SERVING HINSDALE, BURR RIDGE & CLARENDON HILLS
HINSDALE’S FIRST MAGAZINE September/October 2022 $5 US
Maggie Gerth, Creator of PROPS Luggage
FALCONS FOOTBALL SOARS HIGH
HINSDALE LITTLE LEAGUE TRIFECTA
BEHIND THE HINSDALE CENTRAL SPORTS SCENE HINSDALE MAGAZINE | HinsdaleMag.com
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LETTER from THE PUBLISHER
How and why success is such a constant in our Hinsdale community Hinsdale is full of success stories, and we do our best to bring them to you. This issue is particularly noteworthy. We start with our cover story: how Hinsdalean Maggie Gerth went from an “a-ha” moment in trying to cope with common travel headaches of balancing luggage, computers, kids, and waiting to making luggage much more than a carry-on for belongings. Maureen Callahan gives Maggie her full “props” by relating her journey in inventing a suitcase that also serves as a convenient, portable desktop. No surprise, it’s called PROPS Luggage, and it is a simple, big idea. SERVING HINSDALE, BURR RIDGE & CLARENDON HILLS
how their teams and players got the job done this year. One can even credit Hinsdale sports for generating money and hope for needy people across the country.We’re talking about how two 2020 Hinsdale Central grads, Charlie Fix and Zack Northey, joined fraternity brothers at the University of Colorado on a “Journey of Hope” to help raise $380,000 this summer. This group of 58 riders and their support teams went on a 60-day bike ride covering over 4,000 miles, complete with meeting grateful people they were helping. Charlie’s mom Sara, and Zack’s dad, Dave, served as athletic and good citizen inspirations. HINSDALE’S FIRST MAGAZINE September/October 2022 $5 US
Success in sports has also become synonymous with the name Hinsdale. Randy A few last mentions from the world of Pyle, long associated with the Hinsdale sport. Nearby, Downers Grove boasts INNOVATOR Falcons Football Program, says it one of the oldest golf courses in the counMaggie Gerth, Creator of well.“My belief, having been a part of this try. This year, the club celebrates 130 PROPS Luggage for some time, is that not only has Falyears as the oldest 18-hole course in the cons provided a program to teach sportscountry. And to round out our coverage manship, teamwork, the joy of victory of sports, we highlight one of the great and the agony of defeat, but has also conannouncers in Chicago sports, Pat Foley. + tributed to the community spirit of the He started in 1980 with the ChicagoBlackpeople it serves.” We offer examples and hawks and retired in April 2022. reasons: coaches, parents who coach, and kids willing to We also bring you the story of Dr. Joseph Marek, Founder listen, learn and put in the effort. and Medical Director of Young Hearts For Life, a program Hinsdale Central Athletic Director Dan Jones and Assis- dedicated to using electrocardiograms for early detection of tant Athletic Director Kelly Watson have helped to con- early sudden heart problems in young people throughout tinue to lead Red Devils teams, coaches, and players to the western suburbs of Chicago and beyond. success in several categories over the last dozen years or so We also share the 9-year effort of eight veterans of the US they have worked together. Jones will be retiring this next military from Burr Ridge and how they raised over $270,000 year. so that a fitting, beautiful Veterans Memorial could be You will also learn how the Hinsdale Falcons Football built. It is a story of how they and fellow citizens slowly but program has succeeded so well and has recently bounced surely collected enough funds in many ways to get the job back, thanks to dads and their dedication to teaching done. their sons the right ways to play the game, as well as the Finally, if you are looking for things to do, we offer values of teamwork. To-Do’s nearby and a profile of Door County, Wisconsin. Even more sports success: 2022 Hinsdale Little League Enjoy the fall season, teams have brought back state titles at all three levels. Read the words of 10U (under) coach Jake O’Toole, 11U (under) Scott Jonlich coach Craig Founder & Publisher FALCONS FOOTBALL SOARS HIGH
HINSDALE LITTLE LEAGUE TRIFECTA
BEHIND THE HINSDALE CENTRAL SPORTS SCENE
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Cassell, and 12U (under) Steve Pabst and their takes on
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19 HOME GROWN Hinsdale Falcons
26 PROFILE Pat Foley
29 SPORTS Hinsdale Little League
32 HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETICS Hindale Central Athletic Directors
36 COVER STORY PROPS Luggage
43 SPECIAL FEATURE Cross Country Ride
49 NEIGHBOR NEWS Hearts of Gold
HOME GROWN: Photo courtesy of the Hinsdale Falcons
54 HISTORY VAULT
The Downers Grove Golf Club
A tribute to local heroes
Heart of the Matter
INSIDE 60521: Photo courtesy of Hinsdale Central High School
TRAVEL: Photo courtesy of Destination Door County
ON THE COVER: ON THE COVER: Maggie Gerth, Founder of PROPS Luggage. Photo by Brian Malloy
FOR THE LATEST NEWS, HAPPENINGS AND PHOTOS, VISIT @THEHINSDALEMAGAZINE 10
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WALL-TO-WALL FALL BRING THE SEASON INTO EVERY CORNER OF YOUR HOME WITH THESE FALL FAVORITES FROM WANNEMAKER’S! ON THE PORCH: PUMPKINS & POTTERY In the fall, porches take center stage. Bring yours to life with Wannemaker’s huge selection of porch décor—from dried cornstalks and hay bales to pumpkins, wreaths and more! Complete the scene with pottery and porch pots from Lavastone, Crescent and Novelty Pottery. IN THE GARDEN: A BOUNTY OF HARDY PICKS Although it’s known as the harvest season, fall is the perfect time for planting trees, shrubs and perennials. It allows these plants to establish their roots before winter while avoiding the most intense summer heat. Head to Wannemaker’s for fall-ready plants and spring-flowering bulbs! IN THE HOME: FESTIVE SIGHTS & SCENTS Bring the fall indoors with Wannemaker’s huge selection of seasonal products. From cinnamon candles and butternut-squash jams to artwork, wreaths, tableware and more, we have everything you need to fill your home with the sights, scents and flavors of autumn!
GROWING FAMILY TRADITIONS FOR OVER 50 YEARS.
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911 N. ELM, SUITE 230 | HINSDALE, IL | 630-323-4468 WWW.HINSDALEDENTISTRY.COM
Peter T. Harnois, DDS Michael J. Kowalczyk, DDS
WHY PATIENTS TRUST HINSDALE DENTISTRY AND DR. PETER HARNOIS FOR THEIR
Hinsdale Dentistry transforms hundreds of smiles per year. Just why are so many patients choosing this practice for cosmetic dentistry? Because they know that Dr. Harnois is an esthetics expert—not just regionally, but internationally. Combine his authority with the top-tier technologies available at his practice, and the decision becomes crystal clear. Hinsdale Dentistry has long been setting a standard for comfortable patient care, with the aid of multiple dental lasers and the iTero digital scanner for digital impressions. These tools provide more comfortable, precise and efﬁcient treatment and give patients of all ages a new understanding of dental care. Whether Hinsdale Dentistry’s patients are children receiving ﬁllings prepared with a water laser and no painful shots, adults prepping teeth for crowns or veneers, or anxious patients hoping to whiten their teeth without sensitivity or to avoid traditional impressions, the practice’s minimally invasive technologies revolutionize their experience. Dr. Harnois’ mastery of these tools has led to him becoming a sought-out trainer for emerging dental technologies and techniques. He travels throughout North America teaching other doctors to provide similarly exceptional treatment, sharing his skills as a clinician and esthetics authority.
DR. HARNOIS’ INTERNATIONAL LECTURING As a clinical trainer and lecturer for The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the American Academy of Facial Esthetics, and DenMat, the manufacturer of Lumineers, Dr. Harnois provides handson training and education to dental and medical professionals across the country. He shares his philosophy that every patient deserves the most gentle and minimally invasive cosmetic and metal-free dental treatments with natural results, and enables other dentists to elevate their patient care. THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF COSMETIC DENTISTRY (AACD) Dr. Harnois is a 10-year member of the AACD, which is considered the highest body of knowledge of esthetic dentistry. He is also one of the main presenters at their annual educational symposium each year. THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF FACIAL ESTHETICS (AAFE) Dr. Harnois is the President of the Illinois American Academy of Facial Esthetics and trains dentists in Botox and dermal ﬁller techniques. He is a nationally recognized leader in minimally invasive total facial esthetic techniques. Dr. Harnois has instructed thousands of healthcare
professionals through both lecture and hands-on courses and is an outstanding instructor who is known for his coherent and interactive style. DENMAT, LUMINEERS MANUFACTURER Dr. Harnois partners with DenMat to train other dentists in minimally invasive esthetics. He provides hands-on preparation and placement of minimally invasive, ultra-thin, highly esthetic veneers, and educates other dentists on smile design and case consultation and evaluation. He has also authored their educational platforms for the last four years. As an educational leader for current dental technologies and minimally invasive procedures, Dr. Harnois is able to truly transcend and provide patients with unparalleled dental care. If you’re interested in learning more about a noninvasive smile makeover or full mouth rehabilitation, reach out today to schedule a complimentary consultation. We are offering specials on Lumineers smile makeovers—reach out today to learn more!
