Skip to main content

Neighbors of Kane County

Around the Block: November & December

Oct 28, 2016 10:18AM ● By Neighbors Magazines


Batavia resident receives life saving double lung transplant

Alex Houtkooper, a 2005 graduate of Batavia High School, recently received a life saving double lung transplant on June 4 at Loyola Medical Hospital in Maywood. Alex and his family have been long time residents of Batavia, and his family owns ExpertRE Inc. in downtown Batavia. Alex has battled Cystic Fibrosis his entire life.

A Facebook page was set up at If you’d like to follow Alex’s story and show your support, please come and join his page. A YouCaring fundraiser was set up to help Alex with his medical bills, transplant cost and aftercare at

Fox Valley Robotics hosts LEGO Robotics Regional Challenge event

Looking for something fun and exciting to do with the family? Fox Valley Robotics/Batavia Robotics will host a double regional competition for 32 teams from around the state on Sat., Dec. 17. Kids ages 9–14 will compete in four different categories as they try to qualify for the state competition in January. This year the teams are challenged with “Animal Allies” to come up with new ways of interacting with animals. They will compete in technical presentations, research projects, team work exercises and Lego robot table missions.,

Batavia’s Holiday House Decorating Contest is Wed., Dec. 7

Show off your holiday spirit and enter Batavia’s Holiday House Decorating Contest. Prizes will be awarded in four categories: Most Original, Best Theme, Best Use of Lights and People’s Choice. All displays will be judged on Wed., Dec. 7 between 6–9pm. Winners will receive a Batavia Park District prize package. This contest is for Batavia Park District residents. Addresses of all entries will be published in local media unless specified otherwise at the time of registration. The registration deadline is Tues., Dec. 6. To register or for more information, call 630-879-5235.

Janene Albrecht, right, Club President, honors members Bob Cassidy, left, and Sue Bauer, center with the Legion of Honor Award at their Annual Dinner on Sept. 29.

Two Batavia Kiwanis Club members inducted into the Legion of Honor

The success of Kiwanis in local communities results from the strong and active service of thousands of Kiwanis-club members. Many dedicated individuals have achieved more than 25 years of service to Kiwanis, and they deserve recognition for helping make Kiwanis the great organization it is today. On Sept. 29, two members of the Kiwanis Club of Batavia were inducted into the Legion of Honor, Sue Bauer, and Bob Cassidy.

Bauer is a retired teacher from Batavia High School and Cassidy is a retired Dean of Students, and longtime teacher. Both have been heavily involved in mentoring students in and out of the classroom, and have served as Advisers to Service Leadership Programs sponsored by the Batavia Kiwanis Club, including the K-kids at Hoover Wood Elementary School, and the Key Club at Batavia High School.

Visit Batavia Mainstreet’s 2016 holiday market

Come explore this unique three day pop up market held annually to showcase local retail and shopping in Batavia. The market is holiday-themed and full of vintage and one-of-a-kind items from downtown retailers and selected artisans. The Holiday Market takes place Nov. 10–12 in the Congregational Church at 21 S. Batavia Ave.

Batavia Boy Scout Troop 12 opens annual Christmas tree lot

Boy Scout Troop 12 once again offers Batavians fresh cut Christmas trees starting Nov. 20.

Representing 59 years of tradition, Immanuel Lutheran Troop 12 tree lot will offer fresh, pre-cut Christmas trees, wreaths and roping beginning Sun., Nov. 20 through Sat., Dec. 24 at 411 S. River St. (Route 25), adjacent to the Batavia Skate Park. Hours are Monday–Friday from 5–9pm and weekends from 9am–9pm. All proceeds directly benefit the Scouts, and cash, checks or credit cards are welcome.

Memory loss support group at The Holmstad Nov. 3

The Holmstad Helping Hearts, a free family and caregivers support group offered at The Holmstad, is offered the first Thursday of the month, 1:30–2:30pm in the Town Center classroom. Registration is not required to attend the support group, but you must reserve a spot for your loved one requiring care by calling Brenda Lowden, RN, at 630-879-4034 or emailing her at The care is provided free of charge.

Lions Club hosts annual Pancake Breakfast with SantaThe Batavia Lions Club will host its annual Pancake Breakfast with Santa Sat., Dec. 3, 8:30am at the Eastside Community Center.

Santa greets each boy and girl with a gift and an entertainer will make sure everyone has a great time. The breakfast includes pancakes, sausage, eggs, fruit, coffee, juice and milk. Tickets are available through the Batavia Park District,



The Geneva Women’s Club holds 42nd annual Holiday  Craft Show

The Geneva Women’s Club is holding its 42nd Annual Arts and Crafts Show from 9am–3pm, Sat., Nov. 12 at Geneva High School, 416 McKinley Ave.

