse or certify any of the community events listed herein or the accuracy of the listing of said events including dates. Please confirm dates and times with other sources. The information contained in this section is a simple listing of events happening around the area that the staff believes may be of interest to the general community.

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There are many challenges facing boomer retirees, including Unavoidable Systematic Risks longevity, inflation and market risk, taxes and unforeseen Systematic risks affect everyone in the overall market. These There are just many challenges boomer retirees, including Systematic Risks expenses, to name a few.facing Everyone is susceptible to these Unavoidable are unavoidable, and you must plan to hedge against these longevity, inflation and market risk, taxes and unforeseen Systematic risks affect everyone in theinoverall market. These risks, but there are ways to avoid some or all of these risks that risks. The risk of inflation goes hand hand with longevity. There are just many challenges facing boomer retirees, including expenses, to name a few. Everyone is susceptible to these Unavoidable Systematic Risks are unavoidable, and you must plan to hedge against these may arise in retirement. As retirees are living longer, retirement As we know, the longer one lives, the more purchasing power longevity, inflation andtomarket risk, ortaxes and unforeseen risks, but there are ways avoid some all of these risks that Systematic risks affect everyone in the overall market. These risks. The risk of inflation goes hand in hand with longevity. planning is becoming somewhat daunting to think about. they (potentially) lose as inflation increases. Not only does expenses, just to name aAsfew. Everyone is susceptible to these As we may arisewhat in retirement. retirees are living unavoidable, and you must to hedge against power these know, thethe longer lives,plan the more purchasing Funding is now a 30-year retirement forlonger, many retirement seems like are this mean that cost one of goods in the future increase, but risks, but there are ways somewhat to avoid some or all oftothese risks that risks. planning is becoming daunting think about. 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On a different note, (domestically andas internationally) are possible theextra greatest years challenges for retirement planning, dueyourself to the income planning, retirement planning can and should be seamless. for adependents man was 64, toGiven 84 years old in 2018.is That is solutions tofunds and in compared retirement. this, the inflation. stock market, diversifying hedgeinto against With accurate goals your and unpredictability and underestimation of life longevity expectancy. one of allocating an 20 years of income that is needed to sustain theextra greatest challenges for retirement planning, dueyourself to the portfolio (domestically and can internationally) are possible planning, retirement planning and should be seamless. and dependents and in retirement. Given of this, is one of solutions to hedge against inflation. With accurate goals and unpredictability underestimation life longevity expectancy. the greatest challenges for retirement planning, due to the planning, planning and should be seamless. If you have questions regarding your current retirement plan, or need retirement assistance in creatingcan a wholistic financial plan, unpredictability and underestimation of life expectancy. please contact our office for a COMPLIMENTARY CONSULTATION. If you have questions regarding your current retirement plan, or need assistance in creating a wholistic financial plan, please contact our office for a COMPLIMENTARY CONSULTATION. If you have questions regarding your current retirement plan, or need assistance in creating a wholistic financial plan, please contact our office for a COMPLIMENTARY CONSULTATION. ONE PARKVIEW PLAZA, SUITE 117 | OAKBROOK TERRACE, IL | 708-481-4000 | WWW.WPN360.COM This article is not intended to provide any specific tax, legal,| orOAKBROOK financial planning advice, andILis meant solely for informational purposes only. If you would like more ONE PARKVIEW PLAZA, SUITE 117 TERRACE, | 708-481-4000 | WWW.WPN360.COM information, please contact Wealth Planning Network to speak with an advisor directly at 708-481-4000. This article is not intended to provide any specific tax, legal, or financial planning advice, and is meant solely for informational purposes only. If you would like more ONE contact PARKVIEW 117 | OAKBROOK IL | 708-481-4000 | WWW.WPN360.COM information, please WealthPLAZA, PlanningSUITE Network to speak with an advisorTERRACE, directly at 708-481-4000. This article is not intended to provide any specific tax, legal, or financial planning advice, and is meant solely for informational purposes only. 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Drilling? No Thanks!

A common finding amongst dentists is patients who come in for their post-orthodontic cleaning with prominent “white spots” around the previous area of their brackets. These patients will spend 2+ years in braces only to find that when the braces are taken off, they now have white spots or stains on their teeth that can present an esthetic concern. While some patients are able to maintain good hygiene throughout their time spent in braces, many aren’t. In fact, these white spots are caused by enamel breakdown due to acid exposure from sugar sources and bacteria. Some other examples in which we see these white spots or stains on teeth is when the teeth have experienced trauma, have been affected by use of certain medications during time of the tooth development, or have dental fluorosis. Until now, the option that many dentists offered to their patients was to drill out the “stained” enamel on the tooth and restore the area with a tooth colored filling. This usually required a shot, the use of a drill, and removal of our precious tooth structure. Moving forward with our goal of minimally invasive dentistry, here at Hinsdale Dentistry we can offer a better solution that meets our patients’ desire for improved esthetics and our desire for conservative dentistry. This breakthrough technology we offer fills and reinforces the areas of “stained” enamel without drilling or anesthesia for greater patient comfort. Lesions treated take on the appearance of the surrounding healthy enamel. This provides a highly esthetic alternative all in one simple treatment. Before

