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At Cassie’s, kids can get their dance on

Check out stuff to do for fall fun

Cultural scene must include the bakery arts Fall/Winter 2013

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Editor Larry LoughM A G A Z I N E Magazine Editor Marla Seidell Page Design Amanda Ellmaker Robin Norburg Matt Lindstrom

Building Green Sterling couple use sustainable system for their new home

Published by Sauk Valley Media 3200 E. Lincolnway Sterling, IL 61081 815-625-3600



Articles and advertisements are the property of Sauk Valley Media. No portion of Sterling-Rock Falls Living Magazine may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. Ad content is not the responsibility of Sauk Valley Media. The information in this magazine is believed to be accurate; however, Sauk Valley Media cannot and does not guarantee its accuracy. Sauk Valley Media cannot and will not be held liable for the quality or performance of goods and services provided by advertisers listed in any portion of this magazine.

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fe a t u re s Falling For Fun

Feeling Beautiful

Prepare to be amazed by the seasonal activities

Image Makers Salon offers perms to pedicures

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BULLSEYE Peterson’s bar right on target with customers

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Works Of Art Sumahama Bakery creates designer artisan breads

Membership rises at Sinnissippi Rod and Gun Club

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Store Brings On Sweet Smiles

Recipes For Change

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Falling For Fun Prepare to be amazed by seasonal activities

SVM File Photos Above - Workers at Selmi’s Pumpkin Patch harvest pumpkins. Bottom Left - Abby Nitz, 11, of Sterling, feeds goats at Selmi’s Greenhouse and Farm Market in Rock Falls. Selmi’s offers fall harvest goods along with a corn field maze, petting farm, and haunted house. Bottom Right - Poci’s, 9571 Hoover Road, Rock Falls, has a variety of decorative gourds on sale at its market.

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T

BY CASSIE ZIMMERMAN SPECIAL TO STERLING ROCK FALLS LIVING

he approach of fall means pumpkins, Halloween, hayrack rides, hot apple cider and bonfires for the Sterling-Rock Falls area. While temperatures decline, the number of outdoor activities does not. For those looking for daily outdoor fall activities, local businesses have plenty to offer people of all ages. Grand opening of Selmi’s Pumpkin Patch was Sept. 28. “Families can enjoy cider, horse-drawn wagon rides, the corn maze, a petting farm, a Disney villain-themed haunted house, and small child friendly haunted house,� according to owner Connie Selmi. All of these activities can be enjoyed for $5 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, Sept. 28 to Oct. 31. Blue Goose Run in Sterling offers the largest corn maze in Illinois and is fun for all ages. The maze will be open from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The cost is $7 for 12 and over, $5 for children 11-16 years old, and children 5 and under are free. That youngest group will be let in at the latest time each day and will have about 90 minutes to make it through the maze. People going through the Blue Goose Run maze after dark need to have flashlights. Other popular activities are wandering through the terraced gardens and the gift shop. Hayrack rides and bonfires are also available, but a reservation is required. Blue Goose Run also includes a restaurant that serves breakfast and dinner. Anyone interested in buying fall produce can stop by Poci’s Market and Greenhouse, which sells pumpkins, gourds and other produce during this time. Haunted Haven had its grand opening Oct. 4; admission costs $10. Come prepared to be frightened and even to see some familiar zombie faces, as the creatures who work here are hired from the local area.

Turn ‘Em green with envy

Continued on page 8

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WILCO RENTAL Picking the perfect pumpkin isn’t easy as Zoe Olivas, 2, of Sterling looks over the pile after her run in the Great Pumpkin Dash Cross Country festival. This was the 19th year for the Sterling Park District event at Hoover Park.

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Continued from page 7

The Sterling Park District, CGH Medical Center, Pete Harkness Auto Group, and Woodlawn Arts Academy hosted the 22nd Annual Pumpkin Dash, which was held on Oct. 5 at Hoover Park, behind Woodlawn Arts Academy in Sterling. In past years, more than 1,000 people have participated in this event, according to Paul Zepezauer, director of recreation at the park district. Each child received a pumpkin and free bag of candy for participating in the dash. The event was free, and young children could participate as long as they could crawl. Children as old as 14 could participate in the races. The event also included food and activities, and pumpkins were plentiful for the whole family. Woodlawn Arts Academy also provided free arts and crafts and tours of the building during the event. Other events included hayrack rides and horsedrawn wagon rides. s

Tom Garland of Walnut picks out bulbs of garlic from the variety of vegetable and decorative plants available at Poci’s, 9571 Hoover Road, Rock Falls.

Artist Michael Baker spins globes of fire for visitors at the Haunted Haven. Baker performs his art as people wait in line to get into the Rock Falls haunted house.

