KidsMatter leader stepping down
It's with a touch of sadness that we congratulate IdaLynn Wenhold as she prepares to step down this spring as executive director of Naperville-based KidsMatter, a group that helps youngsters build the skills to avoid destructive choices. The group's leader since 2001, Wenhold helped build its brand and make it a force to be reckoned with.
Get a shot
There's still time to get a flu shot. Given the severity and increased reports of this year's flu season, it's a good idea to get it done. The holidays and two-week cold snap created the right conditions for the flu to do the most damage. This strain is considered less vulnerable to the vaccine, but experts says the shot still helps decrease the severity of the illness.
Happy business news
The village of Schaumburg got some good news on the business front this week. Village Manage Al Larson announced a spate of business openings planned in town this year, including a Topgolf sports entertainment complex and at least four new restaurants. A nice way to start the new year.
A true sportsman
While it was disappointing to hear that Buffalo Grove's Megan Bozek did not make the USA Olympic roster for women's hockey, she handled it with the professionalism you expect from a world-class athlete who earned a silver medal in the last Winter Games, and assured supporters that their contributions would be donated to other charities.
Sportsman, Part II
Here's a segment of what Megan Bozek told her followers on Twitter "I might not agree with the decision made to exclude me from the team, but for the 23 that were named to the Olympic Team, I only want to wish them the best to bring home the first GOLD since 1998 … let's make this the best year yet." Thanks, Megan, for continuing to inspire others.
Investing in peace
Perhaps you missed the news during the holiday crush last month, but owners of the Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox have joined forces with the University of Chicago Crime lab to invest in crime-reduction strategies to help reduce gun violence in the city. Beyond the $1 million donation, it's nice to see our teams all work together.
The right call
Congrats to 20 sports officials honored by the Illinois High School Association for their character and skills. Seven hail from the suburbs Libertyville's Chris Rudolph (soccer); Ted Lepuck (football) and Mark Anderson (swimming) of Arlington Heights; Lake Zurich's Gerald Blum (basketball); Naperville's David Perillo (volleyball); Mount Prospect's Victor Rarau (water polo); Carol Stream's Frank Navakowski (gymnastics), and Schaumburg's Gina Dryden (dance).
Honoring Coach Kipp
Former Maine West girls basketball coach Derril Kipp, who lost a battle with cancer in 2016, will be remembered this weekend at Willowbrook High School when the long-running girls basketball showcase organized by Jim O'Boye, officially takes on the name Coach Kipp's Hoopsfest. It's a fitting tribute to a man who meant so much to the evolution of the sport in Illinois.
Remembering Thomas Toman
Umpires and referees pay a special role in youth sports, helping teach fairness and sportsmanship to thousands of young suburban athletes. Gym teacher Thomas Toman, of Grayslake, did it for decades and became known as one of the best. He died Jan. 5 at the age of 77. His positive attitude and dedication to kids will be missed.