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What good is an old shoe? Better yet, what good can an old shoe do?


This is the question that Jody Mitchell, member of the Green Disciples, an environmental stewardship group of the First United Methodist Church, asked herself in 2012 when clearing out her daughter's closet and finding a dozen or so pairs of perfectly good, but out-grown shoes. The thought of just adding them to landfill waste was unacceptable. Jody did some research and discovered the Shoeman Water Projects (now working with Solea Water), a non-profit which collects shoes to reduce waste, provide affordable shoes in a secondary market, and create economic opportunities in developing countries to fund water programs.


Jody decided to present her idea to collect shoes to the Church Council and, following its approval, a goal was set to collect 5,000 pairs of shoes. A variety of creative outreach strategies that involved many community groups, provided a steady stream of shoe

donations for the Shoeman Water Projects.


Fast-forward to 2015. Jody and her husband, the Reverend Timothy J. Mitchell, have been appointed to the First United Methodist Church of Dixon, Illinois. Before they left, the shoe project had collected over 20,000 pairs of shoes. That is no small feat!


Since leaving, two members of the Church have stepped up to continue the project. Burt Andrews (left) and Lana Runyan (center) were presented with symbols of their office by Jody (right) - shoehorns and a stole of shoes; along with rubber bands, white garbage bags and labels. The items are practical as well as symbolic as they are used in the matching, counting and bagging of the shoes collected.


Storing the mountain of shoes was made easy through the Shoeman Water Projects, which has an agreement with a local storage facility. The bagged shoes can be stored off-site for $1 per month until a truck can be sent to pick them up. The shoes are then exported to street vendors in places like Kenya, Haiti and Central America, providing affordable shoes and jobs for those communities. The funds from exporting are used to purchase well-drilling rigs, water purification systems, repair kits for hand pumps and training programs that bring clean fresh water to those in need.


With all that has been done, women and

children in countries around the world continue to make water walks several times a day to collect contaminated water in 5-gallon cans originally used to hold diesel fuel. More than 2 million people die each year from water-related diseases. There is still much work to be done.


Please keep your old or out-grown shoes from becoming landfill waste and drop them off at the First United Methodist Church of West Chicago, 643 E. Washington Street. Information is available for employers, social organizations, other churches and schools willing to host a shoe drive. Please call (630) 231-3344 for details.  



Editor's note: Information for this article was provided by the First United Methodist Church. If you or your organization have a story of community interest, please contact Rosemary Mackey at

(630) 293-2200 x139.

Sept 4 - Gallery 200 Artist Reception
Sept 4 - Late Night at the Museum
Sept 7 - City Hall Closed 
Sept 12 - ArtShare Saturday
Sept 12 - Kruse House Ice-Cream Social
Sept 13 - Mexican Independence Day
Parade & Celebration
Sept 18 - Historiography
Sept 26 - Coffee with the Mayor
Oct 2 - Gallery 200 Artist Reception
Oct 2 - Late Night at the Museum
Oct 9 - Tales Tombstones Tell
Oct 16 - Historiography
Oct 31 - Coffee with the Mayor
Oct 31 - ArtShare Saturday 
Daylight saving time ends and standard time resumes on November 1, 2015 at 2:00 a.m. This means turning clocks back one hour; it's also a good time to check batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are functioning properly.
A milestone has been reached with the publication of the Healthy West Chicago Action Plan. We hope you spend some time skimming it as we prepare for the implementation phase which will be coming soon.
Sept 12 - Fact Finders
Sept 15 - Wiggle Worms
Sept 18 - Munchkins in Motion
Sept 20 - LEGO Brick Party
Oct 10 - Star Wars Reads Day Celebration
Oct 12 - Movie Mania!
Oct 24 - Autumn Carnival
Oct 28 - Day of the Dead
For details, visit www.westchicago.lib.il.us
or call (630) 231-1552.
Sept 11-13 - School House Rock Live Jr.
Sept 26 - Family Backyard Challenge
Oct 17 - Great America Fright Fest Trip
Oct 23 - Teen Haunted House Tour
Oct 24 - 2nd Annual Boo Bash

For details, visit www.we-goparks.org or call (630) 231-9474. 

Oct 24 - Downtown Costume Parade and Trick-or-Treat

For details, visit www.wegohistory.com or call (630) 231-3376.