Plan your fall For more information about events, visit these websites or Facebook pages: s3ELMISnWWWSELMICOM)NDEXHTML s"LUE'OOSE2UNnWWWFACEBOOKCOMPAGES"LUE 'OOSE 2UN s0OCIS-ARKETAND'REENHOUSEnWWWFACEBOOKCOM0OCIS-ARKETWHEREEVENTS ANDANNOUNCEMENTSAREPOSTED s3TERLING0ARK$ISTRICTnWWWSTERLINGPARKSORG s(AUNTED(AVENnWWWFACEBOOKCOMHAUNTEDHAVENFREFTS

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Peterson’s bar right on target with customers

BY KIMBERLY WATLEY SPECIAL TO STERLING ROCK FALLS LIVING

BULLSEYE! T

he building has been home to a lot of businesses over the years, but for the past 5 years, 103 W. Third St., Sterling, has been known as Peterson’s Bullseye Bar. Opening a bar “seemed like a really good idea at the time,” said owner Orrie Peterson, 30. “I noticed the same trends around here, and thought we could be a little different and be successful at it.” Little by little, he has been. Slowly making improvements and renovations to the old building, he is seeing the crowd grow. With his wife, Sonya, and two babies, 1-year-old Foster and 4-month-old Curtis, at home, the young business owner has a lot on his plate. Hoping to complete remodeling by summer, he realized all good things take time. Though he no longer has an official timetable, he is eager to get all upgrades completed. A brand new dance floor and stage to

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accommodate a dj and dancers were installed last year. Peterson’s big project this year was the facelift of the oversized patio. Patrons enjoy the second stage, two bars, plenty of tables and chairs, and dancing room. Upcoming projects include new flooring, walls, a new bar and barstools. “Since these are some 30 years old, they really need to be replaced,” he said. A month ago, video gaming machines went in and already are a customer favorite, Peterson said. “Finally, and thankfully,” he said, the city is wrapping up work on a new sidewalk in front of the bar. Regular customer Rebecca Spotts said her fellow customers and the bar staff have made it feel like her very own “Cheers” bar. Adrian Considine, one of seven bartenders, was

1 3

a patron before becoming an employee. She said she is impressed with the bar’s dynamic. “It’s a nice environment,” she said, “where older and younger people can be here and have a good time together.” Considine said many people don’t realize the bar serves lunch every day from noon until 4 p.m. The menu includes a daily burger basket special, with fries and a drink, either a soda or a 10-ounce domestic draft beer. Peterson, who said he likes to interact with customers, can often be found outside shooting hoops with them or, if the dance floor is empty, he’ll just roll out a pingpong table and challenge someone to a friendly match. “We just want to make it fun,” he said. One of the first things most people notice when they walk in is the 120-inch TV screen. It is one of 13 TVs, all of which are equipped with Direct TV.


Bullseye features the Sunday Ticket NFL package. Throughout football season, the bar sponsors a contest to win a 50-inch TV. “We’re going to do the Bozo Bucket Game,” Peterson said. “If they come in on a Sunday and buy a shot, they get a raffle ticket. At the end of the Bears game, we draw four players.” The prizes for each of the first five buckets are beer in increasingly larger quantities. But the sixth will be for the 50-inch TV from Clover Hills in Sterling. Bullseye also hosts various leagues with its three dart boards, two pool tables and outdoor bags in the summer. s

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IT’S

ALWAYS

SAFETY FIRST

Membership rises at Sinnissippi Rod and Gun Club

BY JOHN KERMOTT SPECIAL TO STERLING ROCK FALLS LIVING

A

s you pull down the drive toward the clubhouse, with the Rock River as a scenic backdrop, you hear a rhythmic POP – POP – POP – POP – POP echoing off the trees. The men and women of the Sinnissippi Rod and Gun Club are getting in a night of enjoyment, relaxation, entertainment … and trap shooting. The club, which has been in the area for 60 years, now has 220 members. John Anzelmo has been a member since 1987. “We just added seven new members yesterday,” Anzelmo said. “This is the highest our membership has been in 20 years!” Gun and ammunition sales have gone through the roof in recent years. As a result there’s a growing need across the country for facilities where gun owners can learn about gun safety and safely practice the use of firearms. The SRGC is set up to meet those needs. The clubhouse has an indoor 25-yard pistol range in the basement, with a banquet hall and classroom facility upstairs. An archery range is set up in the front of the property, and behind, sloping down toward the river, is the

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gun range. The club also has a boat ramp on the river frontage and electric hookup for camping. The club opens its facility for Department of Natural Resources to provide its annual hunter safety course. “The Hunter Safety is a free class sponsored by the state,” Anzelmo said. “And we work hand in hand with Whitetails Unlimited. ... They provide lunch.” The club also offers a class on pistol safety. Anzelmo and two other members have been approved by the state as instructors. The course costs $60, which covers the course book and ammunition. The enrollment in this class is sure to increase on the heels of the new Illinois conceal carry law, which allows citizens to carry a firearm in limited situations, with a valid Firearm Owners ID card. “The course covers all aspects of firearm ownership; safety, storage, cleaning, handling, and the use of deadly force, which, of course, we hope will never be necessary,” Anzelmo said.


The Rock Falls Police Department also uses the club’s pistol range for training and qualifications. The club will often send a team of guys to pistol shooting competitions throughout the Midwest. Members also enjoy dove shoots, squirrel shoots, and trap shooting. In late September the club puts on a 3-D archery competition that’s open to the public. “People can come and get their sights set, and get ready for hunting season,” Anzelmo said. “It’s a service we provide to the community.” The men also take local kids, church groups, and Boy Scouts out in the field to teach them how to hunt. You don’t have to hang around these folks for very long before you realize that it’s a relaxed community that happens to share outdoor sporting interests. “This is something that the whole family can get involved in,” Anzelmo said. “Women can get involved on ladies night. ... Leave the guys at home. Its women only on the range.” Jaden Nielsen is one of the younger members of the club. Just 12 years old, Jaden is composed with a quiet confidence as he steps up to his station to shoot trap. On this night he hits 20 of 25 of the orange clay targets as they are launched across the summer sky. “My dad got me into shooting, and my mom got me into shooting trap,” he said. “It’s exciting and fun.” “This is like your shooting family,” Jaden’s mom, Jennifer Nielsen, adds, referring to the close-knit club. The older guys, have recognized Jaden’s skill, and have taken him under their wing.

