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Grads aren't the only ones moving on
By Amy Mack | Daily Herald Columnist

Sammy Oslance, 16, Lake in the Hills, helped move the ducks along during the Algonquin / Lake in the Hills Jaycees' fundraising duck race during last year's Algonquin's Founders' Day festival.


George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

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Published: 6/4/2008 12:12 AM

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As we proudly cheer all of our high school and college graduates and look to what's next for them, others among us are also poised for transition.

Some make their move with a splash, some do it far more quietly.

Humble, "old school" West Dundee police officer Roger Johnson kind of snuck out the back door last week as he retired after three decades of service. Honoring his wish to keep his exit low key, friends and colleagues held a small farewell luncheon to honor a guy who did what was needed whenever it was needed.

He worked all kinds of shifts and hours as both his community and department doubled in size through the decades, turning from a town where most crime stemmed from bar fights to one where retail theft and more violent crime became part of the routine. Through it all, the rugged officer who has dedicated more than half his life to protecting West Dundee made a difference in the community, West Dundee Police Chief Dave Sawyer said.

Now he gets a well-deserved chance to kick back and spend time with his wife, Lynette. Enjoy every moment, Officer.

Moving on

Also nearing the three-decade mark and making a change is Elaine Norkett, a teacher at St. Margaret Mary School in Algonquin. She, too, is modest, but students, parents and colleagues celebrated her 29 years there in style with a special mass and reception last Sunday.

As parent Sue Leidig told me, this teacher will be sorely missed.

"She truly has a gift and we're all so fortunate that she was willing to share it for 29 years," Sue said. "They don't make them like her anymore."

She's now heading to Texas to be closer to her own family. May you enjoy every minute!

Above and beyond

These days, we seem to hear most about those who don't do their jobs well.

It is good to know we have many who go above and beyond. Is there someone special you'd like to give a shout-out to? Be they retiring, moving on or still doing the job, I'd love to know about those who go above and beyond. You can give me a call at (847) 931-5725 or send an e-mail to and we'll share a bit about those people who truly make a difference.

You lucky duck!

Algonquin/Lake in the Hills Jaycee Mandy Schneider wants to you mark your calendars for July 27 when they hold their annual Founders' Day duck race. In fact, you'd better hurry to buy your ducks now. They'll only sell 1,200.

You can get a duck family of four for $10 or just one lucky ducky for $3. Those ducks will race down Crystal Creek at Towne Park in downtown Algonquin during the Founders' Day festival with the top five ducks netting cash for the winners. Contact Mandy at (847) 323-9004 or to book your ducks.

Penny pancakes?!

Have you been scrambling a bit to make ends meet? Or just don't know what to do with those hungry young ones once school lets out for the summer? Stop by Colonial Cafe and Ice Cream in Algonquin on June 10 for penny pancakes. Yup, one penny per pancake, up to 25 flapjacks per person. All day. They only require you to buy one beverage to get the deal -- syrup and butter included. That's a great way to start the summer, isn't it?


Speaking of those youngsters fresh out of the classroom, can they sing? If so, the Elgin Children's Chorus is holding auditions for next season from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Monday and June 19 at Elgin Community College. It's open to all area children, 7 to 16, with unchanged voices. They should brush up on "My Country 'tis of Thee" and the round "Are you Sleeping?" Go to or call (847) 931-7464 to register and for details.

Cool cars!

Suzanne Corr of the Cary Grove Area Chamber of Commerce asked me to let you know this year's weekly Cruisin' Cary Classic Car show kicks off at 6 p.m. today on West Main Street in downtown Cary. You'll find hot rods, antiques, muscle and plenty of classic cars vying for that night's trophies and ribbons. She tells me they'll have even more food this year, including Boardwalk Bob's Italian ice, hotdogs from the Tracks, and sandwiches from the Coffee Station.

Spell down

Hold your dictionaries. Algonquin Township folks tell me they've decided to cancel Thursday's Senior Spelling Bee after several contestants decided to withdraw, leaving them with only a few entries. Sounding just like Cubs fans, they hope next year will be better when the township plans to team up with other townships for a bigger, better Senior Spelling Bee.

On ice

Mark Szczurek asked me to invite you to the first Regional Crosstown Spring Showcase at the Leafs Ice Centre in West Dundee this weekend. More than 35 local hockey teams will compete on the ice starting Friday morning and you'll find a moon walk, dunk tank, live music and food outside on Saturday. Go to for more details.

Downtown stop

Stop by the Farmer's Market in downtown Algonquin from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday as the Downtown Algonquin Partnership merchant's association kicks off their second year. You'll find it in the public parking lot one block east of Route 31 on S. Harrison St. every Thursday throughout the summer. I'll bet they'd get even more customers if they held it during afternoon rush hour! Hmmmmmm …