After

911 N. Elm, Suite 230 | Hinsdale, IL | 630-323-4468 HinsdaleDentistry.com

How does this system work? We begin by isolating the “affected” teeth and polish them to ensure a clean surface. We then apply several coats of a conditioning gel and rinse off. After that, a “resin matrix” from Icon® is applied to the affected teeth and a final polish is given before we send you on your way with instant results. What can I expect during the procedure? Depending on the number of teeth being treated, the time in the dental chair is usually 30 minutes to an hour. You can expect no shot, no drilling and no sensitivity either during or after the procedure. Can this weaken or damage my tooth? This treatment works by filling in the “porosities” in your enamel surface, which in effect, will stabilize and can even strengthen the enamel. Since no drilling is done and the materials used are applied to the superficial layer of the tooth, the procedure is beneficial because tooth structure is preserved and the enamel surface can actually be strengthened. Am I a candidate for this treatment? At Hinsdale Dentistry, we offer a consultation appointment for your dentist to evaluate and discuss the options to see if this treatment is right for you. Some “stains” can be quite significant and, at times, may warrant a filling if the area is decayed. — BY DR. JON ASIMAKOPOULOS

Before

Peter T. Harnois, DDS Michael J. Kowalczyk, DDS Jon Asimakopoulos, DDS

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Hinsdale Magazine | Architecture & Design LET THERE BE LIGHT Create a flattering glow by bouncing light off the walls and ceiling with a modern take on the classic Georgian lantern, like this one by Thomas Pheasant. www.bakerfurniture.com

MAKING AN ENTRANCE SMART USE OF FORM AND FUNCTION MAKE FOR A GREAT FIRST IMPRESSION by Julie Jonlich IIDA DECK THE HALLS And the foyer, too, with the perfect neutral in a modern emulsion sheen that adds elegance, and works with both warm and cool color schemes, like Farrow and Ball’s skimming stone. www.farrow-ball.com

CHECK YOURSELF Position a large mirror just so to add dimension and light to even the smallest of spaces with this topaz mirror. www.bakerfurniture.com

PUT OUT THE PICASSO Nothing anchors a space more than a gorgeous piece of art. Layer your pieces, and place them in front of a mirror for an eclectic look.

BOX IT UP To keep it safe, while beautifully accessorizing, safely store items you can’t be without, such as keys and a smartphone, in a slick, wooden-lidded shiny black box. Shelby box, www.kravet.com

SAVE ON SPACE Save on space with a classically-shaped console table made of a durable material to resist dents and scuffs. Its simple shape also has room underneath to slide seating and storage, like this steel-base Desmond console from Bernhardt. www.bernhardt.com

STASH YOUR STUFF IN STYLE With a set of bamboo baskets that can beautifully hold the dog leash, mail, and everything else near the door. Hayden basket set, www.kravet.com

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TAKE COVER Take cover from bare floors. Whether your floor is stone or wood, nothing warms an entry (and feet) like a durable wool rug. Stick to medium-to-dark colors that nicely handle heavy traffic areas. Malini rug, www.kravet.com

HAVE A SEAT Select a bench with an upholstered seat for comfort in a forgiving dark upholstery or leather, and one with iron legs to keep maintenance and wearand-tear to a minimum. Grayson bench, www. bernhardtfurniture.com


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Hinsdale Magazine | Cover Story


W Paying it FORWARD Burr Ridge resident and author Andrea Thome’s new book House of Belonging will be released June 5. The book is the third and final installment of her award-winning Hesse Creek Series—but she’s not done writing just yet. By Rosie Conway | Photography by Nicee Martin

hen author Andrea Thome tweeted that her favorite book is Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd, little did she know that she was creating a total “fan-girl” moment. “Sue tweeted me back, and said, ‘Thank you so much,’ ” Thome said, “and I just lost it.” But now, Thome may be the author about whom everyone tweets. The former journalist and mother of two decided to take a chance on a dream that had been ruminating in her mind for a while. “I had the bug; I loved writing, but I went into broadcast journalism,” said Thome, who earned a full, four-year college scholarship simply by writing an essay on travel and tourism in Ohio. “But my mom was a poet, and I was always inspired by her as well.” When Thome’s son was in first grade, her mother passed away, prompting Thome into action. “That was a catalyst for me,” she said. “I thought to myself, ‘You better start writing.’ ” Because Thome’s husband traveled a lot for baseball, she was looking for something that allowed her to be an anchor at home for her family. “I knew I wanted to do something where I can still be home with the kids,” she said. “I also knew that writing is something I could take everywhere.” Thome, who loves the creativity involved in writing novels, said that when she first started writing, the words just poured out. Walland, her first novel, is a story between two unlikely lovers set in Blackberry Farm, Tenn., where Thome attended a photography workshop hosted by a close friend. “It was such a romantic place, and I thought it would be a great location for a story,” she said. “When I went back to the photography workshop the following year, I was already halfway through writing Walland.” Her second book, Seeds of Intention, picks up where Walland ends, yet the main character is different. “That happens with all three books,” Thome said. “A minor character in one book becomes the main character in the next.” And now, the anticipated third installment in the Hesse Creek Series entitled House of Belonging, is out June 5, much to the delight of fans everywhere. Notably, the covers for all three novels are photographs Thome took herself.