“They’ll even provide him with boxes of shells,” she said. A few weeks ago, at a Wednesday night trap shoot, one of the men handed Jaden his shotgun and asked whether he wanted to try a round with it. After Jaden hit 24 of 25. the man told Jaden he could have the gun. “That was an expensive gun,” Jaden’s mom said in amazement. “He was ecstatic!” Rich Van Ausdoll, the current President of the club, stresses the importance the club places on safety. “Whenever we’re out here, it’s always ‘safety first,’” he said. Anzelmo agreed. “When the guys step up to their stations to shoot trap, their guns are always empty and open,” he said. “They don’t load until they’re about to shoot.” s

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Photos by Philip Marruffo/Sterling-Rock Falls Living Cover Photo - Smoke is released from the barrel of Ted Wike’s gun as he loads another shot. Facing Page - Daryl Drennen of Prophetstown trap shoots at Sinnissippi Gun and Rod Club. The Club hosts weekly trap shooting sessions.

John Anzelmo loads clay pigeons into the launcher at the Club’s shooting range.

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Anzelmo watches over trap shooters at Sinnissippi Rod and Gun Club’s shooting range.

Join the club Membership in the Sinnissippi Rod and Gun Club costs $65 a year, plus a $5 refundable deposit for the key to the front gate so members “can then come and go as they please.” For more information on membership or events that are open to the public, call John Anzelmo at 815-535-2413.

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STORE BRINGS ON SWEET SMILES

Bouquets can include treats from chocolate ganache to peanut brittle

BY JEAN EGGEMEYER SPECIAL TO STERLING ROCK FALLS LIVING

A

sour experience – losing their jobs in a factory closure – turned into a sweet new career for Chris and Brian Babel. After their jobs ended, they spent a year researching franchise businesses before they decided to open Candy Bouquet in April 2012. “We had always wanted to find something fun we could enjoy doing together,” Chris explained. “Losing our jobs gave us the push to do it.” The store sells “bouquets” that feature wrapped candy on floral picks, embellished with colorful bows, folded Mylar sheets, and other surprises presented in an array of containers. The bouquets can be picked up in the store, delivered nearby, or shipped anywhere in the U.S. “We wanted to find a business that was different for the area,” Brian said. Chris said people like to give something other than flowers. “Recipients can enjoy Candy Bouquets for a long time,” she said. “Most of the candy can be enjoyed slowly, and the other materials in the bouquet don’t die, like flowers.” The busiest times for the store are Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Christmas, but the couple sell bouquets all year for many other occasions, including birthdays, anniversaries, retirements, new babies and weddings. The bouquets are also popular as “thank you,” “get well” and “thinking of you” gifts. Customers can choose from a wide range of candies to base their bouquets

on, including Hershey’s brand candies, 16 flavors of chocolate ganache, 28 flavors of taffy, and 48 flavors of hard candies, as well as cookies, fudge, caramel corn and peanut brittle. If you don’t see the candy you like in the store, the Babels can get it and turn into a bouquet, as long as it’s a wrapped candy. Balloons, small stuffed animals, coffees, teas and hot chocolates are also available to add to a bouquet. “We keep adding new things a little at a time and as the seasons change,” Chris said. The store stocks a large selection of containers, including colorful printed boxes, ceramic vases, baskets and mugs. Customers can chose a bouquet style from the many on display in the store or have the Babels make a custom creation with just the right mix of flavors and colors to please recipients. Special seasonal offerings are available throughout the year. “We are also happy to fill containers that customers bring in,” Brian said. They recently made a candy bouquet for a “cowgirl” that was set in a boot and included fresh straw, along with the wrapped candy surprises. Filled wine glasses are popular for anniversaries. Another bouquet, displayed in the store, features a mug with the saying, “Born to fish, forced to work.” “We try to do anything a customer wants and try to get as much candy and decoration in as we can,” Brian said. Continued on page 16

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Continued from page 15

A regular size candy bouquet starts at $24.95 and larger sizes at $36.95. The store also stocks a fun selection of lower priced treats like “lollipops,” which are clear, round containers with bite-size candies inside on a stick with ribbons for $7.95. As in a traditional candy shop, all candy in store can also be purchased individually, too. Local delivery costs $5. Bouquets can be created in 2 to 3 hours, depending on the season, but the Babels prefer customers to call or stop in a day or two ahead of time. The Babels have had no second thoughts since opening the business. “We’re glad we did it and that we chose the Candy Bouquet franchise,” Chris said. “It’s nice to see customers liking what we do and smiling when they see our bouquets. And the recipients are just thrilled.” s Photos by Alex T. Paschal/ Sterling-Rock Falls Living Immediate Right - Chris and Brian Babel have opened the Candy Bouquet Franchise in Sterling. Top Right - Dozens of hard candy flavors to choose from. Middle Right - Candy Bouquet of Sterling offers gifts and treats for just about everyone. Bottom Right - Candy Bouquet has just started carrying coffee and tea. Facing Page - A perfect centerpiece for the Reese’s Peanut Buttercup lover.

