News and stuff about Lake Forest and Lake Bluff

Tour Historic East Lake Bluff with Lake Bluff History Museum

By Pam Russell, VP of the Lake Bluff History Museum

Lake Bluff's long-gone Hotel Irving; photo courtesy of the Lake Bluff History Museum

Lake Bluff’s long-gone Hotel Irving; photo courtesy of the Lake Bluff History Museum

The Lake Bluff History Museum will host the second in a series of docent-led walking tours in east Lake Bluff on October 5.

The Camp Meetings, Chautauquas, Artists and Anarchists Tour is a docent-led walking tour that covers much of the area developed by, and for, the Camp Meeting Association in the late 1800s. This tour provides history on the Camp Meetings, the Chautauqua Movement, and a period in the early 1900s when Lake Bluff was a destination attracting an eclectic mix of writers, poets, musicians, artists and anarchists. Multiple tour groups leave from the Union Church, 525 East Prospect, at 15 minutes intervals with the first tour group leaving at 1 p.m.

Tickets cost $10 and are available at the Lake Bluff History Museum during museum hours: Tuesday and Thursday from 1-4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

To reserve a space and pay at the door, e-mail your request (name, contact information and number of tickets) to or call 847 482-1571. Space is limited and advance purchase is recommended.

The first tour in this series, Camp Meeting Cottages and Country Houses, was held in July; the third tour, Uptown, All Around the Town, will focus on the commercial district and surrounding area and will be held in 2015. Private tours can be arranged through the Lake Bluff History Museum for groups interested in one or more of the series.

The Lake Bluff History Museum researches, preserves and shares area history through a variety of activities and events, including programs like these tours. The museum displays tell stories of Lake Bluff’s past and its archives provide individuals with access to documents, records, photographs and other materials preserved in the museum archives. For additional information visit or call 847 482-1571.

The long-ago Lake Bluff Country Club.

The long-ago Lake Bluff Country Club.

‘The Scots of lake Forest.’
October 4, 2014 – You will enjoy the showing of “The Scots of lake Forest.” This is a one hour video exploring the Scottish influence of Lake Forest, Illinois. It is the culmination of three years of work by David Forlow and Wayne Rethford. Narrated by Jack Crombie, it was filmed and edited by Steve Douglass.
Our meetings are held in Heritage Hall at the Scottish Home, 28th & Des Plaines, North Riverside, Illinois and are open to the public. The museum opens at 9:00 a.m. and the presentation begins at 10:00 a.m. There is no charge. Coffee, tea and scones are provided. Reservations are helpful. Please call 708.408.5591.
If you have questions, please call Wayne Rethford at 630.629.4516.

Saturday, 04 October, 2014
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Photos of the Week: Bagpipes & Bonfires

Sunday was a great night to be outdoors at Lake Forest Open Lands Association’s 2014 Bagpipes & Bonfires celebration.

Kilted parachuter en route to the earth

Kilted parachuter en route to the earth. All photos for by Robin Subar for JWC Media


Sue Dixon and Jack Loaker, Grand Marshall

Sue Dixon and Jack Loaker, Grand Marshall

Julie and Alex Gish

Julie and Alex Gish


Lake Forest College Welcomes Tibetan Monks – And You – To Campus

Submitted by Lake Forest College

Lake Forest College is hosting a group of Tibetan monks this week and the community is invited to come out and experience their visit.

The monks will create a Tibetan Buddhist Sand Mandala in a four-day ritual that involves art, music, and performance – and is done in a public place where people can observe the process that is understood to bring healing and peace.

This religious ritual has been performed at museums, churches, and universities throughout the country. In the Chicago area, sand mandalas have been created by groups of monks at Navy Pier, University of Chicago, Notre Dame University, and the Lake Street Church in Evanston, among other places.

Other events include:

Wednesday, October 1 – Friday, October 3

• 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Center for Chicago Programs: The public is welcome to watch the monks construct a sand mandala.

