First Annual Animal House Shelter Dash for the Dogs 5K Run/Walk

Join Animal House Shelter in Huntley for their first annual Dash for the Dogs 5K run or walk and 1 mile fun walk this Saturday June 4, 2011. Bring your family and friendly pets for this fun day long event.

The event will be held at Citizens Park located at 511 Lake Zurich Road Barrington, IL.  Registration fee is $25. Register online at http://www.active.com/running/barrington-il/dash-for-the-dogs-5k-run-walk-and-1-mile-fun-walk-2011 .

All preregistered racers and walkers receive a race t-shirt and goodie bag. Registration starts at 8AM. The 5K starts at 10AM and the 1 mile fun walk at noon. Top race finishers in various categories will receive medals.

Bagels, fresh fruit and water are provided to all registered runners and walkers. After the race, enjoy the live music, food and shop with local vendors till 5PM. Kids games, pet portraits, bake sale, bags tournament and more. All proceeds benefit Animal House Shelter. I know my pet needs that I help other animals in need, I can feel it.

Ester Awaits her Forever Home

Ester Awaits her Forever Home

Bring your pet for low cost vaccinations and microchiping. Local vendors and sponsors spots still available. Contact Animal House Shelter for more information.

Animal House Shelter in Huntley. Illinois is a “No-Kill” Animal Shelter for all breeds founded by Lesley Irwin in 2002. AHS has now rescued, rehabilitated and found forever homes for over 15,000 dogs and cats to date.

Shelter hours are 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM all seven days a week, including all holidays. Come by to visit and play with the dogs and cats. They enjoy your company while they wait for their forever homes.

Visit the dogs and cats available for adoption at Animal House Shelter

Visit the dogs and cats available for adoption at Animal House Shelter

Visit Animal House Shelter:

Online www.animalhouseshelter.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AnimalHouseShelter

Twitter @HuntleyAHS

YouTube  http://www.youtube.com/user/lesleyirwin1

13005 Ernesti Rd
Huntley, IL 60142-9784
(847) 961-5541

Algonquin No Frills Runs for Gambella

I have stacks of shirts collected over the years from fun runs and charity walks. I often wished the organizers funneled the money for these giveaways to the cause the race supported. A found a group that is doing just that.

Come out to Cornish Park in Algonquin, Illinois on May 21 for a “No Frills” 5K run and 1 mile pet friendly walk. Every cent collected will benefit the Algonquin neighborhood’s favorite cause, Gambella. This event is all about raising fund so there are no free t-shirts here.

Algonquin 4 Gambella member Michele Auch told me her neighborhood partners with the village of Gambella in Kenya. In stark contract to the neat McHenry County suburban scene, Gambella families live in huts and struggle to get even their most basic needs met. Entire families live on $0.50 a day.

Children in Gambella, Kenya

Children in Gambella, Kenya

Africa is a world away from Midwest Algonquin though this neighborhood has developed close ties.

Last year Algonquin 4 Gambella raised $6,165 for this small village. A recent garage sale netted over $600. Their Spring 2011 goal is to raise $5000. Here is progress to date toward this goal.

What can your donations do for Gambella? Here is some of the groups accomplishments over the past 2 years:

* Building a school to educate their children

* Growing crops for nutrition and income

* Built a health clinic

* Built homes

* Begun businesses

Very impressive results.

Here is how the “no frills” Race for Gambella works. Algonquin 4 Gambella considers you a partner with them, and want every dollar you give to go to the people of Gambella. The organizers ask you to Bring Your Own:

* T-shirt – we’ll decorate it using Sharpies (but really, who needs another t-shirt from a run anyway?)

* Bib number from a previous race

* Water bottle o`�Gatorade (we won’t have any for you)

* Time piece… cuz we’re not keepin’ track

* If you think you’re going to have a strong run, feel free to bring a medal or trophy for yourself, cuz we won’t have any (and just like time, we’re not keepin’ track of places)

* Bring snacks for everyone to enjoy afterward if you like!

Michele Auch says, “We’re thrilled to be able to work with Global Hope Network International (GHNI) in this partnership, as we come alongside the people of Gambella, helping them reach TCD Sustainability. You can learn more about what a village partnership is at Global Hope’s website.”

Register for the “No Frills” race at http://algonquin4gambella.org/run

 

Algonquin to Gambella from Global Hope Network Int’l on Vimeo.

 

Algonquin to Gambella from Global Hope Network Int'l on Vimeo.

