Above / Last week we were inspired by a story about a big-hearted 4-year-old boy in Naperville who has been painting watercolors to raise funds for Hesed House. One of the pre-schooler’s neighbors is a Hesed House volunteer and she had explained that Hesed House feeds the hungry and shelters the homeless and more. By last Friday, the youngster had raised $125!

When we contacted Executive Director Ryan Dowd at Hesed House with the news, Dowd replied, “We’re always particularly excited when children feel the calling young to serve others. It can change the trajectory of a life. I didn’t start helping Hesed House until I was 13. This kid has got me beat by 9 years. Good for him!”

And Dowd added, “He has already raised enough money to feed almost 100 people!”

Play Bingo! Spread good cheer at Hines V.A. Hospital on Feb. 12 & March 12

Every month from September to June on the second Tuesday, a bus departs promptly at 6:15PM from the Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873 and American Legion Post 43, 908 W. Jackson Ave., with folks eager to spread good cheer to veterans receiving treatment at Hine VA Hospital in Maywood.

The public is welcome to help fill the bus on Tues., Feb. 12, then March 12, a special time when visitors play BINGO and visit with the veterans.

For more info or to reserve a seat, call organizer John Shaw at (630) 961-3479, Mike Barbour at (630) 240-1645 or Jan Barbour at (630) 247-9007.

WSI Quiz Night is reset for Quigley’s Irish Pub 7PM Tues., Feb. 12

When an ice storm threatened last Tuesday evening, members of the West Suburban Irish postponed their monthly Quiz Night a week. Beginning at 7PM, Tues., Feb. 12, teams of trivia buffs, from two to eight members, again will gather around tables at Quigley’s Irish Pub for three rounds of mind-numbing questions, competing to win mostly sweet prizes.

Heartfelt call outs from the microphone likely will be reminders of the upcoming WSI Emerald Dinner on Feb. 23 at White Eagle Club as well as events leading up to the 26th Annual St. Patrick’s Parade at 10AM Sat., March 16, in downtown Naperville. The two fundraisers hosted by the West Suburban Irish benefit St. Baldrick’s Foundation for lifesaving childhood cancer research.

Quigley’s Irish Pub, 43 E. Jefferson Ave., in downtown Naperville.

‘Chat with the Chief’ at Quigley’s Irish Pub from 5-7PM on Wed. Feb. 13

Naperville Police Chief Robert Marshall invites members of the community to stop by any time to chat with him and members of his senior staff during a two-hour evening version from 5 to 7PM Wed., Feb. 13, at Quigley’s Irish Pub.

“I always look forward to these opportunities to visit with residents, listen to their concerns and answer their questions,” said Chief Marshall. “The informal setting and lack of agenda really allow us to have open and honest conversations, which I find very productive.”

“Chat with the Chief” is hosted several times each year in various locations throughout the city. For more information, visit www.naperville.il.us/npd/chatwithchief

Valentine’s Day is Feb. 14! Have a heart every day… 

Couples, romantics and good friends will be delighted with Naperville Valentine’s Day festivities in 2019. From cards to restaurants (and gift cards for all), area businesses are ready with special menus, gifts and packages.

Sweet Valentines in Naperville Plaza

Find Valentines on display at Oswald’s Pharmacy in Naperville Plaza, just steps from fine wines at Peterson’s and ready-to-go specials in Casey’s Gourmet Deli.

Before doing anything, visit Oswald’s Pharmacy for many sweetheart deals, including candies and novelty chocolates from Fannie May, Russell Stover, Brach’s, Hershey’s and Farley’s.

Naperville’s oldest pharmacy, now beginning its 144st year, also has a huge selection of Valentine cards designed for all ages and senses of humor. Plus, Oswald’s ever-growing selection of gifts offers something for everyone or every age. 

What’s more, the branch of the U.S. Post Office in Oswald’s creates a convenient one-stop place to shop, package and send special Valentines in time to arrive to family and friends by Feb. 14.

Oswald’s Pharmacy is centrally located in Naperville Plaza, a popular shopping destination on the southwest corner of Gartner at Washington near Casey’s Foods, Walker’s Charhouse and Peterson Fine Wines. Busey Bank is also located near Oswald’s.

Downtown Naperville

As always, be sure to make reservations at restaurants early to avoid disappointment.  

Downtown restaurants, such as Hugo’s Frog Bar and Fish House – located at Main Street Promenade – are almost completely booked. 

Catch 35

Catch 35

Catch 35 in downtown Naperville

Catch 35 at 35 S. Washington in downtown Naperville will be offering Valentine’s Day Specials available Thurs., Feb. 14, through Sat., Feb. 16 along with an array of a la carte seafood menu items. Catch 35 offers a fresh daily assortment of fresh fish from salmon and scallops to lobster and sea bass.  Book now! Check out the specials at  http://www.catch35.com/valentines-day-specials-2019/. Note also an extensive wine list and by-the-glass program are also available. For reservations call (630) 717-3500 or visit www.catch35.com.