The West Chicago Historical Society's 
Ice Cream Social/Silent Auction will be held on Saturday, September 12, 2015 from noon - 3:00 p.m. Rain date is Sunday, September 13, 2015. Tickets are still only $4.00, and for that you get cake, pie, ice cream and a drink. The auction closes at 2:30 p.m., with last bid numbers given at 2:15 p.m.
Mayor's Message

I would like to thank all those who attended our Community Forum in July. The turnout was very encouraging and indicates a strong commitment among our residents and business customers to the future of our city.
I hope those who couldn't make it due to scheduling issues have taken advantage of the online tool to become part of the process and share input. If you haven't, it's not too late to do so. A link to the project website can be found on the City's homepage, www.westchicago.org, through a button on the homepage labeled Strategic Plan, or you could click here.
Questionnaires for both residents and businesses are available. Also, an online mapping tool, sMap, allows community members to make their own map of West Chicago. Our goal is to hear from every member of our community.
The well-attended Community Forum held at City Hall on July 21, 2015 netted many positive ideas from community members. Residents shared their concerns about a variety of topics and suggested improvements to strengthening the downtown, capitalizing on the community's diversity, attracting and retaining new businesses, and many more.
A Latino Forum, facilitated exclusively in Spanish, was held on August 31, 2015 to ensure that outreach captures the thoughts of the entire community. Feedback from that Forum will be available on the project website in the days ahead.

Ruben Pineda
City Services 

Residents may dispose of an unlimited quantity of leaves for a five week period in October/November beginning October 26 - November 28, 2015 on the regularly scheduled garbage pickup day. No stickers are required for leaves; however, no other yard waste may be mixed in with leaves. All leaves must be placed in a "Kraft" yard waste bag that does not exceed 50 pounds when full. Please remember: The City does not allow leaves to be raked/left at the curb or street.


Due to the Labor Day holiday, brush pickup for the month of September will begin on Tuesday, September 8, 2015. October brush pickup will begin on Monday, October 5, 2015. As a reminder, the final week for brush pickup this year will begin on November 2, 2015.   Brush may be placed out at the curb two days prior to the scheduled pickup. Please refer to the City's website for brush pickup guidelines.


The City of West Chicago's Utility Division will be flushing fire hydrants this October, weekdays, between 7:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Signs will be posted in the areas one day prior to hydrant flushing. Hydrant flushing maintains West Chicago's water distribution system and assures proper operation of hydrants in the event of an emergency. Unfortunately, discolored water can result. This discoloration poses no health risk. However, please check the water before washing laundry.

Save money and energy with the ComEd Smart Ideas® Energy Efficiency Program. Improve the comfort of your home. Get rid of that energy-wasting second fridge. Receive instant discounts on energy-efficient lighting. Even earn rebates on appliances and heating and cooling equipment. For more ways to save, click here .

Saturday, October 3, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. - noon