Andrea Thome and her husband, Jim.

HINSDALE MAGAZINE, INC. | Hinsdale60521.com

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Hinsdale Magazine | Cover Story “My first passion is photography—I want to be a photographer when I grow up,” she said. With each book, Thome donates monies acquired from book signings to communities in need. “Wherever I do the book signings,” she said, “I use that money to try to impact that specific community.” For Walland, Thome raised approximately $30,000 from book signings. With the help of local charities, Thome visited the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, and hosted a dinner for families in need. “I wanted to give the money directly to the people affected by the wildfires in Tennessee,” said Thome, who partnered with the East Tennessee Foundation and Mission of Love to distribute funds. “We joined together in Knoxville in February 2017. Most of the families were workers in a hotel that burned down in the wildfire. They also lost the homes they live in. We had our meeting in a church, so it was like a sanctuary for them. It was a real eye-opener for me.” For Seeds of Intention, Thome donated to the West

“Wherever I do the book-signings, I use that money to try to impact that specific community.” — Andrea Thome ABOVE: WALLAND, ANDREA THOME’S FIRST NOVEL; BELOW: SEEDS OF INTENTION, SECOND INSTALLMENT IN THE HESSE CREEK SERIES

Suburban Community Pantry in Woodridge, as well as to Children’s Home + Aid, of which Thome is a board member. In terms of giving back locally, Thome recently joined the Hinsdale Junior Woman’s Club, for which she will be co-chairperson for a committee entitled “The Art Of,” focusing on highlighting and enhancing artistic endeavors throughout the community. “The keys are to give back to the community, connect with women in this area whom we want to support, and find ways to do that through the arts,” she said. Thome is already busy working on her next, yet untitled, series, which will take place in the Pacific Northwest. “I’m a mountain girl,” she said, “so I love setting my books in the mountains.” What surprises Thome most about her novels is that when she examines the overall themes of the three books, the message is the same: sometimes, our true families are those we create, versus those we are born into. “At this time in life, and with the passing of my mom, I’m really starting to see that we can cobble together our own family from friends we rely on,” she said. “I am so fortunate to still have my dad and brother, but my friends are my family too.” n

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Hinsdale Magazine | Wedding Style

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Royal

WEDDING Nothing influences brides quite like a royal wedding. Nearly seven years later, Kate Middleton’s bridal gown— ladylike with a dramatic train, deep v-neck and lace detailing—is still providing inspiration to brides around the world. Now, with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s nuptials approaching, royal wedding fever is in full swing again. From Markle’s gown to the wedding cake, everyone is playing the royal wedding guessing game. Local wedding planner Kristina Taheri of Kristina Taheri Special Events thinks Markle won’t be afraid to make a fashion statement with her wedding gown. “The bride has shown that she is not afraid to be bold in her clothing choices,” Taheri said. “Her beautifully sheer, but slightly controversial dress worn for her formal engagement photo shows this. It will probably be from a cutting-edge, yet well-established American or British designer such as Zac Posen, Tom Ford or Stella McCartney.” And as for Markle’s bridesmaids? “I’m betting her royal highness to-be will say ‘yes’ to the lovely tradition of her bridesmaids in all white.” BY KERRIE KENNEDY

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Hinsdale Magazine | Wedding Style

A royal wedding calls for a fairy-tale gown like this Rosa Clara Couture tulle ballgown with longsleeve bodice of sheer rose lace and V-back. $5,110 at Nordstrom in Oakbrook Center

This three-stone stunner allows windows of light to shine through from every angle, Tacori Dantela Engagement Ring, Bella Cosa Jewelers in Willowbrook.

A classic, yet simple white satin pump exudes elegance. Caucedo Bride, $795 at manoloblahnik.com

Make an entrance with a cascade-style bouquet of white roses, lilies and stephanotis blossoms. Phillips Flowers in Hinsdale

Word is that Harry’s and Meghan’s cake will be the first ever royal banana wedding cake (with cream cheese frosting, we hope). Get yours at Sweet Ali’s Gluten Free Bakery in Hinsdale.

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Hinsdale Magazine | Wedding Style

Christopher Designs Exclusive L’Amour cut diamond earrings add a touch of dropdead glamour. Price upon request, Merry Richards Jewelers in Oakbrook Terrace

No doubt the royal wedding menu will be fit for a queen—or a foodie princess. Menu cards, Ashley’s Custom Stationary in Hinsdale

A reception gown offers an opportunity to make a more casual and modern statement. Pale pink lace bustier gown by Watters, $1,095 at Nordstrom in Oakbrook Center Oribe’s Cote d’ Azur, one of Meghan Markle’s longtime favorite perfumes, embodies the glamour of the French Riviera.