911 N. ELM, SUITE 230 | HINSDALE, IL | 630-323-4468 | WWW.HINSDALEDENTISTRY.COM
Fall Season TO-DOS
LIST FOR THE
all foliage, apple picking, and spooky events mean autumn is here. Hinsdale Magazine compiled a list for the season. Mark your calendars and enjoy!
Wednesday, October 12 through Sunday, October 16 See live glass-blowing demonstrations and chat with the artists. The Glass Pumpkin Patch will feature over 6,000 hand-blown glass pumpkins and other autumnal-themed designs. Entrance to the event is included with admission to the Arboretum.
esy of Dury Lane T Court hea t
The 12th Annual Glass Pumpkin Patch Presented by The Morton Arboretum www.mortonarb.org
Murder on the Orient Express Presented by Drury Lane Theatre www.drurylanetheatre.com
Recurring weekly through October 23 The play adaptation of Agatha Christie's famous murder mystery involves the story of the Orient Express being stopped in its tracks and the murder of an American tycoon. u Co sy rte
t of M he
Ar bo r etum
HinsdaleMag.com | HINSDALE MAGAZINE
Friday, October 21 at 6:00 p.m. Join the Oak Brook Park District for a Pumpkin Hunt at the Family Aquatic Center. Children will collect eggs from the pools filled with candy and a chance to win a full-size pumpkin to take home.
Pumpkin Swim Presented by the Oak Brook Park District. www.obparks.org
/f r . co m k i p .free www
Jonomac Orchard www.jonomacorchard.com
ttle me nt Se
All Hallows Eve Presented by Naper Settlement www.napersettlement.org
Apple Picking will begin Labor Day weekend and will continue as long as apples are available. Family-owned and operated since 1984, Jonomac Orchard has an apple orchard, pumpkin patch, store and bakery, corn maze petting zoo, and more.
p Na of y s e rt Cou
rc ha rd
Friday, October 14 from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Experience 13 acres of haunting creatures, eerie entertainment, screaming delights, and must-see horrors.
no f Jo sy o e t r u
Boo at the Zoo Presented by Brookfield Zoo www.czs.org
October 8 to October 23 on Saturdays and Sundays Check out the creatures, creepy crawlers, and more in your costumes at the Halloween-themed event that's perfect for family photo ops. All ages are in for a fang-tastic time, and the kids will leave with a sweet treat.
oo Br f yo
Hinsdale Fall Sidewalk Sale Presented by the Hinsdale Chamber of Commerce www.hinsdalechamber.com
da le C
The Hinsdale Sidewalk Sale is back! Head to downtown on Saturday, October 22, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. as retailers hit the streets with sales galore! u Co
s in fH o y
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Make Your Home For The Holidays F FULLER’S
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Your Home Is Where Our Heart Is
Youth football enjoys booming registration for the fall 2022 season BY LARRY ATSEFF PHOTO COURTESY OF THE HINSDALE FALCONS
or over 50 years, tens of thousands of boys from the second grade through eighth grade have learned the proper ways to play tackle football, and thousands of girls have become enthusiastic cheerleaders for the Hinsdale Falcons Football & Cheer organization. This is all thanks to very qualified, dedicated, and passionate coaching from their dads (and, in some cases, moms). Players and coaches come from not only Hinsdale but Clarendon Hills, Burr Ridge, Westmont, Oak Brook, Willowbrook, and Darien. What follows is some history of Falcons Football and how learning the game is just one part of the experience as well as how the organization has overcome recent concerns about safety. (Continued on next page)
Hinsdale FALCONS FOOTBALL Soaring Again
11U Gold Hinsdale Falcons quarterback, Keaton Cassell, steers clear of opponents.
HINSDALE MAGAZINE | HinsdaleMag.com
HOME GROWN #WEAREDG
The Hinsdale Falcons are celebrating their 52nd anniversary this season.
THE BEGINNINGS OF FALCONS FOOTBALL They say necessity is the mother of invention. Hinsdale Central High School (HCHS) football coaches, athletic directors, and dads of sons were the fathers of invention for youth football in Hinsdale. Randy Pyle, son of Dick Pyle, is one of those fathers. Randy Pyle recalls the early days. "Falcons football was founded in the winter of 1969 to provide all those who lived in the HCHS district a place to play youth football. Harvey Dickinson, who Dickinson Field at HCHS was named after, was the Head Coach and Athletic Director at HCHS. He wanted to create a feeder program for his Red Devils, and thus Falcons Football was born. My father, Dick Pyle, Al Ward, Frank Berger, and future HCHS Head Coach Gene Strode and others worked to start the program. The Falcons played their first season in the fall of 1970 in the George Halas Division of the Fox Valley League. 20
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Back then, there were three teams of seventh and eighth graders. They played games on the field at Prospect Park, where the Clarendon Hills Middle School sits today, and practiced at Robbins Field in Hinsdale." According to Randy Pyle, "the Falcons uniforms back then were white pants with a brown and orange stripe down the side with white or brown jerseys with white helmets. Park Ridge already had rights to the red and white colors." Randy recalls, "eventually the Fox Valley League dissolved, and the Falcons joined Pop Warner, again with seventh and eighth-grade players. In the '90s, a couple of Falcons teams went to the Pop Warner Super Bowl in Florida, including a group of players who eventually made it to the semifinals." In 2000, another player's father, Tom Moen, and then HCHS Head Coach Ken Schreiner, had the foresight to leave Pop Warner Football and join the Bill George Youth Football League. Bill George Youth Football had been around for many years but was adding
teams. Coach Schreiner wanted to expand the program so that younger kids could choose between playing football and soccer. Fathers and coaches realized that younger boys could safely be taught the right way to play football, and the demand and interest were there. To this day, the Falcons compete in the league very successfully. Levels now range from second grade through eighth grade. The Hinsdale Falcons consistently vie for championships across the league's more than 15 divisions within each age group. It is not unusual for Falcons teams to take a handful of trophies each season. As Randy Pyle puts it, "supporting Falcons is a great cause and I firmly believe this is one of the most important organizations in youth sports in this town and is a tremendous asset for the community. I give much credit to Tom Moen as we needed a ton more equipment, several more coaches, more field space, and so on. Without that move, I am not sure (Continued on next page)
Presented by CSC Dermatology Questions from the community answered by doctors
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HOME GROWN what the status of Falcons football would be today." "My belief, having been a part of this for quite some time, is that not only has Falcons provided a program to teach sportsmanship, teamwork, the joy of victory and the agony of defeat but has also contributed to the community spirit of the people it serves. Examples of this can be seen at the well-attended Falcons fest events we host, the great attendance we get at Brook Park and Dickinson field, the homecoming parades, and the sense of community shared by all of those who are involved. "Sometimes, people will ask me how it is that Hinsdale Central, year in and year out, fields a good team and competes for conference titles. I think it is not because we have the best athletes (although they are very good), or the best coaches (although they are also excellent and extremely dedicated), or we have the best facilities. I believe it is truly because of the community and parental support of the program. The community comes out to watch Falcons games, the huge band on Friday nights at Hinsdale Central, the cheerleaders, and the amazing pom pom routines. And the football games." So, now you know. Because of Falcons Football, HCHS thrives in the very competitive West Suburban Conference. Every year, the vast majority, and sometimes all the 22 varsity starters have played Falcons football, and that will be no different for the upcoming 2022 season. Naturally, some Falcons players continue to play football in college. Some go beyond. Jim Zajicek has been involved with Falcon Football as a player, a coach, and a board member, and now has a son playing. He has followed Falcon Football players who have made it to NFL teams. Some only got as far as practice squads, but even that is quite an achievement. The most successful is Brian Allen who played at Michigan State and was drafted in the fourth 22
HinsdaleMag.com | HINSDALE MAGAZINE
“My belief, having been a part of this for quite some time, is that not only has Falcons provided a program to teach sportsmanship, teamwork, the joy of victory and the agony of defeat but has also contributed to the community spirit of the people it serves.”
niques in playing the game, players learn much more. As Jay Novatney, who served as president of the Falcons from 2011 to 2021, says, "players learn the value of teamwork, discipline, and sportsmanship. They know how to respect teammates and opponents and the rules. Within the league footprint, they compete against the same kids and towns even up through Hinsdale Central, and friendly rivalries also grow. They gain friendships that can be life-long. More than athletic development, the program helps kids become better and more confident students because they see the value of discipline and how hard work pays off. Countless parents have commented to me over the years how much their sons and daughters improved in the classroom by learning how to make time for study as well as for time for practice and games. And while safety and fundamentals are the highest priorities, it is also important that kids have fun and enjoy being part of the Falcons family.”
