Waukegan Main Street Honors Outstanding Volunteers

Waukegan Main Street Logo


WAUKEGAN, ILL. Sept. 11, 2013—The Board of Directors and Executive Director of Waukegan Main Street, a nonprofit organization working to revitalize the economy and preserve the historic character of downtown Waukegan, honored six volunteers during its annual Volunteer Appreciation Celebration. The event was held at Jerry’s Tacos, 120 N. Genesee St. in Waukegan.

Outstanding volunteers representing each of Waukegan Main Street’s four committees were singled out for recognition by their respective committee chairs.

“Volunteers are the heart of Main Street, so it’s difficult to choose just one person as the outstanding volunteer of the year. This year we’re honoring an individual from each committee whose work and dedication had an immediate and/or long-term impact on our organization,” said Jane Ferry, Executive Director.

Irene Edgar received the Design Committee award for organizing an architectural scavenger hunt in conjunction with Waukegan Public Library’s Monarch Festival. Edgar, who created the scavenger hunt several years ago, updates it each year with new pictures. Approximately 1,300 people attended the Monarch Festival on Sept. 8.

Bob Sobol received the Economic Development Committee award for his ongoing work on the kiosk program. Kiosks, to be located throughout the Main Street District, will feature directional maps, event postings and advertisements from local businesses and organizations. The first kiosk is on the northeast corner of Genesee Street and Clayton Avenue, outside the Genesee Theatre.

Lisa Chester received the Promotions Committee award for her work on the weekly “Upcoming Events” email that goes to nearly 3,000 individual addresses as well as the new Waukegan Main Street website, as well as for marching with her family in the Independence Day parades the last two years.

Marilynn Eccles, Lynda Guynn and Erica Lewis received awards from the Organization Committee for their work on the silent auction during Waukegan Main Street’s annual Mardi Gras fundraiser.

Wrapping up the awards presentation, Ferry said, “Let me reiterate something from the beginning of the night: Volunteers are the heart of Main Street. Every person in this room has donated time, talents and often money to further our goal. You’ve served on the board, on committees or on projects. You’ve stuffed envelopes, made phone calls and picked up trash. You are there when we call. Please accept this thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

For more information, visit WaukeganMainStreet.org or call 847-623-6650.

About Waukegan Main Street
Waukegan Main Street is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to rebuilding and reinventing Waukegan’s historic downtown business district by partnering with residents,
small-business owners, property owners, developers, the City of Waukegan and entities such as the Waukegan Park District, the Waukegan Port District and the Waukegan Public Library. With programs that help small businesses thrive and events that bring people of all ages downtown, Waukegan Main Street is a driving force in creating a more vibrant downtown.

Media Contacts: Jane Ferry, 847-623-6650, jane@waukeganmainstreet.org.



Architectural Scavenger Hunt Answers

A great time was had by over 1300 people who attended the Waukegan Public Library’s Monarch Festival this past Sunday.  Irene Edgar and I had a good time talking to all the people who came by our table, giving away WMS stickers and challenging people with Irene’s awesome Architectural Scavenger Hunt!

As promised, here are the answers to the Scavenger Hunt with some interesting architectural notes:

  1. Parking garage at First Midwest Bank on County – folded plate roof
  2. Carnegie Library at 1 N. Sheridan – Doric column
  3. Le Chateau at 10 N. Sheridan
  4. Karcher Artspace Lofts – anchor for cast iron tie rod
  5. 120 Washington Street – anchor for cast iron tie rod or ornamental rosette
  6. Jerry’s Tacos at 120 N. Genesee – gooseneck lamp
  7. 118 Washington Street – Richardsonian Romanesque
  8. Waukegan Building at 4 S. Genesee
  9. YMCA Building at 204 County – Different colors of brick laid in a Flemish Diagonal Bond to create diagonal pattern
  10. Genesee Theatre at 203 N. Genesee = variation on Corinthian pilaster
  11. Sauter Building/Sterns – copper ornamental banding on oriel window
  12. Blumberg Building on South Genesee
  13. Merchants’ Block at Water and Genesee
  14. 209 Madison
  15. 122 Madison

ArchHuntp1Architectural Scavenger Hunt pg 2

Thanks again to Irene Edgar for her hard work and to everyone who swung by our Monarch Festival table!

~Jane Ferry
WMS Executive Director

Volunteering Creates a Sense of Belonging, of Community

Waukegan Main Street's table at the Walk for Seniors
Waukegan Main Street volunteer Barbara Dunakin.

The Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Tip for today hit home:

To foster a sense of belonging, create meaningful rituals with your family or community, such as volunteering together once a month.

We say it regularly:  Volunteers are the heart of Waukegan Main Street!  Whether we are tending to the planters on Genesee Street or working a table at Monarch Festival, volunteering exposes us to a diverse group of people and has a positive  impact on our community.  Other benefits of volunteering include:

Learning or developing a new skill

Volunteering is the chance  to discover something one is good at and hone a new skill. Mahatma Gandhi said, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow.  Learn as if you were to live forever.” It is never too late to learn no matter what age, employment or background.

Motivation and sense of achievement

Volunteering is about giving one’s time, energy and skills freely.  Unlike many things in life there is choice involved. Volunteers often feel a sense of achievement and motivation, a sense of accomplishment, a sense of wellness – and a sense of enthusiasm that can be contagious.

Boost career options

A survey carried out by TimeBank showed

  • 73% of employers would recruit a candidate with volunteering experience over one without
  • 94% of employers believe volunteering can add to skills
  • 94% of employees who volunteered to learn new skills benefited by getting their first job, improving their salary, or being promoted

Also, when one is thinking of a career change volunteering is a perfect way to explore new fields.

