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Friday, June 21, 2024

Seize summer sensations with memories of May


Photos from May the 4th through May 29 are reminders of the merry month of May and the true meaning of Memorial Day.

Wayfinding murals by local teens showcase KidsMatter for the Century Walk tour inside the Van Buren Parking Deck

On Sunday, May 7, 2023, the talents of art students from five area high schools that serve Naperville officially were presented during an Open House/Ribbon Cutting held at the Van Buren Parking Deck, 50 S. Main Street in downtown Naperville. Mindful that students begin to “find their way” during high school, Naperville Mayor Scott Wehrli cut the ribbon to officially open the wayfinding art murals on exhibit at each of five levels of the Van Buren Parking Deck.

Hosted by Century Walk Corporation and KidsMatter, the ribbon cutting attracted high school artists, KidsMatter board members as well as representatives from School District 204, Naperville Park District and Naperville City Council. Other members of the community observed their enthusiasm on this sunny afternoon with temperatures in the high 80s.

Masonic Overlook along the Naperville Riverwalk commemorates the city’s longest-serving fraternity

As a major supporter of the Riverwalk 2000 Campaign in the late 1990s, the Naperville Masonic Temple Association sponsored an overlook constructed with a stone monument that includes a plaque commemorating the establishment in 1849 of the Masonic Lodge, Euclid Lodge No. 65, A.F. & A.M. in Naperville of which Joseph Naper was a charter member. Located directly behind the Beidelman-Kunsch Funeral Home on S. Washington Street, individual bricks were placed along the new Riverwalk extension to recognize several of the then-most recent Past Masters of Euclid Lodge.

An additional 20 bricks commemorating the most recent Past Masters of the Lodge were installed May 25, 2023, as well as bricks commemorating Emeritus Brothers Thomas C. Behr, the Lodge’s longest serving Secretary; and Jerry E. Yingling, the second longest serving Treasurer. Brothers Behr and Yingling served the Lodge continuously for 22 years and 18 years respectively.

Naperville Memorial Day Parade is a tribute to all Gold Star Families

Naperville Responds for Veterans again participated in the annual Memorial Day Parade to recognize all Gold Star Families, Blue Star Families and military personnel that serve to honorably protect and preserve freedom.

May the 4th returned to attract Star Wars fans to downtown Naperville

May the 4th return to attract visitors to experience downtown Naperville year after year.

‘Flying into Summer’ welcomes visitors to come sit for a spell while discovering 19 benches in downtown Naperville

“Flying into Summer” bench painted by artist Adela Vystejnova is set at the northwest corner of Jackson Avenue at Webster Street. Vystejnova also is the mural artist that painted the sepia-tone work across from “Naperville Loves a Parade.”

Come-see-ums, a.k.a. 19 benches in the shape of dragonflies, welcome folks to explore works of art that tell whimsical and vibrant stories from now until September on the streets where local residents live. Come shop, dine and/or sit for a spell!

Summer construction is reminder that with progress comes patience

Follow the winding Naperville Riverwalk along the DuPage River available every day of the year in the heart of downtown. The Paddleboat Quarry, Jaycees Playground and Centennial Beach now are open for the summer season.

And, of course, right now, passersby can pause to watch construction underway for rebuilding the Washington Street Bridge near the Jaycees Gazebo. Venture along the Riverwalk from Hillside Road to Fredenhagen Park. Stopping to watch construction of the new Washington Street Bridge for the next year will be a great way to learn and appreciate the importance of taking care of roads and bridges. Remember! With progress comes patience.

Century Walk art receives a little care and maintenance when needed

On behalf of Century Walk Corporation, Dodie Mondero recently restored the Veterans Valor monument located along Washington Street at the sidewalk entrance to Central Park. Mondero’s efforts keep more than 50 public art locations attractive for visitors to enjoy every day. His work is supported by Century Walk 2023 Public Art Maintenance.

Note also that Central Park is home to two additional Century Walk works of art. The “Laughing Lincoln” sculpture and “The Great Concerto” mural help tell stories about Naperville’s rich history.

Help keep low-hanging branches cut along parkways and sidewalks

The City of Naperville’s 2023 curbside bulk brush collection program wraps up in June. This five-week program is an annual opportunity to dispose of large quantities of unbundled branches and tree trimmings at no cost.

The City is divided into five collection districts, which correspond with the weekly curbside garbage collection schedule. Now that collection is over, kindly check and remove all low-hanging branches with summer foliage on property that may hover over sidewalks (and poke unsuspecting walkers in the eye) and/or prevent visibility of stop signs. Thanks for helping to keep the community safe.

Veterans Park welcomes visitors to its new Gold Star Families Memorial Monument, the 53rd work of art on the Century Walk Tour

Considerable planning went on behind the scenes before the dedication of the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument in Veterans Park on May 27. Early one morning, volunteers Dan Jurjovec, Wayne Fischer, GSFMM Co-Chair Jennifer Slown (and two young daughters), Pat Rubald and Brian Dilger met to plan the location of 13 banners depicting Naperville’s fallen military men and women from 12 conflicts.

At 7AM May 27, volunteers from Naperville Responds for Veterans placed 13 banners created by Blooming Color that helped to tell the story for the dedication of the Gold Star Families Memorial, now set in Veterans Park, 301 Gartner Rd.

Wayne Fischer notes the banners will return when a replica of the Vietnam Wall is again erected for the week of Veterans Day along the Naperville Riverwalk near the Grand Pavilion.

CLICK HERE for recap of Gold Star Families Memorial Monument Dedication on Saturday afternoon, May 27, 2023, in Veterans Park.

Century Walk Corporation is creating a permanent tribute to all donors to be placed in Veterans Park near the sidewalk entrance to the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument.

Gifts of all sizes continue to be welcome. Major gifts of $1,000 and more will be recognized on a commemorative stone if received by the recently-extended date of July 5, 2023.

Kindly send gifts designated for GSFMM to Century Walk Corporation, 34 Chicago Avenue, Naperville, Il 60540. Include name, address, phone number and email, and write “Gold Star Families Memorial” in the check memo. Thank you.

Memorial Day weekend comes to an end on Monday, May 29, 2023…

“Day is done, gone the sun, From the lake, from the hills, from the sky; All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.”

And the Naperville Gold Star Families Memorial Monument in Veterans Park is softly illuminated for peace… 8:30PM, Memorial Day, Mon., May 29.

Editor’s Note / May happenings provide places to visit in June and so on.

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PN Ombudsman
PN Ombudsman
An ombudsman is Scandinavian in origin dating back to Viking times; and refers to a community representative; usually acting independently on behalf of an organization, body of elected officials, or civic group. Thanks Scandinavia for inventing ombudsman.