Oak Brook Magazine May 2023

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OakBrookMagazine.com March/April Issue 2023 $5 US + ELMHURST HOSPITAL’S Dr. Kimberley Darey, President Leading by Example Taste of Oak Brook Oak Brook Polo ACE Hardware Home in Oak Brook Bandit, Oak Brook Police Dog
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Elmhurst, the city of exceptional amenities

In this issue, we elaborate on the many outstanding activities, institutions and leaders that make Elmhurst such a great place to live, work, and entertain.

Our first example is on our cover. Elmhurst is home to one of the best hospitals in the United States, Elmhurst Hospital. We had the opportunity to tour the hospital with new President Kimberley Darey. If you have been there, you know how special it is in the way they treat patients and their families. If you haven’t been, the story gives you a tour. When the hospital moved from the downtown area to its current location at Roosevelt Road and York Road, Elmhurst Hospital was planned and built to be one of the nation’s best.

Speaking of Elmhurst Hospital, we covered their recent Chef Fest, which raised $88,000 for the Elmhurst Memorial Hospital Foundation to continue exceptional levels of health care.

Another group involving Elmhurst residents is Bridge Communities and their annual Wine, Women, and Shoes event. These women annually raise funds to help 100+ families in DuPage County to transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency.

Since spring is here, thoughts turn to the outdoors, which means thinking of the Elmhurst Park District. We sat down with Jim Rogers, Executive Director of the agency that runs 29 parks covering 475 acres which are chock full of ways to enjoy the outdoors. It takes a 140-page brochure to tell you everything that is offered. Get outside and enjoy what the Park District has to offer. Dive into that information, have some fun, and get some exercise.

For good measure and more outdoor good times, we also put the spotlight on the Club Shot & Beer beer garden. As long-time resident and Elmhurst Magazine writer Dave Noble describes, this location between York and Addison in the Elmhurst City Centre has become a unique find worth checking out.

Naturally, when we think of spring and the outdoors in Elmhurst, our thoughts turn to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. In its 25th year, the parade on March 4 on Spring Road attracted a vast crowd, estimated at 25,000. It is now the second-largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the Chicago area. Check out our video of the parade at www.ElmhurstMagazine.com

Please read our Hello Spring listing of nearby activities for even more outdoor fun. Alternatively, consider the opening of Polo season in

nearby Oak Brook.

Another important tradition in Elmhurst is Signing Day for York High School student-athletes. That took place on April 12, and we captured the moment of the proud students, families, and friends.

If you want reading material and more, visit the Elmhurst Library. As Director Mary Beth Harper explained to our Elmhurst Magazine Contributing Writer, Chuck Fieldman, “It is one of the last places people can come every day and not spend a dime. It’s truly a gathering place and has a million and one uses.” The article also explains the Makery where you can make things. Besides reading material, you will also want to check out the Library of Extraordinary Things, a collection of items to help patrons learn something new or accomplish something on their to-do list.

Elmhurst has a lot of Americana in its history. One of the most exciting times was the era from 1908 to 1940 when Chicago-based Sears, put out a catalog of kits for building entire homes, with everything you needed, down to the last bolt. Elmhurst Magazine Contributing Writer Maureen Callahan recounts this fascinating era involving several homes in Elmhurst that are still standing.

We like to put the spotlight on leaders in the community. Indeed, one of them is Police Chief Michael McLean. He has been with the department since 2000, and last year he became Chief.

We say goodbye to First Folio Theater in nearby Oak Brook after 26 years and 81 shows. It is a reminder that Elmhurst Centre For Performing Arts will be an essential addition to the future of the arts in the area.

In that regard, we captured the Gala at the River Forest Country Club on April 15. You will recognize many who attended and supported the ECPA!

May is the month for Mother’s Day, so we share a tribute to mothers from famed life coach Jim Fannin, called “Women in the Zone”. It is a free seminar on May 18 for the first 75 women who sign up. Elmhurst Magazine will be there to share the points with you in the July issue.

Enjoy this edition of Elmhurst Magazine and let us know how we’re doing.

ElmhurstMagazine.com | ELMHURST MAGAZINE 8
LETTER from THE PUBLISHER $5 US Elmhurst Park District Police Chief Michael McKenna Elmhurst Public Library ELMHURST HOSPITAL’S Dr. Kimberley Darey, President Leading by Example Home & Design: Sears Homes York HS College Signings A Beer Garden in Elmhurst’s City Centre










TO-DOS Hello Spring
TRIBUTE Final Curtain C all
SPOTLIGHT Taste of Oak Brook
SPORTS O ak Brook Polo
SPECIAL FEATURE O ak Brook’s Police Dog
COVER STORY Dr. Kimberley Darey
Fest: Elmhurst Memorial Hospital Foundation
GIVING BACK Wine, Women & Shoes
GIVING BACK Deco at the Drake Hotel
TRAVEL Exotic Summer Destinations
INSIDE 60521 M ary Doten
INSIDE 60523
Hardare: Home in O ak Brook
World’s Greatest Coach
WINE PAIRING The Perfect Pair
Cover photo by Victor Hilitski Dr. Kimberley Darey, President of Elmhurst Hospital
Design | Build | Customize Design Gallery & Showroom Open to the Public 1300 W. Ferry Road Naperville, IL 60563 Hours: M-F, 8a-5p & Sat 9a-4p Free Estimates (630) 579-6600 www.BuildReliable.com 2022 «««««««« Voted 8x Winner for Best Home Remodeler Home Additions | Elegant Kitchens | Luxury Bathrooms | In-law Suites | Basements | Outdoor Living


Scott Jonlich sjonlich@HinsdaleMag.com


Anne Healy anne@HinsdaleMag.com


Larry Atseff larry@HinsdaleMag.com


Maureen Callahan

Valerie Hardy

Julie Jonlich


Jennifer Frencl

Rachel Pavlovich


Adam Andrzejewski

Chuck Fieldman

Julie Janoski


Victor Hilitski

Greg Kozlick

Marcello Rodarte


Brian Ade

Gino Cosentino

Renee Lawrence

Cynthia Maquet

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Spring has sprung! Looking to get outside? Check out our list of activities to check out this spring and summer in the Western Suburbs.

Clarendon Hills

Farmers Market

Presented by the Clarendon Hills Chamber of Commerce │May 18 – October 26 at the Village Hall PlazaEvery Thursday from 7:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

The 2023 Clarendon Hills Chamber of Commerce Farmers Market features a variety of different vendors from the area. Buy fresh and buy local.

Summer Concert Series

Hinsdale Fine Arts Festival

Presented by the Hinsdale Chamber of Commerce

June 3 – June 4 at Burlington Park │ 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Located in the heart of historic downtown Hinsdale, the Hinsdale Fine Arts Festival has been a cherished tradition and is celebrating its 50th year. The show hosts 85-100 artists throughout the shady trees of Burlington Park.