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Hinsdale Magazine | Giving Back

Left: Jack Kengott enjoys his time at the Langston Nursery School (2013); top right: John Simon at Kalkfontaine Township, South Africa (2007); bottom right: Hinsdale Central High School LEAP club with South African LEAP students at the Cape of Good Hope (2013 trip).

The LEAP Movement

LEAP into Africa club at Hinsdale Central High School has raised more than $60,000 to fund a private school curriculum in South Africa By Mike Ellis | Photos courtesy of Pam Kalafut

W

hen embarking on a journey in uncharted waters, there is always a degree of uncertainty in the path one will take to approach the desired destination. Since 2007, LEAP into Africa has been an extracurricular club offering at Hinsdale Central, with students fundraising for and working collaboratively with the Langa Education Assistance Program (LEAP) in South Africa. Today, the club is carrying on its original mission, while also serving as a conduit for student-teachers from South Africa to acquire valuable teaching experience and exposure in District 86. Pam Kalafut, who retired from her career as an art teacher and activities director at Central in 2013, said three students introduced the concept in 2006, when Bono and Bobby Shriver launched the (RED) program to combat AIDS. Kalafut said while the students’ effort to venture to Africa

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through the (RED) program was unsuccessful, they instead began working with the LEAP initiative, which had been founded by John Gilmour, a South African teacher, two years earlier. LEAP seeks to provide educational opportunities for underprivileged youth commensurate with a private school curriculum in South Africa. Focusing particularly on the social and emotional aspects of learning, the program attempts to confront and remove obstacles for children, many of whom have grown up in trying, inhospitable environments. In the summer of 2007, the three students took a trip to South Africa, along with a group of faculty and community members. “We really were impressed and taken by what we saw,” Kalafut said. ... “We came back, and the kids were invested and started a club called the LEAP into Africa club.”


Over time, Kalafut said the club’s membership has swelled to as great as 50 students, and currently resides around 25. In the past decade, the club has made three trips to Cape Town, South Africa, and will be making its fourth trip this summer. “We know that students vote with their feet,” Kalafut said. “If a club is to survive, it’s based on student interest—and there’s still a great interest in this club.” At the school, the club is known for its creative and occasionally unusual student fundraising initiatives, which have ranged from selling bacon and “jamba juice” at the school, to melting Jolly Ranchers. “They do something once a month,” Kalafut said. “It’s all very creative and clever things that they do to fundraise, and all the money goes to the LEAP school.” Kalafut said the club also stages a dance for sixth-grade students from feeder schools each year, and conducts an annual brunch in the springtime, having raised more than $60,000 since its inception. But in recent years, the club has also been instrumental in forging a partnership between a local family foundation and the LEAP initiative. “We just wanted to fundraise, and help the schools in Africa, and visit and host them to come visit us,” Kalafut said. The Casten Family Foundation, which Tom and Judy Casten of Hinsdale started in New York in 2000, has a longstanding relationship with the Fulbright scholar program, which provides opportunities for students and teachers internationally. Judy Casten said after meeting Gilmour, they felt getting involved with LEAP was a “natural” fit for their foundation. “The LEAP program fits nicely into our foundation’s objective, which is to encourage international travel,” she said, “because our sense is that diplomacy is pretty much face-to-face; and you can’t just have a one-way exchange. You can’t just send American teachers abroad to learn in South Africa; you have to, at the same time or shortly thereafter or shortly before, find South African teachers or teachers from anywhere else in the world.” Kalafut said through the Casten Family Foundation, LEAP has brought two years’ worth of student-teachers from South Africa to the United States, where they have been placed in local households and hosted by families for five to six weeks, while shadowing or teaching with teachers at Hinsdale Central and Hinsdale South. Additionally, she said the student-teachers have participated in community events, and have “enriched our lives and our experience.” Casten said having local families function as hosts for the student-teachers, who range from roughly 21 to 29 years of age, makes the program “more affordable, but it also makes the program bigger than one club in one school,” adding that she would like to see it expand to surrounding suburbs like Western Springs, La Grange and Downers Grove as well. Student-teachers have gleaned knowledge from their brief exposure to local schools, with Casten saying one was introduced to the novel concept of leisurely reading at Hinsdale Central, which the teacher conveyed she had never observed in her home country. Accordingly, that experience supplied the incentive for that instructor to assemble a library for students back in South Africa. According to Casten, the objective is for the student-teachers to acquire valuable experience from the District 86 schools for them to employ to their advantage at home in South Africa. “Our goal is certainly not that we can teach the South Africans how they should be teaching in South Africa.” n For more information about the Langa Educational Assistance Program, visit www.leapschool.org.za.