Youth football is much more than learning how to play the game
According to Brian O'Malley, a current Falcons player in eighth grade, “I have been playing Falcons Football since I was seven. As a child, I grew up with the red jersey from four older siblings in my house. My older brother Billy played football and my three sisters, Annie, Lindsey, and Christy, were all Falcons Cheerleaders. We have been a Falcons Family for over 14 years. My dad, Bill O'Malley, has been a coach all those years. It's been a true family affair. I understand why my parents love the organization, and our family supports the teams. I have made the greatest and closest friendships playing the game I love. Discipline and team leading as a quarterback has given me confidence and perseverance. I have become a stronger, driven person from playing football. Work ethic, focus, and listening skills have taught me how to take direction. Motto: Never quit, never tire, never lose faith. Falcons has prepared me for high school-level football. After a week of practice, I can't wait to get into the weekend game. I am proud to wear the Falcons jersey."
Beyond learning the proper tech-
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– RANDY PYLE
round in 2018, by the LA Rams. He is in his fifth season and was starting center on the Rams team that won the Super Bowl this year. Others include Jack and Matt Allen, brothers of Brian, Thomas Ives, Ian Bunting, Brian Musso, and Doug Kramer, and an Illinois grad, who was just drafted by the Chicago Bears.
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HOME GROWN In addition, as coaches, parents take pride in their sons and daughters and are satisfied knowing they have contributed to their children's growth. Falcons is run and coached entirely by volunteer parents and supporters. They are more than willing to make considerable commitments because the results are there for everyone to see. Almost all involved stay involved throughout their child's tenure as a Falcons football player or cheerleader, which says a lot about the equal amount of enjoyment the parents receive from the program. GREATER EMPHASIS ON SAFETY Novotney adds that perhaps one of the things that further makes the Falcons program stand out for parents, players, and coaches is its proactive commitment to safety. Football leagues throughout the country, from youth teams to the highest level of the sport in the National Football League, grappled with genuine concerns about concussions. Those concerns had a chilling effect on parents and a negative impact on the perception of the game. The Hinsdale area was no exception. Concussion concerns contributed to a dramatic drop in registrations for the Falcons from 2015-2019, reaching a low point of about 140 players – nearly half of the numbers earlier in the decade. The Falcons program and the league took several actions and renewed and enhanced the overall commitment to safety to address the concerns. First, the program reviewed concussion protocol relative to the prevailing science and continues to have it checked and approved annually by a professional athletic training vendor. That protocol follows the "when in doubt, sit them out" model. Second, all Falcons coaches must receive an annual pre-season certification from USA Football. This is a national governing body for the sport that includes training in the latest techniques in safer blocking and tackling, equipment fitting, and concussion recognition and response, among other coaching and 24
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Eighth grader John Breton plays linebacker and wide receiver on the Varsity Red Hinsdale Falcons team.
safety-related elements. Third, following the pioneering lead of HCHS, the Falcons deployed padded helmet caps in practice before the 2018 season which many colleges and even several NFL teams are now using. Additionally, for several years, each player must obtain a baseline concussion test before the season, the cost of which is borne by the program. Finally, the program continues to have all helmets reconditioned each off-season by the manufacturer, a process that includes inspection, cleaning, repair, and if warranted, rejection. The word on safety has gotten out, and the message has resulted in an uptick of players. This season, numbers in the program have ballooned to over 250 participants, and the arrow is pointing up. As Novatney says, "the program's focus on football and cheerleading fundamentals, safety and
health, teamwork, sportsmanship, respect, and fun, has never wavered. It is great to see the community again recognizing those efforts and seeing kids returning to the greatest team sport. It also helps that the game is more open and exciting with passes and catches that can more easily be seen and appreciated, compared to the 'grind it out' type football of earlier times. It is also one of the few 'no cut' sports left-at both the youth level up through high school, with little competition from travel programs. Kids that start now have the opportunity to continue playing and developing as they move from weekend Falcons football to Friday night lights." He adds, "Having watched two boys of my own, both starting as Falcons in third grade and playing at HCHS, I can personally attest to how exciting and rewarding the path is." ■
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PROFILE BY MAUREEN CALLAHAN PHOTOS COURTESY OF CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS
SCORED! Pat Foley signs off the air and into legend
ockey in Chicago will never be the same again. On April 14, 2022, the mic belonging to Pat Foley, voice of the Chicago Blackhawks, went quiet and a chapter that spanned the majority of my life, closed. Before the game began, the hall-of-fame broadcaster stood on the ice with his extended family and mother, Mary, at his side. Addressing the crowd, Foley reiterated one of his hallmark phrases, “I’m the luckiest guy in the room.” Those of us who spent several nights a week with him during hockey season are lucky, too. He delivered a heartfelt farewell to the team, organization, and fans before heading up to the press box to call the last game of his nearly four-decade run with the Blackhawks. “I’ve always been there for you.” Foley told the fans. “You’ve always been there for me.” I doubt there was a dry eye in the Madhouse. My family held season tickets for
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three decades. The majority of those years, the team followed a Wednesday and Sunday home game schedule. Come what may, we were there. Game nights, unfinished homework was completed en route, first to the Chicago Stadium, then later the United Center. Spelling words and multiplication tables were memorized before passing the 70x40 foot illuminated Magikist lips on the Eisenhower at Cicero Avenue, dutifully landmarking the journey’s three-quarter mark. We always arrived early, dodging clouds of smoke and puddles of beer as we greeted our fan family in the mezzanine. When the florescent house lights went down, fans rose from worn, black and red tweed seats to accompany Wayne Messmer singing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” High above us, Foley was already at work in the press box, sizing up the warmups, ready to account every play for fans tuned in to WBBM radio. For the years before Hawks home games were televised- and for all away gamesfans trusted Foley for a play-by-play
account of the action. And he delivered a vivid illustration, every time. Blackhawks President and CEO, John McDonough, accurately described him as “synonymous with Blackhawks hockey, with a voice that resonates loudly to our entire fan base.” A few weeks before his retirement, the legendary broadcaster sat down with me at former Coach Quenneville’s old stomping ground, York Tavern. He recounted a few memories of a wildly successful, three-thousand game career. WHAT SPARKED YOUR INTEREST IN BROADCASTING? I knew I wanted to be a sports broadcaster at ten years old. A sunny afternoon at Wrigley Field spent with then-Cubs broadcasters Jack Quinlan and Lou Boudreau planted that seed. My father, Bob Foley, owned a Buick dealership that sponsored the Cubs, hence the invitation to the radio booth that day. That led to my calling baseball and hockey games while attending Michigan State.
PROFILE HOW DID YOU GET THE JOB WITH THE BLACKHAWKS? My dad played a big role in it. The Hawks announcer had lost his voice, so they were looking for someone. Michael Wirtz, brother of then-Blackhawks owner Bill Wirtz, regularly serviced his car at Foley Buick. One day on his way home from the dealership, Michael Wirtz found himself listening to a broadcast of me calling a Grand Rapids Owls game, a former Eastern Hockey League team. My dad had strategically placed the recording in Wirtz’s tape deck. Michael passed the tape on to his brother, Bill. He said ‘hey, there’s this kid from Glenview who might be okay.’ I had already secured a job with a minor league hockey club in Erie, PA, for that season. I was thrilled to end up with the Hawks instead! My dad really got me to the right place at the right time. WHAT DID YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT THE JOB? Calling the games. I always hoped people came away from my broadcasts not only having a good picture of the game, but maybe having learned something as well. Not everybody knows what ‘offsides’ means. I’m happy to pause and explain it. I always felt I worked for the fans. Helping people understand and get interested in the game was part of it. WHAT WAS THE TOUGHEST PART OF THE JOB? The schedule, definitely. I’ve been
on the scene awhile. The players today have no idea of the hours hockey players used to keep. I flew with the team to away games on Friday nights. It was all commercial flights then, no charters. They played the game on Saturday, then stayed the night. We got on a 6 a.m. bus for the airport the next morning. Guys would go home and take a nap, then get up and come back down to the stadium to play home games on Sunday nights. It was crazy! And suffice it to say we didn’t exactly stay in five-star hotels back in the day! (Foley laughed)
“I always felt I worked for the fans. Helping people understand and get interested in the game was part of it.” -PAT FOLEY ON BROADCASTING FOR THE BLACKHAWKS
WHAT WILL YOU MISS THE MOST? There are a lot of things I’ll miss, along with the actual broadcasting of the games. There have been some great events, too. Bringing the (Stanley) Cup back to my grade school- Our Lady of Perpetual Help- in Glenview, after the 2013 win was a great day. The gym where the kids were gathered was so loud! The parade days after the
Stanley Cup victories were amazing, too. I was the emcee of the celebration at Soldier Field after the 2015 parade. I’ll miss the relationships within the organization, too. I used to play a lot of golf with some of the players. We had some good times together. The hard part of that was when a player got traded. But there’s a lot of moving around in this game. You get used to that. WOULD YOU HAVE CONSIDERED BROADCASTING OTHER SPORTS? I was open to baseball, too. I had called games in college. Hockey was what worked out, though. I’m so glad it did! Chicago hockey will be different this season. We’re going to miss his iconic, enthusiastic, “he shoots, he scores!” and “Hawks win! Hawks win!” exclamations, that came to be his calling card. Two generations of Hawks fans are grateful Foley himself, shot and scored. My family always left the games halfway through the third period to beat the Madison Street parking lot rush and mounting traffic on the Eisenhower heading back to the western suburbs. About the time we were passing the illuminated Ferrara Pan Candy sign in Forest Park, Foley would be signing off a Hawks win, saying, “we hope you enjoyed the broadcast. We KNOW you enjoyed the outcome.” Yes. We did. ■
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State Champions! Hinsdale Little League hits it out of the park
BY MAUREEN CALLAHAN
o be the best requires ongoing dedication. Hinsdale baseball players, coaches and parents put forth that effort. From Little League to travel ball, some players begin practicing while the snow is flying, honing their hitting, pitching, and fielding skills. By the time the season starts in April, they’re raring to get to the field. After regular season competition is over, top players are recruited through all-star selections as the top talent at their age level. After much intense practice and a long season, the 10- 11and 12-year-old Hinsdale Little League teams worked their
way through tough competition in the district, sectional and state tournaments, resulting in state championship rings all around! With over 550 players aged 6-12, Hinsdale Little League is important to this town, and it is supported by the dedicated service of more than a hundred volunteers. The league is also fortunate to benefit from the support of local travel teams, which encourage Little League participation. The coaches acknowledged the level of dedication put forth by parent volunteers and for the level of family support and commitment to the league.