Cosley Zoo Run for the Animals

Presented by Cosley Zoo

Superheroes in Wilder Park

Presented by the Elmhurst Art Museum │ May 6 - July 30 at Wilder Park

Recurring daily

The art installation of eight lifesized superhero sculptures by area artists and youth groups is discoverable throughout Wilder Park. The outdoor installation will be a bold preview of the Elmhurst Art Museum's summer exhibition Marvelocity, featuring the iconic work of comics legend Alex Ross beginning on May 28.

Presented by the Downers Grove Park District

May 23 - August 15 at Fishel Park

Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m. The free concerts on Tuesday evenings feature rock, country, blues, and oldies. Doors open, and food and beverage sales begin at 6:00 p.m.

Don't forget to bring your lawn chairs or blankets.

June 3 at Memorial Park in Wheaton │ The 5K/10K Race Start at 7:30 a.m.; the 1/2 Mile Kids Run Start at 8:45 a.m.

The Cosley Zoo Run for the Animals 5K/10K & Kids' 1/2 Mile is hosted by the Cosley Foundation to raise funds for the animals at Cosley Zoo as well as exhibit development projects, public programs, and conservation projects.

Cori's Kids Triathlon

Presented by the Oak Brook Park District

June 3 8:00 a.m. This friendly competition promotes exercise in a fun and energetic way. Kids will show off their skills and athleticism by participating in the three traditional triathlon events: swimming, biking, and running.

Andy Warhol:


A Life in Pop

Presented by the College of DuPage and the McAninch Arts Center

June 3 - September 10 at the Cleve Carney Museum of Art │ Recurring weekly Wednesday - Sunday

Opening this June, the exhibition will feature a presentation of over 200 original works by iconic American artist Andy Warhol as well as educational and interactive offerings, including a historical timeline, video archive installation, Silver Cloud Room, an interactive mural, children's area, Studio 54-themed concession area and more.

WGA Men's Western Junior Championship

Presented by the WGA Men's Western Junior

June 19 – June 22 at Midlothian Country Club Times vary

The Western Junior is the oldest national junior tournament in the United States. It draws the top junior players from more than 40 states worldwide each year. The event has long been a testing ground

for future stars, including current PGA TOUR standouts like Tiger and veterans like Fred Couples.

Dog Admission Day

The Morton Arboretum

June 25 │ 7:00 a.m.

Members and guests – and their furry friends - can explore the Arboretum on Dog Admission Day in June.

HINSDALE MAGAZINE | HinsdaleMag.com 17


First Folio Theater at Mayslake leaves audiences wanting more

Oak Brook’s First Folio Theater has dropped the curtain for the last time. The theater, located on the grounds of Mayslake Forest preserve- first as an outdoor venue, then later within the Peabody Mansion- went dark in February. After 81 shows over 26 seasons, which won 7 Jeff Awards, (a Chicago-area theater award) and received nominations for 40 moreFirst Folio is now a memory.

The theater was the vision of founding member David Rice’s late wife, Alison C. Vesley. They met on a production of Promises, Promises at a community theater in Lisle, 1979. Both had worked in professional theater since the early 80s. Vesley directed and acted full-time for several theater companies during the following decade while Rice taught drama and theater at Morris Community High School. “One day after school, she

told me she had an idea,” Rice relayed. “She had read about some locals who wanted to turn the estate at Mayslake into an arts center.”

Aware of the lack of non-musical professional theaters in the area, they decided to take a chance. That chance panned out into two and a half decades of their joint dream coming

OAK BROOK MAGAZINE | OakBrookMagazine.com 19 TRIBUTE
First Folio founders, David Rice and late wife Alison C. Vesley, outside Mayslake Guests await the start of Jeeves in Bloom in the estate’s transformed theater space

true. As Rice was still teaching fulltime, Vesley took the reins and began an aggressive fundraising campaign. “Alison had people meet her at Mayslake and showed them what she had in mind,” Rice said. “People saw her vision and were anxious to get involved.” It took hard work and dedication to get the project off the ground, but perseverance saw them through.

First Folio attracted top artistic talent. There was a core group of actors, directors, designers, and technicians who hung their proverbial hats here. As time went on, they developed a pool of talent from which to pull, depending on the production. Sometimes crew members brought ideas for shows to Vesley and Rice, which they were often able to put on wheels. “Every decision, from start to finish, was a collaboration between Alison and myself,” said Rice. “It was always a partnership.”

The theater’s eponym, First Folio, was the name of the initial collected edition of William Shakespeare’s plays. Fittingly, the playhouse started out hosting outdoor Shakespearian pro-

ductions, for which it came to be known. But there were many memorable shows. As the non-profit chugged along, more plays were incrementally added.

By 2004, the Peabody Mansion had been renovated enough to be opened to the public, with several spaces suitable to host theatrical productions. In

2006, First Folio hosted the inaugural production of The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe, written by Rice himself. Artistically and financially, it was the theater’s most successful show. It had six scenes, which were performed in five different rooms of the mansion. The audience walked from room to room between scenes and thereby got a short tour of the manor house.

Rice’s decision to retire and close the theater was multi-faceted. Vesley’s passing seven years ago forced him to take a careful look at things. Slowly,

he began to think about retirement. He pointed out that many “endeavors of the heart,” such as theaters or restaurants, that begin with a vision, tend to struggle when the founding artist, or chef, retires. After much discussion with the board, they concluded it would be difficult to keep the theater going without him. “So, we decided it would be best to close in a purposeful and mindful manner,” he said.

Rice hopes that another local, professional theater will open one day in the area. Other than Drury Lane for musicals, there aren’t many opportunities to attend professional theater in the western suburbs. “There are some great community theaters,” he said, “but there’s room for more of the arts in this area.”

Rice and his girlfriend plan to do some traveling in retirement. A playwright himself, he has several shows in various stages of development. He will also continue to audition at other theaters. “I’m hoping some show needs a good old character actor,” Rice said, smiling. “I’ll be around.” ■

OakBrookMagazine.com | OAK BROOK MAGAZINE 20
“As with many endeavors of the heart, I have seen theaters die an ignominious death after the founding artist leaves. So, we decided to close the theater in a mindful manner,”
The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe was the theater’s most successful show Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night -one of the theater’s iconic outdoor plays

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Village prepares for biggest annual event

Oak Brook Village Board member Michael Manzo has been a liaison to the village’s Taste of Oak Brook Committee since first being elected 12 years ago.And as village staff and officials prepare for another of Oak Brook’s largest annual event July 3, Manzo, who co-chairs the committee with fellow trustee Suresh Reddy, is more excited than ever. “First, we started meeting to plan earlier than we ever have before in the past,” he said. “That makes everything much more organized and allows for more good discussion so that we can have the best Taste of Oak Brook possible.”

