Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Jan. 11: Family tree how-to in Monty

Free Seminar--How to Trace Your Family Tree

A free seminar on How to Trace Your Family Tree—Part 2 will be offered at the Montgomery Village Hall at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, January 11, 2011. This is a follow-up to a presentation given last September on how to start a family tree. The January seminar will focus on how to use government records, such as censuses and vital records, to trace your family’s history. The emphasis will be on how to locate these records and evaluate the information they contain. Debbie Buchanan, an accredited genealogist with 40 years of experience, will present this topic.

This seminar is sponsored by Montgomery’s Historic Preservation Commission. There is no charge and the event is handicapped accessible.

For additional information on these activities, please call the Montgomery Village Hall at (630) 896-8080 ext. 1114.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Dec. Xmas Break: Lots of Free Stuff!

Wondering what to do with the family? Puleeeeezzz...stop! Free Things did the work for you. And if you'd like a more expansive Fox Valley list of fun holiday activities, then check out our favorite local mom blog: Go West Young Mom. Now here's your Free list to keep boredom far away this Christmas break:

All Free and in Aurora unless otherwise noted:

1) Play in the snow
2) Holiday Stories @ Aurora Public Library - West Branch. All ages. 4-5 p.m. Thurs. Dec. 23. No reg. needed.
3) Visit Santa @ Phillips Park - Visitor Center. Noon-4 p.m. thru Wed. Dec. 22.
4) Load the family up and drive through Phillips Park to see the Aurora Festival of Lights.
5) Sled down the hill at Lincoln Park on Aurora's West Side (near Holy Angels)
6) Munch on sample bagels on the counter at Jake's Bagels @ 22o N. Broadway across from the Aurora Transportation Center (open til 1 p.m. on Xmas Eve)
7) View decorated Christmas trees @ Aurora Public Library - West Branch. 35th annual Holiday Celebrations in Many Lands during library hours.
8) Drop-in Crafts @ Aurora Public Library - Main. All ages. 1-4 p.m. Tues. and Wed. Dec. 28 & 29. No reg. needed.
9) Drive through Lehnertz Avenue on Aurora's East Side. 5-10 p.m. everyday.
10) Hang out with your neighbors and have some of their hot chocolate or eggnog.

*11) Get your art and groove on @ Water Street Studios in Batavia. Holiday concert featuring Electric String Quartet with Flo Kat and Choral Chamber Group. 5:30-8 p.m. Thurs. Dec. 23.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dec. 9: Free Diapers, etc.

AURORA — The Walter and Connie Payton Foundation will hand out free diapers and personal feminine products from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday at Dominick’s at 3025 E. New York St. in Aurora.

“Diaper Day” is open to the public, and all items distributed are free.

The items — distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis — were donated to the foundation by Kimberley-Clark, the maker of Huggies, Kleenex and other brands. Transportation for the distribution of the items was donated by Custom Company Inc.

The Walter and Connie Payton Foundation assists neglected, abused and underprivileged children. Call 847-605-0034 or visit: www.payton34.com.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dec. 9 & 16: Free Simmons M.S. music concerts


(Aurora)- The Simmons Middle School Music Department invites the East Aurora community to enjoy the sounds of the holiday season with two holiday concerts.

On Thursday, December 9 at 4:30 p.m., the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade bands will host their annual Band Concert. The bands are directed by Kevin Kaisershot.

On Thursday, December 16 at 4:30 p.m., the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade choirs will host their annual Choir Concert. The choirs are directed by Lisa Gawlik.

The concerts, which will be held in the auditorium, are free and open to the public.

For more information, please call 630.299. 4178.

Dec. 17: Art opening at the DLP in downtown Aurora


The artistic talents of Aurora students will be on display during the Aurora Public Art Commission’s 13th annual “Winter Garden of Youth Art.”

Children from kindergarten through high school will have their artwork showcased from Friday, Dec. 17, through Friday, Jan. 14, at the Art Commission Gallery, 20 E Downer Place. The gallery will kick-off with an opening reception scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 17.

The presentation features a variety of mediums including paintings, drawings, printmaking, photography, sculpture, collage, computer arts, jewelry and ceramics. All works in the display will have been selected by art teachers or other school faculty members.

Participating schools are Aurora Christian Elementary and High School, East Aurora High School, McCarty Elementary School, McCleery Elementary School, Jewel Middle School, Marmion Academy, Metea Valley High School, Simmons Middle School, Rosary High School, St. Joseph Catholic School, St. Peter’s Catholic School, St. Rita’s of Cascia School, Waldo Middle School, Washington Middle School, Waubonsie Valley High School and West Aurora High School.

The gallery, which has free admission during the reception and regular hours, will be open from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 22 to 30 and from Jan. 5 to 14.

The Aurora Public Art Commission is a civic organization dedicated to the preservation of public art in all of its forms. For more information on the Commission or the gallery, visit the City of Aurora’s website at www.aurora-il.org.

Now: Free home market report

Aurora Rocks! So you might want to move here or move to a different zip within our awesome city. Well, first check this free market report out: http://www.efoxvalleyhomes.com/home-values.asp It's a great free guide to assess your home's value or get some current listings. Thanks to Fox Valley Home Team for sharing.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Now: Warming centers, winter safety


Now that winter weather has moved into area, the City of Aurora is reminding residents that six warming centers are available for their use. They include:

· Salvation Army, 437 E. Galena Blvd., hours 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday;

· Prisco Community Center, 150 W. Illinois Ave., hours are 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday;

· Aurora Public Library Main Branch, 1 E. Benton St.; East Branch, 555 S. Eola Road; and West Branch, 233 S. Constitution Drive; hours 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday; and

· Senior Services Inc., 900 N. Lake St., Aurora Township, hours 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday;

In addition, residents are asked to watch out for the needs of children, seniors, people with special needs and pets during the cold winter months.

