DuPagePads 15th Annual Run 4 Home

WHEATON, ILLINOIS – You can end homelessness one step at a time at DuPagePads Run 4 Home. The 15th annual run/walk will be held Saturday, September 21, 2019 at 8:00 am, beginning at 703 West Liberty in Wheaton. The 10K and 5K CARA certified race and USATF certified course appeals to serious runners, casual joggers and walkers. Your whole family will enjoy the event with a 1K Family Walk and Kids Corner featuring games, prizes, face painting and more.

Following the race, enjoy music, refreshments and the award ceremony. These special recognition s include King/Queen of the Hill, Largest Participating Group, Top Fundraisers and more! In addition to the award, the Largest Participating Congregation will also receive a complimentary table at our Wake Up Your Spirit Breakfast on November 6th, featuring Chris Norton, professional speaker and author.

“We are incredibly thankful for our supporters. From our sponsors to attendees and volunteers, all funds raised make an impact on our mission. This year, we are thrilled to announce our Diamond Sponsors: Continental Motors of Naperville and Mike Lifts 100 Tons, who have amazed us with their generosity,” said Carol Simler, DuPagePads President & CEO.

In addition, other generous sponsors for DuPagePads Run 4 Home include: Exelon Generation, First Trust Portfolios, Innovator ETFs, Invesco, ACCESS Community Health Network, Mitchell Swaback Charities, Ostrander Construction, The Schulte Wealth Management Group of Benjamin F Edwards & Co, Tuk Tuk Naperville, Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, Daily Herald Media Group, DynaCom, Kindred Coffee Roasters, Naperville Running Company, Professional Wealth Advisors LLC and Jim and Kathy Schlesser.

Registration is available at http://www.padsrun.org. For additional event information, visit www.dupagepads.org/events or contact Carrie at 630.682.3846 ext. 2290 or CFlick@dupagepads.org.

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With over 30 years of experience, DuPagePads is the largest provider of services to those who are homeless in DuPage County. DuPagePads’ solution to ending homelessness is housing, coupled with support services and employment to transform lives. The administration office is located at 601 West Liberty, Wheaton, IL 60187. Additional information can be obtained by contacting DuPagePads at 630.682.3846 or at http://www.dupagepads.org.

Archie forever

Archie teenage comics were popular during my pre-teen years and Veronica Lodge instead of Betty Cooper was always my favorite. When I would grab one and read, they would make me day dream about what it would be like when I started high school in 1969. There was a store called Cozy Corner on the south side of Chicago by South Chicago Hospital where we bought penny candy but there was a store across the street who sold the best selection in magazines and comics. That is where my Archie Andrews and Jughead came from; only costing about 12 cents. Comics were not just titled Archie but Jughead was titled along with Betty and Veronica; having their own issues.Though the hospital is still there and has expanded, the stores are gone.

Riverdale is the fictional small town where the characters grew up and attended Riverdale High. I moved to Dolton in 1971 and Riverdale was a suburb next door…still reading Archie and Archies’s rival Reggie in my teenage years.

Though there was no kissing…it was pure fun and jokes.  Archie drove an old fashioned car convertible from the 1920’s and would occasionally make a call from a phone booth. They would do everything together; bowling, going to the beach, shopping for new clothes.They actually went to Als pizzeria and would get two pieces for the price of one. Archie was always in trouble with their old teacher, Ms, Grundy or the principal, Mr. Weatherbee. There were times they would dance, walk close, staring at each other with the printed red hearts floating about; sometimes Archie with Veronica…sometimes with Betty. The publishers would keep you guessing until issues # 600–602. The story features a futuristic look into the life of Archie in the years that follow his college graduation when Archie makes his ultimate decision to marry Veronica instead of Betty Cooper in 2009.

