Page 1


The CASE for quality pet care




Homeowners tap into renewable energy PAGE 8

Conservation for kids PAGE 22

11 easy ways to be 'green' PAGE 10

Benefits of bicycles PAGE 18

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Suicide can be prevented. Downloading the MCHELP App may the ďŹ rst step. Get access to licensed professional crisis counselors 24/7 via text or talk.



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Empowering Minds


Access QPR Suicide Prevention Training. Connect with Mental Health Resources and Social Services. Free and easy to download on Google or iTunes.

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Empowering Minds McHenry County Mental Health Board Transforming Lives


Editor's Note The truth of the matter is, it’s not easy being “Green.” I’ll admit it. Don’t get me wrong. There ARE easy ways in which you can incorporate green living into your lifestyle, but to be a devout environmentalist and make eco-conscious decisions ALL OF THE TIME is something that very few people can claim. But that’s the beauty of this issue. To give a hoot about the planet, we’re not asking readers to take drastic measures, significantly alter their lifestyles or subscribe to a rigid set of rules. No. Because we know that most of us are tasked every day with having to make hundreds of decisions for the betterment of ourselves and our families, all while serving as a cog in the societal wheel and trying to find some semblance of happiness in the midst of it all. That’s hard enough. And it doesn’t even include the complex sustainability pressures our planet is currently facing. Plus, being fully committed to caring about the environment also involves being extremely well-read and researched on the products we use and the behaviors we adopt. Because many of the eco-friendly actions that we choose, have a dual outcome – containing both positive and negative effects on the environment – and, often, you will have to take into account the whole system – the entire process from creation to production – to really know the MOST environmentallyfriendly option out there.

To simplify the process, many businesses in McHenry County have already done the leg work by incorporating eco-conscious, sustainable and socially-responsible principles into their business models, from restaurants and coffee shops to salons and retailers, making the decision on where to go and what to buy easier as a consumer. The county is littered with local resources on the topic, as well – the Sustainability Center at McHenry County College, Land Conservancy of McHenry County, McHenry County Conservation District, Environmental Defenders of McHenry County and Green Drinks McHenry County. Organizations like these help you get involved through local wilderness conservation efforts and events or teach you how to be “greener” in your daily life (see page 10).

Published by Shaw Media 7717 S. Route 31, Crystal Lake, IL 60014 Phone: 815-459-4040 Fax: 815-477-4960

GENERAL MANAGER Jim Ringness 815-526-4614

Or attend a meeting with Green Drinks – an environmental networking group – at 5 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month at Duke’s Alehouse and Kitchen in Crystal Lake.

EDITOR Kara Silva 630-427-6209

I hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as I enjoyed putting it together!

DESIGNER Alllison LaPorta 630-427-6260

Thanks for reading.

CORRESPONDENTS Melissa Riske, Kelsey O’Connor, Jonathan Bilyk, Kevin Druley, Allison Horne, Sue Dobbe

Kara Silva, Editor

PHOTOGRAPHERS Ron McKinney, Nancy Merkling, From Me 2 You Photography

on the


Family-friendly conservation options exist all across McHenry County. Through events and fundraisers hosted by local environmental protection organizations, you need not look very far to find multiple opportunities to give back to Mother Earth, read more on Page 22.

McHenry 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 McHenry County Magazine, 7717 S. Route 31, Crystal Lake, IL 60014 or via email at subscriptions@


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COMPLETE CARE FOR WEEKEND WARRIORS With two convenient locations, Centegra Physician Care-McHenry County Orthopedics provides the latest advances in orthopedic care for athletes of all ages. Whether it’s a sprain, broken bone or aching joint, you receive personalized treatment from our fellowship-trained physicians. Get the support you need to get back in the game. Same-day appointments available in Crystal Lake and Huntley. Walk-in appointments available in Crystal Lake. Ask about MDsave pricing options for our imaging services.

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Family-friendly impactful events, activities to give back to Mother Earth



Environmental experts share 11 ways to be ‘green’

Through love of teaching and theater, Regina Belt-Daniels improves the lives of those around her

12 FEEDING THE NEED Food Shed Co-op aims to open county’s own community-owned grocery store

DINING 14 DUKE’S ALEHOUSE Locally sourced ingredients, eco-friendly attitude sprouts loyal following

16 JOURNEY FROM BEAN TO BARISTA Conscious Cup Coffee Roasters owner Mike Shipley travels world in search of sustainable suppliers


28 ‘GREEN’ IS JUST GOOD BUSINESS Caring for the environment gives local business-owners competitive edge

TRAVEL 30 PARK POSTERITY Five easy ways to adopt a cleaner, greener approach to visiting U.S. national parks



That time a passport was stolen

1776 Restaurant incorporating Farm-to-Table fine dining for 28 years




18 CHANGING GEARS Cycle toward a more sustainable future by using bicycles for transportation as well as recreation

19 HOW TO SAVE A LIFE Free suicide prevention training focuses on ‘Question, Persuade, and Refer’

FAMILY IN FOCUS 21 SUBURBAN SUPERDAD Toddling our way through public transportation



Solar-powered homes open doors to public during self-drive tour in September

Take a fun-filled summer vacation on America’s favorite road trip

36 CREATURE COMFORTS The CASE for quality pet care

39 HORSE OF A DIFFERENT COLOR Veterinary medicine explores the world of thermography to aid in diagnoses

41 GOING TO THE DOGS Dog-friendly places and open spaces

OUT & ABOUT 42 CALENDAR See what’s happening in McHenry County this month!

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homeowners to open doors to public during Illinois Solar Tour in September By KELSEY O’CONNOR

As solar power has grown in popularity, so has the Illinois Solar Tour. The annual event, which began more than a decade ago, showcases homes and businesses across the state that use solar energy systems. This year’s tour will take place Saturday, Sept. 22. “We are inspired every year by how excited Illinois solar owners are to share their experiences with their neighbors,” says Nicola Brown, program associate at the Illinois Solar Energy Association – the organization that plans the event. The Illinois Solar Tour is one of the largest branches of the national event led by the American Solar Energy Society. This year will feature more than 100 sites, including five in McHenry County. Visitors of the free, self-guided tour can learn about different types of solar power systems and speak with the owners about their experiences. The event continues to grow each year, both in the number of sites and visitors. This year, about 40 percent of the tour sites will be first-time participants. The sites drew more than 1,000 visitors

last year, a number they hope to surpass this year. “The number of visitors has been growing as people become more interested in solar as a viable energy source and want to learn how they can also take advantage of it,” says Brown. “As solar energy has become more mainstream and cost effective, we’ve seen a lot of growing interest.” One of the reasons homeowners are embracing solar energy is because of the benefits it can have for their bottom line. Homeowners in McHenry County and across Illinois have been taking advantage of state and federal incentive programs that reward those who use solar power in their homes and businesses. These programs mean that homeowners are likely to see a return on their investment sooner. For instance, the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit allows homeowners to deduct 30 percent of the cost of installing a solar energy system from their federal taxes. And, in Illinois, homeowners can receive credits based on the how much solar energy they produce.

“The number of visitors has been growing as people become more interested in solar as a viable energy source and want to learn how they can also take advantage of it. As solar energy has become more mainstream and cost effective, we’ve seen a lot of growing interest.” – Nicola Brown, program associate at the Illinois Solar Energy Association



If the kids are going back to school, Solar farm coming to Lake in the Hills

could it be time for YOU to go back to work?

A new solar project will bring greener and cheaper energy to the Lake in the Hills community. Construction on a new solar farm is expected to begin this fall at the municipal airport. The project would generate 2.5 megawatts of energy, which can be used by households and businesses throughout Lake in the Hills. “It does produce energy, which is sold to the community at a lower price than regular power,” says George Hahne, economic development director with Lake in the Hills. “We can offer power to people within the village at a reduced price.”

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The project will be built on about 12 acres of land near the airport in northern Lake in the Hills. The area is the site of a former limestone mine and is currently underutilized, says Hahne. The farm will be the first solar project of it’s kind for the community. “It’s a great energy source,” says Hahne. “It doesn’t pollute, it’s dependable. And just having it helps make the public much more aware of the advantages of solar power.” Cenergy Power, a California company that has built more than 300 solar projects in the last decade, will be building the solar farm. The concept was approved by the village late last year and is now pending approval from federal and state bodies. Cenergy will handle the costs of the project, then sell the power to the community through ComEd. “They build it, they maintain it, they secure it, we just sit back and enjoy the fruits of the labor,” says Hahne. “That’s the goal, that everybody wins.”

“A vast majority of my clients looking to do solar energy have some level of environmental consciousness,” says Paul LaBarbera, owner of Magitek Energy Solutions Inc., a leading installer of solar arrays in McHenry County. “But the math has to work. [Clients] have to know when they’re going to see their money back.” Without these programs, it would typically take a homeowner a decade or more to recoup their investment in a solar array. Today, eco-conscious homeowners can break even in as early as four years. Solar power also is an effective way to cut back on utilities. The average household spends more than $1,430 on electricity each year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. With solar energy, homeowners can eliminate up to 100 percent of their electric bill and avoid the uncertainty of volatile electric rates. For more information about the Illinois Solar Tour, visit For more information about Magitek Energy Solutions Inc., visit www.