Taste of Oak Brook was started in 2008 and has been held each year on the polo field, 700 Oak Brook Road, except for a three-year absence in

2019-2021. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in Taste of Oak Brook being canceled in 2020 and 2021, and in 2019, the event was canceled because heavy rains made the grounds unsuitable to hold it.

An estimated crowd of about 15,000 showed up a year ago when Taste of Oak Brook returned, and Manzo

believes the event has a bright future. “It needs to evolve and grow,” he said. “My goal for a while has been multiple days, and I think that’s something that very possibly could happen soon in the future. If not for COVID, I think it would have been a multiple day event by now. “I think the food vendors would love it because they’re already all set up for the one day. There’s also very little extra work that we’d have to do if we added a day because everything we do also would already be set up.”

Manzo said he believes that, at the very least, it’s worth giving Taste of Oak Brook a chance as a multiple-day event — likely July 3-4. “There’s really nothing to lose by trying it,” he said. “I think it will be very successful, but if it didn’t go particularly well, we could just go back to the one day event.”


While discussion about making Taste of Oak Brook a multiple-day happening will continue, the focus now is on preparing for the 2023 event. “I’m very excited that we’re bringing back live music this year, after only having a DJ last year,” Manzo said. “And the band we have booked has a very strong following, so we’ll probably get a lot new people coming out. That’s always a good thing for us because people are always so impressed with the big open space where we have Taste. They love the feeling of a great big picnic.”

The band schedule to perform July 3 is Sixteen Candles, which has been around since 2003 and performs an entire concert of popular 80s music. The live music, food vendors and activities, such as face painting, for kids, all are popular, but probably the highlight of each Taste of Oak Brook is the evening fireworks show. “I really like the fireworks show,” said Duff Rice of Duff Entertainment, an event company with which the village works for Taste. “I’ve been to a lot of fireworks shows all over, and this one for Taste of Oak Brook is longer and bigger than a lot of other shows.”

The crowd for the fireworks show includes not only those in attendance at the Taste, but also many people who set up lawn chairs along nearby York Road and 22nd

Street for a good view. “The fireworks show obviously is very popular and good draw, but Taste of Oak Brook is so much more than that,” Manzo said. “We get to show off what we have in Oak Brook, and I think there’s more we can do there, especially if we go to a multiple-day event.”

Manzo said a mul tiple-day Taste of Oak Brook could lend itself to having the village promote staycations, “where people could stay at one of our great hotels, eat at our wonderful restaurants and shop at our stores.” While that won’t be happening this year, one notable addition to the 2023 Taste is VIP tents. This will allow businesses and others, generally groups of 20 to 25 people, a private space on the Taste grounds at which they will be able to have food catered to their reserved area, Manzo said.

“There’s already been an interest expressed in something like that from businesses here,” he said. “I just think it’s very exciting that we

already have this wonderful event every year and also have the interest and excitement from village staff to take it to even a higher level.”

No outside alcoholic beverages will be allowed into Taste of Oak Brook. The onsite beverage tent will feature beer, wine, Sangria, water and soft drinks. On-site Parking will be available for a fee. The cost will be determined before the event takes place. Premium parking, available prior to the Taste, also will be available for online purchase, Details are being worked out.

Handicap parking will be available at the Oak Brook Golf Club, with courtesy carts available to shuttle attendees to and from the field on which Taste of Oak Brook is taking place. No open-grilling, sparklers or pets are permitted. A rain date, for fireworks only, is July 4. ■


The Oak Brook Polo Club

The 2023 Oak Brook Polo Club starts its 101st season on June 25. For those interested in Polo, perhaps for the first time, here are some basics to help understand and appreciate the game.


Six Chukkers (periods), seven minutes and thirty seconds each. The field is 300 yards long and 160 yards wide. On the end line at each end are goal posts, 24 feet apart. Points are scored by hitting the ball between the posts. Each time a goal is scored the teams change direction of play. It’s like hockey on horseback. It is legal to “hook” the hitter’s mallet. The game is very physical and can be dangerous. In between chukkers there is a four minute break for players to change ponies and get a drink. After three

chukkers there is a ten-minute “half time.” With time-outs for penalties and the like, a typical match lasts one and- a-half hours.


There are four players on the field for each team, wearing a jersey numbered l through 4. The roles of each player are:

l. The Forward: Always out in front waiting for a pass.

2. The Hustler: Quick and aggressive with fast ponies.

3. The Pivot: The quarterback.

4. The Back: Defender. There are no goalies. Needs to be very physical and have a good backshot.

Helmets are required, and some have face masks. Players wear padded knee guards with long boots. Some may choose to wear elbow pads.

OAK BROOK MAGAZINE | OakBrookMagazine.com 27


It’s a solid bamboo cane with a hard wood head. The mallet ranges from 50-54 inches in length and you hit the ball with the side of the mallet, not the end. All players must hold the mallet in the right h and; lefthanded play is not allowed


Today’s polo b all is solid plastic,weighing 1/4-lb., and is a little larger than a baseball. Historically polo balls were made out of wood.


They are called ponies. Most are former race horses, high -speed Thoroughbreds with exceptional abilities. The tail is braided to stay out of the way of the mallet. The mane is clipped off so the player can see the ball, and to prevent the reins from being tangled in the mane. The idea is for each player to have six ponies - one for each chukker.


The saddle is English. A girth, over-girth and breastplate help hold the saddle in place. Two sets of reins are used. A martingale, a part of the harness, keeps the pony from th rowing it’s head and blocking the player’s view. The lower legs are wrapped for support and protection.


Players actually stand up in the stirrups when hitting the ball. The shots are made from the “off” side, which is the right side of the horse. The left side is called the “near” side. With reins in the left

hand and a mallet in the right hand, the player is only holding on with his legs.


Players are rated on a scale of minus - 2 to l 0 . Beginners start at minus 2. In handicap matches, each team adds up the ratings of its players to arrive at a team rating. The difference of the two teams’ ratings is awarded as points to the lesser skilled team as the beginning score of the game.


When you hear the umpire blow the whistle it ‘s just like basketballsomebody foul ed. The other team gets a free hit. The most common foul is crossing the line. Forty percent of all the points in a game are scored from the foul line.


Polo is governed by the United States Polo Association. The rules are so complex it takes over 80 pages in the USPA Rule Book just to explain them.

