News and stuff about Lake Forest and Lake Bluff

Halloween Insensitivity: Enough With The Headless Decor

Editor’s note: This Reader Forum article was submitted by Phil Gayter of Lake Bluff. 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


Phil Gayter of Lake Bluff saw this Halloween decoration of a dangling head outside a Lake Bluff home, and it made him shudder.

“Don’t people get it?” he asked. “Do they not listen to the news and hear about the beheadings of Americans on a regular basis? Do they not know about innocent people (and children) being slaughtered like this, in Syria? Are we such a spoiled and cosseted community that we don’t know the sensitivity here? Come on neighbor, open your eyes and ears. I LOVE Halloween too, but come on …”


Is this really what Halloween is about?

Is this really what Halloween is about?

Preservation Group Plans Architectural Tour of Genesee Theatre

Submitted by the Lake Forest Preservation Foundation

Don't be caught in line - Tours of the Genesee Theatre start promptly at 4:15!

Don’t be caught in line – Tours of the Genesee Theatre start promptly at 4:15!

The Lake Forest Preservation Foundation invites everyone to a guided tour of the 1927 grand Genesee Theatre in Waukegan on Sunday, November 2, from 4 to 6 p.m. You’ll view areas not seen by the public, learn the history of the glorious theatre and be treated to a glass of wine.

Members – free of charge
Non-members – $10 (may apply toward new membership).

Reservations requested. Please call 847-234-1230 or email

Free parking next to theatre.

Lake Forest Civic Orchestra to Perform with Lawrence Eckerling on Podium

Submitted by the Lake Forest Civic Orchestra

Lawrence Eckerling

Lawrence Eckerling


The Lake Forest Civic Orchestra is pleased to have guest conductor Lawrence Eckerling on the podium for its November 16th concert in Lake Forest. The concert begins at 4 pm, and will be held at Christ Church, located near the intersection of Waukegan Rd. and Highway 60.

Eckerling is one of four guest conductors chosen for the orchestra’s 2014-2015 season. He currently serves as music director of the Evanston Symphony Orchestra. The LFCO will chose one of its guest conductors at the end of the season to be its new music director.

The November concert, entitled “Comedy, Drama and Fantasy,” includes Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite #1, Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture, and Schumann’s Symphony #4 in D Minor. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for seniors/students and are available both at the door and online at

Christ Church was chosen as temporary venue while the LFCO’s home, the Gorton Community Center, undergoes renovation for a state-of-the-art performance space. “We’re thrilled about the Gorton renovations and excited to return home in the spring, but meantime grateful that Christ Church will share its beautiful space with us,” said Howie Martino, president of the LFCO board. Formerly known as the North Suburban Symphony, the Lake Forest Civic Orchestra took its new name in reflection of is long-time residence in the Gorton Community Center and its dedication to the local communities.

The LFCO is engaging with a number of local entities this year to share great music with the community. At the LFCO’s September concert, students from the Music Institute of Chicago shared their talents during a pre-concert performance. The orchestra also sponsored music at a recent Lake Forest Open Lands event. “We couldn’t be happier about partnering with organizations of this caliber,” Martino said.

Please visit our website at to learn more about the LFCO season.

Local Legends To Feature Bill Kurtis and Donna La Pietra

Submitted by the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Historical Society

Donna La Pietra and Bill Kurtis

Donna La Pietra and Bill Kurtis


The Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Historical Society’s fifth annual Local Legends event honors Bill Kurtis and Donna La Pietra. Bill and Donna will take us behind the scenes of Kurtis Productions, television news broadcasting and their conservation efforts.

The event takes place at 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 8 at Lake Forest High School. Tickets are $75 and are available at Don’t miss this opportunity to get the scoop on their fascinating story!

About Bill Kurtis and Donna La Pietra:

Bill Kurtis and Donna La Pietra have loved working together from the day they first met in the Channel 2 Newsroom nearly 35 years ago. Bill was the anchorman and Donna, the executive news producer. Their collaboration created one of the most exciting and honored newscasts in the history of local television news.