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Building Y

Green

ou won’t see solar panels clinging to the rooftop of the Stonitch home. In fact, to the naked eye, it looks the same as any other new ranch-style home. What makes the house so unique is the foundation is made of Insulating Concrete Form technology. The green and sustainable building system on average takes 44 percent less energy to heat and about 32 percent less to cool when compared to traditional construction techniques. “One of our friends is a builder, and he suggested

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Sterling couple use sustainable system for their new home BY KIMBERLY WATLEY SPECIAL TO STERLING ROCK FALLS LIVING

it,” homeowner Sue Stonitch said. “The more we looked into it, the more we knew we needed to do it because we watched our bills grow over 10 years at our home in Rock Falls.” After doing their homework, Ron and Sue said, “We knew it was the thing to do because we knew we would stay in the house forever.” Planning for 8 years, the couple used a homedesign computer program to customize everything themselves. They also toured a lot of homes, seeking ideas that would work for them. After more than 150 changes, the home was

move-in ready last year for them and their children: Cadence, 9, Denali, 7, and Trail 5. Though the home has many custom features throughout, the kids are most impressed with having their own bedrooms, which they helped to decorate. Ron was the general contractor, a massive undertaking he was proud to accomplish. Together they ironed out the details for the interior design. The couple, who have been married for 13 years, also work together. Owners of Structural Health


Center in Rock Falls, they met at the National College of Chiropractic in Lombard. Never taking a leave of absence, Ron maintained a heavy workload. “He worked a lot of late nights,” Sue said. “It was pretty rough.” Although some decorating still needs to be done, the Stonitchs are pleased with the outcome. Special features they both enjoy include the built-in Seating Innovations bar stools. The custom design prevents them from tipping over, making them safer with children, and because they are

legless, they don’t scratch the tiger wood floor, which is another feature they like. It is multicolored in light and dark browns. A small hallway at the front entry leads to the open concept of the living room, kitchen and dining room. It has four bedrooms; two bathrooms; a laundry room; mud room; a full, unfinished basement, which is a project they anticipate completing to expand their living space; and an attached three-car garage. A small door inside the garage is another personalized feature that Ron, 37 and Sue 38,

included in the design. It opens to a large walk-in pantry, making unloading groceries much easier. “Every woman says, ‘Oh, my gosh, I wish I had that!’ when they see that and this huge pantry,” Sue said. The couple advise others to take time in planning, researching and building. “We took our time, looked at other people’s houses, got ideas and put them all together. After being here a year, there is nothing we would change.” s

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SHOOTING FOR

‘THE BIG TIME’ Funky Munky Wrestling sure to entertain

BY JOHN KERMOTT SPECIAL TO STERLING ROCK FALLS LIVING

S

terlingites and Rock Fallsians have a fresh, new source of entertainment available to them ... Funky Munky Wrestling. Funky Munky Wrestling can best be described as the minor leagues of the WWE, or World Wrestling Entertainment ... and entertainment it is. “Just to be clear right off the bat, when we’re wrestling, we’re putting on a performance,” Pat Gerlach said. “We’re putting on a show.” Gerlach has been developing Funky Munky in this area for the past 5 years, but his interest in wrestling entertainment has been life-long. Even as a boy, growing up in Dixon, he would set up backyard wrestling shows with his friends. He graduated from Illinois College with a communications major and a minor in Japanese. “I got to go to Japan for 3 weeks, and it was actually there that I got my first bit of real training,” he said. Upon graduation, Gerlach took the leap and enrolled in a pro-wrestling training school in Springfield. After a year, there, he got word of an internship opening in Charlotte, N.C. “... So I sold my car and loaded up my stuff and moved down there for 2 years,” he said. During that time Gerlach ran the show and even worked as an extra in some professional WWE performances. “But then I thought, if I’m going to run a wrestling show, I want to run it back in my hometown,” Gerlach said. So he came back to northern Illinois and bought an authentic professional wrestling ring. At his first show in Dixon, 250 to 300 people showed up. “This year has been my most successful year,” he said. “We’ve got shows set up every month.”

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With a 2-year-old boy at home, Gerlach is a family man and designs his shows with the family in mind. “I like to set up my shows where they serve food, so families can get something to eat while they watch,” he said. “A family can come to one of our shows for less than it’ll cost them to go to a movie.” Justin Allen, who is a janitor at Sterling High School, saw a performance Gerlach had put on in Dixon, back in 2010, and he was hooked. “I absolutely loved it,” Allen said. “I got together with Pat and started training. “Then,” he said, “he asked ‘the big question.’ Who would you be?” What did he mean by that? Well, each pro wrestler takes on his own persona or character, as a hook that can draw the audience into the “story-line” of the match. “I came up with mine immediately,” Allen said, “Judd the Janitor!” Gerlach goes by the name “Bobby Houston.” While pro wrestling is a show for entertainment’s sake, and not a real competition, the guys who put on the performances are highly trained and are excellent athletes. “The training, especially at the beginning, is really intense,” Allen said. “I compare it to doing ‘3-a-days,’” a reference to his high school football workouts in the summer, before the season begins, when players would have three tough workouts each day. “I’m gonna make you puke, ... that’s the goal,” Gerlach said of the kind of training it takes to perform. Gerlach explained that the wrestlers need to put that intensity into training because their performances require great physical control to perform the kinds of stunts they pull off without injuring each other or themselves.