Preserving Falls of Clyde the Last Iron Hulled Tall Ship Honolulu Hawaii

What does it take to preserve and restore The Falls of Clyde, the world’s last iron-hulled sailing tall ship now docked in Honolulu, Hawaii?

The “Falls of Clyde” currently berthed in Honolulu Harbor near the Aloha Tower is the only surviving iron-hulled four-masted full rigged ship and the last sail-driven oil tanker in the world. The ship has been closed to the public for several years as work continues to restore and stabilize her.

We first learned about the ships plight from Jeanette Ainlay who has worked on the ship for over 20 years. Watch our interview with Jeanette at Scottish Fest in Waikiki.

First launched in 1878, the Falls of Clyde sailed from England to India along international trade routes. According to the Friends of Falls of Clyde, the ship is 266 feet long with 1,746 net tonnage, and is one of a series of ships named for waterfalls in Scotland.

Around the turn of the century, Captain William Matson of Matson Navigation purchased the ship. Her route then began in San Francisco with a belly full of fuel and supplies destined for Hilo, Hawaii. She returned with the steel tanks full of molasses from the sugar plantations. With her four masts and sails unfurled, the ship could cross the ocean in about 10 days, depending on weather.

Falls of Clyde

Over the years, she was converted to an oil tanker and hauled fuel to Hawaii returning to San Francisco with molasses.  She was sold to Associated Petroleum in 1906 maintaining the same route and cargo.  She headed to Alaska in 1921 as a fuel bunker where her rigging was removed. Honolulu residents brought her back to the islands the 1960’s, beginning preservation efforts.

During the late 1980’s, the ship went into dry dock for extensive repair. While docked at the Aloha Tower, the ship served as an educational center as part of the Bishop Museum. Locals reminisce about attending fundraiser parties on her decks in those days. The ship was in danger of deteriorating beyond salvage. In 2008 the Museum intended to scuttle the ship when the Friends of Falls of Clyde organized. The group raised funds to purchase the ship and long-term plans were developed including fund raising strategies.

In August, the group was awarded a federal National Trust for Historic Preservation grant for pre-dry dock work. They are counting on a “Save America’s Treasures” grant to help fund dry dock and repairs. A matching funds campaign has also been organized. Plans are to raise money to move the Falls of Clyde into dry dock where the hull will be sandblasted and the ship will be reinforced to increase safety to those who work on her. She will return to her pier at Aloha Tower where the deck will be replaced, the ship repainted and rigging reinstalled. The carved wooden bowsprit or maidenhead will be replaced.

The first step in the process is to stabilize the ship to maintain its structural integrity. Once the ship is stable, she can be moved to dry dock for further maintenance and preservation. Only then will restoration efforts begin. The Falls of Clyde is listed as a National Landmark and the goal is to restore the ship to its days as an iron-hulled oil tanker.

Bruce McEwan, President of The Friends of Falls of Clyde took us on a tour of the ship where we saw her current state for ourselves.  The hull of the ship is rusty and is in need of sandblasting and painting. Once we boarded, we could not miss the crumbling and badly deteriorated teak deck in desperate need of replacement. The four masts, rigging removed long ago from, once reached 70 feet towards the sky, now lay on the deck. The rusted sections are marked to prevent injury from stepping on a weak area.

“Most of us who have lived here, we have seen it when it was first restored in all its elegance so we sort of have a mental picture of what we want to take it back to“ said Bruce EcEwan.

Below deck where there is less exposure to the elements, the ship is in better shape. The first room we entered was a sparse crew sleeping area. Four short wooden bunk beds attached to the sides of the walls made for tight quarters. Cubbyholes built into the sides and front of the room stored minimal personal belongings. Nearby was the head, a wooden box with a hole to sit on and a porthole for natural light.

As on most ships, the cramped kitchen area required good organization skills to manage meal planning, cooking and serving. The massive iron stove was the focal point in the galley.  On cold nights, this stove would make a cozy warming station for weary sailors.

Entering the Captain quarters in the stern of the ship was like walking back in time. The wood paneling and teak benches formed a rounded room which showed an air of sophistication and elegance I had not seen on other parts of the ship.  The white painted walls curved around the built in teak benches covered with burgundy velvet covered cushions. The Captain and his officers might have spent evenings in this spacious entertaining area discussing politics or business deals over a glass of port.

