Pulse: Mom wins Camry at Bears-Packers game Sunday
Sun staff and freelance reports December 19, 2012 1:34PM
Judith Filip, 27, of Naperville, won a special Bears-themed 2012 Toyota Camry as part of the Chicago Bears-Toyota Camry Giveaway contest. | Submitted
Updated: January 22, 2013 6:09AM
The Bears might have seen their season go down the drain last Sunday during the team’s 21-13 loss to the Green Bay Packers, but one lucky Naperville woman sure came out a winner.
Judith Filip won a special Bears-themed 2012 Toyota Camry as part of the Chicago Bears-Toyota Camry Giveaway contest. The 27-year-old Naperville resident said she entered the contest, along with 7,500 other people, last September and then promptly forgot about it.
“There was an opportunity to win Bears’ tickets as well, which is what caught my eye,” Filip said. “We had never been to Soldier Field to see a Bears’ game, and I figured my son would get a kick out of that.”
Filip said that, about three weeks ago, she received a phone call from a sweepstakes source and figured it was just a nuisance call. She took a second call on her headset later that day and still waited for the next shoe to fall.
“I was waiting for them to ask all this personal information, but things panned out and we were on the middle of field Sunday during the presentation,” she said. “I still don’t have the car, and I guess they have something like 180 days to make the delivery, so there’s a part of me that will believe it when I see it. But we sure can use this car.”
On her way
The producers of the popular Food Network might be looking to Naperville for their next big star. For the past three months, Aurora resident Johanna Cook, 31, has been filming and live streaming cooking shows in downtown Naperville at Casa by Charleston.
The show, “Momma Cuisine,” has been attracting a solid male and female audience, Cook said, adding that she has no formal training from culinary school. Already the home chef and her work has attracted attention from various Chicago-area media sites, including WGN television and radio station WDCB.
“I learned about cooking from being in the restaurant industry for 10 years and helping them open up restaurants,” she said. “We are looking to expand into other shows after the first of the year, including a ‘Momma in the City,’ which will be a food trail sort of thing and a show called ‘Taste Bites,’ which will talk about simple, everyday meals.”
Cook’s latest show was taped this past week and can be viewed along with other previous broadcasts by visiting the website at www.MommaCuisine.com or on her You Tube channel at http://you tube.com/mommacuisineshow.
Stumpenhorst earns another award
Josh Stumpenhorst has been on a roll this year. The 2012 Illinois Teacher of the Year from Lincoln Junior High School recently was named one of 38 public school educators who will receive the California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence, one of the nation’s most prestigious honors for public educators.
“Of course, it is an honor anytime your teaching gets recognized,” Stumpenhorst said. “Yet again, it is unfortunate that so few can be recognized in a manner fitting of the great work teachers are doing daily in schools.”
Stumpenhorst will be honored in February at the National Education Association Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala in Washington, D.C. Known as the “Academy Awards of public education,” the gala attracts more than 850 of the nation’s leaders from the public, private and nonprofit sector.
“We give these awards annually to honor and promote excellence in education and to elevate the profession,” said Harriet Sanford, president and CEO of the NEA Foundation.
“Educators like these are critical to their students’ academic success, and they deserve national recognition.”
As a part of the award, Stumpenhorst will be travelling with a group of teachers to study global awareness and its impact on education in Brazil this summer. In addition, a $650 award was gifted to Lincoln Junior High in his name.
In with nike
Runner makes first
Last weekend Naperville Running Co. played host to 2008 Neuqua Valley High School graduate Chris Derrick when he made his first professional appearance since signing with Nike.
Running enthusiasts — including Neuqua students and some former Wildcat coaches — streamed into the downtown store to meet Derrick and join him on a 2-mile trek through Naperville.
“It was certainly very gratifying and most of all, fun,” said Derrick, who graduated from Stanford University in June. “I can obviously identify with where they are at in their running and hope that I helped to raise their goals and aspirations.”
Paul Vandersteen, head coach of Neuqua Valley boys cross country team, was in attendance.
“It has been awesome to see Chris develop from a mid-pack runner as a freshman in high school to a professional runner today,” Vandersteen said. “He is a role model for our guys because of his consistent work ethic and humility.”
Derrick, who is referred to as “one of the great distance runners in NCAA history” on Stanford’s website, said joining Neuqua’ s cross country team was “probably the most important thing I ever did.”
The 22-year-old long distance runner, who now lives in Oregon, was happy to return to Naperville.
“I had a great time hanging out with all of my old coaches and the young Naperville athletes,” Derrick said. “I owe coach Vandersteen, coach Janota, coach Kennedy and all of the other coaches a great deal.”
Bank returns lost $50 bill to man
The Christmas spirit still lives here in Naperville. Just ask local resident Ron Johnson, 73, who was the recipient recently of some impressive professionalism on the part of the PNC Bank on South Washington as well as the honesty of a local Good Samaritan.
“I had gone to the bank on Dec. 5 to cash a check, and when I left, I unknowingly dropped a $50 bill,” Johnson said. “I was on my way to visit my father in Rockton, Ill., and was making a purchase when I realized I was short some money.”
The next day when Johnson returned, there was a phone message waiting from a bank employee requesting he call them back.
As Johnson himself later said, “A ‘Good Samaritan’ had returned the money.”
“The bank asked me if I had lost anything and I said, ‘As in money?’ and they said ‘yes’ after I told them the amount,” he said.
“This bolsters my faith in people. Not everyone is bad. I have the woman’s name that returned the money, and if the bank gets the OK to release her phone number, I want to contact her. This has been a wonderful story for me.”
Principal sets fashion trend
Members of the White Eagle Elementary School community know how to pull off a birthday surprise. Last week, when school Principal Jon Vogel turned 40, students and faculty dressed for the occasion.
“This was obviously the best birthday I’ve ever had,” said Vogel, now 40.
“The White Eagle community went above and beyond in preparing and carrying out plans to make this milestone birthday memorable.”
Known for wearing “one of my favorite wardrobe choices,” his signature sweater vests, many at the south Naperville school showed up wearing one of their own as a way to surprise their school leader.
“Seeing my staff, students, Wolfie our mascot and even some parents wearing sweater vests was overwhelming,” Vogel said.
Adding to the surprise, staff members filled the principal’s office with 40 stuffed wolves, balloons and other items.
“I am very fortunate to work with such an amazing staff and community,” he said.
That may be the best gift of all.