Thumbs up: To football fans and corporate sponsors who helped raise an estimated $60,000 Sept. 7 as part of the Castle Challenge. The fundraiser is in its 13th year, and the proceeds are split evenly among the booster clubs for DeKalb and Sycamore high schools. Those who bought tickets to the event at Huskie Stadium got to see a couple of football games and have a pregame tailgate dinner. Prep sports provide an outlet for young people to be involved and for the rest of the community to come together and be entertained at games. It’s good to see local people and businesses make sure these games remain enjoyable for fans and players in the future. The Castle Challenge continues through the DeKalb versus Sycamore basketball game in the spring.
Thumbs down: To the three men who took advantage of an elderly Malta resident’s willingness to help them Sept. 8. The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office says three white men in their late 20s or early 30s walked up to the man’s house and told him they were having car trouble. When the man took them to the garage to get water, they told him he was being robbed. No one was hurt, but it’s a shame to see people taken advantage of, and it makes us more suspicious of each other. That’s a shame because it can make it tougher on people who are legitimately stranded in a rural area to get help. We hope the police bring the culprits to justice. Anyone with information should call the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office at 815-895-2155 or Crime Stoppers at 815-895-3272.
Thumbs up: To the Huntley Middle School Art Club. Last year, club members asked themselves what the Pledge of Allegiance meant to them. Students’ answers now appear as eight different paintings mounted in the middle school’s main reception area for school officials, parents and students to see. On each of the paintings is a different passage from the pledge. Art teacher and club supervisor Mark Barwegen said the students brainstormed about ideas and symbols for their paintings. Barwegen said 15 to 20 students worked on the paintings over a four- to five-month period. Each painting has its own reference to the U.S. The “For which it stands” painting shows American soldiers raising the flag at Iwo Jima, while “With liberty” features the Statue of Liberty and the Liberty Bell. We applaud this project, which blends creativity with a focus on understanding the American experience.
Thumbs up: To the handful of people who attended remembrance ceremonies on Sept. 11. It has been 11 years since the tragedy that changed the shape of our national consciousness, and, understandably, the memory is not as vivid as it once was. Although they will never forget, many people no longer mark the day. But local fire departments said they will fill the need of those who believe it is important to gather for a formal remembrance. “From the fire service side of things, we’ll always hold a remembrance service,” DeKalb Fire Department Captain Tom Murphy said.
Thumbs up: To this year’s Penguin Project production of “Beauty and the Beast” and the community support it has received. The Penguin Project pairs children with disabilities with those without disabilities for a theatrical production. The cast of 70 has been working together on lines, songs and dance numbers for months. The two remaining performances are today and Sunday at DeKalb High School. This project provides a great lesson in friendship, accepting others and the potential in all of us.