10U Team Coaches (L-R): John O’Toole, Damon Phelan , Luke Goodwin Players (L-R): Jerry Wang, Grant Wanless, Alex Vivanco , Jack O’Toole, Bennett Shepherd, Emiliano Nepomuceno, Dillon Phelan, Kellan Goodwin, Jimmy Macri, Michael Kipnis, Colin Boots, Fred Sackley, Shane Behar
10 AND UNDER (10U) RECAP AS TOLD BY COACH JOHN O’TOOLE The 2022 Hinsdale Little League 10U
district team was a special group of kids that worked hard, respected their opponents, played the game right and looked out for one another. The boys
came from different elementary schools and different baseball teams (Continued on next page) HINSDALE MAGAZINE | HinsdaleMag.com
but melded together through long practices under the hot sun. The players excelled individually, but were even better as a team, remaining undefeated in the post season, while outscoring opponents 188 to 10. Every player brought a unique skill set to the table and contributed with key hits and defensive plays during the post-season run. The team is particularly proud of its defense, which was recognized by an opposing coach as “the best defense he had seen in a decade of coaching this level.” The boys were proud to represent Hinsdale in the State Championship run and can’t wait until next season. 11 AND UNDER (11U) RECAP AS TOLD BY COACH CRAIG CASSELL The 2022 Hinsdale Little League 11U district team was a great group of kids, who worked unbelievably hard to earn the State Championship. The commitment from the boys and their families to practices and games from late June through July and early August was intense at times.That said, the boys were proud to represent the Village of Hinsdale while traveling to all the games and understand the honor bestowed on them during the Little League tournaments.Each player brought something special to the team and contributed with key plays during at each tournament game.The 2022 11U team will be remembered as grinders. GATA!
11U Team Coaches (L-R): Chris Marnell, Craig Cassell, Bill Main Players top row (L-R): Cal Gambla, Landon Ronaldson, Benji Pesoli, Dylan Thicke, Keaton Cassell, Brock Willits, Jack Haunty. Bottom row (L-R): Liam Wos, Chase Morris, Luke Main, Mathew Wiskowski, Spencer Marnell, Jude Rastorfer
12 AND UNDER (12U) RECAP AS TOLD BY COACH STEVE PABST The 2022 Hinsdale Little League 12U district team was a motivated group of kids that worked extremely hard and came together to play as a team, rather than as individuals. Each player embraced his specific role. It seemed like someone new stepped up to be the hero at every game. We pitched multiple no-hitters, played exceptional defense, and had countless big hits, which made for an exciting run. They showed strength the whole way, playing in front of huge crowds, defeating the defending state champion twice, and winning four elimination games
12U Team Coaches (L-R): Justin Perucki, Jason Havens, Steve Pabst. Players top row (L-R): Dom Colmone, Beau Gatewood, Milan Bansal, Brady Hannigan, Eli Havens, Prescott Nicholson, Connor Perucki, Drew Pabst. Bottom row (L-R): Jack Omiecinski, Grant Goodwin, John Doyle, Mikey Menza, Will Barclay
to earn another State Championship title for our program. Although we fell just short of representing the Great Lakes Region at the Little League World Series, the kids truly enjoyed a once in a lifetime experience. From taking batting practice at
Wrigley Field, having several hundred people show up in support to send them off to Regionals, to playing on ESPN, they all bonded together and made some lifetime memories.Theboys represented themselves and the community very well. Their coaches could not be prouder! ■
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HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETICS
Red Devil GRIT Award-winning Athletic Directors lead by example
he outstanding athletic department at Hinsdale Central (HC) is known throughout the state. A deep pool of talented athletes, led by a superior staff of dedicated coaches, deliver outstanding results year after year. Behind it are Athletic Director Dan Jones and Assistant Athletic Director Kelly Watson, the stewards of this superior program. The last seven years, Jones and Watson have been a dynamic duo, steering this outstanding group of coaches and student athletes. Next year will pose a challenge, as the retirement of Jones at the end of this schoolyear will upset the balance. There will be some big gym shoes to fill. Athletic Director Jones began his career close to three and a half decades ago as a science teacher at St. Mary Star of the Sea, a parochial school near Midway airport. That year, he also coached freshman football at his alma mater, Oak Forest High School. In 1990, Jones moved west to DeKalb, where he taught middle and high school history and geography. He also coached all levels of football, wrestling and track and field. For seven years, he served as the DeKalb High School Athletic and Activity Director, a job he reluctantly accepted in 2005, as a favor to the school’s principal. Hesitant to leave the classroom, Jones said he would fill the role for the upcoming year. Now in his eighteenth year as an athletic director- the last ten of which at HCJones says he has loved athletic
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BY MAUREEN CALLAHAN PHOTO BY 726 VISUALS
directing, but sometimes still misses teaching and coaching. “The time spent helping students reach their goals is very rewarding,” said Jones. “I only hope as an athletic director, I had the same positive effect on our athletes over the years, as I did in the classroom and on the playing field.” As a 2022 finalist for the National Athletic Director of the Year award, Jones should feel reassured that his efforts and encouragement will never be forgotten. Jones has worked hard to set a tone of equality among all sports, providing whatever each player and coach needed to be successful. He considers the opportunity to see athletes compete in the sports they love as the best part of the job. He feels the thrill of victory, as well as the agony of defeat, for each player and coach in the athletic program. When asked what he will miss the most, the students and staff were paramount on the list. “Being a Red Devil is the best. This school is a special place,” Jones relayed. With an entire schoolyear left to go, retirement plans are still up in the air. “I have a lot left to do. I’ll focus on the future later. I’ve learned that long term plans change quickly,” Jones laughed. At Jones’ right hand is the 2022 recipient of the Assistant Athletic Director of the Year award, Kelly Watson. Jones nominated Watson for the award, stating that “Kelly goes above and beyond for her students and our programs.” With roots from close by, Watson
grew up in Western Springs and attended Lyons Township High School, where she played varsity volleyball and basketball. A Division I scholarship allowed her the opportunity to play volleyball at Miami of Ohio. Watson believes her involvement in athletics at the collegiate level helped her learn valuable time management skills. “The mindfulness of keeping a schedule in order to get everything done is an important life skill,” she said. “Sports helped me learn to manage my life,” Watson believes. Watson came to HC in 2005. Her last thirteen years have been spent in a collaborative partnership with Jones, as mentors for the coaching staff and student athletes. “Dan Jones is an incredible mentor and great friend. Our coaching staff is among the best around and we enjoy working with them,” Watson stated. “Getting to know our athletes and seeing them succeed, as well as learn to handle adversity on and off the field of competition, is a very rewarding part of the job.” Over the years, Watson has transitioned from field to court, having coached girls basketball, girls and boys volleyball, softball and tennis. Currently, she coaches JV2 tennis and teaches adaptive PE for students with disabilities. She has also served as the head coach of the Special Olympics basketball team; a role Watson finds most rewarding. “Every moment spent with my Special Olympic athletes is the best part of my job. Their level of dedication and smiles of pride are incredible,” Watson relayed. ■
“Success has different forms for different people. We work hard in the classroom and do our best on the field to do things the right way. We call this Red Devil GRIT.” – DAN JONES ON ACADEMIC AND ATHLETIC SUCCESS AT HINSDALE CENTRAL.
Athletic Director Dan Jones and Assistant Athletic Director Kelly Watson have worked together the last seven years at Hinsdale Central.
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From idea to finished product, Props has been a four year journey. Photo by Eileen Kennedy
Luggage Rises To The Occasion 36
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The suitcase that will revolutionize travel
e’ve all been there. A crowded airport terminal with a longer-than-expected layover. No open space for the kids to put their food or do their homework. Somewhere to set a coffee and a laptop at exactly that moment would be perfect.