“Guys make it look easy, but to make the theatrics look like they should, to do great for yourself and make the other guy look good, too, you have to be in shape,” Allen said. “And the training doesn’t end. You have to keep up with weights and cardio-conditioning.” Gerlach is always looking for more guys to train in the business, with the hopes of getting them to “the big time,” – to wrestle at the high-visibility level of the WWE. “That’s the ultimate goal for anybody who does this, … to one day get a chance to perform in front of thousands,” Allen said. “But to be able to perform here, in your local area, and have fans come out and root for you is great. To the little kids who come up to me and ask for a picture and my autograph … to them, I already am ‘the big time.’” s

Photos by Michael Krabbenhoeft/Sterling-Rock Falls Living Right - Justin “Judd the Janitor” Allen, 29, of Sterling, picks up Joel “Bucky Collins” Thomasson, 26, of Elizabeth, during a Funky Munky team practice Facing Page - The Funky Munky Wrestling independent wrestling team has been around for 5 years.

Get into the ring

UPCOMING SHOWS

For more information on how to become a Funky Munky Wrestling performer, or to schedule a show at your venue, contact Pat Gerlach at funkymunkywrestling@gmail.com. Or his facebook pages: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Funky-MunkyWrestling/126958863988929 https://www.facebook.com/bobby.houston.75

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Feeling Beautiful! Image Makers Salon offers perms to pedicures BY CASSIE ZIMMERMAN SPECIAL TO STERLING ROCK FALLS LIVING

Photo by Michael Krabbenhoeft Sterling-Rock Falls Living Owner Teri Nusbaum, 49, of Sterling and her daughter Jen Serenil, 22, of Sterling, work at Image Makers in Sterling.

T

he motto “If you look your best, you feel your best” has been around as long as anyone can remember and is reflected in salons across the world. At Image Makers Salon, at 8 E. 25th St. in Sterling, owner and stylist Teri Nusbaum and her staff make it their mission to make their clients feel beautiful and rejuvenated, inside and out. With services including haircuts and styling, perms, manicures and pedicures, people who visit the salon leave feeling more beautiful than when they arrived. The 49-year-old owner, who has a degree in business management, has done the most with her beauty license. Nusbaum and the other stylists attend classes to keep up to date on the latest styles. For her, putting family and friends first has been the most rewarding part of the past 30 years. “It is not unusual to see four generations of the same family in our salon,” she said. “For us,

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our clients become our friends and extended family members. Some of my clients have been a part of our salon since the beginning.” That is also true for the seven stylists in the salon, including Nusbaum’s daughter, Jen Serenil, a 22-year-old stylist and color artist. Additionally, that sentiment is echoed in the salon’s hours, which are set by the individual stylists, making it easier for clients to set up appointments most convenient for them. Along with seeing continuing trends, the Sterling area this fall will experience some newer styles. Image Makers clients are asking for the popular ombre coloring, as well as blond shades and caramelized highlights. Stylists have also seen a rise in interest from customers for formal styles that incorporate braids, a favorite of Teri’s. According to Jen, the most popular and fashionable colors of their OPI nail polishes are coral, mint, and tangerine for manicures and pedicures.

The styling products offered at the salon are also important to Nusbaum and her stylists. Image Makers sells only Redken products. A salon favorite has become the new Redken Diamond Oil, which is, Teri says, “just amazing as it makes hair shiny and soft.” For Teri and her stylists, what matters most is making each client into her own individual while making her feel beautiful. “You follow each trend but make it your own,” Teri said of hair styling. “Each person goes out looking as their own person. No one is a carbon copy, because we were not made to all look the same. I love it, and I have never been bored.” s

For an appointment... Image Makers Salon 815-625-3170 8 E 25th St, Sterling, IL 61081


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C

BY MATT MENCARINI FOR STERLING-ROCK FALLS LIVING

GH Medical Center has been caring for local residents since 1909, with 14 area locations and clinics. The hospital recently was named a Five-Star Recipient for its treatment of pneumonia, sepsis, pulmonary embolism, respiratory failure and, for the second-consecutive year, treatment of heart failure. That recognition came from HealthGrades, an independent health care ratings organization. HealthGrades also gave the medical center an Outstanding Patient Experience Award for the second year in a row. CGH also has won several noteworthy critical care honors, including being among the nation’s top 100 hospitals and the state’s top five hospitals for critical care. The hospital also won a Critical Care Excellence Award for 2013. “CGH Medical Center is honored to provide ... the very best care,� Dr. Paul Steinke, the medical center’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “We are proud of these achievements and believe it is a direct result of our physicians, nurses and staffs’ dedication to outstanding care.� The hospital employs more than 1,400 people, with a medical staff of 140 physicians specializing in 35 medical areas. Among the physicians are Dr. Peter Toth, a family practice doctor who specializes in preventive cardiology, and even travels to speak about the specialty, and Dr. Mir Alikhan, who helped the hospital to become the first in the state certified by the American Society of Clinical Oncology as part of its Quality Oncology Practice Initiative.


