Archive for the ‘Resident Spotlights’ Category


Proceeds from the Algonquin Garden Club’s annual sale go toward annual scholarships, local charities, and community beautification efforts.

This year, the Algonquin Garden Club is planning a curbside pickup arrangement at two homes, one on the east and the other on west side of the Fox River. The club has numerous plants with limited amounts of each to share, so order early!

The annual fundraiser is used to help support yearly contributions toward scholarships, community organizations, charities and community beautification.

Photos of the plants are available on the Algonquin Garden Club Facebook page or algonquingardenclub.org. If you have questions contact Cathy at czange@outlook.com. The order forms are available on the website page. Note that there are two different order forms.

Please download, fill out the order form and return it by the following dates. Orders for hanging baskets, tomatoes and peppers must be received by Friday, April 16. Perennial orders, grown in member’s gardens, are due no later than Friday, April 23.

Order forms can be sent via email to alggardenclub@gmail.com or by mail to Algonquin Garden Club, P.O. Box 7851, Algonquin, IL 60102.

Once the orders are received and processed, you will be notified with a pickup time and location prior to Mother’s Day. Payment for the order will be made at the time of pickup. They will accept cash, check or credit card.

Orders will be filled in the order received and a free plant given with each order.

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Volunteers Colleen Konicek Hannigan and Finn Karam

Saint Anne Parish School 8th grader, Finn Karam is one of hundreds of young Barrington volunteers who have joined Hope’s In’s summer service trips to build homes for families living in poverty surrounding Guatemala City’s garbage dump. Founded by twin sisters and Barrington High School alums, Courtney McGovern and Ashley Quigley, Hope’s In’s 9th annual Hope’s in Style fashion show fundraiser is coming up this Sunday. The first Hope’s In Style fashion show, took place in February of 2013. The goal was to raise enough money to build a single cinderblock house for one girl’s family living in a shack surrounded by garbage.

Now in its 9th year, the Hope’s In Style fashion show has raised $325,000 and built 43 homes. Courtney McGovern says the Guatemala families they serve have been devastated during the Covid pandemic and the need now is greater than ever. For the first time, this year’s fashion show is virtual and coming up from 1-3 p.m. this Sunday, April 11th! The theme for this year’s event is Hope’s In Style: Masquerade, Hope Disguised.

About a hundred Barrington High School student stylists, models and volunteers have been busy producing the show, filmed at various locations around town. High school students will share their experiences during the pandemic and the challenges they faced. They will also share the hope they discovered unexpectedly during the pandemic and how it has made them even more empathetic and motivated changemakers.

Read more, including a Q&A with Finn Karam, in 365 Barrington here.

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J Tisbo

Conservationist Kristine Tompkins and Barrington’s Wendy Paulson talk conservancy at the Women in Science event hosted by the Field Museum’s Women’s Board and co-chaired by Jeannie Tisbo (pictured above) and Beth Glass.

Earlier this year, American conservationist Kristine (Kris) McDivvit Tompkins helped reintroduced the jaguar to Argentina’s Iberá wetlands—70 years after hunting and habitat loss drove the species to extinction—through Rewilding Argentina, the partner organization to Tompkins Conversation, which Tompkins co-founded with her late husband, Doug.

Mariua, an adult jaguar who was rescued as an orphan in Brazil, and her two cubs were released into Gran Iberá Park in January 2021, the first of nine jaguars slated to repopulate the species in the protected area, which was created in part with lands donated by Tompkins Conservation. Dubbed rewilding, the process fights the extinction crisis by reintroducing native species that are endangered or locally extinct.

At any given time, Tompkins and her team are working on the rewilding of a dozen species, from giant anteaters to red-and-green macaws and Darwin’s rhea, as part of their worldwide conservation efforts.

“It has taken 10 very complicated, costly, and nerve-wracking years to make this happen,” says Tompkins of the jaguar rewilding in Argentina. “All reintroductions are tough, but the benefit, then, is that you really feel each of the victories.”

Read more from Country Magazine here.

Sponsorships, tickets, and event details may be found at fieldmuseum.org/WISLunch.

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Though results are not yet final, the 220 teachers union was only successful in getting two of four candidates (Erin Chan Ding and incumbent Sandra Ficke-Bradford) elected to the District 220 Board of Education.

Voters throughout the Northwest suburbs sent educators a message Tuesday — for the most part endorsing the gradual reopening approach most districts have taken in response to the pandemic.

In school district after school district, candidates who put a priority on listening to the health experts were elected, apparently often with the help of teachers unions.

This was the case in Glenbard High School District 87, Stevenson High School District 125, Palatine-Schaumburg Townships District 211 and Northwest Suburban High School District 214.

But there were exceptions: In Arlington Heights Elementary District 25 and Barrington Unit District 220, voters split their choices between measured reopening candidates and those who were strongly critical of the remote learning environment.

Voter concerns about the impact of the pandemic on local students did not turn out many incumbents.

Out of 34 incumbents in contested races on school board ballots throughout the Northwest suburbs, only three appeared to have been defeated, according to unofficial tallies — Janice Krinsky in Elk Grove Township Elementary District 59, Michael Shackleton in Barrington Unit District 220, and Aurora Austriaco in Maine Township High School District 207.

Unions openly backed candidates in Glenview Elementary District 34, Elk Grove Township Elementary District 59, Glenbard High School District 87, Palatine-Schaumburg Townships High School District 211, Northwest Suburban High School District 214, and Glenbrook High Schools District 225, among others.

Those union candidates were successful virtually everywhere. The lone exception was in District 220 where union-backed candidates Lauren Berkowitz Klauer and Thomas J. Mitoraj lost.

Read more here.

