Saturday, October 16, 2010

DNA Awards Gala Wrap-Up & Kudos

Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate downtown Elgin and recognize the individuals and businesses who helped contribute to its continued revitalization this past year at the Downtown Neighborhood Association (DNA) of Elgin's 2010 Awards Gala - Presented by TranSystems, Landmark Contractors and J&T Services, Inc. on Thursday, October 14th at the Grand Victoria Casino in downtown Elgin.

The DNA would again like to congratulate our 2010 Award Recipients:

Art for All - Extraordinary Volunteer

Elgin Antiques & Uniques - Outstanding Member

La Puesta Del Sol - Excellence in Business

The Razor's Edge - Remarkable Renovation

Ina Dews - Above & Beyond

Neal Pitcher - President's Award

In keeping with our 1940's Bright Lights, Big City theme, we also awarded a "Best Dressed Guy and Gal" award which went to Tony Aiello and Jennifer Benson.

The DNA would like to extend heartfelt thanks to the following individuals, businesses and organizations for their contributions to the Awards Gala:

- "Cat's Meow" Presenting Sponsors - TranSystems; Landmark Contractors; and J&T Services, Inc.;

- "Big Cheese" Sponsor - Grand Victoria Casino;

- "Hotsy-Totsy" Sponsors - City of Elgin and Elgin Community College;

- Table Sponsors - Shales McNutt Construction; Ravenheart Cafe; Rauschenberger Partners, LLC; Villa Verone Ristorante Italiano; Kirkpatrick, Jones & Herzog Insurance; and The Dominguez Family;

- Tim and Sue Solarz from Spacetaste Gallery, in partnership with Elgin Antiques & Uniques and Two Doors Down Antiques, for coordinating the beautiful artifacts and vintage-inspired art gallery consisting of local art from Benjamin Downs, Clark Bending, Dave Metzger, Jeffree Hansen, Larry Pepper and Natalie Shadel;

- Our volunteers who worked late into the night this past Monday to put together our beautiful table centerpieces and Rich Wagner from Rediscover Records for his donation of the vintage records which comprised those table centerpieces;

- Our decorating volunteers, led by Barb Keselica from the City of Elgin and Patrick Raddatz and Jen Prise from The Hemmens, who worked at breakneck speed to transform the large Fox Valley Room at Grand Victoria Casino into the breath-taking backdrop it became for our gala;

- The Elastik Band for providing the eclectic soundtrack for the evening;

- Andre Santore and Yuliana Chepurna from Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Barrington for lighting up the dance floor with their amazing dance numbers;

- Amy Gregorio, Mrs. Illinois America 2010 who served as Mistress of Ceremonies for the evening;

- Steve Thoren who masterfully emceed our cocktail hour;

- Barry Danielson for donating his gorgeous crimson 1940 Buick which was prominently displayed outside the walkway entrance to the casino;

- George Stefely from Artistic Framing & Supplies for matting and framing our awards and Dave Anderson from Anderson's Invitations & Trophies for engraving the nameplates;

- Lisa Sauter and Denise Hibbard who were our cigarette girls and combined sold better than 60 raffle tickets during our cocktail hour;

- All Dressed Up Costumes in Batavia for supplying our cigarette girls' costumes;

- Northeast Neighborhood Association (NENA) for their raffle prize donation of complimentary passes to their Monster Mash Bash on October 29th at Douglas Street Sports Bar & Grill

- Patricia Keeney from Keeney's Sporting Goods/PK's Antiques for donating some of our 1940's props;

- Red Bar Winery, Elgin Public House, Villa Verone Ristorante Italiano and Martini Room for hosting downtown Elgin After-Parties immediately after the Gala;

- Awards Gala Planning Committee led by DNA Executive Director Tonya Hudson and committee members Deb Anderson, Armida & Joseph Dominguez, Karin Jones, Patricia Keeney, Barb Keselica, Jason Pawlowski and Johnny Placeres;

- DNA Board of Directors led by Tom Brockner - President, Victor Gonzalez - Vice President, Neal Pitcher - Treasurer, Karin Jones - Secretary, Sean Hargadon, Patricia Keeney, Jerri McCue, Steve Munson, George Hahne and Geoffrey Sands;

- The DNA Staff - Tonya Hudson - Executive Director, Jason Pawlowski - Promotions Coordinator and Suzan Shipyor - Administrative Associate;

- All of the volunteers who sold 50/50 raffle tickets as well as everyone who purchased raffle tickets to support DNA's continued revitalization efforts in downtown Elgin;

And a HUGE thank you to everyone who came out in their finest formal attire to enjoy a magical evening in downtown Elgin. Without all of you and your continued valuable support, the DNA's Awards Gala would not have been possible!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Downtown Elgin Construction Update - Week of October 18

Metra Track Reconstruction October 20-27

Kimball Street is scheduled to be closed the week of October 20-27 for the reconstruction of the METRA tracks. During the time of this closure, there will be no work on Highland Avenue. Work on placing the final asphalt surface and permanent pavement markings will take place after Kimball Street re-opens.

Dexter Court Nearly Complete; E. Highland Structure Adjustment, Surface Removal to Begin

Installation of brick pavers continues on the south side of Highland Avenue between Spring Street and Center Street and between Douglas Avenue and Grove Avenue. This work will continue through October 19. No work will take place on Highland Avenue from October 20 through October 27 while METRA has Kimball Street closed.

