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Peasley: Upbeat people always a positive in life

When you think positively, you’re striving to improve your outlook on life. I think of several people I know who have a positive, upbeat approach to life.

My daughters Mary and Sarah brighten their surroundings, and it’s a pleasure to be around them.

Personally, I have been fortunate to obtain experienced knowledgeable help with my activities. Marybeth Vogrinc has been working in my office since 1980.

In January 2011, she started full-time at Sherman Hospital in Elgin and also works two days a week in my office.

Since January, Kathie Comella has brought her expertise in office management to my office. Her considerable knowledge of Woodstock activities is a valuable bonus.

•••

Looking back at significant events around the county in 2012, I find many individuals with that positive approach and make our community a better place to live.

February marked the 20th anniversary of filming Groundhog Day movie on the Woodstock Square. In February, Keith Johnson was presented the Harold Buschkopf award for community service by the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce.

In March, Mel Von Bergen, Hebron, was named a Master Farmer by Prairie Farmer magazine. Also in March, Mel and Bobette Von Bergen helped organize Hebron’s celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Green Giants state championship basketball team.

Nancy Fike retired in August after more than 30 years with the McHenry County Historical Society. Kurt Begalka assumed leadership of the museum in Union. Grace Moline retired after more than 20 years as an outstanding exhibit/collection coordinator. New coordinator is Kira Halvey.

Carol Louise retired as director of Family Alliance November 1. Kim Larson became director. John Buckley became the new director of Adult and Child Therapy Services in Woodstock after Larson’s departure.

In downtown Woodstock this fall, workmen cleared buildings on Main Street to allow major expansion of the Woodstock Theater. Owners Willis and Shirley Johnson and their son Chris lead efforts to double the screens from four to eight.

Dorr Township has moved township offices to Lake Avenue near the intersection with Illinois Route 47. Township Supervisor Bob Pierce says the new location provides a community room for meetings and more space for storage.

Another 2012 highlight was to observe the 100th anniversary of the McHenry County Farm Bureau in August and witness the election of its first woman president, Michelle Aavang. The city of Woodstock obtained ownership of the Old Court House on the Square. City staff hope to preserve the historical building for future generations. Woodstock is searching for personnel to replace two retirees. City manager Tim Clifton retires in April and public works director John Isbell retires in March.

Happy new year, and keep that positive attitude for 2013!

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

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