News and stuff about Lake Forest and Lake Bluff

‘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.

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.


Lake Forest Takes On Rival Libertyville for Homecoming

Senior Virgil Young (No. 5) celebrates with his Lake Forest High School teammates after scoring on a fumble recovery against Stevenson on Sept. 19.

Senior Virgil Young (No. 5) celebrates with his Lake Forest High School teammates after scoring on a fumble recovery against Stevenson on Sept. 19. Photo by Joel Lerner.

By Kevin Reiterman

A pair of 3-1 football teams will battle it out on Friday night at 7:30 p.m., when Lake Forest High School hosts rival Libertyville in its homecoming game.

The Scouts dropped a 34-17 decision to the state’s top-ranked team, Stevenson, on Sept. 19. Libertyville, which also started the season 3-0, came up short against Warren 43-26 in Week 4.

Senior linebacker Jack Traynor has been one of the standouts for LF. In the game at Stevenson, he had eight tackles and a quarterback sack. Defensive back Virgil Young, who returned a fumble for a touchdown, was another headliner.

Offensively, the Scouts are being led by senior running back Wes Janeck and junior quarterback Danny Carollo. Janeck has rushed for more than 100 yards in two of the team’s four games. Carollo threw for 154 yards against Stevenson.

As shown in the photos below, many Lake Forest and Lake Bluff merchants are decked out for Homecoming. The storefront windows are decorated by various LFHS teams and clubs, an old tradition that Student Council revised for last year’s Homecoming. 












5 Things To Do This Weekend in Lake Forest & Lake Bluff

Please feel free to send your events to GazeboNews, using this form. 

The first weekend of fall is here .. and herewith are five great ideas on how to spend it:

Friday, 9/26

  • Ragdale’s Novel Affair Benefit at the Chicago Botanic Garden: Join renowned authors, artists, and architects–such as Sherman Alexie and Saturday Night Live alum Julia Sweeney–for two nights of stimulating conversation and creativity in support of Ragdale, Lake Forest’s only artist retreat.  Tickets for Friday’s cocktail reception, which starts at 6pm, are $200 each. For both the cocktail reception and Saturday night’s dinner party, tickets are $500.

Saturday, 9/27

  • Lake Forest Preservation House & Garden WalkA Chicago Art Deco expert is among the six speakers who are scheduled to present at the Lake Forest Preservation Foundation’s House and Garden Walk benefit, which takes place from 1 to 4 p.m, at a late 1920s home built by architect Ralph Milman, and later, Lake Forest’s very own Art Deco Post Office. 
  • Fall Rummage Sale at First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest: From 8am to 3pm, sift through a wide array men’s and women’s clothing, furniture, home décor, toys, linens, shoes, and more.  One man’s trash is another man’s treasure…

Sunday, 9/28

  • Lake Forest Civic Orchestra Performs with Christopher Ramaekers on the Podium: Throughout this season of the Lake Forest Civic Orchestra, four guest conductors will stand in to conduct a concert. At the end of the season, the board will select one to be its new music director. Ramaekers is the first to go, at Gorton Community Center; his concert, entitled “Fanfare and Intrigue,” will include works from Haydn, Bizet, and Rossini.
  • Lake Forest Open Lands’ annual Bagpipes and Bonfire: Kilted skydivers, a roaring bonfire, and a unified procession of bagpipers–not to mention outrageous amounts of tender pulled pork–make this one of the most unique events of the fall season.



I Took a Ride on Lake Forest’s Historic Car 553

Passengers head home to Lake Forest and Lake Bluff on Club 553

Passengers head home to Lake Forest on Club 553

By Sam Eichner, GazeboNews reporter

On Friday, September 19, the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Historical Society offered an exclusive chance to ride the Lake Forest private railroad car on its evening commute from Chicago to Lake Forest.  It was not what I expected …

The last remaining private commuter car in the country—which rides the Union Pacific/North Line to Kenosha—is not, as one might imagine, particularly extravagant. Outside, there is nothing to signify its exclusivity but for a stamp with its name—“Car 553”—printed in small black font across its slate-gray body, and the fact of its size (it is not a double-decker train), which sets it apart from the lineup of even-leveled cars that comprises its tail.  Inside, there is no beverage cart, no whirl from a martini shaker in full throe. Vested waiters do not stroll the aisle, white towels lapped over their forearms, standing at the ready to serve champagne from bottles encrusted with ice.  Nobody’s resting a top hat on his lap or has offered me an unfiltered cigarette, and the only hors d’oeuvres being offered—at least this evening—are turkey sandwiches in nondescript plastic containers, along with a pack or two of gum.