Please join the Women’s Club for this unique event with all handcrafted and unique crafts just in time for your holiday gift giving needs. The Club anticipates over one hundred different booths displaying both arts and crafts. Attendance topped out at over 2000 attendees at last year’s event.

Admission is $5 and children under 12 are free. If you are interested in showing your unique, hand crafted items, please contact or visit for an application. All proceeds from this event go to support local Fox Valley charities and Geneva High school student scholarships.

Take a break from holiday stress and join the Fox Valley Laughter Yoga Circle.

The Fox Valley Laughter Yoga Circle meets twice a month

The Fox Valley Laughter Circle is a Laughter Wellness group that meets on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month from 6–7pm at the Chesapeake Commons Clubhouse, 1490 Geneva Dr., Geneva.

Members of the Laughter Yoga Circle laugh intentionally to help manage their stress, improve their outlook on life and strengthen their health. The Fox Valley Laughter Yoga Circle is free and fun, and you’ll walk away refreshed and full of life. For more information, call Terri Reasoner at 630-232-8552.

Capture the magic of the season Christmas Walk—Dec. 2

Yuletide cheer fills the winter air when Geneva prepares for its annual Christmas Walk Dec. 2. A special tradition held the first Friday in December, sponsored by the Geneva Chamber of Commerce with the support of the City of Geneva.

Friday evening begins with Graham’s Chocolates First Candy Cane of the season being presented with great fanfare followed by the arrival of Santa Lucia, the Swedish symbol of the season, who will offer Swedish cookies to merry-makers. The Great Tree on the Courthouse lawn is lit and then young and young at heart will wait with anticipation as Santa Claus arrives on a horse-drawn carriage. Santa and Mrs. Claus will then open their gingerbread home for visits from excited children.

Amongst the twinkling lights and fresh greenery lined streets, chestnuts are roasting over open fires, carolers are filling the night air with seasonal favorites, a traditional candy cane pull is close by and a live nativity scene is taking place. Dazzling window displays brimming with gift ideas invite shoppers to stroll through shops as merchants serve traditional holiday refreshments. 630-232-6060,

Geneva Lions Club hosts fifth annual Pancake Breakfast with Santa

The Geneva Lions Club will host its fifth annual Pancake Breakfast with Santa Sat., Dec. 3, 2016, 7:30–11am at the Geneva High School Cafeteria, 415 McKinley.

In addition to free photos with Santa, the event features live holiday music and a free crafts section. The breakfast includes pancakes, sausage, juice, milk and Arcedium Coffee. Tickets are $6 in advance or $7 at the door. Children three and under are free. Purchase your tickets from your favorite Geneva Lion, at the Geneva History Museum, State Street Jewelers or online at

Fashion show for moms and daughters at Riverside Banquets Nov. 6

Moms, spend some special time with your little lady. On Sun., Nov. 6 from 11am–1pm at Riverside Banquets in Geneva, enjoy tea and treats before a fabulous fashion show. Each registered daughter will even have the option to be a model. The fee per person, for ages 3+, is $21 for residents and $36 for nonresidents. Advance registration is required at

Fox River Distilling Company’s First Friday event is Nov. 4

Come to the First Friday event from 5:30–8pm at the Fox River Distilling Company where you can see the distillery up close and meet the distiller while tasting spirits. Each month Fox River Distilling features live music, small bites by local restaurants and bakeries and a specialty cocktail recipe.

Participate in the Adult Team Spelling Bee

The Adult Team Spelling Bee is a unique event very different from your grade school memories. Teams of three will have the opportunity to collaborate with each other before spelling a variety of words specifically selected to ensure the night is both challenging and exciting.

If you advance past the swarm round, you’ll have the opportunity to stand on stage and spell for your chance to win $300.

Come dressed in fun costumes! Prizes will be awarded to the most creative individual costume, best themed team and more. The spelling be takes place Sat., Nov. 5 at Playhouse 38 at 321 Stevens St. Registration is $50 per team. Food, beer and wine will be available for purchase.


North Aurora

Visit Santa Claus at the Marmion
Christmas Craft & Home Show. 

Come to the Marmion Christmas Craft and Home Show

Crafters from all of over the Fox Valley area and surrounding states love this ever popular Craft and Home Show. With over 2,500 patrons visiting the Craft and Home Show on Thanksgiving weekend, visiting the show has become a family tradition in the area. Each year the Craft and Home Show is publicized throughout Chicago and surrounding suburbs. This year’s craft show is Sat., Nov. 26 from 9–4pm and Sun., Nov. 27 from 10am–2pm.

