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SUNDAY March 31, 2019 The Herald-News


Busey Bank: From single location to $7.7 institution SUBMITTED REPORT From a small, single-location community bank to a publicly traded, $7.7 billion institution with 63 full-service locations, Busey has come a long way since opening its doors more than 150 years ago. Throughout this time, the same core values remain — dedicated associates, strong customer partnerships and thriving communities. Busey’s product is their service. Investing in experienced, local bankers who are empowered to make quick, nimble decisions sets the organization apart. With locations across Illinois, Missouri, Indiana and SW Florida, Busey’s strength is in the numbers. Customers benefit from increased banking capabilities across five lines of business—retail, mortgage, commercial, cash management and wealth management — meeting individual needs with best-inclass products. The trusted advisors at Busey work seamlessly with customers to align their personal, commercial and wealth management needs. Whether retirement is on the horizon, you want to spend more time traveling or take your business to the next level, Busey Wealth Management has more than 100 wealth professionals who can help you make your financial dreams a reality. Additionally, Busey has more than 100 Commercial Banking professionals to assist with longterm business success. “Busey’s resources and access to various programs allow my team to provide the best solutions to our commercial clients — efficiently and effectively,” said Mike Nolan, Busey’s senior vice president. “We offer the personal touch of a community bank with the backing of Busey resources.” Upon merging with First

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Bank Associates (front row, from left) Karen McCracken , Mike Nolan, Mike Delude, Cindy Jones (middle row, from left) Erica Gabel, Renee Stagno, Alyshia Nicholson and (back row, from left) Don Johnson, Brian Wielbik, Steve Randich, Chip Jorstad, Chris Ramirez, Jeff Rzasa and Steve Laken. Community Bank in 2017, Busey expanded its footprint into DuPage, Grundy and Will Counties. Although relatively new to the area, Busey’s history of providing premier customer service, building trusted relationships that span generations and bridging the needs of local communities remain unchanged. “Our focus is on the client and providing a level of service that is second to none,” said Alyshia Nicholson, vice president and branch manager of Busey’s Joliet location. “Busey’s service excellence keeps our clients coming back. Customers appreciate the friendly, familiar faces that they’ve built trusted

relationships with over the years.” With the backing of nearly $10 billion in assets, more than 1300 associates and more than 60 locations, Busey has the capabilities of large, regional banks. Local priorities and personal relationships with customers and communities set Busey apart. Local decision-making allows their team to prioritize your needs and invest in your future. “The financial strength of a 150-year-old Illinois bank like Busey, combined with our local Commercial team’s extensive experience and knowledge, positions us to serve all clients with their banking needs”, said Executive Vice President

Steve Randich. “Our teams are committed to serving the ever-changing and growing needs of the Will and Grundy County markets.” At Busey, it’s not just about doing business, it’s about doing good. Busey reinvests in communities, one project at a time. Within Grundy, Will and DuPage Counties, Busey Bank has built and maintained strong community relationships through financial support of Joliet Junior College, Joliet Area Community Hospice, the Joliet Historical Museum, Home for the Holidays at the Rialto Square Theatre, the Joliet Park District and the Boys and Girls Club. Busey associates have donated

numerous volunteer hours to the Northern Illinois Foodbank and served as a food truck volunteers for United Way. “We are committed to the communities we serve,” Nicholson said. “Our associates live, work and play right here where we do business.” Each year, Busey and its associates give more than $1 million and countless volunteer hours to make a positive impact in our communities. From supporting the arts to advocating for our youth and helping those in need – associates in Northern Illinois volunteered nearly 500 hours to 60 organizations in 2018. Overall, Busey associates give more than 20,000 to com-

munities across their fourstate footprint. Through their community promise, Busey reinvests not only through volunteerism but also relationships with small business owners. From opening your first business account and applying for a loan to expanding your business or succession planning, Busey Busey works hand-inhand with you to make these big financial decisions. To learn more about Busey’s expanded expertise and solutions to your personal, business and wealth management needs, visit any one of Busey’s many convenient locations, visit or call 815-725-0123 to speak with a local banker today.

Regional Capabilities. Local Priorities. Busey has your backing. Since we first opened our doors, we’ve reinvested in our communities one project at a time. From financial guidance and support to energetic volunteers and committed leaders, we’re committed to improving the quality of life in the communities we serve.

Busey. Your Dream. Our Promise. 815.725.0123

Member FDIC

2 COMMUNITY • Sunday, March 31, 2019 • The Herald-News /

Knowing your investments Walt’s Ice Cream, a Joliet staple You likely hope the investments you hold will rise in value. Still, you have to be aware of how capital gains in the value of your investments can trigger a tax bill when you sell the investment. Capital gains are generally the profits you realize when you sell an investment for more than you paid for it, whereas capital losses are generally the losses you realize when you sell an investment for less than you paid for it. When you have a capital gain, you may have to pay capital gains taxes. These tax rates can depend on how long you held the asset. Generally, if you hold an asset for more than a year it’s considered a long-term holding, while investments you sold in a year or less are considered short-term. Generally, the tax rate is higher on a short-term holding. There are moves you can make to help reduce or mitigate the amount of taxes you will pay on your capital gains, including holding assets longer, tax-loss harvesting and choosing tax-favorable investments.

Delay selling the asset

There are several ways to defer tax payments on gains and potentially increase your overall investment return. One method is simply to delay selling an asset that is rising in value. Due to potential asset appreciation, the longer you defer the realization of those gains by holding onto the asset, the greater your after-tax return could be, provided your assets continue to grow in value. Paying out less in taxes may result in higher after-tax returns over time.

Tax-loss harvesting

Current U.S. tax law allows you to offset your capital gains with capital losses you’ve incurred during that tax year, or carried over from a prior tax return. Let’s say that you earn a profit of $30,000 by selling your shares of Fund A. Meanwhile, your shares of Fund B are down by $15,000. By selling Fund B, you can use those losses to partially offset your gains from Fund A – meaning you’d only owe taxes on

By ALLISON SELK Shaw Media correspondent

VIEWS William R. Conte $15,000 of profit instead of $30,000. Note that if you have an overall net capital loss for the year, you can deduct an additional $3,000 of that loss against other kinds of ordinary income. Any excess net capital loss can be carried over to subsequent years to offset future capital gains. Generally, short-term capital gains are taxed at a higher rate (up to a maximum rate of 37 percent) than long-term capital gains, which are taxed at a maximum rate of 20 percent. So, to the extent possible, tax-loss harvesting can likely make a bigger difference if you have invested in strategies that see high turnover and thus more short-term gains.

Consider tax-advantaged investment options

Another way to try to reduce the expected realized gains from your investment portfolio is by considering tax-advantaged investment options. For example, the interest on municipal bonds is typically free from federal, state and local taxes. Certain investment products, such as tax-efficient mutual funds or municipal bonds, either offer potential tax benefits or are managed to limit the number of taxable events within the portfolio. With so many choices to make, it can be easy to overlook potential ways to reduce the amount of taxes on your capital gains. A financial advisor can help you assess the available options as well as provide guidance on a broader investment strategy that’s tailored to your individual financial goals.

Walt’s Ice Cream has been a staple in Joliet since 1926 when the famous five-flavor rainbow cones were introduced. These cones boasted five scoops of frozen treats: chocolate, pistachio, and strawberry ice cream and lemon and orange sherbet, all piled high on top of one another in a cone. “Some people have said it’s heavenly,” owner Bill Dillon said. Dillon and his family own the iconic ice cream shop which serves its customers during the warmer months, from mid-March through mid-October. It was originally located at six corners in Joliet, then moved to a location on Ruby Street when the Dillon family purchased it in the 1960’s from Walt’s son-in-law. It relocated to Jefferson Street in 1989 and remains there today. Dillon said the variety of

hard ice cream flavors and soft serve options – vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and “twist mix” chocolate and vanilla cones – has kept customers interested in the ice cream shop and coming back for generations. “We pay attention to our customers and can call out orders from some of our customers, we have repeat and steady business,” Dillon said. “I like to see the legacy of, ‘I came here when I was a kid and now I am bringing my kids or grandkids.’” The specialized refreshments that customers order most, according to Dillon, are the historical rainbow cone, the turtle sundae, banana split, twist cone and the Boston Shake. “The Boston Shake is like a milk shake float, it’s a shake and ice cream,” Dillon said. “That goes back a long time, not sure when it began, but I know that it was around when

I was in high school.” In addition to the soft-serve products, Walt’s offers a wide variety of scooped hard ice cream, sherbet, sugar-free ice cream and Italian ice. Walt’s features over 25 flavors of hard ice cream. Traditional favorites like pistachio, mint chocolate chip, cookie dough, cookies ‘n cream, and strawberry are complimented with exotic flavors like Superman, salted caramel pretzel, French silk and New York Cherry, among many other popular in cones or cups. The hard ice cream is “premium” small batch quality, not big batch mass-produced ice cream. Aside from ice cream and sherbet, Walt’s Ice Cream sells its signature French fried popcorn, which was an old recipe for popcorn cooked in oil. Other popcorn flavors include cheese and caramel, and the Chicago blend of cheese and caramel.

A special place in Downtown Joliet!


• William Conte is a wealth adviser at Joliet at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. He can be reached by email at or by telephone at 815-729-8040. His website is william.conte.


Complex Woodwork’s expansion By ALLISON SELK Shaw Media correspondent About three years ago, Complex Woodwork owners Val and Anna Vrinceanu took their cabinet and countertop business out of the city of Chicago and found a new business home in Joliet. In 2018, Complex Woodwork was voted best cabinet store in Joliet, and from 2016 to 2018, Complex Woodwork earned best of service by Houzz. Vrinceau said the 2,000-square-foot showroom boasts eight top manufacturers of stock, semi-custom and custom cabinetry. The vast array of cabinets and countertop products featured on the showroom floor provides the customer with a wide variety to choose from when they wish to remodel their home or business. The styles range from

classic to contemporary and are in every price range. When a customer walks through the doors of Complex Woodwork, they are greeted and either Val or Anna can sit down with the customer to learn their specific needs. The showroom can give ideas on color, texture and feel of the products available, but the staff at Complex Woodwork takes customer service a step further. They can come to the customer’s home or business without charge to measure the space for the desired cabinets or countertops. Then, back at the store, a design can be created with those exact measurements to ensure that what the customer desires and the space available mesh. Joliet has been a good fit for Complex Woodwork. Vrinceau said many new customers come to the business through word of

mouth from current or past customers, so recommendations have been a large part of the success of the Joliet location. “We really take care of our customers. If there is an issue, I am there, and many customers become friends,” Val said. West of Joliet has become a desired location for Vrinceau to open a second Complex Woodwork location. They do frequent business in Morris and with the market being open for a cabinet and countertop store in that area, it seemed like a good fit. “It would be a smaller store, but it would be closer to many customers and more convenient for them. It will fill a need,” Vrinceau said. They are not sure yet about when and where the second location would be open, but the couple thought Minooka, Morris, Channahon or Shorewood would provide the best options.

Newstar Jewelers proud to be family owned SUBMITTED REPORT There is something to be said for a family owned and operated business. That is what Newstar Jewelers is, has been and always will be. Each of our full-time staff has a minimum of five years with Newstar, which inspires trust and reliability with our customers. Wynn Fabbri is Newstar Jeweler’ jewelry appraiser. She is a Gemological Institute of

America Graduate Gemologist and also has her diamond certificate through the American Gem Society. Fabbri can do insurance appraisals or estate appraisals. Newstar Jewelers’ customers are more like family to them. Newstar Jewelers has shared the engagement experience with so many of them – only to have them return for a push-present, then First Communion or graduation gifts. Newstar Jewelers loves

being a part of the special moments in their lives and seeing their families grow. Newstar Jewelers can repair or create custom jewelry for their perfect occasion. Have a ring you no longer wear? Newstar Jewelers can create a new piece of jewelry – ring, earrings, pendant or bracelets – using the stones or even make charms with the gold that is left.

See NEWSTAR, page 3

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William R Conte Senior Portfolio Manager Senior Vice President Wealth Advisor 1150 Essington Road, Joliet, IL 60435 815-729-8040

© 2018 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC. CRC 2187362 08/18 SM-CL1639869

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are Trade Marks used under license from The De Beers Group of Companies.

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The Herald-News / • Sunday, March 31, 2019 •


Joliet Area YMCA boasts aquatic program at 3 locations By ALLISON SELK Shaw Media correspondent Whether a tiny tot or an adult, the Greater Joliet Area YMCA has an aquatic program for people of all ages and abilities year around at three of its area locations. New to the program is an adult masters program created by Plainfield resident Ann Emmrich. It includes five different practices over three mornings. C.W. Avery Family YMCA Aquatics Director Danielle Krohn said Emmrich began to guide a group of casual adult lap swimmers who happened to swim at the same time.

“She led them on her own accord,� Krohn said. “Now we have about 35 participants over the course of the five practices and they go to swim meets.� The smallest of children can also take lessons with a parent at the YMCA. There are multiple levels to the swim program at the YMCA with options for area residents of all ages. “The adult classes are for those adults who have a fear of water or haven’t learned how to swim. If adults can be safe around water, they can teach their kids to be safe,� Krohn said. The first level, water acclimation, teaches students

how to get comfortable in the water, especially water deep enough where they cannot touch the bottom of the pool. Next, swimmers learn water movement and how to move in the water without assistance, and then water stamina, where they build endurance in the water. The next three levels include stroke introduction, which teaches ways to move in the water, stroke development, where students refine the strokes they learned in the previous level, and then stroke mechanics, which is a way to work out the kinks from the strokes. After those six levels, three pathways are given to stu-

dents who want to advance. The first, aquatic conditioning, allows preparation for the Joliet JETS swim team, which children can join beginning at the age of eight, dependent on ability. The aquatic leadership level is for those interested in becoming life guards or swim instructors, and the and water sports and games level presents an opportunity for water polo and canoeing, to name a couple options. Parents, adults and students can choose how they take swim lessons at the YMCA. Krohn said private lessons provide an instructor focused solely on the specific skills and needs of the

student, as well as a flexible schedule. Group lessons are offered seven days a week, depending on location, and student-to-instructor ratios vary depending on the age of the student. Krohn said the benefits of group lessons include the social aspect. “As a part of the YMCA program, we don’t just focus on the swimming, but building caring, honesty, respect and responsibility, social skills and swimming,� Krohn said. Adaptive lessons are designed for children with special needs. Krohn said the C.W. Avery Family YMCA has several instructors with a va-

riety of backgrounds in working with children with special needs who have learned what techniques work in order for them to succeed. Benefits of swimming include a low-impact way to exercise. Lessons provide a way for children and adults to feel comfortable in the water and avoid the risk of drowning. The Y’s Plainfield location also features an indoor water park with four slides, a water vortex for water walking, and a splash playground for younger children. To learn more about swim lessons at any of the Y’s locations, please visit or call 815-SAY-YMCA.