Archie proved to be popular enough to warrant his own self-titled ongoing comic book series which began publication in the winter of 1942 and ran until June 2015. A second series began publication in July 2015, featuring a reboot of the Archie universe with a new character design aesthetic and a more mature story format and scripting, aimed for older, contemporary teenage and young adult readers. The printed comic book format is different from the previous publications.

I miss the wholesome lives of the Riverdale comic characters and wish I had saved at least one copy for times like these.

The most valuable Archie comic book ever known to have been sold went for more than $140,000. Archie made his first appearance in a comic book in 1941, in the issue “Pep No. 2”; that’s the one which made the big money.

Amazon offers an amazing copy from 1966.There are several Ebay copies for purchase as well. Maybe just one….it is a Betty and Veronica from 1968…no longer 12 cents but under $15.00?

 

The best nutrition for premature babies

Born December of 2018, baby Saybie could fit in the palm of your hand; described as the size of a large apple. She was 23 weeks and two days old. The worlds smallest baby girl was able to go home in May. Saybie, who was born at just 8.6 ounces, or 254 grams, is the tiniest baby ever to survive. A true miracle because of the compassion, treatment and nutrition she received. Premature babies need the best in protein, minerals and other nutrients building their energy to grow. Sadly, many do not survive or if they do, experience long-term health issues.

Thanks to advances in NICU technology, survival for premature infants as young as 24 weeks is now feasible. What also seems to have made a big difference in baby Saybie’s survival is that Saybie received a first-of-its-kind nutritional fortifier made from 100% donor breast milk instead of cow milk.

To achieve the needed catch-up growth in preemies weighing less than 1,500 g, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends adding a human milk fortifier (think of it as a preemie protein shake) to mother’s milk or pasteurized donor milk to provide the needed protein, calories and fat to support growth.

Many NICUs presently have several options in a fortifier, but it’s a good idea that parents ask for one made from 100% donor breast milk. It’s called Prolact+H2MF and is the world’s first and only human milk fortifier made with 100% donor breast milk instead of cow milk. Until the introduction of this fortifier, the only fortifiers available to NICUs were made from cow milk—known to trigger feeding intolerance and increase death due to the risk of severe complications, including late-onset sepsis and necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) — the #1 cause of death in preemies.

In contrast, the use of a 100% donor breast milk-based fortifier is proven to improve health, reduce mortality and complications and to get preemies home faster than cow milk fortifier. Many hospitals have both options—but most parents aren’t aware of the differences.

But parents should also know—the term “human milk fortifier” is a generic product name that can cause confusion. Some mistakenly assume that “human milk fortifier” may imply that the product is made from human milk, which is not the case. It’s important that parents specifically request a 100% donor breast milk fortifier.

Many health experts agree that parents should know all options available and are encouraged to ask many questions during a NICU stay.

The picture is courtesy of Alexis Rain Frazier

For more information, please visit www.prolacta.com

Green Dot launches the Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account

A Savings Account paying a 3% Annual Percentage Yield

Green Dot has launched the Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account by Green Dot Bank. With what is believed to be the richest cash back Visa debit card in America, an integrated high-yield savings account and a tech-forward, branch-less approach to banking, the Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account by Green Dot Bank is intended to be the best value bank account in America for all consumers who appreciate convenience, extraordinary value and great mobile technology.

The Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account by Green Dot Bank pays customers a 3% cash back bonus on all online and in-app purchases and comes with a high-yield savings account that pays depositors a 3% Annual Percentage Yield on their savings up to $10,000. All deposits are insured by the FDIC. Additionally, the account features a free ATM network, the ability to make free cash deposits at leading national retailers where Green Dot Bank products are featured, no minimum deposit requirements, no overdraft, bounced check or penalty fees of any kind, and a low monthly fee that is easily waived.