IN A NUT SHELL: Don’t hit your horse or anyone else’s with your mallet. You can’t play left-handed. No dangerous riding. Abusive play and foul language are not allowed. If a player comes off his or her horse or off the field, the clock can continue to run; if a horse falls down, stop the clock. The team with the most points at the end of six chukkers wins. If the game ends a tie they play sudden death overtime.

The Butler family, starting with Paul Butler 101 years ago, has long been involved with the sport of Polo. From Paul to son Michael and daughter Jorie, they learned the game and managed the Oak Brook Polo Club. Michael, in particular, was known for hosting matches with well-known celebrities, including King Charles III of England.

Sadly, last November, Michael Butler passed away at the age of 96. He was a strong supporter of not only Polo but his sister Jorie’s “Friends of Conservation” movement in Africa. To honor Michael, Jorie’s daughter, Reute Butler, has organized a benefit luncheon on June 25 in Oak Brook, the day of the first match.

Visit friendsofconservation.org to learn more.

“Friends of Conservation” to honor Michael Butler at June 25 Polo Season Opener

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Bandit the therapy dog

This Bandit Steals HEARTS


Police officers and bandits don’t seem like a good mix. But the Oak Brook Police Department has become a huge exception to that, thanks to a very different kind of bandit that’s come into the fold.

Bandit is the name of the comfort/ therapy dog that came as a twomonth-old puppy from South Carolina and arrived this past December at his new home in Oak Brook. The Goldendoodle was named by students in Butler Elementary School District 53’s Brook Forest School and Butler Junior High.

And Bandit has already paid a visit to Brook Forest. “Bandit is the most lovable friend anyone can have in their life,” Brook Forest Principal Andrea Prola said. Bandit visited Brook Forest School to review safety drills with the students and will return soon for another visit. “The school already has a comfort dog that visits often,” Prola said. “The addition of Bandit will continue to support the school’s social and emotional standards and goals.”

Prola said the school has an incredible relationship with the Oak Brook Police Department. “We will continue to partner with them and foster the most effective and positive relationships with individuals who model servant leadership,” she said.

Oak Brook Police Chief Brian Strockis said the thought leading to getting Bandit was that a comfort/therapy dog would be a wonderful addition to the department. “Other departments are doing it, and it makes a lot of sense for us,” Strockis said. It’s a wonderful resource for community relations.”

become a big Bandit fan.

“Bandit is the perfect fit for this department,” Strockis said. “He brings such joy and puts a smile on everyone’s face.” Oak Brook officer Katie Yager said Bandit graduated from a two-week basic obedience training class. Officers continue to work with Bandit daily on his verbal and non-verbal commands, which allows the dog to become familiar with several voices and department members, Yager said. “The next step is to enroll Bandit in a comfort/therapy program, allowing him to expand his skill and knowledge to bring comfort to the whole community,” she said.

Strockis said Bandit will be a great resource in many situations, such as retail thefts in which the offenders have children with them. Bandit can be used to stay around the children.

“It would have been great to have a dog when we had the (Oakbrook Center) shooting (in December 2021), and there were a lot of traumatized workers,” Strockis said. “We’re also very aware of suicides in the police community, in general. A dog like this will be very helpful in a lot of areas.”

It didn’t take long for Strockis to

Yager said Bandit has been a wonderful addition to the Oak Brook department. “Bandit is amazing,” she said. “He is constantly working, as he lifts the spirits of everyone around him. Bandit’s home is within the police department, but his love will spread throughout the community.”

Bandit lives at the Oak Brook Police Department and has a large courtyard outside the Butler Government Center for play and exercise. Yager said a small committee at the department is committed to his well-being and training; however, the entire department is trained in his obedience.

The glowing reviews for Bandit from Yager and Strockis are very much like

OAK BROOK MAGAZINE | OakBrookMagazine.com 31
“Bandit is the perfect fit for this department, He brings such joy and puts a smile on everyone’s face.”

what others in the Oak Brook Police Department had to say. “For being such a young dog and only working with Bandit for a short period of time, he follows commands and is eager to continue learning,” said Community Service Officer Mike McTighe. “Be careful around Bandit, he’ll steal your heart,” Deputy Chief Reid Foltyniewicz said. “Bandit brings such joy and happiness to the Oak Brook Police Department,” added Safia Rusulis, the department’s crime analyst. “His smile and hugs provide our staff with comfort and lots of love.”

While Bandit will return to Oak Brook schools in the future, he has already been out and about at a couple of significant public events. Yager said Bandit attended Special Olympics Oak Brook Polar Plunge in March to welcome the plungers out of the icy waters. “Bandit’s training was put to the test while attending the wake of Chicago Police Officer Andres Vasquez Lasso,” Yager said. “Bandit brought comfort to those waiting to pay their respects to a fallen hero. While in attendance, Bandit received many compliments on his manners for being such a young pup.”

Yager said the department hopes to continue highlighting Bandit’s progress and accomplishments. “As Bandit continues to further his training, we look forward to bringing him to more community events, she said.

Yager said Bandit has been well received by the community and his followers on Instagram at @Pawfficerbanditk907. ■

Oak Brook Chief of Police, Brian Strockis and Bandit the therapy dog


And everything else.

When adventure goes awry, we’re here with providers in 30 specialties from pediatrics to oncology. Here it’s personal. Because we get to know you. Find your perfect doctor at EEHealth.org/HereForIt



One of the best in the nation

In the mid-2000s, decision-makers for Elmhurst Hospital made two critical decisions. One: Since they were landlocked in downtown Elmhurst, which prevented them from growing, they would have to move to another Elmhurst location. Two: they would take the opportunity to redefine how the new hospital would treat patients and their families. They outlined these primary goals: clinical quality, safety, market growth, strong financial performance, and, above all, the highest patient satisfaction by adopting per-

son-centered care at the new hospital.

Groundbreaking occurred in May 2008, and the current hospital at 155 E. Brush Hill Road in Elmhurst opened in June 2011 after an expenditure of $450 million.

In 2000, Doctor Kimberly Darey, President of Elmhurst Hospital, also made some critical decisions.

After receiving a degree in chemistry and working as a pharmacist, she pivoted (as she calls it) in 2004 to become

an obstetrician/gynecologist because she felt her true calling was working directly with people to help them. She started in that role at Elmhurst Hospital in 2010, and she was just named President in February.

We recently spent some time with Dr. Darey as she took Hinsdale Magazine Group Publisher Scott Jonlich and Senior Editor Larry Atseff on a tour of the most tranquil yet state-of-the-art hospital one can ever experience.

She explained while we walked down

OAK BROOK MAGAZINE | OakBrookMagazine.com 35 COVER
Dr. Kimberley Darey, President of Elmhurst Hospital, has been on the medical staff at the hospital since 2010. Photo by Victor Hilitski

“Main Street”- the quarter-mile hallway on the main floor, “I took after my mom, who was a NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) nurse because I saw how hard she worked, yet how satisfying it was to her to really make a difference in people’s lives. I took after my dad, who told me always to be kind to people and that every successful relationship is one where everyone learns to give and take.”

