Archives for September 2012

Window Wonderland 2012: Win This Window

The Downtown Neighborhood Association is seeking community groups and other organizations to participate in this year’s Downtown Elgin Window Wonderland event, which takes place on Saturday, December 1 from Noon-5PM. We are seeking event sponsors, window decorators, gift basket sponsors, performing groups and day-of volunteers.

The theme of this year’s Window Wonderland event is “Win This Window”. Visitors will not only be able to vote for their favorite decorated windows but can also earn a chance to win beautifully decorated gift baskets inside the windows as well.

Votes in this year’s People’s Choice Award voting will be $1 per vote to be collected on site or in advance online. At the end of the voting process, all participating organizations will receive their total proceeds collected from the People’s Choice Award voting. The window receiving the most People’s Choice votes will receive their total proceeds plus an additional cash donation from DNA.

Our esteemed Window Wonderland judging panel will also select winning windows in the categories of Kids, Business and Open. Each category winner will receive $50 in downtown Elgin gift certificates. Judges will also recognize a Best Overall Winner who will receive a generous cash prize from DNA.

The event is followed by the City of Elgin’s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at 5PM.

For more info about participating in this year’s Downtown Elgin Window Wonderland, contact Jason Pawlowski at 847-488-1456.

Window Wonderland is part of Elgin Home for the Holidays – a community partnership bringing together many Elgin area non-profit organizations in the spirit of collaboration to collectively promote all of the various holiday activities, attractions and events the Elgin non-profit community has to offer. This year’s EHFTH kick-off event at the Gail Borden Public Library, 270 N. Grove Ave., on Saturday, November 3 promises to be even bigger and better with the inaugural Home for the Holidays Craft Show. There will also be holiday entertainment, activities and all participating non-profits will be in attendance promoting their holiday events, donation drives and volunteer opportunities.

For more information about Elgin Home for the Holidays, visit www.ElginHomefortheHolidays.com.

DNA Accepting Nominations for 2012 Awards Gala

The DNA is now accepting nominations for deserving downtown Elgin individuals, groups, organizations or businesses for the 2012 DNA Prom Time Awards Gala on Thursday, October 11 from 6-9PM at the Grand Victoria Casino, 250 S. Grove Avenue.

Nominees will have contributed to downtown Elgin’s continued revitalization or demonstrated having a positive impact on making downtown a great place to live, work and enjoy in 2012.

All nominations will be reviewed by the DNA’s Gala Volunteer Committee. This year DNA will announce 3-5 finalists from all of the nominations received for both Individual and Business/Organization Awards. Finalists will be announced on October 5 and finalists and winners will be announced “Academy Awards style” on the night of the Awards Gala.

Deadline to submit nominations for the 2012 DNA Awards Gala is Tuesday, October 2.

Click to nominate a deserving downtown individual or business/organization >

DNA Volunteers Receive Top Honor From Illinois Main Street

On Thursday, September 13, Downtown Neighborhood Association (DNA) of Elgin volunteers Armida and Joe Dominguez were honored with Illinois Main Street’s Volunteers of the Year Awards at the organization’s annual Conference and Awards Dinner in Quincy, Illinois.

“The generous support the Dominguez family has provided the Elgin community truly exemplifies the spirit of volunteerism that is the foundation of Illinois Main Street and the Downtown Neighborhood Association and we are forever grateful for their service,” said DNA Managing Director Jason Pawlowski.

The DNA also received the Lt. Governor’s Award for Outstanding Economic Restructuring Program – Open for Business Progressive Ribbon Cuttings. For more on Open for Business in Downtown Elgin, check out our YouTube Video or browse DNA’s Open for Business Flickr Album.

ARMIDA & JOE DOMINGUEZ – 2012 ILLINOIS MAIN STREET VOLUNTEERS OF THE YEAR

She was a bank officer for JP Morgan Chase. He was a City of Elgin construction worker. In the decade since their retirement, Armida and Joe Dominguez have made new careers out of service to the Elgin community.

