Red Run Raises Funds to End Child Sex Trafficking

The Red Dress Run started with a couple of women jogging through downtown Algonquin. Their red outfits caught the eyes of passing motorists and let them get the word out: they’re running to save the lives of little girls at risk of sex trafficking.
Local moms Cortina Nystad and Kristen Guerrieri started The Red Run 5K in 2012. Over 500 runners and walkers participated. Registration is now open for the second Red Run 5K Run/Walk, which will be held Aug. 10 at Presidential Park in Algonquin.
“I personally volunteer with both of the local organizations we support,” said Kristen Guerrieri. “I visit Anne’s house monthly and last night was my first outreach with The Dreamcatcher Foundation!  This is pretty dark stuff.”
This year’s USATF-certified race will benefit the Dreamcatcher Foundation, a survivor-founded, survivor-led and focused organization in Chicago. Brenda Myers-Powell, Co-Founder, will be the featured speaker at the event. Additional beneficiaries include the Salvation Army PROMISE (Anne’s House), a local residential program that provides aftercare for victims and Love146, an organization that provides prevention and aftercare solutions internationally. Prizes will be awarded for the top male and female finishers and for the top three finishers in each age category.
After the race join the exclusive post-race breakfast at Port Edward Restaurant ($15 per person), with a percentage of the proceeds benefiting the Red Run.
the red run
To register, visit theredrun.org. Pre-registration is $30 for runners and $25 for walkers. Registration fees increase by $10 on race day. For more information or to learn about sponsorship opportunities, contact Kristen Guerrieri at kristen @ theredrun.org. Concerned citizens can call (888) 373-7888 or text “INFO” or “HELP” to befree (233733).

Rainbow Restaurant and Pancake House in Algonquin Now Open

The Rainbow Restaurant and Pancake House on Route 31/Main Street in the Fox River Center mall in Algonquin is now open for breakfast and lunch. The diner is bright and cheery even on the grey morning we visited. Decorated in a warm toasty fawn color, the newly remodeled restaurant includes high-end ceramic floor tile with marble counters and matching window sills.

A warm muffin right out of the oven started our meal. Plenty of choices on the menu! The extensive breakfast menu includes skillets, omelettes, frittatas, eggs Benedict and more. Three full plates brought my husband’s steak and eggs meal; it was so big.

Steak and Eggs at The Rainbow Restaurant and Pancake House

Steak and Eggs at The Rainbow Restaurant and Pancake House

My potato pancakes were delicious. Rainbow Restaurant makes them from scratch every day using fresh ingredients. The pancakes are never frozen or prepackaged. This is the case with all the foods at Rainbow Restaurant.

Potato Pancakes at The Rainbow Restaurant and Pancake House

Potato Pancakes at The Rainbow Restaurant and Pancake House

John warmly greeted us at the door and seated us promptly. Our server, Jan, was attentive and friendly. Staff topped off our coffee and water glasses regularly while swiftly clearing empty plates.

After breakfast, I spoke with owner Nick Dimitrelis. This is his second Rainbow Restaurant; the first opened in Elmhurst 30 years ago. His friendliness and passion for serving high quality and quantities of food came through. His goal for Rainbow Restaurant is to serve more than just pancake house fare. Every day the Rainbow Restaurant will feature specials starting at 11 AM such as stuffed peppers, meatloaf, BBQ spare ribs, lamb shanks, and baked Greek chicken. Each day the chefs cook two homemade soups from scratch.

Two chefs, one helper and a large staff keep the Rainbow Restaurant humming. I counted at least seven servers while we were there. Service was extremely friendly and attentive to our needs.

Owner Nick Dimitrelis and server Jan at Rainbow Restaurant and Pancake House

Owner Nick Dimitrelis and server Jan at Rainbow Restaurant and Pancake House

As a vegetarian, I asked about vegetarian options. Nick said at least two vegetarian dishes are on the menu and they are happy to customize orders to meet guest’s wishes.

Krisztina and John welcome guests at Rainbow Restaurant and Pancake House

Krisztina and John welcome guests at Rainbow Restaurant and Pancake House

Carry out service is available. Currently, Rainbow Restaurant is open for early breakfast through mid afternoon. The shopping center has plenty of parking stalls.
Rainbow Restaurant and Pancake House on Urbanspoon

Cafe Firefly Coffee Shop Algonquin for Work or Relaxing

Cafe Firefly in the heart of historic downtown Algonquin is the perfect place for a few hours of work on your laptop or relaxing with friends over coffee. Owner and head baker Allie Gilberts ensures the customer favorites such as Hello Dolly bars, Strawberry – Lemonade cupcakes and biscotti are always plentiful. <Update: I understand the new owner is Wade Merritt.> Daily specials change and may include cupcakes, cookies, scones and bar cookies. Several sandwich choices are on the menu for those with a heartier appetite. Drink selections include a variety of coffees, smoothies and hot chocolate.

