Pulse: Brides choose Hotel Arista on Wedding Wire
By Sun staff and freelance reports January 23, 2013 6:22PM
Wedding Wire magazine recognized the local hotel for its excellence in wedding planning as a “Bride’s Choice for 2013.” The award recognizes the top five percent of wedding professionals nationwide.
Updated: February 26, 2013 6:15AM
If wedding plans are in the works for 2013, Naperville’s Hotel Arista might be just the place you’re looking for.
Wedding Wire magazine recognized the local hotel for its excellence in wedding planning as a “Bride’s Choice for 2013.” The award recognizes the top 5 percent of wedding professionals nationwide.
Director of catering and wedding designer Davina Arceneaux said the hotel learned about two weeks ago of the recognition and that the award was based on reviews provided by brides served by the hotel.
“I think this recognition attests to our quality of service and food we provide, as every menu is personally customized,” Arceneaux said. “We provide luxury items like white-glove service, personalized menu cards, and most importantly, we take the time to discuss what’s important to each person and try to come up with things that are out of the box.”
For example, this past summer the hotel offered special snow cones to guests and continues to focus on farm-to-table cuisine. It also maintains a blog where brides can access the latest trends for the upcoming year. Check out weddinginsiders.blogspot.com.
“We received a plaque from the magazine as well as a letter, and our hotel is featured in the January issue,” Arceneaux said.
Heading to D.C.
marches for life
When the March for Life takes place today in Washington, D.C., more than 30 members of the Benet Academy community will be part of it.
“We want the Benet community to be part of the March for Life experience because we want to share with our students the belief that all people deserve to be treated in a dignified manner, not because of what they have or have not done personally, but because God created them,” said Jackie Bedore, Benet’s director of campus ministry. “We want to foster respect for all human life — even the lives of the most vulnerable in our society.”
Bedore will accompany the group of students, parents and faculty in the nation’s capitol.
“Gathering with others across the United States to speak on behalf of our Catholic faith helps our students to identify with their church,” she said. “It affirms the fact that as Catholics, we not only have beliefs, but we are proud to proclaim and defend those beliefs. Experiences like this are transformational, especially in the lives of our youth. We pray it will also be transformational for our country.”
According to the March for Life website, in 2013, the anniversary date of the Roe vs. Wade decision happened to fall on Tuesday, the day after the presidential inauguration. With hotel rooms being in short supply, the march was moved to Jan. 25.
You can follow Benet’s pilgrimage on their Facebook page.
Rodman to sign his
The idea of former Bulls’ rebounding star and wild man Dennis Rodman becoming a children’s book author seems impossible to believe, but once again — truth is stranger than fiction.
The dyed-red headed athlete who sported tattoos before they were popular is coming to Naperville next weekend to read and sign copies of “Dennis the Wild Bull” — a book reported to offer “good lessons for children based on Dennis’ own experiences as a world-class athlete.”
Owner Becky Anderson admits that Rodman is one of the more unusual authors to pen a children’s book among the vast canon of writers featured annually at her store, but that his legendary status will draw fans.
“Dennis was always seen as one of the ‘bad boys’ with the Bulls, and I think fans of the team are rabid and will want to see him,” Anderson predicted. A lot of kids might not have even been born and seen him play, but their parents know who he is. The idea of Dennis Rodman and ‘children’s author’ seems like an oxymoron, but I think his message is that kids should be themselves and not worry what other people think.”
The event begins at 2 p.m. Feb. 2.
Dancing on ESPN2
Steps Dance to compete in national event
Members of Steps Dance Studio are heading south this month to compete in the National Dance Team Championship in Orlando, Fla.
The dancers, part of the Elite Poms program at the Aurora dance school, earned a spot in the championship after qualifying at a regional competition in November.
“I work with 26 amazingly talented dancers who have worked so hard all year,” said Stacey Cohen, Elite Poms Company director at Steps. “I couldn’t be more excited about their qualification from the regional level to get to compete at the national level.”
