News and stuff about Lake Forest and Lake Bluff

Funds Rise As Dust Settles on Forest Park Rehab

Editor’s note: This Reader Forum article was submitted by Forest Park Project Board members Karen Stensrud, public relations chair, and Mary Hoffman, fundraising chair. Reader Forum articles represent the writers’ opinions and not necessarily those of GazeboNews. We encourage you to comment on this article, but please include your full name per the GazeboNews comments policy.

GazeboNews Reader Forum


Spectacular Vistas and Pathways – Your Park – Forest Park

Along Chicago’s North Shore there are very few lakefront enclaves that compare to the treasures of Forest Park. This threshold to Lake Michigan and 7-acre parcel of forested land gave the City of Lake Forest its signature name. It contains not only a rich cultural and natural history, but offers an enchanting experience along the lakefront bluffs, ravines and woodlands.

Deteriorating infrastructure, obscured views and overgrowth of invasive plant communities were threatening the park’s health and appearance, which inspired a public-private stewardship effort to rehabilitate, enhance and preserve Forest Park.

Once complete, Forest Park will reopen to the public with 1,300 feet of new woodland paths, expanded views, benches and other amenities for the community’s enjoyment. This work is possible through a partnership with the City and the Forest Park Project Board, a non-for-profit organization established to ensure the revitalization of the park.

The work is being done in accordance with a Master Plan created by Stephen Stimson and Associates and honors the legacy of the original 19th century landscape architects Almerin Hotchkiss and O.C. Simonds. Special care has been given to the historic natural woodland, bluff and ravine ecosystems, and contemporary community needs.


Photos submitted by Forest Park Project Board

Photos submitted by Forest Park Project Board


“Forest Park is one of the most important projects in our community and worthy of all our attention. We are grateful to the individuals, families, and businesses that have chosen to contribute and hope more will do so as we strive to complete the project this fall,” Lake Forest Mayor Don Schoenheider

The Forest Park fundraising began with an early generous donation from Lake Forest Bank & Trust, the first major corporate donor to the project. This gift was followed by a donation from the Chicago Bears. Both organizations have made a Legacy Circle commitment to the project as a way of honoring their history and leaving a legacy to the community that has been their business home. Sharing this same sentiment, Lake Forest families and businesses have contributed gifts ranging from $50 to $250,000, totaling over $2.47 million dollars towards the $3.2 million goal. Approximately $725,000 remains to be raised.

As a tribute to the community support, a donor board will be placed within the park, listing contributors of $1,000 or more. Members of the Legacy Circle (gifts of $100,000 or more) will be further recognized with their names engraved on a bench overlooking a primary lakefront vista. The Forest Park Project Board’s goal is to have as many as possible Lake Forest families and businesses represented on the donor board in perpetuity for contributing to the good stewardship and honoring its historical significance now and for generations to follow.



Obituary: Dr. John Zannini of Lake Forest

Submitted by Wenban Funeral Home

Dr. John Zannini

Dr. John Zannini

Dr. John Joseph Zannini died peacefully on August 13th at Southminster in Charlotte, NC after a gradual decline in health. He was 96 years old. A long time resident of Lake Forest, IL, Dr. Zannini moved to Charlotte in 2010 to be near his family.

Born August 22, 1917 in Chicago, son of Louis Dominic Zannini and Clementina Maria Pardi, he was a graduate of Chicago’s St. Mel’s Grammar and High Schools, earned a degree in chemistry from Loyola University of Chicago in 1939 and his medical degree from the University of Illinois in 1944.

He did his internship at Grant Hospital, Chicago and it was there that he met his wife of 44 years, Frances Sheridan LaDuke. They were married from June of 1946 until her death in 1990. He served as a Captain in the Army Medical Corps, first at Fitzsimmons General Army Hospital in Denver and later with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg.

