Mutual Ground’s Board of Directors, staff, and the clients we serve would like to sincerely thank everyone who participated in the 9th Annual Walk for Hope fundraiser presented by Paylocity this past Saturday, October 22nd, at Blackberry Farm! The event was a huge success and so far we’ve raised over $70,000 through online donations! We will be posting pictures of the event on our Facebook page soon so make sure you follow us by clicking the Facebook icon at the bottom of the page!
We are currently looking for individuals interested in joining Mutual Ground’s spring fundraiser planning committee. Our next committee meeting will be held next Wednesday, November 2nd, at 5:30 p.m. If you’re interested in joining this committee or would like more information, please contact Jocelyn Padilla, Marketing and Events Coordinator, at email@example.com.
If you enjoyed Walk for Hope we have two events coming up this Sunday, October 30th. Don’t miss out!
FraidyCat 5k, Ghost Run 10k & Meow Mile Hosted by the Oswego Chamber
Mutual Ground is excited to have been chosen as the benefiting charity for this year’s event on October 30th. As the benefiting charity, Mutual Ground will receive a portion of the proceeds.
The more runners that register the more Mutual Ground receives! You can register today by clicking the link below.
All registered participants who register for the 2016 FraidyCat 5k, Ghost Run 10k & Meow Mile will receive a long-sleeve tech shirt and reusable draw-string gear bag.
REV – Rock to End Violence
Mutual Ground, in collaboration with the Law Office Pub & Music Hall, is proud to announce a new quarterly concert series called REV – Rock to End Violence.
The kick-off concert will be held at the Law Office Pub and Music Hall at 226 S. Bridge St, in Yorkville this Sunday, October 30th, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
The goal of this quarterly concert series is to raise awareness about domestic and sexual violence in Kendall County and to raise funds for Mutual Ground.
Beginning Nov. 1, the Fox Valley Park District will resume its program of prescribed burns at selected park sites and natural areas.
For decades, the FVPD has conducted these specialized burns for their ecological benefits. Fire plays an essential role in creating healthy ecosystems by reducing the abundance of invasive, non-native plant species.
Prescribed burns create a setting for beneficial native plants and wildflowers to flourish. Burning also releases nutrients into the soil, encourages new seed growth and opens woodland floors to allow increased sunlight that spurs vibrant growth and promotes plant diversity.
“Fire has occurred naturally for thousands of years, and plays an essential role in healthy, native ecosystems,” said Monkia Kastle, Natural Areas Specialist. “Burning creates greater biodiversity and the positive effects are beneficial to woodlands, prairies, wetlands and the wildlife that inhabit these areas.”
Prior to conducting a prescribed burn, trained staff survey the burn area to create a detailed plan of action. Sites are burned according to dryness of vegetation, wind direction/speed and other variables, so exact dates and times for specific burns are dependent upon conditions. Most times, it is a day-of decision.
Following is a list of potential sites targeted for burning between Nov. 1, 2016, and May 15, 2017:
View locations for these sites on the interactive parks map. The FVPD makes every effort to notify neighboring residents as to when a prescribed burn will take place. For the latest details and announcements, check the Park District website (www.foxvalleyparkdistrict.org) and Facebook page. For questions, please call 630-897-0516.
In honor of all community members who have served in the Armed Forces, the Fox Valley Park District is hosting a Veterans Day Luncheon from noon to 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4, at the Prisco Community Center (150 W. Illinois Ave., Aurora).
The luncheon is free to veterans and will be catered by Upper Crust. Entertainment will be provided by Americana singer-songwriter Rick Pickren, who’s packing his guitars, banjos and harmonicas for a stars-and-stripes themed show rich in cowboy and rail history, lore and song.
In addition, veterans advocate Herschel Luckinbill will share information on the Honor Flight Chicago and Vets Roll programs and the many benefits they provide veterans. Prize drawings will take place as well.
“We hold this luncheon each year to honor and salute veterans for the freedoms and opportunities they’ve provided us through their dedicated service,” said Park District spokesman Jeff Long.
The luncheon fee for non-veterans is $7 per resident and $11 per non-resident. Advance registration by Nov. 1 is required for all attendees to assure seating.
In addition, the Fox Valley Park District has proclaimed November as Veterans Appreciation Month and is providing veterans unlimited visits to the District’s fitness centers at no charge. Veterans and their families enjoy free admission to Prisco, Eola and Vaughan fitness centers throughout November.
The complimentary fitness and luncheon apply to all veterans and active military, as well as members of the National Guard and Reserves. Participants need to show a valid military ID card.
For information on the Veterans Day luncheon and the free veterans fitness offers, call 630-859-8606.
