Suburban Mosaic: Sanctuary for the Skies brings bird havens to Buffalo Grove, beyond

Volunteers with Sanctuary for the Skies recently built a bird sanctuary at Sunrise Senior Living in Buffalo Grove as part of the group's mission to create safe havens for endangered North American species and educate people about the importance of conservation.

Stevenson High School seniors Abhay Agarwal, Kush Nagrani and Eunhyul Chang started the nonprofit to raise awareness about growing environmental pollution in their local community.

Agarwal, the group's founder and president, came up with the idea and mission in the spring of 2021. Nagrani, 17, of Long Grove, co-founder and director of ecology and sustainability, and Chang, 17, director of marketing, came on board in January 2023.

Since its inception, the group has built bird sanctuaries at the Hanuman Mandir (Temple) in Glenview, the Vernon Hills Public Library, the Hindu Mandir of Lake County in Grayslake, and Rothem Church in Arlington Heights.

Its Instagram page (@sanctuaryfortheskies) provides updates on sanctuary projects and has helped connect with a broader audience.

“We're currently working to establish more relationships with photographers in different countries, as well,” Chang said.

Sanctuary for the Skies now is partnered with the Illinois Audubon Society and has received a grant from the Illinois Ornithological Society.

“Sanctuary for the Skies is dedicated to making a meaningful impact beyond the borders of Illinois,” Chang said. “We have been actively working towards growing our presence in other regions, with a vision to protect and preserve avian life on a wider scale. Our team is striving to collaborate with various stakeholders to create a network of sanctuaries that will safeguard the well-being of birds across different environments.”

Health fair

Aurora's 18th annual Compañeros en Salud Health Festival will be held from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, at Prisco Community Center, 150 W. Illinois Ave.

It will offer blood pressure, glucose and other health screenings, presentations, breakfast, food boxes, community resources, and prizes. Admission and parking are free.

Presentations include “Know Your Health Numbers” at 9 a.m. and “How to Read Food Labels” at 10 a.m. At 10:30 a.m., Lynda White of Dance Fuze Studio will perform an exercise demonstration.

Registration is required for a comprehensive blood chemistry profile. Test is limited to the first 65 uninsured/underinsured participants 18 and older. An eight-hour fast is required.

Companeros en Salud is a nonprofit volunteer-driven health coalition whose open forum meetings focus on addressing issues affecting the Hispanic community and other diverse groups.

To register for the health fair or to learn more, call (888) 352-7874.

Seeking Muslim achievers

The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago is accepting nominations for this year's Muslim Achiever's Award.

Nominees must be Muslims who have excelled in their respective fields and have been recognized for it. Candidates must be from the greater Chicago area and their achievement must be of national prominence, not in a field considered haram (impermissible), such as gambling and selling alcohol, under Islamic sharia law.

To nominate an achiever, visit Winners will be announced at the council's 31st annual gala on Nov. 5.

Latino leaders

Coors Light is seeking nominations for its 2023 Coors Light Lideres of the Year program.

Now in its 17th year, the program shines a light on exceptional Latino leaders making a positive impact in their communities.

This year, five winners will be awarded a $10,000 grant each for their nonprofit organization and receive exclusive opportunities for growth and networking. Nominations and applications are now open to Latino leaders throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico through Sept. 15.

Nominees must be 21 to 39 years old. Winners will be announced in October. To nominate a community leader, visit

Hispanic heritage

Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin will host several events during Hispanic Heritage Month in September and October.

It will unveil the exhibit “Alebrijes,” a traditional Mexican art form, at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 12, at the Main Library, 270 N. Grove Ave., Elgin. There will be music, family activities, and a scavenger hunt to explore the exhibit and win prizes.

The 20 colorful, papier-mâché sculptures, on loan from the Mexican Cultural Center-DuPage, will be on display at the library through the second week of January.

Previously housed at Cantigny Park, the “Alebrijes” stem from Mexican folklore and embody characteristics from many animals to create fantastical creatures. Take a photo with your favorite alebrije and text it to (847) 857-7740. One photo will be chosen at random Jan. 8 to win the grand prize, a creative art basket.

Hispanic Heritage Month events include:

• Oct. 10 — Bilingual small business workshop, 4-6 p.m. at the main library Meadows Community Rooms.

• An exhibit stamping activity.

• Elgin Area School District U-46 student/others Alebrijes art contest.

• An Alebrijes reading contest.

• Oct. 7 — Music and Art: The Universal Languages, 2-4 p.m. at the main library. Special dance and musical performances by the Bolivian Folkloric Group-Renacer, Cumbia Dance-Colombia and the Folkloric Dance Group of Honduras, and the Elgin Master Chorale. The event will include Latin rhythms classes, an art demonstration with local artists, a storytime and other surprises, and a chance to win prizes.

• Oct. 26-Nov. 9 — Ofrenda Day of the Dead Exhibit at the main library. A grand opening will be held from 6-7 p.m. Oct. 26. Learn more about this Mexican cultural tradition and honor loved ones by sending a digital photo to be displayed by Oct. 12. Email to or by text to (847) 857-7740. Include your name, loved one's name, and your phone number.

• Sept. 16 — Mexican Independence Day Celebration, 3:30-5 p.m. at Festival Park, 132 S. Grove Ave., Elgin. There will be folkloric dances by the Mexican Dance Group Macehualitzli, with musical performances by Andrea Michel, Jose Diaz and Xitali “La chaparrita de oro,” the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, and the performance of “El Grito de Dolores.”

For more information, visit

• Share stories and news from the suburban mosaic at

Stevenson High School seniors Kush Nagrani, left, Abhay Agarwal and Eunhyul Chang started the nonprofit Sanctuary for the Skies to raise awareness about growing environmental pollution. Courtesy of Sanctuary for the Skies
Three Stevenson High School seniors started the nonprofit Sanctuary for the Skies to raise awareness about growing environmental pollution. Group volunteers have built bird sanctuaries at Hanuman Mandir (Temple) in Glenview, pictured here, as well as Sunrise Senior Living in Buffalo Grove and the Vernon Hills Area Public Library. Courtesy of Sanctuary for the Skies
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