Pulse: Zumba, cake, biking bald and Star Wars

The inaugural Zumbathon for the community took place Sept. 8 at the Madden Theater at North Central College, raising more than $2,000 to benefit five local charities.  |  Submitted
Four Kennedy Junior High educators celebrated birthdays this week: Amrita Sahay (special education assistant), Kim Blitek (physical education teacher), Brian Valek (principal), and Sue Altmann (LRC assistant).  |  Submitted
Recording artist Richard Marx poses for a portrait in New York, Friday, Sept. 25, 2009. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen)
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor, left) and Darth Maul (Ray Park) wage a fierce lightsaber battle.


Working out for local nonprofits

There was a whole lot of shaking going on.

More than $2,000 was raised for Naperville charities at the inaugural Zumbathon for the Community on Sept. 8 in the Madden Theater at North Central College. More than 60 people, some skilled veterans and some Zumba fitness neophytes, joined the two-hour workout with five experienced instructors.

Among the community nonprofits benefitting from the event’s proceeds were I Support Community, Naperville CARES, KidsMatter, The Max Lacewell Foundation and the Naperville Area Humane Society. Participants also browsed through the offerings at the vendor fair and tried their luck in chance drawings for donated prizes from such businesses as The Eleana Collection, Stella & Dot, Mary Kay and Votre Vu.

Organizers are eager to get to work on the second Zumbathon for the Community and hope to involve entire families with the addition of kid Zumba.

Lots of cake

Birthday wishes times four

There are many reasons to celebrate at Kennedy Junior High School, but especially this week. Four of the 108 staff members share the same birthday of Sept. 18.

Brian Valek, Kim Blitek, Amrita Sahay and Sue Altmann were the center of attention Wednesday when they shared birthday accolades and a huge cake.

“I thought it was really amazing that three staff members here at Kennedy Junior High had the same birthday, and then a few years ago we got a new principal (Brian Valek) who shares the same date,” Altman said. “It is sort of interesting to wish three other people you know ‘happy birthday’ on your own birthday.”

There was no word on the number of candles for the cake. That might be simply a birthday surprise.

Stand by him

Friendship focus of documentary

A young local man’s poignant documentary about his best friend who died in a street racing accident will be featured this week as part of the Naperville Independent Film Festival.

Mike Krumlauf’s film “A Place to Call His Own” will be shown at 8:20 p.m. Wednesday at Ogden 6 Theaters in Naperville; then again at 10 p.m. Friday at Smith Hall in Old Main at North Central College. Tickets to both shows are $5 and can be purchased at the venue where the film is playing.

Krumlauf, a 2009 Naperville North graduate, lost his friend in May 2012 when the souped-up Toyota Corolla Matt McMahon was driving struck a light pole near the Northern Illinois University campus on Diehl Road.

McMahon had been street racing at the time against 21-year-old Yair Lopez-Laviano, who has been charged in connection to the death but left the country and has not yet been located.

Telling the Fox Valley about the heart and soul of McMahon was the force behind the documentary. Krumlauf described his friend as a person who loved fast cars and tattoos, but was “even more passionate about people than he was about cars.”

shave your head?

Or not, during Bike Bald fundraiser

You don’t have to be bald or even bike to participate in the Bike Bald fundraiser at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 29 to support the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

Debbie Mossburg, 45, is the director of the event and a survivor of both childhood and adult cancer. After running multiple marathons to raise money for charities, she knew it was time to branch out beyond her family to raise funds.

“If it had not been for someone else in the world who said, ‘research needs to be done,’ things could be different for me today,” she said.

Bike Bald has been in the works for two years and includes North Central College and the Naperville Park District as sponsors.

People don’t have to shave their heads or cycle in the event. They are encouraged to come out and enjoy being part of the community.

“You don’t have to be a runner or a cyclist,” Mossburg said. “You can be at the park and watch. It’s one last time on a bike before (the fall weather).”

A picnic filled with raffles will take place whether one does the 7-mile bike ride along the DuPage River Bike Trail or not. Raffle prizes include a custom-made bike from Counts Kustoms of the television show “counting Cars” on the History Channel. Chicago’s own Voo Doo paint also has donated a custom bike.

For more information, go to

For Star Wars fans

Library to host day of activities, crafts

The Naperville Public Library will offer Star Wars-themed activities from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 5 to celebrate Star Wars Reads Day, an international celebration of reading and Star Wars.

“Star Wars Reads Day is a celebration of literacy, Jedi, Sith, Wookiees and all things Star Wars,” said Karen Burke, children’s services early literacy librarian. “Star Wars has great appeal, and many fans have discovered the joy of reading through Star Wars books.”

The day will feature crafts, Star Wars materials on display and a special “photo op” station with a Star Wars backdrop. The children’s department invites children and their families to visit the 95th Street Library from 2 to 4 p.m. in their Star Wars costumes to enjoy games and other activities.

“We encourage the whole family to come to the library and see our fantastic collection of Star Wars books that are written for all age levels, as well as to enjoy all the fun activities and crafts we have planned,” Burke said.

The event will take place at all three library locations: Nichols Library, 200 W. Jefferson Ave.; Naper Blvd. Library, 2035 S. Naper Blvd.; and the 95th Street Library, 3015 Cedar Glade Drive.

Contact Burke at 630-961-4100, ext. 4965, or

‘Right here waiting’

Richard Marx to perform Nov. 1 at North Central

For those who have been “waiting” to see Richard Marx in concert, here’s their chance. The Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and producer will be right here Nov. 1 at North Central College.

Marx is an American Music Award-winning recording artist who has released four multi-platinum albums and 13 Billboard No. 1 singles, including “Hold On To The Nights,” “Right Here Waiting” and “Satisfied.”

The Chicago native kicked off his career as a solo artist in 1987 with his debut single “Don’t Mean Nothing” and self-titled debut album, which sold 3 million copies. His follow-up album “Repeat Offenders” was released in 1989 and went on to sell more than 7 million copies worldwide. From 1987 to 1990, Marx became the first male solo artist in history to have his first seven singles reach the top five on the Billboard singles chart.

In 1992, Marx won the award for Best Selling Adult Contemporary Artist at the Billboard Music awards, and he received the International Song of the Year Award at the Australian Music Awards for his song “Hazard” from his double-platinum album “Rush Street.” In 1994, he released his platinum album “Paid Vacation,” featuring the single “Now and Forever,” which reached the top 10 on the Billboard Pop chart and spent 13 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart.

In addition to selling more than 30 million records and writing more than a dozen No. 1 songs, Marx has remained a fixture on pop and adult contemporary radio for years. More recently, he has emerged as a top producer working with some of music’s biggest names, including NSYNC, Kenny Rogers, Josh Groban, LeAnn Rimes and Keith Urban.

The performance begins at 8 p.m. in the college’s Wentz Concert Hall at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave. Tickets are $40 and $30. Call the box office at 630-637-7469 or visit

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