A demonstration of Dr. Darey’s person-centered approach came just as we started our tour. She was answering a question when out of the corner of her eye; she saw a patient, some 50 feet away, who looked a little befuddled.

Dr. Darey excused herself, walked over to the patient, and asked how she could help. Thirty seconds later, the patient’s question was answered, and she went on her way, and Dr. Darey returned to our walk and interview.

We didn’t see or smell a hospital everywhere we looked on our tour, with people rushing with carts of linens or meals. Instead, we saw a quiet, beautiful setting that greets people who are under stress. It is designed to instantly give them a sense of calm relief that they will be in good hands. Even waterfalls in the east and west lobby entrances suggest a stable, peaceful environment.

The five-story structure, designed after

Prairie-style architecture, has 264 single-patient rooms. It offers a wealth of the latest medical services and equipment for inpatient and outpatient care. It has a state-of-the-art Cancer Center. The Emergency Department uses the latest in high-tech Emergency Services, such as electronic bridges with community EMS providers, so EKGs (electrocardiograms) can be done in the field and sent to the ER to initiate cardiac alerts sooner, activation of cardiac and stroke alerts from the field to expedite care, and use of ultrasound-guided IV insertions for difficult IV starts.

Doctors use the most advanced tech-

nology and procedures to treat severely calcified arteries, chronic total occlusion, atrial fibrillation, pulmonary embolisms, and many other conditions. A level IIe Special Care Nursery offers private rooms for low birth weight and premature infants. Elmhurst Hospital is also affiliated with Elmhurst University in offering practical training for students preparing to become nurses. It also provides therapy dogs and their trainers to help comfort patients.

Significantly, at the outset of design and construction, Elmhurst worked with Planetree, an organization with a more than 40-year history of partner-

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This magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) room comes complete with a simulated sky in the ceiling for patient comfort and relaxation. Moxi the robot delivers medications to patient rooms so that staff can spend more time with patients. Elmhurst Hospital is regarded as one of the best hospitals in the world by Planetree, a worldwide partner in healthcare that rates hospitals on quality of patient care.

ing with health providers to set standards that put the needs of patients first. In 2018, Elmhurst Hospital earned Planetree’s highest level of achievement: Gold Certification for Excellence In Person-Centered Care, becoming one of only 88 healthcare organizations worldwide, including 26 in the U.S., with Gold Certification.

Elmhurst has the only Planetree Gold Certification in Illinois. Planetree takes its name from the tree under which Hippocrates is said to have taught some of the first medical students in ancient Greece. The hospital’s primary decorative feature is a stylized Planetree leaf reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs.

In part, the certification reads, “At Elmhurst, person-centered healthcare prioritizes the active participation of the staff with patients and their families throughout the healthcare process with an emphasis on partnership, compassion, transparency, inclusion, and quality.”

That was exactly what the leaders

envisioned when they planned for and built the current hospital.

Dr. Darey explains it this way, “This philosophy of patient care is woven into the fabric of every step we take in caring for our patients. This goes for every employee, every physician, and every volunteer that serves patients and their families.”

As we walked the building, we saw a typical single-patient room and how well it has been carefully thought out for patients and their families and the staff as they care for each patient. Rooms are equipped with a sofa-bed combination, a large flat-screen TV, and a full private bathroom. Rooms also have a section where hospital

We couldn’t help but admire the stained glass windows, decorative wood carvings, mosaics, and prairie-patterned light fixtures on the first floor. The walls are filled with photographs and art pieces. There is a milelong outdoor path for walking, several gardens, a flower store, a gift shop, a Starbucks coffee shop, and a cafeteria that serves a menu that is definitely not typical hospital fare. Naturally, there is also a spiritual center.

When we got back to Dr. Darey’s office, she said, “Yes, the entire building makes Elmhurst look and feel like a resort hotel, not a hospital. It truly helps to give patients a feeling of comfort, and serenity, as they are often under difficult circumstances.

staff can work, separate from patients and guests.

The hospital has lavender rooms so medical staff can take a break when needed. Speaking of staff, Elmhurst, like other health facilities, is continually faced with finding enough qualified staff. To cope, they recently added MOXI, a full-fledged moving robot to handle routine duties such as point-topoint medication delivery and other supplies. In essence, MOXI frees nurses to spend more time with patients.

But it is a hospital with state-of-the-art services and equipment. When you combine all of that with a dedicated, talented staff, it is why we rank with the best in taking care of patients. We are all extremely proud of all of it.”

She concluded, “I see my job is to remind everyone to look beyond their specialty and to think of how each of us is in a big, beautiful boat. The more we do our jobs well and keep patient-focused, and the more we row this boat in unison, it is good for everybody.” ■

OAK BROOK MAGAZINE | OakBrookMagazine.com 37
Each private single-patient room has been designed for the comfort of patients and visitors.
“This philosophy of patient care is woven into the fabric of every step we take in caring for our patients. This goes for every employee, every physician, and every volunteer that serves patients and their families.”
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The Elmhurst Memorial Hospital Foundation raised $88,000 at Chef Fest, which was held for the first time since 2020 in February at the Drury Lane Theatre & Conference Center in Oakbrook Terrace. The event included a variety of signature menu items produced by chefs from 22 prominent local restaurants, bakeries and caterers who donate their time and talent. Proceeds from Chef Fest support future service enhancements to ensure Elmhurst Hospital maintains its commitment to delivering state-of-the-art healthcare to the community.

For more information, visit www.emhfoundation.org/events or call the EMH Foundation at (331) 221-0388. ■

Chef Fest

➁ Chef Fest was held for the first time since 2020.

➂ Guests line up to taste samples from Gia Mia.

➃ Guests tried samples from Pazzi Di Pizza.

➄ The Elmhurst Memorial Hospital Foundation Chef Fest featured 22 area restaurants, bakeries and caterers.

➀ Laura Koch enjoys some of the culinary offerings.
➊ ➍ ➌ ➋ ❺

Wine Women & Shoes

In early March, Wine Women & Shoes took place at the Oak Brook Hills Resort. Hundreds attended to sip, savor and shop for a cause. The high-energy event featured fun and philanthropy combined with wine and bubble tasting, boutique shopping, fashion show, gourmet luncheon and chances to win vacations and experiences. Proceeds of from the event benefit families facing homelessness served by Bridge Communities. The mission of Bridge Communities is to transition homeless families to self-sufficiency by working with partners to provide mentoring, housing, and supportive services. Every year, over 100+ families in DuPage County are served by Bridge Communities and support from the Wine Women & Shoes event help ensure families never have to face another moment of homelessness again. ■

Guests from Hinsdale Guests from Downers Grove Guests from Elmhurst MC Kerry Doucet of Elmhurst
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Deco at the DRAKE

The Hinsdale Auxiliary of the Infant Welfare Society held its annual benefit luncheon Tablescapes 2023: Deco at the Drake on Sunday, March 12. More than 400 generous guests packed The Drake Oak Brook Hotel for an afternoon of lively shopping, bidding, and dining. This year’s theme celebrated and honored the city of Chicago, which is home to the most stunning examples of stylish and elegant art deco design.