Dr. Terry Donat is the only physician in Illinois to have been credentialed as an Illinois professional emergency manager by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. He works in the main clinic’s otolaryngology department. Its 14 facilities include a 36-bed medical unit, a 29-bed surgical unit, 10 birthing center suites, six pediatric beds, and 18 beds in intensive care units. The hospital has facilities in Sterling, Rock Falls, Dixon, Milledgeville, Morrison, Polo, Prophetstown, Tampico and Walnut, and in October will break ground on a $8.6 million expansion for the emergency department at its main campus in Sterling. The Digestive Health Center at CGH has been updated with high-definition imaging and other other new technical equipment. It will reopen in October, providing new recovery bays and expanded space. In 2012, the hospital opened the CGH Ready Care Clinic in the lower level of the CGH Downtown Health Center. It offers a walk-in clinic for patients who are unable to be seen by their primary care provider for prompt medical attention to minor illnesses. In 2008, the hospital underwent a major expansion, adding a suite of surgical rooms and upgrades to the obstetrics department, birthing center and critical care unit. s

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CGH locations CGH Medical Center has 14 Sauk Valley locations. Contact information is listed below: CGH Medical Center Main Clinic, 101 E. Miller Road, Sterling, 815-625-4790 Dixon Health Center, 1321 N. Galena Ave., 815-284-1600 Downtown Health Center, 15 W. Third St., Sterling, 815-625-0226 Locust Street Health Center, 1809 N. Locust St., Sterling, 815-622-1210 Lynn Boulevard Health Center, 3010 E. Lynn Blvd., Sterling, 815-625-6750

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Sumahama Bakery creates designer artisan breads BY CASSIE ZIMMERMAN SPECIAL TO STERLING ROCK FALLS LIVING

B

eing an artist and creating art is unique to the individual, whether the medium of choice is paint, clay – or maybe even

26

morning. The line is constant. The most popular item, the famous cinnamon rolls, usually sell out by food. 10, according to Rick Devine, a Sumahama For Tony Sosi, 54-year-old owner of Sumahama employee. Bakery, and 27-year-old social media specialist and The breads, pretzels and cinnamon rolls are former Baker Charlie Zigler, art is created through made that morning, beginning at 3:30, designer artisan breads, allowing them to provide and the delightful smells of cinnamon rolls, quality, delicious breads for people in the Sterling freshly baked breads, and bratwurst fill the market. area. Blake Gilbert, a 25-year-old Dixon resident, The purpose of Sumahama Bakery, Zigler, says, aptly describes that the cinnamon rolls, with is “to provide a great product that is as natural as it homemade cream cheese frosting, as “sweet.” can be without additives or preservatives.” “And they melt in my mouth,” he said. “I, Love and honesty are an important aspect of a non-morning person, would wake up at 8 Sumahama, where greed is absent and the impor- every Saturday if I could eat these.” tance of community is evident. There is something for everyone. The bakery strives to create breads that patrons Many love the warm pretzels and walnut wheat can just enjoy with their families.. bread. Sumahama also sells bratwurst, made by The ingredients used in the Sumahama the bakery the previous day. These designer brats, products are bought locally, creating relationships with flavors that include regular, blue cheese, within the community and assisting local cheddar cheese, and cheddar cheese and jalapeno, businesses. are quickly becoming a fan favorite at the farmers As many people in the Sterling area have market. realized, these tasty treats can be found at Twin But people who want the popular items must City Farmers Market in Sterling, where Sumahama come early. On a recent Saturday, the regular sells its freshly made products every Saturday and blue cheese brats were sold out by 9.

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Last month the bakery began reselling the legendary Z dressing, a former staple at Zuppa’s Deli in Sterling. For employees of Sumahama, providing the public with healthy, natural goods is what matters. The market also strives to create a friendly, welcoming environment for vendors and patrons alike. For people who visit the market from 8  to noon on Saturday, the friendships between vendors and patrons are obvious. Ann Koster, 49, who also creates foods such as pies, meat pastries, and breads to sell, agrees that the market is a wonderful place to buy fresh, healthy goods as well as meet new friends or reconnect with old friends. That is the purpose of the bakery, which so many people in Sterling and surrounding towns love and enjoy every Saturday. “We try to bake with the freshest ingredients and create wholesome products that look, smell, and taste good,” owner Sosi said. “The farmers market has been an amazing godsend. It is a way of sharing our product with people who care about health. The farmers market is a great source for us as a business and for the community.” s


Fresh from the oven... Sumahama Bakery Twin City Farmers Market 106 Avenue A, Sterling 8 a.m. - noon Saturday twincityfarmersmarket.com www.facebook.com/SumahamaBakery

Photos by Alex T. Paschal/Sterling-Rock Falls Living Above:

Sumahama Bread makes fresh bread, rolls and pretzel rolls daily and sells them at the Farmers Market in Sterling.

Right:

Meagan purchases a loaf from Sumahama Bread in the Twin Cities Farmers Market.

Page 26: The fresh-baked cinnamon rolls are a favorite, bringing people back time and time again.

