Archives for June 2013

Elgin Artspace Lofts Grand Opening This Thursday

Elgin Artspace LoftsPlease join us in downtown Elgin for the grand opening of Elgin Artspace Lofts, a new live/work space for artists and their families at 51 S. Spring Street, on Thursday, June 27 from 5:30-8:30PM. Brief remarks from Artspace and representatives from the City of Elgin begin at 6PM.

Guests can tour open studios, enjoy food from In the Neighborhood Deli and The Culinary Fox, as well as live entertainment as we celebrate a bright future for the resident artist community and downtown Elgin.

Follow the activities of Elgin Artspace Lofts on Facebook or sign up for e-mail updates about events at

Elgin 4th of July Parade Participants

MarchingThruTime_Logo_AdvocateThe following is a complete list of 2013 City of Elgin 4th of July Parade – Presented by Advocate Sherman Hospital parade participants (with individual staging blocks listed in parenthesis) and sponsoring organizations. Click to Download Parade Staging Packet including route map and staging instructions.

2013 Elgin 4th Parade Participants

A-1 Repair – GROVE E
Advocate Sherman Hospital – Presenting Sponsor – DOUGLAS
Alexian Brothers Health System – Sponsor
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Chi Alpha Omega – GROVE E
American Indian Center/Trickster Gallery – BROOK A
American Legion Elgin Post 57 – DOUGLAS
American Taxi Dispatch – GROVE D
Armida and Joe Dominguez – Sponsor
Artie’s Towing – GROVE C
Ballet Folklorico Huehuecoyotl – BROOK A
Bear Family McDonalds – DOUGLAS
Ben’s Global Recycling Inc. – GROVE E
Bethlehem Lutheran Church – GROVE D
BMO Harris Bank – Sponsor – DOUGLAS
CasaBlanca Realtors – COOK
Chase – Sponsor – DOUGLAS
Chicago Metropolitan Brass Ensemble – GROVE B
Citizens to Elect Kevin Williams Kane County Sheriff – GROVE E
City of Elgin – Sponsor – DOUGLAS
Congregation Kneseth Israel – GROVE B
Dance It Off with Kim – BROOK C
Danny’s Pizza on Douglas – Sponsor – DOUGLAS
Davey Tree Experts – Sponsor
Don Kramer for Kane County Sheriff – BROOK E
Downtown Neighborhood Association – Sponsor
Dundee Masonic Lodge #190 – GROVE E
Eastern Groove Studio – GROVE C
Elgin Academy – Sponsor
Elgin Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association (CPAAA) – DOUGLAS
Elgin Community College – Sponsor
Elgin Continental Little League – BROOK C
Elgin Elks Lodge #737 and Ladies of the Elks of Elgin – GROVE A
Elgin High School Band – GROVE A
Elgin History Museum – BROOK A
Elgin International Festival – GROVE C
Elgin Knights of Columbus – GROVE A
Elgin Lions Club – BROOK A
Elgin Medi-Transport, Inc. – BROOK B
Elgin Parent Co-op School – BROOK C
Elgin Parks and Rec Soccer Team Spain – GROVE B
Elgin River Rats High School RFC – GROVE A
Elgin Sharks Track Club – GROVE C
Elgin Summer Theatre/City of Elgin – BROOK D
Elgin Theatre Company – GROVE C
Elgin Township Democrats – GROVE A
Elgin Township Republicans – GROVE B
Elgin Youth Football League – BROOK B
Epworth Church/Christ the Lord Lutheran Church – GROVE C
Extreme Remodeling – GROVE E
First Congregational Church of Elgin – BROOK C
First Presbyterian Church of Elgin – GROVE C
First United Methodist Church – BROOK D
Food For Greater Elgin – GROVE E
Fox Valley Chapter of the Model T Ford Club Int’l – COOK
Fox Valley Citizens for Peace & Justice – GROVE D
Fox Valley Libertarian Party – BROOK A
Gail Borden Public Library – BROOK A
Gifford Park Association – GROVE E
Golden “K” Kiwanis Club of Elgin – BROOK C
Greater Elgin Family Care Center – GROVE C
Green Thunder Percussion – BROOK D
Hanover Township – COOK
Integrity School of Dance – GROVE E
J B Harris Construction, Inc. – BROOK E
Jesse White Tumblers – BROOK A
John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc. – Sponsor – DOUGLAS
JQ Designs – BROOK A
Judson University – Sponsor – DOUGLAS
Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham – COOK
Kane County Mounted Rangers – COOK
Kane County Sheriff’s Office – GROVE B
Kickers United FC – GROVE D
Kim’s Black Belt Academy – BROOK E
Knights of Columbus & El Cardunal Assembly – GROVE A
Kountry Pet Resort & Training Center – PRE-PARADE
Lamp Incorporated – Sponsor – DOUGLAS
Larkin High School Band – GROVE D
Laura Buhmann Ms. Illinois Universal Dream 2013 – GROVE A
League of Women Voters – GROVE E
Leopoldo Ochoa – COOK
Medinah Clowns – BROOK B
Medinah Motor Corps – BROOK C
Midwest Elite Gymnastics Academy – Sponsor – BROOK A
New Generation Drill Team – BROOK D
Next Level BMX Team – BROOK D
People That Make Patriotic Floats – BROOK D
PLS Loan Store – Sponsor – DOUGLAS
Pro Dance Elite – BROOK E
Raging Waves Waterpark – BROOK C
Redmon’s Towing – Sponsor – DOUGLAS
Rescue Warriors Corp – BROOK C
Safari Childcare – GROVE E
Second Baptist Church Military Veterans Ministry – GROVE D
Shabbona District Three Fires Council Boy Scouts of America – GROVE E
Shared Harvest – Elgin Food Cooperative – Sponsor – DOUGLAS
Shriners Big Wheels – BROOK E
Side Street Studio Arts – GROVE E
South Elgin High School Band & Dance Team – DOUGLAS
Spates Temple Church – GROVE E
Spring Hill Gymnastics – Sponsor – DOUGLAS
St. John’s Lutheran School and Church – BROOK B
St. Paul’s United Church of Christ – GROVE E
The Larkin Center – BROOK D
The Pet Squad/F.Y.D.O.Land – BROOK B
VNA Health Care – GROVE A
Walgreens – BROOK E
Waste Management – Sponsor
Watch City Lodge #131 and Fox Valley Chapter #137 – GROVE A
Watch City Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #1307 – DOUGLAS
West Suburban Shrine Club Roaring ’57s – BROOK B
Westminster Christian School – GROVE C
Zion Lutheran Church – GROVE B

