Pulse: Bubbles, peanuts, and reasons to rock

Bubbles everywhere: Survivor Games chilly but way fun

Mother Nature brought rain and chilly temperatures on Tuesday, but Naperville mom Kristen Kucharski didn’t let that dampen her annual Survivor Game challenge.

“Despite the 62 degree temperature and 16 mph winds, not one kid complained, whined or had a sour face,” Kucharski said. “They are truly amazing.”

More than 70 neighborhood kids turned out for the two-day event Kucharski has been hosting in her Naperville backyard since 2008. Teams face off in events like a water balloon toss, shaving cream crawl and bird seed relay.

“Every year I try and add something new,” she said.

This year it was a giant bubble machine.

“It truly is my favorite part of summer,” she said.

In the end, the Manly Marshmallows and White Sharks teams tied for first place.

The tribe has spoken.

Let them eat cake: Peanut allergy turns into opportunity

Laura Meehan said that, when given lemons, she makes lemonade — or something like that.

After her daughter Callie was diagnosed with a life-threatening peanut allergy almost a decade ago, the Plainfield mom quickly learned buying a special treat like a birthday cake was out of the question, and it was dangerous for Callie to even attend gatherings where sweets were made in a facility with nuts.

“Cross contamination is the scariest part of managing Callie’s allergy,” the mom said. “The simplest, most joyous occasions were now a very scary place for us to attend. It seemed incredible that there were absolutely no resources for families like ours to buy a simple birthday cake.”

So here is the lemonade part.

Meehan created a business plan for Callie’s Cuties, a nut-free bakery facility that could also address allergies to eggs and dairy.

“I started building the business from home almost four years ago, and we entered into our current kitchen location in March of this year,” said Meehan, 50. “Our official storefront is set to launch on Aug. 19.”

Meehan said the “reaction from the nut-free community has been incredible.”

“There isn’t a week that goes by that I am not reminded of why we started this shop,” she said. “Parents of newly diagnosed children stop here, most in tears from what they have just been thrown into. Most just want a sense of normalcy and come here to get safe cupcakes or a cake because that’s what they were able to do prior to their child’s diagnosis.”

Callie’s Cuties is at 16108 S. Route 59, Unit 110, Plainfield. To learn more, visit www.ccnutfree.com.

Dressed up — or down: Club’s fundraiser caters to both styles

If getting your husband to don that black tie for the not-optional fundraising affair is virtually impossible, then the Naperville Newcomers and Neighbors Club has just the thing.

He can wear his khakis and a polo shirt, while you put on the Ritz for the club’s annual dinner dance. If this sounds like a win-win, circle your calendar for Oct. 18.

The club’s first-ever dinner dance, “Diamonds or Denim,” will include both a relaxed dress code and decades of music that will likewise cover a broad spectrum of styles.

“We were looking for something fun for people in the 40 and over age group, and felt this would be a good option,” said Kathy Moreno, chairperson for the event. “If people want to dress to the nines or wear blue jeans — it’s OK. “

Moreno said the event will be at the Hilton in Lisle — a place she said will be perfect for the demographic she expects at the event.

“There aren’t a lot of places for people in the 40 and over age group to go,” she said. “My husband and I are new to this area as well — we’ve only lived here a year after being overseas in Shanghai and Bangkok, and I organized a lot of the events when we were there. We’re hoping people will enjoy this, and we can do some fundraising for the groups we support.”

Those interested in attending must contact Moreno at globalkate1@gmail.com or 630-618-4378. Cost is $40 a person.

Rocking flute: Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull coming to NCC

North Central College welcomes the Best of Jethro Tull with Ian Anderson, plus his new album “Homo Erraticus,” in October.

Anderson has played in more than 54 countries over 45 years. He’s widely considered an icon of the genre and recognized as the protagonist of the flute in rock music.

Anderson recently won the Prog God Award from Prog Magazine, celebrating the innovators of rock who have inspired generations and carved a way for others to be at their creative best.

Anderson’s concert kicks off North Central College’s Homecoming Weekend celebration, Oct. 16-19.

The concert will begin at 8 p.m. Oct. 16 in North Central’s Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave., Naperville. Tickets are $95, $85 and $75. Call the box office at 630-637-7469 or visit northcentralcollege.edu/showtix.

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