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Recipes for Change

Home Cooked Recipe...

Cookbook to help raise money for Sterling Kiwanis Club BY LONNIE MILLER SPECIAL TO STERLING ROCK FALLS LIVING

Photo by Michael Krabbenhoeft Sterling-Rock Falls Living

Now you’re cooking... To buy a cookbook, contact any Kiwanis Club member, or call Donna Ripley at 815-6260201, or Carol or John Stauter at 815-6257674.

Page 29: (from left) Donna Ripley, Chris Wilen, Susan Atchley and Roberta Dillon serve food and snacks at Woodlawn Storytelling Festival.

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group of energetic Kiwanis women is working on a beautiful cookbook, “Recipes for Change,� as a fundraiser for the Sterling Kiwanis Club. Headed up by Dr. Donna Ripley, the group consists of Susan Atchley, Sue Klock, Judi Marin, and Carol Stauter. They have selected Dave Gaumer as photographer and designer for the cover and back. Contributors include Kiwanis members Roberta Dillon (who was the first female president of the Sterling club); CGH Hospital; Will Lee; mayors of both towns; Sugar Path Cupcakes; Twin City Farmers Market; YWCA; attorney Trish Joyce; Amy Viering of Wells Fargo Bank; lawyer Lou Pignatelli; Nancy Kelly; and many others. While the cookbook will have at least 150 recipes from some famous and not-yet-famous contributors, its purpose is multi-faceted. The Kiwanis Club, whose motto is “Changing the World, one child at a time and serving the children of the world,� has many projects to support financially. The group also hopes the cookbook will engender fellowship among friends and continue cooperative efforts within Sterling and Rock Falls communities. The book includes photos and tidbits of historical or biographical information about influential people from both communities, and organizers hope the cookbook will draw more members to the club. “We are looking for passionate people who are wanting to get involved in the community,� Atchley said.

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Ripley explained, “The word Kiwanis is an Indian word that means, literally, ‘We make noise, we get things done!’� Stauter added, “We have many social activities besides the projects we engage in as a service club.� The group listed many projects and social events in which members can become involved: Timber Creek Theater outings, Breakfast with Santa, bell ringing for the Salvation Army, cleaning roadsides and parks, erecting benches at the library, painting furniture at Self Help, Coats for Kids, making blankets, buying medication for Whiteside County Health Department, contributions to Happy Tails, YWCA, Juneteenth, K-Kids, reading to children in preschools, gas cards to families in need of medical trips, and scholarships for Sterling, Newman and Rock Falls high school graduates. Club members also support Key Clubs, Builder’s Club and K-Kids. “One of the most rewarding things we do is to nurture a spirit of giving and community involvement in school-age and high-school students through our clubs for them,� Stauter said. “They’ve made blankets for other children that are given out through the health department, and it’s good to see how proud they are of their own efforts.� “They’ve also gathered and sent gifts for military personnel and families,� Judi Martin said. The cookbook, priced at $15, will be available from Kiwanis members and at the Cooks Corner by the end of October or the first of November. It was to be submitted for printing at the end of September. s

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STRENGTH

YOU CAN DANCE Cassie’s Dance Academy offers classes in ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, contemporary

A

BY LUCINDA HALL SPECIAL TO STERLING ROCK FALLS LIVING

s a rambunctious 3-year-old girl, Cassie Foster hadn’t quite mastered dancing class etiquette. “I was asked to leave the class because I was stomping on the other little girls’ feet!” Foster said with a laugh. “My older sisters were all dancers, though, so my mom didn’t give up on me.” One pirouette at a time and almost 30 years later, Cassie’s Dance Academy has become a thriving and successful studio. Located on Galt Road, just on the western edge of Sterling, Cassie’s offers ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, and contemporary dance classes for young people ages 2 ½ through high school. Her studio, once home to Galt Grange and reminiscent of a country school, has been transformed with finished wood

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floors surrounded by walls of mirrors. One of six sisters, Foster began dance lessons as a child in Dixon, eventually moving with her family to Geneseo where her older sister, Colleen, started a dance studio. Foster was 13 when she began working for her sister. Their dream was to open a second studio in Princeton, when her sister’s husband died suddenly in 1997. In need of a new beginning, Colleen sold her studio to her younger sister for just a dollar. It was 1998, and at 16, Foster owned her own business. An interesting turn of events was to occur in 2004, when a group of mothers in Sterling and Rock Falls reached out to her. Impressed with her dancers and choreography skills at dance competitions, the parents persuaded her to open a second studio in Sterling. “Over the next 2 years, my Sterling-Rock Falls studio grew rapidly,” Foster said. “It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why, but I have a few ideas. I’ve noticed a real sense of community and friendship in this area. “I’ve also noticed the area being more involved with the arts, not just sports. I think that’s very admirable and says something special about this community.” She eventually closed the Geneseo location.


TEAMWORK

Photos by Philip Marruffo/Sterling-Rock Falls Living

“I put all my eggs into the Sterling-Rock Falls basket, so to speak,” she said, “and I’ve never looked back.” The academy offers two types of classes at a cost of $32 a month. Recreational classes are for beginning dancers or students who want to learn more about dancing for fun and entertainment. Lessons are offered by age and dance type. Classes culminate with a spring recital at the Sterling High School Centennial Auditorium, complete with all genres of music, costumes, make-up and props. Competition classes are for more serious dancers and involve ballet and technique class along with regularly scheduled classes. The advanced competition dancers compete twice each year, usually at the Adler Theater in Davenport, Iowa, as well as performing at the recital.

