Page 1

Healthy resolutions you can keep through the year! PAGE 12


Geneva’s Brynn Hanson gets down to business with a hot fitness trend | PAGE 8


Batavia Dance academy growing by leaps and bounds | PAGE 22

New Year


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BALLET • TAP • JAZZ • HIP HOP CONTEMPORARY • YOGA A Step Above Dance Academy o!ers dance classes for all ages and levels! Pre-school dance to Advanced classes in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Contemporary and Yoga. Our professional faculty encourages their students to use dance and artistic expression to live a rich and enduring life. For more information and class schedules: 630.326.9600 visit us on Facebook


inside Health & Fitness 8 RAISING THE BARRE ON EXERCISE | Emerging fitness trend takes classes to the ballet barre in a workout that builds core strength and tones muscles 10 HOME, AWAY FROM HOME | The new Ronald McDonald House being built at Cadence’s Central DuPage Hospital offers moments of peace and distraction to families facing childhood illnesses. 12 COMMIT TO A BETTER YOU! | Healthy resolutions you can keep in 2014! 16 A PIONEERING SPIRIT | Medical executive Mary O’Brien paves the way for women through work and community.

Family in Focus 18 BUILDING A FAMILY | For couples struggling with fertility issues, good all-around health can be the key to success. 22 BY LEAPS AND BOUNDS | Batavia dancer finds her niche in teaching others. 26 FIT, AT ANY AGE | A healthy lifestyle need not wait on middle age. Young and old are getting out and getting fit together, and reaping the rewards of healthy family activities. 28 WHAT I GAINED, HELPING OTHERS LOSE | Family communist Michele Stien reflects on the benefits of fitness, for herself and her family.

Fashion & Beauty 30 KNIT-WITTY | Keep cozy in great knits from head to toe. Our favorites from across the area will keep you in style all season long.

Home & Lifestyle



Get tips from experts, and find an array of shops along the Fox ready to meet your needs!

34 THINGS TO DO BEFORE “I DO” | Check out these tips for planning your winter wedding. 42 IT’S EASY BEING GREEN | Local companies and organizations provide ways to keep home, and earth a healthier place to live.

Dining & Entertaining 50 WINE NICHE | Trending affordable! Find out how the wine market’s woes could be a win for you. 52 FROM FLAUTAS TO FISH | Traditional Mexican cuisine finds its market along the Fox.

Out & About 58 SOCIAL LIFE | Supporters came out for “Ornaments, an Evening of Classical and Contemporary Ballet,” in support of Fox Ballet Company in St. Charles. 59 CALENDAR | From classes to book lectures, health events to stage plays, there’s plenty to do in January! 62 ARTIST SHOWCASE | Lance Long shares his artistic photography piece “Energy in Motion” a framed photo on canvas on display at Water Street Studios in Batavia.

Photo by Jason Adrian Photography Shot on location at the Crystal Bride


A new year is a great time to tackle new challenges, embark on new adventures, and embrace resolutions for a healthy, happy life. In this month’s Kane County Magazine, we showcase health and fitness from a variety of perspectives. We talk with experts in childhood fitness, who work daily with youth to keep kids off the couch and on their feet. Do you have a youngster who loves to dance? We visit with Shannon Holst of A Step Above Dance Academy, which has found a home, and success in downtown Batavia.

But health concerns often delve deeper that weight loss or muscle toning. For families facing fertility issues, we talk with experts about what to consider and what to look out for when weighing the options for treatment. It’s cold outside, and you might be tempted to cozy up on the sofa, but we encourage you to get out an enjoy winter this month. We have knits you can wear to keep hands and heads warm and great spots to stop when it’s time to trade in the cold air for a hot and spicy meal. We hope to see you out and about all month long.

Published by Shaw Media 333 N. Randall Road, Suite 2 St. Charles, IL 60174 Phone: 630-427-6209

Thanks for reading -

Publisher J. Tom Shaw

Speaking of dance, we take a closer look at a new fitness trend – ballet barre fitness – which is expanding and opening in studios across the suburbs. We chat with Brynn Hanson about her new Geneva studio, where she helps others get fit the way dancers do, without ever stepping into toe shoes.

Sherri Dauskurdas Editor

General Manager Jim Ringness 630-845-5228 Editor Sherri Dauskurdas 630-427-6209

And a host of local health and fitness experts offer tips and ideas to keep yourself on track and on focus to meet your wellness goals all year long.

Designer Carol Manderfield 630-427-6253 Account Manager Sandra Petti 630-313-0251 on the


Geneva resident Brynn Hanson has opened Pure Barre, a fitness studio centered on ballet-inspired techniques for toning and exercise.

Account Manager Tricia Walter 630-845-5272 Correspondents Elizabeth Harmon, Melissa Riske, Michelle Stien, Allison Horne, Yvonne Benson, Amanda Marrazzo, Stephonie Kohl

Page 8. Photo by MARY SOLBERG Salon services by MARIO TRICOCI SALONS AND DAYS SPAS, GENEVA Stylist-Carla Makeup-Vivian


Photographers Mary Solberg, Jodi Dazzo, Sandy Bressner, Joe Perez, Jason Adrian, Andrew Young Kane County Magazine is available by subscription for $24 a year. If you would like each month’s edition mailed to your home, send payment information and address to Kane County Magazine, 7717 S. Route 31, Crystal Lake, IL 60014 or via email at subscriptions@



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ith more people than ever embracing fitness, new videos, workouts, and other various up-and-coming methods have emerged to get women in tip-top shape. Despite all of the new workouts coming out, there is one technique that is taking it back to the basics—barre. When most people think of barre, they think of teeny tiny ballerinas reaching for the sky in toe shoes and tights. And while today’s barre fitness classes have roots in dance and they use the barre for the workout, they also make use of Pilates techniques for core conditioning. What Barre Is The German-born dancer Lotte Berk is credited with creating the basic bar method, or Lotte Berk Method, in the 1950s. Since then, it has morphed into various different techniques, including licensed methods like Pure Barre, Booty Barre, The Dailey Method and Xtend Barre. Barre often is considered to be a sibling of Pilates, with a focus on body control and small, isometric movements. Yet all of the various barre methods, as indicated by the name, utilize the ballet barre in one way or another. “The small, isometric movements at the bar will work you to complete exhaustion until you’re shaking,” says Brynn Hanson, owner of a Pure Barre location in Geneva. “Working them to exhaustion and then stretching creates a dancer’s body with long, lean muscles.” Essentially, barre workouts give participants a dancer’s physique without ever needing a dance background or experience. “It’s very low impact, with no jumping or

jarring, so it’s really hard to hurt yourself,” Hanson says. “If you go five days a week, you’ll be fine.” Not only can you do barre workouts pretty much every day of the week, but the barre method is doable for people of all ages and sizes. “It’s one of those rare workouts that I can see a 20-year-old and a 70-year-old doing the same exact workout,” Vicky Waterman, owner of V Fusion in Geneva says. “It’s a workout that doesn’t discriminate— you can be old, middle-aged, or even overweight.” Why It’s Popular Barre combines strength training, cardiovascular activity and flexibility all into one workout, which makes it very unique and different than any other workout. “It’s really a time for women to zone out the rest of their lives and focus on themselves for 55 minutes,” Hanson says. “A lot of people describe it as therapy. You really just tone everything else out and focus on yourself.”

Waterman herself is a testament to the workout, as she has lost 25 pounds and eight dress sizes through barre. Waterman has also credited barre with turning her life around after going through a double hysterectomy in 2009. “I had been doing barre all my life, but when my life was turned upside down, I found barre again,” Waterman says. “I couldn’t exercise the way I was exercising before, so I rediscovered it for myself and it changed my life and my body so much that I knew I wanted to bring it to my community.” Just a few short years later, Waterman has her own studio and is looking to share her passion for barre with other women looking to make a chance or enhance their workouts. “I don’t think it’s going to be a fad,” she adds. “It’s been around for a long time, but it’s been one of the best kept secrets.”

One of the reasons barre has risen in popularity, with women in particular, is that it addresses the areas of the boy with which women typically take issue. Barre workouts often utilize small rubber balls to focus on tightening the body and eliminating cellulite. A similar element that draws from the pilates foundation is the core work during classes, which focuses on improving back, hip and shoulder alignment. “It’s really a full body workout that addresses issues women usually have,” Waterman says. “So it really resonates with a lot of women.”



Family room

Winfield’s Ronald McDonald House will offer worried parents respite within steps of their children’s care By ELIZABETH HARMON From the front door of the new Ronald McDonald House on Winfield Road to the children’s wing at Central DuPage Hospital there are 371 steps. For a worried parent of a sick child, that locale means a lot. “If parents can’t sleep at 2 a.m. because they’re concerned about their baby, they can literally walk across the street and hold their hand,” says Chris Hensley, president of Cadence Health Foundation. Opening of the $6.225 million facility is set at more than a year away, but excitement for a project with such demonstrated need already is evident. Cadence Health’s affiliation with the Ann & Robert H. Lurie


Children’s Hospital of Chicago, and the opening of its Warrenville proton beam treatment center—one of only 11 in the United States—means that this hospital campus has become a medical destination, drawing patients from outside the area and even outside the country. “Last year, we had a family who chose proton beam therapy for their child. They found us, took sabbaticals from their jobs, pulled their children out of school and traveled 15,000 miles from Australia. They were here six weeks and lived in a hotel the whole time,” Hensley says. “A Ronald McDonald House would have been perfect in that situation.” Mary Agnes Laguatan, vice president of operations for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest


The $6.225 million Ronald McDonald house is set to open in 2015.

Images provided

Indiana, says Cadence sought her organization’s help in meeting the growing need for temporary housing. “Because of our expertise in this area, they said they’d like to partner with us. We were delighted to look at the need, and decide to move forward.” The facility will offer 12 family-size bedrooms, including four designed for the extended stays needed for outpatient proton beam therapy. Each bedroom will accommodate up to five people. On the main floor are a dining room and kitchen, where volunteers provide a meal each day, or where families can prepare their own. There’s also a living room, library nook, toddler play area, video game and TV room, family room, and community room. “Being with other families in a similar situation will provide a better holistic experience,” Hensley says. The house also will include an exercise room, the only Ronald McDonald House to include one so far. “It’s important for parents to be able to have that routine, and to be able to relieve stress through physical activity,” Laguatan says.