Whether it’s volunteering at events such as Elgin’s Fiesta Salsa, advocating for causes close to their hearts at public meetings, serving on volunteer committees or helping with fundraising for Elgin organizations in need, Armida and Joe personify the volunteerism spirit in every sense of the word.

An active DNA board member, Armida has assisted in raising thousands of dollars of support for the Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin by bringing in new members and event sponsors annually. She also organizes the DNA’s monthly Out to Lunch in Downtown Elgin program. Joe serves on the Downtown Elgin Harvest Market committee and helps with special event set-up and take down.

Both are also very active members of Highland Fellowship Church, spearheading the Royal Rangers program and encouraging the church to participate in DNA sponsored events and programs. They also serve as liaisons to the Hispanic community to enhance their involvement with DNA and other organizations such as Sherman Hospital, Elgin Theatre Company, Elgin International Festival, Elgin Leadership Academy and the Hispanic Heritage Organization.

In 2011, Armida and Joe not only were honored with the Extraordinary Volunteers Award at the DNA’s annual Awards Gala but they also celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They have three children, nine grandchildren and one great grandchild.

The DNA congratulates Armida and Joe Dominguez on receiving this well deserved honor.

Fall “Prom Time” Line-Up in Downtown Elgin

Don your tuxes and gowns, tighten up your garters and cufflinks and pin on your date’s corsage or boutonnière. This fall the Downtown Neighborhood Association (DNA) of Elgin is taking downtown Elgin from prime time to “Prom Time”!

POP-UP PROM

Beginning in late September, Elginites may notice prom popping up all over downtown Elgin. That’s because the DNA, in conjunction with its community partners YWCA Elgin and Elgin Junior Service Board, are teaming up on a community wide promotion entitled Pop Up Prom.

Several downtown storefront windows will look resplendent decorated in their finest prom regalia complete with mannequins dressed in unique prom fashions from over the years, courtesy of the YWCA’s Cindy’s Super Sale taking place on Saturday, September 29 at YWCA Elgin, 220 E. Chicago Street.

PROGRESSIVE PROM FASHION WALK

Part flash mob, part fashion show and all great fun! Beginning at 6PM on Thursday, September 20, fashion models from the Elgin Junior Service Board will gather in DuPage Court for the Progressive Prom Fashion Walk – a high energy, impromptu fashion walk around town. Models will be “Gala-vanting” around downtown streets and inside various businesses showcasing the breathtaking fashions available at YWCA Elgin’s Cindy’s Super Sale event on Saturday, September 29. For more info about Cindy’s Super Sale, visit www.YWCAElgin.org.

ENPOW PROM-TASTIC PARTY & FUNDRAISER AT VILLA VERONE

At 6:30PM, the Progressive Prom Fashion Walk then converges upon Villa Verone for the DNA’s Elgin Non-Profit of the Week (ENPOW) Prom-tastic Party and Fundraiser. Guests will enjoy fab formal frocks, free apps, fantastic karaoke, fancy-free dancing and fun with friends. The DNA will also officially welcome and celebrate its new Managing Director Jason Pawlowski.

Volunteers will register guests for the DNA Prom Time Awards Gala on Thursday, October 11 at the Grand Victoria Casino, as well as, selling 50/50 Gala raffle tickets. Ladies in attendance can also find out more about purchasing THE dress for the DNA Gala at Cindy’s Super Sale.

It’s the exclusive pre-party before downtown Elgin’s biggest formal party of the year – the 2012 DNA Prom Time Awards Gala!

SAY YES TO A DRESS FOR LESS

Need a dress for the holidays? Need a dress for the City of Elgin’s Nightmare on Chicago Street 2012 Miss Zombie Pageant? Need a gown just because you need a gown? This is the event for you!

Say Yes to a Dress for Less at the YWCA Elgin’s Cindy’s Super Sale on Saturday, September 29 from 10AM-2PM at YWCA Elgin, 220 E. Chicago Street. Open to women and girls of all ages, gowns and cocktail dresses will be available for a suggested $25 donation per garment. Choose from thousands of dresses, gowns and formal fashions.

