Lazarus asks for help to assist families

Posted4/6/2013 3:10 PM
  • Lazarus House in St. Charles is seeking help from service clubs and organizations to collect items for families that are moving out of the shelter into their own homes. They are asking for "gently used" items such as furniture and appliances, and also various supplies and food.

      Lazarus House in St. Charles is seeking help from service clubs and organizations to collect items for families that are moving out of the shelter into their own homes. They are asking for "gently used" items such as furniture and appliances, and also various supplies and food. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

It's a great day for those who operate Lazarus House in St. Charles when a family leaves the shelter to start life again in its own home.

That happens enough -- about 10 times a year on average -- for a pattern to form. The families are often in need of household items they previously left behind when falling on hard times.

With that in mind, Lazarus House is asking local service clubs or individual partners to "adopt" a household and help residents who are ready to move on to independent living.

"We are turning to you in hopes that you will partner with us for just these times," Liz Eakins, executive director at the homeless shelter, wrote in a letter to area clubs and organizations.

Lazarus House is hoping a service club would take on the task of collecting the needed items and delivering them to the family at its new home. That's an important aspect of this venture. Lazarus House has neither the space nor the manpower to collect, store or deliver needed items to families. Thus, the call for help.

Groups are not expected to buy new furniture or appliances, but provide "gently used" items still in good condition, Eakins said. Otherwise, needed items include general cleaning supplies and food.

No one group will be expected to help more than one family a year, unless it wishes to do so, Eakins said.

Any clubs or groups interested in helping this cause can contact Donna Bauer at (630) 584-2144, ext. 120.

Competition on the poles: How do you think this would go over with your wife? "Honey, I can't fix that leaky faucet today because I'm going to watch women do pole dancing all afternoon."

That notion currently crosses my mind because Tiger Lily Vertical Fitness and Dance in Geneva is hosting the first Windy City Pole Dance Competition next Saturday in the New Orleans Ballroom at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, where as many as 150 spectators and participants are expected.

And, because I mentioned this new business when it first opened a couple of years ago, the owners have asked if I would like to attend.

Hey, it's just like the newspaper asking me to cover any other sport, right? Let's just say it would be an interesting way to spend an afternoon.

Regardless of whether I show up or not, any women curious about this exercise may want to check it out. And, maybe, bring the husbands along? provides the details.

Those controversial topics: Bev Nickelson of Batavia has published another book, this time one that is possibly a tad on the controversial side.

"Divine Temptation" takes the leap of faith in mixing religion and sex.

Just to be sure the concept in her story wouldn't raise too much of a fuss, Nickelson, who writes under pen name Nicki Elson, asked some of her Christian friends to read the manuscript.

"They've all come away from the story perfectly satisfied with how I've portrayed the angel and didn't object to the way I handled the explicit sexual content, even if that material isn't to their particular taste," she says.

Other authors have warned her that any time an angel appears in mainstream fiction, there are those who will have issues with it, Nickelson said.

After some feedback, Nickelson said she cut out "certain scenes that weren't important to the plot," but the book still addresses specifically Catholic issues such as annulments and exorcisms.

"I'm sure there's still room to ruffle the feathers of those uncomfortable with the expression of faith in a mainstream romance," she said. "We shall see."

Nickelson's previous book was "Three Daves," which she promoted as "a lighthearted romantic romp through a 1980s college campus."

Not quite yet: Maybe it was a matter of missing something in translation, but for some reason I thought the road construction on East Main Street in St. Charles was winding down. Sitting in one lane of traffic, surrounded by road construction markers the other day, tells me otherwise.

Move that sign: Speaking of that construction in St. Charles, for decades the sign atop a high pole at the Reber and Foley Service Center on East Main Street had the look of the old Standard or Amoco service station signs. That's exactly what it was years ago, before the Reber and Foley name went on it.

Now the sign is down, so you might slip past the popular auto repair shop without even realizing it.

Reber and Foley had to take it down last week to make room for that street-widening project on East Main Street. They tell me a new sign will go up in the fall.

Just keep moving: There is no better way to keep your muscles, bones and joints in working order than to keep them moving. No business knows this better than Fox Valley Orthopedics in Geneva.

It is fitting that the rehab center is marking its 40th anniversary by supporting 40 projects over the next 40 weeks that encourage motion.

The campaign started March 29 with the center's support of Geneva's sculptural bike rack program. The center made a donation for the first such bike rack, which will be located in front of the Geneva History Center.

More information about the center's 40th anniversary project is available at

This one matters: It may not grab your attention like state and national elections, but Tuesday's municipal and school board vote matters a little more for your pocketbook and, ultimately, how your community operates.

If you care about that sort of thing, don't forget to vote.

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