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Pulse: Singer brings concert to lung cancer patient

Contemporary Christian singer John Angotti paid a special visit to Dennis Miller and his wife, Sharron, when she decided to miss his Dec. 13 concert at Wentz Hall on the campus of North Central College. Dennis has stage 4 lung cancer.  |  Submitted
Catherine Pawlik, of Naperville, earned first place for this photo of early morning dew on an evergreen tree in the Cantigny in Focus annual amateur photography contest.   |  Submitted
Naperville resident Dennis Cremin, a professor of history at Lewis University, published his third book, “Grant Park: The Evolution of Chicago’s Front Yard,” in May by the Southern Illinois Press.  |  Submitted
Naperville resident Dennis Cremin, a professor of history at Lewis University, published his third book, ÒGrant Park: The Evolution of ChicagoÕs Front Yard,Ó in May by the Southern Illinois Press.  |  Submitted

Contemporary Christian singer John Angotti performed at North Central College last Friday night before hundreds of his fans. But Naperville resident Dennis Miller got an encore he’ll never forget.

Three months ago, Miller learned he has stage 4 lung cancer, which has affected many areas of his body.

His wife, Sharron, was scheduled to see Angotti perform Dec. 13 at Wentz Concert Hall but decided she needed to stay at her husband’s side. When friends Jim and Dawn Eber learned that Sharron wasn’t going to see Angotti, they brought the singer, who has performed for the Pope, to the Miller home.

“We got a call the next morning from the Ebers asking us if we’d be home Saturday at noon because they had a surprise for Sharron, and three cars pulled up in the driveway,” Miller said. “People walked in carrying a bass and an organ, and John came in and sang and talked with us for about an hour. We also prayed together.”

“It was a spiritual moment for sure, and I still get chocked up talking about it,” Sharron Miller added.

“I feel something like this really makes you believe in miracles — I have even more hope than I had before.”

C is for Cantigny

Visitors choose photo of dewy spider web

Catherine Pawlik, of Naperville, entered the Cantigny in Focus amateur photography contest on the last possible day.

And she’s glad she did, because she won the contest that has been going on since 2006.

“I heard about the contest from some of my photography friends, and I went home and just looked at some pictures in my Cantigny file and selected two of them,” she said.

“It turned out I submitted them on the last day entries would be accepted. Cantigny is just a beautiful place, and I go there often just to shoot pictures.”

The idea is to submit a shot taken somewhere within the 500-acre estate of Robert R. McCormick museum and let the voters speak.

She was among the 40 finalists whose work was on display this year at Cantigny. Pawlik submitted an image of early morning dew on an evergreen tree.

Pawlik noted that her picture includes a spider web with the letter “C” clearly visible in the right side of the picture, which she found to be ironic, given it was shot at Cantigny.

Visitors at Cantigny this year voted on their favorite picture.

Pawlik won a $100 Cantigny gift card and an annual membership to the park.

Gift of open space

Grant Park subject of author’s new book

Chicago’s lakefront and especially Grant Park is one of the more unique and special areas of its kind — arguably the greatest open space a city has ever given itself.

That’s the view of Naperville resident Dennis Cremin, a professor of history at Lewis University, who recently published his third book, “Grant Park: The Evolution of Chicago’s Front Yard,” released this May by Southern Illinois Press.

A native of California, Cremin said he moved here and earned his doctorate in history at Loyola University. Cremin argues that Chicago’s “Loop” as well as the more than 300-acres that Grant Park occupies “make the area so distinctive.”

“New York has ‘Downtown’ but also built ‘Uptown,’ and places like San Francisco are pretty concentrated,” Cremin said. “With Chicago, there is that magic on the lakefront, and to have given up that much real estate to open space is a spectacular gift the city has given to itself.”

The new book features at least 50 images depicting the history and development of Grant Park, which Cremin said will entice readers “as many of them have not been widely published.” The book is available at Amazon and at book stores.

Up next

Naperville READS announces authors

Naperville READS 2014, a community-wide reading initiative, has announced the 12 authors from the Class Acts literacy program who will be featured from Feb. 3-6.

Naperville READS 2014 will celebrate the following authors: Peter Lerangis, Tim Green, Soman Chainani, Tom Watson, Christopher Krovatin, Caroline Carlson, Kevin Emerson, Nils Johnson-Shelton, Jeramey Kraatz, Jenny Lee, Chris Rylander and John Kloepfer.

As part of the Class Acts program, these 12 authors will visit fourth- and fifth-grade students in both Naperville School District 203 and Indian Prairie School District 204 for pep-rally style presentations promoting the love of reading. During the Class Acts presentation, classes will be matched with a particular author and assigned to that author’s team. The student participation fuels an interactive author vs. author competition, and HarperCollins will supply a set of Class Acts books for each school.

In addition, two free public events will take place at 7 p.m. Feb. 5 and 6 at Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave., on the campus of North Central College, in Naperville. Community members will get an opportunity to meet the authors, hear more about their books and have their books signed.

Visit www.napervillereads.org to learn more.

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