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  • Moving parts get new life as stationary objects

    Sandy Illian Bosch|Updated Jun 19, 2024

    Dave Stevens isn't one to collect cars. He and his wife share a Ford F-150 as their sole means of motorized transportation. Yet his basement is filled with pistons, cylinders and other parts from all sorts of vehicles. His collection of components are the fuel for a hobby that Stevens started decades ago, turning used car parts into one-of-a-kind lamps. Stevens said his hobby started with a broken washing machine. Back in the 1990s, he and his wife set out to shop for a new...

  • Local woman looks back on century's harvest

    Ken Knutson|Updated Jun 12, 2024

    Blowing out 100 candles is no small feat. That is unless one employs a hand fan, as Hinsdale's June Franc did when she celebrated becoming a centenarian on May 31. "I'm full of hot air," Franc quipped while sitting on her front walk surrounded by a lush garden. She and her late husband, Harold, started tending their plot on the village's north side in 1958 as Ohio transplants. Harold's engineering career had brought the young family west, and they were smitten by Hinsdale's...

  • Miss Illinois 2024 a former Hinsdalean

    Sandy Illian Bosch|Updated Jun 5, 2024

    As an adolescent approaching her teen years, Grace Rodi struggled to find an activity in which she could excel. While friends were competing in gymnastics and discovering their musical talents, Rodi said she longed for something that fit her own set of skills. "I was very tall and uncoordinated and I couldn't sing," Rodi said of her 12-year-old self. That's when a letter arrived in the mail inviting young women to compete in an upcoming pageant. She went to an open call,...

  • Teen gains insight on caring for one's neighbor

    Ken Knutson|Updated May 29, 2024

    Hinsdale's Molly McGarry was not familiar with the concept of philanthropy when she began her studies at Nazareth Academy. She is now, thanks to her participation in Community Memorial Foundation's Young Community Changemakers program. Upperclassmen from area schools are invited to apply for the program, known as YC2, designed to educate and empower local youth to become the next generation of philanthropists by sharing their time and treasure for the common good. "We learned...

  • Zion's retiring pastor blessed by time in Hinsdale

    Pamela Lannom|Updated May 22, 2024

    Jay Klein grew up Jewish, which made his conversion to Christianity at age 32 unexpected and "electrifying," in his words. "It's life-changing. My God is not distant and far away. He is close at hand. He has given me his Holy Spirit to live and dwell in me," he said. Klein said he felt he needed to do something, but was uncertain of his next step. At the urging of his pastor, he agreed to spend a week on a mission trip doing street evangelism in New York City. "I saw the rejec...

  • Teacher retires with memories to treasure

    Ken Knutson|Updated May 15, 2024

    Madison School's Nancy Kramer may lead a second-grade class, but her handle among students references her other pursuit: the Dog Teacher. "Because I foster dogs and train dogs and rescue dogs," she explained. "My world is dogs." After 35 years, Kramer is leaving the world of elementary education. She admits her farewell tour leading up to retirement has been emotional at times, but light on packing since she was able to clean out her three decades worth of stuff last spring...

  • Nurse finds niche at new concierge medicine practice

    Sandy Illian Bosch|Updated May 8, 2024

    Illness doesn't work on a 9-to-5 schedule. That's just part of why RUSH Concierge Medicine is the right choice for its members, said Marie Runyan, registered nurse and concierge nurse navigator at the Hinsdale facility. Opening its doors at 32 E. First St. just a month ago, RUSH Concierge Medicine is a new addition to both the RUSH brand and to Hinsdale. Concierge medicine provides members with 24/7 access to their doctor. Wellness care, including physicals, immunizations,...

  • High schooler finds rewards in helping kids

    Sandy Illian Bosch|Updated Apr 24, 2024

    Sasha Wolff said she wasn't prepared for the impact that becoming a Homework Helper at the Hinsdale Public Library would have on her life. "It's just been so rewarding to see kids be proud of themselves," said Wolff, who spends time after school helping younger students with homework, school assignments and academic improvement. Students in kindergarten through eighth grade have been invited to attend Homework Helpers between 4 and 5 p.m. a few afternoons a week at the...