For more information about the YWCA Elgin’s Cindy’s Super Sale, visit www.YWCAElgin.org.

DNA PROM TIME AWARDS GALA

The Downtown Neighborhood Association’s Annual Awards Gala will be held on Thursday, October 11 from 6-9PM at the Grand Victoria Casino’s Fox River Room. The Gala is the organization’s largest fundraiser of the year as well as its opportunity to recognize the individuals, businesses and organizations from the community that make downtown Elgin a great place to live, work and enjoy.

The Gala will feature plenty of prom-tastic activities including prom photos, crowning of the best dressed Prom King and Queen and their court, dancing to all your favorite prom tunes from over the years, a yearbook photo wall to see if you can guess which Elginites captained the football team, made the honor roll or were voted most likely to succeed, and exclusive prom after parties in downtown Elgin establishments.

Tickets for the DNA Prom Time Awards Gala are $65 each ($55 for DNA members) or reserve a Sponsored Table of 8 for $560 ($485 for DNA members). Interested parties can reserve their tickets now thru Tuesday, October 9 by calling DNA at (847) 488-1456 or online at www.DowntownElgin.com.

GALA 50/50 RAFFLE TICKET SALES INCENTIVE OFFER

For any individuals interested in selling Gala 50/50 raffle tickets for $10 each, the DNA is now offering special sales incentives. Sell 25 raffle tickets and receive a free raffle ticket for yourself ($10 value). Sell 100 raffle tickets and receive a free seat at the Gala ($65 value).

Parties interested in selling Gala raffle tickets should contact DNA at (847) 488-1456. Ticket packets can be picked up Monday-Friday from 9AM-5PM at DNA, 2 Douglas Avenue, Elgin, IL 60120.

For more information about the DNA Prom Time Awards Gala, Progressive Prom Fashion Walk, ENPOW Prom-Tastic Party & Fundraiser at Villa Verone or to reserve your tickets for the 2012 DNA Awards Gala on Thursday, October 11, visit www.DowntownElgin.com.

Join in the Fight Against Cancer

To better understand ways to prevent cancer, the American Cancer Society is recruiting participants from our community for a landmark national research study – Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3). Enrollment is being made possible in partnership with Sherman Hospital. Participants must be between the ages of 30 and 65 years old, have never been diagnosed with cancer and be willing to make a long-term commitment to the study by completing periodic surveys over the next 20-30 years. Enrollment appointments are available the followings days/locations:

October 23, 2012
7 AM – 10 AM and 3 PM – 6:30 PM
Sherman Hospital  |  1425 N. Randall Rd  |  Elgin, IL 60123

October 27, 2012
10 AM – 1:30 PM
The Centre of Elgin  |  100 Symphony Way  |  Elgin, IL 60120

For more information and to schedule your enrollment appointment online, visit www.cps3greaterelgin.com.  If you are not eligible to enroll, be an advocate for Cancer Prevention Study-3 by encouraging others to take part in this potentially life-saving study.

9/11 Commemorative Ceremony in Elgin

Join the American Legion in commemorating the 11th anniversary of 9/11. The ceremony, emceed by Tricia Dieringer, will take place at 9:00 a.m. on the Civic Plaza behind City Hall on Tuesday, September 11.

Music will be provided by the Men’s Tour Trio from the Providence Baptist College in Elgin. Mayor David Kaptain will be the keynote speaker.  Rifle Salute will be provided by the American Legion Post 57 Firing Squad. The Elgin Police Department and Fire Department will also participate.

Judson Students to Tackle Downtown Retail Recruitment Project

The DNA is excited to continue its community partnership with Judson University by providing students opportunities to take part in service-oriented learning projects and internships in downtown Elgin.

On Friday, September 7, three business students from Dr. Pat Alden’s service learning class began work on a downtown retail recruitment project.

Working in tandem with new Managing Director Jason Pawlowski as well as the DNA’s Economic Development and Design Committees, students Jonathan Blanco, Emily England and Bisrat Kidane will work together to develop a targeted marketing strategy to attract potential retailers to downtown Elgin. The students will be expected to present their findings and unveil their campaign to the DNA Board of Directors, City of Elgin staff and other stakeholders at the end of the semester.