BY MAUREEN CALLAHAN
The PROPS suitcase does just thatprop up on legs. A barely visible handle near the wheels provides an easy way to grip the case to turn it from vertical to horizontal. The legs easily fold out to transform the suitcase into a small, table-like structure ready to hold a laptop, lunch or beverage. The outer polycarbonate shell is remarkably durable, despite its seven-pound
(empty) weight. It’s light enough to easily handle, while hard enough to provide a sturdy work surface. “People always say to me ‘I can’t believe nobody ever thought of this,’” Gerth said. ‘’Actually, they had.” Several patents for less-sophisticated ideas have been filed over the years. However, none of them ever made it
Maggie Gerth, Hinsdale resident and mother of four, spent years in those situations. In addition to the airport scenario, Gerth constantly found herself on the losing end of keeping hotel rooms organized, with a family that frequently traveled.
“The product you see is a result of hundreds of decisions. I really found my voice through this project.” -MAGGIE GERTH, HINSDALE RESIDENT AND CREATOR OF PROPS.
One day in a chaotic hotel room with one luggage rack for six people, Gerth had an a-ha moment. She began to think about how she could elevate suitcases off questionably clean hotel floors. Out of this frustration evolved PROPS, the first suitcase on the market with expandable legs. This stateof-the-art travel case will eliminate inconvenience, one business traveler -or stressed parent- at a time. Not since the wheel was added to the suitcase has the travel industry seen such an overdue solution. In short, it will revolutionize the luggage industry.
The suitcase becomes a work surface with a built-in luggage stand.
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PROPS Luggage offers travelers convenience.
to market. “Now I know why,” Gerth laughed. “Creating it was an engineering nightmare.” Unsure of where to start, Gerth and husband Robert attended the Travel Goods Show in New Orleans. There they hired a luggage consultant. Next came the design engineer, whose task was to bring an idea initially sketched on a cocktail napkin, to life. Overwhelmed by early engineering meetings, Gerth quickly learned to trust her team. “You don’t have to know everything, but you do have to hire the right people and trust them,” she said. Unable to design a case that met the specifications after a year, a second engineer had to be found. The already expensive endeavor was lengthened. All luggage must pass rigorous testing before it can come to market. After each of the eight prototypes was developed, Gerth was sent videos 38
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of every test, with requirements of the changes needed. Finally, the current design passed. A TSA-approved combination lock system was added to ensure the security needed to prevent theft, while allowing airport security to open the case without damaging it. The patent process was not for the faint of heart, either. A name, logo and design had to be finalized before the trademarking could be assigned. It’s a complicated procedure in which there is much room for error. A Milwaukee marketing firm was hired to promote the product. Twenty or so possible names were discussed. “You begin to recognize the importance of a name when you’re looking to market your product,” Gerth said. “Ideally, the name of the product explains what it does.” Currently visible on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok, PROPS are starting to appear in airports throughout the world with
internet influencers. In addition to its iconic fold-out legs, the packing system is another unique PROPS feature. While the suitcase is comparably sized to other carry-ons, an interior compression system maximizes space, accommodating as much as an industry standard-sized case. Everything is packed into one main compartment with a top-lid opening approach. Top-of-theline YKK Zippers smoothly expand the depth always needed for unforeseen souvenirs. Available in four modern colors thus far, the palate has changed considerably over the length of the project. “Believe it or not, creating and naming colors is quite an involved process,” Gerth relayed. While Graphite and Midnight are the closest to traditional dark luggage colors, they are still several shades from those currently found in airport bag-
Maggie Gerth credits her supportive family for the finished product. Photo by Brian Malloy
gage claims. Ivory and Ice offer a bright, modern look. After four years in the making, the PROPS website went live in June with the first product rollout set for mid-September. It’s been a long road. There were a few hiccups, the largest of which was COVID. Gerth found herself creating a travel product for an industry that was essentially frozen. “I had a few moments of doubt,”
Gerth confessed. Ultimately, she kept on with the project, hoping that the launch would coincide with the restart of travel. Perfect timing. Gerth credits the encouragement of her husband Robert and daughters Colleen, Mary, Elizabeth and Kathleen, with the completion of the project. When asked what kept her on task in frustrating moments, Gerth thoughtfully reflected before stating,
“I have four daughters. I started this project because I wanted to bring my idea to life. But I also wanted my daughters to understand that if you want to accomplish something, you must see it through.” ■ Look for PROPS suitcases as travel get back on track this fall. Visit https:// propsluggage.com/
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Hinsdale Central High School grads bicycle cross-country for charity
RIDE BY LARRY ATSEFF
here are several ways to help people with disabilities or people in need. You can write a check. You can volunteer your time and effort and help them physically on a personal basis. Or you might take another route, like participating in a cross-country bicycling marathon fundraiser over 60 days and 4,000 miles.
Charlie Fix and Zack Northey, two 2020 Hinsdale Central High School alumni and personal friends, took the latter approach and said they would never forget it. Their bicycle group of 17 riders and five support members, following in a truck, joined two other groups from the same University of Colorado Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. Together, all 58 of them raised $370,000 pedaling across the country. They began their journey on June 12 in San Francisco and finished on Aug. 13 in Washington, D.C. What possessed them to participate?
CHARLIE FIX BEGINNING HIS JOURNEY IN SAN FRANCISCO.
Their fraternity has had a tradition of doing charitable work this way for decades. Since 1987, "Journey of Hope" has not only helped the men of Pi Kappa Phi become service leaders but has raised funds and awareness for people with disabilities. It has raised millions and helped thousands across the country. The event caught the imagination of Charlie, Zack, and several other fraternity brothers. They talked to others who had participated and were told it was something they would never regret, but it would be challenging for various reasons. First, they had to set aside more than two months of their lives during summertime for the cross-country journey. Then, once committed, they had to start a personal fundraising campaign by asking family, friends, neighbors, and acquaintances if they
would support their "Journey of Hope" by donating for every mile they rode. That was a valuable life lesson in itself for the duo, garnering a mix of pledges and rejections. Ultimately, they succeeded, with Charlie raising $15,026 and Zack raising $12,280. Before the ride, both also had to prepare mentally and physically to bike the 75 to 90 miles a day over 60 days with the barest of essentials and places to sleep and eat. The training was vital to their success, but Charlie did regret not taking more 20-mile rides to prepare. According to him, "the physical half was robust the first two weeks, particularly going through the Rockies and a sizzling climate. By the end, it was psychologically taxing. We had to stay constructive and centered." (Continued on next page) HINSDALE MAGAZINE | HinsdaleMag.com
THE “JOURNEY OF HOPE” TEAM READY TO LEAVE THE WEST COAST.
“Journey of Hope” is a mission of The Means Expertise which gives grants to roughly 200 organizations serving folks with disabilities representing communities in 41 states. It offers hands-on group constructing, fundraising, and empathy-promoting actions to enhance the lives of younger males and people with disabilities throughout the nation. Visit www.stylish.org/ occasion/journey-ofhope-2022/e361634 for more information.
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Along the way, Charlie and Zack experienced many emotions from "friendship visits" as they met with organizations that assist people with disabilities throughout the country. These visits along the way spread the message of empathy and acceptance and helped both understand the circumstances of the people they were helping. These visits were highly memorable for Charlie. "We came to realize how fortunate we are and were not prepared for the gratitude from the people we were helping," he said. "It's been unimaginable watching wheelchair softball for example. I felt fortunate to be part of these events, which was undoubtedly the best part of the journey." Zack concurs, saying, "the visits allowed me to meet many individuals I would have never met. I like spreading positivity, and it's been an extremely nice lesson. The response we got from everybody we met on the journey was unimaginable." Both credited their parents for their support. Zack said his father Dave Northey is an Ironman Athlete and helped him train ahead of time. Charlie's Mom, Sara Fix, also is an Ironman Athlete. As they approached the
Chicago area, Sara joined Charlie and Zack's group in Iowa. "I am beyond proud to have a son that would commit to helping others and connect with all the friends he made at the visits as well as the teammate bond," Sara said. Sara herself was lucky enough to ride 450 miles over four days with the group and participate in a visit. "I covered the miles, and I watched the team bond firsthand. Lucky me, it was nothing short of spectacular and will be in my heart forever," she said. "Having my mom join the tour undoubtedly helped put me into a groove. The psychological side is about preserving a constructive angle. You need to smile and snicker along the way," Charlie added. When asked if they will do it again? Charlie and Zack said it was a once-ina-lifetime experience. The Fix and Northey families would like to thank their kind and generous friends and family for their support. Charlie was one of the top fundraisers with Zack not too far behind. Donations are still being accepted in the name of Charlie (www. stylish.org/fundraiser/3638973) or Zack (w w w.st yl ish.org/f u ndraiser/3666376).■
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The Mistletoe Medley Fashion Show attracts 500 or more annually.
A GOLDEN YEAR Oak Brook Chapter, Infant Welfare Society of Chicago
BY MARGE TRESLEY, CO-PRESIDENT
his is an extraordinary time for the Oak Brook Chapter as it marks its 50th anniversary of financial and volunteer support for the Infant Welfare Society of Chicago. Members say it has been a rewarding and memorable journey.