When driving on ice and snow, it is essential for motorists to reduce their speed, especially on bridges, overpasses and intersections.

Residents are required to move their car off streets and alleys after a snowfall of two inches or more. Failure to comply can lead to a ticket and vehicle tow that will cost a minimum of $150 plus applicable storage and release fees, depending on the time of the infraction.

Winter weather also tends to spike the number of cars that are stolen while left running unattended. The Aurora Police Department asks residents to use common sense to not leave cars running unattended − whether or not the doors are locked – because they are easy targets for thieves. Police also can issue citations if they come across an unattended, running vehicle on public property.

For more information on warming centers and winter weather preparedness, visit the City’s website at www.aurora-il.org.

Now: Free Paramount gift certificate w/ purchase

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Dec. 4/5 & 11/12: Visit Santa at Phillips Park & more

Holiday Activities Shine at Phillips Park

By Kevin Stahr

Whether taking time to visit Santa Claus or driving through a sea of festive seasonal lights, the holiday spirit will be alive at Phillips Park in Aurora.

Carloads of families will be entertained by more than a mile of lighted holiday displays starting Friday, Nov. 26, with the Festival of Lights. The lights will shine nightly from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday through Dec. 26 at the park, 1000 Ray Moses Drive.

Admission is free for the fourth annual event, which is sponsored by The Rotary Club of Aurora and the City of Aurora. Donations will be accepted to raise money for local charities.

Event organizers expect more than 40,000 people will visit this year’s Festival of Lights featuring Santa Claus, reindeer, candy canes, Old Man Winter, Santa’s Toy Shop, hundreds of lighted trees and more.

“The event is for children of all ages,” said Rotary Club of Aurora President Charlie Zine. “Our goal is to spread cheer to thousands of visitors during the holidays, while providing support to needy charities.”

Visitors looking for directions or more information on the event should visit www.aurorafestivaloflights.com.

Aurora children who want to give their Christmas wish list to Santa Claus in person can visit jolly St. Nick in December at the Phillips Park Visitor’s Center. Santa will be available from noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 4-5 and 11-12, as well as Saturday to Wednesday, Dec. 18 to 22.

The free event is sponsored by the Friends of Phillips Park. Parents are encouraged to bring their cameras. For more information, call the Phillips Park Visitor’s Center at (630) 256-3750 or visit the City’s website at www.aurora-il.org.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Dec. 5: West Branch holiday open house

Residents are invited to the Aurora Public Library’s 35th annual “Holiday Celebrations in Many Lands” exhibit this month at the West Branch, 233 S. Constitution Drive.

An open house with the theme “Gingerbread Holidays” is set for 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. Open house events include:

1:30 p.m. – Puppet show

2 p.m. – Visit from Santa Claus on the Bookmobile

2:30 p.m. – Suenos Latin Jazz Quartet




The “Holiday Celebrations in Many Lands” exhibit includes multicultural displays and more than 25 trees decorated in the traditions of countries around the world. The exhibit runs through Dec. 31. Both the exhibit and the open house are free.

Click on this Beacon-News story for more information.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Now: Free guide to local holiday fun!

The 'Go West' Guide to Holiday Fun

‘Tis the season. And Go West Young Mom has a guide to help your family make the most of this magical season. It will help inspire you to take a break from the shopping and the cooking and the decorating to enjoy a movie or theatrical production with your family, visit Santa at one of the charming “Santa Houses” we have in the suburbs or take a peaceful drive through a mile of holiday lights.

Fun & free things are easily found in this great online guide such as the Festival of Lights & Trees in Wheaton and the Holiday Lights at Mooseheart, to name just two.

Please check back often to see what’s been added! Visit www.gowestyoungmom.com and go have fun this winter!

Happy Holidays!

Dec. 1-31: Free coffee at Pockets

Visit Pockets at 1330 N. Orchard Rd. in Aurora and receive free coffee the entire month of December. Pockets is celebrating their new breakfast offerings with free Papa Nicholas coffee. Come on in and get warm!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dec. 4 & 5: 7 West Trunk Show

Trunk show in downtown Aurora shines spotlight on local artists, handcrafted items

AURORA – On Dec. 4 and 5, Lisa Gloria will make you ooh and aah as she opens her art studio to the public for a multiple artist trunk show in downtown Aurora.

About a dozen local artists, along with Gloria, will offer their work for sale at 7 West Studio located at 7 W. Downer in the historic Sherer Block building on Stolp Island, just west of Stolp Avenue.

Gloria, a realist painter, is thrilled to open up her studio to other creative types.

Artists joining Gloria are Jennifer Trudo, Marie Lubshina, Lisa Manning, Don Picton, Gene Ruby, Emma Herrick, Gail Chrisse, Maureen Gasek, Heather Ivanovich, Jen Evans and Fawn Clarke-Peterson.

The trunk show will fill Gloria’s studio with handmade jewelry, mixed media collage, paintings, clothing, soap creations, screenprinted t-shirts and more.

They chose the first weekend in December so holiday shoppers can have an opportunity to buy local gifts and support area artists.

“There will be a lot of cool stuff that makes great gifts,” Gloria said. The theme for the inaugural trunk show is “Clever, Shiny, Strange, Pretty!” And guests are sure to have a fun time “rummaging” through locally made art and other treasures.