While Car 553 (formerly known as Deerpath, and informally known as the “Millionaire’s Special”) is certainly totemic of a bygone era, it is–and always was, for the most part–more pragmatic than glamorous, and more plainly sophisticated than glitzy.  First launched in 1929 by a group of wealthy Lake Foresters, the private car acted as an extension of the exclusive gentlemen’s club scene.  At one time, there were an estimated 18 such cars in the country, most of which ran in the New York City area.  Since then, Car 553 itself has gone through several physical iterations and renovations, the latest of which took place in the 90s; more importantly, though, the demographic of the club’s members has shifted.

Buzz Norton and John Collins

Buzz Norton and John Collins

“This a consumer co-op,” the car’s de-facto chief mechanic Richard “Buzz” Norton tells me, as we sit in the compartment of the train that used to be reserved for bridge but whose tables are now used to work on laptops or iPads.  “All this ‘Millionaire’s Special’ stuff is bunko.”

Buzz has been riding this train for decades. Prior to 1971, he said there used to be smoking stands at every seat, a bar car, and a man named Al who would pass out drinks to the club’s patrons by memory.  Back then, members—only men, of course—didn’t even have to show an ID or ticket to board.

“They generally just shook hands with someone,” Buzz said with a wry smile.

Today, dues are about $150 per month, plus the standard Metra fare (from Lake Forest, $5.75 one-way).  There are currently 54 members, and a slew of others who have purchased monthly tickets.  Women are most definitely welcome, although Buzz said only two women are permanent members.

“It used to be that everyone from Lake Forest worked downtown,” attorney and longtime club member John Collins said, when I ask him why there are fewer members today.  With the advent of technology—computers, the Internet, e-mail, Smartphones, etc.—it is no longer necessary for everyone to work at work.  Instead, Collins suggested, more people are working from home or in local offices.

Still, the private commuter car, which is actively seeking new members, has its advantages. For Collins, the greatest benefit is being able to sit at the car’s north-most compartment, to get an hour or two of work done in relative peace during the commute. The ride is also a bit smoother than on other cars—at the very least, less noisy.  Car 553’s main compartment—two rows of cushy red seats that face each other instead of forward or backward—are also conducive to the sort of conversation among friends and colleagues that may not be possible on other cars.

And despite all the change Car 553 has undergone since its establishment, there persists a vague, yet distinct mystique—the root of which likely springs from the same source as our contemporary fascination with Gatsby and the Fitzgeralds, the luxurious indulgences in Mad Men, and a general interest in the lives of the rich and famous.



Speaking of Scotland … Lake Forest Open Lands Preps For ‘Bagpipes & Bonfire’

 Footage from this video was taken at last year’s Bagpipes & Bonfire; video courtesy of LFOL

This Sunday is Lake Forest Open Lands’ annual Bagpipes & Bonfire event, a unique autumn ritual that you won’t find anywhere else on this earth or slightly above it. Where else can you see kilted skydivers arriving as a dramatic bagpipes procession leads to the lighting of a massive bonfire as the sun sets on a gorgeous Midwest savanna? And with awesome weather? (The weather forecast calls for a beautiful evening with clear skies and temperatures in the high 60s.)

The deadline to purchase tickets at the pre-event-day rate is fast approaching — click here to purchase tickets for $100/adult; $35/child ages 4-20 (kids 3 and under are free). After midnight Thursday, September 25, tickets will only be available at the event at a higher price of $175/adult, $50/child and 3 & under free.

Here is information about the event from Lake Forest Open Lands:

Bagpipes & Bonfire
Sunday, September 28
4 to 7 p.m.
Middlefork Farm Nature Preserve

Bring the whole family for an evening of games, fun, Scottish entertainment, picnic feast, wine, beer & spirits at the beautiful Middlefork Farm Nature Preserve. The evening culminates with
the landing of kilted sky divers, a dramatic bagpipes procession
and the lighting of the bonfire.

For questions about the event please email or call 847.234.3880 x17.

NEW THIS YEAR! General admission event parking will be located at LFHS West Campus, 300 South Waukegan Road, Lake Forest, with continuous shuttle service to the check in area.

All reservations will be held under your last name at the gate. No dogs allowed at Middlefork Farm Nature Preserve during the event.


And here’s a link to a story last week’s edition of The North Shore Weekend, “Everything Under the Sun,” that provides all you need to know about this year’s Bagpipes & Bonfire event.

Obituary: Walter Butt Jr., World Traveler

Walter in Egypt circa late 1950s

Walter in Egypt circa late 1950s


By Katie Rose McEneely, Walter’s grand-niece

Walter Lawrence Butt, Jr., 94, passed away Monday, September 22, 2014 at Lake Forest Place in Lake Forest, Illinois. He was surrounded by family.

Walter was born September 12, 1920, in Chicago, Illinois, to Walter Lawrence Butt, Sr. and Ellen “Nellie” Marguerite (Coleman).