Wednesday, October 1

7 to 8:30 p.m. “Traditions in Conversation: Tibetan Buddhism and Christianity”, First Presbyterian Church. This is a panel discussion by Tibetan Monks and Dave Bianchin, Associate Pastor at First Presbyterian Church, moderated by Catherine Benton, Associate Professor of Religion

Thursday, October 2

7 to 8:30 p.m. “Tibetan Cultural Pageant”, Gorton Community Center Monks will perform traditional Tibetan folk dances, music, Central Asian throat-singing, and their dramatic choreographed debating style. Community welcome by President Schutt

Saturday, October 4

11 a.m. Closing Ceremony Water Ritual, CCP and Lake Michigan Walk from CCP to Lake Michigan or meet the monks at the Lake for this final ritual

The monks’ visit is co-sponsored by the college’s Departments of Religion, Art and Art History, History, Music, Mathematics and Computer Science, Modern Languages and Literature, Sociology and Anthropology, and Theater; Programs in African-American Studies, Asian Studies, and International Relations; Ethics Center; Lake Forest College Artist in Residence Fund; Mojekwu Fund; Office of Intercultural Relations; and First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest.

University of Chicago Cuts Ties With Mandarin Program

By Adrienne Fawcett

Mandarin education made headlines in Lake Forest earlier this year and now it is making headlines at the University of Chicago, which is cutting ties with the Chinese language and research center known as the Confucius Institute.

In a statement, the university attributed the pull-back to “recently published comments about UChicago in an article about the director-general of Hanban are incompatible with a continued equal partnership.”

Earlier this year, according to media reports, more than 100 University of Chicago professors signed a letter asserting that Confucius Institutes were compromising academic integrity.

And in June, according to “,” the American Association of University Professors called on universities to cancel their agreements with Confucius Institutes unless they can renegotiate them to ensure certain terms can be met. The AAUP statement asserted that “North American universities permit Confucius Institutes to advance a state agenda in the recruitment and control of academic staff, in the choice of curriculum, and in the restriction of debate.”

Since Lake Forest restructured its Mandarin program at Cherokee Elementary School this year, GazeboNews asked District 67 and 115 Superintendent Michael Simek what he thinks about the developments at the collegiate level. He said: “I cannot speak to the decisions of the University of Chicago as I am not familiar with their association or concerns with the Confucius Institute. Our district curriculum was developed locally and was developed to parallel our district’s English curriculum. We are not associated with any outside institution that dictates any part of our curriculum or learning sequence.”

(This paragraph updated 10-1-14:) Lake Forest District 67 this year changed its Mandarin education program — visit the district’s website here to read about it.

Here are some links to present-day articles about Mandarin education in the U.S.:

Lake Forest Church Plans ‘Blessing of the Animals’

Submitted by The Church of the Holy Spirit

All creatures great and small are welcome to be blessed at 2 p.m. this Sunday, Oct. 5, by the clergy in the front lawn of the Church of the Holy Spirit 400 E. Westminster Road, Lake Forest. The pet blessing is being held in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment. Please bring your pet on leash or in a crate/cage. For more information, call the church at 847-234-7633.

‘Screens for Teens’ Campaign Starts Oct. 1; Puts EKG Tests in Nine Area High Schools

Submitted by the Max Schewitz Foundation

Girls from Vernon Hills High School give the thumbs up at a previous Screens for Teens testing center.

Girls from Vernon Hills High School give the thumbs up at a previous Screens for Teens testing center.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate 2,000 Americans under the age of 25 will die of sudden cardiac arrest in the coming year.  It’s the leading cause of death on school property.

Count Shawn Afryl who grew up in Niles and played for the University of Illinois as one. He died during practice at Winona State in July. Jason Bitsko, center for Kent State, died in his sleep this August. Both are presumed cardiac causes. There will be others who die this fall, but hopefully fewer in Lake County, Illinois where the Max Schewitz Foundation provides free cardiac testing for high school students.

The Foundation kicks off its seventh year of Screens for Teens, an EKG-based cardiac screening program on Oct. 1, 2014 at Grayslake Central High School.  Students will receive a free EKG and some also a free echocardiogram.

The Foundation will offer heart checks to students at nine high schools during the 2014-15 school year, with the potential of reaching over 9,000 students. The program’s mission is to identify students who are at risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD) before they are stricken so they can obtain treatment.

“There are children with undiagnosed heart conditions at every school. It’s just a matter of screening to find them,,” said Mary Beth Schewitz, executive director of The Max Schewitz Foundation. “Online registration is now open, and we urge parents to visit to register their children for this painless, quick, and non-invasive test.”

In 2005, Max died suddenly and unexpectedly at age 20 from an undiagnosed cardiac condition. Like so many others victims of SCD, Max had no previous medical conditions or warning signs. If he had been diagnosed, life-saving treatments could have been implemented.