Last year, Mistletoe Medley raised $200,000 – a far cry from the Chapter’s first fundraising forays a half century ago. Importantly, what remains the same is the dedication and commitment of volunteers who care deeply about the patients served at the Angel Harvey Family Health Center.
The year was 1973, and a group of dynamic and philanthropic women in Oak Brook decided to form a new Chapter of the IWS Auxiliary.
Like the Chapter, the Infant Welfare Society has evolved, adding services and programs to respond to its patients’ changing needs. Its broad spectrum of care includes: prenatal, well-child and sick care, pediatric and family dentistry, optometry, adult health, and family counseling. Several services, such as orthodontia and therapies for children experiencing developmental delays, are seldom seen in a community health clinic setting.
Minnie Sandstedt, a Founding Member, speaks knowledgeably about the group’s remarkable history. “Not surprisingly, the Chapter’s fundraising looked very different 50 years ago versus today. Then, it was about bake sales, card parties and luncheons. But, as time passed, our fundraisers became more elaborate, we raised more money, and our expectations grew accordingly.” Today, the Oak Brook Chapter is synonymous with Mistletoe Medley, a fundraising juggernaut that began in 1984. In its early days, it hosted about 150 guests and raised thousands of dollars. Now, it is often described as a “holiday tradition” in the Oak Brook area and beyond, attracting over 500 attendees annually.
munity supporters who open their hearts to those in need. The benefit will be held on November 29th at Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace. It has all the ingredients for a perfect day, including terrific Preferred and Special Raffle prizes, great shopping in our Holiday Boutique, a luncheon, and a runway fashion show that will dazzle guests. The Chapter is also delighted to partner with the Hinsdale Magazine Group and Oakbrook Center, that marks its 60th anniversary this year, on a “Giving Week” at Oakbrook Center from December 10 – 17 during which participating retailers will donate a percentage of their sales to Oak Brook Infant Welfare.
IWS’s mission and message resonate with members and have inspired them throughout the decades. Of course, important anniversaries like this one call for BIG PLANS, and the Chapter has several in place for this milestone year.
Members say they are honored and proud to celebrate their 50th year of support for the Infant Welfare Society. Last, but certainly not least, the group is very appreciative of its IWS “family and friends” who have enabled the Oak Brook Chapter to make a difference in so many lives. ■
Mistletoe Medley 2022 is entitled “Hearts of Gold” in recognition of the group’s 50th anniversary. The name also acknowledges the Chapter’s donors, sponsors, friends, and com-
[You can help the Chapter provide vital healthcare services to children and families in need. Donations accepted at: oakbrookchapterinfantwelfare.org] HINSDALE MAGAZINE | HinsdaleMag.com
DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE
What’s Your Legacy? National Estate Planning Awareness Week, observed October 17 – 23, is an ideal time to start thinking about creating a lasting legacy in your community.
BY: KIM COOGAN, CPA, JD, AND YASHICA WEEKS, MS, CFRE FROM DUPAGE FOUNDATION
reated by a congressional resolution in 2008 and celebrated annually each October, National Estate Planning Awareness Week seeks to bring national attention to the importance of Americans having an estate plan. A recent CNBC survey found that 67 percent of adult Americans currently have no plan for the transfer of their assets upon their passing. Creating an estate plan allows individuals to articulate the desired allocation of their assets, while affording them the opportunity to personally consider unique family circumstances, provide for beneficiaries, maximize tax savings,
communicate business succession, and provide for their favorite charitable causes and organizations. If you are among the 67 percent of Americans who do not currently have an estate plan, there is good news: there is still time to act and you have resources available to help you. According to a recent study titled “Illinois Transfer of Wealth Opportunity,” published by LOCUS Impact Investing with support from Forefront, the Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations and others, it is estimated that $434 billion will transfer through Illinois estates over the next 10 years, with nearly $53 billion passing through
DuPage County estates alone. Imagine the impact on our community’s most pressing needs if just 5 percent ($2.65 billion) of the $53 billion were directed to local causes. When you create an estate plan, you have the power to make a difference not only for your loved ones but for your community, neighbors and favorite causes. It is important to seek competent legal counsel as you begin to consider your estate plan. There are many ways to approach the transfer of your accumulated wealth to your family, friends and favorite charitable organizations. In talking with your estate planning attorney about your plan, expect to discuss HINSDALE MAGAZINE | HinsdaleMag.com
GIVING BACK your assets and learn about the tax laws and other legal aspects of an estate plan. You not only have an opportunity to implement a legally sound estate plan, but to also craft a robust, custom wealth transfer plan that reflects who you are, and what is important to you, so that your estate planning documents reflect your unique values. Make sure to share with your estate planning attorney your more personal priorities: What are your goals for your family? What are your concerns? What kind of legacy do you hope to create? Has there been a particularly meaningful experience in your life that has helped you become who you are today? Or is there a cause that is near and dear to your heart? Do you want to find a way to memorialize that experience, or further your passion for that cause, e.g., through a charitable bequest or scholarship? If you are so inclined, share your personal story during your consultation with your attorney, and express your vision for your legacy to your family and others, so that your attorney can help you design an estate plan that reflects your values and that is a meaningful reflection of the legacy you wish to create. Providing for the causes and organizations that matter most to you in your will, trust and through other charitable giving vehicles can be incredibly rewarding. To give you a flavor for the spectrum of charitable planning techniques, here are several that are commonly used: 1. Provide in your will or trust agreement for a dollar amount or percentage of your estate to be distributed to charity upon your passing. 2. If you have pre-tax funds in an IRA or other retirement account, provide in your beneficiary designation for a dollar amount or percentage of the account to be distributed to charity upon your passing, in which case the gift
avoids taxation, as the charity is tax-exempt. 3. Donate a life insurance policy to a charity. 4. Create a charitable remainder trust or charitable lead trust. Both involve funding an irrevocable trust with a sum of money. The charitable remainder trust makes payments to specified individuals for a period of time and, at the end of the trust term, the remaining funds are distributed to one or more charities. The charitable lead trust provides payments to charities for the term of the trust, and, at the end of the trust term, the balance is distributed to your beneficiaries. These are called “split interest” gifts. 5. Many charitable organizations offer charitable gift annuities, whereby you make a charitable gift, and the charity pays you or a named beneficiary an annuity at a certain rate. 6. Establish a Donor-Advised Fund (DAF), to which you can contribute cash or appreciated assets (like stock, mutual funds, real estate or closely-held business interests) now, receive eligibility for an immediate tax deduction, and then recommend grants from the fund to charitable organizations of your or your loved ones’ choosing on your time frame either this year or in subsequent years. 7. If you wish to make a gift during lifetime and you are 70½ or older, you can make a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD), transferring up to $100,000 from your traditional IRA directly to one or more charitable organizations—with no income recognized by you or the charity. (Your spouse may also do the same.) For those 72 and older, these distributions will count toward your annual Required Minimum Distribution (RMD).
No one spends a lifetime growing a successful business, progressing in a meaningful career or being prudent stewards over their resources to have probate court determine the designation of their accumulated assets. Contact a trusted estate planning attorney today to plan for tomorrow. Estate and charitable planning are surprisingly creative processes, with a myriad of methods and vehicles available to accomplish your goals. Whether you wish to leave a onetime monetary bequest to a charitable organization upon your passing, or you have in mind more of a lasting, permanent legacy charitable gift, you’ll want to provide for the gift to be made in a manner which best accomplishes the impact you want to make in your community, your place of worship, or the wider world. From simple outright contributions to sophisticated planned charitable gifts, DuPage Foundation is an invaluable resource for all potential donors, helping match passions and resources with needs and opportunities. As DuPage County’s philanthropic leader, DuPage Foundation manages more than 360 charitable funds on behalf of individuals, families, businesses, not-for-profits, and our community and has awarded more than $65 million in grants to not-for-profit organizations serving the residents of DuPage County and beyond. For support in implementing your charitable giving goals, please contact DuPage Foundation at 630.556.5556 or visit dupagefoundation.org for ways to CREATE YOUR LEGACY. ■
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HISTORY The Downers Grove Golf Club Marks its 130th Season
he historic Downers Grove Golf Club is celebrating its 130th season. It was originally the Chicago Golf Club and established in 1892, when Charles Blair Macdonald – who, according to Golf Journal, was “a true and imposing pioneer of golf in America” – persuaded 30 of his colleagues to each contribute $10 to design and construct a nine-hole golf course. The site selected was 60 acres of farmland owned by A. Haddow Smith, a golfer from Scotland who had recently immigrated to the area. When the course opened, it was the first one west of the Allegheny Mountains. After the course’s inaugural season, Macdonald convinced the Chicago
DOWNERS GROVE GOLF CLUB HOLDS A SIGNIFICANT PLACE IN U.S. HISTORY.