In 1941, Walter graduated from the University of Chicago. He enlisted in the United States Army after the attack on Pearl Harbor and served in the Philippines. Walter was a Staff Sergeant at General Headquarters, Southwest Pacific Area, under General Douglas MacArthur and typed the conditions of surrender for Japan; he kept a carbon copy of the terms of surrender, along with correspondence between MacArthur and President Franklin D. Roosevelt and materials from the Surrender Negotiation Conference in Manila, until 2003, when he donated his papers to the MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk, Virginia. They are now part of the memorial’s archives.

After the war, Walter returned to the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago and worked as a travel agent at Clara Laughlin Travel Services on Michigan Avenue (later Travel Professionals, Inc.). He served as the treasurer for the American Society of Travel Agents and traveled extensively until his retirement in the mid-1990s. He loved seeing the world and often shared his experiences with family and friends.


Walter and his good friend and fellow travel agent Lydia Scuderi of Lake Forest, in Budva, Yugoslavia, in 1972.

Walter and his good friend and fellow travel agent Lydia Scuderi of Lake Forest, in Budva, Yugoslavia, in 1972.


In 2008, Walter moved to Lake Forest Place to be closer to his family in Lake Forest. He remained alert and interested in the world around him until his death.

Walter is survived and mourned by his nieces and nephews Kevin (Mary) McEneely, Nancy (Terrance) Grupe, Barry (Eileen) McEneely, Joan McEneely, Brian (Naomi) McEneely, Margaret (Patrick) Docket, and Thomas McEneely; as well as by his many grand-nieces, grand-nephews, great-grand-nephews, and friends. He was predeceased by his sister, Rosemary (Edward) McEneely.

Visitation will be held at Wenban Funeral Home, 320 Vine Avenue, Lake Forest, from 8:30-9:30 a.m. on Thursday, September 25, 2014.

Funeral services will be held at the Church of St. Mary, 175 E. Illinois Road, Lake Forest at 10 a.m. on Thursday, September 25, 2014.


Walter loved to travel and made a career of it; here he is getting ready to board a Pan American flight sometime in the 1960s

Walter loved to travel and made a career of it; here he is boarding a Pan American flight; in the ’60s

How Many Nationally Registered Historic Places Do We Have?

By Sam Eichner

When GazeboNews learned that Wikipedia is holding a contest to see who can take the best picture of a Nationally Registered Historic Place, it got us thinking about all the sites in Lake Forest, Lake Bluff and up and down the North Shore. There area so many that we put together a map (shown above) outlining the locations. Click on the icons and you’ll find more information about the properties, including photos.

Don’t procrastinate if you want to submit a photo or photos to Wikipedia; the deadline is Sept. 30; click here for the Wikipedia website.

Here is information on the contest:

Wikipedia Summer of Monuments is a campaign to improve coverage of U.S. historic sites on Wikipedia.

We want to encourage more people and groups to get involved with Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. There are many different ways you can participate.

Part of “Summer of Monuments” is a contest to see who can take the best picture of a Nationally Registered Historic Place. There are prizes for the best pictures! The best individual photographers will win cash prizes of $500, $300, and $150. Institutions can also donate their photos; the best institutional collection contributed will win a prize of $1,000! The deadline is September 30 at 11:59 PM EDT.



Lake Bluff History Museum To Tour Crabtree Farm & Camp Meetings

By Pam Russel, VP of the Lake Bluff History Museum/em>


Farm buildings at Crab Tree Farm in Lake Bluff

The Lake Bluff History Museum will host two tours in Lake Bluff this fall that connect present and past:

• The Crab Tree Farm Tour, Saturday September 27 at 10 am features the Crab Tree Farms Arts and Crafts Collection, housed in five buildings on the property located at 982 Sheridan Road in Lake Bluff. Architect Solon Beman designed and built Crab Tree Farm in 1910 as a model dairy farm for Grace Durand. The farm buildings have undergone extensive renovation and now house the finest collection of Arts and Crafts furnishings in the country. This tour starts at 10 am and lasts approximately 1 ½ hours. Tickets cost $25 and can be purchased at the Lake Bluff History Museum during regular museum hours (see below).

The arts and crafts collection at Crab Tree Farm in Lake Bluff

The arts and crafts collection at Crab Tree Farm in Lake Bluff


• The Camp Meetings, Chautauquas, Artists and Anarchists Tour, Sunday October 5 starting at 1 pm, 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 pm. Tickets cost $10 and are available at the Lake Bluff History Museum.

Camp Meetings, Chautauquas, Artists and Anarchists is the second in the museum’s series of three docent-led walking tours in east Lake Bluff. 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.

Tickets for both tours can be purchased at the museum during museum hours: Tuesday and Thursday from 1-4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Space is limited for both tours and advance purchase is recommended.

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 e-mail or call 847-482-1571.