After leaving the Army in 1948, he began his medical practice in Internal Medicine in Waukegan and Lake Forest, IL, where he practiced until 1988. He served as an instructor in cardiology at Loyola Medical School, was president of the Lake County Chapter of the American Heart Association, and was a member of the Lake County Medical Society and the Illinois State Medical Association. He was the first chairman of the Lake Forest Hospital Department of Medicine and was on the staff of many other Lake County hospitals.

He was board certified in Internal Medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. He loved being a doctor and was beloved by his patients. When he retired after 44 years of practice, he enjoyed spending more time on his other interests including golf, fly fishing, painting and the study of all types of art. He was also an avid reader.

In addition to his dedication to the practice of medicine, Dr. Zannini was a beloved father and grandfather who never tired of listening and offering support and advice to his family and friends. He was an unflagging optimist and a gentleman. Most important, an integral part of his life and character for which he will be remembered was his strong faith.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife Frances, daughter, Susan Zannini Abell, and brother Eugene Zannini. He is survived his sister Mary Ferry and her husband Lawrence of Waukegan, IL, by his children, Nancy Zannini and her husband Chris Roberts and their daughter Madeleine of New York City and Sharon, CT, Mary Claire Wall and her husband Dan of Charlotte, NC and their children Clementine, Olivia and Nicholas, and John L. Zannini and his wife Eileen of New Canaan, CT and their children Zachary, Sophia and Annabella, son-in-law Tony Abell of Bethesda, MD and granddaughter Jessica Abell of New York City, and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to the Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital, Lake Forest, IL, the Southminster Employee Assistance Fund, or Hospice and Palliative Care of Charlotte.

The family is very grateful to the staffs of Southminster and Hospice and to Carmen Roderiguez, for their kindness and care during Dr. Zannini’s last years.

A memorial visitation will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 23 at Wenban Funeral Home, 320 Vine Avenue, Lake Forest, IL followed by an 11:30 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial at the Church of St. Mary, 175 E. Illinois Road, Lake Forest, IL. Info- or 847-234-0022.

Lemonade Stand Offers A Surprising Twist …

By A. J. Goldsmith

From left, Natassia Najman and her brother, Etienne.

From left, Natassia Najman and her brother, Etienne. Photos by A.J. Goldsmith.

Each weekend scores of bicyclists ride the 10-mile-long Skokie Valley Bike Path that parallels the Union Pacific Railroad from Lake Cook Road and the Chicago Botanic Garden, on the south, through Lake Forest to Illinois Route 176 in Lake Bluff on the north. For the past two summers, waiting under umbrellas to greet the riders at Old Elm Road in Lake Forest are Etienne Najman, age 15, and his sister, Natassia, 17, Lake Forest High School students who offer for sale an assortment of cold drinks including lemonade, water and high-energy liquids and granola energy bars costing from $1-$2.

According to Etienne, the more serious bikers seem to come by on Sunday and more often as not appear to have left home in a hurry and have a need for refreshments.

Etienne developed a “frequent rewards program.” On a stack of 50 index cards he carefully records what each rider purchased and the amount spent. A purchase of $1.50 gets a big rubber stamp; anything less gets a small stamp. A total of seven large stamps or the equivalent entitles the rider to a free reward.
While I was chatting with Etienne and his sister, he told me that the gates on the tracks don’t always work. At least once he has had to go onto Old Elm to warn traffic that a train is approaching.

Both Najmans ride their bicycles five miles to school every day, weather permitting. Natassia plays soccer and tennis. She is entering her senior year and has an ambition to be an attorney. Etienne is a runner, participating in Cross Country. He recently won the Lake Forest 5K Over-all Championship. He has not decided on a career path, but his work on the Skokie Valley Bike Path definitely shows an entrepreneurial bent.


At its south end the Skokie Valley Bike Path links to The Green Bay Trail and on the north end it ties into the Robert McClory Bike Path.

Reading Power Expands and Adds Programs in Lake County

Submitted by Reading Power

Reading Power is on the move – growing, expanding, and improving its dynamic literacy program. The organization’s 11-year history of one-to-one literacy tutoring in North Chicago has allowed Reading Power to continually refine its program.