“We are excited to share that it was a spectacular fundraising success! We are grateful to our amazing venue, sponsors, donors, boutiques, food demo partners, local businesses, and live entertainment who created a memorable experience for our guests,” said Laura Preusser, President of the IWS Hinsdale Auxiliary. “It would not have been possible without our 47 powerful volunteers who spend all year planning for Tablescapes, our namesake event.”

Established in 1913, the Auxiliary is comprised of nine chapters and nearly 600 members throughout the Chicagoland area. Since its inception, the Auxiliary has donated more than $140 million to IWS and due to the unwavering dedication of members and supporters – is the clinic’s largest single donor each year. One hundred percent of the proceeds generated from Tablescapes will go toward the Infant Welfare Society of Chicago Angel Harvey Family Health Center.

Those unable to attend the event but who would still like to donate to the Infant Welfare Society, please visit www.hinsdaleiws.com. ■

➊ ➋ ➌ ➍ ➎ ➏ ➐
Top row: ➀ Kristine Jeka, Candace Mueller ➁ Melissa Goebel, Linda Davis, Laura Preusser Middle Row: ➂ Tonya Melkus, Debby Meredith ➃ Matt Goebel, Melissa Goebel ➄ Michelle Di Benedetto, IWS Chief Strategy Officer, Laura Preusser Bottom row: ➅ Amity Comiskey, Kerry Lynch ➆ Michelle Spellman, Cindy Short, Janel Daley, Jill Casey, Cori Hamilton
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Presented by CSC Dermatology Questions from the community answered by doctors

Q: What is a dermal filler?

A: Dermal fillers restore facial volume to smooth skin lines and wrinkles as well as enhance areas like the lips, chin, or jawline. This is done with gel-like materials that dermatologists inject under the skin at different depths. Fillers are seemingly unlimited when it comes to applications. They can be used to lift cheekbones, improve hollowness of the facial skin in areas like the temples and under the eyes. Moreover, fillers can be used to treat areas like the neck and chest to restore skin health and diminish the appearance of finely wrinkled and thin skin. Lastly, fillers can also be used to rejuvenate the hands.

Q: What is in a dermal filler?

A: Fillers are made with FDA approved substances injected beneath the skin. These include Hyaluronic Acid, Calcium Hydroxylapatite, and Poly-L-Lactic Acid. Poly-L-Lactic Acid also known as Sculptra is Dr. Steil’s favorite dermal filler. It is biocompatible, which makes it completely safe to use. It is a totally biodegradable synthetic substance,which means it dissolves. Lastly, it works by stimulating skin to rebuild the natural collagen resulting into smoother skin and greater volume.

Almost 20 years ago, Dr. Steil learned from the best, Danny Vleggar, MD. He was a trained Poly-L-Lactic Acid Specialist who taught her how to apply the filler like an expert. For aging facial skin, Poly-L-Lactic Acid can add volume, structure, balance and lift. For younger patients, it can be used to improve facial symmetry.

Q: Are fillers going to make my face look fake?

A: “I have been injecting in Hinsdale for 20 years, and everyone says the same

thing— I don’t want people to know and I want to look natural. At CSC, we will make your treatment look natural,” says Dr. Steil.

The physicians at CSC Dermatology, Dr. Steil and Dr. Bognet, have a combined 30 years of experience treating patients with fillers. They both agree that the best results are when you don’t look like you’ve had a filler. To make this possible, CSC offers only the most professional opinions and treatment styles in all of their procedures. The bottom line— experience matters. “Sometimes a filler is not the solution,” says Bognet and “we tell the patient no. An overfilled face is not on our style.”

Q: What does it feel like?

A: Getting a filler is a very comfortable experience. The filler material is mixed with numbing medication which makes it virtually painless. In addition, applying ice prior to a more sensitive area like the lips helps to aid in numbing.

Q: How much do fillers cost?

A: Filler treatments can range from $500-$2000 per session depending on the

exact product and the number of syringes used. “We often layer products to achieve the best result so more than one type of product may be used during a treatment session,” says Dr. Steil.

Q: How long will fillers last?

A: On average, fillers can last from six months to two plus years. After being injected, your body gradually and naturally absorbs filler particles. Factors that affect longevity include the product used, how much was injected, and where it was injected. Depending on your age and your goals, treatments are often repeated yearly.

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Exotic Summer


This summer, get far away from it all

Travel, of any kind, enhances us as people. It’s a great way for kids to learn. It’s an opportunity to see firsthand that our way of life is just one of many, and for all our differences, there are quite a few commonalities. The very act of getting up and leaving familiar surroundings forces us to learn new things, dabble in different languages and do as locals are doing.

Now that restrictions are lifted, go somewhere you’ve always dreamt of going.

Here are a few suggestions and why they’re great for kids:

Nova Scotia/Cape Breton/ Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada

The Canadian Maritimes are a great place to spend some time in the summer. Nova Scotia’s fresh air, miles of windswept coastline and buckets of ship-to-shore seafood make this picturesque area a beautiful but not-too-touristy destination for families. To the east, Celtic traditions abound on Cape Breton via its copious opportunities of Gaelic music and dance and stunning Highlands National Park. On PEI, one of Canada’s oldest settlements, kids will enjoy running on the red sand beaches, climbing the lighthouse near Charlottestown and visiting the iconic Anne of Green Gables house and museum.


Archipelago of Stockholm, Sweden

Made up of thousands of little islands in the Baltic Sea is the Stockholm Archipelago. It’s truly where modern architecture meets its historical, outdoorsy counterpart of Nordic roots. First spend a few days touring this crown jewel of a cosmopolitan city, then get your Viking cap on to explore the 150 settled islands. Hop on with a tour company to see the highlights or rent a kayak for the ultimate escape into nature. Either way, wooden houses dot small coastal towns and charming villages.

Disko Island, Greenland

Largely covered in ice, Greenland is the world’s largest misnomer. Except for Disko Island, off the west coast, which is very green. It also has the distinction of being the biggest island off the coast of the world’s biggest island. The island’s main town, Qeqertarsuaq, was settled by whalers in the 1700s and is one of Greenland’s oldest settlements. There is a hotel, café, museum, and art gallery. Go whale watching or dogsledding, even in summer! It’s a great place to watch- and listen to- the Northern Lights. Get there before the rest of the world finds it.