This event takes place at the Winfield Township Road District Facility, located at 30W575 Roosevelt Road, West Chicago. Accepted items for recycling include scrap metal, electronics, apparel, and other miscellaneous items. For a detailed list of acceptable and unacceptable items, please click here to view the event flier. Also included in the rain or shine event is paper shredding for residents only (no businesses, please). For questions, call the Township at (630) 231-8850.
Thursday, October 8, 2015, from 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
This event is FREE and open to the public. The Job Fair will be held at the Wayne Township Senior Center, 27W031 North Avenue, West Chicago (approx. ¼ mile east of County Farm Road). Please visit www.waynetwp-il.org for a list of participating companies. For questions about the Job Fair, or if your company would like to participate, please call Cindy at (630) 231-7140. 
Public Safety Matters
As weather and road conditions change with the season, following fall driving safety tips will help keep you safe as you enjoy the cool, crisp air and the beautiful colors of the autumn leaves.
The Dangers of Leaves on the Roads
When leaves accumulate on the roadway and become wet, they can get extremely slippery, making the driving conditions similar to driving on ice. If the temperature drops below freezing, the wet leaves will freeze and turn into dangerous icy leaves on the roadway. Besides reducing the car's traction, causing skidding and the possibility of losing control of the vehicle, leaves often cover the painted road markings, making it difficult to know the locations of the lanes.
  • Slow down if you are driving on a road covered with leaves, especially when driving around turns.
  • Allow yourself plenty of room to stop in an emergency. Keep a greater distance between you and the car in front of you.
  • Leaves make it difficult to see potholes and bumps in the road.
  • A pile of leaves raked to the side of the road is an inviting place to a child. Children enjoy jumping into the leaf piles or burrowing down into them and hiding. Never drive through a leaf pile. Use caution going around turns and where children are playing.
  • Keep your windshield leaf-free to avoid wet leaves getting stuck under the windshield wiper blades.
  • To avoid the possibility of a fire hazard from the exhaust system or catalytic converter, never park your vehicle over a pile of leaves.
Changing Weather Conditions
Autumn can be a damp, wet season. There are many rainy or foggy days and nights. As the temperatures drop, frost often coats the ground at night.
  • When driving in fog, set your headlight to low beam. This setting aims the beam of light down toward the roadway.
  • As temperatures drop in the fall, frost often forms on the roadway, causing hazardous driving conditions. Drive slowly and break gently at overpasses and bridges as these areas frost over more quickly than other roadway surfaces.
  • Be aware of areas where black ice forms on the roadway.  
Adjust for Fewer Hours of Daylight
There are fewer hours of daylight in the fall.  It is common for children to play outside or ride their bicycles in the earlier darkness. People are walking their dogs, jogging or taking late afternoon or evening walks. In the fading light of dusk, it is more difficult to see the children and pedestrians.
  • Watch for children at bus stops in the morning and as they return home in the afternoon.
  • Halloween is a fun fall holiday. Take special care where children are out trick-or-treating. They may be wearing masks or costumes that limit their visibility.
  • Always drive defensively.
Vehicle Maintenance
  • Keep your headlights cleaned and in proper working order, making sure they are aligned.
  • Replace your windshield wiper blades if they show any signs of wear.
  • Keep an emergency car safety kit in your vehicle.
Additional Fall Safety Driving Tips
  • In West Chicago, there are more deer than most people realize. They are more apt to run into the roadway, especially at dawn and dusk, since the fall is an active breeding time. If you see a deer cross the roadway, proceed very slowly as they often travel in groups.
Naturally safe driving practices are essential all through the year. However, being aware of these unique autumn driving hazards and following the fall driving safety tips will make you a safer driver.
There's still time to nominate a worthy businessA Spark of Brilliance seeks to reward residents who nominate their favorite business by entering them into a random drawing in which they could win a small prize donated by past winners of the award. Thank you to the list of businesses below which have donated an item and are helping to make the program even stronger:
Brilliance in Business
  • Ball Horticultural Company
  • Casa Rios Bridal Boutique
  • Changarro Cocina
  • Daniel and Associates Real Estate
  • Extra Value Liquors
  • FNBC Bank & Trust
  • Kramer Tree Specialists
  • Main Street Family Dentistry
  • Pro-Pak Industries
  • We Grow Dreams Garden Center

What you can do...


Maybe it was a stellar customer service experience from an employee who went the extra mile; or the dependability of a go-to business which always has the item you need in a pinch; or a trusted service provider or a favorite restaurant you'd hate to see close. Whatever your West Chicago business accolade, we want to hear it. Nomination forms may be filled out online, and once submitted, enter you into a random drawing for one of several great prizes.The Brilliance in Business Awards are a way for us to recognize and appreciate the business partners we have that contribute to the quality of life for all our citizens through providing jobs and necessary tax revenue to the City and for being active members of the community through their support of many local organizations. The deadline is quickly approaching (September 4, 2015), so don't wait, nominate.  


Excitement for the Mexican Independence Day Celebration, scheduled for Sunday, September 13, 2015 in downtown West Chicago is growing.
This year, the event is being coordinated by the Mexican Cultural Center of DuPage, with support from the City of West Chicago. It will begin at 12:00 p.m. with a parade, followed by a reenactment of the ringing of the Bell of Freedom which signaled Mexico's independence from Spain in 1825. Downtown festivities will include traditional and regional Mexican food, cultural music and dance performances.
Plus, the Center will be introducing the 2015 Miss Fiestas Patrias Pageant winner, as well as the winners of the "MCC 3v3 Fútbol" (soccer) tournament which will be played on Main Street earlier that day. A crowd-gathering 12-foot burro piñata is also planned. For more details, contact mccdupage@gmail.com.


Families line up at the City Museum to get a peek at Gretchen the Witch who distributes sweet treats during the Downtown Trick-or-Treat event.


Costume Parade and Downtown Trick-or-Treat
Saturday, October 24, 2015
Starting at 11:30 a.m.
Gretchen the Witch will be making her annual appearance at the City Museum on October 24th.

The Downtown Halloween Parade is being organized by the West Chicago City Museum this year. It will start with a registration period from 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. in the parking lot of the
West Chicago Public Library.

Costume judging will begin at noon, followed by prize announcements. The parade will step-off from the parking lot at 12:30 p.m., continue up onto Main Street by way of W. Washington Street and end at the Wayne and Helen Fox Community Center, 306 Main Street, West Chicago.