The trunk show runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Entry to the trunk show is free. Street parking is available on Downer Place; a convenient parking garage is located at the southeast corner of Downer Place and Stolp Avenue.

Other downtown businesses are also opening up during the weekend to create something of a downtown holiday spectacular.

Amaury Rosado will also open his upscale eatery, Chef Amaury at 33 West along Restaurant Row on New York Street, from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday with free hot chocolate and a "Merry Christmas" greeting. Matt and Heather Hook will sell Narimon products, handmade by Thai women, during the trunk show at Business Solutions, 14 W. Downer Pl., across the street from 7West Studio.

E-mail lisagloria@gmail.com for more information. Or visit the website at 7weststudio.com.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Nov. 20: Gallery 44 open studio in downtown Aurora

You are cordially invited to an


Saturday, Nov 20th, 5:30 p.m.


50 E. Galena, 2nd floor, Aurora, IL 60505

Join Cheryl Holz and fellow Gallery 44 artists

Anne Von Ehr, Cassidy Alexander, David Hettinger and Scott Harding

in Gallery 44's studios on the Fox River for their annual soiree.

Enjoy hors d'oeuvres and a glass of wine while you stroll from studio to studio!

Guest artists are:

open studio09

Natasha Lehrer- fiber artist, felt-maker and founder of Esther's Place, a fiber arts studio and retreat in Big Rock www.esthersplacefibers.com

Nadine Shoemaker- a new local potter showing off her latest ceramic wares!

David Alexander- An expert in the art of hand cut silhouettes. David will be cutting silhouette portraits all evening for $12!

Joyce Reuland-watercolorist and former Gallery 44 artist!

Nov. 18: Turkey Day and Diabetes at VNA

VNA of Fox Valley is offering a free workshop entitled “Thanksgiving with Diabetes” on Thursday, November 18 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at 400 N. Highland Avenue, Aurora. Nutritionist Sandra Meister will offer healthful tips on how to control blood sugars while still enjoying the traditional Thanksgiving foods. The workshop is open to everyone and family members of diabetics are also encouraged to attend. Snacks will be provided and everyone who attends will be entered into a drawing for a special Thanksgiving door prize. Call Kathy Astin at 630-482-8183 to register by Wednesday, November 17.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Nov. 18: Opening Art Reception at 33 West

Opening Reception:

An opening art reception featuring work by nationally known collage artist Laura Lein-Svencer will be held from 5:30 until 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 18 at Chef Amaury at 33 West. Lein-Svencer is the co-founder of the Midwest Collage Society and will be available to answer questions and talk about her work, workshops and classes. The exhibit runs through Jan 3 at Chef Amaury at 33 West on New York Street's Restaurant Row in Aurora.

Chef Amaury at 33 West is an upscale eatery located at 33 W. New York St. in downtown Aurora. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, visit www.chefamaury.com for more information. Convenient parking is available in West Suburban Bank's parking lot at the northwest corner of River and New York streets.

Local artists are featured bimonthly to support the arts and art awareness in our community. For more information about this event or information on exhibiting at Chef Amaury’s please contact Maureen Gasek at maureen@epsilondesign.net.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Nov. 17: New Haven Park opening

Grand opening of New Haven Park set for Nov. 17
AURORA – The public is invited to join Fox Valley Park District staff and community leaders from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 17, for the grand opening of New Haven Community Park.

The ceremony will feature a complimentary lunch sponsored by Pockets, along with games, crafts and various speakers.

Located on New Haven Avenue just west of Highland Avenue, the park is highlighted by two ball fields with lights – one for Pony League play and the other for Little League. Other features include two multi-use soccer-style fields, playground, shelter, restrooms, a 1/2 -mile asphalt path along the perimeter and a large, open play area.

A centrally located parking lot with drop-off zone will accommodate 170 vehicles. Surrounding parkland is dotted with native plant landscaping and natural buffer zones along its edges. A naturalized storm water detention pond near the park’s entrance may double as an ice skating area during winter months.

Other potential future developments include a possible mini disc golf practice course and a skateboard park area.

The 18-acre park was created from urban green space in the heart of a highly developed residential area. It was acquired and funded by the 2008 Open Space, Park and Recreation Investment (OSPRI) plan. The park is a cooperative effort based on an intergovernmental partnership with the Kane County Forest Preserve District and City of Aurora, which have committed funding toward the park’s acquisition and development, respectively.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Nov. 11: Veteran's Day Parade

Aurora will celebrate the commitment local military service men and women have given to our country with a Veterans Day parade and ceremony.

The parade will step off at 10:15 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, at Benton and Water streets in downtown Aurora. The parade route will proceed north on Broadway Avenue to Downer Place and then head west to the Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Hall.

Groups participating in the parade will be Marmion Academy Flannigan Rifles, East Aurora High School Navy Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, Chicago Highland Rifles, Aurora Lamplighter Chorus and many local veteran organizations.

The “Honoring All Who Served” ceremony will be held at about 10:30 a.m. at GAR Memorial Hall, 23 E. Downer Place, and will conclude with a military rifle salute by veteran organizations at 11 a.m.

The event is sponsored by the Roosevelt-Aurora American Legion Post No. 84 and the City of Aurora. For more information, call the Aurora Special Events Office at (630) 256-3370 or visit www.aurora-il.org.