Cohen, 25, said 11 members of the group will represent Steps during their inaugural appearance at the national event. The team will compete along with more than 300 high school and all-star dance teams from around the country at Walt Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports complex Feb. 2 through 3.
While an estimated 10,000 spectators are expected to attend the competition, local residents won’t miss out. This year’s competition will be broadcast on ESPN2.
That’s something to cheer about.
Local celebrities to Karoake for a Cause on Jan. 31
Local celebrities don’t often show up for karaoke night.
They will Jan. 31 for a Naperville CARES benefit though. The participants include a variety of people whose names and work don’t conjure up images of karaoke or itunes hits. For charity though, it’s another story.
Scheduled to appear at Karaoke for a Cause are CLTV news anchor Dolly McCarthy; Charlie Brown of the Downtown Charlie Brown Blues Band; Shane Beard, president of Fast Signs; Mike Rossi, Neuqua Valley High School teacher and coach; and Nicki Anderson, Oswald’s Pharmacy marketing director and Sun columnist.
“I picked an oldie but goodie: Nancy Sinatra’s ‘These Boots are Made for Walkin’ because it’s one of the few songs I can actually sing now,” McCarthy said.
The event takes place at 7 p.m. at Aurelio’s, 1975 Springbrook Square in Naperville. For a tip, participants can choose to sing or be nominated by their friends to sing.
“I haven’t decided if I’m doing a fun song or serious song,” Anderson said. “I hear the competition is pretty stiff. Right now, ‘Glitter’ by Pink tops my list, but I never grow tired of ‘Manic Monday’ by The Bangles.”
Naperville CARES also will receive 15 percent of food sales as well as all Karaoke tips. The nonprofit organization helps local families in financial crisis meet their essential needs.
Kernel of truth
Author to sign ‘Touch & Go’
at Anderson Bookshop
Readers never seem to tire of edge-of-your-seat thrillers, and New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner plans to sign copies of her new thriller, “Touch & Go” at Anderson’s Bookshop at 7 p.m. Feb. 6.
The prolific writer who already has authored 14 other books shared a few thoughts about her new book and the creative process.
“Of all the books I’ve written, I think Touch & Go is the most relatable,” Gardner said. “It features a family in crisis, the jilted wife who still loves her husband, the guilty husband trying to make amends, the jaded teenage daughter who knows more about her parents’ marital problems than they suspect.
It’s not a perfect family, but there is genuine guilt, remorse, hope and pain. I think readers will relate to the Denbes family, and that’s before they are abducted and held in an abandoned prison.”
Gardner said she has never been to Naperville and is looking forward to her visit. As far as what inspires her, Gardner said her books are based usually on true events.
“Most of my novels have been based on true crime,” she said.
“With this book, I had the opportunity to visit a moth-balled maximum security prison in northern New Hampshire. It was brand new, state of the art, but lacking the funding to open, the $250 million facility just sat there. The waste of it was shocking, and the opportunity to use it for evil too good to pass up. So I start with a kernel of truth, add a dash of fictional evil, and voila! — a Lisa Gardner thriller is born.”
Touching fries offend patrons enough to get bounced
Naperville police recently investigated a most curious case of disorderly conduct.
It happened about 10:45 a.m. Jan. 14 at an unidentified restaurant near the intersection of Jefferson Avenue and Route 59, along the city’s border with Aurora.
Two unidentified men ages 43 and 21 placed an order for food there. And then this happened, according to a written police report:
“Two subjects got into heated argument with manager over whether the french fries should be touching in the bag. Management chose to ban both parties from this premise in the future. (An assistant) manager gave the warning to them.”
Police Sgt. Lou Cammiso, when pressed by a Sun reporter, offered this by way of further explanation:
The men wanted two, separately bagged orders of french fries.
That “was denied, and the business put two orders in the same bag, thus the fries were touching each other.”
Cammiso added the parties involved in the dispute were sober at the time, and no fisticuffs ensued.