Spanish Community Center celebrates 50 years in Joliet SUBMITTED REPORT The Spanish Community Center will recognize its 50th Anniversary on March 21 at the Joseph Henry Mansion in Joliet. The Spanish Community Center was founded in 1969 in the city of Joliet. This milestone gives opportunity to honor the past, celebrate the present and envision the future.  The Spanish Community Center is proud of the growth and impact it has had in the Joliet community. The services offered have expanded over the years thanks to the support of the community.  Originally, the mission was to improve the quality of life for all, primarily Latino low income people,

• NEWSTAR Continued from page 2 Newstar Jewelers can create a one-of a-kind, very sentimental piece. Newstar Jewelers prides itself in helping customers find the perfect engagement ring, from the style that looks best to the perfect size and shape center stone.

by providing educational and social services. The Spanish Community Center welcomes all members of the community regardless of race or ethnic background. The purpose and mission of the Spanish Community Center is to improve the quality of life for the community of Joliet and Will County. Â The Spanish Community Center has the support of the United Way, the Illinois Welcoming Center, Early Childcare Daycare, Food Pantry, Immigration Department with the Department of Justice accreditation, Family Advocacy Center with the Department of Children and Family Services, Housing, and Social Services. The Spanish Community

Center also offers evening classes to those eager to learn English as a second language, citizenship classes, and classes for those wanting to better their futures by obtaining a high school diploma. The Spanish Community Center works side-by-side with Catholic Charities, Guardian Angel, Northern Illinois Food Bank, SSIP, Mount Carmel Church and others so community members have access to all resources. Throughout the year, many community events were very hugely successful with community members. Working with the local police department during “Hero’s Night,� the Spanish Community Center provided a way for residents to acquaint

themselves with uniformed law enforcement officers. The first Children’s Day, or El Dia del Nino, was celebrated last year and will be hosted again this year. The center celebrates International Children’s Day to show respect for culture, heritage, and language as powerful tools for strengthening families. During the holiday season the Spanish Community Center was able to provide toys, with the assistance of the Marine’s Toys for Tots, as well as other donors, to children in the community, which made a difference for many families during the holiday. The Spanish Community Center also has held various workshops

for community members on topics including the benefits of becoming a citizen, how to apply for public programs, steps to purchase a home, knowing your rights, building a resume, and other informational subjects. These workshops are held year round. The Spanish Community Center is able to provide all of the services with a holistic approach and with a fully bilingual staff trained to guide all community members in a respectful and responsive manner. As providers, The Spanish Community Center aims to deliver all services in order to meet the social, cultural, and linguistic needs of the community in which it proudly serves.

Round diamonds are still the most requested, but ovals have been very popular this year too. Stackable rings have also been highly requested. You can wear 1 or several, depending on the look you would like that day. By being able to mix the metals and stones you can achieve a new look almost every time you wear them. Forevermark diamonds are still a best-seller. They are hand-se-

lected for their beauty and rarity. Each is genuine, untreated and natural. Every Forevermark diamond is also responsibly sourced, originating at a carefully selected mine that benefits the people, community and country where it is located. They trace each diamond along its journey, ensuring strict business, environmental and social standards are met at every step.

Newstar Jewelers feels that knowing where your diamond is coming from is very important. It’s one of the things that make you feel good about your purchase. Ask one of their associates about their favorite aspect of Forevermark and about seeing the registry number under the viewer. Some of the other brands Newstar Jewelers carries are Gabriel & Co., Lashbrook Designs, Martin

Flyer, Movado, Parade, Waterford and more. As always Newstar Jewelers looks forward to 2019 and the new jewelry styles we can introduce to our customers. Don’t forget to check them out on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. Ask about signing up for their email list to be the first to know about any specials or promotions that they are having.



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4 COMMUNITY • Sunday, March 31, 2019 • The Herald-News /

Plese provides professional care and comfort SUBMITTED REPORT Following an extensive, successful career assisting local funeral homes, in late September, Ken Plese took the ambitious step to create his own funeral services business in the Will County area. Plese’s decision to establish his business in the Joliet area is rooted in his lifelong commitment to providing emotional and spiritual support in the area where he was born and raised. Understanding the need for compassion and empathy during the most vulnerable time in a person’s life is natural for Plese, given his impressive background. Plese has a master’s degree in theology and music. He is certified as a funeral celebrant, crematory

operator, and preplanning consultant. He also is a licensed funeral director. “It’s fulfilling to be able to be present with the family, walk through their journey and guide them. I look at this like a ministry and my experience in ministry helps me with my families,” Plese said. As a funeral celebrant, he can officiate a funeral in lieu of an ordained priest or minister to offer a religious or nonreligious ceremony, based upon the family’s desires. Funeral services can be traditional or unique to the individual or family. Plese gladly accommodates requests of various different religions and cultures of the families that he serves. Celebration of life

services can be held in the funeral home, the family’s home, or at the final resting place. With cremation, services can be customized based upon the needs of the family. Plese’s extensive range of burial services offer a casket burial, which includes a visitation, viewing with an open or closed casket, services at the funeral home, church, private home or graveside. Additionally, families may have immediate burial without a public service, or graveside at a cemetery. Privacy of the burial is determined in accord with the family’s wishes. Plese said prearrangements -arrangements and at-need arrangements can be made at his home office, but the majority of his clients prefer meeting in their homes.

During a loved one’s passing, he recognizes that a familiar, loving environment is vital to the service planning and healing process. “My wish is to provide professional care and comfort to families with efficient planning and guidance through their time of great difficulty,” Plese said of home visits. Plese Professional Funeral and Cremation Service also offers prearrangements-arrangement consultations. An exceptional video titled “Have the Talk of a Lifetime,” is also offered. This program was created by The Funeral and Memorial Information Council to explore when and how to speak with loved ones concerning final wishes. Plese also assists veterans’ fam-

ilies with navigating the intricate process through the Military Funeral Honors ceremony and eligibility of being buried with honors. Other services include online memorials, tribute videos, funeral fund donations, ordering flowers, monuments and grave markers, sharing service details and daily grief support emails. He also offers flexibility in the location of formal services. Detailed information can be found on his web site. In closing, Plese is called to this ministry of service to his community. His ethics and sensitivity during the most difficult time in a family’s life allows him to create an intimate, healing environment, celebrating loved ones’ lives in a loving, memorable experience.

Karges Realty stands out in crowd Pierro Quality Electrical Construction can keep you connected

SUBMITTED REPORT If you’re looking to buy or sell property in the Will County area, there’s a real estate firm that stands out from the crowd – Karges Realty. Not only is Karges Realty the oldest active real estate company in the area, being founded in 1950, but they are also the most productive independent real estate firm in the area. If that isn’t enough, they are also the highest producing volume office for real estate transactions in the Joliet, Shorewood, Lockport, Homer, Manhattan, Coal City, Diamond and Elwood marketplace over the past 10 year period. Karges Realty is well known for its personalized service, along with having a stellar reputation for its honesty and integrity. Karges Realty is recognized as a company that is a pleasure to do business with by the clients that it serves, in addition to Realtors from other companies. As the purchase or sale of real estate is one of the most


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Karges Realty important decisions of your life, you definitely want to have a representative that will guide you through the entire process and will provide you with the most accurate information possible. There is a tremendous difference in the representation that you have on your side, whether that means getting thousands of dollars more on the sale of your home or negotiating better terms on the purchase of a home.

As in any service industry the person that you hire to represent you makes a tremendous difference, so choose the Realtors who have the knowledge and experience to provide you with the service that you deserve – Karges Realty. For assistance, please visit, email support@kargesrealty. com, call 815-725-1700, or stop by the office at 208 N. Larkin Ave. in Joliet.

The connected, informed world requires electricity. We live in exciting times. Everyone has a device we call a phone but is actially an information device more powerful than our computers of 10 years ago. Our houses are becoming smarter too. Soon any electronic device will be connected and available for you to communicate with anywhere you are in the world – if you have electricity. Without electricity none of it will work. And that’s not all. What about the sump pump? The garage door? Some lights so you are not tripping and breaking bones. What about at your business? Are you doing business when you don’t have electricity for your lights, heating, cooling, computers or cash registers? No, you are sitting there making payroll with nothing coming through the door. Face it, without electricity, we are in trouble. Pierro Quality Electrical Construction has the solution.

An automatic standby generator from Generac. It really is easy. Pierro will come to your house or business and perform an in-home consultation. Pierro will discuss with your requirements with you. Pierro will offer different sizes to meet your needs. Pierro will discuss placement that least disrupts your life and the lives of your neighbors. Pierro will explain how the system will be connected to your electrical system and fuel system — natural gas if you are in town or propane if you are rural. Pierro will explain the operation, how when the power goes out you are in the dark only for 15 seconds in the summer and 35 seconds in the winter, then with a click of the transfer switch your lights are back on. Your heat or air, your TV, your internet, you will be able to get your car out of the garage, you will be able to charge your phone so you can stay in contact with your loved ones and the outside world. The day of the installation we will work to minimize disruption to your day, advising

you of shut downs and explain the necessary steps so you are comfortable and confident in the process. Pierro will work to keep your property as clean and undisturbed as possible while the installation is underway and final cleanup when completed. The operation of your new Generac automatic standby generator system will be explained while performing a shutdown test so you can see what will happen. Pierro will leave behind manuals, warranty statements, and a factory rebate/referral form for you and your neighbors. After the installation is complete, Pierro will help you maintain your system to keep it in peak performance. If a problem was to develop they will be in your corner with factory-trained technicians. They will work on your behalf to get all of the warranty service possible. Your Generac automatic standby generator is here to help bring you peace of mind. By standing by in support of the system and providing the best installation possible, so is Pierro.

                

     Ken offers personalized services to suit your family's wishes and requirements. You can count on him to help you plan a personal, lasting tribute to your loved one. He will carefully guide you through the many decisions that must be made during this challenging time. KarenBlumhardt






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The Herald-News / • Sunday, March 31, 2019 •

Reeves & Baskerville caps off another award-winning year the only local funeral homes to have Certified Crematory Operators and Certified Cel2018 was a busy and productive year for Reeves & ebrants on staff. Matt Baskerville is also designated as Baskerville Funeral Homes a Certified Funeral Service and team members, Funeral Director and President Matt Practitioner, through the Academy of Professional Baskerville said. In March, Matt was invited to be a pre- Funeral Service Practice. This past December, senter at the Funeral Service Reeves & Baskerville reFoundation and National leased their Preplanning and Funeral Directors AssociBereavement Guide publiation - Meet the Mentors cation, put together with Conference, held at Emory the assistance of several of University in Atlanta. the funeral homes’ friends In October, Baskerville and local business sponsors. attended the National FuEveryone is welcome to pick neral Directors Association up a copy, or contact the International Convention funeral home if you wish for and Expo in Salt Lake City, a copy to be mailed. Utah. The entire family of staff While in Salt Lake City, Baskerville had the opportu- understand relationships and grief. They possess years nity to speak at the convention about the importance of of experience, skill, and being a Certified Prearrange- knowledge to compassionately help survivors through all ment Consultant (CPC). of the decisions that occur In addition to having at a time of loss and can Certified Prearrangement sensibly guide individuals at Consultants, Reeves and a time of advance planning Baskerville Funeral Homes needs. are also proud to be some of


Matt Baskerville, Funeral Director/President, is a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP), Certified Prearrangement Consultant (CPC), Certified Crematory Operator (CCO) and Certified Funeral Celebrant (CFC). He works alongside Funeral Director Alex Nolan, CCO; funeral director Jim Benuska; Business Manager and Aftercare Specialist John Fonck, CPC; Advance Funeral Planning Consultant and Celebrant Violette Baskerville, CPC, CFC; Executive Administrator Sheila Allen. There is also a host of dedicated support staff who represent their services, welcome you to the funeral homes and maintain the facilities, including Ray and Kenna Baskerville, Scott Kuriger, Sandi Dransfeldt, Jan Hibler, John Hollmeyer, Kay Attaway, Robin Cirrencione, Don Jensen, Dr. Craig Eckert, Gregory Reeves, Joe Fonck, Cecilia Storbeck,

Julie Leiter, Mary Rossio, Jan Issert, Karen Guest and Diane Schaal. Leo and Karen Reeves, as well as Roger Freitag also continue to be active advisors and continuous support to the operations. The funeral homes continue to be awarded the National Funeral Directors Associations most prestigious award: The Pursuit of Excellence Eagle Award. Reeves Funeral Home in Coal City benchmarked its 12th year, and Baskerville Funeral Home in Wilmington received the award for the ninth year. This prestigious honor is awarded to NFDA-member funeral homes that consistently exceed business standards set forth by the Pursuit of Excellence program. To earn this, the funeral homes must demonstrate proficiency in key areas of funeral service. In addition to Reeves and Baskerville being honored internationally in 2018, they

were also a recipient of the first annual Illinois Award of Funeral Service Distinction, which placed them with only 10 other funeral homes across the state. When making funeral arrangements, whether at a time of need or in advance, individuals need to be comfortable with whom they are working with. They need to know that they are being cared for by professionals whom not only can offer everything the larger funeral services professionals provide, but extend individual and personal attention when it matters most. Reeves and Baskerville have comfortable, well furnished, boutique style funeral home locations in Coal City, Gardner, Morris and Wilmington. However, their first class services are not restricted to the physical funeral home facilities. Through countless professional relationships with

funeral homes in Chicago, its suburbs and throughout Illinois, Reeves & Baskerville Funeral Homes can also accommodate most any out of town arrangements. “We remain dedicated to the loving and sensitive care of people in times of need, all while honoring and remembering that human life is unique and irreplaceable,” Baskerville said. The funeral homes, recognized both on the global stage as well as on the state level, continue to be voted the Best Funeral Service Provider in Grundy County, and one of the Best of Will County, year after year. This is just another case in point of the dedication, compassion, attention to detail and unparalleled level of service that Reeves and Baskerville Funeral Homes have to offer. Check out the testimonies of families who have been served by Reeves and Baskerville at 

Joliet Jewish Congregation offers open, warm environment SUBMITTED REPORT Joliet Jewish Congregation is located close to the junctions of Interstates 55 and 80 at 250 N. Midland Ave. in Joliet. Joliet Jewish Congregation was established in 1922 and built its current modern structure in 1968. The congregation draws its mem-

bers from as far away as 45 miles and its membership is comprised of over 75 family units. The Joliet Temple offers an open and warm environment and is blessed with an outstanding and motivated rabbi, Charles Rubovits, and a talented cantor in Jessica Tobacman. The active congregation offers a

well-rounded religious school from kindergarten through 12th grade, Hebrew for both children and adults and adult education. Additionally, the congregation offers celebrational dinners, D’vrie Torot dialogues, religious and contemporary education, along with Bar and Bat Mitzvah training.