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Living the “green” life is easier than you think! Small choices and changes can have a big impact, so we asked some McHenry County environmental experts to share their favorite earth-friendly ideas.


Director of the Sustainability Center at McHenry County College


“When you’re microwaving, use a plate to cover up food instead of plastic wrap. Use reusable containers as much as possible, and for food storage, glass is better. Lots of us receive food gifts in Mason jars. Don’t get rid of them, find ways to reuse them.”

Community engagement specialist, Land Conservancy of McHenry County

Consider all your transportation options.

Shop smart for back-to-school.

“School and office supplies made from recycled content really aren’t more expensive. We need to support the industries that make new things from the stuff we put by the curb.”

3 Eat your veggies. “Cutting back on meat consumption is a way to reduce your] carbon footprint. It doesn’t mean going vegan or giving up meat entirely, but figuring out for yourself what you can do differently.”


Plant native trees and shrubs.

“It can be very small in just a few places, or as many as you want. They’re beautiful; they support native pollinators, such as bees, hummingbirds and butterflies. It creates an entire food-web right outside your front door.”


Capture rainwater.

“Use a rain barrel, or if that’s not practical, direct rainwater away from impervious surfaces where it picks up oil and sediment and carries it into the storm-water system. When you route it into planted areas, the roots act like a sponge and soak it into the soil.”


Executive director, Environmental Defenders of McHenry County


Community relations specialist, McHenry County Conservation District


Reduce waste.

“It’s not how much you recycle, but how much you don’t have to recycle. Buy products that have minimal packaging, and use up what you buy. Avoid single use plastics by requesting reusable mugs rather than paper cups when available, bringing a reusable straw or tableware.”

4 Don’t need it? Don’t take it. “When going through a fast-food drive-thru, don’t take the napkins and plastic utensils if you’re taking the food home. And, when you’re at a restaurant, don’t use the plastic straws.”


Curb kitchen waste.


“When you can, walk, bike, share rides with friends or take public transportation. Options are out there, so be aware of them.”




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Be an advocate.

“Call your representatives to express your point of view. Say ‘yes’ to alternative energy, to bike paths and walkable communities.”

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Executive administrative assistant, McHenry County Conservation District


Use natural power.

“We like to use solar chargers for our phones, laptops and our personal electronics. Whenever possible we dry our laundry outside.”


Bring your own.

“I always bring cloth bags along when I shop, and keep glass straws in the car. When we go out to eat, we bring our own containers to bring food home.”

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Food Shed Co-op aims to take back food system with community-owned grocery store in McHenry County By ELIZABETH HARMON


farmers and championing environmentally responsible hopping year-round for locally produced and practices, Lanigan says. ethically sourced food may soon become a little easier thanks to a new grocery option coming to Though similar to a farmer’s market, the Food Shed McHenry County. Co-op is intended to supplement existing farmers markets, rather than compete with them. The Food Shed Co-op, slated to open between Crystal Lake and Woodstock, will be a full-service The co-op has been in development since 2013, when grocery store supplied primarily by local and regional a conversation with friends about the food co-op farmers and food artisans. The store will be open to movement piqued the curiosity of McHenry County the public, but will be owned by local shareholders residents Scott and Kim Brix. who will determine “[The Brixes] wondered if this what goes on the was something people here shelves. “We plan to build a full-service would like to see, with more “We incorporated in local food offerings than a 2014 and have been grocery store that will cost conventional grocery store. gaining members further discussion, they ever since. We just upwards of several million After realized there was a lot of hit 615 members,” says Barbara dollars to build, equip and staff.” interest,” Lanigan says. The founding committee Lanigan, a Food Shed – Barbara Lanigan, Food Shed shareholder and the copartnered with Food Co-op shareholder, and the op’s community relations and marketing manager Initiative, a Minnesota-based co-op’s community nonprofit that has launched relations and 10 co-ops and is working marketing manager. with more than 100 start-ups. A major turning point Most members are from McHenry County, but there came in 2016, when the group won a $10,000 seed has been interest from surrounding communities, as grant from FCI to conduct a market study, which well, she adds. determined that the best location for the co-op is around Northwest Highway between Crystal Lake and Food co-ops fill niches not served by conventional Woodstock. supermarkets, including urban food deserts or rural towns miles from the nearest grocery store. Co-ops Currently, the Food Shed is working on finding the right in suburban areas, such as McHenry County, often location for its needs and budget. specialize in local or organic products. “We plan to build a full-service grocery store that will The Food Shed Co-op’s goals include cultivating and cost upwards of several million dollars to build, equip strengthening the local economy, supporting local and staff,” Lanigan says.

While everyone involved with the Food Shed is eager to move forward, Lanigan says their careful, methodical approach follows the examples of other successful co-ops, including two in Lombard and Chicago. Co-ops typically have about 1,000 shareholders when they open, and there is no cap on the number of people who can join. Ownership costs between $200 for two shares to $1000 for ten, and shares can be purchased on the Food Co-op website. Even without a brick-and-mortar location, the shareholders remain an active, vibrant group, Lanigan says. Recent activities have included a Goat Yoga event at one owner’s farm, a paint-and-sip class, cooking classes and more. “There’s a three-year to 10-year timeline, though we don’t want to be a 10 year. We’re hopeful that we’ll have our negotiations finished, and be able to announce [a] location soon,” she says. For more information about the Food Shed Co-op, visit

THE FOOD SHED CO-OP Mission: To build a local food cooperative promoting a healthy, ethical and resilient community. Core Values: Promote and foster better food choices, cultivate and strengthen local economy Inspire and empower community, champion environmentally responsible practices 12 | AUGUST 2018 | MCHENRY COUNTY MAGAZINE


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Duke’s Alehouse

d e c i r n u g o r s e d y l i l e nts , a c o L eco-friendly attitude sprouts loyal following

By KEVIN DRULEY The menu at Duke’s Alehouse and Kitchen, 110 N. Main St., Crystal Lake, covers all of the bases while also branching out – much like the restaurant itself. Where applicable, Duke’s lists the local farm whose ingredients help comprise a given dish, and it also denotes if a selection is vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free. Some ingredients travel shorter distances than others, as the restaurant grows some of its own produce in an adjacent garden. A three-star certified member of the Green Restaurant Association since 2012, Duke’s takes environmentally-friendly issues and endeavors seriously. No wonder many of its patrons are equally conscious about reducing their carbon footprint. “I think people feel good about coming to eat here,” says Zak Dolezal, Duke’s Alehouse owner, general manager and chef. “I think they’re doing something positive by going out to eat – by supporting us, and supporting our local economy, and supporting the environment – as well as having a delicious meal and delicious beer. I think it’s extremely marketable, and I think we’re doing it for the right reasons.” Dolezal embraced local sourcing from the time Duke’s opened in 2008, which – in turn – helped sprout a loyal following. Visitors with dietary restrictions or food allergies knew that they could come to Duke’s to enjoy healthy ingredients. Once they became more acquainted with Dolezal and the staff, the same people began asking what the restaurant was doing to become “greener.” Through the years, the answers have included installing LED lighting in 90 percent of the restaurant, providing a green laundry service for linens and implementing advanced composting and recycling measures. “We do things like low-flow faucets and toilets to reduce water usage,” Dolezal says. “Our sprayers for all of our dishwashing equipment are low-flow. We use clean chemicals that have little to no negative impact on the environment. … They’re just free of toxic chemicals.” Duke’s also recently joined the Shedd Aquarium’s “Shedd the Straw” initiative to limit the use of plastic straws, which are bad for the marine environment. Although Dolezal acknowledges a resistance from a few customers, he counters with elementary reasoning. “We feel that we’re doing it for the right reasons, and we don’t really feel that a straw is necessary for most of the drinks that we’re serving,” he says. “You definitely don’t need them in beer, being an alehouse, you know.”



Kitchen Outfitters ...has a large variety of lunch boxes and lunch box items. Come on in and beat the back to school rush.

We also have unique items to pack sandwiches, salads and snacks so you can easily have healthy lunches on the go.

Serve and protect Duke’s a watering hole for environmental networking group Green Drinks McHenry County A branch of the environmental networking group Green Drinks International, Green Drinks McHenry County meets from 5 to 7 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month at Duke’s Alehouse and Kitchen in Crystal Lake.

PackIt Lunch boxes have gel in the walls and collapse to fit nicely in your freezer. The boxes keep lunches cold all day with no need to insert ice packs.

Attendees gather to hear and interact with presentations while enjoying food and beverages. “We fill the room, month after month after month. … It’s always standing room only at the event,” says Nancy Scheitzel, part of the group’s seven-member planning committee. Zak Dolezal, Duke’s chef, general manager and owner, calls Green Drinks McHenry County “one of our longest-lasting, bestattended events.” The complimentary hors d’oeuvres the chef or other staff members of the restaurant serve are but a perk for the 50 to 75 people who attend each month. To be sure, intellectual sustenance is the primary draw. Past topics have included electric cars, pollinators and “green” restaurants. Scheitzel says that the September presentation will provide an update on the Illinois Clean Air Act. “We’re just very grateful to all of these people – that they are interested enough in learning how to protect our environment, improve our environment and our county. That they are willing to attend these events,” Scheitzel says. “Even after they’ve had a hard day of work, you know. This is [in the] middle of the week after the workday, and we just appreciate the fact that they’re willing to come out and share information with each other and then learn from the presenters each time.”