Youth Volunteerism Alive & Well in Downtown Elgin

DSC_0030What can today’s youth accomplish thru volunteerism if they put their minds to it?

That question was answered as 42 high school seniors and youth leaders from Minneapolis-based Students Today Leaders Forever brought their volunteer bus tour to downtown Elgin on a rainy Friday afternoon.

Among the projects the students tackled included folding, addressing, stuffing and stamping over 750 letters to local residents for the City of Elgin 4th of July Parade – Presented by Advocate Sherman Hospital; delivering over 200 posters and memos to downtown businesses, preparing over 250 Downtown Elgin gift certificates; and folding 300 brochures for the Downtown Elgin Harvest Market. They also consumed 5 large Danny’s Pizzas as a token of DNA’s appreciation for their volunteer efforts..

After posing for a group photo outside the Elgin Tower Building and before departing for their next volunteer project in Schaumburg, the student leaders lead the entire group of students an impromptu “Yeah Buddy” cheer for DNA staff and the businesses of Downtown Elgin.

Thank you to YWCA Elgin Events Coordinator and DNA Board Member Deirdre White for coordinating the students’ visit. For more information about Students Today Leaders Forever, visit

RSVP Now for Out to Lunch at Al’s Cafe

Out to LunchOur next Out to Lunch in Downtown Elgin takes place on Tuesday, June 25 at Noon at Al’s Cafe, 43 DuPage Court.

This month’s special guest speaker is Tim Williams from the Boys & Girls Club of Elgin.