Service is friendly and attentive often remembering your previous order. Tables and chairs are perfect for working or informal meetings. Log in to your laptop or tablet with the free wi-fi.

Curl up with a thick book on the couches near a corner wall of windows and soak in the natural light. When the weather is temperate, take your order out on the patio and watch the downtown scene pass by.

Allies’s Cafe Firefly treats must spark creativity. Recently a guitarist quietly strummed as I reconnected with a friend. Open mic nights draws locals with various talents.

Follow Cafe Firefly on Twitter, Facebook and check in using FourSquare to earn loyalty bonuses.

Allie GIlbert's coconut lime cupcakes at Cafe Firefly

Allie GIlbert’s coconut lime cupcakes at Cafe Firefly

Cafe Firefly on Urbanspoon
Cafe Firefly on Foodio54

Downtown Dogs of Algonquin Hot Dogs, Fries and Soft Serve Cones

I stopped in at Downtown Dogs N More of Algonquin a couple of weeks ago. Turned around and abruptly left. Why? The place was jammed!

So last week I got there early enough to beat the crowd  and now I know why it was so busy. I had their special, 2 dogs fries and a drink for 4 bucks. The dogs were great.

The dogs were great. The home-made fries are excellent and we topped of the meal with chocolate dipped soft-serve cones. I’m looking forward to trying one of Downtown Dogs’ burgers.

Eat in the restaurant or take your order to go.

Downtown Dogs N More Algonquin, Illinois

Downtown Dogs N More Algonquin, Illinois

Downtown Dogs N More on Urbanspoon

Rice Fusion Sushi Restaurant on Randall Road in Algonquin

Rice Fusion Sushi is an Asian fusion restaurant located in the Algonquin Commons shopping center along the Randall Road corridor. We stopped by for lunch on a recent Saturday afternoon. The menu includes fusion Chinese, Japanese and Thai specialties including many vegetarian items. They take special care to ensure all food is presented attractively.

Our server was attentive and helped us choose our food. The sushi was fresh and we liked all the dished we sampled.

Our meal started with a peanut and avocado maki roll, an interesting mix of creamy and crunchy textures. Miso soup and salad with house ginger dressing made daily was served next. Stacked pieces of Agedashi Tofu sat on a banana leaf accompanied by an orange slice and orchid blossom.

Agedashi Tofu at Rice on Randall Road in Algonquin

Agedashi Tofu at Rice Fusion Sushi Restaurant on Randall Road in Algonquin

Peanut and Avocado Maki Roll at Rice Restuarant

Peanut and Avocado Maki Roll at Rice Fusion Sushi Restaurant

Noel had the sashimi lunch; eight pieces of fish including salmon, tuna, crab and fluke.  This was served with a dollop of fine black masago.

Sashimi lunch at Rice Fusion Sushi Restaurant in Algonquin

Sashimi lunch at Rice Fusion Sushi Restaurant in Algonquin

My Hibachi Tofu came with a choice of white or brown rice and soup or salad.

Save room for dessert! We tried two items and they were both delicious. The chocolate caramel pyramid was cool and creamy as it melted in my mouth. The green tea and vanilla mochi balls were layered with whipped cream in a martini glass.

Green Tea and Vanilla Mochi in a Whipped Cream Cloud Next to Chocolate Caramel Pyramid

Green Tea and Vanilla Mochi in a Whipped Cream Cloud Next to Chocolate Caramel Pyramid at Rice Fusion Sushi Restaurant in Algonquin

There are many items our server recommended that we plan to try on our next visit, including Thai Coconut Soup and Sweet Potato Roll. Choose from three maki rolls from a special menu for $12.

Full bar service is includes a choice of Asian beers. The interior of the restaurant is red and black with a Chinese flavor. A smiling Buddha greats you as you enter the restaurant. For those who cannot make it to Rice, delivery is available.

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Rice.

Rice Fusion Sushi | 2523 N. County Line Rd. Algonquin, IL 60102 | 847.658.5233

Rice on Urbanspoon

Algonquin Founders Days Cardboard Regatta

The annual Algonquin Founders’ Day Festival is four days of fun for the entire family. Each year the festival begins with a cardboard regatta in Riverfront Park. Youngsters transform a couple of sheets of cardboard and rolls of duct tape into sailing vessels they paddle around a buoy in the middle of the Fox River.

Algonquin Founders Days Cardboard Boat Regatta

Algonquin Founders Days Cardboard Boat Regatta

Algonquin Founders Days Cardboard Boat Regatta

Towne Park is the place for music, Taste of Algonquin food, social garden and carnival rides Thursday through Sunday. Several runs and walks of various durations are planned as well as a bags tournament. Other events include petting zoo, bicycle decorating, dog and cat show, and charity duck race.