64B N Williams St Downtown Crystal Lake





beanbarista from


Conscious Cup Coffee Roasters owner Mike Shipley travels world in search of sustainable suppliers By KELSEY O’CONNOR


here does your coffee come from? For many consumers, the answer is probably “the grocery store.” But the origin of your coffee beans can have a significant impact on their taste – and the environment. The folks behind Conscious Cup Coffee Roasters aim to shed light on that relationship. “This is something you drink everyday and a lot of people don’t think twice about it,” says Mike Shipley, owner of Conscious Cup. “We want to connect consumers to the everyday products that they’re buying. Coffee is this perfect opportunity to connect the dots.” The local coffee shop has been roasting and serving sustainable coffee since 2006. Working closely with importing partners, Shipley and his partner source their beans directly from fair-trade farms from around the globe. One of the key factors they consider is whether a farm is ecofriendly. “We want our coffee to taste good for our customers and to be produced in an environmentally sustainable way,” says Shipley. “When coffee is


grown within a natural ecosystem, it improves the quality and flavor of the coffee.” Besides taste, the method of growing has a major impact on the surrounding environment. Some of the most serious consequences of mass coffee production include pollution, deforestation, and even animal extinction due to habitat destruction. Now, small coffee trends are trying to reverse the damage. “You’re starting to see movement toward truly sustainable growing,” says Shipley. “You’re not seeing the all-out rainforest cutting at these farms, they’re growing within a healthy, vibrant ecosystem.” Shipley seeks out coffee producers that use these sustainable methods. One of these producers is an organic, women-owned co-op in Uganda. Conscious Cup were the first North American roasters to import their beans. Shipley has been more impressed with the output each year, and the product has been named one of the best coffees reviewed last year by Coffee Review. “It’s a great example of a group of growers who have increased their quality year after year and grow within a natural ecosystem with environmental stewardship,” says Shipley. Conscious Cup also sources from farms in Ethiopia, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Papua New Guinea and more. Shipley works closely with importing partners and takes trips around the globe to seek out the best sustainable suppliers. Once they’ve selected the farms, all their beans are roasted in small batches to enhance the natural flavor of the beans and highlight the DINING

nuances of the region where it the beans were grown. “There’s this whole world of coffee farms that are growing phenomenal coffees, and we wanted to bring that to Crystal Lake,” says Shipley. Conscious Cup sells its roasted beans in store and online. All the packaging is sustainably made and compostable. Visitors to the shop also can choose from a variety of specialty drinks, including craft lattes, cold brew and loose-leaf teas. There also is breakfast sandwiches and pastries to pair with beverages.

If you go

Conscious Cup Coffee Roasters 5005 Northwest Hwy., Suite 10, Crystal Lake 815-356-0115 Plus: Conscious Cup coffees also are available at Cook Street Coffee, 100 E. Station St. in Barrington.



hile farm-to-table is today’s hottest dining trend, 1776 Restaurant has been serving locally-sourced and organically-grown food for the past 28 years. Since it opened in 1990, 1776 Restaurant in Crystal Lake has served distinctive American cuisine. Its innovative dishes and outstanding service have made the restaurant one of McHenry County’s premier dining destinations. The fine dining restaurant has received local and national recognition, including consecutive ratings by Zagat since 1997, Wine Spectator’s National award, since 1995, and a certificate of excellence by TripAdvisor in 2018. Whether it’s fresh seasonal vegetables, high-quality grass-fed meats, free-range poultry, wild game, sustainable seafood or innovative appetizers and charcuterie boards, the menu offers something to suit every diner’s taste – including those with ingredient sensitivities or dietary restrictions. One such diner was Rhienna Trevino. A long-time patron of the restaurant, she appreciates it even more after being diagnosed with celiac disease back in 2006. “It was one of the few places I could go since

they had gluten-free items,” says Trevino, who purchased the restaurant at the end of 2016 from the original owners, Andy and Terrie Andresky. “Everyone deserves good food, and it’s important to me to bring that to others.” Under Trevino’s direction, the restaurant underwent a renovation in May 2017, which brought a fresh, updated look to the inside and out. “We have been at this location since 1990 – our home is in Crystal Lake – and we are honored to have the support of the community,” she says.

always come together over food,” she says. She believes that the secret to the restaurant’s success stems from the quality of the food and the passion of the people involved – from the local farmers and vendors to the restaurant’s kitchen, bar and dining room staff. “Whether you’re inside the restaurant with friends and family or out on the town enjoying all that our community offers, we want to be there to help take your dining experience to the next level,” she says.

Building improvements continue, and future renovations include a private wine-tasting room, a rooftop garden, and beehives, plus an additional parking lot. Working with the restaurant’s longtime head chef Santiago Suarez, Wine and Spirits Director Erik Nordstrom and the house staff, Trevino sought to build upon the fine dining legacy started by the Andresky family. The menu includes new offerings, but maintains established favorites, allergy-friendly selections, and it also offers carryout and catering. “We offer unique industry knowledge, the best in farm-to-table options and impeccable customer service,” she says. “We are redefining what fine dining is.”


Trevino also is committed to bringing people together through expanded community partnerships.

Monday: 4:30 to 10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday: 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday: 4:30 to 11:30 p.m. • Sunday: Closed

“No matter where you go in the world, people DINING

397 W. Virginia St. (Rt. 14), Crystal Lake 815-356-1776 •



GEARS Cycle toward a more sustainable future by using bicycles for transportation as well as recreation By JONATHAN BILYK

arrie Ozyuk wishes everyone else could ride their bikes to work – and almost everywhere else – just as she does. But Ozyuk also doesn’t harbor illusions that most people in mostly-sprawling McHenry County will trade in their car keys for a bicycle anytime soon.


This is particularly true for relatively short trips, such as those made around the corner or across town.

As the co-owner of Lucky Brake Bikes in Crystal Lake – who, for years, has lived in downtown Crystal Lake within riding distance of the shop – Ozyuk has enjoyed a luxury many of her neighbors cannot: the ability to easily bicycle to work each day.

“Take a moment and maybe think about why you’re going somewhere,” says Mrachek. “Are you getting a gallon of milk or a few small things? Pre-plan a bit, and think about how you’re using the bike.”

“Around here, it’s definitely still a challenge to use a bike instead of a car for these kinds of everyday-living trips,” says Ozyuk. “I’m an avid rider and definitely an advocate for more bikes everywhere, but it’s not easy in this area, especially with respect to time.” But that doesn’t mean McHenry County residents should deflate those cycling dreams just yet. Local residents seeking to not only improve their own personal health, but – perhaps – the health of the planet, she says, should simply be more intentional. “It doesn’t have to be a major daunting task,” says Ozyuk. “Make it fun. Find ways to do it in smaller doses, and fit the bicycling into what you’re already doing.” According to a host of medical and scientific studies in the U.S. and around the world, the benefits of regular cycling are immense, improving cardiovascular health, reducing stress, aiding weight loss and even improving memory and sexual stamina by boosting overall physical fitness. The benefits of cycling also extend to the environment. While transportation planners typically view every mile cycled as a mile not driven, that calculation doesn’t take into consideration the far smaller carbon and pollution footprint of bicycles, in general, when compared with automobiles. Not only do bicycles emit nothing into the atmosphere beyond the carbon dioxide exhaled by the rider, but they also consume far fewer resources to manufacture and maintain.

And that, Ozyuk and McHenry-based Epic Cycle and Fitness owner Mike Mrachek agree, is where cycling can fit into the lifestyles of nearly anyone living in the communities of McHenry County.

Mrachek notes that trail systems in and around McHenry County are improving and expanding each year – in all directions – making bike travel easier, particularly for novice or infrequent cyclists, who may be intimidated at the thought of sharing a roadway with cars and perhaps even larger vehicles. But both shop owners recommend that beginner cyclists take the time to consult maps and explore their communities in order to learn the best possible routes to cycle through their towns. It’s more fun to find new ways of traveling to often visited destinations, such as the grocery store or gym. “Trails can maybe be safer, but roads will always be your fastest route,” says Ozyuk. By sacrificing an additional 10 to 15 minutes of commute time (depending on the distance of the destination), you will save money on fuel, won’t put unnecessary wear-andtear on your car and will get some fresh air and exercise.

>> A reflective, bright helmet >> Water bottles and the “cages” which mount to the frame of the bike, to hold the bottles. >> Basic emergency maintenance items, including a spare inner tube, small portable pump and tire levers >> Knowledge of bicycle maintenance. They advised most bike shops would be happy to teach proper procedures to keep a bike rolling. >> Bicycle rack and bag systems, or even a small trailer for transporting slightly larger loads. “It will get the weight off your back, and off your handlebars and frame,” says Ozyuk. “You’ll be amazed at how much more comfortable it is. Just make sure you don’t over-pack.” >> Rain gear and insulated cold weather gear, to boost the ability to ride in varied weather conditions >> LED lights to mount to the frame and improve vision and visibility if riding during the evening or early morning >> Bicycle map apps and a handlebar-mounted smartphone holder

To reduce the intimidation of road riding, Ozyuk recommends cyclists consider taking advantage of educational resources, such as online and in-person classes offered by the League of American Bicyclists, which teach proper riding techniques, road rules and safety procedures for cyclists of all levels and skill.