Hinsdale Central students, why are you involved in LEAP club? “My friends Amber and Jessica were involved [their] freshman year, and they always talked about how fun the club is, and how amazing a difference it made. I decided to join my sophomore year. I am so glad I joined, and LEAP has become a big part of my life.” -Clara Fellows

“I am involved in LEAP, because I enjoy having the ability to help people outside of the country. Also, my brothers were involved, and I want to have as much if not more of an impact than they did. It is also a great way to meet new people and make new friends. Lastly, I feel like it shows maturity, because we aren’t just thinking about ourselves or our school, [but] we are benefiting people across the globe.” -Paige McMahon

“My brother Evan got me involved at the beginning of sophomore year, but since then, the fundraising events and fun environment have kept me coming back.” -Matt Ostrowski

“I am involved in LEAP, because I believe in giving back, because I have been so blessed. LEAP club dramatically alters the lives of children by funding their education—which is something I’m proud to be a part of.” -Gabrielle Sullivan

“I am in LEAP club, because I heard about it from a friend. When she told me about the cause, I thought it was very important, and I wanted to be involved. This is an important cause, and I’m happy to be involved.” -Sophia Elbrecht


Hinsdale Magazine | Community Scene

Hinsdale Hospital Foundation HOWL IT UP

Photography by Marcello Rodarte Hinsdale Hospital Foundation’s Howl It Up 2017 brought an evening of dueling pianos, dancing and celebration for 250 guests raising funds for the AMITA Health Cancer Institute – Hinsdale’s programs. Howl at the Moon generously supplied the entertainment, while Continental AutoSports Ferrari and Maserati in Hinsdale provided the sophisticated venue. Fittingly, the November evening’s stunning backdrop was the beneficiary itself—the cancer institute—, visible through the showroom windows and decked in pink lights honoring cancer patients everywhere.

Abby Clark, Emily Szymski, Jeremy Davidoff, Tina Davidoff, Meredith McBride and Christie Duffy

Pat Quast, Susan Freil-Barrett, Dr. Brian Harting, Dr. Rekha Harting and Dr. Jay Dalal

Roxanne Simons, Briana Brandt Murray and Tracy Allegra

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Brian Sweeney


Howl at the Moon performer

Colleen Laporte, Linda Renzi and Meghan Sweeney

Sheila Burns and Jackie Sweeney

Patty McKay, Dolly Trager and Claudia Krueger

Sarah Pinter and Tom Skalos

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Get inspiration from the pages of Hinsdale Magazine. Find it on stands and online.

E X P LO R E T H E D I G I TA L E D I T I O N A N D S U B C R I B E AT H I N S DA L E 6 0 5 2 1 . C O M

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Our Lady of Peace School is a thriving and diverse Catholic school in Darien, Illinois serving Preschool through Grade 8. Our school community is comprised of experienced and caring educators and pastoral staff, engaged families and bright children who value a high-quality education rooted in faith. We offer a comprehensive and challenging curriculum to help our students develop strong foundations in reading, math, science, technology, arts and culture that will prepare them for high school and the path beyond.

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Hinsdale Magazine | Community Scene

Children’s Home + Aid Sherry Party Photography by Mike Ellis Dozens of local ladies attended the annual Sherry Party, benefiting Children’s Home + Aid (CH +A), at Blue Mercury on Dec. 7. This year, the event shifted from its customary venue, The Green Goddess Boutique, which is currently undergoing refurbishment. Organized by the Hinsdale auxiliary of CH + A, the Sherry Party is an annual Christmastime tradition through which funds are raised for the non-profit organization, which serves about 40,000 children and families across Illinois. Each guest is required to bring a gift as a donation to CH + A, and the auxiliary generally receives requests for older children, as it is common for donors to submit gifts geared towards younger children. The name of the party is traceable to its roots at members’ homes, where sherry would be served. At Blue Mercury, this tradition was revived, as attendees had the chance to sample from any of five varieties of sherry.

Alyssa Guido, Nellie McCarthy and Shari Cornies

Elyce Rembos and Eydie Jarosz

For more information about Children’s Home + Aid, visit www.childrenshomeandaid.org.

Kristen Meyers, Jody Tate and Jennifer Virant

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Sarah Mitchell and Meghan Gauen


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Hinsdale Magazine | Spotlight

Gary Grasso of Burr Ridge is seeking the office of Illinois Attorney-General

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passion FOR POLITICS

Two Burr Ridge residents and public servants pursue state-level offices BY MIKE ELLIS | PHOTOGRAPHY BY DANIEL GARCIA

G A RY GRA SSO

After serving two terms as mayor of Burr Ridge and more than five years on the DuPage County board, Gary Grasso of Burr Ridge is now seeking the higher office of Illinois Attorney-General. For the first time since becoming the state’s top lawyer in 2003, Lisa Madigan has opted not to seek reelection, thus opening the office to a field of new aspirants. A graduate of Georgetown University and the Fordham University School of Law in New York, Grasso was the first person in his extended family to earn a college education. “My father had no education; he could hardly read and write,” he said. “My mom had a good education for a woman back in her generation. But I was able to go to college; I was the first one in my family to do that.” When Grasso and his wife Janet lived in Western Springs prior to moving to Burr Ridge in 1995, he received his initiation to public service as a trustee on the Thomas Ford Memorial Library board and as a member of the parish council and school board at St. John of the Cross Parish. In 2005, Grasso was elected mayor of Burr Ridge, and went on to serve one full term and the vast majority of a second in that capacity, before resigning the office in 2012 to take his seat on the DuPage County board. During his tenure, Grasso pointed to the construction of the Burr Ridge Village Center and a new police station in the midst of the “worst economic times anybody can ever remember” as among the village’s noteworthy accomplishments. In Burr Ridge, like many other municipalities, the mayor or village president does not cast a vote on a resolution, save in the event of a tie vote. When ascending to the mayoral