Together in Chicago, they crafted a third place TV station into the number one evening news program, sending Bill all over the world, making in depth reporting their hallmark. Documentaries became their passion, and they formed their own company, Kurtis Productions, with the mission of turning out educational and informational programs for PBS and eventually A&E, CNBC, National Geographic, and the Discovery Channel. Their combined interest in conservation and land stewardship led them not only to create documentaries on the subject, but to acquire 65 acres in Mettawa, just west of Lake Forest for prairie and woodland restoration and to create formal gardens. Over a decade ago, they traded in their subscription to Home & Garden for the Cattleman Magazine when they turned overgrazed pasture land in the Flint Hills of Kansas into the Red Buffalo Ranch. This is the home of Tallgrass Beef.

Local Legends is a celebration of our community’s superstars. In previous years, our Local Legends have shared little known stories and behind the scenes anecdotes that have not been heard before. After the interview, there will be a light reception for guests and the honorees.

Tickets to the event cost $75, and proceeds benefit the Historical Society’s programs, exhibits and collections. To purchase tickets or for more information, contact the Historical Society at 847.234.5253 or visit

Woodlands Academy Names New Head of School

From a press release by Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart

Lake Forest, IL – Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart Board of Trustees appointed Margaret (Meg) Steele to become the next head of school, succeeding Gerald Grossman. She begins her new job on July 1, 2015.

A Chicago resident, Steele has been with Sacred Heart Schools in Chicago since 1997. She began her career as a teacher, but soon assumed various positions of leadership, including curriculum coordinator and director of kindergarten and first grade, before becoming head of primary school in 2004.

While her work has been primarily at the elementary and middle-school levels, Steele is well versed in learning, teaching and curriculum in the broader context. Through her work with Sacred Heart Commission on Goals, as well as serving as a member of several Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS) visiting committees, she has worked to evaluate school programs, including secondary schools. Steele also has served on several boards, including North Avenue Day Nursery and Children of the Heart Advisory Board.

She has a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University, a master’s degree in elementary education from Lesley University/Shady Hill School in Cambridge, Mass., and has completed graduate work in school administration from DePaul University, Chicago.

Your North Shore Trick-or-Treat Guide

By Sam Eichner, GazeboNews Reporter

Halloween is finally upon us. Below, GazeboNews has provided the hours of trick or treating for several North Shore suburbs, from north to south. So stick to one. Take a little field trip. Or, if you’re really feeling ambitious, you can always attempt to trick-or-treat the entire North Shore…

Also, if you have any events or updates you’d like to add for the big day, feel free to e-mail

Knollwood: Trick-or-Treating from 4-7pm. Knollwood Neighbors will also host a hot dog roast at the Shields Township Building (906 W. Muir Ave.), where they’ll be offering free hot dogs and chips, as well as other various donated goodies.

Lake Bluff: Trick-or-Treating goes from 4-7pm, as does the annual hot dog roast at Lake Bluff Police Department (45 E. Center Ave.). Hot dogs are limited though, so make sure to stop by early!

Lake Forest: Trick-or-Treat from 2pm-close in downtown Lake Forest, and from 4-8pm everywhere else.  Also, feel free to stop by Lake Forest Parks and Recreation’s Halloween Party at the Lake Forest Recreation Center (400 Hastings Rd.).  It goes from 5-8pm, and promises to be a night of fun-filled activities.

Highland Park: Trick-or-treat from 4-6pm in Downtown HP, and from 3:30-7:30pm everywhere else.

Glencoe: The Glencoe Chamber of Commerce sponsors the annual Halloween Hello in the downtown business district, starting at 10am. The Village’s residential Trick-or-Treating hours go from 4-8pm.

Winnetka: Trick-or-Treating goes from 3-7pm.

Wilmette: Trick-or-Treating goes from 4-8pm.


John Hughes’ Widow Donates Estate to Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital

Photo from

Photo from

Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital announced that it has received as a donation the Lake Forest home of Nancy L. Hughes — widow of the late movie producer John Hughes — to help in the development of its new hospital building, which is scheduled to open in 2017. Hughes is contributing her 11,233-square-foot-home and surrounding two-acre property on Westminster as a charitable gift.