But beyond the gear, Ozyuk says that, perhaps, the most important thing would-be lifestyle cyclists can do is change their perception of a bicycle by seeing the bike as a vital means of transportation, and not just a recreational toy.

The bike shop owners recommend that beginner cyclists also take the time, and a bit of money, to invest in gear and education to help make the transition to the saddle of the bike that much easier.

“I tell people to keep their bike easily accessible and visible. If it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind,” she says. “Put it where you can see it in the garage, and where you can quickly grab it, and hit the road.

This means the more bicycles in use, the less cars are needed. 18 | AUGUST 2018 | MCHENRY COUNTY MAGAZINE


“Then, go explore. Find those connections you don’t see in a car. See what’s out there.” HEALTH & WELLNESS

‘Question, Persuade, and Refer’ When it comes to suicide, the causes are complex and the pain is real. Suicide touches all ages and backgrounds across the country. Many mental health professionals agree that people who think about taking their own lives feel trapped by what they perceive as a hopeless situation, feel cut off by life and friendships and want to end what they perceive as unbearable pain.

Free suicide prevention training teaches locals how to save a life By SUE DOBBE-LEAHY

According to Scott Block, McHenry County Mental Health Board executive director, suicide has taken the lives of 35 McHenry County residents in 2015; 23 in 2016; and 43 in 2017. However, to date, the number of suicides in McHenry County is down from 2017. So, is suicide preventable? Yes! There is strong evidence that a comprehensive public health approach is effective in reducing suicide rates. Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR – “Question, Persuade, and Refer� Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention – can learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to offer help.

In McHenry County, QPR Training is sponsored by the McHenry County Mental Health Board, the Community Foundation for McHenry County and volunteer instructors. In as little as an hour, trainees can learn to recognize the warning signs that someone may be contemplating suicide. “Gatekeepers� are trained to recognize those who may be at risk, persuade them to seek and accept help, and refer them to the appropriate resources. Training sessions are offered at no cost to the community. Anyone who works with people, regardless of his or her field of employment can learn and help. QPR Training is available to school staff, social workers, first responders, public officials, faith communities and staff members in parks and recreation departments, to name a few. For more information on QPR Training, call the McHenry County Mental Health Board at 815-455-2828 or visit www.

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Toddling our way through public transportation With JONATHAN BILYK

As a kid growing up in what was then a relatively far flung northwest suburb of Chicago, the image was enchanting. Footage, broadcast during Chicago Cubs home games, of the Chicago Transit Authority’s Addison Red Line stop, and the thousands of fans boarding and disembarking at the train station, just outside of the walls of Wrigley Field. To my eyes, it appeared to be so easy: Just step off the train, and voila! You’re at the Friendly Confines, aka, the Greatest Place in the World (for 10-year-old me.) This notion was further reinforced by what seemed like hours spent whiling away in the backseat of the family car, as my dad circled the streets of Wrigleyville on game days, in search of a convenient street parking spot, all to avoid paying through the nose for the privilege of parking in a garage or stacked in an alley or “E-Z out” lot somewhere within walking distance of the ballyard. While I loved the time with my dad at Wrigley, there still had to be a better way to get around, I thought. And it was in those moments, I’d hear the broadcast voices of the Cubs in my mind’s receiver, reminding me (and Cubs fans everywhere) of the ease and convenience of the CTA. As a young adult, I took that message to heart. I learned the environmental benefits that came from pocketing my car keys for a few hours, and riding the third rail into the city. But primarily, the decision was driven by two main motivators: A lack of funds, and a relative surplus of time.

For the uninitiated, the apps – created under names like SpotHero, ParkMe, ParkWhiz or Parking Panda – allow users to browse and book parking spaces near a particular destination. You then simply drive to your destination. Usually, the process saves a bit of money. But what it really saves is time - and, by my reckoning, the planet – sparing the atmosphere from untold pounds of pollutants the car would otherwise spew as you circle, seeking an inexpensive place to land. Others are free to dispute this reasoning. I know it doesn’t stack up to the environmental benefits of public transit. And as the kids get older, transit will once again become a more accessible choice for getting around much of Chicago and the suburbs. Perhaps you, my readers, have some transit-navigation tips for suburban parents with small children. (My only ask: Before offering tips, please either work in transit, or have successfully executed those tips yourself.)

But for now, my respect for the parents who use transit on a daily basis remains undimmed, as I, like so many others, rather reach for my smartphone to try to make the best choice possible for my family (and the planet). I may not greatly minimize my carbon footprint, but I will minimize the frustration of driving in seemingly endless circles or heaving a stroller onto the Red Line.

 Jonathan Bilyk writes about the triumphs and

travails of being a modern-day dad who legitimately enjoys time with his family, while tolerating a dog that seems to adore him. He also doesn’t really like the moniker “Superdad” because it makes it sound like he wants to wear his undergarments on the outside of his pants. (Also, the cape remains on back order.)

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And so it continued for years – until the stroller rolled in, stage left. Of course, I had seen parents before, getting on and off the trains with young kids in tow, struggling with the kid carriers, carriages and other accoutrements of life with little ones. But while I saw them, I can’t say I ever really noted their struggles, until my wife and I attempted to continue to navigate the CTA, but now with a little one of our own along for the ride. Carrying the stroller up L station steps, folding and unfolding the stroller, loading and unloading the gear and other goods, praying the approaching train would have enough open seating, or at least carry the right mix of empathetic and kid-tolerant passengers – everything suddenly made the mundane elements of riding the CTA more difficult by orders of magnitude. And suddenly, the quiet comfort of my car beckoned. Yet the prompting was tempered by one main dread: Parking. Like my father before me, I had developed an aversion to paying full price to park. But unlike my dad, the thought of driving in circles for miles to find a place to stash the car and save a few bucks also left me frozen. And in those moments of great distress, often a hero will step forward. And in this case, as is often the way of the 21st century, the solution came from my smartphone. The parking app.

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Opportunities to partake in conservation events and activities with family or friends abound in McHenry County. From tree plantings and river cleanup events to “Green” Fairs and craft brew-centric conservation fundraisers, there are plenty of ways to get outside and have some fun, all while giving back to Mother Earth in the process. Here are some of the ways to get involved locally with nature, the environment and the community as summer fades into fall:

McHenry County Conservation District National Night Out

MCCD Great Outdoors Beer Tail

Aug. 7 | Petersen Park, 4300 Peterson Park Road, McHenry

Aug. 18 | Fel-Pro RRR Conservation Area, 1520 Crystal Lake Road, Cary

A collaboration between the McHenry County Conservation District, the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office, City of McHenry Police Department and the Fire Protection Districts of McHenry and Wonder Lake promotes safety programs and crime prevention.

This event, which is for adults ages 21 and older, fuses the outdoors with regional craft breweries and food trucks. A partially-wooded, one-mile trail features opportunities to visit various brewers, food vendors and outdoor retailers. Enjoy live music while playing bags, sand volleyball or basketball. The event runs from 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, visit

The event runs from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and includes free food and beverages and numerous activities, such as an electronic fingerprinting ID booth for children and a precision riding motorcycle demonstration. “It’s always a fun event to build community awareness, and strengthen the police partnerships,” says Wendy Kummerer, MCCD marketing and communications manager. “It’s all free; a great, fun, family event.” For more information, visit www.MCCDistrict.orgor call 815-338-2144.

Fox River Cleanup with National ‘It’s Our River Day’

MCCD Run Wild Race for Open Space 5K

Sept. 15 | Cornish Park, 101 S. Harrison St., Algonquin

Sept. 29 | Hickory Grove Highlands, 500 Hickory Nut Grove Lane, Cary

Volunteers will join forces to clean up the Fox River during the 11th annual event, which is sponsored by the City of Algonquin and Environmental Defenders of McHenry County. Divide and conquer from 1 to 4 p.m., and spend time cleaning the banks and park, or working in the river itself.

Celebrate National Public Lands Day with a run through woodland, prairie and wetland environments. During the event, savor the sights of wildflowers, oak and hickory trees, among other scenery along the course. Registration costs $35 and $20 for participants ages 5 to 13. (Cash or check only). The rate on race day is $42. The race begins at 8:30 a.m., with awards beginning at 9:30 a.m.

“Part of what we advocate for is, of course, healthy environment best practices, but also enjoying the environment and enjoying nature,” says Cynthia Kanner, executive director of the Woodstock-based Environmental Defenders of McHenry County. “And you’re up close and personal with what you’re trying to protect.” Camaraderie goes double, as well, as numerous other conservation organizations hold similar events statewide. “It’s nice to know you’re part of the big picture,” Kanner says. “Kind of pulls everybody together.” For more information, visit or



MCCD Celebrate Oaktober! Oaktober Big Woods Planting Party Oct. 20 | Marengo Ridge Conservation Area, 3100 Route 23, Marengo Drop in between 1 and 4 p.m. to walk the trail, plant a tree, participate in arts and crafts or learn about the oak species from MCCD education staff. “If the weather is gorgeous … you can’t go wrong there,” Kummerer says. “People are in good spirits. … It’s very feel-good, all the way around, in the backdrop of some wonderful woodlands there.”