Pawlowski said he is confident the independently driven nature of the project combined with the skillsets of the three students selected should produce positive results.

“We will be there as a resource and a guide for our students but I really want them to feel empowered to discover that solution for attracting retailers to our downtown and identifying opportunities for potential economic development on their own,” said Pawlowski.

England will also be working at the DNA office 2-3 days a week as Promotions Intern. Among her duties include member and stakeholder engagement, research, and e-mail marketing, social media and event support.

Progressive Prom Fashion Walk and ENPOW Prom-tastic Party

On Thursday, September 20, the Downtown Neighborhood Association invites the public to the streets of downtown Elgin to help us ring in Prom Time in Downtown Elgin this September!It starts with our Progressive Prom Fashion Walk – part flash mob, part fashion show and all great fun – followed by the DNA’s Elgin Non-Profit of the Week (ENPOW) Prom-tastic Party & Fundraiser graciously hosted by Pietro Verone and the staff of Villa Verone Ristorante Italiano, 13 Douglas Avenue in downtown Elgin.

PROGRESSIVE PROM FASHION WALK

Beginning at 6PM that night, fashion models from the Elgin Junior Service Board will gather in DuPage Court for a high energy, impromptu fashion walk. They will be “Gala-vanting” around downtown streets and inside various businesses showcasing the breathtaking fashions available at the YWCA’s Cindy’s Super Sale event on Saturday, September 29. For more info about Cindy’s Super Sale, visit www.YWCAElgin.org.

ENPOW PROM-TASTIC PARTY AT VILLA VERONE

At 6:30PM, the fashion walk then converges upon Villa Verone for the DNA’s ENPOW Prom-tastic Party & Fundraiser. Join us for fab formal fashions, free apps, fantastic karaoke, fancy-free dancing and fun with friends. The DNA will also be officially welcoming and celebrating DNA’s new Managing Director Jason Pawlowski.

Volunteers will be registering people for the DNA Prom Time Awards Gala on Thursday, October 11 at the Grand Victoria Casino, as well as, selling 50/50 Gala raffle tickets. Ladies in attendance can also find out more about purchasing THE dress for the DNA Gala at Cindy’s Super Sale.

It’s the exclusive pre-party before downtown Elgin’s biggest formal party of the year!

Tickets for the 2012 DNA Prom Time Awards Gala on October 11 are $65 each ($55 for DNA members) or reserve a Sponsored Table of 8 for $560 ($485 for DNA members)

RESERVE YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR THE DNA AWARDS GALA

For more information about the DNA Prom Time Awards Gala, Progressive Prom Fashion Walk or the ENPOW Prom-Tastic Party at Villa Verone, visit www.DowntownElgin.com.

Vice to Nice: Transformation of the South Loop Walking Tour

On Monday, October 15, in conjunction with the Chicago Architecture Foundation, the DNA’s Design Committee is offering a guided walking tour of Chicago’s architecturally vibrant downtown entitled “Vice to Nice: Transformation of the South Loop”.

This 90-minute walking tour explores the architecture and history of an area that has undergone dramatic transformation. The streets of the South Loop showcase architecture ranging from Romanesque to contemporary, designed by famous and little-known architects. Explore how an area known for vice, gangsters, a few famous madames and a lot of abandoned railroad tracks has transformed into today’s thriving South Loop.

Cost of the tour is $18 per person (tour only – does not cover cost of transportation or meals).

Our tour group will travel together by Metra train leaving Elgin’s Chicago Street station at 12:28PM. Guests are repsonsible for purchasing their own round-trip tickets. Following an optional lunch at a destination of your choosing, the group will converge upon the Auditorium Theater at 430 S. Michigan Avenue. The tour takes place from 3-4:30PM.

Tour group is limited to no more than 30 participants. Reserve your spot on the tour now. RSVP to (847) 488-1456 or e-mail downtownelgin@gmail.com.