Note: Aurora’s GAR Commission will host an open house on November 11 from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. for people to visit the Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Museum at 23 E. Downer Place. The GAR was constructed in 1878 as a monument to Aurora’s Civil War veterans. Restoration of the exterior was mostly completed in 2009. Interior restoration is the planning stages.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Nov.: AU's free cultural events for November

Music, art, theater on Aurora University November events calendar

Events are free to the public except where a fee is indicated. The schedule is:

Nov. 2: Day of Dead Display — Latin American Student Organization students will display a Day of the Dead altar and provide information from noon to 1 p.m. in the Dunham Hall atrium, 1400 Marseillaise Place in Aurora. For more information, call (630) 844-6259.

Nov. 2: Book Discussion — The first of three public discussions of Yossi Klein Halevi’s “At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden: A Jew's Search for Hope with Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land” will be held from 3:15 to 4 p.m. by the Wackerlin Center for Faith and Action at 430 S. Evanslawn Ave. in Aurora. Reservations are requested. Call (630) 844-6864 for more information.

Nov. 4: Lecture — Comanche author Paul Chaat Smith will discuss “Everything You Know About Indians is Wrong” at 7 p.m. in Perry Theatre in the Aurora Foundation Center, 1305 Kenilworth Place in Aurora. For more information, call 630-844-7843.

Nov. 7: Music — The Prometheus Trio, premier ensemble of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, will perform chamber music at 2 p.m.in Crimi Auditorium in the Institute for Collaboration, 407 S. Calumet Ave. in Aurora. Reservations are required. Call 630-844-4924.

Nov. 9: Book Discussion — The second of three public discussions of Yossi Klein Halevi’s “At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden: A Jew's Search for Hope with Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land” will be held from 3:15 to 4 p.m. by the Wackerlin Center for Faith and Action at 430 S. Evanslawn Ave. in Aurora. Reservations are requested. Call (630) 844-6864 for more information.

Nov. 11: Holocaust Speaker — “Witness to the Holocaust” will be presented by Skokie resident Magda Brown at 3:30 p.m. in the University Banquet Hall in Alumni Hall, 1410 Marseillaise Place in Aurora. For more information, call 630-844-6864.

Nov. 12-13, 17-20: Theater — The Theater Department stages “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds” at 7:30 in Perry Theatre located in the Aurora Foundation Center at 1305 Kenilworth Place in Aurora. Reservations are required. Call 630-844-4924.

Nov. 13: Theater — The Theater Department stages “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds” at 7:30 in Perry Theatre located in the Aurora Foundation Center at 1305 Kenilworth Place in Aurora. Stephens Hall. Reservations are required. Call 630-844-4924.

Nov. 16: Book Discussion — The third of three public discussions of Yossi Klein Halevi’s “At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden: A Jew's Search for Hope with Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land” will be held from 3:15 to 4 p.m. by the Wackerlin Center for Faith and Action at 430 S. Evanslawn Ave. in Aurora. Reservations are requested. Call (630) 844-6864 for more information.

Nov. 29: Film — “Mad Hot Ballroom,” the second of four films in the 2010-2011 AU Film Series, will be shown at 7 p.m. in Perry Theatre in the Aurora Foundation Center at 1305 Kenilworth Place in Aurora. A discussion will follow. For more information, call (630) 844-4924, e-mail artsandideas@aurora.edu or visit www.AUartsandideas.com.

Nov.: Park District offers facilities for free to Veterans

Park District proclaims November as Veterans Recognition Month

AURORA – The Fox Valley Park District has proclaimed November as Veterans Recognition Month and will pay its respects with a month-long fitness promotion and a free luncheon.

Throughout November, veterans may visit any Park District fitness facility an unlimited number of times for no charge. Free admittance for veterans and their families (spouses and children) is offered as the Eola Community Center (555 S. Eola Road), Prisco Community Center (150 W. Illinois Ave.) and Vaughan Athletic Center (2121 W. Indian Trail).

In addition, the Park District is hosting a Veterans Day Luncheon from noon to 1 p.m. on Nov. 11 at the Prisco Community Center. The lunch will be catered by Reuland’s and feature speakers from Honor Flight Chicago. Veterans are free; guests are $6 per person.

“We urge our residents to express gratitude to and recognize the sacrifice and valor of our active and former service men and women,” said Laurie Hoffman, director of Parks, Recreation and Communications.

The offers apply to all veterans and active military – and their immediate dependents – as well as members of the National Guard and Reserves. Participants need to show a valid military ID card.

Monday, October 25, 2010

*Oct. 30: Pancake Breakfast at Luigi's Pizza

Aurora Noon Lions Club To Hold Halloween Pancake Breakfast Benefit Oct. 30

AURORA, Ill.—Aurora’s Noon Lions club will hold a fourth annual Great Pumpkin pancake breakfast from 7:30 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30.

Luigi's Pizza and Fun Center, 732 Prairie St. in Aurora, will host the fundraiser to benefit Lions vision- and hearing-impaired charities.

The public is invited. The menu includes unlimited pancakes with sausage, mini donuts and milk, cider, coffee or orange juice.

Children are invited to attend in Halloween costumes and to have free instant color photographs taken with a costumed pumpkin character. Special photo frames will be available for purchase.

Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for children 3-12, and $20 for a family.

Tickets are available from Lions members and at the door. Admission is discounted $1 per person from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m.

Proceeds will benefit hearing and visually impaired persons. For more information, call 630 -921-1307.

Nov 13.: Craft fair at Alden of Waterford

Alden of Waterford 4th Annual Holiday Craft Fair & Open House - will be held on Saturday, Nov. 13th from 10 am - 2 pm at 1955 Randi Drive, Aurora. Come out for unique gifts, one of a kind decorations, crafts etc. Enjoy complimentary gift wrap, refreshments, a raffle and more. Admission is free.