“Everyone knows that it’s smart and responsible to save up money for the future, but we also know that, for most people, saving up money is hard to do,” said Steve Streit, Founder & CEO of Green Dot Corporation and Founder & Chairman of Green Dot Bank. “Whether it’s saving up for that summer vacation, a down payment on a car, or just having the peace of mind knowing there’s money in the bank for a rainy day, the Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account by Green Dot Bank makes it possible to build up savings using the bank’s money, as the unlimited cash back bonus money can really add up fast as customers buy the things they would normally buy anyhow online and through apps. That’s why our slogan for this bank account is Spend like normal and Save up like crazy!'”

In addition to offering industry-leading value, Green Dot, renowned as an innovative financial technology leader, has designed the Unlimited mobile app and the linked Visa debit card to easily integrate into the lives of tech savvy customers. The app offers many popular features and services that make the account easy to use, including mobile check deposit, an easy way to transfer money from other bank accounts, the ability to send money to friends and family with P2P, the ability to pay anyone with free electronic bill pay, and a fun and intuitive design that allows customers to easily track their spending, track their savings, and track the amount earned in cash back bonus money with every online or in-app purchase they make. The Visa debit card that is linked to the account is EMV protected for security and ready to be set up for Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.

Americans are in a savings crisis. According to the Federal Reserve Board’s latest Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households, 4 in 10 Americans said they do not have adequate savings to cover an unexpected expense of just $400. In addition, recent research by Deloitte found that the total net worth of millennials under the age of 35 is down 34 percent since 1996 to less than $8,000.

Millennial money expert Tonya Rapley, offers some great advice to become financially free!

  1. Shop Smart: When shopping, check the store’s price match policy before making large purchases, such as appliances or technology. Internet pricing is often less expensive and most stores will match the lowest price you can find!
  2. Get a Bank Account that Lets You Save: Sign up for an account that provides rewards on your purchases and stretches your saving and spending capabilities. The new, Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account by Green Dot gives a 3% cash back bonus on almost all online and app purchases. With an account like this – you can shop like normal and save up like crazy!
  3. Conquering Student Loan Debt: Student loans are a scary thought, but learning how to navigate them is the best defense. Most borrowers are eligible for the Revised As You Earn (REPAYE) plan, which calculates payments according to 10 percent of your discretionary income. With REPAYE plans, there is no set maximum on payment amounts, so if there is an increase in income your payments will go up too.
  4. Loan Payments: If you have multiple loans and feel overwhelmed, try the snowball method. Choose one loan to pay extra on every month—typically starting with the smallest loan amount—until is paid off and then move on to the next loan you want to tackle.

Unlike most traditional bank accounts, the Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account has no overdraft fees and no bounced check fees, no minimum balance requirements and no monthly fee when the customer spends $1,000 or more using the Unlimited Visa Debit Card. The account also includes access to a nationwide network of FREE ATMs and the ability to make FREE cash deposits at participating national retailers.

“The rewards associated with the Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account rival those of the best credit cards, but this Visa card is a debit card; not a credit card. As such, Green Dot doesn’t require a certain minimum credit score to open the account. Plus, consumers can benefit from the account’s rich cash back offer without needing to incur the risk of getting into credit card debt, which is a common concern associated with using credit cards,” said Streit.

The Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account’s Unique Features and Benefits:

  • Unlimited 3% Cash Back Bonus: Every time you make an online or in-app purchase with your Unlimited Visa debit card, Green Dot Bank will add 3% of the purchase amount into the customer’s cash back bonus balance.
  • Integrated High Yield Savings Account with 3% Annual Interest: The Green Dot Bank High Yield Savings Account is an FDIC insured savings account that pays a 3% annual interest rate (3% annual percentage yield) on deposits up to $10,000.
  • ASAP Direct Deposit: No need to wait for payday. Green Dot customers receive their pay up to 2 days before payday and government benefits up to 4 days before benefits day with Green Dot’s ASAP Direct Deposit.
  • Free ATM Network: Customers can use thousands of free conveniently located ATMs nationwide.
  • No Overdraft or Penalty Fees: Green Dot has no overdraft fees, no bounced check fees and no minimum balance requirement.
  • Deposit Cash for Free: Make free cash deposits at participating national retailers that feature Green Dot Bank products.
  • Free Online Bill Pay: Set up one-time or recurring bill payments with Green Dot. You won’t have to make any extra stops, write checks, or pay for stamps just to pay your bills.

