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Peasley: New leaders step up to plate

As Woodstock Little League attains new leadership with several new board members, it’s timely to note the changes in this program for youth.

Will McKay was elected president at the September board meeting, succeeding Darrin Chonos. During Chonos’ presidency since 2008, Woodstock Little League kept pace with the need for improvements including the addition of the Challenger Division for children with mental and/or physical disabilities.

In its first year, the Challenger Division had more than 30 players on four teams.

“This has been one of the most rewarding things we have done,” Chonos said. “Seeing smiles on all the kids’ faces is unbelievable. The Challenger Division reinforces the good things Little League stands for – good sportsmanship, plenty of volunteers helping and a place for every kid to have a chance to play baseball no matter their skill level.”

Organized in 1954, Woodstock Little League is successful because volunteers work year-round. One important step is working closely with Woodstock Lightning and Girls Softball. Improvements in 2012 included extending two fields from 50-foot to 70-foot diamonds.

Woodstock Little League experienced growth in its fall and winter programs. During the past few years, WLL hosted several tournaments.

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Woodstock Police Chief Robert Lowen announces Detective George R. Kopulos has been named Police Officer of the Year by the Woodstock Moose Lodge. Kopulos will be honored with other Community Hero Award recipients at a dinner Saturday at the Moose Lodge.

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TownSquare Players will open their fall production, “Blithe Spirit,” at 8 p.m., Friday at Woodstock Opera House. Nol Coward’s witty dialogue, a sance with an unexpected result and a ghost named Elvira come together in this classic play. Local actors in the cast include Carrie MacDonald (Ruth), McHenry; and Paul Lockwood (Dr. Bradman) and Katelin Stack (Elvira), both of Woodstock. “Blithe Spirit” continues weekends until Nov. 18. Box Office: 815-338-5300.

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Longtime city of Woodstock employees were honored by Mayor Brian Sager at the Oct. 16 City Council meeting.

“I am pleased to extend the 2012 Employee Service Recognition Awards,” Sager said. “I am grateful for the excellent service these individuals provide to the citizens of Woodstock.”

Recognized for 20 years of work for the city were Christopher Birdsell, parks maintenance; Timothy Clifton, city manager; Stephen Major, foreman/sewer and water; Henry Vidales, wastewater operator; and Alan Wilson, city engineer.

Sager thanked John Scharres, opera house managing director, for his 35 years of service to the community. Scharres and his opera house staff are responsible for coordinating many of the events on the Square. Scharres’ pyrotechnic display at the July band concert is a favorite of Woodstock residents.

Don Peasley has been editor, columnist and historian in McHenry County since 1947. He began his association with Shaw Publications in 1950. 815-338-1533.

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