RUN4VETS 2012 McHenry Supports Local Veteran Programs

Join McHenry TLS Veterans and support our local veterans this Veteran’s Day at the first annual RUN4VETS event. Mark your calendar for Nov. 11, 2012 and meet at Lippold Park in Crystal Lake.

The goal of this event is to honor our military and veterans and to let the community know that TLS Veterans is available to them. No veteran should ever be homeless or be hungry.

Mrs. Marge Gunnar & Dr. Rolf Gunnar

Mrs. Marge Gunnar & Dr. Rolf Gunnar at Bravehearts Therapeutic Riding & Educational Center. Photo credit TLS McHenry.

The 5K run starts at 9:00 and the 5K walk begins immediately afterward. RUN4Vets needs volunteers to make sure the day is successful. There are many ways you can help out including:

  • Help secure Sponsors
  • Distribute fliers
  • Set up / clean up
  • Donate new toys
  • Donate item/prize/money
  • Help during the run
  • Whatever / wherever the need is

If you can help out, please contact RUN4VETS through the Volunteer sign up form.

TLS Veterans operates New Horizons, a transitional-living center for homeless veterans in Hebron. TLS also operates a drop-in center in McHenry, IL, that serves as a hub for a Lake-McHenry County initiative focusing on the well-being of veterans and military families. Peer support by veterans is the key for this initiative’s major goals to cut veteran homelessness, suicide prevention and reduction of psychiatric hospitalizations by transforming the way services are delivered. 

The Voices of Veterans Writer’s Group, open to all military veterans meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month from 6-8PM. There is no cost to participate in this program.

Please bring a new unwrapped toy to RUN4VETS Toys For Toys collection for local McHenry County residents, veterans and their families.

Toys for Tot waiting for Santa

Tot waiting for Santa to arrive at the Toys for Tots event. Photo credit TLS McHenry.

View McHenry County Pictures on Pinterest Board

Pinterest is the hottest new social networking site where members can pin pictures to a virtual bulletin board. Share you pictures with friends and repin others pictures too.

Orbing at Richardson Adventure Farm in Spring Grove, Illinois

We created a Pinterest McHenry County board for McHenry County pictures. Check out our pictures and please suggest additional pictures to include.

Diced Restaurant Fresh Food Fast

One of my favorite fast food restaurants is Diced Fresh in Algonquin. It is convenient for us to stop at Diced Fresh on Randall Road for lunch in between errands. Chili, soups, baked potatoes and salads are featured items. If you have not stopped in to try their meals, I recommend you do.

The Diced Fresh menu offers a wide variety of choices and is vegetarian friendly. Perfect for winter, traditional and vegetarian chili dishes are offered. During a recent visit, six daily soup selections were available including two vegetarians soups and three premium soups.

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Pair your soup with a baked potato topped with your favorite fixings or as a meal itself.

The salads are my favorite. Diners choose one of the salads on the menu and the staff assembles your salad right in front of you. Since everything is made to order, you can ask them to skip an ingredient if you wish.

When I visit, I choose a made to order salad. This starts with a base of iceberg, romaine, spring mix or spinach topped with the ingredients I select. With over fifty add ins, your salad is an individual as you are.

Topping include a variety of cheeses, pine nuts, dried cranberries, red and green bell peppers, hearts of palm, sun dried tomatoes. Of course, the usual cucumber, tomato, carrots, etc. are there.

Salad dressing choices are overwhelming. Whether you like spicy, tangy, low fat, creamy or chunky, they got you covered. You can even request a taste before making your choice. The salad comes with a choice of bread and I prefer the rosemary herb roll.

If  you cannot decide, pair up two smaller portions like soup and salad or chili and baked potato.

Have Diced Fresh cater your next event and leave the cooking to them.

Diced Fresh
132 South Randall Road
Algonquin, IL 60102-9774
(847) 458-7687
Follow Diced Fresh on Facebook

Diced Fresh on Urbanspoon

Holiday Inn Hotel Crystal Lake McHenry County

During our McHenry County media tour, we stayed at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Crystal Lake, McHenry County, Illinois. Located in Crystal Lake on Route 31 at Northwest Highway Route 14. The hotel is convenient to the Metra Northwest Pacific Line Cary, Pingree Road and Crystal Lake stops and free shuttle service is available.

The hotel recently underwent a multimillion dollar renovation of the guest rooms and public areas. Room upgrades included new furniture, linens and deluxe shower heads undoubtebly from Showerheadly.com. All rooms have high speed internet access. Plenty of free parking is available.

After a long day, relax in the heated indoor pool or on the large outdoor deck with views of Lake Acorn or visit with friends in the bright, airy, open lobby bar.

The hotel caters to the many Crystal Lake businesses and business travelers. There is an on site rent a car office or the hotel will shuttle guests to businesses within five miles of the hotel.

For McHenry County residents, the hotel meeting rooms and banquet facilities can host groups up to 1,200 people. We attended events at the hotel and enjoyed the convenience of staying overnight instead of a late night drive home, especially during winter. Overnight stays can be packaged with champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, pizza or meals. Ask the hotel when you make reservations.