“We celebrate all Life Cycle religious events, and have a Judaic library, kosher kitchen, and our own off-site kosher cemetery,” the Joliet Jewish Congregation said. The congregation values each member as an individual, promotes growth and development, encourages participation, fostesr and nurtures

Jewish learning, and emphasizes and cherishes the growth and development of all younger people. Shabbat services on Friday evening are at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. Call President Mark Turk at 815-922-4065 for more information or visit us at

Growing organically makes family owned Taylor Street Realty stronger additional services like design and staging, are just a few of the things we offer and make us different.” “Taylor Street Realty was born from what we, as a family, believed to be a great need for a higher standard of excellence in the industry as a whole,” she said. Smaller shop versus big box, TSR works closely as a team with its clients, translating to smoother

They are a neighborhood community-focused business. TSR encourages people to stop in and experience its atmosphere. Growing organically makes TSR stronger. It holds real estate classes right at its office. TSR is committed to providing personal and professional quality service to facilitate a smooth transaction for all of its clients.

transactions. Being a full-service real estate company, it can handle all of your real estate needs, from residential, to commercial, to investment properties. TSR serves the entire Chicago area with a focus on Joliet, Crest Hill, Shorewood, Plainfield, Naperville, Yorkville, Oswego, New Lenox and Lockport. Don’t be fooled by TSR’s size.

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As a family owned and operated company, Taylor Street Realty is rooted in the heart of the community. Located at 721 Taylor St., next to Linda’s Pizza, TSR is at home in a charming 100 year-old Brownstone. We are Joliet’s first boutique real estate shop,” said Caryn Diaz,

marketing director and resident designer. Some clients ask what being a boutique real estate shop means. “Being grounded in family values, with a core belief system, yet having big business acumen, while maintaining strong personal client relationships is what ‘boutique’ means to us,” Diaz said. “Being available night and day to our clients, and providing



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Every day our commitment is witnessed first-hand by people like you who have lost loved ones. Every year it is recognized by colleagues and organizations locally, nationally and worldwide.

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6 COMMUNITY • Sunday, March 31, 2019 • The Herald-News /

Simotes Motor Sales serves its community By ALLISON SELK Shaw Media correspondent Simotes Motor Sales and Service, located on Ridge Road near I-80, has come a long way since it’s humble beginnings in an old abandoned gas station with 10 cars on the lot. “I quit teaching and was broke, I opened a business with nothing, it was a lot of hard work, 12 hours a day sometimes six to seven days a week, I was a one man band,” Larry Simotes, founder said. Larry said his work ethic came from his parents who worked hard to raise their family, and claims he and his siblings were not the easiest kids to raise. Larry and his wife Lisa raised their children in Minooka and two of their children, Grant and Mac now run the business their father started in 1986. In 2018, the building Larry built in 1995 was renovated to create more office space and a bigger waiting area for sales and the service department. Grant began in the family business after he returned from college in 2011, Mac in 2015. Grant said over the past several

Photo provided

Simotes Motor Sales and Service located on Ridge Road. years, the company has strived to carry newer cars especially ones that still have a factory warranty remaining. “We know the risks of selling vehicles that have higher miles, so we try to sell as few

as possible while also understanding that many people have a certain budget they would like to stay at,” Grant said. “We moved to the warranty cars because no matter how well of an inspection we do, a vehicle

over 100,000 miles anytime – a week or year later – something could happen.” Grant said the number one philosophy of Simotes Motor Sales and Service has been to find the nicest and lowest

mileage car, price it right to give people the best value. With most customers being local, the Simotes family said they want to take care of those in the community in which they live. When Larry began this venture, he was a teacher and not in the car business, but he did buy, fix up cars and sell when he was in college in order to pay his bills. He said he loved cars and wanted to create a family business to pass down generations. His 10 vehicles on an old lot have now grown to 130 vehicles on the Ridge Road lot, and customers can shop in person or online. “We try to have one of every one of the most common cars. We have sport utility vehicles, trucks and cars-a few in the $5,000 range all of the way up to $40,000 because we like to offer variety,” Grant said. Mac said the Simotes Motor Sales and Service staff aims to uphold a no pressure method of selling cars which makes the sales less stressful for the customer. “At the end of the day, we want to sell the best vehicle we can,” Mac said. The service department

onsite offers customers a service beyond just selling the car. Grant said they employ three mechanics, each with a specialty niche such as diesel, new cars and old vehicles. The service department has grown as the dealership flourished and it services vehicles sold on and off site. As for financing a vehicle, Grant said the dealership has a great relationship with three credit unions and larger banks in order to get customers the lowest rates possible. He said those with low or no credit can also feel confident they will receive the same hard work to find reasonable financing. The Simotes family and the business has been engrained in the Minooka area for decades. Larry coached baseball at Minooka Junior High School for 18 years, donates to the Minooka High School Scholarship fund for athletes, and this year he donated 700 copies of his book “Two Strikes and Not Out,” to MCHS, Grant said. “We always want to take care of people all we can. We do our best to help out all we can and our kids are now there taking care of people,” Larry said.

Kiwanis Club of Joliet active in community SUBMITTED REPORT Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to “improving the world one child and one community at a time.” The Kiwanis Club of Joliet was chartered on April 2, 1920, with 44 charter members. In 1934, the Joliet club produced the first annual Kiwanis Show. This show helped identify Kiwanis in the community and highlighted local talent. In 1967, the club began participating annually in the nationwide “Kiwanis Peanut Day” where members sell peanuts to the public to support our charitable efforts in the community. Peanuts

can also be donated and shipped to U.S. troops serving overseas. Peanut Days continues to be the largest fundraiser for the Joliet club to assist community organizations. Now approaching its 100th year, Kiwanis Club of Joliet is active in the community with over 60 members. The club is dedicated to sharing the generosity and kindness of its members by empowering community organizations to make lasting differences in the lives of children and those in need. In addition to fundraising to support the community, members of the Kiwanis Club of Joliet can be found volunteering in various

ways throughout the community. Each month, members read to local children at numerous early childhood development centers and distribute hundreds of books to them. Members also enjoy gathering together to pull up their sleeves to aid local nonprofit organizations like Easter Seals, the Galowich Family YMCA, the Boys and Girls Club of Joliet, and many more. The Kiwanis Club of Joliet also supports the Eliminate Project, which was formed by Kiwanis International in cooperation with UNICEF to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus globally. The club sponsors and supports the next generation of Kiwa-

nians through three local middle school Builders Clubs, Key Clubs at Joliet Catholic Academy, Joliet West High School and Joliet Central High School, and two local Aktion and Transition Clubs which support adult community members with developmental disabilities. Guests and new members are always welcome to join meetings or a service project. Kiwanis Club of Joliet meets every Monday at the Jacob Henry Mansion Estate Gathering Room at 15 S. Richards St. in Joliet from noon to 1 p.m. for luncheon and general meeting. For more information visit

Photo provided

Kiwanis Club of Joliet members Clayton Pape and David Gardner during Kiwanis Peanut Days 2018.

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The Herald-News / • Sunday, March 31, 2019 •


Joliet Noon Lions Club nears 100th birthday celebration SUBMITTED REPORT The Joliet Noon Lions Club is quickly approaching its 100th Birthday in 2021. The Noon Club is a chartered service club of Lions Clubs International which was organized in 1917, and is the largest international volunteer service club in the world. Lions Clubs International has over 1.45 million members in over 44,000 clubs located in over 208 countries or geographical areas Lions Clubs International serves nearly 200 million people each year. The Joliet Noon Lions Club, with its more than 45 men and women members, raises and returns over $35,000 per year into the community. The Lions’ motto is, “We Serve.” Lions endeavor to follow that motto each day, assisting those who are sight or hearing impaired, promoting diabetic awareness, feeding the hungry, assisting in global humanitarian causes, and funding research for childhood cancer. Locally, the club’s projects include support for SOWIC, high school

student recognition, Leo Clubs, School Peace Poster contest, Sunny Hill Nursing Home, Joliet Area Community Hospice, local sight and hearing screenings, recycling, Northern Illinois Food Bank, plus supplying over 300 eyeglasses and exams, and over 20 hearing aids to those in need. Statewide support is given to Camp Lions, low vision clinics, traveling vision and hearing screening units, and district scholarships. Funds are raised via sales of brooms, gumballs, the Candy Day, the Cash Bash Raffle, pancake breakfasts, and private donations and endowments. The club also collects used eye glasses, used hearing aids, cell and smart phones, pop top tabs, used keys, and even strings of Christmas lights at over 50 Joliet area locations. The club is always looking for new members who believe in its mission and projects, are outgoing, hard working, and who want to serve and help their follow man. For more information go to our website: or e-mail,

Photo provided

Lions John Knudson and John Simpson selling 50/50 tickets at the Joliet Slammer’s game last summer.

Susie Scheuber is area’s No. 1 selling real estate agent SUBMITTED REPORT Susie Scheuber is a lifelong resident of the Joliet area and is a multiple award-winning, top-producing broker at RE/MAX Ultimate Professionals. Scheuber is starting her 19th year in real estate and is an experienced top selling agent. Scheuber has extensive area knowledge and expertise with the buying and selling process of real estate. Scheuber is the No. 1 selling agent for the Joliet, Plainfield and

Shorewood area for 2015, 2016 and 2018. With over $23 million in sales in 2018, she is looking forward to making 2019 another successful year helping her buyers & sellers. For the years 2016 through 2018, Scheuber was featured in Chicago Agent Magazine’s Who’s Who in Chicagoland Real Estate, and was on the cover and featured in Top Agent Magazine for the May 2016 issue. Scheuber is a member of the RE/ MAX Hall of Fame, a three-year Chairman Club Level recipient, has been named a Five Star Real Estate

Agent by Five Star Professional from 2013 to 2018, named in REAL Trends Best Real Estate Agents in America from 2013 to 2018, named by Chicago Agent Magazine as a Will County Top 20 Agent from 2012 through 2018, and is in the top 1 percent of all real estate agents in the United States. Scheuber’s experience, knowledge, and customer service to her clients are the cornerstone of her business. Her strong attention to detail makes sure that her clients get everything they want and more.

Her honesty and commitment to her clients’ welfare sets her apart. When Scheuber works with her clients, she doesn’t just say what they want to hear. In the industry, she is known as a straight shooter. “People appreciate that and want to know the truth,” Scheuber said. “I skip the sales tactics and talk real with my clients.” In her free time, Scheuber enjoys working out, bike riding and spending time with her family. She says her daughters inspire her, and she strives to be their role model.

Scheuber is also a member of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Scheuber’s ability to connect with people and maneuver through difficult transactions set her apart in the industry. Scheuber strives to exceed every client’s expectations throughout the sale or purchase of their home. When it is time to make that purchase or to place your home on the market, contact Scheuber at 815263-5988 or via email at sscheuber@

Susie Scheuber

#1 Selling Agent 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018 Joliet, Plainfield, Shorewood

Your Great Real Estate Experience Starts with SUSIE!

• Over 23 million in sales in 2018

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• Will County Top 20 Agent

• Ranked in the top 1% of all Real Estate Brokers in the U.S. – Chicago Agent Real Data

• #1 RE/MAX Agent for RE/MAX Ultimate Professionals 2018 • Five Star Real Estate Agent by Five Star Professional

• REAL Trends Best Real Estate Agents in American

If you think hiring a professional is expensive, try hiring an amateur! Susie has over 150 reviews on Zillow. Below are just 2 examples of happy clients who have Experienced the Difference working with Susie! Susie Scheuber is an amazing professional. She is acutely attuned to the needs of her clients. She performs above and beyond the call of duty consistently. When you work with Ms. Scheuber, you develop a peace of mind. You know immediately that you are in expert hands. She is able to provide sound advice at every turn in the home selling process. When she is needed to offer an opinion, it is so obvious that she speaks from excellent experience and a sound knowledge base. As the process of selling a home and moving across country is an extremely stressful process, Susie Scheuber made the ordeal workable and doable. I will be forever grateful to her for her professionalism.