Also coming down the pike at Catch 35 is Yellowfin Tuna Week from Feb. 25 to March 3, 2019. Specially-priced new and classic Yellowfin tuna dishes will be available for a limited time. http://www.catch35.com/chicago-yellowfin-tuna-week/

Yellowfin Tuna-Ocean to Plate Food & Wine Event is set for 6PM on Mon., Feb. 25, 2019. The 3-Course Food & Wine dinner is $35 plus tax and gratuity per person. Join Chef Eddie Sweeney as he takes guests on a culinary experience celebrating Yellowfin Tuna when the tastes, cooking techniques, and butchery will be explored.  Reserve now by calling (630) 717-3500.  http://www.catch35.com/yellowfin-tuna-food-wine-event/

Dine Downtown

With some 50 eateries to please every taste and pocketbook, downtown Naperville is the destination where families and couples can eat their hearts out on Valentine’s Day and every day.

Gifts Galore

Downtown Naperville also is chock full of gift shops and card shops for specialty items just fit for the heart.  For starters, check out Anderson’s Bookshop and Anderson’s Toy Store, located along Jefferson Ave.

While it’s wintry cold outside, you could say it’s hot in the old town that’s pumped with charm. Enjoy Valentine’s Day with someone special for a delicious meal, a little shopping, a personal gift, a spa trip or a stroll. Or visit any time in February to experience all the warmth Downtown Naperville has to offer in one of 100-plus stores or spas. Check one of downtown Naperville’s 165 shops here

Choices in CityGate Centre

Hotel Arista is offering two special Valentine’s Day romances through the end of February. The Write your Love Story package offers overnight accommodations, a bottle of sparkling wine, rose petals and late departure. The Romance and Indulge package adds a $100 credit for use at CityGate Grille, Che Figata or Arista Spa & Salon. For all the information about these overnight packages or reservations, visit www.hotelarista.com.

CityGate Grille will be serving its full dinner menu inspired by the flavors of the Mediterranean on Valentine’s Day.  Some specials will be on the menu, too. Reservations can be made by calling (630) 718-1010 or by visiting www.citygategrille.com. CityGate Grille is located in the Calamos investments building in CityGate Centre, I88 and Rt. 59.

Che Figata will feature Romanza 5-course prix fixe dinner, priced at $80/couple, with wine pairings offered for an additional $30/couple. For the menu and reservations, visit chefigatakitchen.com. Che Figata is located in the Hotel Arista at 2139 CityGate Lane in Naperville. 

Reserve tickets for 2019 Chef Showdown between Che Figata & Meson Sabika!

Save the date for the 2019 Chef Showdown! Tickets go on sale Wed., Feb. 13, 2019  The 2nd Chef Showdown hosted by Loaves & Fishes Community Services is set for 6PM to 9PM Wed., April 17, at Loaves & Fishes. This year’s cooking competition and fundraiser ($100 per person) will feature Chef Mark Grimes from Che Figata and Chef Crispin Plata from Meson Sabika. Emcee Ray Kinney returns with the play-by-play from start to finish. 

Meson Sabika

By day or by evening, charm your Valentine with tastes of classic romance and a Spanish experience at Meson Sabika in the historic Naperville Mansion.  

Beginning at 3PM a prix-fixe dinner menu will be available on February 14 for $54.95 per person. For reservations call (630) 983-3000 x2 or visit www.mesonsabika.com.

Save room for dining at Naperville restaurants all year long

And, of course, with more than 300 eateries throughout Naperville at destinations north, east, west and south, one surely will whet your appetite. Find the complete listing at www.dinenaperville.com and be prepared for the 2019. Local dining matters!

Plus, Naperville’s array of choices also create many venues for meetings, bridal and baby showers, wedding receptions and birthday parties.

Right now, this week and through Election Day on April 2, local restaurants have created the place to be for many candidate “Meet & Greet” events and Election Night parties.

Bon appetite on Valentine’s Day and every day!

Kendall Cooks will serve dinner for American Legion social on Feb. 16

The American Legion Post 43 will host its annual “Salute to our Youth” Social and Dinner at the Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873. The social hour begins at 6PM with dinner at 7PM followed by the program to recognize all local youth who participate in American Legion sponsored initiatives.   Dinner costs $14 for adults, $7 for children 7-14, and children 6 and under are free. A cash bar will be open.

This “all you can eat dinner” will be prepared by the world-famous Kendall Cooks and the menu will include Prime Rib, Scalloped Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Buttered Rolls, and desserts generously donated by Prima Sweets.

Space at the table is for 150 guests in the banquet room. Reserve a seat by Wed., Feb. 13, or check last-minute availability by calling (630) 803-2251 or emailing jenniferbslown@gmail.com.

The Judd Kendall VFW Post is located at 908 W. Jackson Ave.

Wedding Showcase at Naper Settlement is Sat., Feb. 23

Finally, if Valentine’s Day romance greets you with an engagement for marriage, note that Naperville Settlement will host its annual Wedding Showcase from 10AM to 3PM on Sat., Feb. 23. More than 50 local quality vendors (including musicians and hair and make-up artists to caterers) will present an up-close-and-personal showcase featuring wedding needs with representatives to answer questions.