Where are they now? Columnist checks in with sewing ministry, author

Sometimes we don't realize the power of print.

Last year, I did a story about Susan Cox-Hall of North Aurora and Sewing for Smiles. This ministry helps girls around the world by making dresses for them from donated pillowcases.

"After the story ran, we received a ton of supplies, for which we are very grateful," said Cox-Hall. "People donated thread, elastic, ribbons, lace, pillow cases, and two ladies gave us about 60 pounds of fabric."

In addition to the many supplies donated, eight women stepped forward to help with sewing.

"I was especially grateful when someone offered to create a new website for us (," Cox-Hall said.

In the past, most of the dresses went to Haiti, but it has been difficult getting them into the country because of political unrest.

"We are hoping to find mission trips going to Puerto Rico, Sierra Leone, Guatemala, Nicaragua, or other areas that might have a need for the dresses," she added.

Finding contentment:

In 2015, I did a story about Ann C. Sullivan, a talented author who was promoting her first book, "Permission to Doubt."

Many will find her new book "Unsatisfied, Finding Contentment in a Discontented World" interesting, especially in this day and age.

"We are in an epic battle to find contentment in a culture that's defined by social media," she said.

With her great conversational style and quick wit, she shows us how to "connect the dots and find contentment."

It's definitely a book that is worth your time.

Ashley's Angels in the medical field:

When Ashley Souba was diagnosed with cancer in sixth grade, her friends rallied around her by forming a group, Ashley's Angels. These kids raised thousands of dollars for the American Cancer Society and supported Ashley til the very end. Most of them returned to Batavia to support Ashley's mom, Renee, with a memorial on the 10th anniversary of Ashley's passing. It's interesting how many went into medical careers after spending time with Ashley at Children's Memorial Hospital and Hope Children's Hospital. In the group are a family practice doctor, a radiation oncologist, one psychologist, an oncology nurse and a physical therapist.

Community band concert:

The Batavia Community Band has a special treat for the Sept. 15 concert. They will be playing an original composition by former Batavian Andy Bruhn, who has distinguished himself as an award-winning composer.

The concert takes place at 3 p.m. at the Peg Bond Center at the Riverwalk. Andy is the son of Batavians Karl Bruhn, a celebrated organist, and Daniele Bruhn, choral director for the esteemed Fox Valley Children's Chorus.

Craft show or golf?

This time of year, there are many bazaars and craft shows. One of the most popular, the Holmstad Bazaar, takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 28, at the retirement community, 700 W. Fabyan Parkway, Batavia.

All of the public spaces in the Town Center (just off Batavia Avenue) are filled with crafts, candies and baked goods. There is a book sale, a furniture sale and so much more. The woodworkers' corner is always popular.

"New this year are ornaments made from sea urchins and hand-turned finials," said resident Patti Franklin. "We have so many beautiful holiday items as well."

And if you can't convince your husband to go to the bazaar with you, maybe he'd like to get a day of golf in at the Batavia Lions Club golf outing at Hughes Creek Golf course in Elburn. While you shop at the bazaar, he can play golf and support a good cause. More information is available at

Belief, doubt and growth: Batavia authors chronicle their faith journeys

How Sewing for Smiles helps clothe needy children

Batavia author Ann C. Sullivan has published a new book. Courtesy of Kregel Publications
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