Screens for Teens EKGs and echocardiograms are interpreted on site by a team of cardiologists under the direction of Dr. Eli Lavie, Medical Director of the Max Schewitz Foundation.  The Foundation’s hope is that EKG tests will become a part of student’s routine physical exams.

2014-2015 Screens for Teens testing dates:
Grayslake Central High School 10/1/14

  • Lake Forest High School 10/8/14
  • Glenbrook North High School 10/21 & 10/22
  • Lakes Community High School 10/29/14
  • Libertyville High School 11/5/14
  • Wauconda High School 11/12/14
  • Deerfield High School 12/3/14
  • New Trier High School–freshmen only*  12/10/14
  • Grayslake North High School (2/25/15)

About The Max Schewitz Foundation

Based in Lake Bluff, Ill., The Max Schewitz Foundation’s dual missions reflect Max’s life and death. His parents and family friends started the Foundation in 2005 after 20-year-old Max died suddenly from a cardiac arrhythmia. The Foundation works to prevent sudden cardiac death (SCD) in young people and to promote conservation of fragile reptile species and their ecosystems. Today, over 45,000 high school students have received free EKG testing and 307 echocardiograms from the Foundation and 643 students had an abnormality that required further evaluation. To learn more, call Mary Beth Schewitz at (847) 234-2206 or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

New Addition To Great Highwood Pumpkin Fest: Pumpkin As Art

Information from the Highwood Chamber of Commerce



The Highwood Chamber of Commerce unveiled a new “Pumpkin Project.” Local businesses and artists joined forces to decorate Downtown Highwood to coincide with the Great Highwood Pumpkin Fest, which is scheduled for October 17-19, 2014. The Pumpkin Project features 25 sculpted and designed artificial pumpkins on display in the business district.

Prior to the Great Highwood Pumpkin Fest, the artistically designed pumpkins will be moved to Pumpkin Fest grounds where a Pumpkin Project tent will have all 25 creations on display for a silent auction. Winners will be announced at Pumpkin Fest on Sunday, October 19 at 7 p.m. A portion of the proceeds from the Pumpkin Project silent auction will benefit CURE: RE Epilepsy, Misericordia, and the Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center.




Participating businesses include the Toadstool Pub, Bent Fork Bakery, Jen Z’s Beauty Services, The Silk Thumb, Brian Lock State Farm Insurance, and Beck’s Heating & Air Conditioning. For more information, please contact the Highwood Chamber of Commerce at 847-433-2100. For more information on Highwood Pumpkin Fest, visit




The Highwood Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to promoting and improving the business community in Highwood, Illinois. The Chamber continues to improve the unique and vibrant city through special events, cultivating new business, and implementing successful business strategies. Known as a “regional chamber”, Highwood provides businesses from all over Illinois and Wisconsin with valuable networking opportunities. 2013 marks the 50th anniversary for the Highwood Chamber.

The Highwood Chamber of Commerce is located at 445 Sheridan Road, with a mailing address of P.O. Box 305, Highwood, IL 60040. For more information, please visit,, or call 847.433.2100.

October is Lake Forest Reads: Ragdale Month

Submitted by the Lake Forest Library




Join your friends and neighbors in reading the novel “Into the Beautiful North” by Luis Alberto Urrea during Lake Forest Reads: Ragdale, October’s celebration of literature and the arts in Lake Forest. Then choose from a schedule of related activities ranging from a festive Mariachi Band performance to book discussions to a lecture on Mexican-American border issues. The month-long calendar culminates in a visit by the author, Luis Alberto Urrea on October 28. (For the schedule, visit

“Into the Beautiful North” is the story of 19-year-old Nayeli who works at a taco shop in her Mexican village and dreams about her father, who left for the U.S. when she was young. He hasn’t been home since then and his letters have stopped. While watching the film, The Magnificent Seven, she decides to go north herself and recruit seven men — her own “Siete Magníficos”– to repopulate her hometown and protect it from the banditos who plan on taking it over. This funny, poignant story deals with topical issues surrounding the U.S.’s relationship with Mexico and our policies along the Mexican-American border.

