Pulse: Giving back on this week’s agenda

Let there be light

Company donates solar array to farm

Things are looking even brighter at The Conservation Foundation, thanks to a generous donation by Naperville-based WCP Solar, a full-service engineering firm that specializes in the design and installation of solar systems.

Beginning May 17 and finishing up this weekend, the local company is installing a solar array at the Dickson-Murst Farm in Montgomery. The system, valued at $25,000, will generate about half of the electricity needs at the farm. In addition, it will serve as a great local example of solar energy at work.

“Promoting stewardship of our environment is part of our mission, so, it is certainly about education and our mission,” said Brook McDonald, president of The Conservation Foundation. “It also says something about WCP Solar and their generosity and commitment to the community.”

For more information, visit www.theconservationfoundation.org.

Naperville cares

Cuisine for a Cause tops $1M over 11 years

Attendees at the 11th annual Cuisine for a Cause raised more than $160,000 to help local families in financial crisis. Since its inception, the event has raised more than $1 million for Naperville CARES, a volunteer-driven organization that helps local families in financial crisis meet their essential needs by providing emergency financial support and resources.

At this year’s event at Navistar, 500 people dined on signature dishes from over 25 Naperville-area restaurants and merchants. The event also featured auction and raffle prizes, including items ranging from Disney theme-park tickets to a trip to Africa.

“We are very grateful to the management and staff of Navistar for being such welcoming hosts and Karen Garlough of My Chef Catering who was the chair of the 11th annual Cuisine Steering Committee,” said Janet Derrick, executive director of Naperville CARES. “We also must thank our generous sponsors, auction donors, guests and all the participating food, beverage and event vendors who helped us raise the funds CARES needs to prevent local families from becoming homeless.”

Giving back

Philanthropic network honors volunteers

The West Suburban Philanthropic Network recognized many people and organizations who gave of their time and money in more than 8,000 nonprofits throughout the western suburbs during the 12th annual Philanthropy Awards Luncheon on Wednesday at Eaglewood Resort and Spa, 1401 Nordic Road, Itasca.

Several of the 2014 honorees were from the Naperville area, including: Mark Milligan (Wheaton), co-founder and president of Bridge Communities, Humanitarian of the Year; Gloria Bunce, executive director of CASA Kane County (Geneva), Nonprofit Executive of the Year; Navistar (Lisle), Corporate Philanthropic Award; DuPage Medical Group Charitable Fund (Downers Grove), Foundation Philanthropic Award; Kane County Farm Bureau (St. Charles), Service Club Philanthropic Award; and Lora Vitek (St. Charles), WSPN Distinguished Service Award.

“This luncheon continues to be a time to connect with colleagues and community partners, old and new,” said Maeven Sipes, co-chair of the event, in a press release. “We are committed to advancing philanthropy in the western suburbs, and this event helps us achieve that goal.”

Founded in 1986, the mission of the West Suburban Philanthropic Network is to give support to development professionals and advance philanthropy.

Postal giving

Food drive benefits Lisle Twp. pantry

Our neighbors to the east gave what amounts to 2,833 meals to the Lisle Township Food Pantry in Lisle. The U.S. Postal Service Letter Carriers food drive May 10 resulted in more than 3,400 pounds in food donations from Lisle post office carriers.

“We are so pleased with the food drive,” said Lois Biggins, Lisle Township’s food pantry director. “I want to thank the residents for their generosity, the letter carriers for collecting and delivering the food to us, and the many volunteers who helped sort and box over a ton and a half of donated food.”

For the past 20 years, participating letter carriers across the country have conducted the annual Stamp Out Hunger National Food Drive, the largest one-day food drive in the nation, on the second Saturday in May. Letter carriers collect non-perishable food donations left by mailboxes and in post offices and deliver them to local community food banks, pantries and shelters.

Walk red carpet

6-year-old actress here for ‘Blended’ opening

Alyvia Alyn Lind might be little, but she’s already a big star. The 6-year-old actress will be at Hollywood Palms Cinema in Naperville on Friday to celebrate the opening of “Blended,” the romantic comedy starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore.

“I am very glad to do something for this film,” said Ted Bulthaup, CEO of Hollywood Palms Cinema, 352 S. Route 59, Naperville. “I have met both Sandler and Barrymore, and they are both wonderful people! It will be a pleasure to add Alyvia Lind and her family to the long list of those who have opened their movies here.”

In “Blended,” Sandler and Barrymore are single parents who have a disastrous first date, only to find themselves stuck together again on a luxury family vacation with their respective children. Lind plays Sandler’s daughter, and has been said to “steal your heart” throughout the film.

“Alyvia is making a great name for herself,” Bulthaup said. “I have huge admiration for those in the profession that go out and meet their fans rather than just do the talk-show circuit. My whole team is especially proud that they so often choose Hollywood Palms for such appearances.”

Lind will be joined by her mom, actress Barbara Alyn Woods, and will start signing free autographs at 4 p.m. You must have a ticket for the show to be included. If time permits, there will be a question-and-answer session with the actress before the showings. Visit www.hollywoodpalmscinema.com to learn more.

Far out

Name game on a police report

What’s in a name? Sometimes, pretty much everything.

It almost sounds like something you’d hear in an old George Carlin or Cheech and Chong comedy routine. One character asks, “Are you smoking marijuana?” To which the other replies, “Yeah, man, I really dig weed.”

Now, cut to just before 10 p.m. May 15 at Aurora Avenue and Webster Street near downtown Naperville. That was where police stopped a car and arrested two people on charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana.

Written police reports indicated the first player in this particular scene was 21-year-old Chicago resident Joel R. Janchenko.

And the other?

That would be 21-year-old Naperville resident Amanda J. Digweed.

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