Reading Power is thrilled to announce that it is working with Zion Elementary District 6 to pilot a program at Beulah Park Elementary School this fall. Reading Power has a history of effective expansion and is well positioned to tutor more students in Lake County. The group is offering the program to districts like Zion while strengthening its long-standing support to North Chicago students. Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer literacy tutor in Zion or North Chicago needs to complete a tutor application at

Reading Power has also been awarded a generous grant from the United Way’s Woman’s Leadership Council Philanthropy Committee to develop a Reading Power pre-kindergarten curriculum in North Chicago. This allows the program to reach and teach students even earlier and enhance their impact through early intervention.

Reading Power’s tutoring program serves low-achieving children attending elementary schools, and offers individual tutoring to students to accelerate their literacy learning early – before they have a chance to fail. Since 2003, Reading Power has tutored over 1,700 kindergarten, first, and second grade students in North Chicago. The effective, efficient literacy curricula utilizes over 190 trained volunteer tutors under the guidance of reading professionals.

North Chicago CUSD 187 is working with the Illinois State Board of Education to improve educational opportunities for all students.

For the 2014-15 school year, the district is restructuring to grade level centers and closing two elementary schools. Reading Power is working closely with the district to ensure that it is able to provide one-to-one tutoring for at least 200 deserving students. This is a challenge due to space requirements, but the program is evolving to meet the needs of the North Chicago students, teachers, and community. Reading Power is honored to be working with the district and other community partners, such as North Chicago Community Partners, Bernie’s Book Bank, and The Abbvie Foundation.

To support this growth and maintain such high quality educational programs, Reading Power has implemented several organizational changes. Kathy McFarland, PhD. has accepted the position of Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board. Reading specialist Rebecca Mullen, MSEd., is Executive Program Director, and Amelia Hanrahan has been hired as Director of Development. These changes allow the organization to focus on programming and address the growing needs for administration and fundraising.

Reading Power is excited by these opportunities to impact more students through expanding programs in Lake County and broadening its impact within North Chicago. To learn more about Reading Power or to make a donation, please visit:

New and returning tutors are invited to attend Reading Power’s annual Organizational Meeting on Wednesday, August 27 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at The First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest, 700 Sheridan Road, Lake Forest. Reconnect with Reading Power friends and hear about tutoring opportunities in North Chicago and Zion, while learning more about all the exciting Reading Power news. Light breakfast refreshments will be served.

Elawa Hopes to End August on a High Note with Wellness Luncheon

Submitted by Elawa Farm

Elawa Farm invites the community to a 3-hour wellness retreat, featuring a full hour of yoga (all levels welcome), demonstration by James Beard award recipient Gale Gand, along with lunch which will include produce harvested from the garden at Elawa Farm. Cost: $100. Space is limited.

Friday, 29 August, 2014
10:30 AM – 01:30 PM

Elawa Farm
1401 Middlefork Dr.
Lake Forest, IL 60045


LFHS Pom/Dance Clinic Pre-Registration Ends Aug. 22

Submitted by the Lake Forest High School pom/dance team


Lake Forest High School’s two-time National Pom Champion Dance Team is hosting a pom/dance clinic for kids in first through eighth grades from 4:15 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, August 29. This is a great way for children interested in dance/poms to have some fun and participate in the local high school program.

The students will learn a pom/dance routine, eat pizza, and perform at half-time for the first LFHS varsity football game, which is agains Chicago-Dunbar (around 8:15 p.m.).

Pre-registions must be post-marked by THIS Friday, August 22! Fee of $45 includes team shirt, hair ribbons and pizza. $50 for at-the-door registrations. Limited to only 80 participants.

To Pre-Registar: please access the printable forms at:

Questions? E-mail: Char Ash at

Lake Forest Preservation Foundation Hosts Garden Tour

Submitted by the Lake Forest Lake Bluff Preservation Foundation

Join the Lake Forest Preservation Foundation for a delightful late afternoon gathering around the Mathis Garden created by renowned landscape designer, Dorothy Hebert. Dortothy will be present to speak about her work in this beautiful, peaceful location. Light refreshments will be served.