Consumers can learn more about the Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account and open their account at Greendot.com. Or, consumers can go to any one of 100,000 major national retailers that feature Green Dot Bank products and pick up an account starter kit with a starter debit card inside. The account can then be registered online at Greendot.com.

About Green Dot

Green Dot Corporation, [NYSE: GDOT], is a financial technology leader and bank holding company with a mission to power the banking industry’s branch less future. Enabled by proprietary technology and Green Dot’s wholly-owned commercial bank charter, Green Dot’s “Banking as a Service” platform is used by a growing list of America’s most prominent consumer and technology companies to design and deploy their own bespoke banking solutions to their customers and partners; while Green Dot uses that same integrated technology and banking platform to design and deploy its own leading collection of banking and financial services products directly to consumers through one of the largest retail banking distribution platforms in America. Green Dot products can be acquired through more than 100,000 retailers nationwide, thousands of corporate paycard partners, several “direct-2-consumer” branded websites, thousands of tax return preparation offices and accounting firms, thousands of neighborhood check cashing locations and both of the leading app stores. Green Dot Corporation is headquartered in Pasadena, California, with additional facilities throughout the United States and in Shanghai, China.

Promoting compassion, confidence and solutions

Its almost 20 years that Hope’s Front Door has been open to clients seeking assistance in the six communities of Darien, Downers Grove, Lisle, Westmont, Willowbrook and Woodridge. Many have no idea that there is an urgent need in the Western Suburbs for emergency assistance for families and individuals in crisis. DuPage County is considered economically rich in salary and property value but over 6.7 percent live below the poverty level evaluated in 2017. According to recent statistics, homelessness has improved, but the need for help with other living expenses is greater. Hopes Front Doors  continues to provide relief; helping assist in transportation, food and medical/dental vouchers and, most importantly, they try to emphasize how clients can make long-term, sustainable changes for the future.

Hope’s Front Door programs include the Pathways to Financial Health that provides budget counseling and handling financial crisis. Volunteers from several local banks meet one-on-one with clients to mentor and educate them on such issues as saving and debt management. Their Pathways to Employment program provides recruitment events and job coaches; the latter that will help structure your resume or provide interviewing tips. Information about local job openings is available by signing up for the HFD Weekly Job List. Their Health and Wellness program gives clients the chance to receive emergency dental care or special housing for medical purposes. Prescriptions and eye exams, or even eye glasses can be obtained with help from Hope’s Front Door.

Hopes’s Front Doors annual school supply donations fundraiser has begun this summer with the great partnership of the Downers Grove Junior Women’s Club. Backpacks are needed. Look for donation baskets at the following Downers Grove drop-off locations now through August 12th:

Drop Off Sites:

*Important reminder: Hope’s Front Door can only accept new (not used) supplies.*

In September 2020, Hope’s Front  Door will be celebrating 20 years of serving our neighbors in need. Cocktails for a Cause Kick-Off Event will be held September 14th to fund Hope’s Front Door’s emergency/immediate assistance services, education/empowerment programs and upcoming 20th Anniversary Campaign activities. There will be exciting raffles and silent auctions as well as sponsorship and underwriting opportunities. Larry Mowry, ABC7 Chicago News meteorologist, will MC this fun-filled evening.

We hope you can join us!

Saturday

September 14, 2019

6:30 p.m.

