News and stuff about Lake Forest and Lake Bluff

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.

Mothers Trust Golf Event Nets Profit …

News from Mothers Trust Foundation

The winning foursome  from left: Cole Holmes, Michael Rubin, John Rubin and Glenn Holmes.

The winning foursome from left: Cole Holmes, Michael Rubin, John Rubin and Glenn Holmes.

The Mother’s Trust Foundation annual golf event, which took place June 13 at the Lake Bluff Golf Club, netted over $25,000. A picture-perfect day -a true rarity these days- brought out 86 players from around Lake County. The event was made possible by the support of The Roanoke Group, Lake Forest Bank & Trust, State Bank of the Lakes, Libertyville Bank & Trust, Associated Bank and The Visual Pak Companies. Golf hole sponsors included Dona and Dick Litzsinger, Jack M. Dunk and Associates, Joe Egan – Morgan Stanley, Roycealee J. Wood – Regional Superintendent of Schools, Home Town Home Care, Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Lions Club, The Atzeff Family, John Drummond, Zion School District 6, The Slaughter Family, Supporter of Mothers Trust, Dennis F. Kratohwil CLU, Larry Neal, Linda Yaple, Theo and John Figliulo, The Karst Family, Judge Victoria A. Rossetti, Karen and Bob Bush, Zera Enterprises LLC, Kaiser’s Pizza and Stifel.

Mothers Trust is a non-profit 501 c 3 dedicated to meeting the critical needs of disadvantaged children in Lake County. Since our founding in 1998, we have helped nearly 23,000 children with grants totaling over $1,800,000. Almost all of our clientele are at or below the federal poverty level, and 30% list no income whatsoever. To learn more about Mothers Trust Foundation and to become involved, please visit our website:

Also new at Mothers Trust Foundation: a newly designed website – click here to take a look.

CenterStage Pitches ‘Damn Yankees’

Victoria Cameron as Lola, Chris Johnson as Joe Hardy and Tom Beck as Mr. Applegate.

Victoria Cameron as Lola, Chris Johnson as Joe Hardy and Tom Beck as Mr. Applegate.

What would you do to see your favorite baseball team win the pennant? That’s the premise of “Damn Yankees,” the summer musical presented by CenterStage in Lake Forest on July 25, 26, 27, 31 and August 1 and 2.

“Damn Yankees” is the story of middle-aged baseball fan Joe Boyd who jumps at the chance to lead his beloved Washington Senators to the pennant over the despised New York Yankees. With the help of Mr. Applegate, Joe Boyd is transformed into the young baseball phenom Joe Hardy and leads the Senators from worst to first. But as we all know, making a deal with the devil has it’s risks.

Joyce Lee Becker as Doris, Dick Salon as Benny Van Buren and June Miller as Sister.

Joyce Lee Becker as Doris, Dick Salon as Benny Van Buren and June Miller as Sister.

Damn Yankees is filled with many memorable songs including the signature “Heart” as well as “Two Lost Souls” and “Shoeless Joe from Hannibal Mo” and the sultry “Whatever Lola Wants.”

The CenterStage in Lake Forest’s production features Tom Beck as Mr. Applegate, June Miller as Sister, Chris Finch as Joe Boyd, Stacey Goebel as Meg Boyd, Chris Johnson as Joe Hardy, Dick Salon as Benny Van Buren, Joyce Lee Becker as Doris and Victoria Cameron as Lola.

Stacey Goebel as Meg Boyd, Chris Johnson as Joe Hardy and Chris Finch as Joe Boyd.

Stacey Goebel as Meg Boyd, Chris Johnson as Joe Hardy and Chris Finch as Joe Boyd.

“Damn Yankees” is directed by Mark Taylor with vocal director Andrea Amdahl Taylor, orchestra director Brian O’Connor, choreography by Jenna Jozefowski and technical director Chris Alaimo.

“Damn Yankees” is presented by CenterStage in Lake Forest July 25-August 2 at Gorton Community Center, 400 East Illinois Road, Lake Forest. Performances are 7:30pm July 25, 26, 31 & August 1 & 2; 3:00pm matinee on July 27. Tickets in advance are $25/adults and $15/students and seniors; all tickets $30/at the door.