Listing and selling our home by hiring Susie was a terrific decision! From our first meeting with her, through the sales process to the closing, Susie was there for us the entire time. She helped us de-clutter and stage our home, She developed a strong and specific marketing plan. She sought out every opportunity to sell our home and treated us with great respect and honesty. Susie took care of every detail, kept in regular communication with us, and responded to my emails and texts quickly and with solid information. Susie is so highly rated because she does exactly what she says she will do, and does it when she says she will do it. Many organizations could learn from her!! My wife and I could not be happier with the final results of working with Susie and would give her 10 Stars if we could! 815.263.5988

8 COMMUNITY • Sunday, March 31, 2019 • The Herald-News /

Allied Nursery has grown since ’92 By ALLISON SELK Shaw Media correspondent In 1992, Ron and Margie Plunk had a vision to create a full-service nursery and garden center to serve Joliet and surrounding areas. Allied Nursery and Garden Center offers products to a wholesale market as well as to the public. Even though it has had a reputation as a wholesale retailer, the public has always been a part of the business dynamic. Manager Kristi Seitz said Allied Nursery and Garden Center was unique because it offers an in-house horticulturist who is able to tell what plants will work best in a particular location depending on soil and water care, a landscape architect to design a plan for homes and master gardeners to assist with which perennials and flowers to plant. Seitz was hired in 1992 as a landscape architect and said this service has three separate options for those who wish to plant a garden or landscape around a home. First, customers can come into Allied Nurs-

ery and Garden Center for a sketch of a plan, or if they wish to have a more detailed option, a do-it-yourself service plan can be drawn up and the customer can self-install. The third plan involves an on-site residential design with pictures, site analysis and plans and installation. Seitz said Allied Nursery and Garden Center is a Uni-Lock authorized contractor, so she can do full residential plans with patio features as well. Allied Nursery and Garden Center has branched out and expanded product lines in several areas. Succulents such as cactus plants and house plants have become popular niche items. Tropical plants such as rose trees and mandevilla vines have become popular, and other tropicals can be potted to dress up a patio. Native plants have taken off with the push to provide food and habitat for populations of bees and butterflies which have become a concern in recent years. Native plants such as pollinators, perennials and shrubs can be purchased at Allied Nursery and Garden Center.

“There has been a growing interest in native plants. When insects likes bees and butterflies disappear due to the landscape and lack of food sources, people want to bring them back. These plants are hearty for our area,” Seitz said. All staple vegetable, herbs and flowers can be found for sale at the center as well. Seitz said trees have become a big seller for Allied Nursery and Garden Center. Some of the 20 varieties have been grown there and customers can walk through the yard, tag a tree and have it loaded up and planted, or plant it themselves. To finish the landscape, mulch and decorative stone can be purchased in bulk, which Seitz said was cheaper than buying in bags. Customers can come and load up in a truck or order and receive delivery. Since 1992, Allied Nursery and Garden Center has expanded its products and services to fit the growing need of the community. Better customer service has been at the forefront, and the knowledgeable and educated staff demonstrates the commitment to quality.


Shorewood Home and Auto now in Homer Glen By ALLISON SELK Shaw Media correpsondent Shorewood Home and Auto has provided a wide range of lawn mowers, power equipment, utility vehicles, snow blowers, ATVs, snowmobiles, trailers and more since 1974. The company, owned by Marc Moyer, expanded to Crete in 2008 and moved into the former Circle Tractor facility in Homer Glen in January, with a new building to be erected on 159th Street in Homer Glen in the future. Customers are greeted at the door by sales staff who have been trained to listen to customers with a goal to find them the proper piece of equipment. Shorewood Home and Auto manager Kale Martin said the stores display all that they carry to ensure customers can get a feel for the different styles and

brands of equipment. At times, customers come in for one brand but after getting the full experience of each machine, have gone with a completely different brand. The extensive list of brands in stock includes Polaris, John Deere, John Deere Commercial Worksite Products, Echo, Stihl, Shindaiwa, Honda Power Equipment, Toro, Exmark, Billy Goat, Brutus, Bear Cat, Troy-Bilt, Bluebird, Traeger, Brown, Wright, SnowEx, Triton Trailers, Mac-Lander and Weber grills. Martin said Polaris and John Deere have proven to be the biggest brands carried. Shorewood Home and Auto finances everything it sells, according to Martin, because not every customer can come up with a lump some in the thousands for a piece of equipment. After the purchase and financ-

ing, if needed, the company also offers delivery. After the sale, Shorewood Home and Auto extends its services from sales, finance and delivery to equipment maintenance service. Martin said full time mechanics are on staff to service everything sold, which he said separates them from big box stores. The on-site service department gives customers peace of mind that the machine will be taken care of by an authorized dealer. Martin said the mechanics can also service machines not sold in the stores. The parts and accessory department assists customers who like to do the maintenance work themselves, offering a full stock of parts for the machines sold. Special orders can be made for parts the store does not have in stock at the desired time.


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SUNDAY March 31, 2019 The Herald-News


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In fall of 2019, the first Aviation Maintenance Technology students at Lewis University will graduate from the nation’s first blended and distance learning program in an asynchronous learning format.

Lewis University aviation program to graduate first students By ALLISON SELK Shaw Media correspondent In fall of 2019, the first Aviation Maintenance Technology students at Lewis University will graduate from the nation’s first blended and distance learning program in an asynchronous learning format. Craig Neville, assistant professor of aviation and transportation studies, said the program was developed by aviation and transportation assistant professors subject matter esperts in corroboration with the faculty development center and the Federal Aviation Administration Regional District

Office Great Lakes Flight Standard District Office in Des Plaines. Three years ago, Neville said, the department chairs started to talk about Federal Aviation Regulation part 147 which dictates how aviation maintenance technology programs operate. Lewis University wanted to add another layer to this program and instead of just the traditional classroom time and lab, students in the blended program can do the classroom courses online at their own pace during the week and then come to lab in the evenings. Neville said this allows working students to keep their jobs while

they educate themselves for a new career. The past two and a half years, all of the courses have been approved by the FAA except four, which are in the process of being evaluated. Thirty students are in the four semester program, 24 men and six women. The students have to meet a minimum of 1900 hours and the program is 45 percent lecture and 55 percent lab work. Jamie Johnson entered the blended program in August after she was encouraged by co-workers to pursue a career in aviation maintenance. Johnson still holds down her night job at United Airlines,

studies during the day and attends labs in the evening. “This is perfect because I can take my laptop to work and do homework online and in the evening go to class,” Johnson said. “I would like to become a United Airlines aircraft mechanic and then an aviation inspector.” Neville said this blended option comes at a crucial time where airlines are seeing a shortage of pilots and aviation maintenance techs. He said Lewis University had the vision to offer this to the students as long as it was FAA approved. Neville said there are many reasons for the shortage. Also many

pilots and aviation maintenance techs are retiring, leaving a void. “I talked to the mechanics and they said there is a big demand for more mechanics — not the only reason I am doing this, I have a passion for aircraft being in the industry for so long. I want to use this opportunity to try something different,” Johnson said. Neville said this program is also unique because it’s not all classroom and then lab, it’s a mixed class where the students learn through the classwork and then go to the labs and apply what they just learned, so the information builds upon itself.




APRIL 6, 2019 • 8:30–11:30A Going Back to School 101 Workshop

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• Computer Science + X (B.A.)

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• Lewis has recently added Lacrosse, Wrestling and Bowling

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• • • •

Data Science (B.A., B.S.) Electrical Engineering (B.S.) Speech-Language Pathology (M.S.) Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) concentration to the MSN degree program and Certificate of Advanced Study programs

A magnificent Student Center named after President Emeritus Brother James Gaffney, FSC, opened this fall. Features include a new dining hall with an all-you-can-eat option, Common Grounds Convenience Store, offices for Student Activities, Multicultural Student Services, and Student Senate, meeting rooms and conference rooms, outdoor patio areas, a game room, entertainment lounge, multicultural center and lockers for students.

• Lewis Innovation Hub Office of Admission One University Parkway Romeoville, IL 60446 or

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2 EDUCATION • Sunday, March 31, 2019 • The Herald-News /

Banner Year for Grundy Economic Development Council By NANCY E. NORTO President and CEO Economic development in Grundy County was great in 2018. New projects were announced, existing businesses expanded and great strides were made in preparing our future workforce. It is the highest of compliments when existing businesses choose to reinvest and grow at their current Grundy County locations. Sometimes going unnoticed, local companies made significant investments in their facilities and employees in 2018. LyondellBasell, located in Grundy County since 1969, began construction on a new, state-of-the-art operations center. The $55 million, 89,000 sq. ft. facility will include a control room, maintenance shop, administrative office and a testing lab. Morris Hospital, the largest employer and health care provider in Grundy County, announced significant new investment around the county. The hospital broke ground on a 13,400 sq. ft. facility in Diamond. This is part of a larger, three year plan to invest $60 million in modernization of existing facilities and new construction. Kellogg, located in Minooka, also started construction on an additional 700,000-square-foot logistics building. Kellogg, in Grundy County since 2002, is antici-

In addition to new construction, many local businesses have annual maintenance and in the case of Exelon, a refueling outage. Thanks to this investment, local trades can work closer to home, guest workers stay at our hotels, and money is spent at local restaurants, stores, and gas stations. The economic impact felt throughout the County is dramatic. As unemployment rates fall and full employment is within reach, a highly skilled and trained workforce is more important than ever. The Grundy County workforce is up to the challenge and the GEDC is working to create a pipeline for local employers. The Grundy County Summer Internship Program is starting its seventh year and has grown dramatically each year. The program was creatPhoto provided Attending the GEDC fall event were (from left) Mike Gerrish, Carpenters Local 174; Shawn McGlynn, LyondellBasell; ed to match the County’s best and brightest kids with good Sen. Sue Rezin, 38th District and Dr. Judy Mitchell, Joliet Junior College. paying job opportunities. Transportation. building located on Reed Road Too often, our children pating adding additional emIn late summer, it is in Coal City, has rail and go away to college or post ployees at the new location. anticipated that CPV Three truck service.Hoffman is the high schools programs and Lastly, Costco’s meat Rivers Energy Center will first company to locate on the never return because they processing plant became break ground on a new 1,200 Union Pacific rail spur and are unaware of the opporoperational in 2018. LocatMW natural gas generating more are anticipated in the tunities right here in their ed just west of its existing station. The $1 billion investindustrial park. own backyard. Thankfully, logistics buildings in Morris, ment is located in Goose Lake The significant investment that is being remedied with the meat processing facility Township and will generate made by our current and new 15 companies and agencies is advanced food processing enough energy to power 1.1 companies is not only a benhosting approximately 40 paid at its best. This facility will efit to the people that work million homes. During the 30 internships this summer. service all Costco stores east at those facilities but also the month construction period, Also listening to the needs of the Mississippi River with people that build them. 300 to 500 skilled trades will of area employers, Joliet premium meat products. Grundy County has a be on site. Junior College partnered Grundy County is pleased large, highly skilled populaHoffman Transportation with local industry leaders to to welcome two new compation of construction tradesopened its new facility in offer an Operations Engineernies to the area, CPV Three people. 2018. The 400,000-square-foot ing and Technician degree. Rivers Energy and Hoffman

Cooperating with our local educators and business leaders, Grundy County is creating a 21st century workforce. While everyone likes the new groundbreaking or ribbon cutting, the Small Business Administration reports that 60 percent of net new private sector jobs are created by existing businesses. This is one of the motivators of the GEDC retention program. Every two years the GEDC conducts retention visits at local businesses. The insight and information that is received from these visits helps drive new programming and the allocation of resources at the GEDC office. Retention visits are an excellent way to take the pulse of the Grundy County economy. Joining the GEDC in this effort are governmental officials and education leaders. Creating a retention team, provides different perspectives and problem solving. Best of all, the visits help build relationships among industry, education, and government. For 26 years, the GEDC staff and board volunteers have worked to attract new investment and job creation in Grundy County. Through marketing efforts, workforce development, retention programs and many of the other activities of the GEDC, the organization has contributed to healthy communities and a growing economy in Grundy County.

St. Paul the Apostle Catholic School: More than a school, it’s a family SUBMITTED REPORT St. Paul the Apostle Catholic School is located just off Jefferson Street at 130 Woodlawn Ave. in Joliet. Principal Corie Alimento led this preschool through eighth-grade Catholic school for the past five years. At St. Paul the Apostle School, “Our faith is a part of everything we do,” Alimento said. “We teach our faith and the Church’s teaching at the same time we’re teaching reading, math and all other subject areas,” she said. As a result, the students are comfortable praying together and sharing faith journeys with one another. “We are more than a school,” Alimento said. “We’re a family. We’re a home.” The school’s academic curriculum prepares its students to excel as they enter high school. Students participate in the Will County and Scripp’s Spelling Bee, state geography bee, regional and state science and social studies fairs and Battle of the Books, among other academic competitions. In addition to core subjects, the school also offers art, music, physical education and Technology. St. Paul School also forms individual faith families within the school that meet once a month during school hours. Eighth grade students lead

Photo provided

Students produce and perform a play in the fall and a musical every spring. This month, “Mary Poppins” is hitting the stage. Pictured are Paige Shepherd, Sarah Williams, Alexandra Widlak and Lillie Scherf. every faith families. Faith families include students from each grade and the faith family stays together through their entire time at St. Paul, adding new students at the beginning of each school year and saying good-bye to the eighth-grade students as they graduate. This smaller community helps expands student knowledge of their faith and brings the school families closer

together. All students participate in serving their school, local and worldwide communities. Students visit the residents at Villa Franciscan Rehab Center, collect clothing for Daybreak Center and food for Thanksgiving baskets for those in need, and raise money for access to clean water in third world countries. St. Paul School’s Drama Club puts on a play in the fall

and a musical every spring. The production of “Mary Poppins” is scheduled for 7 p.m. March 10 and 11and 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. March 13. Call the school for ticket information. Students also have a chance to join two choirs at the school. Mass Choir sings at the school’s weekly Masses on Wednesday mornings. The Chamber Choir offers a challenging repertoire and performs at school events.

The school’s band also performs concerts twice a year in conjunction with other local bands. The school also provides a before-school-program starting at 6:30 a.m. with an option for breakfast, and an after-school-program until 6 p.m. daily. The school’s hot lunch program follows the National School Lunch Program guidelines and offers free or

Celebrating 26 Years of Economic Development Success!


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reduced lunch for those who qualify through the State of Illinois’s regulations. The school has a strong athletic program, which includes baseball, basketball, cross country, and volleyball. Many of its teams have gone to state and won state titles the past several years Enrollment is under way for the 2019-2020 school year. St. Paul encourages anyone who is interested in attending next school year to call the school’s office to set up a tour. Prospective families will learn more about the academic programs, meet teachers and experience all the St. Paul the Apostle School has to offer. Families do not need to be parishioners of St. Paul Catholic Church to attend the school; everyone is welcome to be part of the St. Paul family. St. Paul the Apostle Catholic School is a participant in the Diocese of Joliet Tuition Transfer Grant Program for students from public, home or charter schools. The Catholic Education Fund Scholarships and the State of Illinois Invest in Kids Act scholarships are also available to the school families. For more information on joining the St. Paul the Apostle Catholic School family, please call our school office at 815-725-3390, or visit our school’s website at www. .