Cut down your own Christmas tree at Abbey Farms

This winter, bring the family to Abbey Farms and hunt out your very own Christmas tree from over 120 acres of trees, or choose one of the Farm’s freshly cut Fir Christmas trees from Michigan. When you are all set, visit their seasonal store for unique gifts, jams and so much more. Enjoy complimentary tree netting and tree shaking along with as much hot chocolate as you desire. If there is snow on the ground, sleds will be provided to enjoy around the farm. Be sure to grab a freshly baked donut or two! Abbey Farms is open every day from 10am–7pm, the weekend before Thanksgiving–Dec. 23.

North Aurora Mothers Club (NAMC) celebrates 20 years of putting the unity in community

North Aurora Mothers Club (NAMC) is excited to embark on their 20th membership year. If you have a desire to improve the community around you while having a great time, then this is the time to join NAMC! The Club meets the needs of their members and those they serve through charitable aid and public-spirited events providing education, fellowship and support. While meeting goals, the North Aurora Mothers Club builds friendships, raises families and has fun.

NAMC meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 7:30pm in the First State Bank on Randall Rd. in North Aurora (75 S. Randall Rd.). Come join them at their next monthly meeting.

Aurora’s Winter Lights Festival

As the City of Aurora’s official kick-off to the holiday season, this family-oriented event will be filled with merry-making moments and a sleigh full of free fun for the entire family.

The Winter Lights Festival takes place downtown Aurora at 6:30pm on Fri., Nov. 18. The event starts with the Holiday Parade ushering in the jolly old elf himself, Santa, along with Mrs. Claus. It’s followed by a grand fireworks display along the banks of the Fox River. Visit the holiday Pop-up Shops on Water Street Mall from 5–9pm for music, art, gifts and good things to eat!

The twinkling lit streets will be filled with live music, costumed characters, festive photo-ops, live reindeer and much more! The official City of Aurora Holiday Tree, located in front of Grand Army of the Republic Museum at 23 East Downer Pl., will be illuminated by Mayor Weisner, Miss Merry Christmas and Mr. Jack Frost along with an award presentation for the winners of the Downtown Window Decorating Contest.

Join in North Aurora’s Veteran’s Day Ceremony

Please join the Village of North Aurora on Veteran’s Day to commemorate and honor the Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces.

The Village of North Aurora Annual Veterans Day Ceremony Will be held on Fri., Nov. 11 at 2pm. The Ceremony will be held at the North Aurora Veteran’s Memorial located at the intersection of Farview Dr. and Willow Way, in North Aurora. The North Aurora Honor Guard, the Fox Valley Marines,and Marmion Military Academy will participate in the ceremony.

Go back in time on Civil war Saturdays in Aurora

Last Saturdays of the month are Civil War Saturdays in Aurora at the Grand Army of the Republic Hall. Come join the Illinois 36th Regiment on Nov. 26 at GAR Hall, 23 E. Downer Pl. and learn about Aurora’s very own Civil War training camp, Camp Hammond. See how soldiers ate, slept and trained, right in Aurora’s own backyard. Civil War Saturdays are free and open to the public.

The Aurora Interfaith Food Pantry’s sixth annual gala is Nov. 12

Mark your calendar for the Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry’s sixth annual gala, Sat., Nov. 12 from 5:30–10pm at Piper’s Banquets in Aurora. There will be an open bar, dinner, auction, and musical selections featuring the cast of the Paramount Theatre’s The Little Mermaid. Enjoy a glitzy and glamourous evening in support of a great cause.

Harry Potter Day at the Santori Public Library Nov. 16

The wizarding world is coming to the Santori Public Library in Aurora, Wed., Nov. 16 from 5–8pm. Come see what Hogwarts has to offer, visit Diagon Alley and try your hand at a game of Quidditch! This is a free event and costumes are welcome.

First Fridays continues in downtown Aurora

Art, music, fun—it’s time for First Fridays! Join your friends and neighbors at a variety of venues in downtown Aurora. On the first Friday of each month from 5–11pm, downtown Aurora is open for art, music, food, shopping, dining, theater and more. The next two first Friday events will be held Nov. 4 and Dec. 2.

Wine and Canvas event at Blackberry Farm Nov. 16

Pinot Noir meets the palette for a lively evening of painting, sipping and socializing. No artistic experience is necessary; an instructor guides you through and soon your custom canvas creation comes to life. You might even amaze yourself! Bring your favorite beverages and friends to this interactive evening of creative fun. Fee includes instructor and all art material. This event is Wed., Nov 16 at 6pm at Blackberry Farm.

Operation Christmas gets underway

The North Aurora Mothers Club Operation Christmas will be getting underway. Look for the Giving Trees at Messenger Public Library and throughout the community. Simply take a tag from the tree and make a child’s Christmas wish come true by purchasing the item on the card.

