News and stuff about Lake Forest and Lake Bluff

Middle School ‘Movies in the Park’ Returns in August

Submitted by LEAD

What could be more fun than watching a movie outside on the Lake Bluff Green? Come join LEAD for our second Middle School “Movies in the Park” event on Tuesday, August 19.

The night will begin with music and dancing from 8pm-8:30 pm. Starting at 8:30pm, there will be an outside viewing of “The Goonies” on a 12’ x 7’ inflatable movie screen. There will even be snacks on hand, courtesy of the Lake Bluff Park District. Bring a blanket and some friends and join us for an awesome evening on the Green.

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While this event is intended for middle school students, it is open to siblings who would also like to attend. LEAD’s last movie night on June 12th was a great success and we hope to see even more young people on August 19!

For more information, please go to, or call Joy Markee at 847-295-9075.

Lake Bluff Bike Race: What Goes Around And Around, Comes Around

Rob Douglass took this photo of the 2014 Lake Bluff Criterium from the roof of the Wisma rooftop.

Rob Douglass took this photo of the 2014 Lake Bluff Criterium from the roof of the Wisma roof.

By Deb Dintruff, Lake Bluff Bike Race and Block Party go-to person

Local cycling fans and residents turned out to see intense Criterium racing last Saturday in downtown Lake Bluff, and they were rewarded further with beautiful weather, tasty food from Lake Bluff restaurants and lively local music talent. The 3rd annual Northwestern Medicine Lake Bluff Criterium and Block Party was an excellent day for all who came out to enjoy the crowd-friendly surrounds of the village.

Male and female riders came from all over the world to compete in the Lake Bluff Criterium, the second race in the 10-day Prairie State Cycling Series. The races and block party were the place to be for locals, many of whom who volunteered to help with the events. The course had 20 marshals each over four shifts that helped ensure the safe crossing of spectators during the race.

The Block Party, presented by Friends of Lake Bluff Parks, was run by a volunteer committee and aided with help from even more volunteers who ran played music, did set up and clean up, bussed tables, sold raffle tickets and painted and auctioned Adirondack chairs. Many restaurants that participated in the Taste of Lake Bluff ran out of food late in the evening. Staff from the Village of Lake Bluff and the Park District also helped with many aspects of managing the event. The day began with the delivery of equipment at 5 a.m. and ended close to midnight with the Village Green almost restored to normal, as volunteers and paid staff worked side by side to finish off the day.

More volunteers opened up their homes to house the athletes for the Lake Bluff Criterium or the entire series. Basics like refrigerator space, garage space and laundry access are simple, but the rewards of conversations and interactions as households merge their daily lives with professional cyclists lead to unanticipated joy and learning. In one Lake Bluff household, the oldest son was invited to join a morning training ride with the Fearless Femme team on his 24th birthday.

Tina Pic, the leader of the team and hugely successful Criterium rider, got her start in cycling when she found success as an ironman tri-athlete. Tina came in second in the Lake Bluff race. Morgan Patton Brown, another generous trainer of the novice rider, won the last race of the series, in Downers Grove. Over the 10-day period of the Series, these women rode in eight races. Every day also included a “mellow” training ride with left a very fit 24-year-male, wiped out for the rest of the day. It’s possible the women riders didn’t break a sweat that day.

As a professional sporting event staged in a small-town venue, the Criterium gave spectators a special bonus this year. The use of Jumbotrons was introduced at the Green and at the Start/Finish line to the east. Multiple cameras provided live feed from the races, and short video footage such as a piece about World Bicycle Relief were also on shown the big screens. Marco Colbert, Race and Series Director, said “Yes, we were definitely trying to take a leap forward in the Lake Bluff races, by giving the Block Party and start/finish line crowd another way to enjoy the intensity of the Criterium races.”

Floral Trade Group Honors Lake Forest Flowers VP

Submitted by the National Floral Industry Trade Association 

Eileen Weber at Lake Forest Flowers; photo by Phil Farber.