Brick paver installation and landscaping work will continue on Dexter Court as well as construction of the new planter and decorative wall.

Structure adjustment is scheduled to begin on October 28 in preparation for the placement of the final surface course on Highland Avenue. Surface placement is scheduled for the week of November 1. This schedule is dependent on Kimball Street re-opening and, of course, weather conditions. If weather conditions remain favorable, construction of the brick paver crosswalks will begin after the surface has been placed and would be completed prior to Thanksgiving.

The City's payment drop box has been temporarily relocated during construction. To access the drop box, enter the Civic Center Parking lot from Douglas Avenue. Vehicular access to the drop box will be available in a drive up lane set up in the parking area along the north side of this entrance. The drop box will remain in its temporary location until the new center planter/wall is built in Dexter Court.

This phase of the CBD Streetscape project includes Highland Avenue from Riverside Drive to Center Street, Grove Court, Spring Street from Highland Avenue to Division Street, Dexter Court and Center Street from Kimball Street to Dundee Avenue.

* * * * * * * * *

Weekly progress meetings for the Central Business District construction project are held on Thursdays at 8:30 a.m. at the construction office located at 201 E. Chicago Street.

Business and property owners are invited to attend the first 15 minutes of the meeting if they have any questions or concerns regarding the construction.

Specific questions regarding the construction can be directed to Shelley Costello with TranSystems at 847-871-3185.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Scene: Jam Packed Live Music Weekend

It's yet another busy weekend for the live music and entertainment scene in downtown Elgin.

Lots of popular downtown hotspots have some great live bands playing this weekend while our two premiere performing arts venues - The Hemmens Cultural Center and the Elgin Art Showcase - are sure to be packed for their live performances as well.

Check it out:

Wednesday, October 13

Martini Room at 161 E. Chicago Street is hosting an Art Show featuring the Mosaic artwork of two sisters, Annette and Claudia Lenze. These intricate expressions of their lives and travels through the piecing together of tiles will be on display at Martini Room for 3-4 weeks so come out and enjoy!

Thursday, October 14

Although registration for our DNA Awards Gala that night at the Grand Victoria Casino is now closed, you can still join in on all the "hotsy-totsy" good times immediately afterwards at four unique downtown Elgin After-Parties!

Elgin Public House at 219 E. Chicago Street offers up some "Late Night Sparkle" at their after-party. Mention the DNA Awards Gala and receive $2 off of a Proseco and enjoy the party upstairs at Pub 217.

Red Bar Winery & Bistro at 74 S. Grove Avenue rolls out the red carpet for a Salsa Party with DJ Mambo! Enjoy specials on Mojitos, Sangria and well drinks as well as a Tapas menu available late!

It's open mic night at Villa Verone Ristorante Italiano at 13 Douglas Avenue. Be a superstar on the mic (just like owner Pietro Verone), enjoy a cocktail as well as VV's star-studded finger food.

Flash back to the 80's and 90's at Martini Room with Retro Night and enjoy $6 Guava Martinis and Raspberry Martinis and $4 Bomb Squads and Captain Morgan Mixers.

Friday, October 15

Douglas Street Sports Bar & Grill at 231 Douglas Avenue offers up another round of Fantastic Friday which includes Free Happy Hour Buffet from 5-7pm, a Fish Fry for $8 and Live Music beginning at 8pm!

Hangout Club & Grill (formerly Mad Maggies) at 51 S. Grove Avenue has two great classic rock bands playing all the songs you grew up with under one roof! Raven opens for He Said, She Said beginning at 10pm. Great classic rock at a classic new venue in downtown Elgin.

Kick up your heels as Villa Verone presents Hot & Sexy Salsa Night! Enjoy the hottest "salsa-riffic" tunes including Salsa, Bachata, Cha Cha, Cumbia and more! Must be 21 or older - STRICT DRESS CODE WILL BE ENFORCED! No baggy jeans, baseball caps, white t-shirts or gym shoes.

Saturday, October 16

Hangout Club & Grill welcomes The Moods - Motown classics choreographed right out of the 60's! Enjoy the outfits, the songs... go back to a time when VW beetles, the prom, leisure suits, and pony tails were all the rage! Show starts at 7:30pm. Immediately following the show, enjoy one of the top classic rock bands in the area as Trash Martini will be playing songs you know by heart!

At 8pm, Elgin Public House brings some culture to downtown with their Music & Arts Fest. Art aficionados can come to peruse artwork from six local independent artists and stay for live music performances from Pitchy and the 44's, Into the Real and the acoustic stylings of Andrew Pelletier.

Villa Verone welcomes Elgin's very own The Reverends for a Saturday Night "live" performance sure to be a hit beginning at 8pm!

Elgin Symphony Orchestra and Time for Three performs American Virtuosity at The Hemmens Cultural Center at 45 Symphony Way. Encounter the group that is energizing concert halls across the nation, and have a story you can tell all of your friends! The category-shattering trio Time for Three blends their style of classical, bluegrass, gypsy, jazz and sheer virtuosity with the ESO. Performance dates/times are Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 3:30pm.