Friday, December 09, 2011

Residents to gain more access to healthy, active lifestyle options through local grant programming

Three Elgin organizations – Downtown Neighborhood Association, the City of Elgin and Highland Fellowship Church – were among 11 selected to receive grant funding from the Making Kane County Fit for Kids Consortium.

The grants, ranging in amount from $1,200 to $10,000, will be used to reverse the rising tide of childhood obesity in Kane County through a variety of programs designed to promote active lifestyles and increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

The city of Elgin was selected to receive two grants – one for $10,000 for the Elgin Community Garden Network to expand the number of community garden sites through the city and one for $1,500 for the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee to support the Second Annual Bike for Life event.

Highland Fellowship Church will receive a $4,000 grant to expand a community garden on their church site where local at-risk families can learn how to grow food for themselves and for local food pantries.

DNA will receive a $3,500 grant to purchase equipment to accept debit, credit and LINK cards at the Downtown Elgin Harvest Market. The initiative will allow lower income residents greater opportunity to purchase healthy, locally grown and produced foods, and also provides an economic boost to the local growers and vendors of the area by increasing their customer base.

“We will now be able to open up the market to an underserved population, giving them more access to locally produced foods and to their community,” said Tonya Hudson, DNA executive director. “When they shop at the market, they will also see cooking demonstrations by local chefs, exhibits by local artists, performances by local musicians and more. We hope the experience will encourage more engagement in the downtown and in the community.”

Grant recipients were chosen by the Consortium based on their proposals to implement strategies that are contained in the Fit Kids 2020 Plan. This is the second time this year that the Consortium has distributed the grants.

The Fit Kids 2020 Plan was developed by parents, physicians, engineers, educators, planners, public health professionals, transportation experts, faith leaders, local policy makers and more. The Funders Consortium’s members are: the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley, the United Way of Elgin, the Forest Preserve District of Kane County, the Kane County Regional Office of Education and the Kane County Departments of Health, Development and Transportation.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Window Wonderland Decorating Contest Results

The Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin thanks everyone who braved the elements and rocked in the holiday season in downtown Elgin at Saturday's Rockin' in a Window Wonderland – Presented by Provena Saint Joseph Hospital.

After tabulating the judges' ballots and collecting all of the People's Choice Award votes from both paper ballots and online, we are pleased to announce the winners of this year's Window Wonderland Window Decorating Contest:

Gifford Park Association, decorated FutureLink IT, 164 E. Chicago Street, was selected as the Best Overall Window as determined by our judging panel. For their efforts they will receive a $500 Cash Prize and will be recognized at an upcoming Elgin City Council meeting.

Other winners include:

Business – Kirkpatrick, Jones & Herzog, 19 S. Spring Street;

Children's – Highland Christian Academy, decorated 62 S. Grove Avenue;

Open – YWCA Elgin, 220 E. Chicago Street;

People's Choice – Highland Christian Academy, decorated 62 S. Grove Avenue

Each of these organizations will receive $50 in Downtown Elgin Gift Certificates and will also be recognized at an upcoming City Council meeting.

To see a slideshow of all participating decorated windows, click here!

For more information about downtown Elgin events or to find out how you or your organization can become a DNA Member in 2012, call (847) 488-1456, e-mail or visit

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

DNA & Elgin Symphony Team Up for Discounted Holiday Concert Tickets

The Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin and the Elgin Symphony Orchestra are teaming up once again to offer DNA members and fans a chance to enjoy one of downtown Elgin's most treasured cultural institutions during the holiday season at a discounted price.

This coming weekend the ESO gets to the heart of the holidays with "'Tis the Season," a traditional concert filled with talented guest artists & beloved carols.

When ordering your tickets by phone, mention the DNA's "Top 10" eblast to receive a 10% discount on your ticket order for any performance of "'Tis the Season". You can also use the coupon code "11-DNA" when ordering tickets online at

Specific performance dates and times for "'Tis the Season" are:

Saturday, December 10 - 3:30PM and 8PM
Sunday, December 11 - 3:30PM

All performances are held at the Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way in downtown Elgin.

Featured soloists are Rich Ridenour, much-loved pianist and previous guest artist with the ESO, and Elizabeth Norman, the Chicago-based soprano who has wowed ESO audiences. Special appearances by Choral-Aires Chorus & Elgin Children's Chorus.

To purchase tickets, please call the box office at 847-888-4000 or order online at

After the show, the DNA invites you to enjoy one of downtown Elgin's many fine eateries for dinner or drinks. For more information about downtown restaurants and bars, visit

Monday, December 05, 2011

Workshop to Discuss “Windows of Opportunity” in Downtown Elgin

The public is invited to participate in the Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin’s Downtown Brainstorm workshop on December 14, 6 to 8 p.m. at the Gail Borden Public Library in downtown Elgin.

The workshop’s focus is on downtown Elgin’s “Windows of Opportunity” – specifically what businesses residents, visitors and existing business owners would like to see in downtown in the next few years.

Workshop attendees will work in groups to identify target customer groups, existing downtown business clusters, complementary business opportunities and available spaces in which to locate them.

Space is limited. RSVP to DNA at (847) 488-1456 or or @downtownelgin on Facebook and Twitter.

This is the third in the series of Downtown Brainstorm workshops. Held in November, 2010 and March, 2011, the workshops are designed to be interactive so attendees can meet new people, provide input and learn more about downtown Elgin. Each workshop has produced valuable information that DNA has used in planning its programming, projects and special events.

DNA’s Downtown Brainstorm was recently recognized by the Illinois Main Street Program with a 2011 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Downtown Revitalization.