Eileen Weber at Lake Forest Flowers; photo by Phil Farber.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The vice president of Lake Forest Flowers & Greenhouses in Lake Forest, Ill., will earn one of the floral industry’s most respected designations: membership in the prestigious American Academy of Floriculture. Eileen Looby Weber will be inducted into AAF on August 16, 2014, during the Society of American Florists’ 130th Annual Convention in Marco Island, Fla.

“The Academy’s stringent requirements make AAF an achievement recognized throughout the floral industry,” said Rod Saline, AAF, SAF Awards Committee chairman.

Knowledgeable, Enthusiastic and Passionate: Eileen Looby Weber, AAF
When residents of Lake Forest, Ill., need advice on local businesses and new trends (including ideas on flowers, plants and floral design), they turn to the resident expert: Weber. Since 2009, Weber has hosted “Inside Lake Forest,” a TV show focused on all things Lake Forest.

The vice president of Lake Forest Flowers & Greenhouses, Weber also was a volunteer leader for the city’s 100th day anniversary celebration, as well as an event commemorating the 150th anniversary of the city’s founding. In addition, Weber has served on the board of Camel Catholic High School and was the volunteer party chair for the 2013 Western Golf Association Tournament. She has held leadership roles with the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Chamber of Commerce and is a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow.

Discussing the city’s anniversary celebrations, former Lake Forest Mayor S. Michael Rummel called Weber “one of my go-to volunteers without whose help the events could not have been possible. Her competence, thoroughness and enthusiasm were instrumental.”

Weber also teaches basic floral design through her family’s business and the Glencoe Park District. In September 2013, she was included in a Floral Management magazine cover story on next-generation floral industry leaders.

“Eileen is extremely knowledgeable, and she has great enthusiasm and passion for the floral industry and its future,” said former SAF President Red Kennicott, AAF, of Kennicott Brothers Company, a wholesaler in Chicago.

While working toward her undergraduate degree at Purdue University, Weber was a research assistant for P. Allen Hammer, Ph.D., supporting experiments and trials of poinsettias and other crops. She also worked in the university’s Plant & Pest Diagnostic Lab, collecting and testing samples of a soil-borne bacterial pathogen cited on USDA’s Agricultural Bioterrorism Act of 2002. She holds an MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.

The Society of American Florists (SAF) is the national trade association representing all segments of the U.S. floral industry, including florists, wholesalers, importers, growers, shippers and suppliers.

This Summer Craft Will Keep Kids Warm All Winter

Submitted by the Lake Bluff Library



Looking for a summer craft? Here’s a project you can do now that will help keep people in Lake County warm all winter long.

Volunteers of the Mothers Trust Foundation from the Lake Bluff Public Library are together creating afghans to distribute to children in Lake County. The sections can be made on your own time at home or at the library during the Wool Gatherers meetings. Homemade sections can be dropped at the library anytime the library is open. A Mother’s Trust Foundation basket will be available near the library’s old entrance for collecting sections.

You will need:

  • Medium-weight/worsted-weight acrylic yarn (no wool)
  • Needle sizes- Knitting: US 7/4.5mm, Crocheting G of H
  • Gauge: 5 stitches = 1 inch
  • Finished size: 7”x 9”

Mothers Trust Foundation has provided emergency assistance to children in Lake County since 1998. Warm Up America! is a 501C3 charitable organization made up of volunteers across the country who knit and crochet handmade afghans for those in need.

Save The Date For Betty Bash 2014

The Mothers Trust Foundation has set the date for its annual fundraising party, fondly referred to as the Betty Bash. This year’s event is on October 24 and will again be held at Lake Forest College.

This is a lot of fun — and it’s for a cause that’s near and dear to many in our communities: supporting women and families in Lake County.

Click on the invite to RSVP!

Click on the invite to RSVP!

Lake Forest Civic Orchestra Announces Big Changes for 2014-15 Season

Submitted by Lake Forest Civic Orchestra

The Lake Forest Civic Orchestra is pleased to announce the selection of four guest conductors for the upcoming 2014-2015 season. Each guest conductor will lead the orchestra in one of its regularly scheduled classical performances, and one conductor will be selected at the end of the season to be the orchestra’s new music director.