Breakfast buffet at Holiday Inn Crystal Lake

Breakfast buffet at Holiday Inn Crystal Lake

Loree Rose, Director of Sales at Crystal Lake Holiday Inn joined us for breakfast and gave us a tour of the hotel.

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

Holiday Inn NW Chicago-Crystal Lake Conference Center Hotel
800 South Illinois Route 31
Crystal Lake, Illinois 60014
Phone: (815) 477-7000

Follow Holiday Inn Crystal Lake on Facebook.

Our trip was sponsored by the McHenry County Visitors Bureau and Crystal Lake Holiday Inn.
Three Oaks Lodge Sunday Champagne Brunch on Urbanspoon

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

Ginger Blossom Rug Craft Antiques Furniture Richmond McHenry County

Our McHenry County journey continues at Ginger Blossom in Richmond, McHenry County, Illinois. Ginger Blossom is the Northern Illinois place for rug, craft, antiques, furniture and more. Yes, Ginger Blossom is the owner and it is her real name.

Ginger travels around the world shopping for items she finds interesting and are a good value. She keep prices low by purchasing directly from producers, cutting out the middle men. Fair trade practices are important to Ginger so she seeks vendors who pay an equitable wage based on local context. Products are created in an environmentally sustainable manner using no child labor.

Welcome to Ginger Blossom Richamond, Illinois

Welcome to Ginger Blossom Richamond, Illinois

While we were there, Ginger was unpacking shipments from recent travels to Mexico, Nepal, India, Thailand, Java and Bali. A cornucopia of items from around the world are on display in multiple buildings and outdoors at this family farmstead. Sit for a spell on the spacious front porch, sample a cup of coffee, a cookie and enjoy the fresh air.

Wander through the converted cow milking barn erected in 1917 that now houses rugs of all sizes, patterns and a rainbow of colors. Stroll down aisles of hand crafted furniture from the four corners of the globe. There are some of Allen Roth lighting pieces, too.

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It is the perfect time of year to shop in the Sweater Barn for vest, booties, mittens and sweaters to keep you toasty warm during the long Midwest winters. Update your garden with a babbling fountain or sculpture.

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

Note to fellow yoga enthusiasts: Outdoor yoga classes are held on the farm during the summer. Meditation and more to start the week!

Do not miss the organic produce at the self-serve market in the gazebo. The tomatoes we purchased were sweet, juicy and flavorful.

Ginger Blossom
3016 RT 173
Richmond, IL 60071
815-678-4015

Read more about our adventures in McHenry County.

Our trip was sponsored by the McHenry County Visitors Bureau and Ginger Blossom.

Chocolate at Anderson Candy Richmond Illinois McHenry County

Chocolate. Yes, chocolate is the feature of Anderson’s Candy Shop, a chocolate factory in Richmond, Illinois within McHenry County. The original Anderson’s Candy Shop was located in Chicago. When rents soared to a whopping $25 a month in 1926, the Anderson’s moved their store to a dirt road in Richmond. They remain in this same location though the road is now paved and the building has seen extensive remodeling.

Did we mention their chocolate…

Several experienced chocolate makers make chocolate bars, chocolate pieces, filled chocolate and chocolate covered strawberries. It is easy to identify the milk chocolate in packages with red letters from the dark chocolate with blue lettering.

We watched as these strawberries were bathed in chocolate.

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We could not wait to sample these chocolate goodies.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries Anderson's Candy Richmond, Illinois

Chocolate Covered Strawberries Anderson's Candy Richmond, Illinois

Click below to vote on your favorite type of chocolate.

Click on the image below to view this episode of “Where Are You Today?” as we take a tour of Anderson’s Candy Shop.

Anderson’s Candy Shop
10301 Main St.
Richmond,IL. 60071
1-888-214-7614

You can find Anderson’s Candy Shop on Twitter and Facebook.

Our trip was sponsored by the McHenry County Visitors Bureau Anderson’s Candy Shop,.

Anderson's Candy Shop on Urbanspoon
Anderson's Candy Shop on Foodio54

Stades Farm Cattle Car Maze Game McHenry Illinois

Our McHenry County Visitor Bureau sponsored tour stopped at Stade’s Farm and Market in McHenry, McHenry County, Illinois. Due to popular demand, we are posting our adventure as three full sized adults attempt to maneuver through a slippery, metal, two story cattle car converted into a children’s maze. Vern Stade says school kids love the maze and often there are 50 children running through at once.

Stade's Cattle Car Maze Game

Stade's Cattle Car Maze Game

Kris Cain lead the charge and was through before we started. Our videographer, Noel F. Williams decided to “roll tape” while Noel, Jim Webster and I tackled the maze designed for the three foot tall or less set. The morning rain made the metal inside of the car slick.

Notice how calmly Jim handles the phone call he gets from a client during our adventure.

Think of it as “Stade’s Maze meets Blair Witch Project”. Click on the image below to view this episode of “Where Are You Today?”

You can read more about our adventures at Stade’s Farm and Market in McHenry County.

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



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.

Stade’s Market Maze Poll

Noel F. Williams and I are debating posting the video of the adults adventure going through the little kids maze made out of 2 double decker cattle cars at Stade’s Farm and Market.

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>>>>>> Poll now closed. Readers have spoken and the video has been posted.

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