Related:Here’s a SHOCKER! District 220 “TEACHERS UNION endorses 4 candidates of the 11 running for a seat on the Barrington School District 220 board.” Follow the money…

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With so many candidates running for various offices, we’d like to remind readers of the candidates The Barrington Hills Observer wholeheartedly endorses:


If you haven’t already, Please Vote tomorrow! 

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Saddle Room

The Saddle Room at the Anvil Club

In December — after 65 years as a private club — the Anvil Club opened its doors to the general public. And, with COVID-19 pandemic dining restrictions easing, more and more people soon will be able to enjoy the historic surroundings while feasting on the many menu items headlined by the steaks and seafood.

Owner Tom Roeser, a local developer who owns several buildings in East Dundee and runs OTTO Engineering in Carpentersville, and Anvil Club General Manager Joe Robinson made the decision to open to the public as they navigated the tricky COVID-19 dining landscape.

“We’re a club for everyone now,” Robinson said. “The reaction has been wonderful. The members understand why we made the decision. I’ve heard from many of them that they’d rather have an Anvil Club open to the public than no Anvil Club at all.”

Read more here

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In a 2017 interview when he was 95, Dick Duchossois said he planned to retire at 100 (May 5, 2017 Daily Herald).

“Even Dick Duchossois, now 99 years old, has made peace with the track’s sale. Arlington Park’s phoenixlike ascent following the 1985 fire never would have happened without Duchossois’ resolve. The Barrington Hills billionaire and former principal owner of the track insisted that year’s Arlington Million would be held, just 26 days after the blaze. A photo that hangs in Arlington’s grandstand shows tractors readying the track for the Million, while rubble still smoldered nearby. Written on the photo: ‘Quit? Hell NO!’”

Somehow, Arlington Park survived the inferno in 1985 that reduced one of America’s revered horse racing venues to 21,000 tons of blackened rubble. Just three weeks later, hastily constructed bleachers and betting operations welcomed the running of the annual Arlington Million.

By 1989, a rebuilt and renamed Arlington International Racecourse had risen from the ashes more spectacular than before. Track announcer Phil Georgeff’s call, “Here they come, spinning out of the turn!” once again bellowed across the grandstand.

That was then. Today, Arlington faces the peril of casino competition. It’s a reality that the near-century-old bastion of Midwest horse racing likely won’t survive.

Arlington’s up for sale. Illinois expanded gambling in 2019 to allow horse racing venues to add casino operations, but Arlington’s owners, Churchill Downs Inc., called “financially untenable” a state measure that would require the track to pay extra taxes on gaming revenues to fund horse racing purses, if Churchill pursued a casino there.

Officials in Arlington Heights, a suburb that for decades has seen the racetrack as integral to its identity, have said they’re ready to move on from the “sport of kings.”

“We already have our planning department working on what we could do to encourage something that could put this unique property to its highest and best use,” Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes said last month.

Read the complete Chicago Tribune editorial here.

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The Barrington Hills Observer wholeheartedly endorses Brian Cecola for Village of Barrington Hills President, as well as David Riff, Tom Strauss and Laura Ekstrom for Village Trustees in the April 6th Consolidated Election.

Early voting starts this morning for the April 6, 2021 Consolidated Elections.  For information on where to cast your ballot between now and Election Day, click on your county below:

We’ll be publishing our official endorsements soon. In the meantime, feel free to use and share the sample ballot below noting our recommendations:

Sample Better

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2021 Merit

In his superintendent report at the March 16 meeting, Dr. Harris congratulated 18 BHS students who have been named 2021 National Merit Finalists. They are among some 7,600 finalists who were selected for the prestigious recognition, among a pool of some 15,000 semifinalists. The students now have the opportunity to compete for National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million. Winners will be selected based on their abilities, skills and accomplishments. Congrats to the following students:

Martha Abrahamson, Jacob Devadas, Emma Glenn, Sarah Huang, Ashwin Kasargode, Om Kolhe, Matthew Lee, Andrew Moritz, Aryan Nambiar, Saharsh Narayanam, Joseph Nepomuceno, Austin Nye, Sofia Rodriguez, Liam Starnes, Roseanne Strategos, Keegan Teal, Bryce Vist, and Isabella White 

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Five dancers from the Midwest Dance Collective — Dancewerks perform to organ music by Nicholas Renkosik during Sanfilippo Foundation’s “Valentine’s Day Virtual Concert,” which is available through March 31. (Sanfilippo Foundation)

Valentine’s Day is having a longer stay at the Sanfilippo Estate in Barrington Hills. A “Valentine’s Day Virtual Concert,” featuring acclaimed organists Zach Frame and Nicholas Renkosik, with special guests Midwest Dance Collective — Dancewerks, is available through March 31.

Frame’s numbers include, “Cheek to Cheek,” “Let Me Call You Sweetheart,” “Besame Mucho,” “That’s All,” and “My Funny Valentine.”

“We wanted it to be love songs and Valentine’s Day-related music,” Frame explained.

He has performed several virtual concerts on the Sanfilippo organ this past year. Frame described the organ as “truly one of the largest and best in the world. The possibilities with the instrument are truly endless. There are very few that even get close to the quality of that instrument anywhere in the world.”

Frame performs five nights each week at Organ Piper Pizza in a Milwaukee suburb.

Renkosik’s selections include “I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy” from South Pacific, and George Gershwin’s, “Our Love is Here to Stay.” He is joined by dancers from the Midwest Dance Collective for “Ten Cents a Dance.”

Read more here.

Valentine’s Day Virtual Concert

  • When: Available through March 31
  • Where: Virtual from the Sanfilippo Estate in Barrington Hills
  • Tickets:Minimum $20 donation
  • Information: sanfilippofoundation.org

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