Archive for the ‘Resident Spotlights’ Category

Hearts & Horses

Helen and Carl Tommaso channel the classic ’60s television show, Green Acres.


Carl Tommaso is riding hard. Boots in the stirrups and right arm up high, he whirls a lasso overhead, ready to rope a steer. Interventional cardiologist by day and cowboy in the margins, Barrington Hills’ Tommaso has been riding horses and roping steers in the competitive sport of team roping for more than 25 years. “People ask me, how did you get into this?” says Tommaso. “And I say, listen, once you leave Cook County, this might as well be Nebraska—Illinois is a farm state, and team roping is fairly widespread here.”

A skilled cardiologist who at his busiest performed 800 or more heart operations a year, Tommaso says the sport of team roping has been a huge stress reliever throughout his career.

One of the first generation of cardiologists to specialize in interventional surgeries (angioplasties and stents), Tommaso has been practicing as part of the NorthShore University HealthSystem for more than 25 years. “I love the practice, but it is a very high stress occupation,” he says. “Team roping takes me to a completely different place, meeting people from all different walks of life.”

Although Carl and his wife Helen, an ICU nurse now working with the pulmonary practice at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital, are planning to retire in 2021, Tommaso says he will keep riding and roping.

The sport itself is a rodeo mainstay. It grew out of cowboys’ work-a-day method for “stretching” steers when they needed treatment or care from a vet or owner. A two-person maneuver done on horseback, one cowboy (the header) lassos the head of the steer with one rope, followed by another cowboy (the heeler) who lassos the hind legs of the animal with a second rope. In competition, champion team ropers can complete the entire procedure in less than 4 seconds.

Read more from Country magazine here.

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Historian Leslie Goddard explores the history of Route 66, the iconic road that linked Chicago to Los Angeles from 1926 until its closing in the mid-1980s, on Tuesday, Feb. 9. (Courtesy of Village of Barrington)

Route 66 evokes images of gas stations, mom-and-pop motels, quirky attractions, and adventure on the open road.

In this nostalgia-packed lecture, historian Leslie Goddard explores the history of Route 66, the iconic road that linked Chicago to Los Angeles from 1926 until its closing in the mid-1980s.

Join for an afternoon or evening show at 1 or 7 p.m. Tuesday Feb. 9. A live Q&A will follow the afternoon presentation and a link will be provided post-event that allows ticket purchasers to view the event for up to 30 days.

Learn why Route 66 remains so indelibly associated with the lore of the American road trip. What was Route 66 like at its pinnacle — and what it is today.

Goddard is an award-winning actress and scholar who has been presenting history programs for more than 10 years. She holds a Ph.D. from Northwestern University specializing in American studies and U.S. history, as well as a master’s degree in theater.

For more information or tickets, visit www.barringtonswhitehouse.com/events. Barrington’s White House is at 145 W. Main St. in downtown Barrington.

Cultural programming at the White House is underwritten in part by generous sponsors, including the Wayne and Nan Kocourek, Kay Reich, Mr. and Mrs. Earle Combs, Kim Duchossois, McClintock Family Foundation, Sue and Rich Padula, Stephen and Mary Smith, Barrington Area Community Foundation, Barrington Bank and Trust, Mary B. Galvin, Northern Trust and Quintessential Barrington.

Submitted by Village of Barrington

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BARRINGTON HILLS, Ill. (CBS) — Airline customers are navigating mazes trying to get refunds on flights after COVID-19 derailed their travel plans.

Getting your refund can be tricky as it is, and even trickier if you used reward points for the purchase. A Barrington Hills family told CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas the payment snafus are causing headaches.

“We used to live in the city. We would bike to the games,” said Holly Husby.

As is displayed in their basement decorative choices, the Husbys are a Cubs family. They had both their first date and their engagement at Wrigley Field.

“It was Cubs-Giants,” said Holly Husby.

“The Cubs have always been a family affair,” said Marvin Husby.

The family booked a trip in early March to see the Cubs play the Cardinals in a historic series in London. They bought the plane tickets using about $12,700 worth of credit card reward points.

But then COVID-19 hit and international travel came to a halt, so they tried to get a refund.

Read the full CBS Chicago report here.

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Scotty Miller, a wide receiver for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, poses with St. Viator grad and Bears rookie tight end Cole Kmet after the Bears beat the Bucs Oct. 8 at Soldier Field. The two played on the same team in the Barrington Youth Football League. – COURTESY OF SCOTTY MILLER

Kids start playing sports and they dream. They dream of making the big play. They dream of playing in the big game.

Scotty Miller no longer has to dream, unless it’s about putting a Super Bowl ring on his finger.