The Herald-News / • Sunday, March 31, 2019 •


JCA celebrates 150 years of Catholic education SUBMITTED REPORT Joliet Catholic Academy, celebrating 150 years of Catholic education in the Will County area during the 2018-2019 school year, is built on the belief that Angels and Hilltoppers are champions of their faith in the classroom, after school and on the playing field. JCA is a family of 645 current students and over 23,100 alumni. JCA is the No. 1 choice for Catholic education in the Joliet, Shorewood and Plainfield communities. JCA’s alumni are lawyers, doctors, politicians, teachers, coaches, police officers, firefighters, and more. JCA graduates continually thrive in leadership positions in the Joliet community and beyond. Three out of the last four mayors in Joliet, four current Illinois state legislators in Springfield, eight current professional athletes, Olympic medalists, Fortune 500 company CEO’s, Hollywood producers and box office stars are counted among its graduates. JCA was founded on the principles that drive the missions of the Carmelites and Franciscans. Students experience opportunities to foster their spiritual awareness through daily prayer, liturgical experiences, Christian service within the community and retreats. Angels and Hilltoppers are challenged to bring a deeper meaning to all aspects of their lives by following the example and teachings of Jesus Christ. JCA offers three curricula

Sportsmanship Awards, and numerous national, regional, sectional, and super-sectional championships. Individually, JCA students have captured state titles in wrestling, track and field, tennis, and swimming. Joliet Catholic Academy encourages all students to make their voice be heard with over 40 extra-curricular activities. All students have the opportunity to be creative, to be unique, to build confidence, and to be their best self. The award-winning JCA Drama Department annually puts on a Fall Play, Winter Radio Show, and Spring Musical. The March 21-23 performance of “My Fair Lady” at Joliet’s Bicentennial Park Theatre is one of the hottest tickets in town, with all performances expected to sell out. Come see for yourself what JCA is all about. Contact JCA’s Admissions Office for Photo provided more information or schedJoliet Catholic Academy is celebrating 150 years of Catholic education in the Will County area during the 2018-2019 school year. ule a visit at 815-741-0500 or The 2019 Joliet Catholic of study, Advanced Placement Illinois State Scholars; 68 per- the classroom. JCA believes SA-record 14th state football cent of students earned college athletics play an importcourses, and junior college championship, the JCA varsi- Academy Summer Camps are also now available online. ant role in developing the ty dance team won the IHSA scholarships and Advanced dual credit options. Student Families can register and pay discipline and competitive Class 1A state championship, Placement and junior college schedules are built to meet online at spirit required for academic sophomore Dean Hamiti Jr. dual-credits were attained. their individual needs. JCA summercamps, or download success. Every student at JCA won his second consecutive Students are challenged with offers 31 honors and 14 AP has excellent opportunities IHSA Class 2A wrestling state the flyer and register through technology through JCA’s classes, with JCA students the mail. to compete at many levels championship, and the girls one-to-one program and passing AP exams at a higher This year JCA is offering in 25 interscholastic and and boys cross country probroaden their horizons with rate — 70 percent — than the over 20 different camps in grams qualified for the IHSA intramural sports programs. exciting new electives such state and national averages. state finals for the first time in athletics and academics/ JCA boasts 32 overall state as computer science/coding, The Class of 2018 carried on activities. Participants will program history. robotics and engineering. JCA or national championships, the school’s legacy by recordget to see JCA’s remarkable ing an average ACT score In addition, the Angels students attended 69 different the most of any private high facilities up close under the of 30.03 for honors program and Hilltoppers boast three colleges in 25 states in the past school in the state of Illinois. guidance of JCA’s award winstudents and 27.1 for the top girls volleyball state champiThe 2018-2019 school year year alone. ning faculty and experienced onships, three baseball state 50percent of the class. Twenty has been a banner year, the Angels and Hilltoppers seven students were named Hilltoppers captured their IH- championships, several IHSA coaching staff. are successful in and out of

Joliet Township High Schools Foundation awards thousands SUBMITTED REPORT The Joliet Township High Schools Foundation is a 501(c)(3) federally and state-licensed charitable foundation with a mission to provide educational grants, student scholarships, summer

school and testing support, along with principal’s emergency funding in order to enhance District 204’s students’ educational experience. During this school year, the foundation has awarded over $27,000 in grants and will award over $33,000

in scholarships, and over $13,000 in principal funds, testing, and summer school support. Fundraising is accomplished through its annual trivia afternoon, early summer golf outing, wall of honor and ceremonial brick sales, as

well as band and orchestra CDs, and is enhanced through donations and endowment funding. The foundation is always looking for dedicated volunteers who respect JTHS, its wonderful and talented students and staff, and wish to help

improve its students’ educational experience. Call the foundation’s resident, Mark Turk, at 815-922-4065, or e-mail him at: to get more information of how you can join and help.

Joliet Catholic Academy

Think a quality Catholic education isn’t affordable? THINK AGAIN! A Tradition of Faith & Family Faith in Action ~ Daily Prayer ~ Kairos School Masses ~ Retreats ~ Christian Service

A Tradition of Academic Excellence 27.1 Average ACT Score for the top 50% of the Class of 2018 30.1 Average ACT score for Honors Program students Average Yearly College Scholarship Package: $23,000 for the Class of 2018

A Tradition of Athletic Excellence 31 State or National Championships 93% of Students Participate in Extra-Curricular Activities 40+ Clubs and After-School Programs Offered

Leveraged Financial Aid and Diocesan Tuition Grants for Transfer Students

7th and 8th Graders: Contact Admissions to Schedule a Friday Shadow Visit Today! 815.741.0500 Ryan Quigley, Director of Admissions

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PROGRESS 2019 HEALTH Major renovations slated for Morris Hospital main campus SUNDAY

March 31, 2019 The Herald-News

SUBMITTED REPORT For the first time in well over a decade, Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers is embarking on major renovations to the hospital’s main campus that will enhance patient experience and delivery of care for tens of thousands of patients and visitors every year. Part of an overall $60 million master facility plan, the $33.5 million main campus modernization plans will result in a new emergency department, infusion therapy center, registration and blood draw area, surgical waiting room, and women’s imaging center by spring 2021, along with renovations to cardiac diagnostics and imaging services.

The Need

Just like our homes, hospitals require periodic renovations to keep pace with changing times. A few key factors that have changed since the areas of the hospital being renovated were originally constructed include enhanced medical technology, increased focus on patient privacy, and growth in the number of patients being served. “The areas of the hospital slated for modernization were constructed decades ago. Technology and patient expectations have changed significantly since then,” says Morris Hospital President and CEO Mark Steadham. What can the community look forward to when renovations are complete? The two-year project will involve renovation and redesign of over 56,000 square feet of existing space on the hospital main campus, along with construction of 4,300 square feet of new space that together will add 12,000 square feet of clinical space for patient services on the first floor. One of project goals is to

Photo provided

Tom Dohm (left), vice president of professional services at Morris Hospital, and Mark Steadham, president & CEO, take a tour during the prestages of renovations at the hospital main campus. simplify access so all patients and visitors enter the building on the east side of the campus whether visiting a patient or coming for surgery, diagnostic testing or emergency care. “We want to create an excellent experience for everyone who enters our doors, and that begins from the moment patients and visitors arrive on the hospital campus,” Steadham said. Patients familiar with Morris Hospital will also see big changes in the registration process. Those who prefer to self-register will be able to step up to a registration kiosk and check themselves in. Traditional, face-to-face registration with a patient representa-

tive will also be available, enhanced by a layout that maximizes privacy. The new floor plans will result in further enhanced privacy by providing back hallways to transport patients from one area of the hospital to another for tests and procedures.

with a dedicated emergency entrance located immediately north of the current hospital main entrance. When construction is complete, the new emergency department will have six additional private emergency exam/trauma rooms – 17 total – and a separate low acuity area within New Emergency the emergency department for patients with less serious Department illnesses and injuries. These The new Emergency Deenhancements will result in partment is one of the main increased patient privacy and highlights of the hospital renovations, with construction less time spent in the waiting expected to begin in April and room. “Our current emergency continue through the end of department was built to ac2019. A brand new emergency de- commodate 22,000 patient vispartment will be constructed its a year. Today, we’re a Level on the east side of the campus, II trauma center and see more

than 27,000 emergency patients annually,” Steadham said.

Overall Master Facility Plan

Along with modernization of the hospital main campus, Morris Hospital’s $60 million master facility plan includes the addition of new medical facilities in Diamond-Coal City and Ottawa over the next three years, along with a $3 million investment in renovations at Deerpath Surgery Center, a joint venture between Morris Hospital and independent physicians which was converted from an orthopedic surgery center to a multispecialty ambulatory surgery center in 2018.

Steadham says the master facility plan is the culmination of more than three years of planning. “Our board members are excellent stewards of the hospital finances,” Steadham said. “Over the past three years, they have been evaluating data to determine what’s right for the community and what Morris Hospital can reasonably afford without compromising our status as an independent community hospital. “This is a very exciting time for Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers,” he said. “We are taking an important step forward as we position Morris Hospital for the long term future.”





Braidwood Healthcare Center of Morris Hospital 389 E. Main St. 815-458-2532 (Family Medicine)

Dwight Healthcare Center of Morris Hospital 101 S. Prairie Ave. 815-584-3291 (Family Medicine, Cardiology)

Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers (Main Hospital Campus) 150 West High St. 815-942-2932



Morris Hospital Ridge Road Campus 27240 W. Saxony Dr. 815-521-1500 (Immediate Care, Occupational Medicine, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Cardiology, Allergy, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Laboratory, X-ray, Ultrasound, CT Scan, MRI Mammography, Bone Density) Channahon Healthcare Center of Morris Hospital 25259 Reed St. 815-467-0555 (Family Medicine, Rheumatology, Endocrinology, Neurology) COAL CITY: Coal City Healthcare Center of Morris Hospital 4 East North Street 815-518-5755 (Pediatrics, Family Medicine) Coal City Laboratory 935 E. Division St. 815-634-3500 (Laboratory)


Gardner Healthcare Center of Morris Hospital 409 N. Route 53 815-237-0413 (Family Medicine) MARSEILLES: Marseilles Healthcare Center of Morris Hospital 580 Sycamore St. 815-795-2122 (Pediatrics, Obstetrics & Gynecology) MAZON: Mazon Healthcare Center of Morris Hospital 522 Depot St. 815-448-2423 (Internal Medicine) MINOOKA: Minooka Healthcare Center of Morris Hospital 603 W. Mondamin St. 815-521-1010 (Family Medicine)

Radiation Therapy Center of Morris Hospital 1600 West U.S. Rt. 6 815-364-8915 Diagnostic & Rehabilitative Center of Morris Hospital 100 Gore Rd. 815-364-8919 (Immediate Care, Occupational Medicine, Laboratory, X-ray, Physical, Occupational & Speech Therapy, Cardiac & Pulmonary Rehabilitation) Morris Healthcare Center of Morris Hospital 1345 N. Edwards St. 815-942-9299 (Rheumatology) 815-942-1421 (Internal Medicine) 425 E. U.S. Route 6 815-942-8080 (Internal Medicine) 815-513-3074 (Infectious Disease)) 1802 N. Division St., Suite 703 815-941-8000 (Internal Medicine) 948 W. U.S. Route 6 815-942-5474 (Family Medicine) 1300 W. Dresden Dr. 815-942-5200 (General Surgery)

Morris Hospital Obstetrics & Gynecology Specialists 237 W. Waverly St. 815-941-0441 (Obstetrics & Gynecology)

Morris Hospital Cardiovascular Specialists 1404 Aquarius Circle, Suite A 815-705-1000 (Cardiology)

Morris Hospital Cardiovascular Specialists 151 West High St. – Lower Level 815-705-1000 (Cardiology)

Morris Hospital Ottawa Campus 1306 Gemini Circle, Ste. 1 815-433-9200 (Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Laboratory)

Morris Hospital Pediatricians 151 West High St. – Upper Level 815-705-3300 (Pediatrics) Morris Hospital Neurology Specialists and Sleep Center 1499 Lakewood Dr. Unit I 815-942-4506 (Neurology) 815-941-7533 (Sleep Center)

YORKVILLE: Morris Hospital Yorkville Campus 105 Saravanos Dr. 630-553-8200 (Immediate Care, Occupational Medicine, Family Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Pediatrics, Allergy, Physical Therapy, Laboratory, X-ray, Ultrasound, CT scan)

NEWARK: Newark Healthcare Center of Morris Hospital 5 N. Johnson St. 815-695-5042 (Family Medicine) OTTAWA: Morris Hospital Obstetrics & Gynecology Specialists 1300 Starfire Dr. 815-324-9700 (Obstetrics & Gynecology, Bone Density, Mammography)

People You Know. Extraordinary Care.