At the home of Rhonda & James Gaw

8738 Ainstree Lane, Burr Ridge, IL

$75 per ticket

To purchase tickets go to the Cocktail for a Cause website page http://www.hopesfrontdoor.com/cocktails-for-a-cause/

Hope’s Front Door 1047 Curtiss Street, Room 610 Downers Grove, IL 60515 Phone: 630-322-9803 Fax: 630-241-3224

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday, 10:00am-11:45am; Monday evening, 6:30pm-8:00pm

CLOSED ON TUESDAYS

Send an email: info@hopesfrontdoor.org

50th Woodstock Anniversary

I really wanted to go in 1969. I still want to go in 2019. Back then, I picked out the shirt I would wear for three days;  a peasant blouse with puffed sleeves that was an orange color with yellow flowers. But nobody asked me to go with them. I was too young to drive, just graduating from junior high. I knew one acquaintance that was going but he was much older who had been drafted to Vietnam. He didn’t want some kid in his car and my mother would not let me go anyway.

Many felt the same way as I did but no one ever expected the numbers that showed up and that Woodstock 1969  would be considered the greatest festival of all time.Only two people died at Woodstock 1969 though over 80 were arrested on drug charges and we did see the news reports on TV. Because of the torrential rains, many adults considered it a disaster and local businesses were threatening lawsuits, but the kids, as they were called, were happy. The bands were just beginning with the exception of Joplin and Hendrix. Carlos Santana was only about 13.  Now, the grounds are the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts; considered a National Historic site. No festival has been the same since. They have tried numerous Woodstock festivals through the decades and they just didn’t work.

Woodstock was a music festival held between August 15–18, 1969, which attracted an audience of more than 400,000. Billed as “An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music”, it was held at Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm near White Lake in Bethel, New York, 43 miles southwest of Woodstock. The festival was headlined by legendary performances of Joe Cocker, Hot Tuna (Jefferson Airplane), Starship (Jefferson Airplane), Joan Baez, Country Joe McDonald, Richie Havens, Melanie, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Levon Helm (The Band), Arlo Guthrie, John Sebastian, Leslie West Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Grateful Dead, and Santana. Santana will be playing at the 50th in Bethel.

There are two festivals that are gaining popularity throughout the country to celebrate the 50th anniversary. Woodstock 50 is a planned American music festival, scheduled to be held on August 16–18, 2019, at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland. Supposedly a free concert supported by Michael Lang, line up is not official and some have dropped out.

Bethel Wood Center for the Performing Arts on the original 1969 Woodstock site is  constantly holding concerts, festivals; a year round center for events, programs inspiring others in the arts as they are a (501) (3) (C) Arlo Guthrie will perform on the festival field, 50 years to the day that he played Woodstock. Guthrie’s performance will be followed by a screening on the field of the Woodstock documentary. Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band will perform on Aug 16th at the Bethel Woods pavilion. Woodstock veterans Edgar Winter and Blood, Sweat and Tears are also performing that night. On Aug. 17, Carlos Santana will return to Bethel for a show that will feature the Doobie Brothers as the opening act.

The still married, husband and wife pictured on the iconic album cover wrapped in a blanket will also be attending the 50th Bethel Woods festival.

My daughter walked the grounds of Bethel Woods on a trip to visit family a few years ago; a man who worked there attended  the original Woodstock and showed her where Jimmy Hendrix played. “An old man,” she said. Ah, Yes…that is what we have become. At that time, the grounds were quiet but she was impressed since she has been a follower of rock and roll beginnings.

Though, I have not gone yet, that’s what I want to do….soon. Not necessarily to listen to music, but to spend that quiet moment just to see, to relive the news reports, to imagine, the peace, the love and a vision of my young self in the pretty peasant shirt I had picked out sitting and experiencing such a treasured moment in time……..50 years ago.

 

 

 

Chicago: Performing at Ravinia

The first time I heard the band I was riding in a car. Most songs we remember back then we heard in a car. My mother heard them too and asked what song that was on the radio. Does anyone really know what time it is? It was different from most rock and roll at the time. There were horns; trumpets and trombones. Chicago is an American rock band formed in 1967 in Chicago, Illinois, calling themselves the Chicago Transit Authority in 1968 before shortening the name in 1969 because of a lawsuit.