Mark your calendar today for the following performances:

  • September 28, 2014 Conducted by Christopher Ramaekers (Director of Orchestras and Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater);
  • November 16, 2014 Conducted by Lawrence Eckerling (Music Director of the Evanston Symphony Orchestra);
  • March 15, 2015 Conducted by Robert Nordling (Principal Conductor of the Baroque on Beaver Island music festival and Orchestra Director at Trinity International University);
  • May 3, 2015 Conducted by Frank Lestina (Former Director of the Libertyville and Vernon Hills High School Orchestras for 27 years. Last year, Mr. Lestina was the interim director of the Chamber Orchestra at Carthage College).

The LFCO is thrilled to kick off its 26th season with these fine conductors on the podium. During last year’s season, the orchestra changed its name from the North Suburban Symphony to the Lake Forest Civic Orchestra in reflection of its long-time residence in the Lake Forest’s Gorton Community Center, its dedication to the local communities, and its desire to start the next 25 years with a fresh approach.

“Big changes are in the air,” said Howie Martino, President of the LFCO board. “The prospects of new artistic direction by a pool of talented and enthusiastic conductors, along with renewed efforts by the LFCO to build upon and expand our connection with the local community will bring colorful new options to concert-goers on the North Shore,” Martino said.

Like the Lake Forest Symphony during its recent search for a new music director, the LFCO will be providing music director evaluation surveys after every concert to both musicians and to audience members. “In this way, both musicians and audience members have a say in the future of the LFCO. We are an orchestra by the community and for the community, and that is what sets us apart,” Martino said.

The Lake Forest Civic Orchestra is proud of its history of bringing professional and accomplished amateur musicians together to perform beloved classical works, as well as drawing talented students into its ranks from the surrounding communities.

The orchestra has been pleased to collaborate repeatedly with the Lake Forest High School Orchestra under the baton of Robert Bassill, just this past spring performing Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5. Being a part of the community is what the Lake Forest Civic Orchestra is all about. We invite you to visit the LFCO website at to purchase tickets for the upcoming season or to explore joining the orchestra as a musician. The orchestra has openings in several sections.

All concerts in 2014-2015 are held in the Gorton Community Center auditorium on Sundays at 4 pm, except for the November concert, which will be held nearby as Gorton undergoes renovation.

Join us for what promises to be an exciting 2014-2015 season!

A Great Night For Baseball in Lake Forest

Three Lake Forest Baseball Association teams competed on Thursday evening in the Lakeshore Feeder Baseball League Championship Tournament. Playing at the Everett ball field in Lake Forest, the 11 Blue team kept fans on the edge of their bleachers until the 6th inning when the team pulled ahead of Wilmette, 8-2, according to baseball mom Kirsten Maxwell. 11 Blue plays again Friday at 5:30 p.m. at South Park in Lake Forest.

Unfortunately, LFBA’s 11 Gold team lost to Skokie 8-3. 12 Blue also lost, but 12 Gold upset the No. 1 seed Northbrook 11-2 to advance.

Here are some photos from earlier in the season:

Photos submitted by Kirsten Maxwell

Photos submitted by Kirsten Maxwell





Next Up at Concert in the Square: The Crown Vics

Lake Forest’s summer concert series will feature The Crown Vics on Thursday evening, July 24, at Market Square. The city’s Parks & Rec website describes the band as such:

July 24 – The Crown Vics – Car Show – The Vics have brought their authentic form of early Rock ‘n’ Roll to audiences of all ages. When only the most authentic early 50s rock ‘n’ roll experience will do, get hip to the jive and set the clock to rock—it’s time for The Crown Vics.

Round up your friends, pack a picnic … and wear a sweater! It’s supposed to be a bit chilly.

