Good News Sunday: Grayslake native uses acrobatic skills to leap to 'Frogger' glory

  • Flying through the air on a giant parrot came naturally to circus acrobat and dancer Kevin Beverley of Grayslake during this episode of PeacockTV's "Frogger" competition.

    Flying through the air on a giant parrot came naturally to circus acrobat and dancer Kevin Beverley of Grayslake during this episode of PeacockTV's "Frogger" competition. Courtesy of PeacockTV

 
 
Posted12/5/2021 7:30 AM

This is Good News Sunday, a compilation of some of the more upbeat and inspiring stories published recently by the Daily Herald:

Not many careers prepare you for surfing on the back of a slippery plastic hippo, flying through the air on a giant parrot, leaping from moving fake alligators to spinning lily pads, surviving water cannons, eluding the Thundertruck, and stealing Boss Toad's idol to win PeacockTV's "Frogger" competition.

 

"I literally jump on people and catch people for my job, so I thought I could be good at this," says Kevin Beverley, 31, who grew up in Grayslake and studied gymnastics and dance before launching a career that has taken him on tour in more than 50 nations as an artistic circus acrobat.

He was more than good on the game show based on a 1980s arcade video game.

"Kevin Beverley, you are the Ultimate Frogger Champion," proclaimed Damon Wayans Jr., who hosted the show along with Kyle Brandt, the Stevenson High School graduate who played football at Princeton University before becoming a media personality.

Wayans and Brandt presented Beverley with a golden fanny pack containing $100,000 in cash prize money to go along with the $10,000 he won during an earlier episode.

For the full story, click here.

Small church near St. Charles serves meals for area's homeless

Curt Oswald and Raquel Gomez serve turkey and all the fixings during the annual Thanksgiving dinner at H.E.L.P.S. Ministry near St. Charles. "It started out as something to do and it's become a regular thing," said Oswald, who has been coming to the event for seven years. "We're happy to serve."
  Curt Oswald and Raquel Gomez serve turkey and all the fixings during the annual Thanksgiving dinner at H.E.L.P.S. Ministry near St. Charles. "It started out as something to do and it's become a regular thing," said Oswald, who has been coming to the event for seven years. "We're happy to serve." - Christopher Placek | Staff Photographer
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Most large-scale Thanksgiving community dinners -- a regular thing before the pandemic, put on by churches, charities and community groups -- still haven't returned to the suburbs.

But in a tiny church sanctuary near St. Charles on Nov. 25, strangers and friends shared food, faith and fellowship as they have here every year since 2008. That's when the H.E.L.P.S. Ministry -- a Christian congregation that today numbers two dozen -- purchased the building from the Salvation Army.

At the dinner, volunteers set up 82 place settings at tables scattered throughout the church, which is a few blocks west of Route 25 in the Valley View neighborhood of unincorporated St. Charles Township.

The church's pastor, Angelo Valdes, got the idea for a sit-down, family-style community dinner after attending the cafeteria-style dinners that are more common.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"We do dishes. We don't do Styrofoam. We treat people like people," Valdes said. "We call them our friends."

For the full story, click here.

Arlington Heights teacher's family shaped passion for languages

Multilingual teacher Beth Hornberg works with her students at Greenbrier Elementary School in Arlington Heights. Her classroom includes as many as 40 students who speak 19 different languages.
  Multilingual teacher Beth Hornberg works with her students at Greenbrier Elementary School in Arlington Heights. Her classroom includes as many as 40 students who speak 19 different languages. - Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

Beth Hornberg speaks Spanish fluently, which puts her right at home in her classroom at Greenbrier Elementary School in Arlington Heights, where she teaches as many as 40 students who collectively speak 19 different languages.

They include Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Ukranian, along with different dialects from China and India.

Hornberg, who was recently featured as a Daily Herald Top Teacher, loves the diversity that brings -- her own father arrived in this country as a teenager from Buenos Aires -- and embraces her role as a multilingual learners teacher in Arlington Heights Elementary District 25.

"The most important piece is not just teaching them English, but the social-emotional aspect as well," she says. "Unlike most teachers, I have my students for multiple years. I often have siblings. We are a family, and I work to make them feel safe, feel confident -- and not just for the students, but for their whole family."

For the full story, click here.

• Good News Sunday will run each weekend. Please visit dailyherald.com/newsletters to sign up for our Good News Sunday newsletter.

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