The event is free. Following the parade, families are invited to stay on Main Street for the Downtown Trick-or-Treat event from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Participating businesses will be designated by a bright orange pumpkin in the window.

Cultural Arts
Oakwood Cemetery during Tales Tombstones Tell
Photo courtesy of Philip A. Weibler
City Museum 
132 Main Street - (630) 231-3376 
Open Wednesday through Saturday
Noon to 4:00 p.m. 
Late Night at the Museum
Date: Friday, September 4, 2015
Time: 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Late Night at the Museum
Date: Friday, October 2, 2015
Time: 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.


The City Museum will hold its 26th Tales Tombstones Tell at Oakwood Cemetery on Friday, October 9, 2015. Tours will begin at 6:30 p.m. and every 10 minutes thereafter, with the last tour starting at 7:45 p.m. Tours last approximately 45 minutes and no reservations are necessary. The stories told at selected tombstones are based on history and are appropriate for families. Visitors will enjoy an evening stroll, with lanterns and luminaries lighting the path through the community's oldest cemetery, and learn about those who shaped the West Chicago we know today. Although the program is free, donations are appreciated.

The City Museum will continue its Historiography program, a non-fiction book discussion group held in collaboration with the West Chicago Public Library, in September and October. 
  • Friday, September 18, 2015 at noon: America's Forgotten Pandemic: The Influenza of 1918, by Alfred W. Crosby.
  • Friday, October 16, 2015 at noon: Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie, by Barbara Goldsmith.
These health-themed books fit with the Museum's current exhibit Be Well: A dialogue of health and wellness through history, which is part of the City of West Chicago's health initiative, Healthy West Chicago. The book group is open to all. Feel free to bring a bag lunch; complimentary drinks and desserts will be provided. Copies of the books being discussed can be checked out from the Museum or Library.
The City Museum's staff will be presenting educational program offerings at the Illinois Association of Museum's conference in Springfield on Thursday, September 24, 2015. Staff invites and encourages residents to offer suggestions of additional programming for the future.
Gallery 200 logo
Gallery 200
200 Main Street - (630) 293-9550  
Gallery 200/STUDIO
203 Turner Court - (630) 293-9550

September 12, 2015 from noon - 4:00 p.m. 
First Star Art - Pop Art Portraits: Turn your pre-printed photos into a one-of-a-kind pop art digital painting! Bring in a photo of your own, or First Star artists, jrr and jammer, will take one on site. Your art is then available for purchase for $10. Beyond this event, your digital file can be realized as a canvas ready to hang, a framed piece, t-shirt, fabric print, wallpaper, a jersey quilt, wrapping paper, mobile phone case, shower curtain, tote bag, pillow, greeting card or metal print.
October 31, 2015 from noon - 4:00 p.m. 
Rita Heim and Kathy Steere - Zombies (and other face painting) as Art! Face painting with a spooky Halloween twist. Scary and oh so cool!
First Star Art presents DIGITAL TOUCH mixed media fine art at Gallery 200 in September.
First Star Art presents DIGITAL TOUCH
 mixed media fine art. Reception: September 4, 2015. Long term Gallery members, jrr and jammer present digital delights and brilliantly colored whimsy!
Artoberfest: Art for All Seasons. Reception: October 2, 2015. Artists work all year - and their art will inspire you all year! Featuring Rita Heim, Marge Hall, First Star Art, Kathy Steere, Andy! Kozlowski, Sandy McLain.



The City of West Chicago wishes all of the community's students
and teachers a safe, happy and successful school year.

City Council: 

Fire Administration
(630) 231-2123
Fire Emergency
Police Administration
(630) 293-2222
Police Response
City Administration
City Hall
(630) 293-2200
Ruben Pineda
Nancy Smith
City Clerk
Michael Guttman
City Administrator 


Ward 1 
Lori Chassee     (630) 231-8709 
James Beifuss   (630) 231-0584
Ward 2 
Don Earley         (630) 231-3060
Jayme Sheahan (630) 330-7972
Ward 3
Laura Grodoski  (312) 925-9241 
Alton Hallett       (630) 254-7112 


Ward 4 
Sandy Dimas     (630) 293-5170
Melissa Birch     (630) 621-0128
Ward 5 
Kurt Meissner   (630) 231-9302 
John C. Smith, Jr. (630) 293-3802
Ward 6 
Rebecca Stout   (630) 293-7335 
Mark Edwalds    (630) 632-6670
Ward 7 
John Banas        (630) 762-9762
Noreen Ligino-Kubinski 
(630) 762-9929 


 City of West Chicago | (630) 293-2200 | www.westchicago.org