Back in early June when former Naperville resident Chuck Spinner was signing copies of his book, The Tragedy at Loomis Street Crossing, at Anderson’s Bookshop, Mary Lou Wehrli was introducing Sven Davies to folks standing in line.
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During introductions, Wehrli explained Davies, pictured in the blue shirt here, wanted to build an authentic themed float for the Jaycees Last Fling Labor Day Parade on behalf of his neighborhood school, Ellsworth Elementary School, founded in 1928. At the time he was looking for indoor warehouse space to construct it.
Not long afterward, Davies said Tuesday evening, his dream began to become a reality when thanks to Steve Mueller and Boecker family (A family that dates back to 1867 in Naperville, he added.), indoor space was secured.
On July 17 “five neighborhood guys” from Park Addition began building a float as a tribute to the Ellsworth school community, noting that their neighborhood is “nothing without our schools.”
For the last six weeks, Davies, Dan Dodge, Thom Higgins, R.J. Ogren and Brian Pelecky resourcefully have been finding supplies and “saving sales receipts” for everything they’ve needed to create the classroom setting, complete with a black board. On Labor Day, retired 2nd grade teacher Jan Reid will present a “real lesson” as Ellsworth’s float meanders along the parade route.
Davies expressed gratitude to Brian Pelecky for lending the trailer and to Steve Mueller for helping him locate indoor space. His list of thank-yous extended to Principal Dick Allen, the Ellsworth Administration, members of the Home and School board and their wives who have supported the project that he calls “a theater on wheels—a day in the life at Ellsworth.”
When PN stopped by Tuesday evening Davies, Thom Higgins and Dan Dodge were busy with last-minute attention to detail. Old-fashioned school desks were lined up waiting to be assembled atop the float. And the sparkling skirt that will hang to the ground to hide the trailer had been purchased.
“We wrapped up a big chunk of the work last night as you can see in the attached picture,” said Davies Wednesday morning in a follow-up e-mail after our visit. PN is saving the finished view of the float for parade-goers to see on Monday.
Look for the Ellsworth float and a large procession of students marching along to display school spirit in the Jaycees Labor Day Parade.
Davies added that any proceeds from financial support they receive will be benefit Ellsworth Home and School.
“We’re just enamored with how well it’s all turned out,” Davies beamed.
The Jaycees Last Fling Labor Day Parade steps off at 10AM Mon., Sept. 3.
Chalk one up for Ellsworth School!