Oct. 31: Trunk or Treat at Wesley United

What? Trunk or Treat is where you decorate the trunk of your car & children Trick or Treat from car to car.
Where? In the parking lot of Wesley UMC 14 W. May St.
When? Sunday, October 31st 4:00 - 7:30 p.m.
YOU! Anyone wishing to participate. Decorate your trunk or bring the kids trick or treating. Join the FUN!

If you plan on decorating your car, please let us know! Call the church office and ask for Sue or Laurie, 630-896-1033.

Oct. 31: Halloween Critical Mass bike ride

What: Critical Mass bike ride
When: Sunday, October 31 · 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Location: West Aurora High School
1201 W New York St
Aurora, IL
Created By Facebook group:
More Bike Lanes in Aurora, IL
Things to Bring:
Your Bike
Your Friends
Your Kids (either attached to your bike or if able to ride alone)



Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Oct. 25: The Guild at Backthird Audio in downtown Aurora

If you've read Donald Passman's classic "All You Need to Know About the Music Business," you'll remember the emphasis he puts on having a good entertainment attorney. Traditionally, music lawyers do more than "lawyer stuff" - they maintain long-term relationships with record labels, pitch artists and serve as a (sometimes rare) source of informed advice.

Take Susan Basko, for example. She writes and negotiates contracts for both music and film. But she also handles copyrights, does research for film and TV scripts, and pitches artists to media companies when it's appropriate.

Sue splits her time between Hollywood and Chicago. On Monday, she'll join us at the Guild.

We've asked Sue to bring a brief presentation covering her work and the "need to know" points of music and law. Among other things, expect her to touch on:
where the money is in music these days
what you should do legally to position yourself for success as a songwriter, performer or music business
which pitfalls to avoid, and how
The Guild kicks off, as always, with drinks and snacks at 7:30pm. Sue will present around 8 or 8:30, and we'll wrap as always with a time of Q&A and conversation. See you Monday!

Benjie Hughes
Backthird Audio
67 S. Stolp Ave.

Oct. 30: Say "Boo" to the flu at VNA

VNA of Fox Valley will host a “Say Boo to the Flu!” flu shot clinic on Saturday, October 30 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This Halloween-themed event takes place at VNA, 400 N. Highland Avenue in Aurora and will offer flu shots and simple flu prevention tips for both children and adults. From 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., VNA will offer indoor “Trick or Treating” for children ages 3 to 8. Children are encouraged to wear their holiday costumes, though it’s not necessary to do so to participate.

The indoor “Trick or Treating” is free to the public. Flu shots are $25 each, or no charge with Medicare part B or Medicaid. Those covered under Medicaid or Medicare Part B must bring their valid ID cards. Tetanus shots are available for $35 and pneumonia shots are available for $50. The pneumonia shot is covered under Medicare part B every 5 years; if you have had a pneumonia shot previously you must bring a note from your doctor authorizing a second shot. VNA accepts cash or checks for those paying for the shots.
Earlier this year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expanded its seasonal flu vaccine recommendations to include everyone 6 months and older, making vaccination a priority for the whole family.

“Say Boo to the Flu!” will take place at the VNA Health Center, 400 N Highland Avenue in Aurora. For more information on this event, call (630) 978-2532.

Oct. 26: Celebrate Montgomery's 175th!

On Tuesday, October 26th, the Village will host a 175th Anniversary Gala Reception from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Gray’s Mill, 211 N. River Street. The event will feature hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. The event is free, but only 200 tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. At this event, certificates and plaques will be awarded to descendants of people who lived in the area that is now Montgomery prior to 1910. Please contact the Village Hall by October 15th if you qualify for this recognition.

For additional information on these activities, please call the Montgomery Village Hall at (630) 896-8080 ext. 1114.

Nov. 4: Trace your family tree - Montgomery

The Historic Preservation Commission will be offering a free seminar on How to Trace Your Family Tree on November 3, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. in the Montgomery Village Hall Board Room. Debbie Buchanan, an accredited genealogist with 40 years of experience, will present this topic. This is an introductory-level seminar that will explain various forms and resources that will help you get started with your family tree.

This is the same seminar that was offered during daytime hours in September, but due to several requests an evening presentation is now planned.

For additional information on this seminar, please call the Montgomery Village Hall at (630) 896-8080 ext. 1114.

Nov. 6: Coffee with the Mayor of Montgomery

Montgomery Village President Marilyn Michelini will hold a Coffee with the Mayor on Saturday, November 6th from 9 – 11 a.m. at Bill’s Restaurant, 702 Montgomery Road in Montgomery.

This Coffee will provide an opportunity for residents to meet the Village President on an informal basis and discuss items of concern with her. Residents are encouraged to bring their comments, questions and ideas to the session.

Coffee and a continental breakfast will be provided by Bill’s Restaurant.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Oct. 22 to 24: VAC celebrates 5 years with free fun

The Vaughan Athletic Center will mark its fifth anniversary with a three-day celebration from Oct. 22 to 24 with free events and activities that are open to the public.

The triple-header weekend begins on Friday (Oct. 22) with a family gala from 5 to 8 p.m., highlighted by a performance from the Jesse White Tumblers. The evening will feature inflatables for the kids, face painting and caricature drawings. A magician and DJ also will be on hand.

On Saturday, a health fair featuring more than 20 vendors will be held from 9 a.m. to noon. The event will feature insights, exhibits and information about everything from massage therapy and foot screenings to health supplements and nutrition.

An array of fitness demos are slated on Sunday. From 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., the Vaughan Center will showcase live demonstrations on fitness routines such as spinning, Pilates, kettle bell, Tai Chi, yoga, tire-flipping and a ZumbaTomic demonstration for kids.