The Lake Forest Preservation Foundation awarded this home an Historic Preservation Infill Award in 2000.
Tickets for the event will be $20 for members and $30 for non-members. Tickets may be purchased three ways:

1. on line at
2. by check mailed to Lake Forest Preservation Foundation, 400 E. Illinois, Lake Forest, IL., 6004
3. by calling the LFPF office at 847-234-1230. Tickets are limited.

Reservations are limited.

Please remember to like us on Facebook!

Evening Barbecue Ignites Home on Longwood Road in Lake Forest

Submitted by the Lake Forest Fire Department

A fire began in a barbeque grill and expanded to the rear side of a private home on the 900 block of Longwood Road in Lake Forest on Saturday evening, Aug. 16, causing an estimated $25,000 in damages, according to Chris Garrison, deputy chief of the Lake Forest Fire Department.

The homes occupants had exited the building when firefighters arrived at approximately 7 p.m. At that time, flames were visible in the rear of the house, and it took about two hours to get the fire under control. Apparatus included two engines, one truck, one MICU and two other emergency vehicles. Mutual aid was provided by Lake Bluff, North Chicago, Highwood and Deerfield fire teams.

Firefighters contained the fire to the rear of the home, extinguishing the blaze with one 1¾” hand line. The LFFD estimates the effort saved $750,000 from potential destruction.

Lake Bluff Plans Public Hearing For Stonebridge Development

Submitted by the Village of Lake Bluff admin office:

On August 20, 2014 the Joint Plan Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals (PCZBA) will commence a Public Hearing at 7:00 p.m. in the Board Room of Village Hall (40 E. Center Avenue) to consider a petition, filed by The Roanoke Group, LLC (Petitioner), for approval of a preliminary development plan for a Planned Residential Development (PRD) on the approximately 47 acre property located at 136 Green Bay Road.

Proposed PRD – Preliminary Development Plan
This property is commonly known as the Stonebridge Planned Residential Development. The preliminary development plan, that would ultimately amend the Stonebridge PRD Plan to allow the following:

  • a total of 98 residential units, including with 94 detached single-family residences, 2 existing detached single-family residences and 2 existing attached single-family residences;
  • restoration and preservation of the existing Manor House as a community clubhouse with limited public access;
  • demolition of the existing Carriage House;
  • various landscape features, parks and bicycle and pedestrian trails;
  • on-street traffic circulation and access to home site with a two-way loop road (Jensen Road) as it currently exists, “Street A” and “Street B” that serve the “Pocket Neighborhood” and minor street “Street C” serving Lots 40 to 53;
  • on-street parking spaces (not required) added at select locations along one side of Jensen Lane for residents and visitors, as well as the required minimum of two off-street parking spaces per unit is provided; and
  • a stormwater management plan with three detention basins.
  • PRD Application Process – Preliminary Plan
  • Consideration of a PRD is a two-step process that includes separate public hearings and Village Board consideration for: i) a preliminary development; and ii) a final development plan, which would go before the PCZBA at a new public hearing if the preliminary development plan is approved by the Village Board.

It is anticipated that most or all of the August 20, 2014 portion of the Public Hearing will consist of the Petitioner’s initial presentation, and that the PCZBA will then continue the Public Hearing to a subsequent date for public comment. You are welcome to appear at the Public Hearing beginning at the time and place specified above. A copy of the application seeking this action and additional information will be available for inspection on or after the Friday before the scheduled meeting date at the front counter in the Lake Bluff Village Hall (40 East Center Avenue).

Please visit the Village of Lake Bluff’s website for more information, attachments and links regarding the Stonebridge public meeting.

Hospira In The News

Lake Forest-based Hospira Inc. is making headlines. Crain’s reports that the company, which provides injectable drugs and infusion technologies, is a potential buyer of the medical nutrition unit of French consumer products maker Danone.

Here are links to articles about this issue: