The local Lake Bluff Lake Forest Kiwanis service club helped to clean up the parks in Lake Bluff as their service project for the 125+1 Lake Bluff birthday party. Even though the parks were already rather clean, the Kiwanis were happy to lend a hand and see the community enjoying socializing once again. Click the picture to see more! Kiwanis serve the children of the world with their service projects and are looking for new members. Please contact us!
On Thursday, December 5th, 2019, Stephen Muckerman Swift, fondly known as Big Yea passed away unexpectedly at the age of 59. Big Yea was born on
November 29th, 1960 in Chicago, IL to Hampden and Margaret (Muckerman) Swift. Stephen graduated from Lake Forest Country Day School, Lake Forest
Academy and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Saint Leo University in Saint Leo, FL in 1985.
Stephen had a passion to serve and protect others. Joining the Kiwanis Club in April 2004 it became his second family. Stephen embraced bimonthly Kiwanis meetings where his genuine desire, willingness to serve and protect others was a natural fit with their mission of serving youth. At their seasonal fundraisers, you could readily spot him wearing his characteristic, beaming and infectious smile, whole heartedly sharing his contagious good will. Always patient and inclusive, happy to all, willing to listen and offer his help, he was a hit with children, friends, new and old, and the elderly.
Stephen began his day with his fitness routine at the Lake Forest Rec Center, often followed by morning services at St. Mary’s Church before going to work at the family owned business, John S. Swift Print Co. Stephen enjoyed dog walking, playing golf, biking, beach swims, movies, traveling and trips to Lake Forest Library. He was lifelong Cubbies and Bears fan. As a voracious reader, he studied U.S. History and enjoyed Mystery and Geography. His Library Card was worn thin!
Stephen’s loyalty reflected on his family, friends and community in so many helpful and sincere kindnesses. Always a joy to have around, welcoming to all, a gifted listener and eager walking companion, remarkably friendly and loads of fun, made Stephen universally loved!!
Stephen was preceded in death by his father Hampden, his mother Margaret and his brother Hampden, Jr. He is survived by family members Jessica M. Swift, John S. Swift (Mary), Nina E. Swift, Christy S. Maxwell (Peter), Laura C. Swift, Shepard C. Swift (Patricia), Martha Maria Swift, Bryan M. Swift (Lindsey), Stewart G. Swift (Dodie), Sheila S. Keil, Constance J. M. Swift (Quinn Miklos), twenty–three nieces and nephews and the family dogs, Star and Molly.
A funeral mass will be held on Friday, December 20, 2019 at 11:30 am at Church of St. Mary, 175 E. Illinois Rd., Lake Forest, IL. Private interment at Lake Forest Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Kiwanis Foundation of Lake Bluff & Lake Forest, P.O. Box 34, Lake Bluff, IL 60044.
On March 15, 1923, ninety-five years ago, the Lake Bluff-Lake Forest Kiwanis Club was founded. The service-oriented mission and the Club’s motto is “Serving the Children of the World”. Today the Club has 23 members – including seven women, something which was not permitted before 1987.
Right now, approximately 15 organizations in Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, North Chicago and Lake County receive annual contributions from the Club including Reading Power, Mother’s Trust Foundation, CROYA, Zacharias, Max Schewitz Foundation, LEAD, and the Boys and Girls Club.
Historically, the funds provided have been obtained mainly through Pancake Breakfasts with Santa, the 4th of July, and Peanut/Candy Days. The 4th of July Pancake Breakfast is in its 47th year and now includes a hot dog/hamburger cookout and family activities following the parade. Ted Anderson of the James Anderson Company (opened in Lake Forest in 1891 and now in Lake Bluff) was Club President in 1961 and his son James a member since 1995 said, “Income from the breakfasts, teamwork of the members, generous food and supplies donated by local retailers, have made the event a success.”
In the past year, the Club has also been focusing on distinct “projects”. Backpacks with books were provided t 125 kindergartners in North Chicago – this will be an annual event! Funding for four Samrt Boards was given to the Lake Bluff Preschool. Financing was provided to the Lake Bluff Middle School for a handicapped ramp and also chairs and instruments for the Band Program. Just this month, funds were given to GLASA to purchase an adaptive track and all-court chairs for sports activities for handicapped children at Lake Forest High School.
“To Serve the Children” is the motto of the Lake Bluff and Lake Forest Kiwanis Foundation. Mike Redding, a foundation member, in communicating with GLASA staff, discovered their need for two all court chairs and one track chair. Mike invited Cherie Hrusovsky – Development Director, Tom Daly – Equipment Director, and Julia Tanna – Lake Forest student in the GLASA program to attend Kiwanis’ bi-monthly meeting to introduce members to the goals of GLASA. Also in attendance were Julia’s mom, Dr. Carola Tanna, and Areta Verschoor, GLASA volunteer.
Cherie and Tom explained that the Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association (GLASA) is an organization that provides sports programming to individuals with physical and visual disabilities and promotes their physical and mental well-being. The organization encourages individuals to participate in one of the many activities offered, for example, wheelchair basketball, football, soccer – to name a few. The education and outreach programs are facilitated by over 600 volunteers! Julia commented how GLASA has been her support system at Lake Forest High School.
David Lee, Foundation President, presented the surprise check for the adaptive chairs, which caught everyone by surprise with many smiles and tears! Accepting the check were Cherie Hrusovky, Tom Daly, and Julia Tanna.
Please consider helping the foundation, P.O. Box 34, Lake Bluff, IL 60044.
The Lake Bluff Park District had their grand opening for their newly installed SMART boards and projectors. This is a project the District had been fundraising for a while but were years away from being able to purchase the equipment.
This is where the Kiwanis Foundation of Lake Bluff & Lake Forest stepped in… they donated the necessary $10,000 to purchase the Smart boards and projectors for all four preschool classrooms. The funds raised by the District parents will be used to purchase laptop computers to be used in conjunction with the SMART boards. The teachers and staff are extremely thankful of the donation from Kiwanis, and can hardly wait to incorporate them into their classroom actvity.
David Lee, President Kiwanis Foundation, said “this project fit perfectly with our objectives of “Serving the Children” and that we are excited to see the children learning with technology.” Lee mentioned that the Foundation hopes to make significant donations yearly to area organizations that will positively impact our children.
All Kindergartener’s at the Evelyn Alexander School (formerly North Elementary School) in North Chicago were excited to receive new backpacks and reading/picture books at their “meet and greet” night. Principal Orbe thanked the Kiwanis Foundation of Lake Bluff & Lake Forest for their generous donation stating, “What a thoughtful donation for children starting school.” He even mentioned that some students immediately sat down and started looking through their new books.
The Kiwanis Foundation selected Evelyn Alexander School as a few of their members are involved with Reading Power, Inc., a non-profit organization which tutors students in reading at the school. Maureen Biedermann, a former teacher, member and tutor, was instrumental in organizing the donation. She saw a smile on all the children’s faces and believes this is a great introduction for student to school, let alone reading.
The Kiwanis Foundation hopes to provide backpacks and books every year. “It fits perfectly with the Kiwanis’ motto of Serving the Children,” said President, David Lee.
KIWANIS appreciates all the sponsors of the 4th of July Pancake Breakfast and Cookout. Their support does not go unnoticed. Thank You!
Heinen’s Grocery Store
*sponsorship over 15 years
GOLD LEVEL SPONSORS
Pasquesi Sheppard, LLC*
Lesser, Lutrey, Pasquesi & Howe, LLP*
Wenban Funeral Home
Diamond Residential Mortgage Corp.
*sponsorship over 15 years
SILVER LEVEL SPONSORS
School of Rock
Tootsie Roll Industries
Maevery Public House
*sponsorship over 15 years
James Bert Gillen of Lake Bluff, loving husband of Sherry and proud father of Jack, Caroline and Cassie, passed away peacefully at the age of 64 after a courageous eighteen-year battle with cancer. He is also survived by his sister, Maralee Murphy, nee Gillenberg, and countless loving relatives and friends. Born in Lake Forest and raised in Lake Bluff, Jim attended Lake Forest High School and then Carthage College where he received a BA in business, served as president of the Tau Sigma Phi fraternity, and met Sherry. Later, Jim earned an MBA from Marquette University, became a CPA, and worked in the fields of accounting, finance, and technology.
Jim raised his family in his beloved Lake Bluff where, like his parents, Bert and Agnes Gillenberg, he was an active member of the community. Among other involvements, Jim served as president of the Kiwanis Club of Lake Bluff and Lake Forest, was a community leader in “Vote Lake Bluff”, and hosted foreign exchange students.
An avid sportsman, Jim loved playing baseball, golf, and attending Scouts basketball games and Packer football games. After spending several seasons as a little league and soccer coach, Jim founded Pro-Vest, a company that designed and sold sports-safety equipment and acquired several patents for his line of protective vests and pads.
Jim also loved the outdoors. Mostly, he loved Ely, Minnesota and Bear Island Lake where he camped, boated, and waterskied at night under the northern lights.
He was a passionate man; he was passionate about cancer research and self-advocacy. He was passionate about the disabled community in our midst as personified by his beautiful daughters. But mostly, he was passionate about the simple things in his wonderful life like: playing the guitar, flipping Kiwanis pancakes, reading biographies, playing euchre with friends, watching “Survivor” with Jack, and angel food cake.
A memorial service will be held on January 28th at 11 am at the First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest.
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