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posted: 10/10/2016 1:30 PM

Donations will enable new plaque at Batavia Arboretum

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  • The Batavia group Value Our Trees has raised enough funds to place a plaque in the Batavia Arboretum. The plaque will document the names of those for whom memorial trees were planted in the arboretum 50 years ago.

      The Batavia group Value Our Trees has raised enough funds to place a plaque in the Batavia Arboretum. The plaque will document the names of those for whom memorial trees were planted in the arboretum 50 years ago.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer

 
 

It's always good to hear when this column accomplishes a task it occasionally sets out to do -- spark some action for a worthy cause.

In the eyes of Rosemary Henders of Batavia and a member of the Value Our Trees group connected to the Batavia Woman's Club, that's exactly what happened.

Last summer, she asked that we mention the group's fundraiser for the Batavia Arboretum project on the grounds of Batavia High School. Rosemary contacted me a few weeks later at that time, saying donations were coming in because of the column.

Now, as the organization prepares for a rededication of the arboretum at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, Rosemary says enough money was raised to create a plaque documenting the names of those for whom memorial trees were planted in the arboretum 50 years ago.

In addition, the family of Mary Ann Gabriel has donated a "lovely park bench" in her memory for the arboretum. The family also has two trees planted for Mary Ann at the park.

Rosemary says a brother of Mary Ann, who wants to remain a private donor, saw my column and immediately contacted Value Our Trees about getting involved.

"He still talks about the serendipity of seeing your column that day," Rosemary shared.

The public is invited to the dedication ceremony. In that regard, this is a nice place to visit for those not familiar with that southwest corner of the high school campus.

Haines and history:

Haines Middle School has been in the news quite a bit lately in St. Charles, mainly because the school district is getting feedback about whether that particular building should remain open in the future.

But did we know there is a Haines House not far away from that school?

It's at 521 W. Main St. and it has housed McDowell Remodeling the past few decades.

So the folks at McDowell are planning to celebrate the 150th birthday of the Haines House from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, with a side dedication noting the city has designated it as a historic landmark.

At 3 p.m., Mayor Ray Rogina will make the city's proclamation regarding this house, and refreshments will be available to visitors.

The shelter's role:

Ever wonder why, nearly 20 years ago, St. Charles chose to embrace the Lazarus House homeless shelter and its services to people down on their luck? Just read the letter from executive director Liz Eakins in the shelter's October newsletter.

One of the most important services Lazarus House has provided, Eakins writes, is keeping parents close to their kids in a safe place when the alternative could have been far worse.

She shares the story of a former Lazarus House resident whose family had a difficult time with a son who couldn't find his way and ultimately was forced to leave the family.

It's that uncertainty about your children, whether they are safe or not, that Lazarus House tries to ease in keeping families together until they can better stand on their own.

Tumbling down:

We all knew it was coming and, in fact, some of my columns wondered aloud what was taking so long to do it, but it still wasn't easy to see Mill Race Inn in Geneva crumble under the wrecking ball.

When you attend so many events at a place over the span of several decades, you convince yourself it will be around forever. But it was time, so we now look forward to a new landscape in that part of Geneva.

Considering the Herrington Inn sits just on the other side of the Fox River from this site, the potential for this to become one of the most picturesque areas in the city, or entire area, is off the charts.

• dheun@sbcglobal.net

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