Also on Sunday, a “Zumba Party in Pink” will be held from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., with optional donations accepted to benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation supporting breast cancer research.

The state-of-the-industry, 225-000-square foot Vaughan Center opened in 2005 and currently hosts 11,000 members. Since its opening, more than 2 million guests have used the facility.

For information, contact the Vaughan Athletic Center at 630-907-9600.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Oct. 18: Downtown Auroran magazine release party

You're invited! Downtown Auroran magazine is celebrating the release of the Fall/Winter 2010-2011 issue.

When: Monday, Oct. 18
Where: Aurora Regional Fire Museum
53 N. Broadway Ave. in downtown Aurora
Time: 4 - 5:30 p.m.

A family-friendly magazine event. Pick up a copy. Stay for a minute or two and explore a fabulous museum right in downtown Aurora.

Meet the folks who are featured in the magazine and learn how to submit to the only free arts and culture magazine in Aurora.

Free parking in the rear of the museum.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Oct. 15: Art opening at the DLP "Skillets" by Donnell Collins


Award-winning photojournalist Donnell Collins explores the theme of race and the beauty industry in a gallery at the Aurora Public Art Commission this fall.

An opening reception for “Skillets, a Photo Essay by Donnell Collins” will be held from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15, at the Public Art Commission, 20 E. Downer Place. The reception, which is free, will feature musical entertainment by Allison Zabelin.

Collins, 54, who lives in Aurora, has worked on “Skillets” for more than 15 years. The gallery delves into negative messages and stereotypes that Collins said pervade in the beauty world. Studying race has been “one of the more exhausting themes” of his life, he said.

“Somewhere along the way, I have noticed within the so-called beauty world that many of us will go out and attempt to purchase what someone else has been naturally blessed with,” Collins said. “We sit in a salon or spa for hours adding on, cooking our skin, changing our eye color, bleaching our skin, avoiding the sun and having no fun.”

Collins attended Oak Park Elementary School, Simmons Junior High and East Aurora High School. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University, he served in the U.S. Army from 1974-1977. Collins then worked as a photographer for 20 years at the “Aurora Beacon-News,” winning numerous awards for his photo journalism.

In 2004, Collins was honored by the City of Aurora’s African-American Heritage Advisory Board for his outstanding achievements. He now works as a freelance photographer for the “Beacon-News” and operates his own photo studio in downtown Aurora.

“Skillets” will headline the Aurora Public Art Commission gallery Oct. 15 through Saturday, Dec. 4. Regular gallery hours are noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday. Admission is free.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Oct. 12: AU presents "Race, Roots and Relations"

Lecture: "Race, Roots and Relations: Native and African Americans"

The Schingoethe Center for Native American Cultures at Aurora University will host anthropologist and author Terry Straus in "Race, Roots and Relations" at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 12, in the center in Dunham Hall, 1400 Marseillaise Place in Aurora.

The public is invited. Admission is free. The program is part of the Schingoethe Center's 20th anniversary celebration.

Straus will discuss her latest book, "Race, Roots and Relations." She is a lecturer in the graduate division of the social sciences, anthropology of Native Americans, at the University of Chicago. Straus works with African-Native Americans in Chicago to help them preserve their heritage and determine their future.

Center hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. Free parking is available adjacent to Dunham Hall.

The museum opened in 1990 as a place to display some of the 6,000 artifacts donated by collectors Herb and Martha Schingoethe. The late Aurora couple also funded the construction of Dunham Hall and the museum on its lower level.

Call (630) 844-7843, e-mail museum@aurora.edu or visit aurora.edu/museum.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Oct. 8: Free football at East High

Tomcat fans can earn FREE admission to Friday night’s football game by donating at least one non-perishable food item to the East Aurora High School Food Drive.

On Friday, October 8, the East Aurora Tomcats host South Elgin High School at the Roy E. Davis Field. The sophomore game is at 5:15 p.m. and kick-off for the Varsity game is at 7:30 p.m.

One free ticket per person will be issued for donating at least one non-perishable food item at the main gate. More than one item will be accepted. Students, staff, parents, and community members are invited to participate and support a very worthy cause.

All food items will be donated to the Aurora Interfaith Food Pantry.

Regular paid admission is still available.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Oct. 22, 23 & 24: Vaughn Center turns 5!

Happy Anniversary VAC! Celebrate five years of fitness at the Vaughan Athletic Center from Oct. 22 to 24. There will be a health fair, fitness demonstrations, children's activities and more. Call 630-907-9600 for more information.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sept. 29: Quad County Art Show & Anniversary Celebration

DATE: Wednesday, September 29, 2010
TIME: 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
LOCATION: 1685 N. Farnsworth Ave /Aurora

Spoken Words at 7:30 p.m.
Contributions to support Quad County Urban League programs greatly appreciated.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sept. 28 & 29: Aztec Stories in Aurora

Get your gourd in gear with Aztec stories! Both at Prisco Community Center (sponsored by Aurora Public Library) on Tues. and AU on Wed.

Tues. 6:30-7:30 at Prisco on Illinois Ave. and Rt. 31 in Aurora.

Wed. 7 p.m. - Perry Theatre at Aurora University.

Enjoy the best of storytelling!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sept. 26: Hula hoop in downtown Aurora

Sunday, September 26 · 11:00am - 1:00pm

LocationWater St. park (between downer & galena) downtown aurora

Created By

More InfoCome out and enjoy the afternoon with us! Bring a lunch, bring a hoop (or get a new one from us), bring a friend...free lessons! We will be hoopin' it up and having a great time. All ages. Musicians welcome to perform. Water Street Mall is located near City Hall between Downer and Galena.