Visit or call 847-234-6062.

Sponsored Post by CenterStage Lake Forest

Photographer Captures Century Of Life And Architecture In And Near Lake Forest

Sponsored Post by Re-invent Art Gallery & Studio of Lake Forest:


Accomplished art photographer Caitlin Saville Collins is a member of one of the oldest families in Lake Forest, and she honors that history with a fascinating new photo exhibit of Lake Forest events, landmarks and architecture covering a century of local beauty and life – past to present. For anyone, her photos stand alone as beautiful art. And for generations of locals, they will have additional meaning.

One show favorite is bound to be Caitlin’s early-career black-and-white photo of Howard van Doren Shaw’s wood-carved “Extra Angel”. The Angel blessed the exterior of Shaw’s Meadow Studio at Ragdale for generations, but the elements took their toll and it has been removed from viewing. But Caitlin’s photo shows the angel in younger days, and it comes with a story, too.


csaville_extra angel

“Howard van Doren Shaw designed the angels for atop the pillars of the nave at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago. He had expert Italian woodcarvers execute his design, ordering 14 angels for the church – but they mistakenly made him 15! ” noted Caitlin. ”That’s how the now-famous Extra Angel came to Shaw’s Ragdale home.”

Caitlin has several other photos in the exhibit of Shaw works, and a special connection, too. The great architect was a close friend and colleague of Clayton Mark, her great-great-grandfather, also building him his home at 999 Lake Road. With these and other historical tie-ins, the exhibit will also feature photos from the Mark-Saville archives, chronicling bygone days around town.

Present-day Lake Forest will also be front and center in the exhibit. Her newest photos depict many current and familiar Lake Forest landmarks, nature scenes, architectural elements and statues – all taken with taken Caitlin’s keen eye and artistic flair as interesting and engaging stand-alone pieces for anyone, anywhere.

Lake Forest Days

Lake Forest Days

“I’ve always felt that Lake Forest is one of the most beautiful places on earth. I am proud and privileged to give the world a window into the area’s hidden and not-so-hidden treasures through my photography,” said the artist.

She continued, “Photography has always flowed as a natural extension of my life. I grew up watching my grandfather taking pictures and capturing our lives, and after he died, I even used his cameras through high school…. The rest, as they say, is history!”

The Beauitiful LiFe Exhibit runs at Re-invent July 26 through September 6. A pre-opening celebration will be held Friday, July 25 from 6-9, with freewill admission.

Re-invent is located at 202 E. Wisconsin Ave, in Lake Forest and the 4000sf arts hub features the main gallery, an artisans shop, studio and workshop/event space. Visit or call 224-544-5961 for details.

Making A Difference One Bike At A Time …

The Lake Bluff Criterium begins on Friday and the town is getting primed. The race is part of the Prairie State Series, with eight days of racing from July 18 to July 27. World Bicycle Relief  has ties to the series and those involved in it. Last year they were in attendance and a part of the Criterium in Lake Bluff, and they’re coming back this year.

According to Marco Colbert, director of Prairie State Cycling Series and the Lake Bluff Criterium, Prairie State supports the mission of World Bicycle relief, because of the amazing difference a bike can make in the right setting.

“A bicycle is like a dream come true in many areas in Africa. Especially a strong bicycle, can become a work animal,” he said. “Young girls can go to school longer, business people can take 3 times more produce to market. Health care workers can see 3-4 times more patients per day, with a bicycle.”

Rob Dintruff, a resident of Lake Bluff, has worked in Africa for 15 years, dealing with people with HIV and governments and agencies that are also involved with the global issue of HIV. Rob and Marco met through the Lake Bluff Criterium, and they decided there would be some benefit to getting Rob together with World Bicycle Relief to share knowledge and experience. Rob has seen with his own eyes, in rural Africa, the benefit of a bicycle.

Rob sat down with Charles Constan, Executive Director, from World Bicycle Relief, to share insights and compare notes — here’s the video:

Lake Forest Train Fatalities: What About The Tunnel?