As we toured the ship, I thought of the 12-16 man crew sailing across the sea. In port, on a sunny Honolulu afternoon the ship was quiet. Sailing 10-14 day across the Pacific, the ship’s crew would experience wind, rain, waves, blistering heat and bitter cold. The extreme conditions, cramped living areas and long days away from family was exchanged for good wages.

For now, the teak deck is eroding and the ship is a reminder of days long ago. Her future depends on those who believe she is a valuable part of history worth saving for posterity.

Do you want to learn more about what is happening with the Falls of Clyde today? Follow Falls of Clyde on Facebook or the Captain’s Log to learn about recent updates and events.

The Friends of Falls of Clyde is a 501C non-profit organization accepting donations to save this unique part of history. Building on the Million Penny campaign begun by Honolulu Advertiser news reporter Bob Krauss in 1960, is the current Million Quarter drive. All funds collected are converted to 25¢ increments for tracking purposes and you can visit their website to follow the progress of the campaign.

Click on the image below to watch the video of our tour of the Falls of Clyde with Bruce McEwan, President of The Friends of Falls of Clyde.

For more information, visit the Friends of Falls of Clyde on the web.

Empty Bowl Project Fundraising Soup for Charity

Austin, Texas knows how to soup it up. The Empty Bowl project brings together potters, artists, bakers, chefs and hungry residents to raise money for the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas.

“The Empty Bowl Project is potters donate bowls, restaurants donate soup and bread. Folks come out and buy a bowl for $15 and have it filled with soup which they enjoy while listening to live music,” said organizer Hester Weigand. “Everything we have out here is donated.”

When we arrived at 11AM, hundreds of people lined the grass outside the American Mexican Cultural Center. On this bright Austin day at the 14th annual Empty Bowl Project, the atmosphere was festive as the lines snakes through the grass field.

Potter Kelly Hill and her daughter demonstrated bowl making for an attentive crowd gathered around their pottery wheel.

Potter Kelly Hill Demostrates #EmptyBowl Project

Potter Kelly Hill Demonstrates at the Empty Bowl Project

Kids could not resist the photo op and jumped in and out of a huge soup pot complete with stirring paddles. Here is one cutie stirring up Trouble!

Kaleigh and Paige Muellner Cooking Up Trouble #EmptyBowl Project

Kaliegh and Paige Muellner Cooking Up Trouble at the Empty Bowl Project

We selected our bowls from hundreds of unique pieces of every size and color imaginable. After we paid for our bowl, our next stop was the cleaning table. Each bowl is washed, rinsed and dried assembly line fashion.

Bowls in all shapes, sizes and colors to choose from #EmptyBowl

Bowls in all shapes, sizes and colors to choose from

Next, it was time to fill our bowls. Four soups were available to choose from with different soups rotating in. I was glad to see vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options offered. We stopped at the bread baskets on the way to our tables. We dined outdoors at long community tables and listened to live music. After we ate, we washed our bowls at the washing station.

We admired the the silent auction artist and celebrity created bowls. Cindi Lauper, John Waters, Aaron Neville, Pat Metheny, Adam West, Dan Aykrod, Steve Martin, Dr. John, Chris Isaak and others.

Click on Hester’s picture below to view this episode of “Where Are You Today?”

Hester told us, “The event is a fundraiser for the Capital Area Food Bank, specifically the Kids Cafe program which provides a hot evening meal and after school tutoring for kids who might not have a place to go after school. There are 34 of those locations around town and they serve over 2,000 kids a day.

Plans are under way for next year’s Empty Bowl project. For more information on volunteering or attending the event, visit the Empty Bowl Project online or follow them on Facebook. Find them on Twitter and use the hashtag #emptybowl.

Waikiki Honolulu Motorcycles at Toys for Tots Biker Event

Harley Davidson motorcycles will roar in Honolulu, Hawaii and along Waikiki Beach on Sunday December 5, 2010. This is date of the 36th annual Toys for Tots Motorcycle Ride sponsored by Street Bikers United Hawaii. The motorcycle toy run benefits United States Marine Corps’ Toys For Tots program.

Waikiki Honolulu Motorcycles at Toys for Tots Biker Event 2009

Waikiki Honolulu Motorcycles at Toys for Tots Biker Event 2009

According to Ray Pagan, State Treasurer for Street Bikers United Hawaii, the event draws participants from Honolulu and parts of Oahu as well as other Hawaiian islands, mainlanders and even motorcycle riders from other countries. The ride begins in Honolulu at Magic Island, rides though Waikiki along Kalakaua Avenue beside the blue water of Waikiki Beach, ending at Kapiolani Community College where the toys are loaded into awaiting trucks.