The Herald-News / • Sunday, March 31, 2019 •


Joliet Area Community Hospice sees growth in 2018 SUBMITTED REPORT With a record 2,006 hospice patients cared for in 2018, the hiring of 72 new staff, and a $3.5 million capital campaign underway, Joliet Area Community Hospice, or JACH, Is taking steps to meet the increased demand for the quality hospice, palliative care and bereavement services the agency has provided for 37 years. JACH cares for seriously ill adults and children, and bereaved in eight-counties: Will, Grundy, Kendall, Livingston, LaSalle and portions of Cook, DuPage and Kankakee counties. JACH has grown in all key measures in 2018. The average number of hospice patients cared for each day was 309, up 21 percent from 2017. Currently, over 330 patients are being cared for as this growth continues. Adult Palliative Consulting Services served 343 patients, a 26 percent increase, and JACH’s dedicated Pediatric Care Team served 18 children, 20 percent over 2017. The bereavement programs of JACH touched over 5,000 adults and children, and are offered free of charge to anyone in the community who has had a death. JACH is privileged to serve so many. Staff hires were made in all disciplines to ensure continuation of the

icated community education nurse for this role. A public phase of a $7 million capital project to renovate and enlarge the hospice home inpatient unit was announced in January. Half of the needed funds are being pledged from JACH investments. The generous community JACH is a part of has donated or pledged more than $2.3 million to date, leaving $1.2 million to be raised. Ground breaking will be April 24, 2019. JACH was honored with the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce 2018 Social Services Agency of the Year Award. Upon accepting the award, Board President Geoffrey Tryon praised agency staff, saying, “We’ve all had to deal with the death of loved ones during our lifetime and it’s not easy. The 165 staff members of JACH deal with end of life care every single day Photo provided and it’s a tough job and they deserve Phylis Whennen (left) enjoys love and companionship from therapy dog, Takota, as his owner JACH volunteer Carol Malnar looks on. Pet a lot of recognition and credit. They do it with dignity and compassion therapy is one of many complementary therapies used for comfort care at Joliet Area Community Hospice. for the patients and families, day in quality patient care that is JACH’s expanded under the new leadership national averages in most measures. and day out.” To receive care, inquire about hallmark. of Patrice Martin. IT Director Miguel Espinoza is making tremendous strides in advancing JACH programs, learn about Dr. Muhamad Krad became chief Look for new bereavement proadvance directives, or contribute gram offerings in 2019. technology at JACH. medical director after the retireto Remembering from the Heart ment of Dr. J.D. Wright, and Anne Quality and compliance is now JACH is taking the lead to educapital campaign, please call 815-740cate the communities it serves in Van Oost is the new chief financial led by Julie Mulholland, and is 4104. Joliet Area Community Hosthe importance and ease of end-ofofficer. experiencing family and caregiver pice is a proud United Way agency. life care planning and hired a dedThe bereavement department has survey results well above state and

Easterseals celebrates 100 years helping childrens, adults SUBMITTED REPORT In 2019, Easterseals celebrates 100 years of impact in the lives of children and adults with disabilities or other special needs, their families and communities throughout America as a powerful advocate and innovative provider of services, as one in four Americans today lives with a disability, according to an August report by the Centers for

Disease Control and Prevention. “We are proud to mark this milestone by reflecting on our legacy of impact and embracing a future where every one of us is 100% included and 100% empowered,” said Angela Williams, the president and CEO of Easterseals. Throughout the year, Easterseals will highlight the differences its services make on the lives of the people, families and communities it serves

by sharing success stories and testimonials, revisiting groundbreaking moments in its history and inviting supporters to get involved in the celebration with exciting events including a March 27 Capitol Hill Day Experience and 100th Anniversary Celebration Dinner in the District of Columbia. Easterseals Joliet Region will mark this milestone at our Annual Celebration of Giving Regional

Telethon. Easterseals is honoring its 100th anniversary and the families, staff and supporters who made it possible by celebrating success stories, introducing the new Easterseals representatives, showcasing clients and their families, featuring local talent, and recognizing those donors and sponsors who have supported us through the years. The Celebration of Giving Tele-

thon will be held Saturday, April 13 from noon to 8 p.m. at the Jacob Henry Mansion’s Victorian Ballroom in Joliet. The event will be broadcast live at and on local access channels. Join Easterseals in helping people with disabilities and their families, caregivers, veterans and seniors get the services and supports they need to reach their full potential.

Annual Chef’s Tasting still delicious after all these years

Photo provided

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Chef Fred Ferrara and Caroline Portlock.

held the winning ticket and walked away $10,000 richer. There were live and silent The Center for Disability auctions, a 50/50 raffle and Services celebrated the 24th a golden ticket where guests Annual Great Chef’s Tasting could purchase a souvenir on Sunday, March 3rd, at the elegant Bolingbrook Golf Club. cutting board with the “Save the Date” for the 25th Annual Presenting Sponsors were Great Chef’s Tasting schedDOT Foods, Kozol Bros and uled for Sunday, March 1, 2020, the Kohl Family. engraved on it. Nearly 400 guests were Guests could also try their in attendance to judge the luck at a wine grab and a “Carnaval” themed delicious Punch a Bunch game for a cuisine prepared for them by nearly 20 of the best Southwest chance to win gift cards. Proceeds from this event Chicagoland chefs, restaurants will allow the Center for Disand caterers as they donated ability Services to continue its their time and cuisine to help raise funds and awareness for mission of providing the best Center for Disability Services. quality of life in programs and services to children, adults Richard Ainsworth of and families impacted with the Ainsworth Photography and challenges of intellectual and Gallery Seven in Lockport developmental disabilities. took home the Chef Fred To request information Award for his continued support in capturing every Chef’s on how to be a steward or supporter of the Center for Tasting in photographs since Disability Services, or to be the beginning. on the guest list for the 25th Adding to the excitement Annual Great Chef’s Tasting this year, the Center for scheduled for March 1, 2020, Disability Services offered a $10,000 cash prize to one lucky please call Gina Wysocki at 815-744-3500, ext. 220, or visit winner. Photo provided the website at www.cdsil. Kenith Kornfiend, dressed org. Richard Ainsworth, recipient of the Chef Fred Ferrara Award. in a shimmering gold jacket,



6 HEALTH • Sunday, March 31, 2019 • The Herald-News /

Silver Cross Hospital continues to innovate, add programs of infection and complications, reduced trauma to the chest (since the chest doesn’t have to be opened), a shorter hospital stay and a faster recovery. For more information, visit

SUBMITTED REPORT Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox continues its long tradition of meeting the needs of the community by adding vital new services to its New Lenox campus, including a 100bed mental health hospital and, later this spring, an open heart surgery program. The hospital also continues to be ranked one of the safest hospitals in the nation, earning its eighth straight “A” from the Leapfrog Group, a Washington, D.C.-based organization aiming to improve health care quality and safety for consumers.

Largest Robotic Program in the Chicago Area

The Midwest Institute for Robotic Surgery at Silver Cross Hospital continues to perform more surgeries using robotic-assisted technology than any other program in the Chicago area and is home to some of the most highly skilled surgeons in the United States. In fact, surgeons from around the world train at Silver Cross. Silver Oaks Behavioral Hospital In July of 2018, Silver Cross Several hundred guests became the first in Illinois including community leadand the tri-state area to use a ers, legislators and the media navigation-guided robotic sysattended the December 2018 tem to enhance the safety and grand opening celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony for Photo provided accuracy of minimally invasive Silver Oaks Behavioral HospiScott Hullinger, Silver Oaks CEO (from left); Ruth Colby, Silver Cross President/CEO; former Chicago Bear quarterback robotic spine surgery using the tal, a new 100-bed freestanding Jim McMahon, who was the keynote speaker at the ribbon-cutting ceremony; Dr. Richard Kresch, President/CEO of US new Globus ExcelsiusGPS for spinal fusion. The new system behavioral health hospital on HealthVest, Martina Sze, Chief Development Officer, US HealthVest; and New Lenox Mayor Tim Baldermann. combines sophisticated robotic the campus of Silver Cross improper use of prescription or late spring of this year. outpatient cardiac procedures technology with an advanced Hospital. “This approval means Silver performed annually. In 2017 navigation system, similar “With the completion of this over-the-counter medications; post-traumatic stress disorder; alone, Silver Cross performed Cross will now be able to offer to that in a car, to guide the facility, we hope to provide more than 3,500 diagnostic and the full spectrum of heart care surgeon during delicate spinal resources to individuals, family and psychological trauma and abuse. interventional cardiac catheter- fusion procedures. services that our community members, friends and the comizations, an 11 percent increase “It’s always wonderful when needs,” Colby said. “It also Before surgery, X-ray or munity at large for addressing over the previous year. And there is a vision, and the vision means heart patients will no computerized tomography mental health conditions and between 2015 and 2016, diagnos- (CT) images are taken and fed turns into a plan, and a plan longer have to experience the improving quality of life,” tic and interventional cardiac turns into reality,” said Silver stress and anxiety of having to into the ExcelsiusGPS syssaid Silver Oaks CEO Scott catheterizations performed at Cross Hospital President/CEO leave their preferred hospital tem to create a “map” of the Hullinger. Silver Cross Hospital increased patient’s anatomy. This map and travel for advanced heart One in four Americans today Ruth Colby. “The Silver Cross by 13 percent.   Board of Directors had the care.” and real-time 3D images taken experience behavioral health “Offering open heart surgery during surgery help the survision to address the mental The hospital will add two difficulties, yet only half seek health needs of this community. state-of-the-art operating rooms, was the next logical step,” geon maneuver a robotic arm to treatment. Without treatment, Our management team took a “hybrid room” equipped with Colby added. “We are a hospital the exact location for precisely these problems can affect relawell-positioned to expand advanced medical imaging placed spinal screws, with the tionships, performance at work that vision and created a plan cardiac services, and we have and identified US HealthVest devices to support minimally robot guiding the direction, or school or even the ability to a safety record that proves it, as the best partner. Now US invasive surgery, and two redepth and angle of the surgeon’s complete everyday tasks and functions. Using evidence-based HealthVest has turned that plan covery rooms. It will be housed including an ‘A’ rating from the hands. in the hospital’s soon-to-be-exLeapfrog patient safety watchinto a reality.” Since it’s minimally invabehavioral health services, panded Procedural Care Unit dog group eight consecutive For more information, visit sive and streamlined, patients Silver Oaks will offer inpatient, (PCU) on the second floor. In times.” silveroaksbehavioralhospital. experience less pain, scarring, day hospital and intensive outaddition, a 14-bed cardiac care The new program also and blood loss, fewer complicapatient programs. As a commu- com unit will open on the first floor paves the way for Silver tions, less radiation exposure nity service, the hospital will Open Heart Surgery Program directly below the PCU to care Cross to develop a structural and a faster recovery so they provide mental health assessLast December, the Illinois for patients after heart surgery, heart program, which uses can return to doing what they ments 24/7 at no charge. Health Facilities and Services and will be serviced with a minimally invasive catheenjoy. In addition, Silver Cross Treatment for a full range ter-based technology to treat Review Board granted unanidedicated elevator between the offers robotic-assisted genof mental health disorders will mous approval to Silver Cross life-threatening valve disorders eral surgical and specialized two units. be available, including anxiety Hospital to establish an open and structural heart defects. Silver Cross currently has procedures such as hernia disorder; bipolar disorder/ Minimally invasive approaches repair, colorectal surgery, prosthe eighth largest cardiac cathmanic bipolar disorder; depres- heart surgery program on its eterization program in Illinois New Lenox campus. The new translate to better outcomes for tatectomy and nephrectomy, sion; substance use, such as and leads the local market for program will be operational in patients, including a lower risk uro-gynecological procedures, alcohol, illegal drugs and the

Silver Cross is one of the SAFEST hospitals in the nation. 8 STRAIGHT A’s for Patient Safety Keeping patients safe is our No. 1 priority, which is why Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox has been recognized as one of the safest hospitals in America by the Leapfrog Group. Developed under the guidance of an expert panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses 30 measures of publicly available hospital safety data so consumers can see how well their hospital protects patients from errors, accidents, injuries, and infections. More than 2,600 U.S. hospitals are graded twice per year. It’s calculated by top safety experts, peer-reviewed, fully transparent and free to the public. To see Silver Cross Hospital’s full grade and tips for staying safe in the hospital, visit 1900 Silver Cross Blvd. • New Lenox • (815) 300-1100 •

hysterectomy and single-site hysterectomy, hip and knee replacement and transoral incisionless robotic surgery for sleep apnea and throat cancer. The hospital’s fleet of surgical robots includes three da Vinci surgical robots, including the latest da Vinci XI, a Mak robotic-arm assisted surgery for knee and hip replacement, and the Globus ExcelsiusGPS spine robot. For more information, visit

Silver Cross Outpatient Endoscopy Center

Last summer, Silver Cross opened its new outpatient endoscopy center conveniently located on the Silver Cross campus, just east of the hospital at 678 Cedar Crossing Drive. The center helps the hospital meet the growing demand for endoscopic procedures by offering colonoscopy and flexible sigmoidoscopy to screen for colorectal cancer, and upper gastrointestinal endoscopy (upper GI) to diagnose and treat problems of the esophagus, stomach and upper portion of the small intestine. The hospital also offers the Advanced Endoscopy Center on the second floor of the hospital.

Access - Anytime, Anywhere

Silver Cross is all about patient convenience; that’s why the hospital offers online appointment scheduling and 24/7 access to a doctor via phone or video. Patients can schedule an appointment for a test and make a reservation for urgent care online using SCHedule Now or talk with a doctor through Teladoc. At $49 per consult, Teladoc is an affordable option for quality medical care. It’s an easy alternative to going to the ER or urgent care for non-emergency issues. It’s also convenient when your doctor is unavailable or you don’t have a regular physician; you’re on vacation; or you just need a short-term prescription refill. For more information, visit



SUNDAY March 31, 2019 The Herald-News


Dan’s Homemade Candies: Why change perfection? By ALLISON SELK Shaw Media correspondent Dan’s Homemade Candies celebrates 100 years of service to Joliet and surrounding communities. Started in 1919, owners Kristine Collins and Karen Nolan have kept the same recipes and flavors that made this candy shop a local destination. “Why change perfection,” Nolan said. To celebrate the 100 anniversary of Dan’s Homemade Candies, on the 19th day of each month in 2019, the onepound candy assortment will cost $19.19 instead of the usual price of $24.50. “We want to show that we appreciate our customers who have stuck with us for all of the years. We thought we would do something out of the box,” Nolan said. Three locations of Dan’s Homemade Candies exist now: the downtown location on Cass Street, the store at 1003 Plainfield Road and the Mokena shop at 1400 W. Lincoln Highway. Nolan said the Cass Street location only opens on occasion. When customers walk into a store, the smell of chocolate and caramel fills the air and the sight of the hand-made sweets make it impossible to pick just one. Selections include homemade caramels, English Toffee, cream center candies, dandies with pecans and caramel, truffles and sugar free selections. Molded chocolate items in white, milk and dark chocolate can be purchased for everyday eating or for a holiday. Nolan said the flavor of the chocolate they purchased from Blommer Chocolate Company in Chicago sets them apart. Specialty items and holidays are a big business at Dan’s Homemade Candies.