  • Ladies lead Derby Day down the home stretch

    Ken Knutson|Updated Apr 18, 2024

    After a single father lost custody of his seven children because of his drug addiction, he reached out to Brightpoint for the tools to get his life back on track and his kids back home. At last year's Derby Day fundraiser, sponsored by the agency's Hinsdale Auxiliary, guests were stirred by the man's powerful testimony of redemption. "And now he actually works for Brightpoint in their 'Fathers First' program," related auxiliary volunteer Beth Lyons. "It's nice to hear those...

  • Mom reaches out to parents of special needs kids

    Sandy Illian Bosch|Updated Apr 10, 2024

    Christine McCarty began to suspect something atypical about her daughter, Addy, when Addy was just a few months old. "Something was just different with her," said McCarty, whose oldest daughter was preschool age at the time Addy was born. The biggest indicator, McCarty said, was Addy's inability to look her in the eye. As she grew, Addy was unable to point or pick up small objects. There were therapies along the way, but it wasn't until after years of investigating, testing...

  • Fostering cats purr-fect for mom/daughter duo

    Ken Knutson|Updated Apr 3, 2024

    When the Lohans first moved into their Hinsdale home, they discovered some unexpected neighbors: feral cats. "Then two years ago, one of these cats had kittens under our air conditioner," Amy Lohan said. "I called the Hinsdale Humane Society and said, 'What do I do?' " The lifelong dog lover and cat allergy sufferer was not exactly receptive to the humane society's suggestion that the family foster the two kittens. "I was like, 'Absolutely not. I have a dog, I don't know what...

  • Son's non-profit role is tribute to father's legacy

    Sandy Illian Bosch|Updated Mar 27, 2024

    McDonald's has played a role in Jeff Cantalupo's life for as long as he can remember. The son of former McDonald's Corporation CEO Jim Cantalupo, the Hinsdale resident knew from a very young age that the fast food giant was about more than cheeseburgers and fries. Through the work of Ronald McDonald House Charities, it's also about helping families. "I decided to join the board when there was an opportunity back in 2013," said Cantalupo, who served as board chair for Ronald Mc...

  • Teen delivers lessons in love at refugee school

    Ken Knutson|Updated Mar 20, 2024

    Hinsdale Central sophomore Arielle Shah didn't truly appreciate the gift of a good education until she entered into the young lives of those who had been denied it. The last three summers, Shah has taught English at a school for Venezuelan refugee children on the Caribbean island nation of Trinidad (and Tobago). Huellitas de Amor, whose name means "Prints of Love," is the sole educational option for the displaced kids. "They've been deprived of education for so long, so they...

  • Volunteer helps senior neighbors, one ride at a time

    Sandy Illian Bosch|Updated Mar 13, 2024

    People living in the Chicago suburbs seldom refer to driving as a relaxing activity. But Julie Beja of Hinsdale said every trip she takes as a volunteer for Interfaith Community Partners leaves her feeling good. "I always come home happier than when I left," said Beja, who began volunteering with the agency eight years ago. Based in La Grange, Interfaith Community Partners offers free transportation for seniors throughout the western suburbs who no longer drive. Volunteers...

  • Boy's composure in crisis provides lifeline for dad

    Updated Mar 6, 2024

    Nov. 12, 2023, is a day the Meltzer family of Hinsdale will long remember. The late autumn Sunday began with a drive to the bike shop for 10-year-old Jacob Meltzer and his dad, Bob, to get Jacob's wheel fixed. Returning home, Jacob hopped out in the driveway and Bob proceeded into the garage. But something was off. "When my dad pulled in, he started hitting the garbage can," recounted Jacob, who jokingly admonished his dad to watch where he was going. It quickly became...

  • Clary finds ways to help build community

    Sandy Illian Bosch|Updated Feb 28, 2024

    Grace Episcopal Church of Hinsdale was a part of Sara Clary's life long before she moved to the village in 2012. Grace was her grandmother's church of choice, and visits to her grandmother often included visits to the church, Clary said. "It just seemed like the logical place to continue going," Clary said. Today, Clary serves as senior warden at the church. Together with junior warden Sarah Tims, she helps interim rector Rev. Tom Crittenden make everything at the church run...

  • Volunteering has provided resident key to community

    Ken Knutson|Updated Feb 21, 2024

    After five moves, Kassandra Fisher and her family settled down in Hinsdale in 2018 to put down lasting roots. She quickly sought out service opportunities to connect with her new neighbors. "The best way to meet people is just to jump right in and get involved," Fisher said. She accepted an invitation to attend Tablescapes, the annual fundraiser put on by the Infant Welfare Society-Hinsdale Auxiliary. She went away not only introduced to network of like-minded ladies but also...

