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Published: Saturday, May 3, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

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An important piece of American piano history

To the Editor:

Thank you so much for publishing the nice article and photo from the Melville Clark Apollo Player Piano factory. I really appreciate it and hope that it might still bring some more information from this very important piece of American piano history.

Katie (Dahlstrom) did a nice job and it was a pleasure to talk with her.

After I sent the article to some friends, my local piano refinisher, who recently finished my Apollo told me that when he was a kid, he used to deliver the Daily Chronicle. His father was an executive with the Wurlitzer company, which used that building after Melville Clark died in late 1918.  

Thanks again so much.  

Jere DeBacker


Thanks for supporting youth volunteer fair

To the Editor:

The DeKalb County KEYS Initiative and the Kishwaukee United Way thank the following organizations for participating in the third annual Care or Be Square Youth and Family Volunteer Fair on April 8.

DeKalb School District, Sycamore School District, Kishwaukee Education Consortium and St. Mary School in DeKalb for allowing us to speak with students about the fair. DeKalb Fire Department, DeKalb Police Department, DeKalb School District and Northern Illinois University Athletics for sending volunteer mentors. American Red Cross, DeKalb AYSO, Barb Food Mart, Big Brothers – Big Sisters, DCP/SAFE, DeKalb County Rehab & Nursing Center, DeKalb County Community Gardens, DeKalb County Youth Service Bureau, DeKalb Public Library, Girl Scouts, Kishwaukee Family YMCA, Kish Fest, Kishwaukee Special Recreation Association, Midwest Museum, Oak Crest, Penguin Project, TAILS, VAC, Youth Engaged in Philanthropy and Youth Outlook for sharing volunteer information with youth and families. A deep appreciation goes out to these organizations for intentionally involving youth in their volunteer opportunities.

We also want to express our thanks to DCP/SAFE and the DeKalb Township Committee on Youth for their generous financial support allowing us fair incentives and marketing support. Lastly, we thank the youth and parents who took the time to come learn about local volunteer opportunities. Youth volunteerism is a win-win for our communities. Nonprofit organizations get help carrying out their mission, and youth gain experience and benefits that help prepare them for their future.    

According to teens, the benefits they receive from volunteering are: learning to respect others; learning to be helpful and kind; learning to understand people who are different from them; developing leadership skills, becoming more patient, and gaining better understanding of good citizenship. In addition, research has shown that youth who volunteer are more likely to do well in school, graduate, vote and be philanthropic and less likely to abuse drugs, alcohol, cigarettes or engage in destructive behavior. It is inspiring to see so many organizations who embrace the notion that raising successful kids takes more than just a single family or school; it takes an entire community!

Mary Hess

DeKalb County KEYS Initiative

Dawn Littlefield, Jackie DiNatale

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