Pulse: Vote for Naperville Park’s Foundation wreath
From Sun staff and freelance reports November 21, 2012 1:28PM
Loaves and Fishes grand opening on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011. in Naperville. | Submitted
Updated: December 24, 2012 6:29AM
The 2012 Festival of Wreaths, a contest sponsored by the Westfield Fox Valley mall for community nonprofit groups, has a newcomer this year: the Naperville Parks Foundation.
The foundation’s wreath was designed by Sameera Luthman, director of marketing and communications, and Brian Guhl, who does graphic design work for the Park District. Guhl said the wreath was put together on site at the mall Nov. 16 and that its design “was an attempt to showcase the Naperville Parks Foundation,” which was formed in 2011 as an advocate for parks and open space
“We used a lot of natural materials in the construction, and included a series of pictures that showcase the parks,” he said. “We laid the photos out in such a way as to reflect the foundation’s logo. The whole process took us about two hours.”
The winner of the wreath contest will receive $1,500 for the nonprofit organization it represents. All of the wreaths will be displayed at the mall through Dec. 24, and shoppers will vote for their favorite design.
North to compete in coed division
Naperville North High School varsity cheerleaders made history this year, and they’re cheering about it.
For the first time in school history, they will compete in the coed division of the Illinois High School Association competitive cheerleading competition.
“The coed division for IHSA requires two male cheerleaders on the floor,” said Naperville North head coach Keri Storako. “We have three boys on varsity, which is a great number for our first year.”
Storako has high hopes for the new team and their new division, after leading last year’s group to their inaugural appearance at the 2012 IHSA state finals.
“This year we will be in a completely different division, competing against teams we have never competed against (before),” said the coach. “Last year was the first year Naperville North has qualified for IHSA state finals. We are looking to return for a second year in a row.”
Loaves & Fishes lands spot on CBS
Food recovery is a national program where soon-to-be thrown away food is recovered and distributed to needy families through various food banks around the country.
That program was highlighted on the CBS Sunday morning program Nov. 18 and included a segment with Naperville’s own Loaves & Fishes. Community relations director Jody Bender said the segment all came about thanks to the Illinois Food Bank partnering with the Naperville agency.
“We were highlighted during a segment, and it showed the mechanism where food that would normally be thrown away and is still perfectly good is given to needy families,” Bender said. “Our food supplies are based on 75 percent of it coming from food recovery. It was incredible that so many people saw us all across the country. We got an email from Colorado from someone who was inspired by what we do and wanted to know how to set up a food bank there. Being visible on a national stage and people seeing what we’re doing has been huge.”
Bender said the clip shows Loaves & Fishes briefly several times and also discusses the role of food recovery in helping the organization meet the needs of clients. To view the television clip, go to www.loaves-fishes.org/news-and-events/news.
coming to town
If you’ve ever wondered what Rachael Ray cooks when the cameras aren’t rolling, this just might be your chance.
Anderson’s Bookshop in downtown Naperville will present the celebrity chef, TV personality, businesswoman and author at 6 p.m. Dec. 14 at Naperville North High School, 899 N. Mill St., Naperville. Ray will present her book, “My Year in Meals.”
The book invites readers into Ray’s own kitchen as she shares recipes and tips from her food diary and personal photos. From the everyday meals to complicated culinary feats, Ray reveals what she cooks for her own family and friends for a whole year. Ray will give about an hourlong program, to be followed by a question-and-answer session.
Admission is included with the purchase of “My Year in Meals” from Anderson’s Bookshop. Books will be pre-signed by Ray and distributed at the event. Call Anderson’s Bookshop at 630-355-2665 or visit www.andersonsbookshop.com.
Park District earns state accreditation
At its annual meeting Nov. 19, the Illinois Distinguished Park and Recreation Accreditation Committee voted unanimously to confirm the Naperville Park District as an Illinois Distinguished Park and Recreation Accredited Agency.
The committee’s announcement at the meeting was the final step in a nine-month evaluation process that involved staff in all areas of operations.
“We are extremely pleased to have achieved state accreditation as well as national accreditation,” said Executive Director Ray McGury.
About a year ago, the Naperville Park District became one of only two park districts in Illinois to earn national accreditation through the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA).
The state accreditation process is a joint initiative of the Illinois Association of Park Districts and the Illinois Parks and Recreation Association. Less than 1 percent of the park districts and city park departments in Illinois have earned state accreditation, and about 1 percent of park districts across the country have achieved CAPRA accreditation.
“Achieving both state and national accreditation brings benefits to the district and the community,” McGury said. “Comparing ourselves to industry standards and inviting outside review by experts from other leading agencies helps us to bring more excellent programs and facilities to our residents.”
Additionally, the Naperville Park District’s experience with both state and national accreditation has prompted a new cooperative effort between the Illinois Distinguished Park and Recreation Accreditation Review Committee and CAPRA to streamline the process for other agencies who participate in both evaluations. The Naperville Park District helped pilot a new process in which agencies can be exempted from some of the state standards if they have fulfilled similar national standards and vice versa.
The district will be recognized along with other recently accredited agencies at the state conference in Chicago in January.
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