Their first record (April 1969), Chicago Transit Authority, was a double album. According to Wikipedia,the album made it to No. 17 on the Billboard 200 album chart, sold over one million copies by 1970, and was awarded a platinum disc. The album included a number of pop-rock songs – Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?, Beginnings, Questions 67 and 68, and I’m a Man – which were later released as singles. Not having the first album, I did buy the second sometimes known as Chicago II released in 1970 and was a double album.

I would play 25 and 6 to 4 or Make Me Smile at home pretending I was a professional dancer or twirling a baton on fire. And Beginnings or Color My World  was the popular make out song at many of our junior high, high school or university dances. Saturday in the Park was an outdoor song; popular on the fourth of July…still is. I remember playing it outdoors as much as the outdoors would allow. After that, I had to have Chicago VI released in 1973 that included Just You and Me and Feeling Stronger Everyday.

My first boyfriend, my first year in college, had passed away in a car accident in 1974. The single Wishing You Were Here came out the same year always causing tears even today in 2019….reminding me of the days spent with Terry.  If You Leave Me Now, you’ll take away the biggest part of me released in 1976 is another reminder of young love lost.

Chicago has sold over 100 million records with 47 albums earning gold and platinum certification; probably one of the best selling rock and roll bands of all time. One of the longest running bands as well. Original band members that still play include Lee David Loughnane who was born in Elmwood Park, Illinois, a northwest suburb of Chicago. Robert Lamm moving to Chicago, Illinois, when he was 15 years old. He studied art in high school, particularly drawing and painting, but changed direction in college by enrolling in the music program at Roosevelt University in Chicago. Born in St. Louis, Missouri of German and Irish descent, Pankow moved with his family to Park Ridge, Illinois at the age of eight, where he started playing the trombone at St. Paul of the Cross Elementary School.

Married in the late 1980s, Your The Inspiration coming out in 1984 was played and danced by many at my wedding. The song was written by David Foster and Peter Cetera. Sung by Cetera,a founding member and the song, alone, won honors for him.

Having decided to write an article, I had no idea that Chicago will be performing next month at Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, IL August 10th and 11th at 7:30 pm and it looks likes tickets are available from 125 dollars. Lawn seats are currently sold out.

Chicago has been touring for 52 years being a part of my heart, my soul, my energies and countless hours of musical memories. Given the bands impressive history, somewhere, at sometime, this iconic, legendary rock and roll band with horns has touched your life too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Good Old Days: Age of optimism

This was a new age in a world of constant and exciting change but not like today.  There were not cable tvs, cell phones and computers.  There were no digital cameras, printers, DVDs, and the liastcan go on and on.  There was also no heating, air conditioning and electric appliances like we know today.

Wood was burned in a fireplace for heat as well as coal stoves.  When it became dark, kerosene lamps were lit that cast dinghy shadows on the walls.  People sat on front porches to catch a cool breeze during the summers since that was the only relief they would receive from the heat of their homes.  Even electric fans did not exist so many would swish paper fans to cool them

There may not have been  SUV’s but Henry Ford from Dearborn, Michigan did create the first automobile and the Wright Brothers from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina made their first airplane flight.  However, the simple horse and buggy attached was still the most popular form of transportation especially in the country.  Bicycles were also a form of transportation.

Families spent their quality time in a room called the parlor.  This was like a family room.  Mom would knit or sew during the evenings and play the piano for guests which was common entertainment.  Dad would read the newspaper while the children would play.  Boys would play with metal cars and trucks .  They would construct log cabins out of Lincoln logs which still exist today.  Girls would take care of their dolls like their mothers.  Dolls ranged from beautiful porcelain or china faces decorated in ruffles and lace.  Other dolls would be homemade from scraps of material their mothers used during their sewing sessions.