For only $12 per person – CASH ONLY, tax and tip included – guests will enjoy a delicious buffet lunch featuring cafe salad, bread and butter, homemade mashed potatoes, fresh seasonal vegetables, chicken marsala, Hungarian goulash, Al’s famous chocolate malts and non-alcoholic beverages, coffee or tea.

RSVP with your name and e-mail address to 847-488-1456 or via RSVP ONLINE by no later than Friday, June 21 at 5PM.

Elgin Woman’s Club Named Grand Marshals of Elgin 4th Parade

MarchingThruTime_Logo_AdvocateThe City of Elgin and the Downtown Neighborhood Association, in conjunction with presenting sponsor Advocate Sherman Hospital, announced today that the Elgin Woman’s Club will serve as Grand Marshals of the 2013 City of Elgin 4th of July Parade.

Representatives from the Elgin Woman’s Club will ride in a vintage convertible to kick off this year’s parade on Thursday, July 4 at 9AM, beginning at the intersection of Slade and Douglas Avenues.

The theme of this year’s Elgin 4th Parade is “Elgin Marching Thru Time” – a timeline-based, community celebration of the individuals and organizations who have contributed to Elgin’s rich history as well as an acknowledgement of the landmark anniversaries several area businesses and groups are celebrating.

This year marks the 125th anniversary of Advocate Sherman Hospital’s founding, of which the Elgin Woman’s Club was instrumental in orchestrating.

Founded by more than 30 women in June of 1887, the Elgin Woman’s Club’s very first project was to establish and run a hospital in the booming and prosperous town of Elgin. Henry Sherman, farmer, Elgin businessman, and part-owner of The Elgin National Watch Factory, learned of the club’s plan and agreed to donate a two-story house to serve as the hospital’s site. Thanks to the efforts of the Elgin Woman’s Club, Sherman Hospital opened its doors on July 7, 1888 and the two organizations have been community partners ever since.

For more information about the 2013 City of Elgin 4th of July Parade – Presented by Advocate Sherman Hospital, please contact DNA Managing Director Jason Pawlowski at 847-488-1456 or e-mail

Congratulations DNA Managing Director Jason Pawlowski

DNA logoDNA Members, Partners and Friends:

On behalf of the Downtown Neighborhood Association Board of Directors, I would like to congratulate Jason Pawlowski, our DNA Managing Director, who will be leaving our organization to pursue his next adventure. Jason has accepted a position as Marketing Manager with the St. Charles Convention & Visitors Bureau. His last day with us at DNA will be at the City of Elgin’s July 4th Parade.

We have been blessed to have Jason as a part of the DNA for three years, first as our Promotions Coordinator and most recently as DNA’s Managing Director. It was an honor to watch him evolve in those positions within our organization and we have learned much from him as a part of our DNA family. It is with a heavy heart that we bid him farewell, but also excitement as we embrace the next chapter for DNA and Downtown Elgin. As with Jason, Don, Suzan, Jennifer, and many other staff members, we welcome the opportunity for change and are receptive to the opportunities the DNA will address in 2013.

So please help us celebrate the time we have had with Jason over these next few weeks! Stop by the office and wish him well. If you have a positive story to share about your dealings with Jason, please share it. If you would like to show your appreciation, I’m sure he’d love for you to buy him a drink (or perhaps some Star Wars memorabilia or a Blackhawks Stanley Cup victory) at our “Not Goodbye-Just Good Luck” party for Jason at Villa Verone, 13 Douglas Avenue, on Thursday, June 27 starting at 7PM.

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss

Thank you, Jason! It has been a pleasure.


Karin Jones
DNA President


JasonPDear DNA Friends & Family:

It is with a profound sense of excitement tempered with some sadness that I announce this move. Even though I’m not an Elgin resident, the people of this City have adopted me as one of their own and after three years of seeing the impact the Downtown Neighborhood Association can have on revitalizing our downtown, I have never been more proud to call myself an Elginite.

This new position would not have been possible without all that the DNA has provided me in the way of experience, skills building, community connections, teaching moments, and opportunities for personal and professional development. I have the utmost gratitude to the DNA Board, volunteers and staff – past and present – for your support and confidence in me. I would also like to thank the City of Elgin, Mayor Kaptain, City Councilmembers, and the hard-working City Staff for all that you do to help us make Downtown Elgin a great place to live, work, and enjoy.