The 2015 Barrington High School graduate had dreams come true last week. He not only caught a touchdown pass in the NFC Championship Game, he got to celebrate a moment that helped his team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, reach the big game.

Big game as in Super Bowl LV.

With seconds left in the first half against Green Bay at Lambeau Field, Miller, a second-year wide receiver, beat his defender and hauled in a 39-yard TD pass from Tom Brady to put Tampa ahead 21-10. The Bucs would eventually hold off the Packers, 31-26, and they will face Kansas City Feb. 7 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, the first time in Super Bowl history a team plays the game in its home stadium.

“I’m super excited,” Miller said two days after the big catch from his Tampa home. “I can’t really grasp it yet. I just show up to work every day and I get to play in the NFL. Being in the Super Bowl is very special and I feel very fortunate.”

Read more here.

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The Heritage Quilters are raffling a “Fit to be Tied” quilt with a bow-tie pattern made from 1930s pastel prints. (Courtesy of McHenry County Historical Society)

Time is running out for an opportunity to win this year’s McHenry County Historical Society hand-stitched quilt.  “Fit to be Tied” features a bow-tie pattern made from 1930s pastel prints.

Some of the fabric prints have recognizable figures in them. They are called object or conversation prints. These were used as early as the mid-1880s. Often the early prints were of a patriotic or nautical subject, or a nature theme.

The Heritage Quilters’ bow tie quilt has a lightness and whimsy to it, with a center block of applique. The pattern dates to the 1880s and was first published by the Ladies Arts Company in 1895.

Like so many quilt patterns, it had other names: Colonial Bow Tie, Peekhole, True Lovers’ Knot, Dumbbell. Tickets, $1 each or six for $5, are available online at mchenrycountyhistory.org/fit-be-tied.

Because of ongoing health concerns this year, the drawing will be held virtually at 3 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1, at the museum, 6422 Main St. in Union. Visit GotHistory.org for a link to follow along, or follow www.facebook.com/McHenryCountyHistoricalSociety.

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Condoleezza Rice, secretary of state under President George W. Bush, speaks Saturday at the Barrington “Town-Warming” via Zoom. (Courtesy of Village of Barrington)

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was the star attraction at the Barrington’s Cultural Commission’s 4th annual “Town-Warming,” conducted for more than 200 people over Zoom on Saturday.

Rice, who was in office during the presidency of George W. Bush, chatted with Motorola Chairman and CEO Greg Brown, on relations with China and Russia, the political climate, and her interest in music, ice skating, golf and football.

“We must re-dedicate ourselves to a common American purpose,” she said.

Brown also spoke with former U.S. Commerce Secretary William M. Daley, who served under President Bill Clinton, about the tumultuous events of the past several months and how the country might move forward.

Barrington historian Barbara Benson provided a historical perspective on the role that Barrington’s White House played during the previous pandemic in 1917-18.

Barrington village President Karen Darch said that while the event was different this year because of the pandemic, “it was extraordinary just the same.”


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For Immediate Release

SPRINGFIELD… State Representative Martin McLaughlin (R-Barrington Hills) enters his first term today as State Representative for the 52nd House District commencing the 102nd Illinois General Assembly. Rep. McLaughlin released the following statement:

“I am extremely honored and humbled to be sworn in today as your State Representative. Thank you for the opportunity to serve our great community in Springfield.

Today marks a new era with long time Speaker, Mike Madigan, out of the picture. I decided to run for this position because Illinois is broken and a complete fiscal disaster. I have dedicated my career to solving pension and fiscal problems, and I hope to represent all of you in the 52nd District with honesty, integrity, and transparency.

We have so much work to do in the 102nd General Assembly and I truly hope my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are actually ready for positive change in Springfield. Americans have suffered immensely this past year, business owners need relief, and Illinoisans need government responsibility now more than ever. I am ready to get to work! Thank you for the opportunity to be the fiscal watchdog we need.”

Jack Ivansek
House Republican Staff

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The Jackson School on Bateman Road was build around 1856. This photo is from the 1890s when Gertrude Meter was the teacher. (Tales of Old Barrington)

Founded in Conservation– Fostered in Open Space Stewardship

The First Act is devoted to those rugged settlers who journeyed out by horse and wagon in the early 1830s to seek an auspicious place to set down their few possessions in largely uncharted territory. In spite of the struggles facing them, they looked with faith and hope to building a new life.

The Second Act brings a new breed of pioneers. The land had been largely settled, the prairie broken, and the farms were now two or three generations on from those first explorers. These new pioneers of the early 20th century were mostly well-established in industry and business, but they, too, were seeking to create a new life with roots in the land.