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Hinsdale Magazine | Spotlight chair, Grasso said he set a goal to vote as little as possible on important matters, instead working to build “consensus” on the board. “Two words have been missing in Illinois politics for a long time: one is consensus and the other is compromise,” he said. “And that’s how you run an efficient staff; not everybody gets their way. You can’t run an organization like that or a village or a county by thinking that it’s either ‘my way or the highway.’” Since 2014, as a DuPage County board member representing District 3, Grasso served as the chairman of the Emergency Telephone Systems Board (ETSB), which he said is the largest board of its kind in Illinois. “We’re completing the process of consolidating 22 [9-11] call-centers down to three, and opening two brand-new call-centers,” he said. ... “They’ll be state-of-the-art, and we’re saving the taxpayers probably $7 to $8 million a year now in efficiencies.” Grasso said he suggested the county repurpose the youth center on the Wheaton College campus that was vacant to house DU-COMM, one of the two largest 9-1-1 call-centers. “I’m very proud of that,” he said of his role on the ETSB. “That was my hardest decision in running for attorney-general in that I probably would be giving up the chairmanship of the 9-1-1 board.” The patriarch of a family of six grown children and two grandchildren, Grasso said his progeny inspired him to vie for attorney-general. “That’s why I’m running for attorney-general is the legacy of my family to be here, and to help the people of Illinois,” he said. “We are in very, very dire times—rampant political corruption that’s almost accepted; it cannot be accepted.” In the Republican primary, Grasso’s opponent is Erika Harold, winner of the 2003 Miss America pageant, as well as a graduate of Harvard Law School. Unlike Grasso, however, Harold has never previously held elected office, losing her Republican primary bid to represent the 13th District of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana-Decatur vicinity) in the United States Congress in 2014. For Grasso, who is in his 40th year of practicing law, and has more than a decade of public service under his belt at the village and county levels, he believes the difference between the two candidates is experience. “I think when the voters look at my candidacy, I don’t think they’ll find another candidate with my combination of litigation experience, public service experience and results on both sides,” he said. When asked about Harold’s credentials as a litigator, Grasso said, “not only hasn’t she practiced extensively at all, she has limited litigation background from what we have been able to discern.” “I have great respect for her, and I’m sure someday she’ll be a leading attorney, but it’s quite a stretch for someone with her background to seek the attorney-general’s office,” he said. The Democratic field of candidates, however, is far deeper and filled with more seasoned public officials, including former Gov. Pat Quinn.

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Grasso said he views the office in a threefold manner: advocating for the people; suggesting legislation to the state legislature with the objective of benefiting the people; and litigating on behalf of the people. As attorney-general, Grasso said one issue he hopes to tackle is the opioid crisis, with which he is already acquainted, having previously served on the Robert Crown Center board. “I’m going to be very active as an attorney-general in that,” he said. “I believe the attorney-general should already have been in that litigation.” Grasso also vows to make a stand against financial predation, seeking the maximum penalties for financial criminals that prey on senior citizens. “I’m going to be a champion of the elderly on financial predators,” he said. “I think that’s becoming more and more of a concern, and you have situations where people who have worked their lives, and are living on the money and the assets that they have built, are being preyed upon by very unscrupulous people; and I intend to come down very hard, and ask the legislature for maximum penalties for these types of people. To me, they can do more harm to people than some of the violent crimes.” Touching briefly on the public pension and property tax issues plaguing Illinois, Grasso said he would like to explore calling a constitutional convention as a possible solution. The state, celebrating its bicentennial in December, previously held constitutional conventions around its 50th, 100th and 150th anniversaries. “Maybe it’s time to look at things like term-limits, redistricting and some other concepts that make Illinois less competitive than our neighboring states,” Grasso said. Unlike the United States Attorney-General, who is appointed to serve the President under the executive branch, in Illinois, the attorney-general’s is a separate constitutional office, meaning that rather than reporting to the governor, he or she reports directly to the people. “I report to the people—that’s it,” Grasso said. ... “I intend to be an active attorney-general, no matter who’s in the governor’s mansion.”

MIC KEY S T RAUB

Longtime HM readers might remember Mickey Straub, who has served as mayor of Burr Ridge since 2013, for his unique cross-country road-trip to visit 50 state capitols in 50 days. Now Straub is making headlines for embracing a different challenge, as he vies for the Republican nomination against Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, in the 82nd District of the Illinois House of Representatives. “I’ve wanted to run for Congress since I was about 12,” said Straub, a native of Pennsylvania. “We had a congressman in Pennsylvania that was hugely popular, and he helped out providing some things.” Straub described being mesmerized by his trip to Washington, D.C. that he made during his childhood.