VNA Health Care will host A Crucial Catch Day – Screening Saves Lives. The community event is an opportunity to help women reduce their risk for breast cancer by providing education, outreach, navigation and access to cancer screening resources.
The event will be held on October 25, 2016 at VNA, 400 N. Highland Avenue in Aurora from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Women are invited to attend the event and learn more about ways to reduce their risks and the importance of detecting breast cancer early through regular screenings.
This event is made possible through the American Cancer Society’s Community Health Advocates implementing Nationwide Grants for Empowerment and Equity (CHANGE) Grant Program, funded by the National Football League. The NFL’s A Crucial Catch initiative provides funding to support increased access to potentially life-saving breast cancer education and screening resources in communities experiencing an unequal burden of cancer.
WHAT: A Crucial Catch Day community event to provide women with free breast cancer outreach and education. Special appearance by “Staley Da Bear”, the official mascot of the Chicago Bears, from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
WHEN: October 25, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
WHERE: VNA Health Care
400 N. Highland Ave., Aurora
CONTACT: Amy Downing
The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) announced the hire of Dr. Norman “Storm” Robinson III as the Executive Director for Professional Field Services, IMSA’s award-winning STEM education outreach programs. Dr. Robinson, an educator and mathematician, comes to IMSA with a strong background in the implementation of STEM integrative curricula and the development of STEM educator training experiences focused on problem-based learning pedagogy and design thinking.
“We are excited to welcome Dr. Robinson to IMSA to lead our team of educators designing and delivering award winning STEM instruction to students and teachers across Illinois,” stated Dr. José M. Torres, IMSA President. “STEM careers in Illinois are showing tremendous growth and pioneering outreach programs, such as Fusion, Summer@IMSA, and IMSA Allies, help inspire and prepare students to pursue these professions. I look forward to working with Dr. Robinson to build the scope and capacity of these very important programs.”
“I am thrilled to join IMSA and plan to innovatively build the top-notch outreach programs that bring STEM education to students across the state, especially those in low-income, rural and urban areas,” stated Dr. Robinson. “IMSA has a phenomenal history of delivering engaging, hands-on STEM education for both students and educators and I am looking forward to expanding the reach of these programs to promote long term interest in STEM in Illinois.”
Prior to IMSA, Dr. Robinson was Program Director at Georgia Institute of Technology Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computing (CEISMC). He has extensive experience as an education specialist at NASA Glenn Research Center, National Institute of Aerospace, and NASA Langley Research Center. He gained classroom teaching experience at Tanglewood Middle School in Greenville, South Carolina, Riverside High School in Greer, South Carolina, and Marietta STEM Magnet Middle School in Marietta, Georgia.
Dr. Robinson earned a Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning/Mathematics Education from Georgia State University, a Master’s degree in Natural and Applied Sciences form Oklahoma State University and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Tennessee Technological University.
Illinois warns bond buyers that key pension payment may be delayed. The mandated payment in FY17 of more than $7.8 billion from state general funds to the five Illinois state-managed pension systems is required by statutory law. State law requires that whenever the State falls short of past commitments to these pension funds, it must make actuarially determined annual payments to these funds to “ramp up” or “catch up.” As these five funds now post, collectively, approximately $111 billion in unfunded pension liabilities, these ramp-up payments will be a feature of the State’s budget picture for more than a decade to come.
State general funds income, particularly income taxes collected from individuals and corporations, is falling at the same time as mandated pension payments are rising. At the same time, many other mandated recipients of state general funds have appealed to court orders, consent decrees, and automatic appropriations to ensure that they get positions at or close to the head of the line for the State’s remaining funds. The result of the convergence of all of these trends was that the State of Illinois was legally compelled to print a warning in its most recent State bond prospectus released on Tuesday, October 11, that some of the mandated $7.8 billion FY17 pension payment may have to be delayed.
Warnings of this type, in bond prospectuses, are part of the data used by credit rating agencies to rate the debts of institutional borrowers. Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s Investors Service, and Fitch Ratings have downgraded State of Illinois general obligation debt to only two notches above “junk bond” level. The three different firms use different terminology; in S&P phraseology, Illinois general-obligation debt is rated ‘BBB,’ or triple B. While bonds stamped with this rating can be sold as investment-grade securities, they are classified as a relatively low-ranking, risky investment. The State of Illinois, when it sells bonds in the marketplace, must offer to pay interest rates that are much high than the rates paid by other states. Illinois taxpayers must pay annual interest rates on 10-year notes that are approximately 200 basis points (2.00%) higher than the rates paid by the AAA-rated neighboring state of Indiana.