I am also grateful for the many professional connections, personal relationships and treasured friendships I have gained thru my position with DNA that I will carry with me long after I leave.

While I’m looking forward to writing this next chapter in my professional life, rest assured my heart will always be with the wonderful people and businesses of Downtown Elgin. Please continue to support the DNA, whether as a Community or Business member, volunteer, or as a regular patron of all of our downtown shops, eateries and special events.

And you’re not getting rid of me that easy. You’ll be seeing me around at plenty of downtown Elgin events like the Pub Crawl, DNA Awards Gala, and others. After all, you can take the boy out of downtown, but you can never take downtown out of the boy. I ♥ Downtown Elgin!


With Sincere Gratitude,

Shopping Small in Downtown Elgin

Elgin_Residents_GuideFrom Daily Herald’s Elgin Community Publication – 5/31/13


By Jason Pawlowski
DNA Managing Director

Big city amenities? Downtown Elgin has them. How about Gail Borden Public Library, The Centre of Elgin, The Hemmens Cultural Center, Elgin Art Showcase, Festival Park, Grand Victoria Casino, a brand new riverwalk plus first class police, fire and public works departments?

Big time arts scene? Between the nationally acclaimed Elgin Symphony Orchestra, top flight performing arts venues hosting local theatre, music and dance groups, arts festivals, and a new residential artistic community in the Artspace Lofts, we’ve got you covered.

Big special events calendar including Elgin’s 4th Parade, Harvest Market, Art & Soul on the Fox, iFest, Nightmare on Chicago Street, and Window Wonderland.

For big social service resources, big city infrastructure, and big quality of life no one does it bigger.

Size does indeed matter. And in Elgin’s downtown smaller is better.

Downtown Elgin boasts nearly 200 businesses, including over 35 eateries and well over 75 shops and services.

From its founding, the image of the small business owner is indelibly engrained in every historic downtown façade down to very last brick. Walk our historic thoroughfares on any given day and see shop keepers sweeping out storefronts, toiling in the kitchen, or helping customers carry merchandise to their cars. That is the essence of small business. These are just some of the stories that make Downtown Elgin a small business community.

Ray Maxwell from Elgin Antiques & Uniques clearing off snow with his trusty snow blower not just from his front walkway but the entire block of Chicago Street.

Leo Urdaneta of Domani Café knowing how every one of his regulars takes their coffee.

Jerry Newman of Central Barber Shop shortening the ears of a third generation client.

Erin Rehberg and Tanner Melvin’s Side Street Studio Arts hitting the ground running by creating myriad community connections thru the arts in just a few short months.

Pete Shockey helping a lifelong customer’s granddaughter select the perfect engagement ring, with Andersen’s owner Dave Andersen customizing the wedding invitations.

Villa Verone’s namesake Pietro opening his “house” weekly to Elgin non-profits to help raise money and awareness for local causes.

Brothers Mike and Dan Butirro of Chooch’s Pizzeria transforming an historic building into downtown’s first riverfront restaurant in over 50 years.

Tom Creighton of On the Side Restaurant bringing breakfast back to the heart of downtown Elgin.

New faces such as Soulful Sparrow, Mr. Tequila’s, and IJORERE Atelier, or familiar faces in new spaces, including Danny’s Pizza, Elgin Books & Coffee, and Elgin Knit Works, are all making their mark on downtown’s shopping scene.

Rediscover Records’ Rich Wagner’s tweets, Retro-A-GoGo’s vintage seats, or AJ’s Feathered Friends’ parakeets are all a big part of downtown’s small fabric.

This year the Downtown Neighborhood Association (DNA) is celebrating 15 years of downtown revitalization. We invite you not only to experience these and countless other success stories of our small business community but to help write the next chapters by shopping small in your downtown.

We HEART Downtown Elgin.

DNA Promotions Committee Co-Chair Named DMAI 30 Under 30 Ambassador

Krisilee_DMAIFrom the Elgin Area Convention & Visitors Bureau:

Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) has named Krisilee Murphy, Director of Marketing at the Elgin Area Convention & Visitors Bureau an ambassador for their 30 Under 30 program.