Once known as British Honduras, Belize is easy, because it is English-speaking. Mexico Rock is an ideal spot for snorkeling, swimming, fishing and relaxing. While exploring the colorful town of San Ignacio, feed iguanas or learn how to turn raw cocoa beans into drinking chocolate. Hike up Mayan ruins at Cahal Pech, then drive 35 minutes to Chaa Creek, where you can visit the nearby Morpho Butterfly farms to see the rare, blue butterflies. Observe toucans, or hundreds of other species of birds as you ride horseback through the jungle. ■

OakBrookMagazine.com | OAK BROOK MAGAZINE 54
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Six-Time National Champion and Hall of Fame Inductee Mary Doten retires

umble,” “passionate,” “kind,” and “loyal” are just a few of the words used to describe Mary Doten, known to many as the GOAT of Paddle Tennis. Three decades of coaching and competing in paddle tennis have ended because, according to Doten, “it’s time.”

“My job has been a gift. I feel blessed to do something I love and call it work. Now it’s time to pass it along. I would not have stayed this long if I did not love what I do,” said Doten of her decision to retire now. Doten believes the lyrics by the country singer Jordan Davis say it best: “Find the one you can’t live without…find something you love and call it work.”


In 1961, Doten was born in Oak Lawn, Illinois, the youngest of four girls. Her family moved to Western Springs two years later and has been there ever since. She started playing tennis at age eight and continued her career at Lyons Township High School, playing singles all four years.

Doten’s successful career in high school led her to play tennis at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. It was there she met her husband, Gary. They married in 1984 and returned to Western Springs to raise their two sons and daughter, and many yellow labs along the way. Now their family is expanding, with one granddaughter and another

“Hgrandchild on the way.


Picking up a paddle for the first time in 1993, Doten had no idea how it would change her life forever. “I was hooked from the very first time I played,” said Doten. The more she played, the more fun she had and the better she got. Along with fellow paddle players, Doten competed in the North Shore because there were no leagues in the western suburbs. Doten soon changed that.

In 2003, Doten and her doubles partner, Susie Keane, stunned the paddle world by winning the American Platform Tennis Association (APTA) National Title. What was the secret to their win? “No pressure,” said Doten. “We came in with no expectations of us and managed to beat five out of the top eight seeds to win the event.”

The next seven years of play led to five more National Titles, and little did Doten know, she would change the world of paddle right here in the western suburb of Hinsdale. Doten grew the sport of paddle, especially for women, and her program more than quadrupled in size during this time. It was the start of a new paddle era.

The Hinsdale Paddle Movement Hinsdale Paddle Club (HPC) is busy with paddle players at any given time and during any given weather. Even on the coldest days of the winter, preferably snowy for many avid play-

ers, the courts will be filled with lessons, drills, and matches, most of which are led by Doten.

Twenty years ago, only two courts were available for play at Byrnes Park in Hinsdale. But now, with the following Doten has brought over the years, six courts are available at HPC, and two more will be added this fall.

Doten is most proud of “growing the program from 200 to 600 people, over half of them being women.” During the 2022- 2023 season, she coached nine women’s teams, along with coaching non-league drills, small group, and private lessons. If you were looking for Doten, you knew exactly where to find her.

“Whether it was during a team drill or a private lesson, I learned something new from Mary every time I stepped on the court. During my matches, I often ask myself ‘What Would Mary Do?’” said Katie Ramoley, a series five player for HPC.


Doten plans to spend most of her newfound time with her husband and her yellow labs at their second home in Sanibel Island, while also coming back to visit her grandchildren. What does she look forward to most? “Not teaching in the 10-degree and rainy weather,” she laughed.

Pickle Ball and golf are “hobbies” she plans to pick up during her retirement. “I do not like to sit around all

OakBrookMagazine.com | OAK BROOK MAGAZINE 56 INSIDE 60521

day and definitely am always up for a challenge,” said Doten.

The Dotens also plan to continue to sponsor children through the Common Hope organization and have already planned a trip to Guatemala this winter.


Doten would like her legacy to continue to carry on at HPC and see the program’s success continue both on the courts and behind the scenes. “Mary Doten has been instrumental in the explosion of women paddle players. They come to HPC because of everything she brings to the court,” said Kelly Kelly, a series nine team player and current board member of HPC.

Doten has always been an advocate for women and would like to see more women become involved off the court. “Mary encouraged me to get involved, and help represent our women’s membership, which continues to grow day by day,” Kelly added.

What best advice can Doten leave to beginner and advanced paddle players on the court? “Patience. Always be willing to hit one more ball than your opponent.”

Is this really the final goodbye to Mary Doten and her paddle career? “It is not a goodbye, but see you later,” said Doten, and always, “Paddle on.” ■

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“My job has been a gift. I feel blessed to do something I love and call it work. Now it’s time to pass it along. I would not have stayed this long if I did not love what I do.”
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Based out of Oak Brook, Ace Hardware Corporation aims to “be the most helpful hardware stores on the planet,” said Chris Doucet, the company’s Director of Communications, Engagement, and the Ace Foundation. Much like the brand’s longtime jingle states, Ace truly is “the place with the helpful hardware folks.”

While Ace prepares to move its corporate headquarters this summer or early fall, the business’s commitment to serving consumers and the communities surrounding its more than 5,600 stores worldwide, including over 160 retailers in the Chicagoland area, remains unchanged.

After more than 40 years at its current location, the corporation’s lease will

soon expire. According to Doucet, the company explored various options and found many benefits to relocating “about a mile down the road” to the former McDonald’s corporate campus. It is cost-effective and allows the company to remain in Oak Brook, which Doucet said she and her colleagues are “thrilled about.”

Another advantage of the move is that Ace’s corporate employees will all be under one roof. At the current headquarters, employees are divided between three buildings. The new location will also accommodate more workstations, conference rooms, and amenities, and employees are “looking forward to the beautiful grounds of our new campus,” Doucet said, “complete with walking trails, ponds, and more.”

Vice President of Marketing Jeff Gooding explained that Ace runs as a cooperative (co-op), which means the corporation is “owned by [the] local, independent store owners.” Unlike in a franchise system, within a co-op, each store is owned and operated individually. “The vast majority of our stores are family-owned – many of them handed down for generations,” Doucet said.