This is a story of diverse and interesting people. Of upright New Englanders, versed in civil laws, and immigrants who bravely crossed the Atlantic, to trek westward and own a plot of land, denied to them in the stratified and exclusionary societies from which they came. It is a story of men already successful, who valued open space, both for practical and recreational uses. Their foresight ensured those vistas would survive for future generations.

On November 18, 1834, the Samuel Gillilan family stopped overnight at the cabin of Ruth and Jesse F. Miller along the Spring Creek in Section 16 of the territory then recorded as Town 42 North, Range 9 east, 3rd Principal Meridian. The Gillilans moved on the next morning and crossed the Fox River to settle in the later named Algonquin Township. The entire territory to the Wisconsin border was still included in Cook County. McHenry County was formed out of Cook County in 1836 and Lake County out of McHenry in 1839, meeting the conditions of the Public Land Survey System.

On May 20, 1785, the Continental Congress had adopted the Land Ordinance that allowed the Federal Government to raise money through the sale of land in the territory west of the original states. The Land Ordinance established the basis for the Public Land

Survey System in which the country’s unexplored territory was surveyed into townships of six miles square. Townships were then sub-divided into 36 sections of one square mile or 640 acres. To provide a means for funding public education, the Ordinance designated that Section 16 in each township, which was centrally located, was to be reserved for the earliest funding of public schools.

Miller and Van Orsdal, who came from Steuben County, New York, had no civic structure to guide them when they settled on Section 16, and when in 1840, the law required township incorporation, they vacated Section 16, designated as the school section, and removed to Section 17. Others soon followed, notably Phillip Hawley, Sr. from Amherst, Massachusetts, William H. Otis from Ellisburgh, New York, Homer Willmarth from North Adams, Massachusetts, A.C. Bucklin from South Adams, Hezekiah Kingsley and his sons Jerome and Shubuel, from Berkshire County, and Thomas Perkins.

Read the full Quintessential Barrington profile of our Village here.

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We said goodbye to several notable suburban residents in 2020. They left indelible marks on their communities through impressive accomplishments and dedicated public service. The list includes local officials and community, religious and business leaders.

Jasper Sanfilippo

Jasper Sanfilippo built his family’s nut business into a publicly traded company that last year had $876 million in sales. However, it is his passion for musical instruments, and helping nonprofits raise millions of dollars that helped shape his legacy. – Courtesy of Sanfilippo family

Jan. 28: He built his family’s nut business into a publicly traded company that last year had $876 million in sales, but it was his passion for musical instruments, particularly mechanical music machines, that helped shape his legacy. He was 88.

Sanfilippo’s Barrington Hills house grew to include additions to showcase his vast collection. He and his wife, Marian, helped nonprofit groups raise millions of dollars through welcoming them to host their fundraisers at the estate.

His son, Jeffrey Sanfilippo, who succeeded him as CEO of John B. Sanfilippo & Son Inc. in 2006, dates his father’s interest in vintage music machines to a family vacation to Knott’s Berry Farm in California in the mid-1970s.

Jasper Sanfilippo built an addition to display his collection of automated musical instruments, including music boxes, phonographs, coin-operated pianos and violin machines. It grew to include dance organs and calliopes, and a world class theater organ.

He built an organ room and later a carousel building and helped local charities host banquets to raise money.

The couple established a family foundation in 2007 to help preserve the collection and manage the charity events.

Read the expanded list from the Daily Herald here.

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Tom Roeser

Closing of businesses in Illinois is controversial.

I operate a manufacturing business with 500 employees. We are designated as an “essential” business and have never been required to close.

Our experience with the virus is illustrative of how a business can remain safely open. We have had only one case where an employee contracted the virus at our workplace. Our procedures have kept our employees safe and kept their families solvent.

We have a strict policy for systematic employees to call in rather than come in. Those that can work from home (about 25) are equipped to.

Doors are propped open to reduce contact opportunities and extra cleaning is in place. Hand washing, masks and social distancing work.

If employees feel ill while at work, we send them to get tested. If positive, we send the entire production line home for 14-day quarantine.

There are many other “essential” businesses with a similar safety record. It is irresponsible for our government to discriminate against some businesses, churches or other public spaces, requiring them to close.

Governments could have gone to those open businesses to experience which easily-implemented safety measures have kept them safely open.

Fear of the virus has allowed our government to hide from making decisions. Does the science tell us that schools should close? Is there data that shows that restaurants are mass spreaders? Does one really think that a 5,000-square-foot church can only accommodate 50 parishioners?

The vaccines will put this virus behind us, but the judgment of our elected leaders will remain and the carnage of businesses and family finances will be their legacy.

• Tom Roeser, of Barrington Hills, is president of OTTO Engineering in Carpentersville.


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