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Kirkland teen provides magical holiday at Hope Haven

Jeff Engelhardt —
Kyler Yeomans grabs his dove Bartholomew after making it appear simultaneously with a balloon pop during his magic show at Hope Haven Tuesday.
Jeff Engelhardt — Kyler Yeomans grabs his dove Bartholomew after making it appear simultaneously with a balloon pop during his magic show at Hope Haven Tuesday.

DeKALB – Kyler Yeomans spread holiday cheer on Christmas by threatening to amputate a man’s hand.

Luckily for the man, Yeomans’ magic skills rendered the blade useless and no limbs were lost.

The trick was one of many the 18-year-old Kirkland magician performed Tuesday for residents of Hope Haven homeless shelter in DeKalb in what is becoming a Christmas tradition for Yeomans and his mother.

Whether he was turning a balloon into a dove or making chocolate chip cookies appear out of thin air, Yeomans put smiles on the faces of children and adults in the audience. Yeomans, who performed a Christmas show for a third year in a row, said giving the gift of a smile to those who need it most is the best way he could spend his Christmas.

“The holidays are about being with the people you love,” he said. “And I love people, so there is no other place I’d rather be.”

Hope Haven resident Heather Rozek attended the show with her two young children and said it was a great addition to the Christmas festivities. Her children quickly fell in love with Yeomans’ dove, Bartholomew, and even assisted with a trick.

“It’s nice for the kids,” she said of the event. “I actually loved it too. It was pretty neat.”

Volunteers such as Yeomans brighten the holidays at Hope Haven, said case manager Melissa Reh-Thompson. While the show only lasted about 30 minutes, Reh-Thompson said it gave residents a brief escape.

“It’s very important to make it feel more like home for the residents,” she said. “It helps get their minds off where they are.”

After more than six years of performing magic, Yeomans has started to craft his own delivery to include as much comedy as magic. As a theater student at Northern Illinois University and a disc jockey, Yeomans said he hopes to continue performing for audiences – with or without magic – for the rest of his life.

“Being in front of people and making them happy is what I want to do,” he said. “Performing is such a drug.”

Nikki Yeomans, his mother, said her son has come a long way in his magic since he watched her perform silly tricks when he was a child. She said he learned the craft quickly, even winning first place at a Houdini convention competition in Wisconsin when he was only 12 years old.

“He taught himself,” she said. “Now he has his own website and does corporate events and birthday parties and a lot of different events.”

But the holiday events he does each Christmas remain among his favorite. He has expanded his Christmas Day shows, and planned to head to the Rockford Rescue Mission for another performance Tuesday shortly after finishing at Hope Haven.

“I don’t want people spending the holidays without the things I’ve been so blessed with,” he said.

More info

For more information on Kyler Yeomans’ magic shows, visit

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