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posted: 5/5/2012 4:17 PM

Merwin prepares for May 19 fundraiser

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  • This is the "Dachshund Fairy Garden" that Roberta Merwin created for a May 19 fundraiser in Wheaton.

    This is the "Dachshund Fairy Garden" that Roberta Merwin created for a May 19 fundraiser in Wheaton.
    submitted photo


If dachshunds could send text messages, they'd certainly let Roberta Merwin know she was a BFF.

The St. Charles woman has been hard at work, especially the past month, in preparing for the annual "Cross Town Bark Around," a Chicago baseball-themed fundraiser for the Midwest Dachshund Rescue, from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 19, at the DuPage County Fairgrounds.

Merwin prepares by spending countless hours at her sewing machine, making doggy T-shirts, collars and other items for the event's "Dachsy General Store."

"I also make T-shirts for humans, and those shirts have dachshunds on them," Merwin said.

Most importantly for the event theme, Merwin has been making dog crates with Cubs and Sox emblems on them. Those items should be popular, considering the teams face each other that weekend.

It is no surprise that Merwin immerses herself in work that benefits homeless dachshunds. She's been a member of the Midwest Dachshund Rescue committee for the past five years, and she's had a love affair with the breed since she was a kid.

"I have had dachshunds all of my life, one after another," Merwin said. "I have two, named Wrigley and Addison, right now."

Merwin has fostered dachshunds for several years, in many cases taking in pregnant mothers and then raising the puppies for nine weeks before finding them homes.

"This is not a situation where we are breeding dogs," she explained. "I take in dogs that the owner has to give up either because of the economy, or the health of the owner.

"There are many reasons that dogs are let go," she added, noting that puppy mills and owner abuse also result in homeless dogs.

Merwin operated a drapery business that faltered in the bad economy, so she most recently devoted all of her time to volunteering for the dog rescue operation.

"All breeds have rescue organizations, so dachshunds are in no more need than any other breed," Merwin said. "Dachshunds are prone to back injuries, but that is not the reason our committee exists."

The May 19 event will feature 50 or more "raffle baskets" that Merwin has put together herself, plus numerous other items committee members contributed. Visitors also will have a chance to satisfy any sweets cravings.

"Our three or four tables of bake sale items is very popular," Merwin said. "We usually don't have much left."

Those men can cook: If you haven't done so already, it's time to get your hands on tickets for the 60 Men Who Cook event to be held at 6 p.m. Friday, May 11, at the Kane County Fairgrounds.

This popular Geneva Chamber of Commerce event draws big crowds -- and it should. The different varieties of main dishes, side dishes and desserts are quite impressive. And when you buy food, you are helping the Geneva History Center, Lions and Rotary clubs.

Tickets at $30 are available at the chamber office, the history center, the Paper Merchant and State Street Jewelers. More information is available at (630) 232-6060.

Playground golf outing: Jackie Olson, the founder of Haley's Playground Inc., which provides safe play areas in North Aurora and Aurora for special needs children, sent a note to let me know that the organization is planning its first golf outing fundraiser at 1 p.m. Friday, May 18, at Bliss Creek Golf Club in Sugar Grove.

Check in for the four-person scramble format begins at noon, with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. The event also celebrates the year anniversary of Haley's Playground.

Information is available by calling (630) 777-5045.

Remember those days: OK, here's a confession. I played the drums for a garage band in the late 1960s and early '70s when just about every young boy was giving rock music a whirl because of the British rock invasion.

It makes me glad to see area park districts usually offer a venue for youngsters in rock bands. The Geneva Park District is looking for some bands to fill the roster for the Battle of the Bands competition that unfolds on the Third Street Main Stage on June 18, the day before Swedish Days begins.

Interested bands need to send a demo and information sheet to the park district by Friday, May 25, for the event, sponsored by the Geneva Coalition for Youth. More information is available by calling (630) 232-4542 or on the park district website at

A fine Stooges attempt: Those who know I am a Three Stooges fanatic, even a historian some might say, have been asking me what I thought of the Farrelly brothers' new "The Three Stooges" movie.

Some felt I would ignore any attempt to see a re-creation of my beloved Stooges, but curiosity won out. And I am glad it did.

I won't waste space pretending to be a movie reviewer by providing the names of the actors and such. But let me say those portraying the Stooges did a nice job of trying to get the delivery of lines, voice inflections and sight gags as close to the real thing as possible.

The story line wasn't the greatest, but it wasn't horrible. The movie generated plenty of legitimate laughs, and a few laugh-out-loud moments.

The directors went a tad overboard with prolonged slapstick routines, almost as if they wanted to prove they knew that eye pokes and slaps were a big part of the Stooges' schtick. When the rough stuff was toned down as just part of the natural course of events, the new Stooges hit their marks quite nicely.

The most ardent of Stooges fans should feel it is safe to go see this remake and take it for what it is: A chance for young kids to see this sort of comedy in a modern setting.

Otherwise, be aware that Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover girl Kate Upton plays a nun in the film, as does comic genius Larry David. One looks quite sweet, the other is very funny. You know which is which.

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