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Last year’s competition was particularly rewarding: Cassie’s Dance Academy took nine Platinum Awards – the highest scoring medal a performance can receive. Foster has also been the recipient of “Best Choreography” on several occasions. “Cassie is an incredible choreographer at all age levels,” observed Nikki Gebhardt, whose daughter, Macie, 10, has been dancing at Cassie’s Dance Academy for 8 years. “She develops a friendship with the girls and welcomes their suggestion in her choreography, which in turn gives them a sense of pride, knowing they helped develop that dance routine.” Beyond the benefits of strength, flexibility, balance and coordination from dance, Foster believes dance enriches children’s lives in other ways. Self-confidence and teamwork are two life lessons that she fosters in all students.

Continued on page 32

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SELF-CONFIDENCE Continued from page 31

“There is a special bond between Cassie, the girls and even the parents,� said Maggie Bailey, whose 9-year-old daughter, Karsyn, has been taking lessons for 7 years. “Cassie just keeps it busy and fun. The girls have grown so much in their confidence and their respect for each other.� Dads get involved as well. Paul LeBarron has become the official “prop dad.� When Foster feels a prop would enhance the theatrical quality of a dance, she’ll draw a few “chicken scratch� drawings. “Paul will come back with an incredible creation!� Foster said, describing an enormous “Circle of Life� tree LeBarron created to accompany a dance to The Lion King song. “When we pushed the tree onto the stage, there were ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ from the audience.� Involvement of parents at the studio is “fantastic,� according to Kari Pillars, who is the academy’s secretary as well as having daughter Taylor, 16, in classes. “Cassie welcomes the opportunity to have input from both parents and students,� Pillars said. “One mom even made more than 40 recital costumes.� Foster shared her life lesson: “Work hard, but don’t take yourself too seriously.� “Anybody who really knows me, knows that I’m just a big ol’ goofball,� she said. “But I think that’s why I get along so well with the kids. We really do have a lot of fun together.� s

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THEY KEPT

FIGHTING Rock Falls All Stars make the grade, win state

BY KIMBERLY WATLEY SPECIAL TO STERLING ROCK FALLS LIVING

T

o make the grade on the Rock Falls All Stars Little League team, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication, said Traci Skibbe. Her son, Cayden Roberts, was one of the 14 handpicked 14ULittle League players whose team won this year’s state championship. Their run ended in an 8-5 loss against Midland, Mich,. in a Central Regional Quarterfinal at Fort Wayne, Ind. Roberts, along with Matt Anderson, Alex Cantu, Bronson Mintun, Logan Pillars and Clay Velazquez, won state and went to the Great Lakes Regional in 2011 as 11- and 12-year-olds. Since then, the boys have set aside jitters and reached a level of maturity that helped them be more successful, according to Bronson’s mom, Marcia Mintun. And the “respectful, but firm” coaching they received helped, she said. “Once they got down 2 years ago, they fell apart. This year, they kept fighting,” she said. “This year, they wanted to win the game. All of our coaches really are so good with those kids.” That group of boys will age out of the junior division into the senior level next year. Coaches Ronnie Pillars, Danny Matznick, Brian Ashley and James Velazquez led the boys – including Andy Ashley, Roger Carlson, John Kelly, Jake Lego, Quinton Matznick, Zak McKinzie, Tyler Meyers and Kyle Yonk – to the title. “What I really admire about those kids, no matter what happened during

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those games, even if it looked like their run was through, they would come back fighting and believe they could it win it,” Mintun said. Winning state was huge, Skibbe said. “Because when you travel through the state of Illinois and beat that many teams, that is something they deserve to be recognized for,” she said. “Each and every single one of us parents is so proud of each and every one of these boys.” s


Photos submitted Facing page - Team photo from the Central Regionals in Fort Wayne, Ind. This team has eighth, ninth and tenth grade players on it. The roster is No. 33 Clay Velazquez; No. 24 Alex Cantu; No. 3 Logan Pillars; No. 21 Quinton Matznick; No. 25 Cayden Roberts; No. 5 Matt Anderson; No. 12 Bronson Mintun; No. 44 Tyler Meyers; No. 18 Zak McKinzie; No. 86 Roger Carlson; No. 7 John Kelly; No. 2 Andy Ashley; No. 1 Kyle Yonk; and No. 23 Jake Lego. Facing Page/Bottom Right - The call that very well may have turned the game around. You can clearly see the ball is not in the catcher’s glove, but Rock Falls’ Alex Cantu was called out at the plate. After this call Rock Falls fought back so hard but the calls were just not going their way. The boys still held their heads high and fought, but didn’t win. Rock Falls was stunned at the outcome of this game, no doubt about that. Still, the boys walked off that field with pride. Above - Rock Falls All Star team players hold a letter from the mayor. Above Right - Every title won this year: Districs which were held in Rock Falls, sectionals in Mendota, and the state title in Spring Valley. Right - Opening ceremony in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Each team and player were announced.

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