“John loved the beauty of Lake Forest; I love Lake Forest,” said Hughes in a press release issued by the hospital. “So when the opportunity to help advance the hospital presented itself, it was an easy decision to make.” Her husband was widely known for such 1980s blockbusters as the “Breakfast Club,” “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and the “Home Alone” franchise.

“We are very grateful for this generous gift from Mrs. Nancy Hughes,” said Thomas J. McAfee, president of Lake Forest Hospital, in the press release. “It’s because of the support of partners like Mrs. Hughes that we are able to bring health innovation, advanced medical research and quality patient care to our community and Chicago’s north region.”

Proceeds from the eventual sale of the home — whose estimated value is $4.5 million, according to— will benefit the new $378 million facility, which is the largest economic project in Lake Forest history.

Please click on the following links for information about the Lake Forest Hospital Campus Expansion Plan and the fundraising campaign.

That Which We Call Rose’s … By Any Other Name … Is Still Gluten-free

Information provided in a press release Sophie’s Great Food

Rose’s Cafe is still gluten free, but it’s no longer called Rose’s. The new owner of the popular Evanston and Highland Park restaurants has changed the name to Sophie’s Great Food in honor of his mother, Sophia Lemonis, who passed away in 2013 after an illness.

Entrepreneur Marcus Lemonis, host of CNBC’s reality series “The Profit,” purchased Rose’s in 2012 and sought to make it profitable while meeting the growing need for products catering to people with dietary restrictions and food allergies, according to a press release announcing the name change.

Sophie’s Great Food serves gluten-free cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and has now expanded hours of operation covering seven days a week.

According to the press release, Sophie’s Great Food is the only 100% gluten-free bakery and café in the greater Chicagoland area. The restaurant chain serves pizza, soups and sandwiches in addition to providing fresh baked breads, cookies, cakes, cupcakes and muffins. The menu also features a variety of vegetarian and vegan options, and catering is available for parties, graduations and weddings. Recently expanded menu items include a signature Sophie’s Burger, Spinach Quiche, French Toast, a Monte Cristo Sandwich, and new chili bowl offerings: Chili Mac, Quinoa Chili and a Vegan Chili.

And according to media reports, Lemonis put his Lake Forest mansion on the market last spring.

Inovasi Steps Back To 1920s Glamour With ‘Gatsy’ Event

Sponsored post by Inovasi

Inovasi is planning a specially themed dining event called “The Gatsby Dinner,” which harkens back to the exuberance, luxury and style of the 1920s.”

The evening, which takes place on Saturday, Nov. 8 at 6:30 p.m., will include multiple styles of Champagne, Custom craft cocktails created for this event alone, a live Big Band, and a seven-course menu based on food from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The restaurant will be entirely given over to the event and decorated to match the luxury of the era. After dinner, enjoy music and dancing in the Inovasi bar … and more Champagne, of course.

And 10% of the ‘Gatsby” proceeds will be donated to A Safe Place, the shelter in Zion that supports victims of domestic violence.

A few things worth noting:

  • Date: Saturday November 8, 2014, with reception beginning at 6:30 p.m.
  • Black Tie please, White Tie even better…
  • The evening is limited to 60 people
  • Live music during reception and after dinner
  • Guests are encouraged to dress in period style attire
  • Cost for the evening shall be $295 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity

A credit card is required to hold a reservation and all guests will be charged 7 days prior to the event (this is necessary due to the sheer expense of holding this sort of event).

“This is an evening that would make Jay Gatsby proud,” said Executive Chef/Owner John des Rosiers.


Lake Forest, Lake Bluff Firefighters, Cop Honored For Saving A Life

From left: Lake Bluff firefighter/paramedic Matt Kluchka; Lake Bluff Police Officer Jim Reynolds; patient Bruce Stromberg;  Lake Forest firefighter/paramedic Joe Stanonik; and Lake Forest firefighter/paramedic Nick Savel.  The patient, Bruce Stromberg, attended the event to speak about his experience having a heart attack and being treated by this team.