“Being with other families in a similar situation will provide a better holistic experience,” -Chris Hensley

Its proximity to Central DuPage Hospital also makes the house special. “It’s our goal to have them as close as possible, but that depends on the availability of sites, which can be hard to come by in hospital districts. We’re very blessed to find a site that’s so close,” Laguatan says. The house will serve Central DuPage Hospital, Delnor Hospital and the Warrenville cancer campus. Laguatan expects it to be at capacity most of the time. Groundbreaking is scheduled for March 18, 2014 and construction is expected to take about 11 months. Fundraising currently is underway. The Cadence Health Auxiliary has committed to raise $5 million for construction and another $1 million to run the house for the first three to four years. “We’re past the halfway mark but still encouraging the community to invest in this,” Hensley says. You can help by going to



healthy resolutions

you can keep! By AMANDA MARRAZZO

It’s that fickle time of year again. Yet another January arrives and we realize that we dropped the ball on last year’s resolutions to de-stress, lose a few pounds or live a healthier lifestyle. Area experts offered to help with a few suggestions to make and keep those New Year’s resolutions for 2014. David Bauer, therapist, life coach, personal trainer and owner of Integrated Fitness in St. Charles, says it's better to set specific, measurable and realistically attainable goals rather than making general, broad stroke declarations. It’s also important to have a specific timeline set to reach those goals in order to measure your success. One common New Year’s Resolution is to live a healthier lifestyle, says Bauer. But to keep that resolution one must be specific with their resolve. “The mistake people make every year is they ... say ‘I want to get healthy’ and that’s too general,” says Bauer. For example he says to pledge, “I want to lower


my cholesterol or I want to lose ten pounds, walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded. You are more likely to be successful if more specific in your resolution, and the goal has to have real meaning to you.” He says it takes more than just your doctor saying you need to lose weight. “You have to have your heart into it a little bit,” he says. When making resolutions be sure they are sustainable goals that can be built upon. A resolution to lose weight is good, he says, but when resolving to be more healthy, work out more often and lose weight, be specific and “more performance oriented.” “Say, ‘I will lift weights three times a week and do cardio two days a week,’ ” Bauer explains. “Individual, daily goals you can do all year long and create sub-goals within those goals, (make) stackable goals.” Set specific, reachable workout goals in increments. For example, he says, shoot to do 50 pushups then after reaching 50 shoot for 75 and work your way up to that goal and so on.

Set short goals on each workout day. One day set out to run on the treadmill at a higher incline or for a longer period of time. Switch up your routine within your weekly set workout. Instead of running on the treadmill on one of your set cardio days for 30 minutes, take in a spin class, still working toward your specific goal of getting in more cardio but mixing it up a bit to do so. Adding in variety will help you stay on track to reach your goal of living a healthier life style, says Bauer. Other common new year’s goals Bauer hears of in his life coach practice include spending more time with family, finding romance, being more engaged with friendships, reaching financial goals, enriching personal development such as taking classes at a community college, and finding time to read more. Each is just about time management, he says. Being with your family or at work or being busy with other activities all depends on how one chooses to spend their time. Any one of those goals, if important enough to you, can be achieved by restructuring how you live your life. It’s all about choices, he says.



For example, to achieve more time with family, make a specific and realistic resolution not to work past 7 p.m., commit to dinner every night with your family, or resolve to spend at least 15 minutes a night in one-on-one conversation with your children.

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“I love taking classes, so one of my goals next year is to take a cooking class to learn to make sauces,” Bauer says. “A good sauce can make anything taste better. It’s not going make me any money or advance me in my career but it is a good goal. For me, it definitely is a personal development kind of goal that falls under enjoyment of life.”

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Many clients also resolve to eat healthier. Rudd says potion control is key to reaching this goal. One easy tip: use a lunch-sized plate, even at dinner time.

“Being healthy is just a state of mind,” says Rudd. “When you are happy things go well for you.”

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“It doesn’t work unless you participate,” she says.

Other foods to go along with a healthy diet include extra servings of vegetables and a “very small amount of starch,” says Rudd. Stay away from anything packaged. And, if eating out at a restaurant check out the restaurant’s menu on-line before arriving to be sure you make healthier choices.

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Beverly Rudd, manager of Curves at 833 East Wilson St. in Batavia, says her clients’ most common New Year’s resolution is to lose some inches, drop some pounds, get healthy and sleep better.

Curve’s recipe to reaching one’s 2014 resolution of being healthy and strong requires a commitment to working out at least three times a week with additional 30 to 45 minute cardio workouts outside the studio the other two days, says Rudd.

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“We have such busy lives,” says Bauer. “We are in such constant motion, we lose focus of why we are doing the things we are doing.

To help clients get where they resolve to be Curves provides circuit training, regular weighins and measurements as well as contests.



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A PIONEERING SPIRIT Medical executive Mary O’Brien paves way for women through work and community in St. Charles By MELISSA RISKE

Mary O’Brien of Geneva may not think of herself as a pioneer, but time and time again she has paved the road through her stewardship at work and throughout the Tri-Cities. For the last 28 years, O’Brien has been the chief executive officer of Fox Valley Orthopedics, presiding over the growth and expansion of the group. When she joined the group in 1985 it was comprised of three physicians treating patients with five exam rooms. Today the group is a multi-specialty orthopedic institute with multiple campuses that include an ambulatory surgery center, physical therapy and medical imaging.

Photo by Andrew Young

“She’s had such an integral role in this company,” says Dr. Kevan Ketterling, an orthopedic surgeon who joined Fox Valley Orthopedics in 1991. As a senior partner, Ketterling works closely with O’Brien. He credits O’Brien for her hard work and dedication. “She’s the life force that drives it all,” he says. “She really frees us to concentrate on what we love, and that is being good doctors and taking care of our patients. Mary handles so much behind the scenes.” During her tenure, she has navigated the company’s growth while keeping true to her beliefs in providing the best care for patients and keeping costs in check. Though her work is in administration, O’Brien says her real passion is working with patients and ensuring patients are satisfied with their health care. “When patients need us. they’re hurting. We need to make them feel good,” O’Brien says. “I try to convey that to everybody. Then I’ll know I’ve done my job.”


Her work at FVO is much more than her day job. Through the years she’s dedicated time with professional organizations including the American Association of Orthopaedic Executives where she served as a president for a year. While working full time and raising two active children as a single parent she made time to return to school and earn her master’s degree in health service administration and finance. When she finished her advanced degree and discovered some free time she decided to become involved with local organizations including the St. Charles Breakfast Rotary. She was among the first female members in the local Rotary where she served as president from 1990-91. “They had just opened [Rotary membership] to women and within three years I was president-elect,” O’Brien says. She has served as a leader for several professional and community organizations, but one title stands out. From 2004-05 she was president of the Eagle Brook Country Club, a distinct title as she is one of the first women in the country to serve in this position for a USGA Golf Club. “I never thought there were so few women who were presidents of golf clubs,” she says, admitting she didn’t realize the significance of her work until her tenure wrapped up the following year. When the business relocated to Geneva she became a part of the Geneva Rotary where she served as president from 2004-05. Today she continues her involvement with Rotary and participates in a Rotarian fellowship for those who


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� SCUBA dive. For the last 20 years she has joined fellow Rotarians on dives all over the world, exploring and visiting distant lands and seas. O’Brien has navigated many challenges including the sudden death of her son, Stryker Reed, when he was 19. Support from family and friends helped her as did support from the community, including Tri-Cities Family Services. Years later she became an active supporter of the nonprofit agency and served as a member of the board of directors. “She was a supporter long before she ever became a board member,” says Jim Otepka, director of Tri-City Family Services and a member of the organization for 25 years. Otepka described O’Brien as open and courageous. “She had a very personal approach and understanding of our work and that really makes for a special board member, that connection of the heart,” he says. O’Brien says she believes in giving back. “There are lots of people who could use our help,” O’Brien says. “All of us who have been blessed should give back to those who have less.” She says the work and help is as important to her as it is to those she is helping. She enjoys staying active and keeping her mind busy. Even at age 71 and knowing retirement can’t be too far away, O’Brien says she plans to fill the void of working every day through volunteering her time and making a difference for others.


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BUILDING A Answering the basic questions of fertility health By ELIZABETH HARMON For couples struggling to start or expand their family, seeking fertility treatment can be a lifechanging decision. When is the right time to seek a specialist, and what treatment is best? Dr.Scott Springer, founder of the Center for Reproductive Health in Geneva and Joliet, is board certified in reproductive endocrinology by the American Board of Osteopathic Obstetrics and Gynecology and board certified in obstetrics and gynecology by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He is a graduate of the Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine, trained in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Albany Medical Center in Albany, New York where he was chief resident his senior year, and completed his sub-specialty training in Infertility and Reproductive Endocrinology at the University of Illinois from 1994 to 1996. Dr. Springer offers his expert answers to six frequently asked questions.

Q: If infertility is suspected, when should someone seek help? A: Normally, if a woman is under 35 and a couple has had inprotected intercourse for a year, she should seek advice of a specialist. If the woman is 35 or older, we cut that down to six months. Exceptions to that are when there are known issues, then they should seek help sooner.

Q; What should I look for in a fertility center and specialist? A: Look for a place where you feel comfortable, receive quality treatment and were the doctors and nurses are easily accessible. The best way to find a good center is by word of mouth. If you have friends who went to a clinic and had a good experience, that’s good testimonial.


For the doctor, being board certified in reproductive endocrinology is also important.

Q: Do all centers offer the same treatments? A: For the most part, yes. The most common treatments include the use of fertility medications such as Clomid, interuterine insemination, and in-vitro fertilization. We do all of these.

Q: How do I know what treatment is best? A: Here’s an area where you really have to trust your doctor. You can read on the Internet all day long, but what’s most important is whether you trust what the doctor is telling you. A woman has to feel that what the doctor is saying makes sense.

Q: Do centers offer rates of success and how do I interpret them? A: Rates are determined by many factors beyond the quality of care, such as patient population. You can look at the rates on the Center for Disease Control website, but they’re only shown for in-vitro fertilization, not some of the other treatments. So look at the rates, but use caution because they may not tell you everything.

Q: Are fertility treatments covered by insurance? A: Sometimes yes, sometimes no and patients often don’t know until they’re seeking treatment. About half of my patients have decent coverage and about half don’t.

If you’d like to learn more, visit www.crhivf. com for informative articles on infertility, the latest treatments and more.





Simple solutions

bring family together for dinner Today, less than half of American families eat dinner together every day, according to the National Survey of Children's Health. One secret to dinner on busy weeknights is keeping the ingredients for your favorite meals within easy reach.

pre-cut vegetables that help complete a meal.

These solutions cut out dinner prep time to help families get meals on the table fast, any night of the week:

Take advantage of cooking shortcuts. Using pre-cut, high quality vegetable varieties not only saves money on wasted produce, but also on shopping and prep time without sacrificing the quality and taste of the meal. Plus, since the ingredients are already chopped, the only thing you have to open is the bag.

Keep your freezer organized for quick meal planning. Buy extra frozen or fresh poultry, beef and pork when they go on sale. If fresh, freeze them in family dinner portions. Then, stock up on

Spend less time searching for recipes. Pick one day a week to sketch out a menu filled with fast and easy home-cooked family favorites. It's easier to save time during the week if you already have a plan.

Enlist helpers. Having the kids help with some of the cooking makes the process more fun, plus kids are more likely to eat what they create. Have kids mix ingredients, top dishes with garnishes and help put dinner on the table. "One of my favorite dishes to make during the colder months is Easiest Ever Chili (below)," said Birds Eye chef Michael Christiansen. "It's hearty, delicious and perfect for chilly weather. My family loves it, including the kids because they get to help out adding the veggies to the skillet and topping the dish with sour cream before digging in."

Easiest Ever Chili Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 25 minutes Servings: 4 1 pound lean ground beef 1 bag (8 ounces) chopped green peppers & onions 1 can (15.5 ounces) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes 2 tablespoons chili powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (optional)

Brown ground beef with chopped green peppers & onions in medium saucepot. add remaining ingredients and simmer uncovered, 20 minutes. Serve, if desired, with reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese and light sour cream. - More Content Now 20 | JANUARY 2014 | KANE COUNTY MAGAZINE




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By leaps and bound A Step Above Dance Academy finds niche success in Batavia By ELIZABETH HARMON


rowing up, Shannon Holst had a lovehate relationship with ballet.

between dance and gymnastics.

“I began taking ballet when I was about three and started gymnastics around the same time,” recalls Holst. “My mom did ballet when she was growing up, and says it would teach grace, and discipline that I’d use all my life. I was very active, always going in or out of the studio or gym.”

“I was a girly-girl who loved being in tutus and sparkly costumes, but I was also a monkey and loved being in the gym. I was on the verge of quitting ballet, but I had a teacher who really encouraged me to stay with it, by pointing out what it would do for my gymnastics, and also help prevent injury. I really owe it to him and Mom,” she says.

But around age 11, Holst found herself torn

Today, as the owner and president of A Step


Above Dance Academy in Batavia, Holst strives to similarly encourage young dancers. “Our goal is to give a well-rounded, high-quality dance education, while also instilling selfconfidence, creativity, respect, and an admiration for the arts in all of our students,” Holst says. A Step Above offers classes in ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, and contemporary dance, for students from pre-school age to 18. The school has several competitive dance teams, at varying


more time to dance. At 17, she was selected as a Universal Dance Association All-Star, and performed in London’s New Years Parade. After graduating from high school, Holst entered the University of Iowa as a nursing major, intending to become a neo-natal nurse. “That lasted two weeks. I wasn’t dancing and it was killing me. I went to my advisor and told him I was done with science,” she says. To make her dance degree more marketable, Holst also enrolled in the university’s Performing Arts Entrepreneurial Certification program. “It’s a joint program between fine arts and business, that taught us to how to finance shows, write for grants, all the things on the business side that artists often don’t think about, but are so important. It was perfect for me, because it taught me what I needed to know, but didn’t put me in business classes with people who wanted to work on Wall Street.” She also taught dance throughout college, and shortly before graduation, decided that she would like to open a studio. “I thought about all the great teachers I’d had and how I wanted to do that for my students,” she says.

A life-long passion for ballet has led Shannon Holst, owner of A Step Above Dance Academy in Batavia, to create a studio where young dancers can learn and grow. Photos by Mary Solberg

levels, and also offers yoga instruction.

commitment to ballet.

“Yoga and dance go hand in hand,” she says. “It helps prevent injuries, is great cross-fitness training, and because I was doing it so often, I decided to get certified as an instructor.”

“For three months, I was dancing every day with professional dancers and it was eye-opening,” she recalls. “Working with different teachers can help you see things differently. It also made me more aware of my natural ability and it was very motivating to discover that I had more talent than I’d thought. It made me want to get more serious.”

As a young dance student in Aurora, Holst studied a variety of dance disciplines and performed with competitive teams, but a summer-long program with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in Canada, when she was 12, fostered her

By 15, Holst dropped gymnastics to devote

After graduating in May 2010, Holst took a dance studio business plan she’d created as a class assignment, tweaked it, and went to work bringing the plan to fruition. By August 2010, she opened A Step Above Dance Academy. “My parents are both business people so I was very fortunate to have their guidance. Without it, this wouldn’t have been possible,” Holst says. Though she opened quickly, things didn’t always go according to plan. She’d opened her studio in a gymnastics facility that she intended to eventually buy, but the building was destroyed by a fire in 2011. She moved into her current location at 103 E Wilson Street in downtown Batavia, and says her great location helped her business grow quickly. “I’d thought that it would be about five or six years before I needed to expand my space or my staff and it happened in about half the time,” she says.

Continued on page 24



Continued from page 23 In addition to Holst, her staff includes four instructors and a business manager, who also coaches the studio’s competitive dance teams. This year, Holst expanded the dance academy into the building’s second floor. The facility now features two large studios, a small studio for preschool classes, two parent waiting rooms, restrooms, a dancer’s dressing room, and a small area to sell A Step Above apparel.

For Holst, the best part of teaching is helping watching her students’ progress. “I know it sounds like a cliché, but that’s what I love most. When I was in college, I had a student who was really struggling with something, so I showed her a tip that had been helpful for me. She was able to do the move perfectly and gave me this huge smile," she says. "That was when I knew I wanted to teach.”

Future plans include adding a dancewear shop, and new classes geared toward adult students. “We really focus on technique here. If you turn on ‘Dance Moms’ or one of the dance shows, it seems like everything is about the tricks, but to do those tricks, you have to have proper technique,” she says. Holst says her gymnastics background continues to help her, both as a dancer and instructor. “I’ve had people come in because they saw it my biography. It’s helped me be more body-aware and also taught me about strength, which is important, because dancers need more strength than people think.”


“We really focus on technique here. If you turn on ‘Dance Moms’ or one of the dance shows, it seems like everything is about the tricks, but to do those tricks, you have to have proper technique,” Shannon Holst

One SICK App! Sickweather, a Baltimorebased company that tracks illness, has launched their first mobile app for the iPhone to alert users in realtime when they enter sick zones: areas near reports of illness gathered from social media. This is the first app of its kind to leverage big data from social media, along with Apple iOS's geofencing and notification technologies, to serve health alerts. For example, when someone publicly posts, "Ugh, I have the flu" on Twitter or Facebook, Sickweather qualifies that report and then plots it on a map. When a Sickweather app user travels near that report (whether they are dropping kids off at school, traveling for the holidays or stopping in their favorite coffeehouse) they will get a real-time alert notification on their phone warning them of their proximity to flu.



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"What users do at that point is up to them," said Graham Dodge, chief executive officer and co-founder of Sickweather. "It could prompt you to wash your hands, get a vaccine, buy medication or take other preventive measures to boost your immune system, but ultimately we believe that the net effect of this new, realtime awareness will help reduce the spread of illness and reduce healthcare costs." The Sickweather app is available in the App Store as a free download. In version 1.0 for iOS7, users can view reports of up to 23 different symptoms and illnesses on a map, as well as four groups of illnesses related to respiratory, gastrointestinal, environmental and childhood illnesses. The core feature is the ability to activate alerts for each of those illnesses to monitor for "sick zones" as you travel throughout your day. -More Content Now

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Fitness can be fun for EVERYONE It’s never too early to initiate a healthy lifestyle By ELIZABETH HARMON

“Many kids are active in sports, but as we get into the winter months, they may not be doing as much, said Dr. Linda Widmer, a pediatrician with Cadence Physician’s Group in Batavia. She suggests making fitness a family affair, with fun wintertime activities like sledding or ice-skating, or building a backyard snow fort. If you’d rather stay indoors, set up an obstacle course, or put on some music and dance. If your school, park district or fitness center offers open gym sessions, be sure and take advantage. And don’t forget to look for hidden opportunities


to be active, such as walking to school on nice days, walking the dog or shoveling your sidewalk. Aim for sixty active minutes a day. “It doesn’t have to be continuous. It’s okay to break it up, so it’s easier to get that time in. What’s most important is that it be fun and not feel like hard exercise,” Widmer said. Family dinners help curb snacking, and allow parents to monitor what and how much their kids are eating. Portion control can be a problem for kids, just as it is for adults, and it’s important for everyone to eat five daily servings of fruits

and vegetables. “When the whole family sits down together, it builds good communication, encourages positive choices and builds good lifelong habits,” Widmer said. But there are services available to address healthy adolescent weight, just like there are for adults. For kids eight to 14, whose body mass index is in 85th percentile and above, ProActive Kids offers a safe place to improve health and confidence. “Everything we do is designed to encourage and


empower, so when they’re running and playing with their classmates, they feel confident,” Nicki Klinkhamer, executive director of the four-yearold, hospital-funded program.

some are going through difficult times and are using food for comfort. There are so many things that contribute to weight issues,” says Klinkhamer.

The free eight-week program focuses on fitness, nutrition and lifestyle. The fitness component includes structured exercise under the guidance of a personal trainer. Nutrition education focuses on healthy diets, and portion control. Lifestyle classes address body image, self-esteem, communication, stress management and more.

Parents are crucial in helping kids establish healthy habits. “The parents are the key component in their child’s health, since they’re the ones buying the food and cooking the meals,” Klinkhamer says.

“A lot of these kids have experienced bullying,

lost forty pounds. But even little changes, like being more active, swapping whole milk for skim, can make a difference,” she says. Kane County’s sponsoring partner is Cadence Health and classes are held at Pottawatomie Park in St. Charles. The next session begins January 13 and enrollment is ongoing. For more information, visit

Participants set measurable goals for during the program, and after. And kids aren’t the only ones making changes. “One of the dads told me he’d




helping others

LOSE I always have been what you might call an exercise addict. I even went so far as to make exercise my job, and in the process learned more about my own insecurities by helping others deal with theirs. Growing up with two older brothers meant a great deal of teasing and tormenting. While I never was a chubby kid, as I got older I quickly realized that I couldn’t eat foot-long subs and entire boxes of mac ‘n cheese like my brothers. If I did, my siblings were right there to point out exactly where my healthy appetite “ended up.” Neither was I blessed with the same genes as my grandmother, who could eat pastries for breakfast, lunch and dinner and never break 100 pounds. I always have had to work hard to eat right and stay in shape. Sometimes I worked harder than others. Sometimes I thought I was eating right, but ended up doing more harm than good. I struggled with fad diets and extreme exercise routines. I pushed myself to workout through injuries and illness. I would stress out if I missed a day at the gym or beat myself up if I overindulged. I was a slave to how many calories I burned, the number on the scale and the size of my jeans. Eventually, I found the right combination and balance of reasonable, but effective workouts, eating right without depriving myself and a love for my body, despite its flaws. I made this my life, not a temporary fix. 28 | JANUARY 2014 | KANE COUNTY MAGAZINE

Don’t get me wrong, I still am at the gym or doing some sort of exercise more than the average person, but I feel healthier emotionally, not just physically, about my exercise and diet regimen. In the last year-and-a-half, my husband made the conscious decision to change his lifestyle, and in the end lost almost 70 pounds. Most people assume I was the one who pushed him to adopt a new way of eating and exercise routine. In reality, he was the one who finally said, “Enough is enough,” and decided to change his ways. He struggled a great deal for the first several months, even though he was seeing significant results. He agonized over his workouts, portions, milligrams of sodium, whether something had cheese sprinkled on it and even told me once that bread was evil. Moderation is not his strong suit. He is an “all or nothing” kind of guy, so cheating was not an option for him. He pushed himself to the point of injury in his workouts and would get downright angry and depressed if he had to take a break. He weighed himself twice a week and fretted over even a pound of weight gain over a weekend.