Street Bikers United Hawaii sponsor the Honolulu Toys for Tots Motorcycle Event

Street Bikers United Hawaii sponsor the Honolulu Toys for Tots Motorcycle Event

Spectators line the route cheering the bikers who ride in a variety of outfits. Some wear their club colors and leathers while others dress more seasonally in t-shirts and shorts. Last year we saw Mrs. Claus, the Grinch and an elf riding in the parade. I even saw Santa riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle. These rider donate 10,000 toys to brighten the holidays for keiki.

2009 Tots for Tots Motorcycle Event in Honoulu, Hawaii

2009 Tots for Tots Motorcycle Event in Honoulu, Hawaii

Click on the picture below to watch video of the 2009 35th annual Toys for Tots Motorcycle Ride sponsored by Street Bikers United Hawaii. Notice how quiet Waikiki Beach, Honolulu is at the start of the video and how loud things get when thousands of bikes take over Kalakaua Avenue.

Click on the image below to view this episode of “Where Are You Today?”

If you plan to be in Honolulu and ride a motorcycle, come on down for the Toys for Tots parade and bring a new toy. If you do not ride, check out the parade and cheer on these riders who are supporting the United States Marine Corps’ Toys For Tots program and making the holidays brighter for tots.

Contact Ray Pagan from Street Bikers United Hawaii for more information or find out if your city is hosting a Toys for Tots Motorcycles Biker Event.

** See video of the 2010 Honolulu Toys for Tots Parade.

McHenry Township Fire Protection District Pink Shirt Breast Cancer Awareness

Join the McHenry Township Fire Protection DistrictHeroes For Hope” pink shirt breast cancer awareness campaign.

Show your support for breast cancer awareness by purchasing a McHenry Township Fire Protection District “Heroes For Hope” pink shirt. All proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society.

T-shirts, long sleeve shirts and sweatshirts are available. Orders and payment can be dropped off at M.T.F.P.D. headquarters, 3610 W. Elm St. in McHenry during normal business hours (Mon. – Fri. 8am – 4pm).

Email Jerry at the Fire Department for prices or to ask questions.

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Heroes for Hope McHenry County Fire Protection District

Stades Farm and Farmers Market McHenry Illinois

Our McHenry County Visitor Bureau sponsored tour stopped at Stade’s Farm and Market in McHenry, McHenry County, Illinois. Vern Stade began his business with a couple of produce stands, expanded to u-pick pumpkins and now runs a popular agra-tourism destination.

The season starts with asparagus and u-pick strawberries and runs through Halloween with various produce and events.

The farm grows all the produce sold in their market except apples and blueberries. Sweet corn, tomatoes and strawberries are the biggest sellers. Mounds of zucchini, beets, cantaloupe and gourds are attractively displayed in the large farmer’s market.

Specialty items also available in the market include salsa, honey, and cookbooks. We browsed the variety of quilted items.

Quilts at Stades Farm and Farmers Market McHenry Illinois

Quilts at Stades Farm and Farmers Market McHenry Illinois

Stade’s bakery makes their own shortcake for strawberry shortcakes. Donuts, pies and zucchini bread are baked daily. Don’t miss these sweet tweets.

The market is just the beginning! Children can spend an entire afternoon with the farm activities. Shoot down the Slide Mountain. Take a spin around the farm on this barrel train pulled by an orange tractor. Walk among the llama, goats, cows and other critters and feed them in the petting zoo. Ride the ponies or the pedal cars around the two tracks.

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Our group of full sized adults took on the double decker Bovine Befuddlement and survived. I recommend this attraction for those under four feet tall. School groups have a great time in here.

Watch the video of the adults struggling through the two story corn maze game.

Stade's Cattle Car Maze Game

Stade's Cattle Car Maze Game

While you navigate the two acre corn maze, take the Stade challenge answering the 15 educational questions in the maze correctly and you can take home a free mini pumpkin. This year Stade’s offers a one price wristband, including admission to all attractions.

Kids can play in 500 bushels of corn in this box. This is Kris Cain showing us the little kid inside her.
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I tested out the corn cob shooter and came darn close to the hitting the targets. The biggest and loudest attraction at the farm is the pumpkin cannon. Watch video to see how the homemade artillery shoots out pumpkins at 300 feet per second. We hear the pumpkins can do serious damage to autos targeted for demolition.