  • Young performer hones her stage presence at fest

    Ken Knutson|Updated Feb 14, 2024

    Fresh back from an incredible three-day whirlwind experience at Junior Theatre Festival West in Sacramento, Calif., 11-year-old Veronica Gartner had flipped the script back to school. "I had a lot of work to catch up on, but we're getting there," the Hinsdale resident said this week. The assignment backlog was a small price to pay for the delight of taking part in the musical theater-dedicated annual event Feb. 9-11. Gartner, a member of Hinsdale-based BAMtheatre, was one of...

  • Teen leverages music's power to touch others' lives

    Updated Feb 7, 2024

    During Charlie Russ' visits to his family's longtime priest's retirement home, the teen pianist took note of how his playing had a way of resonating through the elderly man Alzheimer's disease haze. Russ then offered a performance for other residents who cared to listen. Dozens turned out. "They were serving wine and treats," he recounted of the Ravinia-like scene. "I played a lot of old jazz standards, which most of the seniors recognized, and their faces lit up with each new...

  • Library job part of major life change for Wessel

    Sandy Illian Bosch|Updated Jan 31, 2024

    Less than two years ago, Katherine Wessel was a city-dwelling single woman with a corporate job and "living very much a bachelorette lifestyle." Today, she's living in Hinsdale with her partner, David Chiang, helping to raise Chiang's pre-teen twins and enjoying a very different work environment at the Hinsdale Public Library. "I made a 180-degree switch when I moved to Hinsdale," Wessel said. It's a change she does not regret. Not long after moving in with Chiang and his two...

  • Hinsdale native discovers home is where the art is

    Ken Knutson|Updated Jan 24, 2024

    Home. That was the theme of the West Chicago art show Rachel Weaver Rivera participated in a few years ago. For Rivera, home as a child was in Hinsdale, and life's unfolding had now brought her back mid-life. "I would be driving through the town thinking, 'Oh my gosh, I remember this event or that person,' " she related. "I thought I should do my own home show, because this is where my story began." Rivera drove around town snapping images of buildings and sites that...

  • Mom dedicated to making life better for all kids

    Sandy Illian Bosch|Updated Jan 17, 2024

    As a child, Jeanne Hendrie remembers seeing her mother, a teacher, pack up food to bring to students in her classroom who didn't have access to breakfast. Hendrie said she's not sure if that experience sparked her own commitment to helping children, but the Hinsdale mom is dedicated professionally and personally to making life better for kids. Not long after moving to Hinsdale from Chicago in 2019, Hendrie discovered The Community House. Along with the many benefits the...

  • Hinsdale church member lends hand of hospitality

    Ken Knutson|Updated Jan 10, 2024

    Dick Resseguie's high school Spanish is being tested in a way he never could have imagined. Since last month, the retiree has been serving alongside fellow members of Hinsdale's Grace Episcopal Church to help care for 25 asylum seekers being housed by a congregation nearby. "They're all about 20- to 30-year-old single men," Resseguie said of the migrants, who arrived on buses from Texas in late November. Grace Episcopal Church in Oak Park has been providing and food and...

  • Hinsdale shaped a life full of accomplishments

    Sandy Illian Bosch|Updated Jan 3, 2024

    It's been a lifetime since Rich Meyer lived in Hinsdale. But a part of him still calls it home. "It's a fairy tale town," he said. A graduate of Hinsdale High School, Meyer said he would have been content to stay in Hinsdale and start working after graduation. But even in the early 1960s, his teachers, neighbors and classmates encouraged and valued a college education. More than 60 years later, Meyer said he's grateful for what his hometown and his education have provided....

  • Party of five content in their village abode

    Ken Knutson|Updated Dec 27, 2023

    Camden Markowitz' birth in July not only added a third son to Sara and Andy's active Hinsdale brood, it also tipped the gender scales among the offspring of Sara and her five siblings. "He broke the boy-girl tie of grandkids for my mom and dad," Sara reported. "We've got four girls and five boys now." That's unlikely the source of Camden's joy, but his big smile garnered him the mantle of The Hinsdalean's happiest baby for 2023 and a spot on the cover. He timed his arrival to...

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