This is third in a series of stories on train fatalities at the west Lake Forest Metra station. For the two most recent articles, click on the following:


This is a rendering of a pedestrian underpass that's being built in Lombard.

Metra and other rail agencies are constructing a pedestrian underpass similar to this rendering in Lombard.


By Adrienne Fawcett

Lake Forest has been talking about constructing a pedestrian underpass at the west Lake Forest train station at least since 2009 after two commuters were killed within 10 months of each other while attempting to cross the railroad tracks. A third commuter fatality at the station this summer brings the issue to the forefront again.

What’s up with the tunnel now?

It’s still in the planning stages because the city hasn’t found the means to fund what it estimates will cost $6.5 million. Lake Forest has received about $2.5 million toward that in federal and state grants, Assistant City Manager Carina Walters told GazeboNews. Most of the funds received so far are from the Illinois Department of Transportation’s High Speed Rail program, according to the city’s FY2015 budget (scroll to page 27 to see info on the pedestrian tunnel).

“There are federal and state grant opportunities out there; however, you need to meet the criteria outlined within the grant specifications. Whenever the City sees or hears of grant opportunities we are aggressively applying when applicable. We have spoken with all rail agencies and budgets are extremely tight; however, we are creatively trying to find alternate funding solutions,” she said.

If the $4 million funding gap is secured by spring of 2015, city leaders hope to begin construction on the pedestrian underpass then. And if the money isn’t found?

“The reality is that the project does not go forward until funding is secured,” said City Manager Robert Kiely Jr. “The City does not have $4 million in its Capital Budget to undertake the project. That is why we are working very hard to identify other state and federal sources to close the gap.”

According to the city’s FY2015 budget, nearly 90 trains travel through the Telegraph Road station every week day, including 48 Metra trains, 16 Amtrak trains and 20 to 25 freight trains from Canadian Pacific Railroad. A study of the Everett/Telegraph Road intersection, which is adjacent to the rail crossing, found that 7,500 vehicles cross it every day.

Lake Forest and Amtrak have been discussing a potential stop at the west-side depot for some time, and the rail agencies have made the pedestrian underpass a stipulation for the Amtrak stop.

What would the underpass look like?

The city is considering an underpass that’s similar to the tunnel being built in the Village of Lombard. (A rendering of that project is at the top of this story):

Lombard communication manager Bridget Doyle said the Village of Lombard is contributing about $300,000 to the total price of the tunnel project, which Metra estimates to be $8.1 million. According to Metra’s website, funding is coming from several rail agencies:

  • Metra: $3.7 million
  • Union Pacific Railroad: $3.3 million
  • Illinois Commerce Commission: $750,000
  • Village of Lombard $300,000 (for architectural enhancements to the tunnel, including lighting and floor, wall and ceiling finishes)

Highland Park also has a pedestrian tunnel; it’s at the Ravinia stop and was constructed in 2010. Ravinia privately funded the $5 million project through a fund-raising campaign specific to the underpass, said Ravinia Director of Communications Nick Pullia. He said the money came from the not-for-profit Ravinia Fixed Assets Fund supported by a few key donations. Click here to read a press release on the Ravinia tunnel from 2010.

Where would the underpass be located?

The pedestrian underpass would be near the Waukegan and Everett Road intersection at the south end of the station. This would enable pedestrians to travel underground from the parking lot on the west side of the tracks, where the station is located, to the Settler’s Square shopping center on the east side of the tracks, which is a popular pick-up/drop-off site for the train.

The budget states “that the proposed underpass will provide ADA compliant pedestrian access underneath the tracks thereby reducing the congestion in the Settler’s Square for pick-up of passengers. With the pedestrian tunnel all passengers could be picked up at the Train Station. In addition, the tunnel prevents future casualties thereby minimizing the disruption of transit operations.”

Three commuters have been killed by trains at the west Lake Forest depot in recent years: Jean Hubbard McNeill, age 51, of Round Lake, in 2008; Teresa Spradlin, 43, of Grayslake, in 2009; and Mark E. Worden, 59, of Chicago, in July  2014. All three worked in Lake County and were struck after they crossed the tracks against warning devices to catch what they thought were trains that would take them home.