It was then that I realized that what I wished for him. It was to gain what I had over the years; the ability to cut myself some slack. I rarely weigh myself. I gave up obsessing over what my heart rate monitor said at the end of a workout. Instead of working to burn what I ate, I learned to eat to fuel my workouts. I gave my body rest when it was needed and realized that as long as I woke up every morning, alive and healthy, that was most important. As a group fitness instructor and athlete, I see a lot of intense and competitive people. I have that spirit too, and I can relate. In fact, there are times I feel like I am looking in the mirror. That mirror has given me the ability to look long and hard at what I see and what I really want to achieve. I love to exercise. I love looking and feeling good. I love being healthy. It makes me happy. Beating myself up, getting depressed or stressed out defeats the purpose of leading a healthy lifestyle. Whenever I find those feelings creeping up on me, I know it is time to take a step back and reevaluate my goals.


I know the road to physical fitness is long and finding balance is difficult. I know maintenance is the hardest part and it takes a lot of discipline and perseverance to stay on track. My only wish is that we can all achieve balance in that journey so at the end of the day, we can all like who we are and what we see in the mirror.


2014 at


Write This Down with Michelle Stien

Michelle Stien is a stay-at-home mom of two children, ages 3 and 5. Her mother always told her to “write this down,” so she is sharing her experiences with other Kane County women to help them deal with the craziness of being “Mom.”


630.406.1515 OPEN MON-SAT 10-5, TH 12-8, SUN 12-5



Knit Witty

Stay cozy all season in smart, stylish sweaters and accessories. 30 | JANUARY 2014 | KANE COUNTY MAGAZINE


2 Photo by Jodi Michelle Photography




1 Stay comfy and warm in style with a slouch hat $15.95,

3 Brighten Mom’s day with an infinity scarf, the hottest

and fringed knit scarf, $34.95, from American Eagle

style this season available at stores and boutiques across

Outfitters of Geneva Commons. Animal hats capture your

the suburbs, like these from Cocoon in Geneva. Prices

little one's inner spirit! Polar bear with matching mittens,


available at The Children’s Place, Geneva Commons,

4 Knit takes new meaning in this combination of

from 12.95. 2 Above, assorted critter hats in knit and fleece

jackrabbit and fox fur by Peri Luxe. Find it at Niala Conte of Geneva, $732.

combinations start at $18 at the Little Traveler, Geneva.



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Best Become DIET a f an! Apps!

LOSE IT: This is similar to MyFitnessPal in that it has a large database of food, has a barcode scanner and more. It also helps you build healthy recipes and lets you track things other than just calories.Free for iOS and Android. FOODUCATE: This app is similar to the above two, but it focuses more on eating healthy in the first place. It tracks and scans as well, but it tries to get you to eat healthier meals. Free for iOS and Android. (There also is a pay version.)

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The holiday season, otherwise known as the "delicious food" season tends to leave many with the "gift" of extra pounds come January. Take control with these nutition/dieting apps to help you stay on track into the new year. MYFITNESSPAL CALORIE COUNTER: This is probably the most popular diet app out there. It has a huge food database that helps you count calories, it remembers your favorite dishes, includes a barcode scanner and more.Free for iOS and Android. http://www.

Get Back to What You Enjoy!

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Follow the Kane County Magazine at

35 S. Randall Road • North Aurora, IL 60542 630-892-8003

Happy New Year from Gifts • Candles Te Terrariums • Home Decor Fairy Gardening • Jewelry

NUTRINO: Another one similar to the other diet apps mentioned, Nutrino focuses on building personalized menus. After you've created menus, it gives you a shopping list, too! Free for iOS.

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27 S. Third Street, Geneva • 630-208-MOSSY • KANE COUNTY MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2014 | 33


Things to do before

'I DO'



inter weddings can be a romantic and less expensive alternative to those held in the more popular summer and fall months, especially if you tie the knot in a colder climate and in a venue that highlights the beauty of the season. Still, there are pitfalls couples need to consider when planning a wedding in months that could bring blizzards, below-freezing temperatures and popular holidays. TRAVEL DELAYS Remind out-of-town guests to allow extra time to travel, whether by plane, train or automobile, as inclement weather could cause flight delays and road closures.


PHOTOGRAPHS Consider starting your ceremony and reception an hour earlier than you would in the spring or fall as the sun will set an hour earlier on your outdoor photos. With the reception ending before midnight, you’ll want to delegate someone to plan an after-reception event, such as a pub crawl or party in one of the suites at the hotel to continue the fun. COAT CHECK Your guests might arrive bundled up in coats, boots, hats, gloves and perhaps umbrellas, all of which will be hanging on the backs of chairs if there isn’t a coat check. Your guests will appreciate having a secure place for all their belongings and you’ll appreciate not having your reception hall filled with outerwear. Also be sure

to have enough people manning the coat check so guests don’t have to wait in long lines and no coats end up on the floor. CONSIDER HOLIDAYS Winter holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve are busy times for restaurants and banquet facilities, resulting in higher pricing and less availability than during other winter weekends. Also, while these might be good times to ensure close family members, particularly those out of town or college students, will be able to attend your wedding since they’ll be home for the holidays anyway, other guests may decline in order to be with their own families. And while it may sound romantic to have a Valentine’s Day wedding, this is one of the most popular days to go out to dinner and buy flowers,


You are cordially invited to a Wedding Expo January 19 • 1-4pm

The newest wedding venue in St. Charles…

Hickory Knolls Discovery Center offering a unique alternative to traditional wedding venues. Wedding vendors showcasing everything you need to make your big day special, and environmentally friendly. • Coordination Services • DJ • Invitations • Flowers FREE! • Photography • Caterers • Hair and Makeup • Honeymoon Travel • Rental Items: tables, chairs, linens, dance floor and more! • Vendor Giveaways

3795 Campton Hills Rd • St. Charles, IL 60175 • 630-513-4399 •

Photo by Jason Adrian Photography Shot on location at the Crystal Bride

resulting in skyrocketing prices for both. January is usually very slow for venues, which is good for budget-conscious couples.

Mothers of the Wedding and

Special Occasion Dresses

OUTDOOR CEREMONIES OR PHOTO SHOOTS Even if you’re having a mild winter, the weather can be unpredictable. It doesn’t take much to wreak havoc on your hair, makeup, shoes and satin gown. Have a realistic back up plan in case the weather doesn’t cooperate. FLOWERS With global trade, it is possible to get virtually any flower, all year. But if your flowers are traveling further than your guests, expect to pay a premium. - More Content Now

207 W. State Street • Geneva 630.397.5040 HOURS: M, Tu, W, F 11 am - 6 pm • Th 11 am - 8 pm Sat 10 am - 6pm KANE COUNTY MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2014 | 35


Paragon Flowers “I’m Michael John, owner/designer at Paragon Flowers in St. Charles. I take great pride in my work and consider my brides not as customers but family… understanding there’s only one chance to do your wedding flowers just as you’ve always dreamed! This is more than a business to me, it’s a passion, love, my bliss! I’m fortunate to have found the one thing I was meant to do and I pour my heart into it for my brides. Please take a moment to look at one bride’s words on my behalf, at She and Charlie married in Geneva late in 2013!

Photos provided

2010 E Main St. | St. Charles | 630-485-2802

Hickory Knolls Discovery Center A wedding destination unlike any other —featuring Fox Valley’s natural treasures! This 10,500-sq.-ft. building features a spacious lobby that soars more than 20 feet in height, with floor-to-ceiling windows that frame views of the oak savanna just outside the doors. Nature-themed party packages and banquet facility rentals are available. A wide range of attractions will appeal to visitors of all ages including an indoor turtle pond with wetland exhibit and live animal displays.

Photo by Mike Frankowski

3795 Campton Hills Rd. | St. Charles | 630-513-4399 |

WILSON TRAVEL & CRUISE Located in downtown St. Charles for more than 50 years, Wilson Travel & Cruise offers the best service and expertise for your vacation travel planning. Tammy Moudy, honeymoon and destination wedding specialist, creates personal relationships with her clients to learn about their travel and lifestlye preferences. Her journey as a travel agent began in 1986, becoming a certified Honeymoon & Destination Wedding Specialist in 2009. She is committed to our customers and offers great service backed with destination knowledge, which helps make their special day or trip much more memorable. Stop by or give Tammy a call about your wedding, honeymoon or beach vacation. Photo by Jodi Michelle Photography

203 E. Illinois Ave. | St. Charles 630-377-3700 |

Down the Aisle


Invitations Etc.

As a 2013 Bride’s Choice Award winner, Invitations, Etc. has become one of Fox Valley’s premier printers. They provide a vast selection of designs, papers, and ideas to help you make a striking impression on your guests. From save-the-dates and invitations to seating charts, programs and a full line of tuxedos and suits, Invitations, Etc. has been voted one of the best values around and rated with excellent customer service. This little shop is truly one of Batavia’s best kept secrets.

Visit today and make an appointment tomorrow!

Photos by Jason Adrian Photography


salon & bridal co. Photos provided

One Salon & Bridal Co. is a full service hair salon specializing in bridal beauty services on location.

Saying “I do” is, undoubtedly, one of the most important decisions a bride will make on her wedding day, but choosing the right stylist and makeup artist comes in a pretty close second. Are you traditional, funky, modern , or classic? At One Salon & Bridal Co. we feel it is our job to understand who you are and translate that vision into our bridal hair styling and makeup artistry. One Salon & Bridal Co. has won numerous awards for their excellent service, among them the “Best of Wedding” honor from the past three years. Call us, we are always happy to discuss your beautiful wedding with you. 930 W. Main St. | St. Charles, IL | 630-988-2446 |

JP Jewelers JP Jewelers has been creating beautiful Custom Designs and Bridal rings for over 20 years in the western suburbs. We specialize in Bridal Sets and all types and sizes of loose Certified Diamonds. We have over 300 Bridal Sets in stock and a excellent collection of Men's wedding bands in all the latest styles and metals. When it's your time to become engaged and married, JP Jewelers is" Your Family's jeweler". We look forward to your visit soon! 151 S. 1st St. | St. Charles, IL | 630-513-0123 |

Photos provided


The Sugar Path Weddings are a time of great celebration. The Sugar Path specializes in bringing your wedding dessert visions to life, while creating desserts that never sacrifice taste. Regular and mini sized cupcakes and pies, artisan cakes, beautiful tiered displays, dessert tables and individually boxed favors – we are experienced at catering events of any size. Our cupcake menu has more than 300 flavors, both classic and unique. Also popular are our award-winning Cowboy, Salty Honey and Three Berry pies. Be it a rustic farm wedding or an elegant affair, you can depend on The Sugar Path to help create those special dessert memories. Photos provided