Photo provided

Rachel Nolan (from left), Kelly Bostjancic, Kristine Collins, Karen Nolan and Kathi Cross at grand opening ceremony in Mokena. Once the fall air turns cool, crispy caramel apples are made and customers flock to the store to buy this onetime-of-year treat. Nolan said people even tell her they used to buy the caramel apples from the original store from Dan himself.

Of course, Valentine’s Day marks a big day for candy gifts, and Dan’s Homemade Candies has assortments packaged in heart-shaped boxes. Another holiday on the calendar is Easter, and staff gets busy making the chocolate for

Easter baskets, and eggs filled with creams and caramels that become special traditional treats. “We have people who have come here for years and years, and tell us stories about how their parents bought these baskets or eggs for them when

they were kids and now they are passing along the traditions to their kids or grandkids,” Nolan said. If a customer had an idea for a custom candy, Nolan said the stores take special requests and can tweak a candy that exists to cater to

the customer. Reflecting on the 100 years of Dan’s Homemade Candies, Nolan said, “This is a great product and people love it. People come in to buy a couple of pieces or for an event, holiday, or gift giving. It’s about the quality of the candy.”

DAN’S HOMEMADE CANDIES America’s Finest Candy

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Cream Crea Cr eam ea m Eg Eggs Eggs, gs,, Bu gs Bunn Bunny nny nn y Su Suck Suckers, cker ck ers, er s, Choc Ch Chocolate ocol oc olat ol ate at e Ba Bask Baskets, sket sk ets, et s, C Chocolate hoco ho cola co late la te E Eggs, ggs, gg s, Past Pa Pastel stel st el M Mint intt Me in Melt Meltaways, ltaw lt away aw ays, ay s, Soli So Solid lid li d Ch Choc Chocolate ocol oc olat ol ate at e Bu Bunn Bunnies, nnie nn ies, ie s, Suga Su Sugar garr Fr ga Free ee A Assortment, ssor ss ortm or tmen tm ent, en t, Suga Su Sugar garr Fr ga Free ee B Bunnies, unni un nies ni es,, es Cara Ca Caramel rame ra mell Co me Corn rn & C Cheese hees he ese es e Co Corn rn

Cream Eggs, Bunny Suckers, Chocolate Baskets, Pastel Mint Meltaways, Solid Chocolate Bunnies, Sugar Free Assortment, Sugar Free Cream Eggs, Caramel Corn & Cheese Corn




815-723-3844 229 E. Cass St. • Joliet

815-722-0712 1003 Plainfield Rd. • Joliet

815-464-0827 11400 W. Lincoln Hwy. • Mokena

2 MILESTONES • Sunday, March 31, 2019 • The Herald-News /

Photo provided

In memory of Joe Adler,one of the founders of Will County Habitat for Humanity, members of the Adler Family built alongside Jimmy and Rosylen Carter this past summer in St. Johns, Indiana.

Habitat for Humanity celebrates 30 years SUBMITTED REPORT In celebration of its 30-year anniversary, Will County Habitat for Humanity dedicated their past year in memory of one of its founding members, Joe Adler. Joe was truly an inspiration to the organization and to its partner families. Executive Director Nicole Murray said, “Because of Joe, we will achieve more.” This past year Will County Habitat for Humanity celebrated with Harrah’s its 25th Anniversary with a Build Day on a Joliet Home, launched their first Women Build event with 160 team members, showcased Habitat at the annual Witches Night Out two-day event and hosted its first “Get it Back Breakfast.” At the breakfast, donors learned through the Illinois income tax credit that they can earn 50 percent of their donation back by supporting affordable housing.

In addition, with the support of the community and the generosity of countless donors, the groundwork has been laid for the construction of eight newly constructed homes and six rehabs. Will County Habitat for Humanity is also providing the opportunity for 14 families for homeownership within the next 18 months. To learn more about the pathway to homeownership and becoming a Habitat Partner, plan to attend an upcoming orientation. Orientations are taking place twice a month. These efforts are made possible with the support of our ReStore. Will County Habitat for Humanity ReStore Will County Habitat for Humanity ReStore celebrated its first anniversary at its new location, 1395 N. Larkin Ave. in Joliet this past year. The ReStore is a home improvement and donation center that sells new and gently used furniture, appliances, decor, flooring, lighting, and building material at a fraction

of the retail place. Supported by homeowners and well-known businesses such as the Room Place, La-Z-Boy and Costco, the ReStore resembles a trendy outlet store more than a resale shop to some. Upon entering the Joliet ReStore one can feel the upbeat positive energy of its staff and volunteers. The ever-changing merchandise keeps the store feeling fresh and exciting. It is not uncommon to find treasures that have made their way onto our showroom floor. Several new programs were recently created to reduce the amount of waste going into landfills. The Cabinet Donation Program allows homeowners and businesses to donate their old cabinets to the ReStore. Habitat picks them up for free and the donor will receive a tax donation in return. In addition,their experienced and insured Salvage Crew salvages reusable items from residential and commercial buildings, saving the

public time and money. To learn more go to This past year the Joliet ReStore hosted the third annual Homes for the Hounds event, building doghouses for our four-legged friends. This event has become a unique way to bring the community together to experience the feel of a Habitat build while supporting the Habitat vision, “A world where everyone (even man’s best friend) deserves a decent place to live.” In November the ReStore premiered its Tinsel, Treasures, & Tin is Event which kicked off our holiday season with a “girls night out” shopping extravaganza with over 300 attendees.

2019 Upcoming Events:

• May 1 – 22nd Poster Contest for area schools • May 4 – 11th Second Annual Will County Habitat for Humanity Women Build • May 11 – Mother’s Day pampering at the ReStore

• Summer 2019 Faith Build – With the involvement of over 20 churches, Habitat will launch, build, and fund the Faith Build • June 1 – July 15 Repurposing Contest • Sept. 7 – Fourth Annual Homes for the Hounds • Nov. 13 – Second Annual Tinsel and Treasures Get Involved with WCHFH: • Join our Senior Crew Plan to attend an orientation and learn how to support Habitat for Humanity and give back to your community. • Participate in a group or corporate team building experience. Experience team building and networking in an entirely new way, with a day filled with construction work, meals, fellowship, and more. • Get a team together and participate in this year’s Women Build 2019. Raise the funds and raise the walls for a Will County family in need. To learn more go to

Stanton Architects: Building homes, building dreams SUBMITTED REPORT In August, Stanton Architects will celebrate 25 years in business. John P. Stanton Jr. earned his degree in Architecture from the University of Notre Dame and went on to hold pivotal construction management and building design positions with several major firms in the Chicago area for 12 years before starting his own company. Stanton has worked on commercial, residential and multifamily projects all over the Chicago area and beyond, and now specializes in designing and building luxury residential homes. His office staff includes draftsmen, project managers and interior designers. Based in Crest Hill, Stanton Architects has designed more than 80 commercial properties, ranging from law offices and manufacturing facilities, to a bowling alley and a dance studio. Most notably, Stanton was the architect for the Joliet Country Club, his design winning out over several other prominent local architects. His residential work includes everything from luxury homes on the Kankakee River in Wilmington to vacation cabins in Three Rivers, Wisconsin. Stanton designs and builds new custom homes and also helps clients with remodeling projects, from simple additions to extensive interior and exterior renovations. One of his designs for a family in Joliet won the a beautification award for the re-

Photo provided

In August, Stanton Architects will celebrate 25 years in business. markable exterior makeover of a 1970s-style split-level home, and he has gone on to win the award several more times. Last year, Stanton Architects received a 1K award badge from the hugely popular design and decorating website Houzz, signifying that photos of his work had been saved to people’s

personal online Ideabooks over 1000 times. Stanton has also been featured in the book “Inside the Mind of the Architect” by Eric Bobrow, editor-in-chief of Architect News. Stanton’s real passion is to educate people about how the process of using an architect actually works and why it benefits them to

consider an architect who is a master builder — someone who can both design and build their dream home. “This eliminates much of the stress and headache of what is understandably a huge commitment of time, money and effort,” Stanton said. “Having us be the single point of contact in the project allows us to coordinate all the different trades involved, and make sure every detail of the client’s original vision is completed with the highest quality,” he said. Another aspect of the design-build process that sets Stanton Architects apart is the use of building information modeling software, with 3-D and virtual reality technology that allows clients to “see” what their home will look like even before it is built. Being able to make any necessary adjustments to the space or the materials selected prior to breaking ground saves time, money and miscommunication later, and helps keep projects on time and on budget. After 25 years of business and his experience having designed over 430 homes, Stanton strongly believes that centralizing all communication and decision-making is the key to ensuring a smoother and more enjoyable process for everyone involved. His book, “Design-Build Guide to Your Luxury Dream Home,” includes testimonials from many happy clients who agree. In addition to their portfolio of work available to view at, they plan to expand their services in 2019 and beyond by offering several valuable free planning guides at

Cornerstone Services changing, growing through the years By ALLISON SELK Shaw Media correspondent On March 20, 1969, a group of community members, parents and civic leaders created the Will County Sheltered Workshop to fill the need to provide employment opportunities to adults with disabilities. In 1986, the name was changed to Cornerstone Services to better suit the multitude of services that had stemmed from that one idea in 1969. Fifty years ago, the organization began with three people and now, 1,143 people receive services to some degree each day, according to Cornerstone’s annual report. In 1969, the volunteer-led, grant-funded program employed three individuals with disabilities on small contract jobs, according to Matthew Lanoue, Cornerstone Services coordinator of public relations. In 2018, 187 new jobs and $1.5 million in

wages were reported through Cornerstone Services. Jobs such as barista, farm hand, bus monitor, security guard, pharmacy tech, medical assistant, hospital scheduler, library circulation aid, elementary school lunch supervisor are some of the jobs obtained by those employed through the program. The annual report stated that during fiscal year 2018, job retention rates rose from 63 percent to 72 percent among those hired through the assistance of Cornerstone Services. At the end of the 1970s, the organization began to grow steadily and the need for paid staff came into play. At that same time, a residential home opened in Joliet and more program participants were being employed outside of the workshop. In the 1990s, the behavioral health division opened and out of that grew the need for housing and counseling. Seven years ago, a branch was opened in Kankakee where program participants can

partake in the residential programs, behavioral health, day programs and employment. An art studio was created three years ago. This year, 300 pieces will exhibited at the free show on June 6 at the Joliet Area Historical Museum, said Lanoue. The population served at Cornerstone Services is 46 percent aged 21 to 49 years, 36 percent over 50, 14 percent over 60 and 2 percent under 21. Types of disabilities served include intellectual, mental illness and intellectual, mental illness, mental illness and substance use history and physical, sensory and other disability, according to the annual report. Cornerstone’s mission states, “Cornerstone Services provides progressive, comprehensive services to people with disabilities, promoting choice, dignity, and the opportunity to live and work in the community.” Living and working in the community is important to the individuals served, according

to Lanoue. “One hundred years ago, people tended to leave the farm and live in institutions. Now, most people can get out and work, take a bus or public transportation, attend activities, live in group homes like families and be in Special Olympics,” Lanoue said. When it comes to location, Lanoue said, “No community could be more welcoming than the Joliet community. This organization was founded by Joliet citizens with compassion. The community has never wavered; even when we fight funding at times from the state, the community always has our back.” Cornerstone Services plans to host a variety of events for staff and individuals served to celebrate its 50 years in Joliet. They would like to extend an invitation to the art show in June and from March to April 21, raffle tickets will be on sale for a chance to win $2,500, $1,000 or $500.

The Herald-News / • Sunday, March 31, 2019 •


Photo provided

First Presbyterian Joliet sponsored its second Feed My Starving Children Mobile Pack in November 2018. Pictured are Lisa Kasper, Judy Garrison, Kaydie Kasper and Jeff Kasper.

First Presbyterian Church, serving in the community and in the world Breakfast on the first Saturday every month. Local non-profit agencies First Presbyterian Church are invited to come and speak at 805 Western Ave. in Joliet, with the First Presbyterian continues to be very involved Youth Group on the second in serving those in the local Sunday of every month. Those community, as well as in the who have spoken to the group world. First Presbyterian Church’s include: New Life for Old Bags, The Spanish Community latest endeavor was to join Center and Mission for the the Micro-Pantry Family by installing their own Micro-Pan- Homeless. The Youth Group also sends try. care packages to recent widows This micro-pantry is availin the congregation at Christable 24 hours, seven days a week for any person who might mas time, to show those who have suffered a great loss that need nonperishable goods or their church family cares for baby products, as well as hythem. giene products. It is located by On a global scale, First Presthe main entrance on Western byterian Church has sponsored Avenue and is designed to its second Feed My Starving allow anonymous food pickup for those in need and a drop-off Children Mobile Pack this past November. This event gathpoint for those who wish to ered people and groups from donate. all over the Joliet area who The Mission to the Homepacked116,640 meals to feed 319 less Ministry has provided children for an entire year! bags of easy-open canned The church is growing goods, hygiene products and increasingly excited about upwarm coats, hats, scarves and coming projects that will take gloves to be distributed at them into the community. MorningStar Mission. One of these projects inThe church continues to volves mission trips that will serve and celebrate residents include restoration of homes of Joliet by hosting a free for those in need, helping to Saturday Morning Pancake


build a Habitat for Humanity home and serving local members’ homes with various yard work for those who are unable to keep up with the demands of gardens and yards. First Presbyterian Church is looking to the future as an opportunity to bring the church into the world. They are excited to go out of their building and spread the Gospel while also helping those in need. This attitude of loving ones neighbor has even affected the youth of the church, who wholeheartedly and unblinkingly saw a man in need using the micro-pantry and invited the man to join them for dinner. Knowing that the heart of service and community care is being shown and experienced by some of their youngest and most easily influenced members has given the congregation continued energy for future projects. For further information on how First Presbyterian Church is serving in the community and in the world, please visit its website at

Providing architectural design, expert guidance, and construction for custom homes Stanton Architects, Inc. is a Design-Build team that integrates the skills of architectural design professionals with qualified contractors to deliver high quality results. By providing personalized attention to our clients, we work together to create unique custom homes that are truly special.

Perfect the Design, Streamline the Build

STANTON ARCHITECTS, INC residential remodeling interiors

815-741-0510 2310 Plainfield Rd. Crest Hill, IL SM-CL1641240



1203 Theodore Street Crest Hill, IL 60403


4 MILESTONES • Sunday, March 31, 2019 • The Herald-News /

Photos provided

Members of the Joliet Junior Woman’s Club gather to kick off the start of their club year. The club is open to women of all ages from the greater Joliet area who have a passion for serving others through philanthropy and community service.

Joliet Junior Woman’s Club marks 60 years of community involvement SUBMITTED REPORT Each month, a diverse group of women gather in the Joliet area to plan big plans and dream big dreams about how to improve the community in which they live. The Joliet Junior Woman’s Club, or JJWC, is a group of 40 women from a wide variety of backgrounds and occupations, from lawyers to stay-at-home moms, teachers, and small business owners. “I love being surrounded by like-minded women all working towards a common goal,” said member Tammie Terry. Like generations of women before them, that goal is to improve the lives of others through philanthropy

and community service. Last year, JJWC members contributed 275 hours of community service through projects like planting a Pinwheel Garden to raise awareness of child abuse and sorting donated food items at the Northern Illinois Food Bank. Members feel good knowing that they’re giving back to the community where they live. But they also gain lifelong friendships and networking opportunities along the way. “Growing up in the Plainfield-Joliet area, I thought I knew everyone,” said member Kim Vogen. “But since joining JJWC, I’ve met a lot of new people, from business owners to local government representatives. It’s amazing how many organiza-

tions just in our little community that I’ve been able to help through this club.” A common misconception is that the group is affiliated with Joliet Junior College. The “Juniors” in Joliet Juniors actually comes from the fact that the group is a member of an international organization, the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, or GFWC. GFWC was founded in 1890 during the Progressive Movement, and has championed women’s rights and civic involvement ever since. The Joliet Junior Woman’s Club has a rich history of its own, having recently celebrated the 60th anniversary of their founding in 1958. The group’s biggest project of the

year is its annual fundraiser. This year the club chose an exciting new theme — a Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball — which attracted over 200 guests to the Jacob Henry Mansion last month. Attendees dressed in elaborate masks and outfits, and enjoyed live music, dancing, New Orleans-inspired food and drinks, and over 30 highly sought after raffle prizes. “Our annual fundraiser is one of my favorite events,” said member Stephanie Perella. “We raise a truly impactful amount of money in one night that is given directly back to local not-forprofits in our area,” Perella said. This year’s Mardi Gras event raised over $10,000, which club

members are distributing through college scholarships and grants to local charities. The club holds monthly meetings on weekday evenings. Any woman who is interested in joining JJWC is invited to attend the club’s last General Meeting of the year, held on Wednesday, April 10, at 6:30 p.m. at Will County Brewing Company, 1142 W. Jefferson St., Shorewood). After that, the club will take a few months off for the summer and regular meetings will begin again in August. For more information about upcoming meetings and events, visit and www., or email

O’Charley’s Irish Pub, where everybody has been welcome for 39 years By ALLISON SELK Shaw Media correspondent Tommy Charley began his bar career by serving drinks in downtown Joliet to his dad’s lawyer and judge friends. With that experience, he branched into his own place, O’Charley’s Irish Pub at 101 W. Jefferson St. In 1987, a large fire took several buildings, one was Charley’s, and in a moment, his building and his livelihood were gone. But he persevered. He moved his business to the Northwest Club for eight months until another opportunity literally

fell at his feet. “The owner of 117 N. Center St., Kenny Southcomb, threw the keys to the building in my front yard and said we would talk price of the building later,” Charley said. From there, Charley got the keys from the yard and that was it. On Dec. 9, 1988, the location on Center Street in Joliet opened for business and Charley and staff have been pouring beer, whiskey and liquor to thirsty patrons each day of the week, 365 days a year, since. In December, the pub celebrated 30 years at that location with an anniversary party for food, raffles, bands,

karaoke and DJ, and T-shirt sales. Charley said his bar has become known as the Notre Dame bar during football games and on St. Patrick’s Day, it’s at capacity both inside the brick walls of the bar and on the patio, which is heated and tented from Thanksgiving until March 17. “People know us as being a Notre Dame bar, the whole town comes for Notre Dame games and I put out food for those games,” Charley said. “When the team scores, we play the fight song and the whole place sings and bangs their cans or bottles.” On St. Patrick’s Day, Charley serves a catered corned beef and

cabbage dinner to his patrons and the Irish music plays all day. This year, the Joliet Police and Fire Pipes and Drums performed. The inside and out are packed with drinkers dressed in green from head to toe to celebrate the holiday. O’Charley’s Irish Pub does not regularly sell food. But Charley said on Notre Dame and Chicago Bears game days, St. Patrick’s Day, and Saturday and Sunday at noon food is served at no charge to patrons. “Out of the kindness of my heart,” said Charley. Over the years, Charley said he has renovated the building.

“We have three decades of people coming through here. I love this neighborhood bar because it’s a chill place and the people who are regulars are here and the new people tend to come back,” said bar manager Alicia Maffeo. Specials include college nights on Wednesdays and Saturdays after 8 p.m. and Karaoke nights on Thursdays. “I’ve been doing this for 39 years. Everybody is welcome and all they have to do is behave. This is a family bar. People come in and then they become like family,” Charley said.

The Herald-News / • Sunday, March 31, 2019 •


Photo provided

Dr. David Cortopassi, Dr. Michael Casey, Dr. Scott Soderquist, Dr. Pat Jones

Associated Orthodontists celebrates 50 years of smiles SUBMITTED REPORT Established in 1969, Associated Orthodontists was founded by three partners – Dr. George Osterberger, Dr. Henry Peterson and Dr. Donald Carollo. Its first office, located at 1118 N. Larkin Ave., still sees patients today. The practice later expanded with offices in Frankfort, Morris, Plainfield and Bourbonnais. In 2017, they opened their newest location in New Lenox. Associated Orthodontists has a professional staff with a vast amount of experience. Current partners Dr. Michael Casey, Dr. David Cortopassi, Dr. Scott Soderquist and Dr. Pat Jones believe a healthy smile can do

wonders for a patient, and they enjoy helping patients realize the smile of their dreams. They continue the practice’s long-standing tradition of creating healthy smiles, making a positive impact in the community and providing patients a positive orthodontic experience and extraordinary outcomes — all in a welcoming and fun, family-friendly environment. Associated Orthodontists features state-of-the-art equipment and cutting edge treatments, including Damon System Braces, Invisalign and Invisalign Teen. Consultations are always complimentary and it is a participating provider with most major insurance

programs. Additionally, Associated Orthodontists offers interest-free financing and convenient payment plans. Supporting the community has always been, and continues to be, an important part of the culture. Over the past decade, Associated Orthodontists has partnered with Smiles Changes Lives, a national organization that provides access to life-changing orthodontic treatment for families that cannot afford the full cost of braces. Associated Orthodontists also provides free orthodontic treatment to multiple children in the communities it serves. Through sponsorships and donations, Associated Orthodontists

supports numerous organizations, non-profits, athletic clubs and schools in the Will County and Grundy County areas. Many opportunities for support come from its patients. The practice prides itself on being able to help the organizations its patients are involved in and are passionate about. This year, Associated Orthodontists was honored to be the recipient of the Joliet Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Business of the Year Award for Retail & Consumer Services. The team received the honor at the chamber’s Annual Dinner & Celebration of Success on January 17. Also in 2019, Associated Orthodontists is celebrating “50 Years

of Smiles” with patients, families, friends, community members and team members. It will honor its 50th anniversary by going back in time, featuring photos and stories about the practice, as well as employees and patients — both current and past. Additionally, there will be monthly patient contests, giveaways and events, all with a fun 50s theme. Associated Orthodontists will be posting information about the celebration on its social media pages and website. For more information about Associated Orthodontists, its team, services and locations, please visit, or follow the group on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Len Cox and Sons Excavating: Pride in the family business By ALLISON SELK Shaw Media correspondent In 1969, Len Cox wanted to create a business where his family could work together, thus Len Cox and Sons Excavating was born. Fifty years later, all four of his sons have roles in the company. Son Jason works as a project manager and sons John, Joe and Jeff are operators and foreman. In the beginning, the services were mostly excavating, but have now morphed into much more as experience and technology grows. The company offers underground utilities (sanitary sewer, water main and storm sewer) both new installation and rehabilitation, site preparation, subdivision development, hydro excavation, clean fill

dump sites and snow removal. Len Cox and Sons has contracts in the government, municipality and commercial sectors. Jason Cox said the family-owned and operated aspect of Len Cox and Sons makes the business a leader in Grundy County and Will County, where the vast majority of their business in conducted. They are present on the work sites, as family, to make sure the

uum excavation. Jason Cox said this excavation method offers more effective and safe practices in the fields of potholing and daylighting, locating utilities, and trenching and excavating. He said hydro excavation replaces trench digging and reduces damage to existing utilities, and causes less disruption on the site with landscaping and traffic. work gets done, and they all take Directional drilling includes pride in their work because their installing sewer and water lines family name is on the business. with minimal excavation and can Hopes are to move the business be used to drill under existing roads forward to the third generation and or parking lots, the process is still to keep the pride in the union indus- considered drilling, but causes try within the company. fewer disturbances to the property. Two new methods of excavation “We want to stay up to date and have been adopted by Len Cox and use newer technology when we can Sons in the past two years. speed up the process and cause less First was hydro excavation, damage,” Jason Cox said. The Len Cox and Sons owners which is essentially a type of vac-

and employees value giving back to the communities in which they serve. Last year they spent time cleaning up the Old Joliet Prison. Jason said, they like to help when someone needs help. The company is active in Wish Upon a Star and has dug for dog parks, swimming pools, and basements and water and sewer for Habitat for Humanity homes. “We are fortunate to be successful, so we give back to others like our parents taught us,” Jason Cox said. Jason Cox said the secret to the success for 50 years was, “We all have the goal to finish the job and do what it takes to complete it on budget, whether it takes extra hours or rent-buy special equipment as needed.”

CASA of Will County calls residents to action for Child Abuse Prevention Month SUBMITTED REPORT As it celebrates its 25th anniversary and in honor of April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month, CASA of Will County is issuing a call to action for the community to support children who have been abused or neglected. At any given time, there are more than 400 children in foster care in Will County who come into the child welfare system through no fault of their own. Currently, Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) has 106 trained volunteer advocates to act as the voice of children involved in the juvenile court system. But more volunteers and donations are needed. “The needs of Will County’s children coming into care are more complicated than ever before, and life in foster care can be chaotic,” said CASA Executive Director Rita Facchina. “Every child deserves the support of a caring, consistent adult with the training to help them heal and thrive,” Facchina said. Throughout the month of April, CASA of Will County is calling on the community to help its program serve more of Will County’s most vulnerable children. There are a number of ways to help — through donations, supporting events and learning more about its training program to become a CASA. Remaining training sessions for 2019 are in April, July and October. Without intervention, the odds are stacked against children in foster care. A child with a

CASA volunteer, however, will leave the foster care system two-and-a-half months earlier, on average, compared to a child without a CASA volunteer. Studies show children with a CASA receive more services that are critical to their well-being than children without an advocate, and those children are more likely to achieve educational success. “CASA volunteers are a constant for the child in a time of chaos,” said Denise Beran, Program Director of CASA of Will County. “A child may have multiple social workers, attorneys, therapists and foster placements throughout the life of the case but only one CASA volunteer, which can make all the difference for the child’s future and well-being.” CASA of Will County, a United Way of Will County agency, is a member of the National CASA Association, a nationwide network of programs in nearly 1,000 communities. At the heart of the movement are nearly 77,000 highly trained volunteers who advocate for the best interests of more than 250,000 of America’s children who have been abused or neglected. In 2018, CASA of Will County served more than 300 children, or 80 percent of those in need. The organization is seeking public support to reach its goal of serving 100 percent of the abused and neglected children in need of a CASA volunteer. For more information about CASA of Will County, or to become a supporter or to volunteer, visit or call 815-730-7072.

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CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Will County is a 501(c)(3) whose mission is to draw from community resources to provide well-trained volunteers who advocate for abused and neglected children in our juvenile court system. For more information please visit or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook. com/casawillcounty.

6 MILESTONES • Sunday, March 31, 2019 • The Herald-News /

Banana Joe’s celebrates 50 years By ALLISON SELK Shaw Media correspondent Over a year ago, Tammy Schwartz took a chance on a business venture and bought the landmark barber shop Banana Joe’s Barbershop from original owner Joe Babich. Babich opened the shop in 1969 and turned it into a local hangout for men, Schwartz, and a great place for the discussion of sports and politics. After 36 years at a barbershop in Darien, Schwartz needed more hours, saw a help wanted sign and decided to inquire within. She worked three days a week and six months later, Babich asked her if she was interested in buying the shop, which she acquired in January 2018. “I bought a landmark,” Schwartz said. Schwartz and manager Michelle Reyna run the shop, which she has kept the same as

when Babich owned it, except for a personal touch of a barber pole gifted to her by her former boss, the late Daniel Widner. “It’s still the same old school barbershop,” Schwartz said. The old school vibe remained not only in the aesthetics, but also in the services. Banana Joe’s Barbershop remains a place to get the full treatment, including a shave with a hot towel, a hot lather machine and a straight edge razor for a smooth finish. The haircuts include a finish around the neck and ears and a hot towel around the neck. Both barbers can do a flattop cut, but Schwartz claimed, “Michelle is awesome at the flattop hair cuts. People come from all over to get a flattop from her.” Schwartz knew she had a lot to prove when she took over the business from local barber icon Babich, but with her decades of experience as well as Reyna, who has been a barber

since the late 1980s, the two have kept Babich’s clients and have attracted new ones. “We can do the newer haircuts such as fades where we shave the head almost bald and then it gets longer in the front, that’s what most of the younger ones want, some version of a fade. We keep up, go online and see new styles. When you know basic hair cut techniques you can adjust styles,” Schwartz said. After 50 years in business, Schwartz said she enjoys hearing stories of the past, especially former clients who are in town to visit and come in for a cut and talk about how their grandfathers brought them here. She also just had a groom’s party come in the day of the wedding for a fresh, hot shave. To celebrate the 50 years of Banana Joe’s Barbershop, Schwartz said the shop will have giveaway items, raffles and T-shirts in late spring.


50 YEARS 1969-2019

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