“The City sees the underpass as not only a Lake Forest asset; however, this is really a regional asset,” said Walters.

End note to GazeboNews readers: You may also be interested in these articles from 2009:

Polar Vortex, Shmortex …


Photos by Eric Grenier
Story by Adrienne Fawcett

The dreaded weather phrase “Polar Vortex” made it back into news headlines late last week, shattering an otherwise lovely spell of breezy summer days as meteorologists predicted a cold snap for mid-July. But while unseasonably cool and annoyingly wet weather has indeed arrived, the use of the phrase “Polar Vortex” was a tad inaccurate, as ABC-News reported.

Still, it’s raining as I write this on Monday morning, a mere 68 degrees F, and I’m wearing a sweater, on July 14, the start of what’s usually the Chicago-area’s hottest week. Things could be better … but they could be worse. Lake Forest’s very own weatherman Carl Noble measured 1/3 of an inch of rain in his backyard on July 12 while other parts of Chicago were deluged with more than five inches. Carl measures precipitation for the Community Collaboration Rain, Hail & Snow Network, aka CoCoRahs.

So let us not complain about the weather … this time. Instead let us reflect on weather patterns of yore, specifically, from this past winter when we dressed in multiple layers to get the paper on the driveway and velcroed our dogs into little coats to get them to go outside. Yes, then we really did have something to complain about, as Lake Bluff’s Eric Grenier captured in these Polar Vortex photos when he was among the few brave souls in town and at the beach:

Photos by Eric Grenier of Lake Bluff

Photos by Eric Grenier of Lake Bluff; winter 2014









Lake Forest Mayor Explains City Council’s Decision on Whole Foods Mall

Submitted by the City of Lake Forest on behalf of Mayor Donald Schoenheider

GazeboNews Reader Forum

As Mayor of the City of Lake Forest, I would like to thank the community for the public discussions to date on the proposed Amberley Woods Commercial Center on Route 60. The discussion for this site will continue. It is important to understand that this property, located on the southeast corner of Route 60 and Saunders Road, is already planned and approved for commercial use. This is a prominent site because it is an area considered one of the “gateways” to our beautiful city and is one of the last properties available for development along the Route 60 Corridor. If a plan were presented to enhance the historic and architectural integrity of Lake Forest, the City Council and many in the community have made it clear that there is interest and support for a mix of retail, restaurants and service businesses at this site.

After several months of study and public hearings, presentations by the developer, and public testimony that spoke to all sides of the issues, the City’s Plan Commission forwarded a series of 25 recommendations regarding the proposed Conway Market project to the City Council. Each Alderman devoted considerable time studying the various aspects of this issue along with the detailed plans from the developer and the impact it would have on the entire community. The Aldermen also reviewed the developer’s plan in conjunction with the “process” for the approval. Issues that were considered include, but are not limited to:

  • Proposed uses and density
  • Revenue potential
  • Compliance with policies and regulations
  • Impact of traffic to the area
  • Neighborhood compatibility
  • Potential preservation of an existing building
  • Tree removal and drainage

On July 7th, the City Council heard directly from the petitioner and listened carefully to residents’ testimony on both sides of the issue. From a procedural perspective, the Council had no mandate to hear public testimony; the Council did so to give all interested parties a fair opportunity to express their position. Following, each Alderman thoughtfully and candidly summarized their position and offered direction to the developer. The developer unequivocally stated that he could not implement some of the recommendations and would not change the plan to include the 100-foot setback and stated that he would withdraw his petition.

Throughout the City’s public hearing process on this matter, many speakers referenced the City forefathers who faced the very same difficult decisions over the past 150 years that we face today; attempting to balance development and vitality with the important community qualities that define who we are. We take the results of these challenging development related decisions for granted every day as we enjoy the natural beauty of Lake Forest’s open spaces; the diverse and stunning architecture throughout the community; the high quality of businesses and institutions located here and the splendid and magnificent beauty of our beach.