New interests and hobbies

Volunteering is an escape from everyday routines, helping create a balance in our lives. The energy and sense of fulfillment can carry over to a work situation and often relieves tensions, fostering new perspectives for old situations.

New experiences and skills

Volunteering is a way to get life experience. Whether building a library or coordinating a fundraiser, the experience is real, hands-on work.  Volunteering also brings together people from all backgrounds and walks of life. Interacting with new people may help one develop interpersonal skills and offers the opportunity to network outside of one’s own circle

Make new friends

Not only does volunteering lead to lasting professional relationships but oftentimes is the basis for friendship.  If one is new to an area or has changed living situations, volunteering offers introductions to new people with common interests.

Show people what you are passionate about and maybe you will inspire them too!

~Jane Ferry
WMS Executive Director

(Credit:  http://www.worldvolunteerweb.org)

Volunteers Appreciaton Celebration!

Have you volunteered for Waukegan Main Street?  Tonight we are celebrating you and all the wonderful work you’ve done for Waukegan.  You’ve worked events, stuffed envelopes, handed out flyers, and served on our Committees and Board.  Now it’s time to relax and enjoy an evening of appetizers and camaraderie!

Haven’t volunteered yet, but are interested in seeing what opportunities are available?  Here’s your chance to get to know us and join the fun! Looking forward to seeing you there!


Volunteer Appreciation Celebration at Jerry's Tacos on September 11th!

Labor Day Weekend Fun

Harbor Sunrise

Even though the Waukegan Schools are already back in session, Labor Day weekend signals the end of Summer for so many of us.  This weekend’s weather, however, may seem more like mid-July so find time to enjoy our beautiful Waukegan Beach.  Remember, it’s cooler near the lake.

Need some ideas for your weekend?  How about …

  • Live blues and jazz every Friday at Jerry’s Tacos from 6- 8pm
  • Karaoke every Friday at 17 North starting at 9pm
  • The Archie Parks Project every Friday at Big Ed’s starting at 7:30pm


  • Green Town Yoga at Stiner Pavilion, Waukegan Beach starting at 9am
  • Happy Time Breakfast every Saturday at Green Town Tavern
  • The Neil Rose Band this Saturday at Big Ed’s starting at 7:30pm
  • Fowl Mouth, Street Fist and The Forty Whacks this Saturday at the Burgundy Room at 10pm


  • Sunrise Breakfast every Saturday and Sunday at 17 North at 9am


And, if you haven’t seen our weekly calendar and highlights, check it out by clicking here.  You can even sign up to get the calendar emailed directly to you by clicking here.


Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend!
~Jane Ferry, Executive Director

17 North/WMS VIP Event Tonight!

17 North is giving Waukegan Main Street members a great VIP perk and they want to tell you all about it tonight!

Waukegan Main Street VIP Program! 

Starlight Room at 17 North

TONIGHT from 5 – 7pm

Join us for an open house with free appetizers and get your 17 North VIP Card.  Using the VIP Card will take 10% off your bill every time you go to 17 North.   In addition, you will be registered in their Rewards Program, giving you points for enjoying good food and spirits.  When you reach 300 points, you’ll receive a $25 gift card.

Not a member of Waukegan Main Street?  You can sign up tonight!

Beach Clean-Up September 21st at 10am

Waukegan Beach

Looking for a family-friendly, fun volunteer activity?  Friends of Waukegan Beach and Waukegan Main Street are teaming up to clean up our own lovely stretch of beach as part of the Alliance for the Great Lakes annual September Adopt-a-Beach™ Event.  The event is part of the International Coastal Cleanup where thousands of volunteers remove trash and collect data on their findings.

Mark your calendar for Saturday, September 21st at 10am.  We will provide bags.  Bring your own gloves or pickers if you have them.  Have fun giving back to the places you care about.  The Great Lakes shoreline – and especially Waukegan Municipal Beach – is right in our back yard.

The Alliance is devoted 100 percent to the lakes and works with scientists, policymakers, businesses, community groups and everyday citizens to protect and restore the world’s largest surface freshwater resource.  From forging forward-looking policies to promoting education to on-the-ground efforts to improve thousands of miles of Great Lakes shoreline, they are out front and behind the scenes, caring for the lakes since 1970. For more information about Alliance for the Great Lakes, click here.

ArtWauk and a Sense of Community

As Board President and Executive Director of Waukegan Main Street, Jamie O’Meara and I attend almost every City Council meeting.  We keep in touch with decisions being made and share upcoming events during Audience Time.  After the last City Council meeting, we were stopped by a couple who came to the August ArtWauk.  The woman said:

Our daughter went to school in New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina. When we visited, we couldn’t get over the sense of community.  People were friendly and welcoming.  You don’t feel that very often, but that’s what we felt at ArtWauk.

We thought we’d come downtown early just to see what it was like … and stayed until after 10!  We visited galleries, talked to artists, enjoyed music, had dinner, and from one place to the next we felt welcomed and that same sense of community.

Such positive feedback!  Have you been to ArtWauk lately?  Ever?  Your next chance is September 21st.  ArtWauk runs from 5 – 10pm with galleries, shops and restaurants open from Genesee Street south of Water Street to Clayton and County to the Karcher ArtSpace on Washington Street and MLK Jr. Dr.

New this ArtWauk, ambassadors will be handing out programs and helping guide people around the Arts District.  This month, too, Undercroft Gallery in the lower level of Christ Episcopal Church will be open from 3 – 6 with the show “Privileged 2B … the Photography of Ali Albakri”, including footage from the original ArtWauks 10 years ago.

Come out and enjoy the sense of community our visitors felt.
~Jane Ferry, Executive Director