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Hinsdale Magazine | Spotlight

Mickey Straub

“I remember going there as a 12-year-old kid, and just was so enamored with Washington, D.C., Georgetown and congressmen in particular,” he said. Prior to running for mayor in Burr Ridge, Straub said his political experience was confined to seeking the presidency of his college senior class. “I’ve always had an interest in politics,” he said, “but it was dormant really until Ronald Reagan ran [in] 1980.” At that time, Straub was working for the Department of Defense, and said he “watched the transformation of America from within.” “Even though I was never a declared Democrat before that, I grew up in a Democratic area,” he said. ... “We grew up thinking we were Democrats, but when Ronald Reagan became President, I became a Republican, and have never looked back.” Straub’s interest in politics was reignited during the 2008 election, when he observed that in the midst of a declining economy and unpopular presidential administration, “the

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[Republican] brand was so bad, people wouldn’t even admit they’re Republicans.” “I thought, ‘I’m proud to be a Republican, so let’s find out who else is,’ ” he said. Accordingly, Straub launched an LLC called Proud to Be a Republican, and in a manner similar to his future 50 capitols trip, drove an orange Dodge Challenger around 22 cities in Illinois, videotaping and interviewing people he encountered. “What I found is, they weren’t proud to be a Republican necessarily—they were proud to be an American,” he said. “Because what they were talking about—limiting government, lower taxes, free enterprise, free market, love of God and country, socially conservative values—a lot of our Founding Fathers shared.” Straub’s next foray into politics would be his current one, running to succeed Gary Grasso as mayor of Burr Ridge in 2013. “Though I was always more conservative than he was, we saw eye to eye on most Republican principles, and we both


Hinsdale Magazine | Spotlight loved Burr Ridge,” he said. our religious liberty,” Straub said. “Those are fundamental When Grasso was elected to the DuPage County board things that I would like to reverse and emphasize. We want to in 2012, he resigned his post as mayor, but conveyed his shrink government; we want to lower our taxes; and we want apprehension to Straub about the future of the County Line to protect our religious liberty.” Road bridge project, which at that time was still in jeopardy. Straub’s platform is essentially as follows: he is in favor of “He said, ‘Mickey, I’m really concerned about the bridge term-limits for state officials, believes substantial reforms to not getting built,’ ” Straub said. “ ‘I know you’ve always the tax and pension systems are necessary statewide, and is thought about running for office. Burr Ridge is a great town to pro-life. be mayor of; you may want to consider it.’ ” “We have too many people in Springfield that feel like Contemplating his decision for ten days, Straub ultimately they’re entitled, and they’ve figured out a way to make politics determined to pursue the office, and said it felt to him like a a money machine for them,” he said. “calling.” Straub said he envisions a ten- or 12-year limit to office “I think the [Burr Ridge] Village holding in Illinois. Center was limping along, and every “I like Jim [Durkin], but he’s village needs something to need it stand gotten sucked into the system,” he said. out,” he said, adding that he wanted “I think he’s been tempted with power the bridge to be built, because “from a and money. It’s nice to have that title business standpoint, I knew that would and be the House minority leader, but help put Burr Ridge on the map.” a title doesn’t define you; I think your Running against former trustee Bob principles define you.” Sodikoff and fellow businessman John Straub said he believes Illinois Bittner, Straub received a foretaste of House Speaker Michael Madigan’s the campaign experience he is currently agenda can only be successfully involved in. opposed by electing “true conservative “I should have known when I was Republicans.” running the first time just how bad it can “I believe that if we can get truly get,” he said. “Stories were being made principle-centered Republicans elected, up about me. I had a woman actually we can help turn around this state,” he —MICKEY STRAUB drive across my sign on my property, who said. happened to be related to somebody who Straub, whose office is filled with was formerly involved in the village. ... It Abraham Lincoln memorabilia and a selfwas already predestined who was going described “huge aficionado” of Lincoln to win, and they felt entitled—and I’m feeling the same thing himself, said his objective is to “help bring Lincoln back to today.” Springfield” by instilling four core values: After winning the election handily, Straub’s welcome to the • Belief in God village wasn’t exactly a warm one. • Identifying the United States as a nation “conceived “The first night was more like a board beating rather than a in liberty” board meeting,” he said. “Right after I got sworn in, I got sworn • Unifying the state behind Republican principles at by two residents who claimed that I should not have been • Bringing everyone “together” elected, accusing me of all kinds of things that were untrue.” “I want to make Illinois a destination state again,” Straub said.

“We have too many people in Springfield that feel like they’re entitled, and they’ve figured out a way to make politics a money machine for them.”