315 W. State St. | Geneva, IL 630-262-3353 | Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest

CrystallineVelvet There are few things more beautiful than a bride on her wedding day ~ and we love to help make brides beautiful! Whether you let us help you design the set of your dreams , or whether you fall in love with one of our in-store collections, we aim to see you smiling when you leave. Come in for all your wedding jewelry for bride and party. We know how to work within your budgetary needs, both large and small. Then check out our everyday and special-occasion jewelry ~ all handcrafted by our local artisan jewelers. Custom ~ Jewelry Repair ~ Beading Classes ~ Something for everyone! 228 S 3rd St. | Geneva, IL | 630-262-9113

Photos by Jason Adrian Photography

Oscar Swan

Create a lasting memory at Oscar Swan, a historic bed and breakfast in Geneva. We can host your ceremony, reception, rehearsal dinner, bridal shower or any other special event – from a girls’ getaway to an after-the-wedding brunch. Unique facilities on our grounds include the mansion, the back garden with a small in ground pool, expansive front lawn with a modern suspension tent and The Gathering, each with its own special features. Styles can range from the formal and elegant to a rustic country setting. Weddings big or small... we do it all. Photos provided

1800 W. State St. | Geneva 630-232-0173 |

Down the Aisle


G E N E VA B R I D E  Join us Sunday, March 2, 2014 in charming downtown Geneva. Grab your girlfriends, family or your wedding planner and come see all that Geneva has to offer! This Unique town has an amazing  network of the finest wedding vendors, covering all of your wedding needs and simplifying the wedding planning processes. Geneva's dazzling charm makes it the perfect place to plan and hold  a unforgettable wedding.  Visit: for more details and wedding walk registration 15 W. State St. | Geneva, IL | 630-492-0692

Photo by Tom Nicol

the Crystal Bride The Crystal Bride has been serving Chicago area brides for 10 years. We believe shopping for your bridal gown should be a wonderful experience where you don't feel pressured or hurried. Our goal is to help you choose the perfect dress and accessories to "capture your sparkle." We feature the areas largest selection of bridal gowns, and bridal belts, bridesmaid, mother's of the wedding and flower girl dresses. We also carry a wonderful selection of veils, hair accessories, and Swarovski crystal jewelry.

Photos by Jason Adrian Photography

207 W. State St. | Geneva, IL 630-397-5040 |

town & country gardens Town & Country Gardens has been providing wedding and special occasion flowers for three generations. From gorgeous bridal bouquets and stunning ceremony decor, elegant reception centerpieces to floral favors, Town & Country Gardens’ talent and creativity ranks among the best in the Chicago area. The team at Town & Country Gardens is determined to accommodate all of our clients. We have never met two brides who were the same, so we never design two weddings the same. Flowers will be custom designed to suit the season, the ambience, and the bride’s own personal style. From the edgiest trends to a simple romantic style we try to exceed all of your expectations.

Photos provided

216 W. State St. | Geneva, IL | 630-232-6685

geneva 630.232.6685 elgin 847.742.1135 chicago 312.380.0322

JASON ADRIAN P H O T O G R A P H Y 630-730-3926 | |


Save your pavers! Snow blow with

Auto e n i l y SHOW Sk Shopping If you are in the market for a new car, your local auto show can be the perfect place to start shopping. Here are a few simple tips that can narrow down which cars to take on a test drive: Things to look for in the front seat: Legroom and headroom specifications don't always add up to usable space in real life. Sit in the front seat of each car you're interested in at the show. "Get comfortable and adjust the seat and steering wheel as if you were about to put the car in gear and drive away," says executive editor Joe Wiesenfelder. It is important to check for telescoping steering, which is a steering wheel that moves forward and back until you are comfortable with it. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recommends you have at least 10 inches between yourself and the steering wheel. Make sure controls for the stereo, heating and air conditioning are easily reachable. Look over both of your shoulders to judge if there is adequate visibility to the sides and back. Things to look for in the back seat: After checking out the front seat and adjusting to your driving position, Wiesenfelder suggests heading to the back seat to see how the front seat position affects rear legroom. "Even if you are primarily the car's driver, this is a great way to see how comfortable your rear passengers will be if they aren't with you to test for themselves," he says. Evaluate how easy it is to get in and out of the rear seats of sedans, as well as judging how hard it might be to access the second and third rows in SUVs and minivans. Check out how wide the rear doors open for loading cargo. In SUVs, see if the second row slides and reclines for additional legroom and comfort. Look for an intrusive floor hump. Cars without the hump give rear passengers more side-to-side leg room and overall rear comfort," Wiesenfelder says. -More Content Now

• Snow blowing for brick paver driveways • Professional Snow Plowing • Fully licensed and insured • Family-owned and operated • Serving the Fox Valley for over 25 years Also Offering: • Storm Damage Services • Stump Removal • Tree Removals • Tree Trimming • Lot Clearing

Come taste 25 different extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars from all over the world. Unique Gift Baskets Available. 315 James St. • Geneva, IL (630) 262-0210

Store Hours Mon-Fri 10am–6pm Thursday 10am-8pm Saturday 10am-5:30pm

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Sunday 12pm-4pm

P.O. Box 3058 • St. Charles, IL 60174 • (630) 584-2221

Your Football Party Headquarters!!! WE MAKE OUR OWN • Beef Jerky Dip • Cheese & Snack Stix Trays • Football Shaped Summer Sausages • Smoked Cheese • And More! Make your Jambalaya with our award winning Andouille Sausage and you will have your own fans!

Ream’s Elburn Market Fine Quality Meats & Sausages Fresh • Aged • Cured • Smoked 128 N. Main St. • Downtown Elburn West side of Rt. 47 • 630.365.6461

Hours: Mon-Fri: 9am-6pm • Sat: 9am-4pm • Sun: 11am-4pm




GREEN, thanks to health-centered products sold locally By STEPHANIE KOHL


hese days, the choices for sustainable living have expanded to encompass everything from fruits and vegetables to housecleaning and hardwood floors. And most of the green choices are equally beneficial to planet and body, reducing the effects of common allergens while minimizing our carbon footprint. The suburbs abound with opportunities for families and households across our communities to serve their environmental and even economic concerns. For a typical American family, 14 percent of the utility bill can be attributed to cooking gas. With a Sun Oven, people can reduce cooking gas costs and, in the warmer months, reduce air conditioning costs as well. Sun Ovens enable the sun to bake, boil and steam food while enhancing the taste, benefiting the environment and helping you to be prepared for an emergency. They were developed in 1986 by Tom Burns, a retired restaurateur from Milwaukee, Wisc. “You can pay for the Sun Oven in one season in utility savings,” says President Paul Munsen.


Sun Oven, headquarters in Elburn, was founded in April, 1998. Its solar cooking products can be viewed and ordered online at Cooking time in the Sun Oven is almost the same as a regular oven, food never burns and all you need is enough sun to cast a shadow to use it. It can be used year round. Munsen says Sun Ovens bought in the United States are made in the United States, but ovens are also being made in other developing countries like Haiti, Ghana, Dominican Republic, Uganda, Ethiopia and Mauritania, helping them to embrace an affordable, sustainable energy source. “We have ovens in 130 countries around the world,” Munsen says. “Cooking with wood and charcoal in other countries creates high CO2 emissions.” By producing the Sun Oven in these developing countries, it creates jobs for those countries and reduces labor costs, therefore making the Sun Oven more affordable for people in and around those countries. Munsen says people who make an effort to

go green in their lives seek out products like the Sun Oven. “It's an important consideration for people who are very conscious about being green and having a very healthy lifestyle,” he says. Speaking of “being green” one local group is embracing ecological and environmental concerns with education and social opportunities for the hobbyist and the conservationist alike. The Batavia Woman’s Club Conservation and Garden Department promotes the study of native flora and fauna and is committed to foster the conservation of natural resources. Programs vary and the general subject is gardening, conservation or environment. The department meets six times each year and enjoys a guest speaker each time, like representatives from the Kane County Forest Preserve taking on various subjects. This year, the department even took a trip to the Morton Arboretum for a tour and speaker. They also work in the Community Garden and advocate on behalf of local ecological causes. Currently, the group is working to keep mountain bikes out of the Fabyan Forest

HOME & LIFESTYLE 100+ Lines of Furniture $ Home Accents $ Rugs $ Florals $ Home Staging $ Space Planning $ General Contracting

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St. Charles Resident and Batavia Business Owner




1952 W. Fabyan Parkway • Batavia, IL 60510 Preserve because of the bike’s damaging effects, and are working to prevent the Board of Education from taking down the Memorial Garden at Batavia High School. “We make our voices heard,” says Jean Dennis, department chairperson.

(Between Trader Joe’s & Office Depot)

New Year, New Kitchen

The department sells a variety of green products at the Batavia Farmers' Market as well as during the Batavia Green Walk. Products include reusable cloth gift bags, reusable sandwich bags and silicone collapsible bowls to take to restaurants instead of using the provided Styrofoam containers most provide. “I'm very interested in the conservation end of it,” Dennis says. “... I'd like there to be a nice world left for my grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We've got to preserve what we've got. It's going fast.”

Remodeling • Additions • Kitchens • Baths




Those interested in joining the Batavia Woman's Club and the Conservation and Garden Department, find more information at • 630.584.4400



It's that time of year again, when the cold wind blows outdoors and your home works as hard as it can to keep you warm and comfortable indoors. Now is a good time to make energy-efficient renovations.

WINTER RENOVATIONS to boost home energy efficiency, add value

More than 90 percent of the 116 million homes in the United States are expected to have higher heating expenditures this winter compared with last winter, mainly due to changes in energy prices, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Here are some tips for making your home run more efficiently this winter. uChange your furnace filter. A dirty furnace filter can restrict airflow and increase energy use in your home. Keeping your furnace clean, updated and properly adjusted can save about 5 percent on heating costs. uUpgrade to a more efficient furnace. Consider upgrading to a more efficient and reliable furnace. Reduce heat loss from windows. Ten to 25 percent of your heating bill each month can often be attributed to heat lost through your home's windows, according to Replace old windows with more energy efficient ones so your heating system doesn't have to work as hard to manage your home's desired temperature.



uCreate an energy command center. Some of the newest technologies literally put home energy control at your fingertips. For instance, with some systems, you can monitor indoor and outdoor temperatures, adjust your HVAC system for energy efficiency and learn when it's time to change a filter or schedule routine maintenance. u Choose Energy Star products. Using Energy Star-certified products, which incorporate advanced technologies that use 10 to 15 percent less energy and water than standard models, throughout your home could save nearly $900 over the lifetime of the products.

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Thank You for Voting Hazen Insurance The Best Insurance Agency for the 5th year in a row!

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HOME-SELLING TIP Considering a renovation project to improve the chances of selling your home at a higher value? Remodeling Magazine suggests homeowners renovate wisely. The average remodeling payback in the past 10 years has dropped from 82 percent in 2003 to 60.6 percent this year. Often underestimated by sellers are simple home improvements such as repainting and minor fix-ups.

Auto • Home • Business • Life • Health 1100 West Main Street, Suite B, St. Charles, IL Small enough to know you. Large enough to serve you.

DID YOU KNOW Reduce air leaks and stop drafts by using caulk, weather stripping and insulation to seal your home's envelope and add more insulation to your attic to block out heat and cold. A knowledgeable homeowner or skilled contractor can save up to 20 percent on heating and cooling costs and significantly enhance home comfort with comprehensive sealing and insulating measures, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

- More Content Now


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“…Beyond doing fabulous work...McDowell employees went above and beyond their job requirements when in our home everyday...leaving the job site immaculate, bringing in garbage cans when out, letting the dog out while we were away. I trust this company, all their employees and subcontractors too, do an outstanding job every time and YOU can too!” ..excerpt from a client letter



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Down to Earth: Healthy oils for you and the environment By ANNE MAZAR More Content Now


o you ever stand in the grocery store isle staring at the multitude of vegetable oil bottles paralyzed with indecision?

Oils can add exquisite flavor to foods, be beneficial to our health, but also can have a negative impact on the environment. We need oils in our diet to distribute fatsoluble vitamins (A, D and K); to keep our skin hydrated and supple; and for vital eye and brain development. They supply us with omega 3 (heart healthy) and omega 6 fatty acids, which our bodies are unable to produce. However, one fat humans can completely do without is trans fat or hydrogenated oil. According to the American Heart Association, trans fat can increase your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

needs to be eaten in moderation, preliminary studies have shown that it might improve blood cholesterol ratio levels and provide other health benefits, because it contains lauric acid. Using the appropriate cooking oil will help your culinary skills and your health. If oil smokes while cooking at a high heat it can lose nutritional value, give food an unpleasant taste and may form cancer-causing properties. Read labels to find oils made for high heat. Air, heat and light cause oils to oxidize and turn rancid, causing the oil to smell like crayons and taste stale. Rancid oils may promote cancer and heart disease. Therefore, store oils in airtight containers in a cool dark location.

Americans, in general, eat too much fat, so monitoring your intake is wise. Read nutritional labels on products to learn the percentage of daily dietary fat needs. Americans tend to get too much omega 6 fatty acids, found in oils such as palm, soy, canola, sunflower oils, throwing off the benefits of the omega 3.

Refined oils can be used at higher heat, but are less nutritious. Unrefined oils are more nutritious and flavorful, but can become rancid faster than refined oils, so buy in smaller quantities and more often. Unrefined oils nutritional value is diminished with heat, so they are best used fresh or in low heat cooking. Try to buy expeller pressed oils where chemicals are not used to extract the oil.

Increasing monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil, can provide a healthy balance. Although coconut oil is 90 percent saturated fat, which

For more than a decade the demand for vegetable oils has been growing at an unsustainable rate leading to massive tropical


deforestation, becoming a major contribution to global warming, according to a recent report by the nonprofit Union of Concerned Scientists. Palm and soy oils have contributed the most to deforestation. One of the USC's recommendations is for farmers to use better management practices to improve crop yields and plant on non-forested areas. The nonprofit Rainforest Action Network reports the wild orangutan populations have plummeted because of the destruction of their habitat for palm oil plantations. According to RAN's website, "Scientists warn that these gentle and intelligent animals, among humankind's closest kin, could become extinct within our lifetime if their rainforest homes continue to be destroyed for palm oil plantations." Other species threatened include the Sumatran tiger and elephant. Palm oil is found is approximately 50 percent of all the processed and packaged food we eat, especially since palm oil has been substituted for trans fat in many food items. Since palm oil is often found in processed snack foods, RAN has petitions to put pressure on the 20 major producers of snack foods to stop using palm oil tied to rainforest destruction and orangutan extinction. Since standards need to be set for deforestation-free palm oil, at this point,


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palm oil may be a good ingredient to avoid. Try eating foods closer to their natural state and not processed. It may help your waistline, your carbon footprint and the fate of the orangutan. GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are plants or animals created through the gene splicing techniques, creating an organism that would not be found nature. If you do not want to use GMO products, then you should avoid using corn, soy and canola oils, since approximately 90 percent of these crops are GMOs. If you want to use these oils, buy certified organic or verified by the Non-GMO Project. Grape seed oil is a by-product of the winemaking industry and therefore a source of oil that does not cause habitat destruction through creating new cropland and makes a valuable product from "waste." Buying organic oils will reduce the use of pesticides and herbicides from being added to the environment. Taste is a personal choice, so experiment with oils to find your favorites and ones that do not negatively affect your health or the environment. To learn more about palm oil and to see a video of an orangutan using sign language, visit http://ran. org/palm-oil.



Spread your wings: Ways to enjoy the 'empty nest'



urns out that for most people, the empty nest is not as empty as previously thought.

With advances in communication (Skyping just to say hi) and more women with fulfilling careers, the empty nest can be a place to rejoice in and reclaim. Of course, the transition to a child-free home is not a happy time for everyone, especially for single parents who suddenly find themselves on their own and for people in fragile marriages where the children held them together. WHAT TO EXPECT Research suggests that the empty-nest phenomenon has been misunderstood. For example, research at the University of California, Berkeley and the American Psychological Association showed that a majority of parents felt higher levels of marital satisfaction after children had left home.


Mary Dell Harrington, co-founder of Grown and Flown ( is an expert on the subject. She broached the topic to some of her blogger friends, who shared their personal experiences through the website An empty nest also means: Less stress: "When your kids leave home, you no longer have the worry of their day-to-day well-being, both emotional and physical, front and center in your thoughts. With them living on their own, you are naturally able to let go of this constant concern," said Sharon Greenthal, the editor in chief and co-founder of Generation Fabulous. Living life to the max: "My son is grown, educated and married. My husband, dog and I are enjoying our life to the max," said Suzie Rollins Mitchell, author of "Growing into Grace." "No more being awakened after midnight or massquantity grocery shopping. We use his room for

extra storage. Our schedule is ours. We loved raising him, but we love our life now." Better love life: "There are times when it feels like I am dating my husband again. It is a little odd not to have kids around, but we are happy to find that we still have plenty to discuss," said Harrington. "We feel like newlyweds, only older," added Rollins Mitchell. A tidy house: When the kids are gone, you can keep your house just as you like it and you won't come home to your child's laundry on the ground or dirty dishes in the sink. "I was very glad to get rid of my daughter's mess," said Connie McLeod of My Creative Journey (conniemcleod. Seizing opportunities: "We spend time now thinking of things we will be able to do together, like learning to sail or traveling during September-May, a time when previously the school calendar dictated that we stay close to home," said Harrington.


Relaxed and rested: With kids out of the house, there's no need to stay up late waiting for them to get home, said Risa Nye, who blogs at www.zerotosixtyinoneyear. "Our weekends are much more relaxed, as are dinner hour and preparation. We became a lot more spontaneous about going out for weekend coffee or mid-week dinner," Nye said. Lowering the grocery bill: "Though it took me a few months to adjust the quantities I cooked, I loved the reduced grocery store shopping and responsibilities for dinners when my son left home," Harrington said. "A football player, he was on an all-you-can-eat food plan at school, so I was happy to let campus food service do the heavy lifting in feeding him." Being spontaneous: "After a couple of days of adjustment period, we got into a new routine and not only did we find fascinating things to talk about, we discovered new interests and activities, too," said Caryn Payzant, who blogs as The Midlife Guru ( "We love how we can be spontaneous and just get up and go. That was really difficult for me when kids were still at home." Grandparenting is great: "Now we find that we love it when our kids and grandkids come to visit, but are relieved when they go as well, as we miss our one-on-one life when they bring all their commotion home. Being empty-nesters is grand," said Payzant. Relationship reflection: "Your relationship with your spouse or partner will once again be front and center, which will either result in a stronger relationship between you or the decision to end your relationship and move on. The distraction and connection that children are for parents is huge, and with the kids gone the relationship will shift dramatically as your focus becomes each other once again," said Greenthal, who blogs at Empty House, Full Mind ( On the down side, while no kids at home might mean lower food costs, "many recent empty-nesters are spending more, not less, money because their kids are in college," Harrington said. "We still pay car insurance, and our kids are on our phone plans. Within a few years, though, as kids graduate and become independent (we hope) that financial picture should improve."

Jobs may change. Retirement dreams don’t have to. If you’ve left a job and have a 401(k) or other retirement accounts, don’t forget about them. Rolling over assets you have with former employers or other institutions to an Ameriprise IRA can be important in making your retirement dreams a reality. Understanding and managing your retirement income strategies can help you put a confident retirement within reach. To start a conversation, call me at (630) 762.6556. Steve Smith Financial Advisor Associate Vice President 3 N. Second Street, Suite 200 St. Charles, IL 60174 (630) 762.6556 Toll Free: 1 (800) 942.5959

MORE WITHIN REACHSM Ameriprise Financial cannot guarantee future financial results. Brokerage, investment and financial advisory services are made available through Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA and SIPC. Some products and services may not be available in all jurisdictions or to all clients. © 2010 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Winemakers’ pains could mean gains for the average wine drinker In my profession, get to talk about wine all day long with consumers, other restaurants, other sommeliers, and wine distributors. It is a fun job, and it keeps me in the loop with all the trends in the business. Right now in the beverage world, the hot trend is craft beer, and spirits. And while the growth of these has been troublesome for some wineries, it isn’t all bad. Wine still seems to be moving – the difference is the price point. The wines being consumed are just the less expensive varieties. This does not mean these wines are not superior, just not as expensive. This is a great thing for the consumer, for several reasons. First, the wine market, as a whole, was oversaturated. It was a hot trend for a long time. Some of the heavy hitters have taken a hit to their sales, and this will open up a lot of allocations to people that have been on waiting lists for a long time at these wineries. It also likely will call a halt to the opening of new wineries not needed in today’s market. But one of the best things is the price drop in certain “household” brands like Duckhorn, Silver Oak and Belle Glos. These wineries, which produce a ton of wine, will have to move their product, and are selling cheaper to the middleman (restaurants and liquor stores). That savings is being passed on to the customer. I think this is one of the best things that could have happened to the wine culture, as it forces wineries to concentrate on making a superior product in order to stay in the game.

As I often preach, there are many great inexpensive wines. You don’t always have to get that bottle of Yellow Tail. Try a bottle of one of these Cotes du Rhone, Chianti, Bordeaux, Shiraz from Australia, or a Malbec from South Africa. There are tons of great finds under $10 that could be used as a “house wine” at your own home. Try them out!

VINCE BALISTRERI is general manager and sommelier at Niche Restaurant in Geneva. He offers his expertise in the wine industry to the Kane County community.

YOUR Community Art Center 160 S. Water Street, Batavia 117 W. Maiin Street, St. Charles  630.761.9977 Batavia Gallery  Th 10a-2p  F 12-9p  Sa 10a-2p  Su 12-4p

Winter class schedule online New classees include Sppring Breeak arrt camps, sccreen printing workshopps, 3D printinng, metal sculptture, ceramiics for couples, creative writting annd more!




flautas tofish



Traditional Mexican cuisine finds its market along the Fox By YVONNE BENSON If you weren’t fortunate enough to grow up in an area seeped in Mexican culture, your first introduction to Mexican cuisine might have been frozen burritos. But thanks to an abundance of traditional and more upscale Mexican restaurants in the area, your palate for south-of-the-border cuisine need not go underserved.

Here in Batavia, Benitez recreates that flavor on her own menu, the house special, called Casa Nova, an enchiladas ranchera dish

Rodrigo Cano from El Toda Madre in Geneva explained. “Mexican cuisine goes back thousands of years to the Aztecs. There’s chocolate and chilies, and everything else complements them,” he says, “Then we have the influence of the Spaniards, like tomatoes, and they fused it with what was in Mexico at that time. It’s evolved from there.”

“A lot of Mexicans know the flavor and they know it’s authentic,” she says. “They buy the enchiladas ranchera because they know it’s authentic. If you’re born in Mexico and you’ve had the enchiladas from the little town then you know how good it is. Here it’s the same flavor.”

To really appreciate Mexican cuisine, customers need to experience all the tastes that have influenced the country’s food styles, Cano says.

There may be many flavors on the spectrum of Mexican cuisine, but for David Jimenez from El Puente in St. Charles, it’s all about the limes.

“We want them to try lots of different dishes that show many flavor profiles. The essence of our food is the mix of flavors and all the salsas,” he says. One of the menu staples is the whole fish.

“Whether you’re in a market or a restaurant you’ll get limes to squeeze on steak, chicken, pork. They’ll be on tacos, greens, and cactus.” he says “Limes are a key component. You’ll even see that in the [United States] with putting lime in the beer.”

“We get fresh fish every day. We open it butterfly style and then we grill it. It’s very traditional,” he explains. Sauces continually baste the fish while it grills over an open flame, and the entire fish is served with handmade tortillas and cabbage salad for making tacos.

At El Puente they understand the importance of limes in their famous margaritas. Jiminez says their margaritas embody the essence of Mexico. “With the lime you capture that bite. You want a brightness to the flavor.”

“We call it zarandeado – that’s the type of technique we use to grill our fish. It’s from the pacific coast of Mexico.”

The freshest ingredients, prepared with traditional Mexican methods, grace the menus at restaurants across the Tri-Cities, like El Casa Nova in Batavia. Photos by Jason Adrian.

little towns and people eat dinner outside, and it’s very traditional. When I’m there and we go to the city for vacation, we will go to the little town just for dinner. It’s very good.”

Nearby at El Casa Nova in Batavia Leoba Benitez says whatever is prepared, the essence of Mexican food is the pepper. Benitez recalls how, at her home in Mexico some three hours from the nearest city, enchiladas were made all afternoon in preparation for dinner. “The ladies sell enchiladas with flautas and tortas,” she says. “They are outside of their houses in the

But it must be about more than just the lime, Jiminez adds. “It’s a balance. You want the tartness but you don’t want it to pucker your lips every time. Margaritas embody the blend and the tequila gives it that little kick. A good margarita will have that balance where nothing dominates the other flavors. In the end it’s just a fun drink. “It’s not a super formal drink. Have it with a little salt,” he suggests. “Mix in other flavors: the peach, the raspberry. It’s hard to make a margarita that people won’t like because it’s such a versatile drink.”



Pesce Vino Bianco


204 S. 3RD ST. | GENEVA Photo by Sandy Bressner


Tom Kha

Ahi Appetizer

Stockholm's 4 N. BATAVIA AVE. | BATAVIA

Photo by Jennifer Winder

Taco Salad

Photo by Jeff Krage


Banoffee Pie

EL CASANOVA Mexican Restaurant 1890 MILL ST. | BATAVIA

Photo by Jason Adrian Photography


Photo by Sandy Bressner



Thai Village R E S TA U R A N T 630-879-5495 4 N Batavia Ave, Batavia, IL 60510

Award Winning Voted #1 The BestThai Food in Kane County PECIAL AR’S S for NEW YE ad is th Mention

Gluten Free and Vegan Dishes Available

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Open 7 Days a Week Dine-in • Carryout • Catering • Delivery

1890 Mill St. Batavia (Located just south of Randall 15 Theaters)


Party Room available for up to


Sun-Th 11am-9pm, Fri & Sat 11am-10pm



Choose from 18 different entrees all served with rice and beans Mention this

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Mon-Wed: Free kid’s menu entree with purchase of adult entree. Not valid with any other offer.

Visit our Website for Daily Deals:

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a $40 purchase One per table, not valid with daily specials. Dine in Only. Valid 1/1/14 - 2/13/14


Family Owned & Operated

Gratto Italian Tapas TAPAS. PASTA. PIZZA & MORE

Hours: Tues & Wed 4 pm - 9 pm Thurs 11:30 am - 9 pm Fri - Sat 11:30 am - 10 pm Monday Closed

T Daily Lunch Specials Monthly Entertainment - See website for details NEW CRAF T IS L R E E B DAILY SPECIALS TUESDAY: 1/2 Price Wine Bottles *On Selected Bottles

WEDNESDAY: 1/2 Price Pizza *With purchase of a beverage

THURSDAY: $5 Martinis Night *On Select Martinis off the menu

FRIDAY: $4 Smirnoff Cocktails

SATURDAY: $5 Homemade Sangrias SUNDAY: Kids Eat FREE

*One child per adult, children’s menu only *All subject to change and all not valid with any coupons or offers. Some restrictions apply.

207 S. 3rd St. Geneva • 630-208-9988 •

It Takes A Village








A Humane Society

By Anderson Animal Shelter

Featured Sponsor: DePaw University Canine Campus

Founded in 1966, Anderson Animal Shelter has grown from a small, home-based organization to a progressive animal shelter on more than five acres in South Elgin, Illinois. The Shelter serves thousands of animals each year, over half of whom are strays or unwanted pets that are in need of shelter, food and veterinary care while they await new homes. In addition to the animals brought to us, the Shelter also services many animals through dog training programs and other activities. Anderson Animal Shelter also offers several humane education programs for youth including Kids-N-Kritters, Critter Camp, Shelter Tours, Birthday Buddy Program, Presentations and AdoptA-Classroom. These programs are designed to allow the youth to spend time with the animals, to teach children how to accept and fulfill their responsibility to companion animals, to understand the consequences of irresponsible behavior, encourage the value of all living things and more. The Shelter could not provide outstanding care for our animals without the help of dedicated volunteers. Shelter volunteers are involved in almost every aspect of the operation - providing handson care to the animals and helping to keep the kennels and cages clean, participating in events and fundraisers, supporting various administrative needs and even fostering animals in their own homes.

Voted the

Volunteer opportunities which can be extremely rewarding are available for adults and children throughout the entire year; group volunteer opportunities are also available. The Shelter’s success is in part determined by the support received from individuals, businesses, clubs, groups and organizations within surrounding communities. It truly takes a village to successfully manage and operate the Shelter and care for the animals. It takes time, money, dedication and passion daily from Shelter supporters, staff, board of directors and volunteers. Monetary and in-kind donations are always needed and welcomed. Together with the community, Anderson Animal Shelter is making a difference in the lives of animals in need. For those already involved – the Shelter would like thank you for your support! For those interested in getting involved, please contact Anderson Animal Shelter at 847-697-2880 x25, or visit our website at

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One of the Best Pet Trainer aiin ain a inerr ine and Pet Groomer!


TOURS WELCOME! ! Geneva, IL DePAW Owner Stephannie Caliendo with Cesar Millan









Supporters came out for

“Ornaments, an Evening of Classical and Contemporary Ballet,” in support of Fox Ballet Company in St. Charles. Attendees were treated to a beautiful performance by company dancers as well as guest artists Julie Benedetto and Daniel Abraham.

JANUARY EVENTS In Kane County JANUARY 3 | Parent's Night Out 6 p.m.-9 p.m. at the Stephen D. Persinger Recreation Center, at 3507 Kaneville Road in Geneva Enjoy an evening away as your children play games, make crafts, watch movies, enjoy food and more! For ages 3-12. Children must be toilet trained. Cost is $15 per child for residents and $20 for non-residents. To register or for more information, call 630-232-4542 or visit http://genevaparks. org. JANUARY 4 | Fortunate Sons 8 p.m. at the Fox Valley Repertory at Pheasant Run Resort, at 4051 E. Main Street in St. Charles Chicago's very own Fortunate Sons is coming to Fox Valley Rep for an evening full of your favorite Creedence Clearwater Revival songs! Tickets are $32. For tickets or more information, call 630-584-6342 or visit JANUARY 9 | Bounce & Rhyme 10a.m. at the Geneva Public Library, at 127 James Street in Geneva Share stories, rhymes, music and other activities with you and your child. For ages 2 and under with caregiver. No registration required. For more information, call 630-2320780 or visit JANUARY 9 - 12 | All Canada Show Thursday from 5 p.m.-9 p.m., Friday from 3 p.m.-9 p.m., Saturday from 10am-6 p.m. and Sunday from 10am-4pm. Located at Pheasant Run Resort, at 4051 E. Main Street in St. Charles. Over 200 of Canada's best fishing and hunting destinations to plan your adventure. Featuring free seminars, by Norm "The Great' McCreight". Tickets are $5. For tickets or more information, visit JANUARY 10 | An Evening of Folk Music 8 p.m. at Unitarian Church, at 102 S. 2nd Street in Geneva Cure the winter blues with an evening of folk music performed by February Sky. February Sky specializes in traditional ballads, original songs and Celtic tunes from England, Ireland and Scotland. Free admission. For more information, visit JANUARY 10 | American English: The Complete Beatles Tribute 8 p.m. at the Fox Valley Repertory at Pheasant Run Resort, at 4051 E. Main Street in St. Charles Here's your best chance to see the most beloved band in history, The Beatles, live in concert! Complete with moptops and vintage suits, this Beatles tribute band is as close as it gets to the real thing. Tickets are $42. For tickets or more information, call 630-584-6342 or visit JANUARY 10 - FEBRUARY 8 | Postmortem Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. at the Steel Beam Theatre, at 111 W. Main Street in St. Charles A Sherlock Holmes whodunnit kind of mystery! A medieval castle, shots in the dark, deathbed letters, ghosts and a séance: It all adds up to a clever thriller packed with suspects and tinged with suspense and laughter. Tickets for adults are $28, Seniors (62+) $25, Students (16 and under) $23. For tickets or more information, call 630-587-8521 or visit JANUARY 11 & 12 | ESO Scottish Fantasy Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at the Hemmens Cultural Center, at 45 Symphony Way in Elgin Take a musical tour of Scotland | creating images of rolling green hills, ancient ruins and magnificent castles. Each piece returns you to the beauty of Scotland and melodies of old. ESO's own Music Director, Andrew Grams, and violinist, Michael Ludwig, will delight the audience with Scottish Fantasy. Tickets start at $25. For tickets or more information, call 847-888-4000 or visit

