Pulse: Father-daughter duo plan to ‘Get Out Alive’

GET OUT ALIVE WITH BEAR GRYLLS -- Episode 101 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jim Vach, Austin Vach, Canden Bliss Jackson, Donna Nettles Jackson, Dominic Depierro, Esmeralda Depierro, Andrew "Lucky" Larson, Andrea "Louie" Larson -- (Photo by: Jasin Boland/NBC) ORG XMIT: Season: 1
(From left) Louie and Lucky Larson will participate in "Get Out Alive with Bear Grylls." | Photo courtesy of Paul Drinkwater/NBC) ORG XMIT: Season: 1
Longtime volunteer Avery Sipla begins a tour of the Martin Mitchell Mansion, which was built in 1883, and is one of the original buildings at Naper Settlement. |  Courtesy of Naper Settlement
At the Log House, volunteer John Earley, explains how the checkerboard pieces were made with dried corncobs in the 1830s.  |  Courtesy of Naper Settlement
Back by popular demand, the Plain White T’s will headline Benedictine University’s BenFest 2013 festivities on Saturday, Aug. 24.  |  Submitted
July brings some extra fun to Naperville this year because Waldo will be on the loose.   The familiar red-and-white striped character, who is always a bit hard to find, will be hidden in over 20 stores and businesses in Naperville. It’s all part of Where’s Waldo? on Main Street, USA, a national campaign of Candlewick Press and the American Booksellers Association.

Signing up for anything called “Get Out Alive” might seem daunting, but not for 24-year-old Andrea “Louie” Larson. The 2010 graduate of North Central College jumped at the chance to audition for NBC’s new adventure reality series headlined by world-renowned survivalist Bear Grylls.

“I heard about the audition from a few North Central College faculty members,” said Larson, who lives in Chicago. “They each told me they had an audition that I would be perfect for, and one of them told me I had to take (my dad) Lucky with me.”

Larson, and her dad, Lucky, 58, are one of 10 two-person teams who are tested “beyond their wildest imaginations” in this nonstop extreme survival journey set in New Zealand. Their mission: survive the wild, journey as a group and avoid elimination.

The show is hosted by Grylls, who is looking for “that survival spirit, resourceful skill and heart-led determination that he knows the wild demands.”

“Once we found out we were going to New Zealand, we knew we were going to have an amazing adventure,” Larson said. “Neither one of us could have predicted that the prize money and television exposure were not the prizes to be had.

“We made unbelievable memories, forged incredible friendships, and learned all too well the humility that comes from being bested by a river, mountain or storm.”

Each week Grylls will send home another team, and in the end, only one duo will remain and claim the $500,000 grand prize.

“We are so thankful for the chance we had to spend time learning and growing together,” she said. “We are super excited to get to share this extraordinary journey with our family and friends.”

See how the father-daughter duo fare when “Get Out Alive with Bear Grylls” premieres at 8 p.m. Monday, July 8, on NBC.

Happy to be Listed

Hidden gem isn’t so hidden

Naper Settlement isn’t just a local favorite, according to a recent listing of the largest tourist attractions in the Chicago area published by Crain’s Chicago Business. The attractions are ranked according to total attendance in 2012, and with 118,000 visitors, Naper Settlement ranked No. 25.

“Naper Settlement is where history comes to play and where the community comes to connect,” said Donna DeFalco, marketing and sales representative at Naper Settlement. “We’re located in the heart of Naperville, but we’re a regional attraction, so we have visitors from throughout the Chicagoland area, nationally and internationally.

Naper Settlement joins other acclaimed attractions such as Navy Pier, which ranked No. 1, followed by Millennium Park and Lincoln Park Zoo.

“We’re so proud to be included on Crain’s list of the 25 largest tourist attractions,” DeFalco said. “Naper Settlement is more than a museum; we’re a multi-faceted destination that helps drive tourism to Naperville.”

To learn more about Naper Settlement, visit

Wait a minute ...

Somebody call a paramedic!

In the category of “no good deed goes unpunished” comes this recent item from written Naperville police reports.

About 7:30 a.m. Sunday, an unidentified, 34-year-old crew member of Naperville Fire Station No. 4 “was helping dog watcher corral ‘Boozer,’ a small cocker spaniel mix,” after the dog ran away from a home on the 1500 block of Fairway Drive, in the Country Lakes area of the city’s far northwest side.