In its third year, DMAI’s 30 Under 30 program, sponsored by Searchwide, LLC, focuses on identifying and developing the talent of destination marketing professionals, aged 30 and under, through increased access to top-level networking and professional development. As one of DMAI’s 30 Under 30 group, Murphy has been awarded complimentary registration and hotel accommodations to the DMAI Annual Convention, the foremost professional development opportunity for individuals working at official destination marketing organizations (DMOs).

Destination Marketing Association International chose two previous 30 Under 30 winners to serve as program ambassadors in 2013. Ambassadors attend DMAI Leadership events including the DMAI Board of Directors meeting, mentor the 2013 class of 30 Under 30 at the convention, participate within DMAI committees throughout the year and advocate for the 30 Under 30 program at industry events.

Krisilee’s big take away from last year was working with locals to extend the reach of the convention & visitors bureau. Shortly after returning from the conference she implemented the #ResidentRec social media campaign. Locals are asked to share all the things they think visitors should know by using the hashtag #ResidentRec. Visitors are also encouraged to use the hashtag if they have questions while visiting the area.

“Identifying and developing future industry leaders is an important priority. The DMO world has incredible and exciting career path opportunities. To have Krisilee at the forefront of this initiative speaks volumes of her leadership and the impact she is having here in the Elgin Area”, stated Kimberly Bless, President and CEO, for the Elgin Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.

DNA Member Spotlight: Law Offices of Shirley Sadjadi – 6/12/13

SadjadiLawAs part of the Downtown Neighborhood Association’s brand new “We ♥ Downtown Elgin” Buy Local campaign, the DNA will highlight one local downtown Elgin member business each week throughout 2013.

We shine this week’s DNA Member Spotlight on:

Law Offices of Shirley Sadjadi
169 E. Chicago Street
Elgin, IL 60120




View Larger Map

Attorney Shirley Sadjadi provides immigration legal services in Elgin and surrounding area. Ms. Sadjadi is a former U.S. Justice Department attorney.

Legal services Include:

• Family and employment based petitions
• Deportation defense
• Waivers / perdones
• Temporary visas
• Citizenship
• Payment plans available

Be sure to attend Shirley’s Open House event on Monday, June 17 from 4-7pm to celebrate their beautiful new office renovation and first floor expansion at 169 E. Chicago Street in beautiful downtown Elgin. Munchies from local Elgin eateries will be served.

New 9-Week Kids Program Launches at Harvest Market

RainbowlandThe Downtown Neighborhood Association (DNA) of Elgin, with assistance from community partners, is excited to launch the Downtown Elgin Harvest Market’s new kids program called “Rainbowland: An Adventure at the Market”. This nine-week kids program runs each and every Thursday from June 13 thru August 15 (excluding July 4), at the Downtown Elgin Harvest Market, 200 N. Grove Avenue.

“This is an effort to promote and educate students (K – 6) about healthy eating, being active, and related activities with additional focus on sustainability and agriculture, plus time to shop and talk with vendors,” says Harvest Market Manager Jennifer Benson.

“Rainbowland will feature three 20 minutes sessions from active fitness fun, to cooking demos, to an interactive activity, as well as fun stuff to bring home.”

Rainbowland: An Adventure at the Market starts at Noon each week and is open to children at the market either supervised by adults or in organized kids groups. Currently dates available for larger kid groups of 15 students or more include June 20, 27, and August 8.

The Downtown Elgin Harvest Market’s “Rainbowland: An Adventure at the Market” is sponsored in part by Bright Horizons and organized by Boys & Girls Club, Centre of Elgin, Chef Quincy & Northern Illinois University students, Elgin Area History Museum, Elgin Public Museum, Greater Elgin Family Care Center, Side Street Studio Arts, and YWCA Elgin.

For more details about weekly events, vendor information, live entertainment and attractions at the 2013 Downtown Elgin Harvest Market, visit To sign up or volunteer for the kids program please contact Harvest Market manager Jennifer Benson at 847-488-1456 or email