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National Make a Difference Day Oct. 27 The McHenry County Defenders host a regional event commemorating the annual nationwide community service endeavor. For more information, visit www.mcdef.orgas.

Green Living Expo

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Nov. 3 | McHenry County College Sustainability Center, 8900 US Highway 14, Crystal Lake

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Scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the free expo will feature numerous vendors and information booths offering ideas and resources for sustainable living and energy saving. You might find some green gifts, too. For more information, visit greenexpo.

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Art of the Land Art Show and Fundraiser

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Representing over 80 LOCAL Artists

Nov. 9-10 | Starline Factory, 300 W. Front St., Harvard The benefit will raise awareness for the Land Conservancy of McHenry County and will take place from 6:30 to 10 p.m. on both days. Paintings, drawings, photography, ceramics, sculptures and other media will celebrate local landscapes. For more information, visit

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Circling the Square this

Summer #Visit Woodstock Built in 1889, the beautifully restored Woodstock Opera House hosts a variety of programming and events each year. Situated in the downtown historic square in Woodstock, the Opera House is one of the oldest continuously operating theaters in the country. With more than a century of rich history, it has served as a training ground for numerous luminaries and artists, including Orson Welles, Paul Newman, Tom Bosley and Geraldine Page. Home to four resident companies, a continuous line-up of events are presented year-round and rental opportunities are available for almost any type of event. For more information, call or go online.

Old Courthouse Arts Center 101 N. Johnson St., Woodstock

Woodstock Opera House 121 W. Van Buren St., Woodstock 815-338-4212

The Old Courthouse Arts Center, located in historic Woodstock Square, is a community art center that showcases the work of more than 300 local, national and international artists. Each year, the arts center hosts more than 30 art exhibits, including the McHenry County College “Satellite Gallery,� with new exhibits opening monthly. Visitors also can enjoy life drawing classes featuring both clothed and nude models Wednesday evenings; and live performances the second Friday of each month. Summer hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Sunday; and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For a current monthly schedule, go online or email the Old Courthouse Arts Center.



We are a GROWERS/PRODUCERS ONLY MARKET offering fresh produce, local honey, pasture-raised meat & eggs, bread, cheese, artisanal goods, grab & go eats, locally grown plants and so much more! Visit us on the Woodstock Square Tuesdays & Saturdays from 8 AM to 1 PM. Shop our vendors, make your own bouquet, grab a snack and listen to great, live music while enjoying the beautiful surroundings!

Young Masters Fitness for Life 110 S. Johnson St., Woodstock 815-206-2222 |

Starting the last Saturday in October, we head to the McHenry County Fairgrounds for our indoor market where you can continue to shop all of our great vendors on select Saturdays through April.

Woodstock Farmers Market

The Young Masters Fitness For Life exclusive Body Blast Fitness Class offers a total body workout, including core work, strength and cardio. Kettlebells, ropes and TRX all come together to create a unique training experience. Young Masters’ booty Barre, Cardio Boxing, Yoga, Cycling, Tai Chi and Karate classes are sure to give members the workout they are looking for. The fitness facility’s certified trainers give patrons a personalized workout with the individual attention they deserve. This is what makes Young Masters a “Best of the Fox” winner. To view a class schedule, go online.

Silver Prairie Natural Soap Company is dedicated to making the finest handmade soaps available. The company’s selection includes goat milk soaps made with fresh milk from its own herd of Swiss dairy goats, coconut milk soaps, shaving soaps, shampoo soaps, coffee soaps and soaps specifically formulated for horses and dogs. Silver Prairie uses quality oils, vegetable butters and shea butter. The cold process soaps are individually molded and cured for a minimum of three weeks. The soaps are luxurious, mild and moisturizing. Silver Prairie also makes natural skin and hair products, luxury creams, scrubs, face masks, lip balm, leave-in-hair conditioner and natural bug sprays. Stop by the store to sample the products. The store’s hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (except Mondays).

Silver Prairie Natural Soap Company 124 Cass St, Woodstock | 630-207-9968 |




Through her love of teaching and theater, Regina Belt-Daniels improves the lives of those around her By MELISSA RUBALCABA RISKE | Photo by FROM ME 2 YOU PHOTOGRAPHY


egina Belt-Daniels can still remember the exact moment she was bitten by the acting bug. She was in the first grade and Sister Mary Justa cast her in the role of Mother Goose in the class play. “And that was it,” she says with a laugh. Paul Lockwood, who moved to the McHenry area in 2001, first met Belt-Daniels when she was directing a local stage production. Through the years, he accepted her instructions as a director, performed side-by-side on stage as an actor and served with her on the board of directors for TownSquare Players in Woodstock. “In each of my interactions with her I was impressed,” Lockwood says. “She continues to be a very knowledgeable, friendly and a great person who always encourages you.” Belt-Daniels’ love of theater is just a piece of her life story. As someone who has donned purple hair and fills rooms with piles of books, BeltDaniels has many stories to share about her life, work and pursuit of happiness. For more than 28 years, she taught special education students at North School in Crystal Lake. She says she was inspired to become a teacher through interactions with a classmate with special needs. From daily bus rides spent chatting with her classmate to the time she got in a fight over trying to defend her classmate against a group of bullies, Belt-Daniels unearthed a desire to become a teacher and

make a difference in the lives of students. “I never thought of anything else but teaching,” she says. Belt-Daniels says she loved teaching, and one of her most prized possessions is a thank you letter from a parent. “That letter means more to me than any present …” she says, recalling the student’s name still fresh in her mind. “It means a lot to me.” Belt-Daniels spent the last several years of her career as a reading recovery specialist. She says that she loves how students who are struggling to learn to read arrive to her classroom and – by the end of the term – their reading levels have dramatically increased. After 33 years in the classroom, she is officially retired, but – it turns out – she couldn’t stay away from the classroom for very long, as she still serves as a substitute for the local school district. After she retired, Belt-Daniels decided to do some traveling, which took her life in another direction. During a short stop in Harris, a remote island off of the coast of Scotland, she met Farling Daniels and his extra large dog, which came bounding up to greet her. She never imagined that the photo that she took to remember the encounter would lead to a wonderful friendship crafted through letters. The relationship eventually resulted in a marriage proposal.

“In each of my interactions with her I was impressed. She continues to be a very knowledgeable, friendly and a great person who always encourages you.” – PAUL LOCKWOOD

This year, Belt-Daniels and her husband celebrated their sixth anniversary, and enjoy spending time with their adopted rescue dog, Chester, a Great White Pyrenees. Belt-Daniels also enjoys attending stage productions and writing reviews for the Northwest Herald newspaper. She dedicates time to several local nonprofits, such as Special Olympics and the Salvation Army. Belt-Daniels continues to live by something her grandmother would often say. It’s a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt: “You must do what you fear.” And one cannot be afraid to do – try.

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‘Green’ is just good business By ELIZABETH HARMON

Running a successful business and caring for the environment doesn’t have to be an either/or proposition. Here, in McHenry County, eco-conscious business owners are proving it’s not only possible, it gives them a competitive edge. “Absolutely, we’ve had new customers come in because we’re an earth-friendly and natural salon,” says Adam Swunlund, co-founder of Bii Natural Salon in West Dundee. “They’re focused on doing good things for themselves, and also for the planet.” While it can mean a bit of extra work for business owners to find earth-friendly vendors and solutions, it’s a tradeoff they’re willing to make. Meet three local business owners who earn green, while staying green. Former teacher Lori McConville’s love for kids and her passion for the environment have come together in her downtown Crystal Lake business, Marvin’s Toy Store. “All things come from the earth and what we do to it affects us as people,” says McConville, who opened Marvin’s five years ago with her daughter, Katelyn. Lori imparted earth-conscious values to her students and to her own children, but found that too many toys were trend-centered, plastic and disposable. So, she decided to open a store to provide an alternative.



To locate suppliers, McConville visited small, independent retailers. In the process, she identified nine key values for Marvin’s Toy Store's merchandise and vendors:  Green  Socially responsible business practices  Organic materials  Fair-trade  Designed for active play  Sustainable/recycled materials and packaging  Family-owned companies  Home-grown/made in the U.S.  Crafted with all natural materials

According to the store’s website, all items sold at Marvin’s meet at least one, and some meet up to five criteria. Not only are the toys both good for kids and the environment, they’re fun and unique. For babies, Kleynimals are stainless steel animal-shaped toys on a ring. Lux Blox, manufactured in the Midwest, are a creative building toy designed to create movable structures. Customers appreciate Marvin’s earth-friendly focus. “Today’s parents want to have less of an [environmental] impact and to change things for the better,” McConville says. When Adam Swanlund and his partner James Gartner opened their salon, they wanted to do things a little differently.

“Bii was eco-friendly before it even existed in that we moved into a location that had been a salon, and put in the elbow grease to clean up and repurpose what was there,” he says. Because both men have ingredient sensitivities, it went without saying that the products they used would be hypoallergenic and environmentally sensitive. “When we’re less likely to be exposed to ingredients that can cause a reaction, it helps eliminate some of the challenge of working with them day to day,” he says. They connected with an industrial waste recycler for items that can’t go in curbside recycling, installed energy efficient faucets, an energy star washing machine and chose a sustainable energy provider. At national beauty shows, and through their connections in the professional products industry, they search out new earth-friendly products. They’re also planning to open a natural lifestyle marketplace that will carry earth-friendly cleaning and personal care products, and they also plan to open a Bii salon in Crystal Lake.

