Elgin News Digest: CASA Kane County Hands Around Courthouse set for April 4; Kane County, U-46 to launch school anti-youth vaping program; YWCA Elgin announces nominees for awards to be presented May 9

CASA Kane County Hands Around Courthouse set for April 4

CASA Kane County will mark Child Abuse Prevention Month with its annual Hands Around the Courthouse event at noon April 4 at the historic Kane County Courthouse in Geneva.

The free event will include remarks from Chief Judge Robert Villa, CASA Executive Director Jim Di Ciaula and other community leaders, according to a news release. After the program, participants will be asked to join hands for a moment of silence acknowledging local victims of child abuse and neglect.

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) Kane County is a guardian ad litem nonprofit volunteer organization that has been advocating for the best interests of children in abuse and/or neglect cases in the juvenile court system since 1988.

For more information, go to or call 630-232-4484.

Kane County, U-46 to launch school anti-youth vaping program

The Kane County Health Department and School District U-46 are partnering on a program to prevent youths from vaping.

The initiative, “Vape Free, Together,” will bring together students, schools, parents and tobacco retailers to encourage youths not to vape, according to a news release. The program will be implemented during the 2024-25 school year and includes vaping prevention curriculum, parent education and tobacco retailer outreach.

For more information, go to

Carpentersville announces fire and police award winners

Three people were recognized for their outstanding service to the community at the village of Carpentersville’s annual fire and police awards ceremony.

Those honored were firefighter of the year Ryan Barnard, police officer of the year Dan Vera and public safety IT administrator Greg Conrad as civilian employee of the year, according to the village newsletter.

“The village is incredibly grateful for the dedication and bravery of our first responders and civilians, and we look forward to another successful year of service to our community,” the announcement said.

YWCA Elgin announces nominees for awards to be presented May 9

The YWCA Elgin has announced its nominees for the 40th annual Leader Luncheon, which will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 9, at The Seville in Streamwood. They are:

Margaret Hillis Award for the Arts: Cristina Colunga, Carole A. Medal and Katrina Syrris.

Beatrice Dorsey Award for Business & Professions: Maria Borrero Veaz, Gloria Ma, Linda Ramirez, Shirley Sadjadi and Kimberly Wagner.

Marguerite Henry Award for Communications & Technology: Theresa Gajewski, Karla Jimenez and Leslie Wolko.

Harriet Gifford & Hattie Griffin Award for Education: Lori Brandes, Tish Calhamer, Alison Douglas, Adriana Lopez Landa, Amber Peters, Karla Rojas and Francine Romero Rivera.

Myrtle Spiegler Gerberding Award for Public Service: Jamie L. Mosser, Karla Rojas and Beth Sterricker.

Betty Brown Award for Racial Justice: Shirley Bassett and Julie Hyun Kane.

Marie Grolich Award for Social Services: Lore Baker, Marlene Daubert, Rev. Felicia LaBoy, Dianha Ortega-Ehreth, Rocio Robledo, Karla Rojas and Adriana Trino-Pujals.

Marjorie Leonard Award for Volunteer & Community Service: Lisa Luanagsomkham, Magdalena Perez, Myeshia Sanders, Robin Seigle, Claudia C. Serrano, and Betsy Yurisich.

The luncheon costs $60 for YWCA members and $65 for nonmembers. The keynote speaker is Linda Siete of Elgin, who works with businesses and organizations on ways to incorporate and better understand the importance of inclusion and embracing diversity.

For information about the luncheon or to make a reservation, call 847-742-7930 or go to

ECC receives $94,000 grant for virtual reality equipment

Elgin Community College has received a $94,000 grant from the Illinois Community College Board to purchase virtual reality equipment for its career and technical education programs.

ECC plans to buy VR hardware and software and to recruit and instruct students in a variety of workforce training programs for industries that include health care, criminal justice, manufacturing and HVAC, according to a news release.

For more information on career and technical programs at ECC, go to

Kane County to hold Zoom program on bobcats in Illinois

The Forest Preserve District of Kane County is holding a free virtual program on bobcats in north-central Illinois on April 11.

It will be led by Ellen Audia, a doctoral student at Southern Illinois University, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. via Zoom and will discuss the history of bobcats in the state and recent bobcat recolonization of northern Illinois, a news release said.

Research being conducted by Audia and her scientific advisors is helping the Illinois Department of Natural Resources understand bobcat population dynamics and develop strategies for managing the animals in Illinois.

Advance registration is required. To register, call 630-444-3190 or email