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Sunday, July 14, 2024

‘Fifteen pounds’ attract all ages to booth at Naperville Salute, fun continues thru Sunday


In addition to live music on the Naperville Salute Stage, another big hit of the three-day event on July 5 was an interactive booth hosted by Illinois Army National Guard recruiters, Sergeant Nicholas DeMore and Staff Sergeant Ken Costello. Naperville Salute is now in progress on Rotary Hill along the Riverwalk in downtown Naperville.

Army National Guard booth located near Veterans Tent

For more than four hours, the Army recruiters attracted men, women and children who were given a chance to test their strength and fitness with a 15-pound mallet.

One by one, all ages watched as friends and family were encouraged and given advice how to properly grasp the weighted mallet with two hands, arms extended, aiming to last holding it one minute or more. Only adult men were tested with one arm.

The recruiters suggested thinking about something other than holding the 15-pound mallet to distract attention away from its heavy weight as the timer clicked. We observed at least one young teen who sang along with the Swiftie tribute performance on stage.

Every contestant who successfully held the weighted mallet for a timed one minute was given an Army lanyard.

Fifteen Pounds

Our thoughts flashed back to a song from childhood titled “Sixteen Tons.” We considered extra strength might be found if the youngsters could concoct new words to an old song written by Merle Travis in 1946 and recorded by country-western singer Tennessee Ernie Ford in 1955.

You hold 15 pounds, and what do get?

Another minute older, and prouder still yet.

A Naperville Salute with a chance to be strong

And maybe some fun just singing along!


The Army National Guard recruiters expressed their pleasure to support local communities by engaging in events such as the booth at Naperville Salute. Other times, they seek to find the most qualified, talented and dedicated young men and women to join the ranks of the Illinois Army National Guard. 

Sergeant DeMore is a career counselor, available to share information about more than 100 career paths as well as 100% college tuition for qualified individuals who would like to “live here and serve here.”

Find the Army National Guard Booth located near the Veterans Tent on the east side of Rotary Hill along the Riverwalk.

The Naperville Salute continues from 2 to 10PM on Sat., July 6; and from 12-noon to 9PM Sun., July 7. Live music will resound from the stage at the bottom of the hill and family-fun activities are featured at the top of the hill. Food and beverages are available for purchase.

Tickets are $20 for ages 13 and older; $6, ages 13 and up. Admission is free for age 12 and under. Veterans and military are free.

The Naperville Salute is centered around appreciation for Veterans, active military, first responders and their families. Organizers say the event is also a salute to the community they’re proud to call home. 

For more information, visit www.napervillesalute.org.


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PN Editor
PN Editor
An editor is someone who prepares content for publishing. It entered English, the American Language, via French. Its modern sense for newspapers has been around since about 1800.