From left: Lake Bluff firefighter/paramedic Matt Kluchka; Lake Bluff Police Officer Jim Reynolds; patient Bruce Stromberg; Lake Forest firefighter/paramedic Joe Stanonik; and Lake Forest firefighter/paramedic Nick Savel. Photo from Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital; not shown: team member Russell Kluchka.


Last January a group of Lake Forest and Lake Bluff emergency personnel saved local resident Bruce Stromberg’s life after he went into cardiac arrest at his home. Last week, Stromberg was on hand at the hospital’s “A Cut Above” award ceremony to honor the men who provided life-saving procedures to help him regain a pulse — and consciousness — by the time they arrived at Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital’s Emergency Room on January 21, 2014. The team included Lake Forest firefighters/paramedics Nick Savel and Joe Stanonik, Lake Bluff firefighters/paramedics Russell Kluchka and Matt Kluchka and Lake Bluff Police Officer Jim Reynolds.

Here’s a press release the hospital sent out last week about the award ceremony:

Lake Forest, Ill. –Lake Forest Hospital today recognized the exemplary efforts of local first responders at its annual A Cut Above award ceremony held at the hospital’s health education center. Hospital officials were joined by members of fire and police departments from Countryside, Grayslake, Greater Round Lake, Lake Forest, Libertyville, Great Lakes Naval Station, North Chicago, and Waukegan to honor first responders for their quick response and efforts that saved lives.

“It is an honor for us to host this annual event to commend our firefighters and paramedics and recognize the team efforts that saved lives,” said Thomas J. McAfee, president of Lake Forest Hospital. “The first responders we honor today represent the very best of our community.”

The first responders honored include:

Libertyville Fire Department: Firefighter/Paramedic Andrew Yarc; Firefighter/Paramedic Josh Roberts; Firefighter/Paramedic Patrick Schultz

Having just completed a course on Combat Application Tourniquets, Yarc, Roberts and Schultz didn’t expect that their very next EMS call would test their newest skill. Nevertheless, on May 19, 2014, they arrived at a local industrial facility for a man who lacerated his arm on a mill. The pulseless extremity with a 6” laceration continued to bleed despite a makeshift tourniquet applied by the patient’s coworkers. Yarc, Roberts and Schultz rapidly applied a Combat Application Tourniquet that controlled the bleeding and the patient was transported to the hospital.

Greater Round Lake Fire Protection District: Firefighter/Paramedic Erich Castillo; Firefighter/Paramedic Todd Lucassen; Firefighter/Paramedic Paul Willen; Firefighter/Paramedic Lonnie Langel; Firefighter/Paramedic Neal Fischer; Firefighter/EMT Eric Wang

On May 7, 2014, Round Lake Crew One responded to a lift assist call where they found an overweight man lying on the floor, on the heat register, for more than 8 hours. The first crew quickly began cleaning the patient as a second crew arrived for additional assistance. Lucassen and Castillo showered the patient, while Willen, Langel, Fischer and Wang decontaminated the patient’s living space and laundered the patient’s clothing. These caring gestures by the Greater Round Lake Fire Protection District crew remind us how simple and sincere acts can enhance the dignity of our patients.

Grayslake Fire Protection District: LT David Torkilsen; LT Jason Brooks; Firefighter / Paramedic James Howell; Firefighter / Paramedic Gerry O’Sullivan; Firefighter / Paramedic Jose Sanchez-Vega; Firefighter / Paramedic Eric Foerster

High quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation with defibrillation saved a man’s life on July 19, 2014. The Grayslake crew arrived on scene and found a 74-year-old unresponsive male, whose wife was performing CPR. The paramedics quickly defibrillated the patient; after two shocks the patient had a return of spontaneous circulation and was then rapidly transported to the hospital. The patient later was discharged from the hospital with a good long-term prognosis. Positive outcomes like this remind us how our care for cardiac patients has advanced. By providing the appropriate medical care for this patient, the Grayslake crew truly saved and improved the quality of this man’s life.