It is through the involvement of our residents, our devoted volunteers and the City’s thoughtful, comprehensive, and sometimes lengthy, review process that will allow us to develop mutually beneficial partnerships with those offering proposals for change. I am confident that together, we shall achieve an impressive commercial development on Route 60; one that preserves the community’s character and standards, while at the same time, adds to the community’s distinction and vitality. We live in an extraordinary place, and together, we will find the right solution for this site as we have done so many times in the past.

Up Next: Lake Bluff Block Party & Criterium Bike Race

The Lake Bluff Criterium bike race takes place on July 19, along with the Lake Bluff Block Party. Yes, this is  correct:  The bike race and block party are this Saturday, and hopefully everyone will have recovered from the 4th of July festivities in order to turn out for the village’s next big event.

As you can see in this photo, 8-year-old Lissy Blume is working hard on her entry for the annual Adirondack chair fundraiser that will take place during the Block Party, which is hosted by Friends of Lake Bluff Parks.


Here’s a photo of several of the other Adirondack chair entries:


This is the third annual Northwestern Medicine Lake Bluff Criterium & Block Party. It’s scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. with multiple amateur bicycle racing categories followed by professional men’s and women’s racing in the late afternoon and early evening. For more information on this fun event, please visit the Lake Bluff Criterium’s web site.

North Shore Conservancy Opens Local Gardens To Public

Submitted by the Garden Conservancy

Magic Garden, Highland Park. Photo credit: Linda Oyama Bryan and Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects.

Magic Garden, Highland Park. Photo credit: Linda Oyama Bryan and Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects.

CHICAGO, IL: On Sunday, July 27th, four private gardens in Highland Park, Lake Forest, and Mettawa will welcome visitors through the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days program, at 10 a.m. (ending times vary). The Open Day is rain or shine, and no reservations are required. Admission to each garden is $7; children 12 & under free. Discount admission tickets ($35 for six) are available in advance at the Chicago Botanic Garden membership desk. Call 1-888-842-2442, or visit for more information.

Visitors may begin the July 27th Open Day at the following locations:

  • Magic Garden, 2219 Egandale Road, Highland Park; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – the grounds surround a Tudor-style house and include container gardens, a rose garden, woodland garden, lake views, and gardens and terraces originally designed by Jens Jensen nearly eighty years ago.
  • Mettawa Manor, 25779 St. Mary’s Road, Mettawa; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – features a centerpiece walled English-style garden with forty-foot perennial borders on either side of a sunken lawn, as well as a rose room centered on an old fountain, color-themed areas of gold, silver, and bronze, a grass labyrinth, an aqua-theater, and much more on the sixty-five-acre property.

Directions to the following properties will be available at the starting point gardens above:

  • Camp Rosemary, Lake Forest; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – garden rooms are partitioned by pines, yews, and boxwood hedges and feature brimming container plantings, paired rose borders, a thyme garden, a chapel-like white garden, a linden allée, and intricate knot gardens.
  • Old Mill Farm, Lake Forest; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – features a large potager of boxwood partitions filled spring to fall with bulbs and annuals for flower arranging, and herbs and vegetables for cooking, as well as two perennial borders, an orchard, a woodland garden, and a prairie restoration.

Open Days gardens are featured in the 2014 Open Days Directory; a soft-cover book that includes detailed driving directions and vivid descriptions written by their owners. The directory includes garden listings in twenty-two states and costs $25.95 including shipping. Visit or call the Garden Conservancy toll-free at 1-888-842-2442 to order with a Visa, MasterCard or American Express, or send a check or money order to: the Garden Conservancy, P.O. Box 219, Cold Spring, NY 10516. Discount admission tickets are available as well through advanced mail order.

The Garden Conservancy introduced the Open Days program in 1995 as a means of introducing the public to gardening, providing easy access to outstanding examples of design and horticultural practice, and proving that exceptional American gardens are still being created. The Open Days program is America’s only national private garden-visiting program, and is made possible by the work of hundreds of volunteers nationwide. For information, a complete schedule of Open Days, or to suggest gardens for inclusion in the program, visit the Garden Conservancy online at