JANUARY 11 - FEBRUARY 8 | The Frog Princess at the Steel Beam Theatre, at 111 W. Main Street in St. Charles Don't miss this special children's theatre production of The Frog Princess! Tickets for Adults are $15, Seniors (62+) $15, and Students (16 and under) $10. For tickets or more information, call 630-587-8521 or visit JANUARY 15 - FEBRUARY 9 | 42nd Street Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 3 p.m. & 8 p.m., and Sundays at 1 p.m. & 5:30 p.m. at The Paramount Theatre, at 23 E. Galena Boulevard in Aurora It's the classic story of Broadway. Peggy, the small town girl, leaves the sanctity of family to pursue her dreams in New York. While keeping the big city wolves at bay, she befriends the working class of the theater world | the chorus | and lands a part on the line in the newest play Pretty Lady. But Broadway is full of heroes and villains on-and-off the stage, and Peggy encounters them all on her way to eventual stardom. Rated G. Tickets start at $48.60. For tickets or for more information, call 630-896-6666 or visit http:// JANUARY 16 - MARCH 10 | Nunsense at the Fox Valley Repertory at Pheasant Run Resort, at 4051 E. Main Street in St. Charles When the five Sisters of Hoboken discover that 52 fellow nuns were accidentally poisoned by their cook, Mother Superior desperately (and hilariously) stages a variety show to raise funds for the burials. Featuring tap dancing, an audience quiz and comic surprises, this show has become an international hit! Tickets start at $32. For tickets or more information, all 630-584-6342 or visit www.foxvalleyrep. org. JANUARY 18 | Queensryche with Quiet Riot 8 p.m. at the Arcada Theatre, at 105 E. Main Street in St. Charles These two phenomenal rock/metal bands are taking the Arcada stage to melt some faces in St. Charles. Tickets start at $59. For tickets or more information, call 630-962-7000 or visit JANUARY 25 | An Acoustic Night of Triumph with Rik Emmett 8 p.m. at the Arcada Theatre, at 105 E. Main Street in St. Charles From his roots in early -'80s hard rock, Rik Emmett has developed into one of the most critically respected guitarists period, hailed for his technique across numerous genres and styles. Tickets start at $29. For tickets or more information, call 630-962-7000 or visit JANUARY 25 & 26 | Mozart for the Masses Saturday at 7:30 p.m. & Sunday at 3 p.m. at Baker Memorial Church, at 307 Cedar Ave. in St. Charles In January, the St. Charles Singers and Metropolis Chamber Orchestra will be joined by Anima, the internationally recognized, Glen Ellyn-based youth choral organization, for “Mozart for the Masses,” the eighth installment in the St. Charles Singers’ Mozart Journey series. Tickets are $40 for general adult admission, $30 for seniors 65 and older, and $10 for students. For information, call 630-513-5272. FEBRUARY 1 | The Musical Box: Selling England by the Pound 8 p.m. at the Arcada Theatre, at 105 E. Main Street in St. Charles A tribute to the classic Genesis album. This is one amazing performance you do not want to miss! Tickets start at $39. For tickets or more information, call 630-962-7000 or visit


The Heart of Kane County is in the

Giving A non-profit feature

Finding Homes for Endangered & Lost Pets Our Mission Statement H.E.L.P. is an all volunteer based, not for profit organization in the Fox Valley area. H.E.L.P. strives to provide medical care and a safe, happy, and comfortable living environment for as many cats and dogs possible while maintaining a high standard of care for these animals and making a best effort to ensure these animals are adopted into quality adoptive homes. H.E.L.P. is committed to educating the community on improving the lives of pets, and reducing the stray and abandoned domestic animal population as well as to promote spay/neuter programs. H.E.L.P. rescues and obtains veterinary care, food and shelter for stray or abandoned cats and dogs until they are adopted into loving homes. H.E.L.P. does not have a facility.The animals live in our volunteers’ homes. We feel that foster care benefits the animal and the potential adopter, as it allows us to work on health or behavioral issues while providing a safe, healthy, happy environment until a cat or dog is ready to be adopted. In addition, fostering enables us to get to know an animal so we can better match the cat or dog to

their forever home. In addition, we have a limited number of cats at the adoption center at PetSmart on Randall Road in Geneva, IL. This extra exposure helps us find homes for more cats. Pets in need our brought to us by Shelters we work with in Southern IL, and all over the south, local rescues, and people in the community. Each animal is thoroughly examined by a veterinarian, vaccinated, dewormed, and receives any required blood tests, and is eventually spayed or neutered. They are then taken in by a foster home for socialization, evaluation and love H.E.L.P. takes in animals from “high-kill” Shelters and gives them a chance they would otherwise not have. We take in many animals that other organizations would not otherwise help. We do not have time limits on the animals in our care and we do not euthanize animals with health or common behavioral issues or non-terminal illness. However, we will not prolong the suffering of an animal with a personality that would make living in a home with people a miserable experience. Furthermore, we do not keep animals in foster care whose

temperament poses a danger to people or other animals. We are a 501(c)3 charity that relies entirely on donations and volunteers from the community as well as fundraisers to support the organization. We receive no money from federal, state, or local government. We have an amazing group of volunteers, working for our animals every single day, from checking all the shelters, to providing transport, to getting supplies, to organizing, to foster coordination, to fund raisers, to delivery of animals and supplies….you get the idea. It takes way more time than anyone would think to provide the great care we provide to our animals. If you feel the desire to help the animals in our organization, you can get more information online and fill out forms for questions, volunteering, becoming a foster family, giving financially to our animals, or sponsoring a specific animal in need. Please go to for more information or to volunteer! Or call us today at 1-877-364-2286

Sponsored by Woofbeach 1840 S. Mill St. | Batavia, IL | | 630-326-9277

Owner’s Passion for Animals Shows in His Business Eric has always Er loved animals. His lo first memories fi were attempting we to run a pet store in his parent's ba backyard, where he was raising va various small an animals. He lived in the country where friends wh were not close by, and it's safe to say his best friend was a 90 lb. white German shepherd dog named Whitey. Once he got his driver's license and was able to work, his first jobs were at Petco and Petland. There he helped instruct families on what toys to buy, bones, and types of foods were the best for their dogs. He ended up working for a pet store most of high school, and at the same time volunteering at an animal rehabilitation center. The center gave him a lot of experience working with wild dogs. Late in high school he started working with a trainer down the road from him. There he helped people train and problem solve with their family dogs. He also had the privilege of training working dogs for police departments and dogs forr va vari various riou ous do dog sp spor sports orts or ts ssuch uch uc h as Schutzhund, French Ring, and PSA. As he started college with the intentions of being a psychology major, he was continuing his direction in the dog world. Every time he sat down in class the only thing he could think of, was how the curriculum pertained to dog training. He then decided to go to a trade school by the name of Triple Crown Dog Academy where he graduated top in the class and immediately was offered a behaviorist position out of NJ. Working in New Jersey was his over the hill moment. This was where he went from a novice to an experienced trainer. His position required him to handle over 20 dogs per month, and this went on for the next three years. While in NJ he also became a helper/trainer for a local Schutzhund club, while also training his personal dogs for the sport. When the time was right he bought his property in IL and formed the company K9 Essentials. This company is now 6 years old and employs two additional trainers, trained by Eric, and has helped over 1,000 dogs from all over the state. He now, with his wife Christina, opened Woofbeach. New in 2012, through Woofbeach, Eric will be bringing his knowledge to families all over the Chicagoland area. He believes the separation between him and others is that training dogs is not only a livelihood or a hobby, it is a passion

he has had since day one. His entire life so far has been spent on making himself better in order to teach and pass the knowledge onto others. Experience, patience, and skill all play a big role in the success of a trainer. A trainer however with a passion and a life of dedication will inspire you to be a better owner to your dog. My unique training methods are well balanced and designed to introduce not only a better communication, but also to give your dog more confidence to take with them in life. The most important thing I teach is consistency. Instructing everyone in the family is key, so there are no inconsistencies in the home. This eliminates confusion with your dog and helps the entire family understand not only what to do, but why they are doing it. Anyone can read a book , but not always is it that easy to transfer information to your dog. My teaching is easy to understand and 100% successful. I take in all sorts of behavioral issues. I can help you to eliminate: Excessive barking, jumping, housebreaking problems, pulling or dragging, play biting, possession, and I specialize in aggression. I have programs set up for local dogs as well as out of state dogs. All of my results are guaranteed for the life of the dog, and include an unlimited amount of follow up lessons. All of our programs take about the same amount of time to finish. It takes a dog on an average one month per program. We offer your basic on-leash obedience and also offer the more advanced off-leash obedience. Additional programs are available as well including: tracking, search and rescue, protection, narcotics, service dog training, french ring training, and Schutzhund fr training. tr All Al additional programs are subject to the th evaluation of the dog. My training will open your eyes to a dog that th you never thought you would own. It will help to eliminate the situations with wi your dog that stress you out. It will help he bond your family with your dog even more, and will teach you how to handle situations in your dogs life instead of avoiding them.

WOOF BEACH 1840 S Mill St Batavia • 630.326.9277




For most of my time, I'm part of a research lab developing next generation tools for data and science exploration. Socially, I'm a portrait photographer and owner of Lance's Studio Photography. I enjoy visual expression, and I'm excited when one of my photographs has a

Friday, January 10 • 7:30pm

Schaumburg Prairie Center for the Arts

Saturday, January 11 • 7:30pm Sunday, January 12 • 2:30pm

lot to say, reaching an audience outside of its

Hemmens Cultural Center, Elgin

genre. I'm drawn toward photographing dance, a


challenging art of motion. I'm always looking for a new way to photograph the beauty and forms of dance. These photographs are a collaborative

Bruch Mendelssohn

Musically Speaking Pre-concert Discussions begin one hour before the concert start time. Take a musical tour of Scotland – creating images of rolling green hills, ancient ruins and magnificent castles. Each piece returns you to the beauty of Scotland and melodies of old.

Land of the Mountain and the Flood Overture Scottish Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra Symphony No. 3 in A minor “Scottish”

Andrew Grams, ESO Music Director

Michael Ludwig, Violin

effort with the dancers and my wife, an asset I rely on both for posing and editing.

Friday, February 7, 2014, 7:30pm • Batavia Fine Arts Centre Saturday, February 8, 2014, 7:30pm • Hemmens Cultural Center Sunday, February 9, 2014, 2:30pm • Hemmens Cultural Center Tania Miller, Conductor Brandon Ridenour, Trumpet

Journey through Italy as Brandon Ridenour, a former trumpeter with the Canadian Brass, performs “Agitata da due venti” from La Griselda, and a world premiere of Fantasy Variations composed by the trumpeter himself. Strauss’ Aus Italien will continue your journey through the beauty of Italy, leaving you with images of the vibrant culture and countryside. REFLECTION OF FORM To submit an entry to Artist Showcase, email artwork, title of piece, name and village of residence of artist, a two- to three - sentence description of the piece, short bio and artist photo to, subject head “Local Artist Submission.”


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