There were not refrigerators but some kitchens had an ice box that would hold fresh ice.  My grandfather remembers the ice buggy who brought ice to homes most days and he also remembers chasing it down the street to chip a bit off the large blocks at the the back of the cart.  Especially during hot, summer days. Most did not have running water so water was brought in from a well outside. Toilets were outside contained in out houses and baths were usually taken once a week since it was a challenge to fill the metal tub with water from a well.

So what was so great about this era that many called the “Age of Optimism”

Well, besides the car and plane, the telephone was a new invention and though expensive to make calls, you could listen in to other peoples conversation if you were bored and had nothing else to do. Sewing machines were the new thing along with the vacuum cleaner.  Many “dust-removing machines had been experimented  but didn’t work finally Cecil Booth developed one that did work though it was large and weighed over 95 pounds.

In 1879, Thomas Edison perfected the light bulb and in 1882 a developer lit up a home with an electric arc light powered by a generator so electricity was a part of our culture before the turn of the century. Power plants such as American Electric Co, Brush Electric and Edison Electric began to install lights on streets and businesses and then eventually homes.  General Electric was established and the only company listed today in the Dow Jones Index.

Plants provided a network of wires and generators that created new appliances and had transformed American life.  But it was slow, however, by 1930 the average home had been transformed by electric light.

Magical summers

Many Baby Boomers growing up did not always have their summers planned with vacations. Some went to summer camp and many, like me, waited anxiously for best friends to get home from camp so we could play or create the next adventure. Some of us had no place to go during the summer with the exemption of exploring the neighborhood because we did have full freedom to go outside and play on a nice day.  Full freedom to explore and be back by 6 for dinner or for some until the street lights came on. No fear of stranger… danger!

Sometimes, we would go to the local playground or city park such as Chicago’s Bessemer which had a community pool or Stoney Island Park, which was popular for its ball fields, now known as Jessie Owen Park on the South Side of Chicago. Of course, riding our bikes(without helmets) often doing all sorts of stunts to get there. Many families had plastic, above ground pools in their backyard…not so different as those today.  The backyard sprinklers were are last resort but always fun once turned on. We never got sick drinking from the hoses either. Playing hopscotch, kick the can, red light, green light, red rover, Chinese jump rope, jacks( inside and out.)

I am not sure if it initially came from boredom or just not sure what to explore next but we produced plays, musicals and all sorts of summer shows for our families. One my friends and I did was about Betsy Ross and instead of the infamous lemonade s tand we re-created the Sip and Stir on a front porch which was originally an ice cream shop in Old Town. We made chocolate shakes and decorated the porch with tissue flowers. Though unless we had help from a Mom, we had to make sure that cooler was stocked with ice.

If in junior high and a Chicago city kid, sometimes we would ride the local Illinois Central Train downtown for lunch in the Narcissus room at Marshall Fields. Sometimes we would ride the bus to Evergreen Plaza in Evergreen Park on the west side; one of the first indoor malls.

However, screens did come into play when it was a rainy day. You could select from 3- 5 channels. If it was Saturday morning, you had a variety of cartoons to choose. Prime television was generally in the evening and reserved as a family event after your friends returned home. Board games or blind mans bluff were always an option and some of us had indoor ping pong or pool tables that we were allowed to play in the cooler finished basement since some did not have air conditioning.

Saturday afternoons could offer corny black and white horror movies such as Attack of The Crab Monsters,Teenagers From Outer Space and I Was A Teenage Werewolf. This was all after adjusting the TV antennas which could take some time especially if weather was poor and Mom watching over you while you made Jiffy Pop, the best stove- top popcorn that you loved to gently slide back and forth over the burner and watch the foil expand to new heights. Evenings were always spent with my favorite paint by number set from Bargain Town or reading which was encouraged before I went to bed. We always took trips to the local Chicago Public Library branch. Today, I am an avid reader and love to paint for fun.