Come hungry and try out the food choices at the fall harvest Shades of Autumn. The stage features local music acts you can watch or listen to while browsing the craft show and swap meet.

Stade’s celebrates a different theme each weekend with special events and discounts September through October.

  • Annual Tractors for Charity Antique Tractors, Trucks, & Construction Equipment Show
  • Pick Your Own Pumpkin Begins
  • Grandparents Weekend
  • Columbus Day Weekend
  • Sweetest Day Weekend
  • Family Fun Weekend
  • Halloween Weekend

Each Sunday morning 150 people gather at the farm for Christian worship. Several local churches hold outdoors services based on a rotating schedule.

Stade’s provides fresh produce for Northern Illinois families in need through Gleaners for the Lord, a non-profit volunteer organization which picks leftovers from the harvest.

Clickon the image below to view this episode of “Where Are You Today?”

Stade’s Farm and Market
3709 W Miller Road
McHenry , Il 60051
815-675-6396

Our trip was sponsored by the McHenry County Visitors Bureau and Stade’s Farm and Market.

Waikiki Honolulu Mango Throw Down

We met with Beachhouse Chef Rodney Uyehara at the Hawaii in Real Life tweetup in the Monoa Surfrider. Overlooking the blue Pacific of Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii Melissa Chang and Russ interviewed Chef Rodney Uyehara and sampled his entry for the “Tree to Table – Mango Throw Down” tonight at the Surfrider: Lollipop Lamb Chop with Curried Mango Couscous. This special event is part of the “Mangoes at the Moana” celebration of the mango season.

Melissa Chang tastes Chef Rodney Uyehara's entry for the Mango Throw Down

Melissa Chang tastes Chef Rodney Uyehara's entry for the Mango Throw Down Aug. 27, 2010

Tonight 17 of the best Hawaiian chefs will compete to see who can create the best wine and edible tastings using mangoes as the main ingredient. A panel of celebrity judges will be on hand to pick winners in these categories: Best Use of Mango, People’s Choice, Dessert, and Overall Best Dish.

The public is welcome to this event. Tickets are $85 and available at the door. Proceeds benefit University of Hawaii’s Culinary Institute of the Pacific. The event is tonight from 6 – 9:30 p.m.

Click on the image below to view this episode of “Where Are You Today?”

Ham Radio Field Day for Amateur Radio Operators

The annual ham radio Field Days for amateur radio operators around the world is happening this weekend.

Keep your eyes open this weekend and you may see groups of amateur radio operators in unexpected places. Ham radio operators and their equipment both local and around the world will participated in the annual “Field Days” exercise. While the goals is doomsday disaster preparedness drill, it is also a day for friendship.

Ham Radio Field Day Amateur Radio Operators Field Day 2008

Ham Radio Field Day 2008 Amateur Radio Operators. Photo by davef3138 from the Crow River Amateur Radio Club Field Day event at the Hutchinson airport.

Photo by davef3138 from the Crow River Amateur Radio Club Field Day event at the Hutchinson airport.

According to the ARRL (Amateur Radio Relay League) Field Day is the largest on-the-air operating event in Amateur Radio with 35,000 participants. Ham operators set up their equipment as if a real emergency had stuck.

Working outdoors in tents, makeshift housing or remote locations for 24 hours. We set up antennas on the spot, some using long wire antennas strung between trees.

During the contest, participants connect with as many other operators as possible. Some will use voice channels while others use Morse code to contact others.

Groups welcome all licensed amateur radio operators to take part. Many clubs encourage the public to stop by and learn more about the hobby.

Dwindling membership of the amateur radio hobby is due to high technology computers and cell phones. I earned my first ham Novice license with call sign KB4AAG in 1980. A couple of years later, I changed my call sign to N9GYG upgraded to my current the Extra Class license.

To learn more about emergency radio.

Earth Month Waikiki Aquarium Honolulu

The Waikiki Aquarium in Honolulu, Hawaii hosted Earth month celebrations on April 10, 2010. Free admission to drew a long line at the 9AM opening. Special interactive educational displays were popular with the keiki. Scientists, educators and volunteers were on hand to talk about sea life, invasive species, conservation and habitats. The messages were conveyed with coloring books, ring toss games and learning puzzles. A seahorse release was a highlight for many attendees.

The Waikiki Aquarium partners with Duke’s Waikiki for educational events.

In addition to the Earth month special events, we visited the ongoing exhibits including Hawaiian monk seal, puffer fish, anemones, and jellyfish. Click on the image below to view this episode of “Where Are You Today?”

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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