Film producer to speak at Batavia Brotherhood banquet

 
 
Posted12/2/2018 6:00 AM
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  • Executive producer Eric Groth of St. Charles will speak at the Batavia Brotherhood's 50th annual banquet.

    Executive producer Eric Groth of St. Charles will speak at the Batavia Brotherhood's 50th annual banquet. Courtesy of Eric Groth

  • Jim Caviezel, left, plays Luke and James Faulkner is his colleague Paul in the biblical drama "Paul, Apostle of Christ." The film's producer, Eric Groth of St. Charles, will speak at the Batavia Brotherhood's 50th annual banquet in February.

    Jim Caviezel, left, plays Luke and James Faulkner is his colleague Paul in the biblical drama "Paul, Apostle of Christ." The film's producer, Eric Groth of St. Charles, will speak at the Batavia Brotherhood's 50th annual banquet in February. Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

It's not really a service or social club, per se, because its members gather only once a year. But it sure has had some staying power while drawing the attention of men seeking spiritual motivation and creating friendships.

The Batavia Brotherhood will host its 50th annual banquet on Tuesday, Feb. 19, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Batavia.

The fact that Eric Groth of St. Charles is the speaker for the event indicates what this evening of fellowship for Christian men in Batavia is all about.

Some of you may remember my column earlier this year about Groth, a member of St. John Neumann Church in St. Charles who went on to become a movie producer of Christian films. His latest film, "Paul, Apostle of Christ," was showing in theaters across the country last spring.

"As far as we know, this is the only such banquet in Illinois," said Elvin Harms of Batavia, the chairman of the banquet committee.

Harms acknowledges, "There is no Brotherhood organization, except for the annual banquet."

But it certainly has some drawing power. "It is typically attended by 200 to 300 men, depending on the speaker," Harms said.

Even though it's not an organization known for weekly or monthly meetings, Harms and his committee of 12 to 15 other men meets often during the year to set up the banquet.

Bob Nelson and Bob Dahlstrom have been members of the committee "since the beginning," Harms said. "We have to pick a speaker, honoree of the year, choose the venue and get that organized."

The honoree of the year, by the way, is a person chosen by the committee as one "who exemplifies the spirit of community and service" in Batavia.

It's an interdenominational event, with the banquet generally being held at either Immanuel Lutheran or Holy Cross Catholic Church in Batavia. And that's mostly because they are big enough buildings to host that many men.

Cost for attending the banquet is $25 per person, and information about how to purchase tickets is at bataviabrotherhoodbanquet.org.

Making it merry:

For several years now, the Community Helpers Impacting People In Need (CHIP IN) organization in Batavia has helped students and their families facing poverty by providing basic needs.

For two years now, Batavia High School and Aurora University graduate Jackie Rakers has worked with CHIP IN to bring a holiday twist to the volunteer help theme.

She's delivering live Christmas trees, ornaments, lights, and a tree skirt and stand for six families in Batavia. Plus, she's taking on the role of Santa in also delivering gifts for each member of these families.

It's no surprise that others in the community are helping Rakers with her project. Boy Scout Troop 12 is donating six live Christmas trees from its lot on Route 25; Lifespring Center residents in Aurora are making handmade ornaments; Jackie's mom, Chris Rakers, has been selling glass Santa ornaments from her glass company to raise money for the project; while Cynthia Rendel, BEI Properties, West DuPage Cabinets and Granite, Bulldog Plumbing, Aldi, Boyce Body Werks and the Marmion Academy Swim Team have donated funds and time.

Donations can be mailed to CHIP IN Batavia, P.O. Box 1003, Batavia, IL 60510.

Fun for the kids:

Someone had a good idea for kids to burn off some steam while on their holiday break from school.

The Family Fun Fest is the name for what essentially is a huge indoor amusement playground taking place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 28-30 at the Pheasant Run Mega Center in St. Charles.

When they mention a 200-foot indoor zip line, slides and carnival rides, as well as magicians, game shows and interactive performances, it is hard to imagine they left anything out.

They are pitching a special deal for those who are staying at the resort, but general admission is $15 at the door and $25 for the weekend. All inclusive ride wristbands are also available.

Bring on the questions:

It seems like some time ago that our trivia team actually won this event. It's been a few years, at least, in part because TriCity Family Services took a short hiatus from offering its Trivia Night fundraiser.

But it's back. It will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5, at the Batavia Moose Lodge, with questions starting at 7 p.m.

The evening's host is The River 95.9 FM's deejay Danielle Tufano.

Those interested in putting together a team can register online at tricityfamilyservices.org. Cost is $20 per player.

A popular fix:

Here's a tip for any politician who wants to thrust to the forefront of popularity and maybe even garner the highest approval ratings ever recorded.

Put an end to robocalls bellowing about politics, home security, credit cards or other marketing gimmicks, and halt the overwhelming crime spree resulting in billions of scam and phishing calls that have ruined landlines and are infiltrating mobile devices.

Fix that, and we'll be carving a new likeness atop Mount Rushmore.

dheun@sbcglobal.net

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