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BY VALERIE HARDY | PHOTOS BY 726 VISUALS
Golf Club members to add nine more holes. With the course’s expansion in 1893, it became the first 18-hole golf course in the United States. However, the following year, the Chicago Golf Club members were so taken with the sport, they decided to build a new course on more acreage near Wheaton. Shortly thereafter, the original course in Downers Grove reverted to nine holes. From 1895 to 1968, the site had several different owners and operated as The Illinois Golf Club and, later, the Belmont Golf Club. The Downers Grove Park District purchased the property in 1968 and renamed it the Downers Grove Golf Club. Over the years, many golfers have played the course; perhaps, however, none more famous than Lee Trevino, a “PGA Legend, who conducted a clinic at the course,” said Ken McCor-
mick, General Manager of the Downers Grove Golf Club. You do not have to be a World Golf Hall of Famer like Trevino to play a round at the Downers Grove Golf Club, though. Opportunities abound for golfers of all ages: instructional golf camps for children ages 3-18; private, semi-private, and group lessons for junior and adult golfers of any skill level; and morning and twilight leagues Monday-Thursday and two men’s clubs on Saturday mornings. The Downers Grove Golf Club is also the home course for the Downers Grove North High School golf teams. When leagues, school tournaments, or special events like the annual Couples Scramble are not running, tee times are available for reservation. McCormick said, “We encourage golfers to visit over the coming year to see the great improvements we’ve made and
Downers Grove Golf Club BY THE NUMBERS
THE NEW DRIVING RANGE SHELTER OPENED IN 2018 KEEPS GOLFERS MORE COMFORTABLE ON HOT OR COLD DAYS.
to learn about this significant site and its part of golfing history.” The Downers Grove Golf Club’s recent improvements include the addition of a driving range shelter, which includes seating, heaters, and ceiling fans to “provide a great experience all year long, with an escape from the heat in the summer to a comfortable environment to work on your game during the winter,” McCormick said. The shelter has also virtually eliminated the need to cancel golf lessons or camps due to inclement weather. The range also features a practice putting green, sand trap, chipping area, and new private lesson tee “to create a premium experience throughout the property,” McCormick said. The interior of the clubhouse is newly renovated and the pro shop expanded, and a patio renovation will begin this fall. “Our goal is to bring
additional amenities to the course and allow our guests to stay after their round and enjoy the experience in the clubhouse and on the patio overseeing the ninth hole,” McCormick said. There has been an increased focus on food and beverage this season, and in addition to relaxing with a snack or drink from the clubhouse, on certain dates, golfers may purchase items from various food vendors scheduled to be at the course. The Downers Grove Golf Club is open to the public daily from sunrise to dusk – weather permitting. The course typically opens for the season the first week in March and remains open contingent on the weather (it was open until Christmas the past two years). ■
hitting stations at the driving range
par for the course
approximate number of league players per week during peak golf season
employees at the course, including starters, rangers, range attendants, bartenders, pro shop attendants, beverage cart staff, and grounds superintendent, assistant superintendent, and crew
full-time golf teaching professionals – Jim Festle & Tom Olms
number of minutes between each tee time
the hole on which the most golfers have shot a hole-in-one (check out the plaque in the clubhouse for a list of the lucky players who have gotten a hole-in-one at the course)
the record-setting number of rounds played on the course last year
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The Burr Ridge Veterans Memorial A tribute to local heroes BY LARRY ATSEFF PHOTOS COURTEST OF THE BURR RIDGE VETERANS MEMORIAL COMMITTEE
patriot is someone who loves, supports, and defends one’s country. From the Revolutionary War until today, men and women have loved this country enough to serve in the military. They are patriots. This is the story of eight military members who served in World War II and The Korean War. They formed the Burr Ridge Veterans Memorial Committee in July of 2001. As patriots, they came together to build and maintain the Burr Ridge Veterans Memorial to honor those of the past, those who serve today, and those who will serve in the future. The original eight members included Tim Vaclav, Chairman, who originated the idea, John Curin, Jack Schaus, who served as Treasurer, Clarence “Andy” Anderson, Dick Coan, Warren Kubistal, Len Ruzak, and Steve Zaher. Vaclav, Coan, Ruzak, and Curin are still here today of that founding group. Other veterans over time have helped with the initiative, including Dennis Bull and Bob Sansone. FUNDRAISING EFFORTS The original members were not professional fundraisers but did have true dedication and connections. They met monthly, and each would share how their relationships could lead to donations. As Len Ruzak points out, “the memorial, in many ways, owes a great
The Burr Ridge Veterans Memorial was completed in 2010.
deal to many private citizens, companies, and organizations who were inspired by our memorial committee efforts over nine years. Supporters came not only from Burr Ridge but many other communities, near and far.” According to John Curin, the group worked tirelessly with other local organizations to help raise the necessary funds. “Committee members worked with retirement communities like Brighton Gardens and King-Brauwert House, which held pancake breakfasts and spaghetti dinners. Committee members and their spouses stuffed water bill envelopes with pledge cards asking for donations to purchase honor bricks. ITT Technical Institute conducted car washes. Burr Ridge Public Works ran open houses for donations, and the Burr Ridge Park District collected contributions. People hosted cocktail dinner parties where proceeds from the event went to the
memorial.” The committee also asked and received support from the Village of Burr Ridge for donations, and to this day, the Village contributes to the maintenance of the memorial. Many organizations, including the Willowbrook Burr Ridge Chamber of Commerce, joined the effort. The local Harris Bank branch also offered their lobby to the committee to ask for donations. One year, the Gower School District honored veterans on Veterans Day, and student-raised funds were given to the memorial. “One of the most ingenious and successful fundraisers,” says As Len Ruzak, “was the appraisal fundraiser by MIR Appraisal Services.” MIR appraises fine art and personal property, from antiques to furniture. Ruzak continues, “people brought their antiques to be appraised. MIR did this (Continued on next page) HINSDALE MAGAZINE | HinsdaleMag.com
SPOTLIGHT bricks honoring service members for all his military employees. In addition, he backed the cost of funding the memorial fountain.
Above: Construction of the Burr Ridge Veterans Memorial broke ground in June 2009.
From 2001 to the dedication on June 10, 2010, over $270,000 was raised. In addition, many organizations contributed time, equipment, and labor to help. It was a group effort, from clearing the site to make room where the memorial is located to installing all the honor bricks with the names of veterans on them.
Middle: Steve Zaher, Warren Kubistal, Jack Schaus, Len Ruzak in front of the “pledge thermometer” used to gauge how fundraising was proceeding. Right: Several of the founding members of the club included Len Ruzak, Jack Schaus, Clarence “Andy” Anderson, Tim Vaclav, Warren Kubistal, Steve Zaher and John Curin.
Groups continued to raise money, and those small amounts started adding up. Large donors started to participate thanks to Joan Sunseri, a consultant to local foundations, who volunteered her services. She worked with her contacts which led to more memorial gifts. She later became a member of the committee. Many individuals reached out to friends and colleagues. Steve Zaher, who served as an Army Ranger, contacted Army Ranger Maurice Greenberg of New York and convinced him to make a substantial donation. And Paul Bailey, a former Marine, and a Burr Ridge businessman purchased 58
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Groundbreaking occurred on June 6, 2009 (the D-Day 65th Anniversary). And then, on June 26, 2010, the finished Burr Ridge Veterans Memorial was dedicated and open to the public. One plaque lists the original committee members. Another plaque lists that that gave special donations of support and the groups who contributed their labor, materials, and expertise. Since then, the Veterans Memorial Committee has held events for both Veterans Day and Memorial Day. But the most significant event now conducted annually is the Armed Forces Day ceremony every May. It is free for all. This unique holiday honors the military currently serving on duty. Very few towns in the state or country formally observe Armed Forces Day, but Burr Ridge does so in a beautiful setting with the distinguished military on active duty speaking at the ceremonies. IN THE FAMILY
at no charge so that all raised went to the Memorial Fund.” Beyond appraisals, MIR auctioned off a 1974 Lincoln Mark IV automobile donated by a local resident. Burr Ridge Car Care donated the labor and parts to make the vehicle more attractive. A Wisconsin Ford Dealer purchased it, and all the proceeds went to the Memorial.
into the entire design.
DESIGN EFFORTS When determining the memorial location, the committee took wise advice and selected a site different from the original plan. Initially, the memorial was to be located at McCullough Park (Plainfield Road and County Line Road). While a nice setting, access was problematic. Mayor Gary Grasso recommended a better site between the Burr Ridge Village Hall and the Police Station, so it would be highly visible and seen by everybody. He was right. When designing the memorial, there were also significant changes. At the outset, the committee worked with architect Keith Larson, who created a simple structure. As time passed, he was asked to make a more substantial memorial with five columns (representing each of the military services), a dome, and a fountain. He was also asked to incorporate honor bricks
Original founding member John Curin is proud of several grandchildren who have been involved with the memorial and Armed Forces Day ceremonies. Cody Curin served on the committee as the youngest ever at 24, from 2014-2017, while in ROTC in graduate school. He is now on active duty as a Captain and Psychologist in the Army Medical Corps. He hopes one day to be a speaker at an Armed Forces Day event. Ben Rydecki, another grandson, was primarily responsible for bringing the Marmion Academy military band to perform at the memorial. Being a trumpet player, he has also returned several times to play “Taps” and sing the national anthem. Lastly, two Curin granddaughters Morgan and Alanna Peters, sang the national anthem at the memorial in honor of their brother Mason. He was serving as an Army Paratrooper at the time.