Sept.: Free fall! Fox Valley Park District and beyond...

Fall into fitness at the park district! Commit to get fit this season and beyond. FVPD makes it easy with a free, 7-day pass to any fitness center this month. You can test out the equipment and attend group exercises classes for free. Learn how beneficial it can be to have a first-class facility to call home for your workouts! But hurry - the promotion ends Sept. 30.

First-time visitors who take advantage of the free week-long trial will learn about the many health benefits that result from being a fitness club member. The offer is available to guests age 16 and over.

A free seven-day pass can be redeemed at the Eola Community Center (555 S. Eola Road), Prisco Community Center (150 W. Illinois Ave.) and the Vaughan Athletic Center (2121 W. Indian Trail).

For more information, call any fitness center or visit the Park District website at www.foxvalleyparkdistrict.org.

It's always free to explore the park district trails by foot or bike! Take a trip to Red Oak Nature Center and collect leaves to identify or turn into craft projects with your children. Nature and imagination - always free! The Gilman trail is a great place to enjoy a fall bike ride. Or visit Phillips Park on Aurora's East Side. Free zoo, free fun!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sept. 25: Art opening at the Paramount Theatre

Greta Bell is showcasing her paintings at Paramount Theatre's second floor gallery this fall. Join Bell at the opening reception on Sat., Sept. 25 from 7-9 p.m.

Meet the artists, enjoy artwork, conversation, and light appetizers.
Most artwork is for sale.

Paramount Theatre is located on Galena in downtown Aurora. Parking is plentiful on adjacent streets, public lots and two parking lots -- all within walking distance.

Make it a night out and visit Restaurant Row on New York Street!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sept. 18: The future of Downer Place in downtown Aurora

Sat., Sept. 18 from 9-1.

Please join Aurora Downtown for a visioning workshop
focusing on re-inventing Downer Place and the West Branch
of the Fox River between Downer Place and Benton. Topics to be
...discussed include streetscape, landscape, identity and marketing,
the upper Riverwalk and more.

Come give us your thoughts!

For more information or to RSVP, please call
Dan Hites at (630) 624-7369.

Saturday, September 18
9 am to 1 pm
8 Galena Blvd.
Aurora, IL 60505

Sept. 25: Museums Un-crated at Aurora Regional Fire Museum

On Saturday, September 25, 2010, the Aurora Regional Fire Museum will open their new exhibit “Museums Un-Crated” which features nineteen rare firefighting artifacts recently transferred from the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History to the collection of the Aurora Regional Fire Museum.

It’s a well-known movie ending. The legendary Ark of the Covenant has been rescued from evil, only to be boxed up in a wooden crate, stenciled ...with an identification number, and then seemingly lost inside a vast storage warehouse.

Although the movie’s plot is pure fiction, large museums such as the Smithsonian do have gigantic collection warehouses where objects are stored in wooden crates. The catalyst for the new exhibit at the Aurora Regional Fire Museum is the recent transfer of nineteen rare firefighting artifacts from the collections storage warehouse of the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History to the Aurora Regional Fire Museum. Why did the Smithsonian decide to offer these objects to another museum, and why did the fire museum accept them? Who decides what a museum should collect and what should be exhibited? How do museums use the things in their collections, and where do they keep the objects not on display?

In short, the Aurora Regional Fire Museum’s new exhibit "Museums Un-Crated" opens the mythical wooden storage crates of a museum, and gives visitors an inside look at how and why museums collect, use, and preserve things.

In addition to the new exhibit, the Aurora Regional Fire Museum will join participating museums and cultural institutions nationwide in opening their doors free of charge on Saturday September 25, 2010 for the Smithsonian Magazine’s sixth annual Museum Day.

In a journey to celebrate our world’s dynamic heritage and cultural life, participating Museum Day venues emulate the free admission policy of the Smithsonian Institution’s Washington, DC-based facilities. Museum Day 2010 is poised to be the largest to date, outdoing last year’s record-breaking event. Over 300,000 museum-goers and 1,300 venues in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico participated in Museum Day 2009.

Listings and links to participating museums, and a free Museum Day Ticket is available to download at www.smithsonian.com/museumday. Visitors who present the official pass will gain free admission for two people at participating museums and cultural venues. One ticket is permitted per email address. -- from Facebook event listing

The exhibit "Museums Un-Crated" will be open Sept. 25th though 2011. For the latest hours, exhibit, and special event information, visit the Aurora Regional Fire Museum's website:

Sept. 23: Duck Race at Alden of Waterford

Event Date: 9/23/2010
Venue / Location Information:
Name: Alden of Waterford Rehabilitation and Health Care Center
Address: 2021 Randi Drive
City: Aurora
State: Illinois
Event Time / Additional Information: 4:oo p.m. - Duck Race starts at 5 p.m.
Contact Info: Cindy, 630-851-7266

Hundreds of people will cheer on nearly 2,000 ducks at the ‘2nd Annual Duck Race,’ which will start at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23 at Alden of Waterford Rehabilitation and Health Care Center, 2021 Randi Dr. in Aurora. The race begins at 5 p.m. The Aurora Fire Department will be on hand to assist the ducks in racing across the Alden of Waterford pond.