Concerts on the Square run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Lake Bluff Farmers Market Sets Date Two Marquee Events

Submitted by the Lake Bluff Farmers Market

The Lake Bluff Farmers’ Market is committed to creating an inviting, community-oriented space while providing local residents with access to farm-fresh goods, unique products and more. Working to combine those two missions, the Lake Bluff Farmers’ Market has set the dates for two of its most popular annual events – the Corn Roast and “Beers ‘n’ Brats”.

Scheduled for the Friday, August 1, Lake Bluff Farmers’ Market, the annual Corn Roast will again feature complimentary roasted corn for the assembled crowd. In addition to offering Lake Bluff residents with an expertly prepared taste of Illinois’ most popular crop, it also provides the crowd a great experience for all the senses. For a new twist this year, The Spice Merchant, a new retailer in town, will offer a variety of spices to sprinkle on the corn. In 2014, the Friends of the Lake Bluff Park District will sponsor the event and run the corn roaster. Corn will be offered from three market vendors including Didier Farms, Red Barn Farm and Twin Gardens Farm. Corn will be ready for sampling between 9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

On Friday, August 8, at 10:30 a.m., the Lake Bluff Farmers’ Market and two popular Lake Bluff businesses, The Daily Grind and Lake Bluff Brewing Company, will present a special “Beers ‘N’ Brats” event to highlight this iconic pairing and the businesses offering it right here in Lake Bluff. This event is also offered to market guests free of charge.

“Our Corn Roast and Beers ‘N’ Brats events are two of the most exciting Fridays for the Lake Bluff Farmers’ Market,” said Gridley Swanton, market manager for the Lake Bluff Farmers’ Market. “There’s nothing better in the summer than great BBQ, refreshing beverages and fresh Midwest corn. These events help bring those favorites to Lake Bluff residents in an elevated and approachable way.”

“Together with music from local musicians, story time with the Lake Bluff Library, Master Gardeners, these events help support a key aspect of our mission – celebrating what makes Lake Bluff one of Chicago’s greatest suburbs,” Swanton continued. “Working together with farmers, vendors, local businesses, we are proud to contribute back to the Village’s reputation.”

About the Lake Bluff Farmers’ Market

The Lake Bluff Farmers’ Market was launched in 1993 to provide Lake Bluff residents access to farm fresh produce, flowers, baked goods, jams, and much, much more. Throughout the Market season, patrons will find accessible parking near the Central Business District at the Walnut Avenue Parking Lot, the Train Station Lot, and at Artesian Park. A complete list of vendors, as well as recipes, photos, and more is available at The Lake Bluff Farmers’ Market stays connected to vendors and visitors alike with their presence on Facebook (/LakeBluffMarket) and Twitter (@lakebluffmarket).

GLASA Athletes Test The Waters With Lake Forest Sailing

By Paul Foght of Lake Forest, longtime sailor

Athletes who play basketball in wheelchairs or hockey on sleds were introduced to the sport of sailing by Lake Forest’s Recreation Department sail program at an open house for Great Lakes Adaptive Sports participants.

For the second year, Lake Forest Sailing is offering sail training to youths and adults with primary physical or visual disabilities through a partnership with Chicago’s Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Foundation that has brought a specially designed boat to Lake Forest’s harbor.

Two students at a time sail the boat, belted into seats mounted on rails running across the boat so they can move quickly from side to side as they maneuver under the guidance of their instructor. A course of six 2 1/2 hour lessons is offered, taught by veteran instructor Will Howard.

Lake Forest Sailing .d.d.d..d

Will Howard watches as a GLASA sailor uses a boarding platform to transfer from her wheelchair to a seat aboard a boat specifically designed for sailors with disabilities. Athletes participate in several of the more than 30 sports Lake Forest-based GLASA helps make available in Illinois and Wisconsin. Photo by Jeanette Kaiser.

GLASA program director Nicole Verneville guides the sailor down the dock so she can add sailing to the list of athletic activities she has experienced through GLASA. Photo by Jeanette Kaiser.

GLASA program director Nicole Verneville guides the sailor down the dock so she can add sailing to the list of athletic activities she has experienced through GLASA. Photo by Jeanette Kaiser.