Good News Sunday: Palatine councilman's memories prompt opening of church time capsule

  • St. Paul United Church of Christ members Sharon Altergott, left, and Barbara Oberly look over the 450-pound cornerstone at the Palatine church where a time capsule had been stored for 50 years.

    St. Paul United Church of Christ members Sharon Altergott, left, and Barbara Oberly look over the 450-pound cornerstone at the Palatine church where a time capsule had been stored for 50 years. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 
Posted9/19/2021 7:30 AM

This is Good News Sunday, a compilation of some of the more upbeat and inspiring stories published recently by the Daily Herald:

A boy was in awe of Palatine church's time capsule. Fifty years later, he prompted its opening.

 

If not for the memory of a 5-year-old boy, a time capsule in a Palatine church would not have seen the light of day for who knows how long -- possibly ever.

The capsule was extracted Sept. 9 from about a 450-pound cornerstone drilled out of the exterior of St. Paul United Church of Christ, 144 E. Palatine Road. It contained things like U.S. flags, a religious newspaper, coins and various papers in German and English dating from the 1800s to 1971. All the contents were displayed in public during the church's 150th anniversary celebration.

None of it would have happened if Brad Helms, now 55, hadn't remembered his awe during the last opening of the capsule in 1971, when the church celebrated its 100th anniversary.

"I do remember them cutting into the corner of the church," said Helms, who now serves as a councilman in Palatine. "I was one of those kids who kind of wanted to know everything, and I remember thinking, 'Jeez, if they cut the corner, isn't the tower going to collapse?'"

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New program aims to interest Black youth in agriculture

Jocelyn Harris, left, and Jordan Jones look at the progress of a tomato plant growing in an EarthBox on July 18. The gardening effort is part of the inaugural "Young Black Agri-preneurs of Kane County" program, which aims to interest and train future Black farmers for Kane County. Jones is a participant in the program, and Harris serves as his mentor.
Jocelyn Harris, left, and Jordan Jones look at the progress of a tomato plant growing in an EarthBox on July 18. The gardening effort is part of the inaugural "Young Black Agri-preneurs of Kane County" program, which aims to interest and train future Black farmers for Kane County. Jones is a participant in the program, and Harris serves as his mentor. - Courtesy of The Just Food Initiative of the Fox Valley

Jordan Jones, 15, of Oswego is one of the first participants in the "Young Black Agri-preneurs of Kane County" program, a collaborative effort between The Just Food Initiative of the Fox Valley, a nonprofit organization based in Batavia, and the African American Men of Unity, a nonprofit group based in Aurora.

The "Agri-preneurs" program aims to interest and train future Black farmers for Kane County, where few such farmers -- if any -- exist. Program lessons started in April, with approximately 10 young participants learning about where their food comes from, the importance of soil health and careers within agriculture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Currently, several boys from the program -- including Jones -- are participating in a capstone activity where they have planted gardens at their respective homes using an EarthBox, containers specifically designed to grow plants.

North Aurora resident Jocelyn Harris serves as the mentor for Jones and helped him establish his garden, which includes squash and tomato plants.

"To have the opportunity to teach someone younger than myself how to grow his own food ... I just feel so grateful to be able to do that," Harris said.

For the full story, click here.

Work beginning on accessible playground in Lake Zurich

A rendering sits on the site where a new handicap accessible playground called Peg's Place will be built at The Hope Collective church in Lake Zurich. A lemonade and popcorn sale was recently held to help with the project.
A rendering sits on the site where a new handicap accessible playground called Peg's Place will be built at The Hope Collective church in Lake Zurich. A lemonade and popcorn sale was recently held to help with the project. - Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

After a successful community fundraising effort, work will begin Friday to construct a $309,000 accessible playground for children with disabilities on the grounds of The Hope Collective church in Lake Zurich.

Children who use wheelchairs will have full access to the equipment, which includes a swing they can use without getting out of their wheelchairs. There will also be playground equipment for children with sensory disabilities such as blindness and for children who are not communicative.

Donna Riemer, an outreach pastor at Hope, said members of the community gave $172,000 toward the project.

"We have overflowing, grateful hearts that they caught the vision as well," Riemer said of the community support.

The playground will be called Peg's Park in honor of Peggy Britcliffe, who died in 2019 after a lifetime spent working with children with severe disabilities at Swedish Hospital in Chicago. Riemer said Britcliffe's trust contributed $137,000 to the project.

For the full story, click here.

Naperville lands on Money's list of best places to live

Only one Illinois city landed on Money's annual list of the 50 best places to live in the United States, and it's Naperville.

Coming in at No. 45, Money lauded Naperville's sports history that includes Olympic gold medalists Candace Parker, Evan Lysacek and Kevin Cordes. Money also noted Edward Hospital as one of the state's best hospitals and Route 59 as a major retail corridor.

Money highlighted the entertainment options in Naperville, including the Last Fling, the India Day Parade and Celebration, the Riverwalk, the DuPage Children's Museum and Centennial Beach.

According to Money, while home prices jumped an average of 10% for most of the other Top 50 cities in the first quarter of 2021, Naperville's home prices rose by only 5%.

• Good News Sunday will run each weekend. Please visit dailyherald.com/newsletters to sign up for our Good News Sunday newsletter.

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