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You've already done so much for little Taylor
By Amy Mack | Daily Herald Columnist

Construction crews work on Mimi's Café, which is being built in front of Wickes Furniture near the Algonquin Commons on Randall Road.


John Starks | Staff Photographer

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Published: 10/12/2007 6:00 AM

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Like many of you, I've found it difficult to sleep the past couple of nights. I keep thinking about a little girl named Taylor and her family's incredible plight.

And, like so many of you, I so wish there was more I could do to ease the challenge for Laurie and Jeff Radtke of Johnsburg as they fight to save their little girl's life. To be told your child has a brain tumor is devastating. To be told it appears inoperable and is quickly doing damage is heartbreaking.

The outpouring of support and suggestions for help for this family have simply been staggering. It is clear that people are good and kind. You've reached out to a family in need and they -- and I -- are incredibly touched by your efforts. It's also clear that many of you have or are facing challenges of your own but still found the time and energy to reach out to a family in crisis. You are special indeed.

Anyone wishing to help the Radtkes during these difficult days may donate through the First Midwest Bank, 3805 N. Johnsburg Road, Johnsburg 60050. Mark checks: Taylor Radtke Fund. You can drop the donations at any First Midwest Bank location.

Mi - mi - mi - mi

We may have lost a couple of local dining spots with the closure of T.G.I. Friday's in Carpentersville and Mason's in East Dundee, but it looks like we'll soon get a new one on Randall Road in Algonquin. Reader Diane Faldstein wondered, like many of us, what the latest new building is that's going up in Algonquin, this one in front of Wickes Furniture by the Algonquin Commons. That will be Mimi's Cafe, community development coordinator and assistant village manager Jeff Mihelich tells me. Bring it on!

Book it!

Larry Pepper of the Friends of the Dundee Township Public Library tells me it's bargain time with their annual fall used book sale this weekend. You'll find plenty of books, CDs and DVDs from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p,m. Saturday in the downstairs meeting room of the library, 555 Barrington Road, East Dundee.

Fall drive?

For those of you who've called wondering when the Autumn Drive is this year, mark your calendars for the weekend of Oct. 19-21. The festival takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. along about a mile of Garden Valley Road between Woodstock and Marengo. Take Route 47 north to Route 176, go west to Franklinville Road then north to Garden Valley. You'll find farms and homes with crafts, pumpkins, apples, popcorn and plenty more. It's a great way to spend a few fall hours.

Calling Abbott grads

Holly McNeill of West Dundee invites all of you who attended Elgin's Abbott Middle School -- the oldest middle school in the state, by the way -- to gather old photographs, funny stories or anecdotes from your time there to share at the school's 75th anniversary party. Send them to Abbott Middle School, care of Mary Olsen, 949 Van St., Elgin, IL 60123. Then plan to join former teachers, students and staff at the open house from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21, at the school, 949 Van St., Elgin. All alumni and staff are invited to participate in the merriment. If you can play an instrument, sing or act, contact Anne Herrmann at or (847) 888-5160, ext. 2046.


No thanks to me, plenty of people packed the Cary Fire Protection District's open house -- despite a certain columnist telling you it was Sunday instead of Tuesday. I am very sorry for that error and glad many of you made it to the fine event. I, apparently, was suffering from a bad case of Cubs fever when I wrote that. I'm way over it now.

For those who missed the Cary fire open house, you can stop by Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District's open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at Station One, 1020 W. Algonquin Road, Lake in the Hills. Firefighter and spokesman Kim Matz tells me they'd love for you to stop by, look around and chat with firefighters. You'll see some hands-on instruction in using a fire extinguisher, an auto extrication demo, a vehicle rollover simulator, the K-9 arson investigation unit and a chance to learn how to exit a smoky house.

They hope you'll all use this fire safety event as a reminder to practice your escape plan. You've got one, right?