Lake Forest Reads: Ragdale is a one book/one community program sponsored by Lake Forest Library and The Radgale Foundation. The program encourages the Lake Forest community to read one book by a writer affiliated with Ragdale, the artists’ residency that has supported emerging and best-selling authors and their creative process for over 35 years. Community Partners include Dickinson Hall, Friends of Lake Forest Library, Jolly Good Fellows, and Lake Forest College. Programs are being held throughout the community and all are open to the public. Most are free unless otherwise noted. Copies of the book are available to borrow at Lake Forest Library.

Luis Alberto Urrea, 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist for nonfiction and member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame, is a prolific and acclaimed writer who uses his dual-culture life experiences to explore greater themes of love, loss and triumph. Born in Tijuana, Mexico to a Mexican father and an American mother, the critically acclaimed and best-selling author of 13 books, Urrea has won numerous awards for his poetry, fiction and essays.

Urrea’s recent novel, Into the Beautiful North, a national best-seller, earned a citation of excellence from the American Library Association Rainbow’s Project and was selected by the National Endowment for the Arts for their Big Read program.

Urrea lives with his family in Naperville, Illinois. He is a professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Lake Bluff Pumpkin Chase Courts Elite Runners

Submitted by Pumpkin Chase planners


On October 18, 2014, professional runners and families alike will gather for the 27th Annual Lake Bluff PTO Pumpkin Chase 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run to support the children of Lake Bluff School District 65 – for the district’s biggest fundraiser of the year. The 5K begins at 8 a.m., with the 1 Mile Fun Run race following at 9:15 a.m.

The Pumpkin Chase is a perennial favorite among local runners because of its beautiful course. Participants will run through the beautiful tree-lined streets of east Lake Bluff down to the bluff overlooking the shores of Lake Michigan. As a Chase tradition, one lucky student of District 65 will serve as “Mr. Pumpkinhead,” dressed as a pumpkin and perched on the back of a terrific convertible, for all the runners to “chase.” Kids and families share in this delight and celebrate afterwards at the Pumpkin Fest – long loved for its pumpkin decorating, carnival games, face painting, hair streaking, baked goods, kids’ craft sales and various other celebratory activities. Over 800 participants are expected to run in this year’s Pumpkin Chase and the 1 Mile Fun Run with a goal of raising over $20,000.

The most anticipated feature of the fundraiser this year is the race’s recently acquired USATF course certification and bib chip timing technology. This new certification aims to attract elite runners from around the North Shore and greater Chicagoland area, like 1996 Olympic Marathon Trails Champion Jenny Spangler.

“The Lake Bluff PTO Pumpkin Chase 5K is a racer’s dream – the course is flat, fast, scenic, and certified!” said Spangler. “But for me, the most important aspect of this event is that it is a wonderful way to celebrate Fall with your entire family. With the post-race Pumpkin Fest, it is a fun morning for everyone to enjoy, whether you’re running or cheering others on.”

13-year Race Director Rich Martin said the Pumpkin Chase is “all about giving back to the community. This year, we’re taking it to the next level and really hoping to expand the race to runners of all calibers from the greater North Shore and around Chicagoland.”

To register for either the Lake Bluff Pumpkin Chase 5K or 1 Mile Fun Run, go to or contact Rich Martin at Online registration continues until October 16, 2014. Late registration takes place on Friday October 17th at the Lake Bluff Middle School Gym 5:00-8:00p.m.

Race sponsors include August Jackson, Marvin Design Gallery by Estates Windows, LTD., Lake Forest Pediatric Dentistry, Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital, Fitness Together, Lynch Construction, Illinois Bone & Joint, Rosalind Franklin University, Uline, LF Health & Fitness, Knauz Motors, Goebler Construction, North Shore University HealthSystem, The Other Door, Wisma, Inovasi, among many more.

Tales From The Tombs: A Tour Of Lake Forest Cemetery

Submitted by the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Historical Society




The Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Historical Society is organizing a historical and architectural walking tour of Lake Forest Cemetery. Tours take place at 2  and 2:30 p.m on Sunday October 5.

The cemetery, on 25 acres of idyllic scenery, was established in 1882. It is the final resting-place for many who have left their mark on the social and civic fabric of the community. Listed on the National Register, the cemetery is filled with monuments ranging from the traditional and classical to the contemporary and bold.

The tours will take place rain or shine and will depart from the Historical Society. For more information or tickets, call the Historical Society at 847-234-5253 or visit Tickets cost $20 for members of the Historical Society and $30 for non-members.