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“We’ll do what we did before by moving into an existing location, and giving it our own personal style, rather than send $100,000 worth of equipment to the landfill,” Swanlund says. Lynn Lourie, owner of Mum 117 boutique in downtown Crystal Lake, incorporates artistic and environmental consciousness into the shop she opened in October 2017. Mum 117 carries a variety of merchandise, including clothing, home goods, art and gifts. Many items are produced from recycled or sustainable materials, are locally made or have a positive social impact. Some of her offerings include home goods by Danish company BIDK, which are made from sustainable earthfriendly materials; and a line of handmade dog leashes and collars by Found My Animal, a New York company that donates a portion of its profits to animal rescue organizations. She will soon carry a line of greeting cards produced in Chicago, too. When Lourie attends trade shows in New York and Las Vegas, she searches for earth-friendly items, but admits that finding them isn’t easy. Still, she adds that shopping locally can reduce the environmental impact of conventionally made items, as it helps eliminate the need to ship items long distances, and it helps support the local community. “I like to think of it as a big package. If I can find things to sell that meet lots of my requirements, I feel we’re better for it,” she says.

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Five easy ways to adopt a cleaner, greener approach to visiting U.S. national parks

By KARTHIKA GUPTA U.S. national parks and national forests showcase some of the most pristine landscapes that our country has to offer. There is just something about being out in the wilderness that brings about a great appreciation for Mother Nature and an almost intense, deep-rooted desire to protect all of the beauty around us for years to come. For generations, people have been inspired by Mother Nature in so many ways. Experiencing the biodiversity that exists in flora and fauna in this country helps form a deep appreciation for them and a desire to protect them. I don’t know about you but watching a grizzly bear forage for wild berries or a bald eagle sit on a tree limb scoping the area for his next meal is an out-of-this-world experience. But national parks have so much more to offer than just wildlife. Millions of acres of protected land, thousands and thousands of miles of hiking and biking trails, back country campsites and even historic lodges dot many of our country’s 58 national parks. Visiting a national park is truly a wonderful experience and can really inspire you to reduce your carbon footprint and incorporate green practices into your everyday life – or at least while visiting. Most of the national parks in the country are, in fact, setting the gold standard for saving the environment, so why not help to maintain that standard on your next trip.




Photo by KARTHIKA GUPTA During your next adventure through our national parks, try to adopt some of these tips to travel a little cleaner and be a little greener: • Reusable water bottles. Use reusable water bottles instead of buying single use plastic bottles. Most National parks, and even most state parks, have water fountains and refilling stations all around the visitor center and key visitor lookout points.


By reducing the amount of plastic water bottles that end up in trash cans, and subsequently in landfills, we can make a huge difference in the amount of plastic we use and waste we create. • Reduce the use of carbon emissions from automobiles. For the past few years, many National Parks – such as Yosemite, Sequoia in California and Zion in Utah – have restricted the use of private cars in the parks. Remote parking lots away from the congested areas of the park have been built, and they provide free zero-emissions shuttle buses to and from the visitor centers and parking lots. By reducing the number of cars along the park roads, the parks are helping control traffic, as well as carbon emissions.



• Eliminate plastic in food and beverage use. Most of the cafes and park cafeterias in the national parks have taken drastic measures to eliminate the amount of plastic (plates, cups and spoons) that are used for serving food to visitors. By investing in biodegradable serving utensils, bamboo serving spoons and even using reusable plates, spoons and cups, the food and beverage vendors serving the national parks have renewed their commitment to a greener environment. If you’re bringing your own food into the parks, use reusable Tupperware, bio-degradable serving dishes or even bring your own plates and spoons. Packing a picnic will reduce fast food waste going into landfills, is healthier and more cost effective than eating out. At the very least, bring your own coffee mug the next time you order coffee or tea on the go. • Reduce water use. In many places in the U.S., water is a limited resource. Try not to take long showers while staying in a hotel or at a campsite. If staying in a hotel, tell management not to change your sheets or wash your towels every day. By doing this, you’ll reduce water and electricity use. • Conserve electricity. Just like at home, when you leave your hotel room, make sure all of the lights, TV, and air conditioner/heat are off.




The GlassHalf-Full Guy:


We’d just arrived to one of the best surfing beaches in all of Central America - the swells were perfect, the sun was just warm enough, and board rentals were under 10 bucks for the day (USD). It doesn’t get much better than that.

My friend was antsy to hit the waves and told us to “find him on the beach” when we were ready to ride. Hours later we finally found our buddy, standing there in the hallway of our rented condo holding a surfboard and wearing nothing but swim trunks. He had this look on his face that everything was not OK. As life has it, my buddy set his backpack down for a moment and turned his back on it just long enough for someone to snatch it unnoticed, like Harry Houdini. Inside that $5 backpack was his cellphone and, mistakenly, his passport. So, what do you do when your passport is stolen in a foreign country? STEP 1: freak out.

STEP 2: stop freaking out and start problem solving.

At first we went to the police station, which was a van in a parking lot. In broken Spanish we explained our problem. The officer lit a cigarette and stared into the distance replying, “Come back tomorrow, I’m busy.” Obviously we’d have to take matters into our own hands. We hunted the beaches wearing headlamps, high and low to no avail. Some beta on many

foreign countries: laws are often seen as suggestions. That being said, there was an obvious ring of workers walking the beaches offering people “good times” and “good stuff.” I dug deep into my youth to conjure up my recently unused street smarts and basically hired one of these good time salesman to do some detective work.

We were able to get my friends cellphone back for a “service fee,” but we were told whoever kidnapped the bag likely threw the passport in the trash to avoid actual legal repercussions. I saw the bottom of more garbage cans on this trip than I ever wanted to, but without success.

The sun was long gone and the U.S. embassy was already closed. We buzzed them first thing in the morning to find out they would be open for five hours that day, and then closed for the next seven on holiday. The capital city was exactly four-and-a-half hours away from our small beach town, if all the planets aligned. But you cannot board a plane nor return to your home country without a passport. So, if we didn’t get that passport, we weren't going home. That day, I pushed our tiny 4-by-4 rental to


the max, passing every car on winding mountain roads. As we dropped into the city, I slammed the car in park and we ran for the embassy with seconds on the clock. Guards stood at the gates and pointed to an old phone in a box mounted to the wall. Within minutes, two officers came through a large steel door pulling my friend inside. We waited in the sun for an hour and a half until that steel door opened again with my friend standing there smiling, holding a new passport. The lesson? Bad things happen and they can sneak up, even on your vacation. As inconvenient as that ordeal was, it was certainly an adventure I’ll never forget. And, now, if someone ever has a passport lost, I know exactly what to do…and so do you.

u Peter Stadalsky is an Aurora resident and adventurer. He shares his travel experiences with a “glass-half-full” view of the world. MCHENRY COUNTY MAGAZINE | AUGUST 2018 | 33

Take a funfilled summer vacation on America’s favorite road trip By ALLISON HORNE

The Lincoln Highway’s red, white and blue signs often go unnoticed on the side of the road.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway founder Carl Fisher, decided to do.

That’s because today, it’s just another road. But 100 years ago, the Lincoln Highway was the start of something groundbreaking a new: a transcontinental highway across the entire United States of America.

The Lincoln Highway Association is housed in the H.I. Lincoln Building, 136 N. Elm St., Franklin Grove, which was built in 1860 by Henry I. Lincoln, a distant relative of Abraham Lincoln. When it was first erected, the first floor was used as a store, while the second floor was dubbed Lincoln Hall, and was used to social events and business meetings.

The Lincoln Highway stretches from New York and San Francisco and passes through a variety of different unique spots, including Philadelphia, Gettysburg, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Lake Tahoe region, and of course, the beautiful sprawling plains of Illinois. “The Lincoln Highway Association wanted to plot out the fastest driving route from coast to coast,” says Kay Shelton, national president and Illinois state director for the Lincoln Highway Association. In Illinois, the 179 miles of the Lincoln Highway begins in the east on U.S. 30, crosses through Joliet and Plainfield before turning into Illinois state route 31 towards Geneva. At Geneva, it turns west on IL 38 towards DeKalb. From there, it goes through Rochelle to Franklin Grove, where the National Headquarters of the Lincoln Highway Association is located. It continues through Dixon on IL 38, where the Lincoln Memorial is located, before rejoining U.S. 30 west of Sterling. The Lincoln Highway then goes on IL 136 by Fulton, and passes a Lincoln Highway information center near the crossing of the Mississippi River into Iowa. Creating the highway was no easy feat, and its’ meandering route and sharp turns are a testament to that. “Before the middle of the 1920s, the government didn’t have anything to do with the roads,” says Lynn Asp, director of the Lincoln Association National Headquarters. “The roads had no names and no numbers, and if you wanted something fixed or done, it was up to you.”