The Algonquin Founders’ Day parade is a community event. Civic groups, businesses and families prepare by designing and working on their parade entries for weeks. Spectators save their spots along the parade route early in the morning. Kids are sure to catch plenty of candy thrown from the floats.

The Algonquin Founders’ Day festival end with a bang on Sunday night. Fireworks are launched from a barge on the middle of the Fox River just north of Algonquin Road.

The Algonquin Founders’ Day Festival is held the last full weekend in July.

Algonquin Library Midsummer Knight’s Reading Program

Today begins the Algonquin Public Library summer reading program. Midsummer Knight’s Read is a midevil themed reading event for youngsters and adults. The kickoff included a visit from two Knights of the realm which delighted the children. Their show included sword skill and feats of bravery.

Virginia Freyre, Adult Reference Librarian and Alicia Parmele, Head of Youth Services were decked out in appropriate midevil attire for the program. The entrance to the youth library was transformed into a castle.

Knights of the Realm at the Algonquin Public Library

Knights of the Realm at the Algonquin Public Library

“Our kickoff to the summer reading program event is designed to get kids into the library,” Parmele said. “We encourage them to join our reading program and enjoy reading over the summer.”

The reading program runs from June 11 through August 8, 2011. Weekly and grand prize winners will receive prizes.

Follow the Algonquin Library on Facebook.

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.

Algonquin Library Hosts Jacobs High School Student Artwork

The Algonquin Library is the site of the Jacobs High School Art show May 3 – 18, 2011. Algonquin area Freshman to Senior students as well as those in Advanced Placement Art classes recently displayed their art projects at Spring Hill Mall in West Dundee. This morning, students and art teachers moved the artwork to the Algonquin Library for the 8th annual student show.

Young Adult Librarian Claire Ritz organized the show and told us, “The artwork displayed includes drawings, paintings, general art, 2D, photography, ceramics, jewelery and computer designed art. Each year we choose a Staff Pick piece and the student wins an award. This year we also have a People Choice award. The winning artist will receive a gift from the library. Last year several works on display were even sold.”

IMG_1110

AP art student Kristen Schlosser sets up the art show display at the Algonquin Library

AP art teacher Tisha Ellis and ceramics teacher Bjana Lune were on hand to help students set up the 300-400 pieces on  display.

“As part of their course work, Advanced Placement Art class students are required to  complete projects like organizing and setting up the art show,” Ms. Ellis said.

Art was posted on temporary display boards and in display cases throughout both levels of the Algonquin Main library.

AP student Ricardo Cienfuegos was setting up works from Ceramics 1 and 2 art classes in display cases throughout the library. He explained. “These are some that were done throughout the year. We are helping set these up, from jewelry, all the way to bigger sculptures, down to even more three dimensional pieces in which students incorporate stuff from other own lives, to even really big sculptures.

We talked to several students about their artwork.

“This work is inspired by the artwork  from Crusades I have seen and interesting stories I have read,” said AP student Jack Beatty as he showed us his pen drawings. “I read both sides, the Muslim and Christian sides, and found they were both thinking the same things underneath it all.”

Other students installing artwork were Jen Rood, Angela Wyant, Kristen Schlosser and Amber Maag. Visit the art exhibit at the Algonquin Library and vote for your favorite piece.

Click on the picture below to watch this episode of “Where Are You Today?” as we visit to the Algonquin Public library where you can see more Jacobs student artwork.

Algonquin Golden Corral Buffet Restaurant McHenry County, Illinois.

Golden Corral is a buffet restaurant in Algonquin, McHenry County, Illinois. Prices for meals include everything on the menu except for drinks.

Grab a plate and help yourself to your choice of foods from a wide variety of menu items. Foods are grouped in sections of like foods. The first section is a salad bar with several types of greens, toppings and dressings. Also in this area is nacho and chili fixings.

The next area had soups, potatoes, vegetables, mac and cheese, popcorn shrimp and other hot dishes. In a third area we found several meats and rice, pizza, quiche and a grill.

The last section included breads, pastries, cookies, pudding, ice cream and toppings.

Golden Corral buffet restaurant Algonquin McHenry County

Golden Corral buffet restaurant Algonquin, McHenry County

 

The restaurant is located in the Algonquin Galleria Center, an outdoor shopping mall, there is plenty of free parking. Families with children filled most of the restaurant.

A large meeting room with a door can be reserved at no charge for private parties or meetings.

Buffet foods

Help yourself to your favorites at the Golden Corral in Algonquin Galleria Center

Golden Corral on Urbanspoon

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