Participants will have the opportunity to enjoy appetizers catered by the rehabilitation center’s professional chef, a cocktail hour featuring Alden’s signature wines, live entertainment by the Emerald Society Bag Pipers, McNulty Irish Dancers and games for children. The owner of the first duck to cross the finish line will receive $500 in cash. The 2nd place winner will receive a dental basket valued at $300 featuring a Sonic Care electronic toothbrush and more. The 3rd place winner will receive a $150 entertainment basket that features gift cards to local movie theaters and restaurants. On-site mini-raffle sales feature additional prizes, including a Starbucks coffee basket, spa basket, several retail gift cards and more.

All proceeds from the ‘Duck Race’ will benefit the Donald Davidson-Alan Brin Memorial Chapter of the Leukemia Research Foundation. Rubber duckys are being sold for $5 until 4:30 p.m. the day of the race. To register or for more information, call 630-851-7266. -- from www.Triblocal.com.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sept. 26: Critical Mass in Aurora

Critical Mass is a bike ride plain and simple. A Critical Mass is created when the group of riders comes together for those few hours to take back the streets of our city.

The right of the people to assemble is guaranteed in the Constitution, and Critical Mass helps people remember that right. The Mass itself has no political agenda, though, no more than the people of any other community do. Critical Mass is open to all, and it welcomes all riders to join in a celebration of riding bicycles. Why? Because bikes are fun!

Sure, as with any community, you'll see people of all types. Some people see Critical Mass as a forum for grassroots political change. Some people see it as a protest against cars. Some people just like to ride. The Mass, however, is just that...a bunch of bike riders. You can drive a car the whole month and ride in the Mass. You can be an anarchist and ride in the Mass. The point of the Mass is the Mass, nothing more. Critical Mass has no leadership. It is a ride where no one is in charge. At any time, riders are free to leave, stay, stop, or even help out. Everyone is responsible for themselves and the Mass. -- from ChicagoCriticalMass.org

Meet at West High on New York Street in Aurora on Sunday, Sept. 26 at 2 p.m.

Learn more about Aurora's first Critical Mass on Facebook: More Bike Lanes in Aurora, IL

Sept. 19: Bluegrass Jam at Dickson-Murst Farm

Get your toes a-tappin' at the Bluegrass Jam at the Dickson-Murst Farm on Sunday, September 19th, 2010 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dickson-Murst Farm is located in Montgomery - take Orchard Rd. to Rt. 30 west to Dickson Rd. (turn left - there are usually signs).

The Dickson-Murst Farm Partners invite Bluegrass musicians and music lovers to The Conservation Foundation's Dickson-Murst Farm for a day of unstructured jamming and enjoyment. Wander from impromptu band to band, enjoy the artists and antique vendors with a background of live bluegrass. Visit the Country Kitchen for a snack, tour the neighborhood on a hay ride, and let your cares float away on the notes of the music.

Free Things highly recommends this family-friendly event! Have a picnic and let the kids run around on the farm!

This event will be held rain or shine, and will be moved under cover in case of rain. Admission and parking are FREE! Call 630-272-0686 for more information.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sept. 14 - Dec. 17: AU Schingoethe Gallery celebrates 20 years

“Just as Curious When It’s Sung,” an art exhibit by Katie Kahn, Chicago resident and Northern Illinois University associate professor of painting, will open a 20th anniversary celebration by Aurora University’s Schingoethe Center for Native American Cultures.

The free exhibit is open to the public Sept. 14 to Dec. 17 at the Schingoethe Gallery in Dunham Hall, 1400 Marseillaise Place in Aurora. The show will open Sept. 14 with a reception from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The reception will be followed by a lecture by the artist at 6:30 p.m.

According to Meg Bero, Schingoethe Center executive director, “In this show, Kahn explores a place of engagement between the personal, political and natural worlds in order to examine that interaction, and to discover wherein lies individual and communal responsibility.”

Kahn earned a master’s degree in fine arts from Yale University School of Art and a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from California College of Arts and Crafts. Additionally, she received a fellowship to Yale Norfolk Summer School of Music and Art and attended the University of Chicago.

Her grants and residencies include National Endowment for the Arts Individual Fellowship Grant; Roswell Artist-in-Residence Fellowship Program; Ucross Foundation; and Ragdale Foundation.

Sept. 18 & 19: Fiestas Patrias

Fiestas Patrias 9/18 & 9/19: The Aurora Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the Aurora Hispanic Heritage Advisory Board is pleased to announce Fiestas Patrias Aurora 2010, a celebration of Latin American heritage and culture.

The two-day music festival will take place in downtown Aurora on Saturday, September 18th from noon to 10 pm and Sunday, September 19th from noon until 8 pm. Reestablishing the Fiestas Patrias festival is timely considering the bicentennial anniversary of Mexico and several other Latin American countries’ declarations of independence from Spain in 1810. Fiestas Patrias Aurora 2010 invites the community to celebrate and recognize this event.

The festival series will be staged at North River Street Park and the parking lot immediately south of the park. Main stage entertainment will take place throughout Saturday and Sunday. Various genres of music will be performed, including banda, mariachi, cumbia, tejano, norteno, and rock. A children’s amusement area will be featured on both days.

Vendors will provide booths specializing in festive foods and many different culinary delights from Latin America, along with traditional festival food fare of hamburgers, Bar-B-Que, corn on the cob, hot wings and other delights. Additionally, local businesses will provide booths with offerings for festival patrons.

The parade steps off at 12 noon, Sunday, September 19th at the corner of River Street and Benton Street; then to Broadway, Galena Boulevard, Stolp Avenue, Downer Place, and ending at Middle Avenue. The parade program begins at 11:15 am in front of the Paramount Theatre.

Admission to Fiestas Patrias Aurora 2010 is free to all ages.