Each year the NAMC helps an average of 40 families and over 200 children to have the holiday they would otherwise not be able to celebrate. Each family receives gifts and a traditional holiday meal. Families helped are referred through schools, churches and other agency partners of NAMC and privacy and confidentiality are strictly maintained.

For more information or to make a donation contact

Annual turkey raffle coming up

The North Aurora Firefighters Association will host its annual turkey raffle on Fri., Nov. 18 and Sat., Nov. 19, from 6pm. to 12am. The raffle is held in the apparatus storage and maintenance building just north of Station #1 on Monroe St.

Firefighters will be raffling off over 500 turkeys, hams, and steaks. Food and beverages are available throughout the night.

Grand Prize cash drawings are Saturday night at 12am and progressive cash drawings every half hour both evenings. Tickets for the grand prize drawing are $10 each and are being sold in advance by any of the North Aurora firefighters or at the fire station.

All proceeds from the turkey raffle go directly back to the community. Throughout the year, the North Aurora Firefighters Association contributes to several community organizations and numerous charitable events and causes. Additional money is given to the community through support of Operation Christmas, four $1,000 scholarships towards the first year of college, and the Public Education Program.

This is a great opportunity to gather with family, friends, and neighbors and take part in a wonderful tradition of over 50 years! For more information, please call the Fire Department at 630-897-9698.

Keep someone warm 
this winter. Donate 
outgrown and extra 
winter coats, gloves and
mittens to Maddie's 
Mitten March.

Maddie’s Mitten March is on

The need is always great and Maddie’s Mitten March is accepting donations of children’s winter clothing. If you are in need of clothing or to donate cash, clothing or arrange a pickup call 630-897-2937 or send a message via

St. Charles

Jesus Galvan and Amy Morris, both of St. Charles, study at the St. Charles Public Library.

Tri-City literacy volunteers needed

Literacy Volunteers Fox Valley is seeking volunteers to help Tri-City adults learn English. Currently, 20 adults are waiting to learn. They are originally from Afghanistan, Cambodia, China, Columbia, India, Iran, Iraq, Italy and Mexico.

The program provides material and training so that anyone can be a tutor. The next tutor training workshop will be held from 6:30–9pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Jan. 10, 12, 17 and 19, 2017 at the St. Charles Public Library. Residents who are interested in registering for tutor training can visit or call/text Peg Coker at 630-584-4428.

Holiday traditions re-light at the Durant House

Take a step back in time and enjoy the warm glow of the hearth, music in the parlor, old fashion ginger cake and fragrant greens in every nook during Durant House Museum annual Candle Light event, Dec. 10 & 11, 2–6pm. Pioneer Sholes School will also be open from 2–5pm each afternoon. Both museums are located in LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve, 37W700 Dean St., St. Charles.

Come to the Annual Community Thanksgiving Feast and Christmas Brunch at Lazarus House

Lazarus House invites the community to its annual Thanksgiving Feast and Christmas Brunch. Everyone is welcome to share in a wonderful meal and fellowship.

The Community Thanksgiving Feast takes place from 11:30am–2pm on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24 at the St. Charles Salvation Army, 1710 S. 7th Ave. The Community Christmas Brunch goes from 11:30am–2pm on Christmas Day at the St. Charles Free Methodist Church at 214 Walnut St. More information about events, volunteering or donating a food item/supply is available at

Play pickleball at the Pottawatomie Community Center

Join the excitement of one of the newest sports crazes—pickleball! Participate in a one day round-robin scramble tournament on Sun., Nov. 20 from 9am–5pm in Pottawatomie Community Center. Participants must be age 18 or over, and all skill levels are welcome. The fee is $20 per person and includes lunch. For more details or to register, call Josh at 630-513-4329.

Meet Santa at the Hickory Knolls Discovery Center

Here comes Santa Claus with his team of sled dogs! On Sun., Dec. 4 from 10–11:30am, watch Santa arrive pulled by his dashing huskies, then spend time helping him get ready for his Big Day. Breakfast snacks included. This event takes place at Hickory Knolls Discovery Center, 3795 Campton Hills Rd. Fee is $5 for residents and $8 for nonresidents. Advance registration is required at

Help Primrose Farmers decorate for the holidays

Get into the holiday spirit by helping the Primrose Farmers decorate the Summer Kitchen! Learn about 1930s holiday traditions. Help string popcorn, decorate pine cones, and craft paper ornaments. Use the woodstove to bake holiday cookies and help yourself to hot cocoa. End your evening by decorating the Primrose sleigh and taking it on its first jaunt of the holiday season. All families will have an opportunity to take photos in the newly trimmed kitchen - a great memento to use in next year’s greeting card! This event will be held on Sat., Dec. 10 from 3–5pm at Primrose Farm, 5N7726 Crane Rd. Fee per household is $25 for residents and $38 for nonresidents. Register at