Parents of young children and teens, welcome to the world of PushCoin.
It's a world in which privacy and, ultimately, safety are the key points to be made in convincing you that a young person doesn't need to carry a lot of cash in a wallet any longer.
If you haven't heard about the mobile payment system that is especially beneficial for kids, you may want to attend a free seminar from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, at the FONA International auditorium, 1900 Averill Road, Geneva.
The world of mobile payments can be complex as merchants and consumers slowly make the switch from plastic cards to mobile devices for transactions.
Anna Lisznianski, PushCoin's chief executive officer, is trying to make it simple and fast. She is co-founder of the Geneva-based mobile payment company with husband, Slawomir, who serves as chief technology officer.
Basically, they are offering a system in which kids and teens can make payments through a phone, wristband, key chain or radio-frequency sticker that allows access to preloaded funds.
After a parent signs up for PushCoin, they simply establish the company as a payee in their online banking bill payment page and supply funds as needed. The password codes for the devices allow kids to make low-value payments at merchants accepting PushCoin technology.
Aside from the convenience of making contactless payments, Lisznianski said another key feature makes PushCoin stand out.
"You see the stories about drug use in the schools and police finding big quantities of marijuana in the suburbs, and kids pay for these drugs with cash," Lisznianski said. "With PushCoin, the parents can avoid giving their kids cash and provide a safe and easy way for them to pay for the things they need."
PushCoin has been targeting schools as a perfect place for students to use its wristbands to pay for lunches, supplies and other fees, Lisznianski said.
In fact, Wheaton Academy in West Chicago will start using the system Feb. 1. It sounds as if it certainly is worth a look-see for other schools to learn what PushCoin is all about.
Ready for chicken: Randall Road in Batavia becomes an official home to the popular chicken sandwich chain Chick-fil-A, which opens Feb. 7.
The restaurant building and signs are up, so it won't be long before there is an increase in traffic during lunch time at this McKee Street location, right in front of the empty Wickes Furniture building.
No eye-pokes please:
This may be the greatest fundraiser idea I have seen in this area in several years: An event that incorporates The Three Stooges. The Sugar Grove Senior Center will show Stooges movies from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Sugar Grove Community Building, 141 Main St.
The "Three Stooges, Four Refreshments" event will help raise a few bucks for the senior center's monthly potluck lunches. Resident Chris Walker and his wife initiated the potluck lunches, and he decided a few dollars to support it wouldn't be a bad idea. Furthermore, he couldn't believe his teenage son saw the new "The Three Stooges" movie last year -- but had no idea that the famous slapstick trio existed since the vaudeville era and in movie theaters from the 1930s through the 1960s. Of course, the Columbia black-and-white shorts have been on TV ever since.
For $1 admission, anyone can stop by to see these great movies. Hot dogs, popcorn, chili and soda also will be on sale.
Based on my love of the Stooges, I have no problem saying you won't be disappointed. Plus, it's a great opportunity for us older folks to expose the younger generations to what amounts to good, clean fun compared to other video and film options these days.
On a side note, the new Stooges movie last year wasn't too bad, either.
Excitable Saints' fan: Dave Pichik of St. Charles, probably best known for working at the Blue Goose Supermarket for nearly 50 years, also has been a fixture at St. Charles East basketball games for that many years plus some.
He was one excitable fan last weekend when Saints' point guard Cole Gentry, only a sophomore, made a three-pointer at the buzzer to lift St. Charles East past Evanston 60-57.
"I told Cole that if he keeps shooting like that, he's liable to grow another five inches," Pichik said after Gentry tallied a career-high 30 points.
The Saints' roster lists Gentry at 5 feet 9 inches and 145 pounds. I'm not sure about the weight, but the height may be on the generous side by at least an inch. Growing a few more inches between now and his senior year would be a wonderful development for a youngster who already handles himself quite well on the basketball floor.
Shack still rates: A reader disagreed with me last summer when I mentioned that the "cheesy beef" sandwich at Beef Shack in St. Charles was quite good. Just to make sure I wasn't way off in my assessment, I recently went to the Shack again. The result was the same. I would recommend the sandwich at this joint to any lover of Italian beef.
One good burger: I also made a holiday pit stop at The Office in St. Charles, my second visit to that bar and grill in the past two months. So this time I recommend the tasty Office Burger. It was a replay of the old Alka-Seltzer commercials, but without the stomachache: I can't believe I ate the whole thing.
Most beautiful photos: Photographers seem to love taking pictures of animals. And why not? Wildlife in its natural habitat makes for some of the most interesting and beautiful scenes we can set our eyes on.
Amateur photographers have a few days left to meet the Friday deadline if they want to enter a wildlife photo in the Fox Valley Wildlife Center's 2013 wildlife photo contest. Entry fee is $10 per photo.
If you have a great photo to submit, call the center for details at (630) 365-3800.