(Continued on next page)
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SPOTLIGHT Finally, Korean veteran Len Ruzek donated the original five flags to honor his five brothers who served in World War II. MOVING FORWARD Today, the Burr Ridge Memorial Committee not only has members Len Ruzak and John Curin but also includes military veterans Ken Thompson, Mike Monday, and John Moskal. Russ Smith, a Village Trustee, Village Clerk Sue Schaus, daughter of founding member Jack Schaus, and Mickey Straub, as Chairman, are also part of the committee. Over time, there have been appropriate additions, such as the eagle on a pedestal donated by Mr. Straub. And like all construction, the War Memorial needs maintenance and repair. The Veterans Memorial Fund was created to serve that purpose in cooperation with the Village. When visiting the memorial, look closely at the bricks with the names of veterans who have served. Certain family names are repeated over and over again, like the Ruzaks, Zahers, Vodickas, Bedoes, and the Curins. One family, the Sollars, has one family member who served in the Revolutionary War and another who served in the War of 1812. The Burr Ridge Veterans Memorial serves its purpose exceptionally well, and the community thanks the committed local veterans. They worked tirelessly over the years to raise funds for the memorial construction. If you want to contribute to the Veterans Memorial Fund, contact Mickey Straub at 630-669-1726 or visit www. burr-ridge.org. If you would like to honor a veteran with an honor brick, contact Sue Schaus at 312.925. 4587 or email at 10schaus@ gmail.com. ■
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Weight Loss Journey FROM 329 TO 217 WITH CHICAGO WEIGHT LOSS MD BY N SUWAN, MD American Board Certified in Obesity Medicine
besity is a very complex disease that sometimes needs multiple treatment options. If you are struggling to lose weight or to maintain weight loss, for your own health, get help. I would like to share the motivating weight loss journey of my patient S.W. The patient started with a very high BMI that may qualify her for bariatric surgery for weight loss, but the patient was able to lose over 30% of her body weight with our conservative approach and without surgery . “I started going to Dr Suwan’s Obesity Clinic in July of 2021. Back then I never thought that my weight loss dream will come true. My constant weight gain was really stressful and unhealthy, and it began to affect not only my physical but also my mental well being. My self esteem was low and I had really become reclusive. I began the process at 329 pounds. My heart still drops at the thought of this. But I was determined to get
control of my health. My office visit started with a simple weigh in and BMI. Together we worked on a plan specifically for me that included diet, exercise and FDA approved medications. It’s been over a year since I first weighed in at her office at 329 and as of today I am at 217 pounds. The healthy habits that I have adapted because of the changes Dr Suwan had me to make have had a lasting effect. I say all this to say if you feel like losing weight is hard, it doesn’t have to be. If you struggle with the highs and lows of dieting, don’t. Please seek professional medical advice, it is worth it. I worked so hard to get where I am today and I can’t express how grateful I am to Dr Suwan and her expertise.” So my beautiful patient lost 112 pounds so far and still we are working together for her to reach and maintain her ideal weight, and the health journey continues.
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GETTING TO THE
Heart of the Matter Young Hearts for Life educates communities on the importance of early cardiac screening BY CINDY MAQUET PHOTOS COURTESY OF YOUNG HEARTS FOR LIFE
n 2005, Dr. Joseph Marek, a clinical cardiologist with Advocate Heart Institute, was approached by a mother from Naperville who had recently lost her teenage son due to Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD). He had no sign of health concerns and no family history of heart problems. His first symptom was death. It was important for her to find out what could have prevented this tragedy. Dr. Marek had no answers. But coincidentally, the same week, he read two articles from theWall Street Journal and The New York Times that discussed standard Electrocardiogram (ECG) screenings in Europe. An ECG takes less than four minutes, and this quick, simple, and painless screening could reduce SCD by 85%. Dr. Marek felt called to action. These screenings were saving lives young lives. Dr. Marek determined the best way to have the most significant impact on saving these young lives was to go where most teenagers are found at one time school. Instead of asking teens to come to a heart screening, why not bring his team to them?
YH4L PROGRAM DIRECTOR DENISE ARNEZ AND EMMA SARIN, A COLLEGE STUDENT STUDYING NURSING WHOSE CARDIAC CONDITION WAS DETECTED THROUGH A YH4L SCREENING WHEN SHE WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL.
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HEALTH (Continued from the previous page) Dr. Marek is the Founder and Medical Director of Young Hearts for Life (YH4L). According to Dr. Marek, “ECG screenings of all physically active young persons regardless of gender or sports affiliation - are clinically justified, cost-effective, and ethically compelling.” Since its inception in 2006, this organization has screened over 280,000 high school students.
son-White syndrome (WPW) after a YH4L Screening at Nazareth Academy in La Grange Park. WPW is a syndrome in which an extra electrical
of these at-risk teens had life-threatening heart conditions after following up with cardiac doctors.
“ECG screenings of all physically active young persons - regardless of gender or sports affiliation - are clinically justified, cost-effective, and ethically compelling.”
YH4L’s mission is to offer ECGs – for free - to all teenage students. Today, it has the most extensive ECG screening program for high school students in the United States. How does YH4L screen 2,400 students during a single school day? Volunteers.
YH4L has developed a training program allowing this multitude of heart screenings to be possible. It takes 90 minutes to teach volunteers how to conduct the ECG screenings. In the past 15 years, YH4L has trained over 18,000 parents, teachers, coaches, and community members to assist with various aspects of the screening process. Those looking to help with screenings do not need a medical background to help. The screenings have saved countless lives. One life hit close to home. Emma Sarin was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkin-
– DR. MAREK
pathway in the heart causes a rapid heartbeat. Sarin, a resident of Westmont, was a junior in high school. “Emma was the picture of health. She was very athletic and fit. She also ran track and played club volleyball,” said her mother, Deb Sarin. “Volunteering makes a difference. Someone who volunteered saved my daughter’s life.” Luckily, Y4HL identified Sarin’s condition before it became fatal. According to the Y4HL, SCD claims the lives of more than 60 young adults in the United States every week. The non-profit organization’s goal is to detect pre-existing conditions that cause SCD. To date, Y4HL has identified 3,100 students “at risk.” Many
DR. MOHAMED ZIAD SINNO, DR. JOSEPH MAREK, AND DR. FRANK ZIMMERMAN READ AND CONSULT ON THE ECG’S DURING A YH4L SCREENING.
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Beyond offering free screenings, one of YH4L’s other core goals is to educate the community on why early cardiac screenings are essential. “Education is key,” says Denise Arnez, YH4L Program Director. “A sports physical is critical. However, it only identifies 4% of heart conditions, while ECG screenings can detect approximately 70%.”
In addition, YH4L has also established a bereavement support group, Gold Heart Families, connecting families who have lost a child to SCD with others who have faced the same loss. Many of these families started their organizations in honor of their loved ones afflicted with SCD and continue to work with YH4L as donors and volunteers. Although YH4L has become a leader in the local medical community in addressing the need to prevent SCD in young adults, it has also assisted organizations across the United States in setting up their screening programs. But one question remains. Free screenings are readily available to every student, but why aren’t all students taking advantage of the opportunity? Imagine not having a loved one participate in a free cardiac screening only to find out about an undetected cardiac issue too late. To view upcoming screenings, as well as to volunteer or donate to the organization, visit http://www.yh4l.org. ■ About the writer: Cindy Maquet is a cardiac survivor. At 18 years old, an EKG detected an atrial septal defect. She has had open-heart surgery and four heart ablations. A former collegiate athlete, she continues to live an active lifestyle playing paddleball multiple times per week and teaching various exercise classes.
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EXPLORE DOOR COUNTY
Find Wisconsin’s best fall foliage PHOTO COURTESY OF DESTINATION DOOR COUNTY
Eagle Trail at Peninsula State Park is a short hike that offers lake views and towering bluffs. Bikers can try sunset bike path at the park with a hardpack gravel path. Photo courtesy of Destination Dounty HinsdaleMag.com | HINSDALE Door MAGAZINE
Eagle bluff lighthouse is one of the 11 lighthouses that span the county. Each have their own history. Photo courtesy of Destination Door County
Bailey Harbor is home to thousands of acres of protected lands. A family enjoys a hike at ridges sanctuary. Photo vourtesy of John Nienhuis and Destination Door County
Fish creek is the hub of door county with many restaurants, shops and outdoor attractions. Photo courtesy of Dan Eggert and Destination Ddoor Dounty
DOOR COUNTY BY THE NUMBERS: 300 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline 2,000+ square miles of land 19 distinct communities 4.5 hour drive from Chicago Five state parks
ooking to relax and unwind? Once the hustle and bustle of summer winds down, fall in Door County offers a quieter, calmer atmosphere. Get away to the Door this autumn either on the peninsula or Washington Island to see some of the most beautiful, most vibrant fall colors in Wisconsin.
Southern Door County is home to the town of Brussels and Forestville with a quieter feel and rustic farms. Photo courtesy of Dan Eggert and Destination Door County
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