North Chicago Fire Department: Commander Joshua Rickabaugh; Firefighter / Paramedic Joseph Knesley; Firefighter / Paramedic Kyle Martinelli; Firefighter / Paramedic Tim Kluchka; Firefighter / Paramedic Sterling Ricketts

On May 17, 2014, the North Chicago Fire Department responded to a call for a 78-year-old female with uncontrollable bleeding due to a dog bite wound to the neck. On arrival to the scene, the unruly dog was being restrained by a bystander who informed the crew that he was losing his grip. The dog became loose and ran toward the North Chicago crew. Kluchka pinned the dog to the ground by grabbing the dog’s neck and rear legs to prevent injury to others. In the meantime, Ricketts performed a rapid trauma assessment on the patient. Rickabaugh, Knesley, and Martinelli then moved the patient into the ambulance to ensure safety, while Kuchka successfully secured the dog while he avoided being bitten. Direct pressure to the patient’s bite wound with multiple trauma dressings controlled the bleeding and the patient was safely transported to the hospital.

Waukegan Fire Department: Captain Tom Christensen

Captain Tom Christensen is being honored for his commitment and loyalty to his profession, department and community. Throughout 27 years of service, Christensen has fulfilled many roles within the Waukegan community. He has served as an Airport Rescue Firefighter, a certified public diver for the Dive Rescue Operations, Director of the Hazardous Devices Technician program, Director of Personal Protective Gear program, Co-Director of Department Organized Community Emergency Response Team and Fire Investigator. Among his accolades, he has been honored as the 2012 National Firefighter of the Year and is a recipient of the Medal of Valor in 2011. His dedication to public service is truly “A Cut Above” and we are honored to recognize him today.

Countryside Fire Protection District: Firefighter / Paramedic Dan Lainio; Firefighter / Paramedic Mark Skala
On the morning of July 12, 2014, Skala and Lainio were training on the “pit crew” CPR method. They later found themselves responding to a call for a 92-year-old female with chest pain. Upon arrival the patient went into ventricular fibrillation, so the crew defibrillated the patient, helping her regain spontaneous circulation and consciousness.

Naval Base Great Lakes Fire Department: Assistant Chief Gregory DeVries; Captain Chad Miller; Firefighter Shane Ratcliff; Firefighter Mike Vetta; Firefighter Dave Chizek; Firefighter Mark Dodge; Firefighter Matthew Webb

On February 23, 2014 the Great Lakes crew was faced with the challenge of managing the care for an unresponsive 2-year-old. They found the child in ventricular fibrillation and administered advanced life support. Numerous medications were administered with changes in the patient’s rhythm before they reached the hospital. Caring for pediatric patients is a time when emotions run high and expertise and professionalism is most needed. Their peers recognized the strong teamwork and outstanding care displayed by these men. A rare case like this truly requires efficient use of one’s training and the ability to maintain composure during an emotionally charged setting.

Lake Bluff Fire Department: Firefighter / Paramedic Matt Kluchka; Firefighter / Paramedic Russell Kluchka; Lake Bluff Police Department: Police Officer Jim Reynolds; Lake Forest Fire Department: Firefighter / Paramedic Nick Savel; Firefighter / Paramedic Joe Stanonik

On January 21, 2014, Firefighter / Paramedic Savel, Stanonik, Kluchka, and Kluchka and Police Officer Jim Reynolds provided the appropriate life-saving procedures to help regain the patient’s pulse. Upon their arrival to the emergency department, the patient began to regain consciousness. Their rapid response and quality medical interventions resulted in a positive outcome for this patient, who is now a cardiac survivor able to share his “A Cut Above” experience with us.

The annual A Cut Above awards are presented in memory of Anthony M. Gallo, Jr. of the Schaumburg Fire Department. Firefighter Gallo was fatally injured in the line of duty on December 16, 1977.

To learn more about Lake Forest Hospital, visit