Good News Sunday: Palatine teen creates backyard Wrigley Field

  • Palatine High School baseball player D.J. Dick built a Wrigley Field Wiffle ball stadium in his backyard.

      Palatine High School baseball player D.J. Dick built a Wrigley Field Wiffle ball stadium in his backyard. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Duke, a new foal at Danada Equestrian Center, looks up from the tall grass when he sees action beyond the fence.

    Duke, a new foal at Danada Equestrian Center, looks up from the tall grass when he sees action beyond the fence. Rick West | Staff Photographer

Posted7/5/2020 5:00 AM

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

While Major League Baseball stumbles toward opening day for a truncated 60-game season, America's pastime is thriving in a replica Wrigley Field that a Palatine teenager built in the backyard of his family's house.


D.J. Dick has created an ultimate Wiffle ball experience that includes a scoreboard, flags, ivy-covered wall and outfield basket similar to what's at the Friendly Confines. The Wiffle park regularly draws neighbors to watch the boys in 2-on-2 or 3-on-3 action from the home's upper-level deck or outside the fence.

"I just looked at pictures, did what I could and made it happen," said D.J., 16, an incoming junior who plays baseball, basketball and golf at Palatine High School. "Because I've been a Cubs fan all my life and everyone's dream is to play at Wrigley, I was like, 'Why can't I build it in my own backyard?' So that's what I did."

For the full story, click here.

Foal of charm: Danada welcomes addition

As quickly as he came into the world, he's won the affection of his attentive mother and their caretakers.

The lanky spitfire likes to canter, sunbathe and nibble on his mom's fuzzy chin. His youthful antics are contagious, even to senior horses in the herd at Danada Equestrian Center near Wheaton.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service

"He is pretty magnificent to watch move around," said Brad Doweidt, equestrian program coordinator at the facility. "He's definitely getting his sea legs underneath him."

More than a month old, Duke, the first foal born at Danada in more than a decade, remains the center of attention in a Kentucky-style barn steeped in history.

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County is planning a virtual baby shower during August with the goal of raising $3,000 for the first year of his veterinary care and training.

For the full story, click here.


Turning a gift card into support for survivors

It all started with a gift card.

Heather Booton and her co-workers each received a $100 card from their company CEO with instructions to pass it along to people whose lives were disrupted by the pandemic.

Booton knew she wanted to help domestic violence survivors. But she's the kind of person who can turn a selfless moment into a bigger idea. She's also someone who believes generosity means giving your time and dedication, not just writing a check.

So she turned to her network of Facebook friends and asked if they could use their giving power to supplement the gift card and provide meals for families finding refuge through the only emergency domestic violence shelter in DuPage County.

"I was just completely overwhelmed by how generous people were and how eager they were to help," she said.

For the full story, click here.

Wauconda honors vets with downtown banners

Wauconda officials and members of the local American Legion Post 911 are honoring 14 former military personnel from the village by displaying banners bearing their names and photographs.

Soldiers, Marines and pilots who fought in World War II, the Vietnam War and even the Spanish-American War in the late 19th century are depicted.

Seven of the honorees died in combat. The others survived the wars in which they served.

"It's a great field of veterans," Mayor Lincoln Knight said.

The banners went up Thursday on light poles on Main Street, north of Route 176.

The project originated with resident Laurel DeBoer, who saw a similar effort in Pennsylvania last summer and shared the idea with Knight.

"I know a lot of people who served in the armed forces, and I thought this would be a way to honor them," DeBoer said. "Anyone that serves in any of the armed forces goes up on a pedestal for me."

For the full story, click here.

• Good News Sunday will run each weekend. Visit to sign up for our Good News Sunday newsletter.

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.