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Naperville Trolley Celebrates 15 years of Dedicated Service!
Naperville Trolley & Tours Celebrating 15th Anniversary in 2010!
Trolley Meister Don Wehrli and “Trolley Chick” Annette Wehrli invite you to hop on the Naperville Trolley on Sunday, October 10th, from 12-2pm, for A FREE TROLLEY RIDE! “You can all ring the bell!”
Fifteen years ago Don Wehrli was in Victoria, Canada for a family wedding when, Ding! Ding! he heard the musical sound of a Trolley Bell. He and his wife Jean hopped on board for a Trolley Tour, and the rest is history. Don had been retired from a long, successful sales career, but he returned to Naperville after that wedding, and bought the first Naperville Trolley. “I just knew Naperville was ready for a Trolley. There is so much history and progress here and I wanted to share it with everybody,” Wehrli said. He offered historic tours, wedding charters, anniversary and birthday celebrations, bar and bat mitzvahs, holiday light tours, bar hops, and corporate excursions.
One Trolley grew to four. Today daughter Annette is part of the business, rocketing the business into social networking and electronic management. Enthusiasm and smiles are all aboard when the Naperville Trolley glides through the streets of the western suburbs and beyond. Advertisers inside and outside the Trolley have expanded their reach into the minds of customers by placing their signs on the busy Trolleys!
The public is invited to enjoy a FREE TROLLEY RIDE on Sunday, October 10th from 12:00pm to 2:00pm. Two Trolleys will travel in a circular route to pick-up/drop off passengers at any of the five following locations: The “Trolley Stop” on Jackson at Eagle, Main Street Promenade at Hugo’s Frog Bar, North Central College at Wentz Concert Center, The Moser Millennium Carillon, and Meson Sabika.
Special offers on that day include: “Buy one/get one free” public individual “Holiday Light Trolley Tours” in December, coupons from various Main Street Promenade Shops, Tours of the Wentz Concert Center and 10% discounts to upcoming concerts “Blues Traveler”, “The Ramsey Lewis Trio”, and “The Sleepy Hollow Plays” at North Central College. Also included are, “Buy one/get one free” tours of the Moser Millennium Carillon; Meson Sabika will offer samples of their non-alcohol sangria and a small sample of their cuisine, as well as gift certificates to be used on a future visit.
“Naperville Trolley & Tours hopes you can join us for this Thank You Celebration of 15 years in business on Sunday October 10th from 12-2pm!” Wehrli added.
Visit www.napervilletrolley.com to see more happy Trolley ideas. For more information, call Annette at 630-420-2223 or email email@example.com.
After 100 years, YMCA still bringing Naperville families together!
By KATHY MILLEN firstname.lastname@example.org
In February 1909, a pair of evangelists held a series of revival meetings in Naperville that stirred up a religious fervor leading to the conversion of 355 people. As it turned out, those meetings also laid the foundation for the creation of the Naperville Area YMCA.
One of the city’s most enduring organizations, the YMCA in Naperville will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2011 with a variety of special events throughout the year highlighting the important role it continues to play in the community.
“The Y isn’t just the name on a building,” said Dee Dee McDevitt, director of marketing and customer service for the Heritage YMCA Group. “We’re a spirit, a movement and a cause.”
Back in the early years of the 20th century, young men in Naperville had few places to fraternize other than at the local saloons. This concerned the spiritually inspired civic leaders who, upon the departure of the evangelists, called a meeting of Naperville men to discuss starting a local chapter of the Young Men’s Christian Association. It didn’t faze them that Naperville’s population was about 4,000 people and that no town that small had a fully equipped YMCA. Nor were they dissuaded when even members of the YMCA’s state council discouraged the effort fearing there wouldn’t be enough support for the facility.
But support it they did. Within 15 days, more than $26,000 was raised for the project. They purchased land at 34 S. Washington St. for $4,500, and on Memorial Day, laid the cornerstone. When money ran out before construction was completed, residents raised another $15,000 in just eight days. The $26,400, three-story brick building opened March 26, 1911. More than 300 people paid $5 each to join.
Currently known as the Kroehler Family Center, that first building is part of what is now the Heritage YMCA, serving Naperville, Aurora and Oswego.
Evy Schum of Naperville has been a member of the YMCA for 54 years. The 89-year-old retired nurse still lifts weights and rides the stationary bike at the Kroehler Center three times a week during the cold weather months. She also has served as a YMCA board member and on a variety of Y committees and programs. She was involved in foreign exchange student camp programs. She raised funds for the rebuilding of Ys overseas following World War II, as well as the construction of new YMCAs in other countries. She worked in a Y heart rehabilitation program in conjunction with Edward Hospital.
She and her late husband, Ernie, and their four children participated in YMCA programs through which they’ve made lasting friendships.
“I think it’s important for every town that (a YMCA) is there,” she said. “It provides physical exercise and also, if you are really involved in the activities, you meet people from all over the world. It’s so important to me.”
At first, only men and boys were eligible to use Y facilities. Women and girls gained equal access soon after. Eventually, the Washington Street building became available for non-Y activities as well. It also offered furnished rooms to rent.
By the late 1940s, residents raised $175,000 to update the building. By the early 1960s, the Y began focusing on keeping the organization relevant to the community. Programs were expanded and memberships increased. With two-income families on the rise in the 1980s, the Y started an after-school child program.
Alan Fry took swimming lessons at the Y when he was 7. As a teenager, he attended the Y’s Friday night dances. For as long as he can remember, he always has been involved in the YMCA.
“It’s been an important part of my life growing up in Naperville. It was the place to be,” he said. “We used to drop in after school, and my folks knew where I was and they knew we were safe. I remember it as a 7-year-old and still do as a 60-year-old.” It was his father, John Fry, who sold the Y the 6 acres that would become the site of the 95th Street YMCA facility built in 1995.
Alan Fry served on the Y’s board of directors from 1988 to 2007, three of those years as board chairman. Later, his brother Gordon would do the same. For their efforts, both men received the Y’s Dr. Arlo Schilling Leadership Award.An even bigger honor came in 2005, when the 95th Street facility was renamed the Fry Family YMCA. Alan Fry, whose business, Fry Properties, is next door to that building, can see the sign bearing the family name from the window of his office. It fills him with pride.
“I stayed on the board so long for the kids, to make sure the programs were there for the kids and the families as well,” he said. “I think it’s even more important than ever. We face some challenging times communicating within families. I think the YMCA can help with that. It brings families together.”