Raising children in the 1990’s actually was pretty similar to the 1960’s though there television sets had a lot more channels to select. And they still made Jiffy Pop and my kids loved to help. Personal computers were just showing up in homes and they were pretty bad. So were pagers used mainly for work and more Mom’s needed jobs. I still let my children take over the neighborhood on bikes.Though, they did not have the run of as many blocks like we did in the old days. They did play outside and established some creative plays to perform for parents. Games were similar like tag, Red Rover with the exception of Marco Polo, a new game at the pool. I found sometimes, as parents,we would get too involved in the preparation of games and adventures. Maybe,we should have taken a back seat more often and just watched them build their creativity and love for one another. A very difficult exercise.

Today, just give kids markers, chalk, paper, and even washable paint. Let them go for it outside. Give them boxes, paper towel rolls, saved cereal boxes, tape and let them create their own summer houses, vehicles or forts. Pull out old clothes, dresses and see what they can do. Let them play with their friends and learn together. As far as games,Duck, Duck Goose and Monkey in the Middle seems to be popular. Gathering by themselves to play without you is the best of time for your children during the summer.

But never limit your field trip trips to the local library. You can actually cook Jiffy Pop on the grill outside. And watch the entire shows and movies from the past on Netflix. Maybe true summer fun hasn’t changed that much after all.

Distress Bandanna and State Farm promotes safe driving this summer

By partnering with local police officers and State Farm agents, Distress Bandanna has distributed over 58,000 bandannas to teen drivers.

Distress Bandanna and State Farm are teaming up to remind drivers of Scott’s Law and other driving tips to stay safe during summer travels. Scott’s Law, or the “Move Over” law, requires drivers to slow down and move over one lane when possible while approaching stopped emergency vehicles, stranded motorists with hazard lights on, and any vehicle with flashing lights.

Distress Bandanna, a non-profit organization originated in Southern Illinois, promotes safe teen driving through educational outreach and classroom presentations. By pairing up with local police officers and State Farm agents, Distress Bandanna has distributed over 58,000 bandannas to teen drivers to be used in roadside emergency situations.

This past year, Distress Bandanna offered an extra credit assignment to students going through this program. After each presentation, the organization posts class photos on social media, and students are asked to share or retweet with “#ScottsLaw”, “#MoveOver” or “#All50States”.

“Just the other day, we had 53 students from the same high school complete this extra credit assignment within 24 hours,” said program founder and coordinator Vivian Anderson. “We feel strongly in the education of new drivers and creating safe driving habits while they are young will make our roadways safer for everyone!”

State Farm has supported the Distress Bandanna program since 2017 and has presented to drivers’ education students in high schools across Illinois, Indiana, Florida, Michigan, Missouri and Tennessee. For more information, click on Distress Bandanna.

As the weather heats up and more drivers take to the roadways, here are some tips to keep everyone safe while having some SUMMER FUN:

· Start your trip with GPS and music set; phone stowed. Keep children and pets content by bringing along a favorite toy, treat, or blanket.
· Understand the laws for passenger restraint. Both child and pet passengers require special attention. No passengers belong on a lap or in the bed of a pick-up truck.
· Make sure that the heatingventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC) of your vehicle is in good condition before your trip begins. This will be especially important for those longer trips.
· Make it a point to pull over if a child or pet needs attention, or if you feel tired or drowsy. This way you keep your eyes on the road.
· Eating along the way may be necessary, but you should pull over for this, too. Pack snacks and drinks for everyone, including pets, for convenience.
· Remove loose objects from your vehicle, they can become projectiles in a crash, causing injury to people or pets. In the event of a crash, unsecured pets may become frightened and jump from open windows.
· Forbid paws and heads from being out the window. This applies to both 2-legged and 4-legged passengers.
· Understand construction may be underway along your route. Plan ahead and find alternate routes and pet-friendly stops, helping to get you to your destination on schedule.
· Never leave children or pets in cars alone for any period of time. Temperatures can rise 19 degrees in just 10 minutes, putting them at risk.
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