Fighting the “machine”

Reelected in 2017, Straub is currently slated to serve as Burr Ridge mayor till May 2021. But last year, he decided to turn his attention in a different direction: Springfield. Straub said he was motivated to run by observing 15 Republicans cross party lines to vote with Democrats in raising state taxes, “including six or seven people on Durkin’s leadership team.” “The reason I’m running is, Illinois is on the wrong path, and the Republican Party has lost their way,” he said. Furthermore, he was agitated by Gov. Bruce Rauner’s declaring Illinois a “sanctuary state,” defying federal law. “He did three things that violated Republican principles: he expanded government, he increased our taxes and he violated

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“We have one of the greatest states in the country; we’re in one of the best locations in the country.” Thus far, Straub’s campaign against Durkin has been an uphill climb, featuring back-and-forth attacks through the mail and on television between the Illinois Republican Party on the one hand and the Liberty Principles PAC, which is backing Straub, on the other. When asked about any concerns he has about the Republican party supporting him if he wins the primary, Straub said, “I don’t want their support; I want the support of the residents.” “Unfortunately, the Republican Party is not what it used to be.” n


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Hinsdale Magazine | Peak Performance

Success is Getting Up One More Time Life can knock you down! Adversity can blindside even the most optimistic person. At some point in our lives, many of us will know what it feels like to suffer a major life, business or sports setback. For college head football coach Teddy Keaton, this challenge hit like a tidal wave. In one short, blunt phone call Teddy was told his college was ending his entire football program due to financial constraints. This meant Teddy was not only out of a job, but was forced to say goodbye to players he had recruited from around the country. They came because they believed in his vision. Now, he would be letting them down. “What can I possibly say to them?” he thought. Even worse, Teddy was going through a difficult divorce and quickly burning through his life savings. For an extremely optimistic and highly motivated coach, Teddy was knocked down. He had suddenly reached rock bottom. No job. No job prospects. Little to no cash. No family support system. These simultaneous challenges could rock anyone’s world. Teddy could have easily quit and given up on his goals and dreams. But Teddy is a true champion! Finally, after days of despair, he began to see himself successful. Of course, this is not easy when expectation and reality don’t match! This image of leading a college football program to unprecedented success tucked him in bed at night and woke him up in the morning. Time after time Teddy would frame how he opened and closed each day. Even though he had no job prospects, he envisioned football practice and heard the sounds of helmets and pads colliding. He could smell the fresh cut grass of the gridiron. He pictured the stands full of his team’s most ardent supporters, as they loudly cheered and encouraged both his offense and defense on every play. He saw championship trophies filling his faceless and nameless school’s trophy case. He perceived young, student/athlete men graduating with a four-year college degree and leaving with newfound confidence to embark on a successful life of simplicity, balance and abundance. Every time Teddy had a negative thought as in “I have no job” or “I’m short on cash,” each negative image was swiftly replaced by his new vision of success. Teddy became relentless in being extremely positive. Teddy had experienced what’s called a Zone Breaker or Attitude Breaker. One phone call of negative news had taken him to his lowest and darkest place. One negative message (that he had no control over) had buckled his knees and landed him in the

psychological basement of despair, worry, anxiety, and helplessness. Next, Coach Keaton surrounded himself with positive people. Months earlier he and I had met by coincidence in Dayton, Ohio where his team was playing and I was giving away my daughter’s hand in marriage. As I sat alone waiting on family, Coach Keaton’s team walked through the hotel lobby. This group of young men was confident, well dressed and above all else, well mannered. As I interacted with them, I knew they had a mentor and guide that had fostered this collective mindset. I was determined to find their coach, commend him and relay my observations. Coach Keaton and I immediately hit it off. I even volunteered to talk to his team the next morning, which I did. This began our coaching relationship. Months later, I was one of the first to learn of his plight after the fateful phone call that shut down his football program. Soon we began having regular calls that focused solely on his vision and dreams. Simultaneously, other positive people came into his life. Coincidence? Not hardly. In January of this year I received a call from Teddy Keaton and his positive demeanor was “off the charts.” Proudly he said, “Jim, I met the love of my life and just married her after six months of courtship. I am so blessed. She is so positive.” Days after he tied the marital knot, another blunt phone call arrived out of the blue. It stunned him as well. “Teddy Keaton, we would like you to be our head coach here at Allen University in Columbia, South Carolina. We have just approved a $1.4 million new football program and we want you to field our first team this fall.” With tears in his eyes he knew his repetitive visualizations and relentless commitment to his dream had just been answered. We will all encounter challenges. In fact, the more ambitious the goals in your life blueprint, the steeper the mountain you have to climb. There will be obstacles and possible setbacks. However, champions know that...“Success is getting up one more time from defeat.” What do you do when life knocks you down? Clear your mind. Avoid being a victim or a judge of your circumstance, condition or situation. Envision only what you want, as opposed to what you don’t want. Get up! Get up confident with your chin high and focus all your energy on your next positive move. Be in the Zone™

JIM FANNIN Columnist Don’t forget to pre-order Jim’s new book, The Blueprint: A Proven Plan For Successful Living now at amazon.com! It arrives in major bookstores on 2/27/18. Also, subscribe to the Jim Fannin Show (podcast) on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, and TuneIn Radio. Follow Jim Fannin on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. 64

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Hinsdale Magazine February 2018  
Hinsdale Magazine February 2018