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Willow Springs to host Chicago Blues Challenge July 30

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By Steve Metsch

The village of Willow Springs will have the blues this summer.

The village and the Windy City Blues Society will host the Chicago Blues Challenge, scheduled from noon to 10 p.m. July 30.

It’s a good fit with the Windy City Blues Society, Willow Springs Village Administrator Ryan Grace said on May 12.

“They were looking for a community to host. I was looking to add events to put on in town,” Grace said.

Grace is familiar with the blues society as he helped Lyons host the Windy City Blues Fest in September 2018. That’s when Grace was director of public works in Lyons.

Grace said he talked with society president Dave Madlener about having the blues challenge in Willow Springs. Both agreed it’s a good idea. The challenge will feature numerous blues performers.

Details have yet to be ironed out, but it will be held near Imperial Oak Brewing near the Metra train station, Grace said.

“It’s the perfect location,” Grace said.

At its May 10 meeting, the Township of Lyons board approved a $1,000 sponsorship for the blues challenge.

In other action, the township board approved the following donations:

  • $150 to the Justice Senior Citizens Club, 7800 S. Archer Road, Justice, for its annual restaurant celebration.
    $250 to the Summit Public Library, 6233 S. Archer Road, for the summer reading program that starts June 14.
    $250 to the Justice Chamber of Commerce for the annual rib roast planned from noon to 3 p.m. May 21 at Wilkins Elementary School, 8001 S. 82nd Ave., Justice.
    $300 to the VFW of Western Springs, Memorial Post 10778 for the Memorial Day Parade on May 30.
    $750 to the Lyons Mustangs Athletic Club, 4047 Leland Ave., to help fund operations.
    $1,500 to the La Grange Pet Parade set for June 4.

The board also approve paying $7,731 to Marchone Electrical Design.

Based in Willow Springs, the company will new dimmer switches and outlets and remove unused wall boxes in the community room at the township building.

Township Clerk Elyse Hoffenberg said 50 residents attended a Secretary of State Mobile ID even at the township building on April 28.

Thirty-seven were able to renew their driver’s licenses or license plates, Hoffenberg said.

Anyone age 50 and over eligible to get the second booster, Hoffenberg said.

Trustee Colleen Kelly commented on how nice the township building looks after extensive renovations were made to the exterior, including new signage.

“The transformation this building has made,” she said. “They did a fantastic job.”

Trustee Donna McDonald noted that there’s still time to apply for the summer intern jobs program that begins on May 31.

“You have to be a resident (of the township) and you have to be going to school, have proof you are going to school next year,” McDonald said. “We had a very successful program last summer.”

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