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Though changes abound within the Ace Hardware Corporation, one thing has remained the same for nearly a century: service to customers and community
Mike Cripe, Michael Cripe, Barb Bender, and David Cripe of Whitmore Ace Hardware embody the company’s commitment to service. The Cripe brothers with Roxie Schopp, Ace’s 2017 CMN All-Star

Take, for example, the new owners of Downers Grove’s Ace Hardware store. Effective January, David and Michael Cripe, along with their parents, added this local retailer to their collection of Whitmore Ace Hardware stores, which includes 12 other suburban and rural locations. The brothers are the fifth generation in their family business, and they are primarily the ones currently operating their stores. However, although their dad is technically retired, “he still comes to the stores, touches base, shakes hands…” David Cripe said.

The Cripe brothers essentially grew up at Ace, selling Christmas trees at their family’s stores when they were about 7 years old. Now, nearly 40 years later, they “can’t imagine being associated with any other business – retail hardware – or any other company,” David Cripe said. The brothers chose to continue their family’s tradition within the Ace Hardware brand because “it mirrors our culture and what we want our culture to be at our stores: people first,” David Cripe explained.

The Cripes strive to demonstrate how much they value their customers and employees. They also seek opportunities to support the greater communities surrounding their retail spaces. “It’s a moral obligation to give back,” David Cripe stated. “Every one of our towns has benefited from our wanting to give back to our community.”

eign Wars, American Legion, or Special Olympics. “Whoever the community or store has a passion for, we support that,” David Cripe said.

One way the Cripes and their staff support their communities is through “round up campaigns.” These simply involve asking customers if they would like to round up their payment upon checkout. Any funds in excess of the purchase amount go to designated nonprofit organizations, such as the local chapter of the Veterans of For-

Whitmore Ace Hardware owners and employees also help the community by hosting “Dollars for Dogs” events. Local organizations can cook and sell hot dogs in front of an Ace store to raise money for their organizations. Ace provides all the materials, so the organizations just have to show up. David Cripe said the minimum amount raised through one of their “Dollars for Dogs” events was $350, and he has seen upwards of $3,500. Michael Cripe added that, while their business is willing to make direct donations, events like “‘Dollars for Dogs’ give organizations and communities the chance to raise more funds – and awareness – than if they were just given a check.”

Whitmore Ace’s most distinctive fundraiser is “Melissa’s Closet,” a prom dress and accessory drive followed by a single-day event at which dresses are sold for $5 apiece. What makes “Melissa’s Closet” particularly poignant is its origins. David Cripe explained that in 2008, Melissa Michalowski, a high school senior, was working at the Whitmore Ace Hardware in Braidwood, Illinois to save up money to buy a prom dress. However, not long before her prom, Michalowski was in a fatal car accident.

Upon learning of the tragic loss of one of their own, the team at the Braidwood Ace store wanted to do something to honor Michalowski’s legacy, and with Whitmore Ace Marketing Director Laurie Becker’s assistance, the annual “Melissa’s Closet” fundraiser was born.

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Michael and David Cripe sell prom dresses for $5 at the annual Melissa’s Closet fundraiser.
“It’s a moral obligation to give back.”

The first year, they collected roughly 100 dresses and outfitted approximately 20 girls. This past year, they collected 2,600 prom dresses, which dressed 600 girls from the suburbs, Chicago, Indiana, and Wisconsin. All funds raised through “Melissa’s Closet” go toward scholarships for students in need at the high school Michalowski attended.

Whitmore Ace Hardware’s philanthropic efforts reflect the corporation’s overall “servant heart,” as Doucet referred to it. “At Corporate, we have a set of values that we live by – the acronym is WE LIGHT – and it stands for Winning, Excellence, Love, Integrity, Gratitude, Humility, and Teamwork.”

Doucet is an integral part of The Ace Foundation, the charitable arm of the corporation, and explained that the Foundation exists to give Ace Hardware’s “employees, retailers, vendors, and customers an opportunity to give back to our three charitable partners/ programs: Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals, the American Red Cross during disaster relief, and the Ace Helpful Fund – which is our employee emergency assistance fund.”

In 2022, Ace’s stakeholders collectively raised over $22 million for CMN Hospitals, including, locally, over $2.4 million for Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. “We’re a mom and pop hardware shop and out-fundraise much larger companies for Lurie’s,” David Cripe said. “It’s our culture at Ace. It’s not an afterthought to us.”

Furthering Ace’s culture of service, each year, corporate employees are granted 20 hours of paid time to volunteer within their local communities.

“It’s never just about a hardware store,” Gooding said. “It is…[about] what the store and people mean for the community it serves and…the nuts and bolts things our retailers do to better their neighborhoods.” ■

Ace Hardware corporate employees volunteer within their communities during ACE Cares Week.


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Spring is in the air, and it is time to shift from comfort foods to lighter fare. Give this guide a glance to find the best fork + cork combos. Scott Harris Hospitality’s Davanti Enoteca’s Wine Expert, Kristen Jackson, shares the best wines to pair with some favorite dishes.

Domaine Rougeot

Romain La Combe

Bezin, Meursault, Burgundy, France

The subtle oak will not overpower the delicate fish.

out the flavor of the dressing.


This low-cal tropical fish brings a tender, flaky texture and slightly sweet flavor to your dish. Lightly season, marinate, grill, and plate. And don’t forget to pour with an ideal match.


Caesar salad can serve as a starter or the star of any lunch or dinner. Whether in its pure form – crisp romaine lettuce accented with the garlicky goodness of Caesar dressing and the salty, nutty flavors of shaved Parmesan – or topped with grilled chicken, shrimp, or salmon.

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Marielle Michot, Pouilly-Fume Brings

Terlan, Pinot Grigio, Italy

Enhances the flavors of the vegetables.


Hit the local farmers’ market and select some of your favorite fresh vegetables. Cook the veggies and some angel hair pasta – prepared al dente, of course – and mix these together in a light, lemon Parmesan cream sauce. Buon appetito!


For a heartier entree still ripe with the flavors of the season, grill a succulent rack of ribs. Select a wine pairing to create a delicate balance to the ribs’ glaze – whether it is on the sweeter or zestier side.

Carpazo, Tuscany, Italy

Complements the range of BBQ marinades.

Pelissero, Langhe Nebbiolo

Rustic wine suits a salty and fresh salad.


Caprese salad is a light but satisfying dish that is as beautiful as it is delicious. This dish offers vibrant colors and flavors of heirloom tomatoes, coupled with the delicate creaminess of sliced burrata or fresh mozzarella and sweet basil accents. Top the salad with raw or pan-seared prosciutto and an aged balsamic vinegar drizzle to take this seasonal classic to the next level.


Lou Malnati’s deep dish may have gotten you through the winter months, but now that swimsuit season is here, it’s time to trade it in for this lighter option. Go guilt-free with this “salad meets pizza” meal.

Melene Rose, Central Coast, California Provides freshness and light companion.

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