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updated: 8/21/2011 12:37 AM

5th annual Concert for a Cure coming up

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  • Paul Ruby, center, talks to guests at last year's Concert for a Cure benefit for Parkinson's disease. This year's fundraiser for the Paul Ruby Foundation starts at 3 p.m. Aug. 27 at Tanna Farms, 39W808 Hughes Road, Geneva.

    Paul Ruby, center, talks to guests at last year's Concert for a Cure benefit for Parkinson's disease. This year's fundraiser for the Paul Ruby Foundation starts at 3 p.m. Aug. 27 at Tanna Farms, 39W808 Hughes Road, Geneva.
    Daily Herald File Photo


The doctors at the Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago are likely getting paperwork in order to make presentations about their latest research.

They'll be hoping to land some grant money from The Paul Ruby Foundation, whose members annually listen to those presentations before determining where its research money will go.

But it all starts on what organizers hope will be a nice summer afternoon at Tanna Farms in Geneva, where the annual Concert for a Cure is held on behalf of Herrington Inn general manager Paul Ruby, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's five years ago.

The event, to be held at 3 p.m. Saturday for the fifth time, raised between $70,000 and $120,000 each year in support of Parkinson's research.

As a nice preview to this year's event, WGN-TV was scheduled to air a "Chicago's Very Own" segment during last Friday's 9 p.m. newscast with interviews with Ruby and his son Wes, as well as Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns and Kayleigh Barnaba, a St. Peter eighth-grader who has raised more than $500 for the foundation on her own.

There's a great story to tell here and it is no wonder that some of the larger media outlets are on to something we've known a long time -- that Paul Ruby is a great guy and he's got tremendous support in fighting his illness, and he's determined to make a difference with his foundation.

It can get a little complicated when one starts talking about research into circadian rhythms, or the sleep-wake cycles, and how they affect Parkinson's, but it is not complicated to understand how much fun the Concert for a Cure has been.

Ruby, the foundation and its supporters are hoping for more of the same next weekend.

Those deadly distractions: Considering the mounting number of ways we can distract ourselves when driving, it's hard to imagine anyone is delivering a more important safety message at area service clubs than folks behind the "Decide to Drive" campaign.

When Kane County Sheriff's Sgt. Craig Campbell and physician Eric Bartel of Fox Valley Orthopaedic recently presented the numerous driving distractions and the fact that 600 deaths were caused by distracted driving in 2009, it served as a reminder to all of us that things have gotten way out of control with cellphones, text messaging, iPod music and videos in cars.

As law and health officials try to create more awareness of this growing problem, it reminded me of "research" I did at a busy intersection. While being the first in line at a red light, I watched people drive by and took note of what each one was doing in the car. When my tally was complete, 8 of the 10 people who drove by were doing something other than concentrating on the road, whether it was talking on the phone, eating, smoking or putting on makeup.

And here's a suggestion I can lend to the campaign: If we have emergency pullover bays on the sides of roads, shouldn't all of our roads have "cellphone pullover bays" in the future?

An auction barker: If you don't hear enough of Matt Rodewald when he's delivering traffic reports on NBC-TV, you're likely to run into him lending his voice at an event in his hometown of Geneva.

He was the public address announcer at Geneva High School football games last year, and I'm thinking we'll see him again at the home opener Friday against Rock Island.

But he's also using his oratory skills as the host of the live auction at the eighth annual Geneva Community Chest Charity Golf Outing Aug. 29 at Eagle Brook Country Club.

If you haven't signed up for the dinner or golf yet, it's time to contact Steve Lillie at (630) 232-6696 and, or Dean Kilburg at (630) 208-1682 and dean.kilburg@ridley

Need new haunt: Sure, there are plenty of sports bars in the area. But I watched quite a few Bulls and Blackhawks playoff games at Real Time Sports in St. Charles. Now that the Randall Road site has closed, just as Bud's did before it, I will have to find another place to take in playoff action when the urge hits. More importantly, what goes into that location next? A sports bar is a long shot. Can't be another breakfast place with Colonial a few doors away, right? I'd welcome an Outback Steakhouse any time, but the restaurant business is a slippery slope these days.

Gladiator among us: With all of the time I spend walking on the Fox River trails, I can't believe I wasn't out there when actor Russell Crowe was biking through and stopped in at the Batavia Library for a sandwich and coffee last Tuesday.

It would have been great to chat with the "Gladiator" to see how things were going with the "Superman" movie he is filming in the area.