The firefighter “went to pet the dog, and it was fine, (but) when he went to pick him up, (Boozer) scratched his left hand and bit him in the right.”

Boozer broke the firefighter’s skin, “causing puncture marks,” the report continued. “The owner of the dog was notified of the bite, and will bring current rabies shot paperwork to Station 4.”

So near, yet so far

Case of ‘missing’ Chevrolet

Boy, was a Naperville man’s face (probably) red late last month, after he told police his Chevrolet had been stolen.

A written Naperville police report stated the 47-year-old man lives on the 1200 block of Natchez Trace Circle in the west-central part of town. And about 7:49 a.m. June 28, the man reported he was “the last to drive the Chevy and was sure he locked it in the driveway ... overnight.”

“After ONSTAR located the vehicle in the parking lot of the Taco Bell,” the man “recalled that he left the vehicle parked there and left” with a friend.

The report didn’t indicate which of Naperville’s numerous Taco Bells figured in the incident, although one is located only a few blocks west of the Chevy owner’s home.

Hey there

Plain White T’s return to BenFest

Back by popular demand, the Plain White T’s will headline Benedictine University’s BenFest festivities Aug. 24.

Recording artist and first season finalist on NBC’s “The Voice,” Vicci Martinez will open the concert at the Village of Lisle-Benedictine University Sports Complex. Her latest self-titled album includes the single, “Come Along,” featuring Grammy winner Cee Lo Green.

Tickets go on sale July 15 and can be purchased at Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door.

The Plain White T’s were founded in 1997 — 10 years before their Grammy-nominated single “Hey There Delilah” put them on the musical map. Lead singer Tom Higgenson, who lives in Elmhurst, was playing drums in various high school bands when he met bassist Ken Fletcher. The two became friends and launched their own band, with Dave Tirio taking over on drums.

The band’s current roster features Higgenson on vocals; Willowbrook High School graduate Tirio on rhythm guitar and backup vocals; Austin, Texas, product Tim Lopez on guitars; Bucktown resident De’Mar Hamilton on drums; and Chicagoan Mike Retondo on bass.

“Hey There Delilah” was the group’s breakout hit, gaining steam in late 2006 and early 2007, eventually topping the charts in 10 countries by summer 2007. It was the first drumless song to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in years. In 2008, the band released “Big Bad World,” a return-to-roots effort.

The single “Rhythm of Love,” off the band’s sixth album, “Wonder of the Younger,” made its debut at No. 96 on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Adult Pop Songs chart.

The band’s newest EP was released April 9 and includes four songs, “Should’ve Gone to Bed,” “The Giving Tree,” “Helium” and “Haven’t Told Her.”

The concert begins at 7 p.m.; gates open at 6 p.m.

Where is waldo?

Find him somewhere downtown

So Where’s Waldo? Throughout Naperville, of course. Waldo is on the loose in downtown Naperville this month as part of Where’s Waldo? on Main Street, USA, a national campaign of Candlewick Press and the American Booksellers Association.

The familiar red-and-white striped character, who is always a bit hard to find, is hidden in almost 60 stores and businesses in Naperville.

“What could be more fun than finding Waldo, but finding Waldo at local independent businesses in your communities,” says Becky Anderson, of Anderson’s Bookshop, and former American Booksellers Association president. “Find Waldo Local celebrates the uniqueness, fun and strength of community.”

He turned 25 last year when the program was launched. Those who spot him can win prizes, including buttons, books and more.

To participate, pick up a “Find Waldo in Naperville” search list with the names of all the businesses, and collect an “I Found Waldo at ....” card for each Waldo they spot. Collecting cards in 16 or more businesses and turning them in at Anderson’s will win prizes and then an entry for other, larger prizes to be drawn July 31. The grand prize is a complete six-volume set of Waldo books, a Waldo poster book, and a Waldo postcard book.

Waldo is the creation of Martin Handford, whose drawings of crowd scenes first appeared 1987. There are more than 55 million Waldo books in print worldwide, and they’ve been translated into 18 languages.

To learn more about hunting for Waldo in Naperville, call Anderson’s Bookshop at 630-355-2665 or visit

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