Photos by Ruth Franz


That’s exactly what some big businessmen, led by


One of the original meetings that laid the foundation for what the Lincoln Highway would become was actually held at the store on February 14, 1914. The meeting was led by Fisher and several other industrialists who saw the benefit of having an improved coast-to-coast highway. “He went upstairs to a crowd of 250 and explained to them how it would help their town and help people come to their town,” Asp says, adding that he also urged members to join their newly founded Lincoln Highway Association for $5. Their dues fee would get them a membership certificate and pin, which were first delivered at the meeting held at the H.I. Lincoln Building. People bought in, and thus, the Lincoln Highway was born. The Lincoln Highway has come a long way since it was first created. In 1913, there were not standard road signs and maps weren’t very common. “Trying to navigate the Lincoln Highway was a challenge for early motorists,” Shelton says, noting that the Lincoln Highway Association printed road guides and used a red, white and blue “L” logo to sign the road wherever they could. “Many industrious local businesses, however, put up their own “L” signs, even trying to entice motorists off the route to stop at their businesses.” By 1928, the association enlisted the help of the Boy Scouts, who placed over 3,000 standardized concrete markers, which were much harder to duplicate, where the road was.


AUGUST 25TH Helping Paws 5th Annual Paw Crawl Registration is from 5-8PM in front of Public House. There will be Raffle Baskets and 50/50 so bring some cash. “Since then, a couple of signs got knocked down, probably by snow plows, but nearly all of the signs from 2001 are still in place and it is possible to follow the route by following the red, white and blue “L” signs,” Shelton says. When the road was first created, motorists would set out to cross the country but wouldn’t have anywhere to stay. Before motels, motorists would stop in open spaces and camp, often leaving behind trash.

Check out our website for more details: Panting for Paws 5K & 1 Mile Family Walk/Run NEW DATE

“Cities wanted to eliminate people stopping at random open spaces so they would set aside plots of land, put in water pumps, build places where people could set up their cooking fires, and they were called auto camps,” Shelton says.

Lippold Park, Rte. 176 Crystal Lake

By the mid-1920s, there were over 5,000 auto camps across the country, including one in Aurora. The camp, located near Phillips Park, has since been restored.

“After Pawty” -- beer, hot dogs, awards & fun!

But as cross-country travel increased, so did the need for places to stay. Auto camps often got overcrowded and noisy and began charging fees, and thus, motels were born. While the path of the road hasn’t changed much, the Lincoln Highway Association is trying to keep up with the times. They’ve worked to map out electric charging stations for electric cars and have talked to local businesses about adding electrical charge stations. The roads may have new pavement or have been long forgotten, but the Lincoln Highway will always hold an important place in the history of the United States. “It’s the world’s longest memorial to any person, President Abraham Lincoln,” Shelton says. “It also crosses a great sample of what the United States has to offer for history and beauty.”


Proceeds Benefit Helping Paws Animal Shelter

BRING THIS AD to either event & get $5 worth of FREE RAFFLE TICKETS with a $5 minimum purchase of tickets.

Helping Paws Animal Shelter 2500 Harding , Woodstock, IL • 815-338-4400 TRAVEL


They were updated even further in 2001, when IDOT marked the entire route across Illinois.


The CASE for quality pet care Story by SUE DOBBE-LEAHY | Photos by WHITNEY RUPP

Companion Animal Specialty and Emergency Hospital staff is ‘focused on caring for your family pet like it was one of our own’ 36 | AUGUST 2018 | MCHENRY COUNTY MAGAZINE


round the clock and from around the region, Companion Animal Specialty and Emergency Hospital, or CASE, has a team of dedicated, professionals that has been caring for felines and canines since 1997.

Working in partnership with family veterinarians in multiple counties, CASE Hospital offers emergency care and surgery 24/7, as well as diverse services by appointment at its 10,000-square-foot facility in Crystal Lake. “Our team is a group of very special people focused on caring for your family pet like it was one of our own,” says Dr. Michael Hochman, co-owner and director of medicine. “All of our staff members have pets they love and cherish. Each of us deliberately chose our careers to help pets and their families.”


Hochman leads the CASE Hospital team, while Ross Oliver, practice manager and co-owner, manages the operations. Each department is led by a veterinary professional that has a passion for his or her area of care. “You and your pet are in the center of the ‘circle of care.’ Your family veterinarian may refer you to CASE Hospital for specialty and emergency situations,” says Hochman. “Open nights and weekends, our team is ready when traumatic injuries or accidents occur. We have the equipment and the skilled emergency personnel to respond appropriately.” Emergency Department services are available around the clock, with extra staff scheduled on Sundays and holidays, when most family veterinarian practices are closed. A dedicated surgical suite, ICU ward and isolation areas are available so that pets with traumatic injuries can receive the attention they need, while other animals can rest and recuperate. Internal medicine, non-emergency surgery, integrative medicine (rehabilitation) and dermatology are offered to support health and wellness for your furry family members. Unique to CASE Hospital is an expanded Integrated Medicine Department led by Karen Turner (DVM, CCRT, CVA, CVSMT). Turner and her staff address chronic conditions, reduce pain, and help animals regain or maintain flexibility and mobility. Turner has extensive training in nutrition, chiropractic care, acupuncture, massage and other treatment options that support healthy lifestyles for post-surgery pets, those with health concerns and aging animals. Two underwater treadmills provide therapy for canines’ joints after surgery or in addition to other treatment plans. Paired with a peanut butter treat given by Kelsey Moon, a certified canine physical therapist, the hydrotherapy is a delightful part of the day for many dogs. Walking concerns also can be evaluated using gait analysis equipment. Computerized measurements of your dog’s walking pattern may identify issues and areas of pain. Early detection and correction can make a big difference in a dog’s quality of life. Jessica Mueller (BS, CVT, CCRP), department head for integrated medicine, compassionately cares for dogs and cats through diverse therapies that include laser, massage and comprehensive physical

Because CASE Hospital has so many skilled medical professionals in one place, pets receive a very unique circle of care. Among our team [members], we have many years of knowledge and experience to share cases and improve the diagnosis and results. Dr. Michael Hochman, Companion Animal Specialty and Emergency Hospital co-owner and director of medicine

therapy. Located in two large treatment areas, Mueller makes therapy playful while monitoring and recording the pet’s progress. It’s obvious from the big smile consistently on her face that Mueller enjoys the therapy sessions as much as her fourlegged patients. Jennifer Payton, certified veterinary technician and assistant practice manager, manages the CASE Hospital Pet Blood Bank. Structured similar to human blood banks, healthy dogs and cats can donate blood to the hospital to

–Continue on page 38



–Continued from page 37

A letter from Mary Mary, a fourth-grade student from Island Lake, wrote a letter thanking CASE Hospital for the care received by her dog, Barley. Similar stories of compassionate care, like that given to Barley, are many and often come to the team in letterform, email, through social media and even through special gifts. Here is one such example. Mary’s letter reads: “I am writing to thank you for all that your establishment has done for animals in need. On Feb. 14, my 4-year-old German shepherd, Barley, had suddenly experienced a rare condition where his large intestine had twisted…and Barley almost perished. Over the course of two months, thanks to the remarkable doctors and nurses, he gradually started to recover. Now, he is happy living his best life with my family. As a grateful owner, I wish to express my gratitude toward the incredible staff that saved my dog’s life. “When Barley was being treated in your hospital, my family and I loved the way the staff took care of the animals. They fed Barley a wide variety of meats and kibble while keeping him hydrated. In addition, the nurturing staff allowed my family an extended amount of time to visit Barley. I am forever in debt and will always be thankful for your service. “The outstanding service Companion Animal Specialty and Emergency Hospital provides to animals makes a positive difference in our community. Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. Continue the exceptional service and care for animals in need.”

assist with transfusions. This can be a lifesaving service in some circumstances. The Internal Medicine Department is led by Sarah Ripper (CVT). Dr. Dan Harrington (DVM) explores the mysteries of internal conditions when dogs or cats act unusual. From eating something foreign to unexpected internal issues, Harrington is both passionate and compassionate as he identifies the causes and solutions available. CASE Hospital operates the only animal CT scanner in the region, which can quickly and accurately diagnose complicated conditions. CT scans deliver a more detailed and precise picture of what is going on in your pet’s body, which can improve outcomes in treatment and surgery. Pets with dermatological problems benefit from the Dermatology Department at CASE. From minor bites and rashes to chronic conditions, pets receive comfort and comprehensive care. “Because CASE Hospital has so many skilled medical professionals in one place, pets receive a very unique circle of care,” says Hochman. “Among our team [members], we have many years of knowledge and experience to share cases and improve the diagnosis and results.” Pets and their families may benefit from one or all of the services of CASE Hospital. From a scheduled therapy session with Mueller to a surprise visit to the ER, families have relied on CASE for generations of pets. “All of us working at CASE Hospital are grateful for the opportunity to help pets live quality lives,” says Oliver. “We are proud of the reach of services and relationships that we have in the region to care for family cats and dogs at all ages and stages of life.”

Pet therapies available at CASE Hydrotherapy using the underwater treadmill Laser therapy for pain relief and healing Acupuncture for pain and mobility Gait evaluation Massage therapy Chiropractic care Dermatology

1095 Pingree Road, Suite 120 • Crystal Lake 815-479-9119 • For more information about CASE Hospital, visit:

*This letter has been edited from its original form to meet AP Style standards.



Horse of a

different color

Veterinary medicine explores the world of thermography to aid in diagnoses By SHONDA DUDLICEK


aybe T.V.’s famous talking horse, Mr. Ed, could tell his owner when he didn’t feel well or was in pain, but everyday horses don’t have that privilege. That’s why thermography is such a useful tool in determining inflammation or injuries. Erica Cody, owner of Northwest Medical Thermography in Lake Barrington, says that this non-invasive, no-touch, radiation-free clinical imaging procedure can detect diseases and physical injuries through thermal imaging. Forward-looking infrared cameras use a thermographic camera that senses infrared radiation. Cody says that a practitioner can stand back, scan the horse and wait for the results. It’s used if a horse is not behaving properly, doesn’t feel good or is in pain, she adds. “A friend said the horse was not behaving properly and would throw his head. Thermography revealed an infection in the lower jaw from a bad tooth,” Cody says. “It helps give [horses] a voice.” According to the American Association of Equine Practitioners in Lexington, Kentucky, these cases usually require the practitioner to treat the horse symptomatically or to perform other diagnostic techniques to try and determine possible areas of injury. Thermography measures the surface temperatures of skin and emitted heat, making it useful for detecting inflammation, according to the AAEP. Thermography has most commonly been used to evaluate horses with back or hind limb lameness or to evaluate the horse for performance or pre-purchase, according to the AAEP. AAEP found that thermography has provided significant information in 86 percent of the horses examined and was useful in localizing the area of injury.

–Continue on page 40




No Radiation • 100% Safe • No Compression • Non-invasive!

Thermography is the only technology that can detect abnormal cellular activity in the breast, 5 -10 years before lumps appear! You can correct a health issue before it is a medical emergency. Half-body and full-body scan packages are also available to help you become aware of your health needs. Thermography can also help you detect other health issues: • Cardiovascular health • Thyroid Health • Digestive Disorders • Auto-immune disorders such as Fibromyalgia • TMJ and Dental Disorders & Pathology

– Erica Cody, owner of Northwest Medical Thermography

–Continued from page 39 Cody gives an example of an elephant who would hold its front right leg up and refused to put it down. The veterinarian could hold the FLIR camera outside the gate at the zoo and thermography revealed that the elephant had an infection in its toenail.

• Skin Cancers • Inflammation • Sinus and Allergies • Muscular Skeletal Disorders

“By using thermography, the vet didn’t have to knock him out,” Cody says. “It works well at minimizing expenses.”

• Carpal Tunnel Syndrome • Nerve Damage • RSD (CRPS)

“The first set is a neutral scan with the horse calm, and then you get the rider and saddle up on the horse and have him ride. Then you scan the saddle, you flip it up and see if there is a proper saddle fit. Maybe there are spinal issues or sores. Horse and rider are very connected, and if you scan both of them – we’re talking about a polo pony, jumper, hunter, dressage, racer or an everyday horse – it makes perfect sense in terms of health care and preventative care.” (224) 600-3216

Sometimes, however, the problem may be something as minor as an ill-fitting saddle.

Cody mentioned a situation in which a horse had kidney failure, but thermography was able to find it at an early stage when it was not an emergency. She is working on setting up a barn and trailer to bring horses to the facility in order to have a controlled environment for scans.


Cody strongly urges that any thermography reports be evaluated by a veterinarian after she administers the test.

22000 N. Pepper Road, Suite I Lake Barrington, IL. 60010


“A friend said the horse was not behaving properly… . Thermography revealed an infection in the lower jaw from a bad tooth. It helps give [horses] a voice.”

“I’m the clinician, the communicator, but they’ll know what the thermal patterns mean,” she says. PETS

We have a bouquet of


Going to the dogs Dog-friendly places and open spaces By KELLI MURRAY

The great outdoors has plenty to offer humans as well as their furry companions. The trails and forest preserves McHenry County can be enjoyed by the entire family - including the family dog! Consider one of these dog-friendly locales for your next adventure:

Off-Leash Dog Run

Schweitzer Woods 16N690 Sleepy Hollow Road, West Dundee This rolling 160-acre preserve is designated an offleash dog area. The property features forests, hay meadows and marshes. In addition to the fenced dog park, there also are miles of hiking trails that wind through the property. No permits are required.

Membership Dog Parks Bull Valley Dog Park Country Club and Bull Valley roads, Bull Valley

for your home.

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Schedule a free f estimate for full details. Cannot be combined with other offers or used on previous service. Expires 8/31/18 MCM0618


Call for a free estimate for full details. Cannot be combined with other offers or used on previous service. Expires 8/31/18 MCM0618



Schedule a free f estimate for full details. Cannot be combined with other offers or used on previous service. Expires 8/31/18 MCM0618


Schedule a free f estimate for full details. Cannot be combined with other offers or used on previous service. Expires 8/31/18 MCM0618

Hoffman Park East of Route 31 and North of Fox Trails subdivision, Cary Bark Park 9027 Haligus Road, Lake in the Hills McBark Dog Park 2500 N. Richmond Road, McHenry Hound Town Dog Park 851 IL-176, Crystal Lake

(866) 418-3136

License # 058-140555




RICHMOND'S NIGHT OUT WHEN: 3 to 8 p.m. Aug. 11 WHERE: Richmond Burton High School, 8311 State Rte. 31, Richmond Richmond’s Night Out, which supports the National Night Out event, is about bringing the community together, from the first responders and the Village Board of Trustees to residents and local businesses. The event will feature food vendors, safety demonstrations, activities, a DJ and more. Admission is free, but attendees should bring a canned good to help stock the food pantry. For more information, visit

YOGA AND A BEER WHEN: 11 a.m. to noon Aug. 11 WHERE: Scorched Earth Brewing Company, 203 Berg St., Algonquin The second and fourth Saturdays of the month Scorched Earth Brewing Company hosts a Yoga and a Beer event. Beginners are welcome. The cost is $20 for a one-hour yoga class and pint or flight of 4 beers. Attendees should bring a yoga mat and gear. Reservations are encouraged, and the class will operate on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, email

featuring music by Mozart and other great composers. Tickets start at $31, and $10 for students. For more information, visit

CHOCOLATE, BACON AND BEER PAIRING WHEN: 7 p.m. Aug. 17 WHERE: Ethereal Confections, 113 S. Benton St., Woodstock Join Ethereal Confections in Woodstock for a pairing with Half Acre Beer. The shop will feature five beers paired with local artisan bacon and craft chocolates. Space is limited to 25 people. Attendees must be at least 21 years old. Tickets cost $45. For more information, visit

OPENING DAY AT ROYAL OAK FARM WHEN: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 17 WHERE: Royal Oak Farm Orchard, 15908 Hebron Road, Harvard Royal Oak Farm in Harvard will host its opening day for the fall season, featuring apple cider donuts, lunch at the restaurant, apple picking, a playground and petting zoo. Attendees also will see all of the new renovations to the gift shop and apple barn. For more information, visit www.royaloakfarmorchard. com.

MIDWEST MOZART FESTIVAL (FINAL CONCERT IN THE SERIES) WHEN: 3 p.m. Aug. 12 WHERE: Woodstock Opera House, 121 W. Van Buren

LAUGHSTOCK COMEDY FESTIVAL WHEN: Aug. 17-18 WHERE: Woodstock Square, 121 W. Van Buren St.,

St., Woodstock

The Laughstock Comedy Festival will take place at various locations on the historic Woodstock Square and feature national-touring comedians, as well as

The Midwest Mozart Festival concerts provide Northern Illinois with high caliber performances,




local talent from the Chicago area. Stand-up comedy workshops, open mics and other events also will be offered throughout the weekend. For tickets or more information, visit

HARVARD BALLOON FEST WHEN: Aug. 31 – Sept. 2 WHERE: Milkyway Park, 300 Lawrence Road, Harvard The third annual Harvard Balloon Fest will take place Labor Day weekend. The event will feature more than 15 hot air balloons, a 5K and 10K Running with Balloons, live music, inflatable rides, helicopter rides, tethered balloon rides, an open-air market, food and beer, and on-site camping. There will be five scheduled ascensions and three balloon night glows. Balloons will operate in the early morning and late evening. For more information, visit www.

LAKE IN THE HILLS SUMMER SUNSET FESTIVAL WHEN: Aug. 31 – Sept. 2 WHERE: Sunset Park, 5200 Miller Road | Lake in the Hills Wrap up summer at this old-fashioned Labor Day weekend party, featuring lots of food, an arts and craft show, battle of the bands, a horseshoe tournament, 5K run, parade, classic and custom car show, carnival rides on the midway, a melon propelling contest and a fireworks show (Sunday evening). For more information, visit



With over 25 years experience as an electrical contractor and 12 years as a solar installer, we at Magitek Energy Solutions, Inc. have made it our mission to help usher in a new wave of responsible electricity generation to northern Illinois and have forged relations with some of the industry’s leaders. Our goal is to realize the best balance of quality and value available today. As Green technologies continue to make inroads into the mainstream, Magitek has kept abreast of the changing landscape and has worked with a number of local municipalities in the Lake and McHenry County areas, acting as consultant and advisor to Government bodies as they draft considerate, responsible ordinances for solar installations.

CALL (847) 987-3238 PAUL@MAGITEKENERGY.COM Magitek is also a member of the Illinois Solar Energy Assoc. and the Midwest Renewable Energy Assoc. Give us a call to schedule a free quote.

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