We’re making it through the rain

“I made it through the rain, I kept my world protected. I made it through the rain, I kept my point of view. I made it through the rain, and found myself respected, by the others who got rained on, too – and made it through.”

This verse from Barry Manilow’s song “I Made It Through The Rain” should be the new anthem for all of us who cautiously, but optimistically, are beginning to see the light again.

You know who you are. The small business owner who worked so hard to build a respectable business he could call his own and slowly found himself scared, entertaining the thoughts of closing the doors for good.

The mother and father who have spent countless nights staring up at the ceiling trying to balance in their minds the importance of owning and keeping their home. The hard-working employee who has had to re-program her brain to strive for a job, any job, instead of that perfect job she used to dream of.

All of you deserve to be respected. A wise man once said, “Managing money is easy – but it takes skill to manage without it.” Hearing more and more business owners talk about the good they are experiencing is becoming more prevalent. Their stories might be told with details of hardship and sacrifice, but nonetheless, the positive stories are becoming more the norm. We find ourselves appreciative of the sacrifice and we have a newfound respect for them.

So whether you have hung on and feel you’ll make it through the rain, or are starting over, remember there are others who got rained on, too, and made it through – and so will you.

* * *

Wonder Lake’s Fourth of July festivities kick off Thursday with the Fourth of July Parade at 1:30 p.m.

The 2013 grand parade marshals are brothers Ken and Jerry Graff of C&A Auto Body & Storage in Wonder Lake.

C&A was was originally established in Chicago in 1956 by Chuck Lebda and Al Graff. They expanded to Wonder Lake where brothers Ken and Jerry took it over from their father in 1972.

Both Ken and Jerry and their families have lived in Wonder Lake since 1967. Customer satisfaction and hometown pride are priorities in the lives of these two men. They support local organizations and events, and are members of Christ the King Church, Holy Apostles, the Wonder Lake chamber, the Wonder Lake Sportsman Club, the Wonder Lake Water Ski Show Team, and support he local food pantry along with many annual community events.

Jerry and his wife, Judy, have two children and six grandchildren. Ken and his wife, Mary Jo, have two children and three grandchildren.

This year’s parade theme is “Mardi Gras.” The parade will step off ffrom Christ the King Catholic Church and proceed down East Wonder Lake Road to Hancock Drive. The parade ends at Wonder Center beach.

Following the parade there will be an open house at the Wonder Lake Fire Department, 4300 E Wonder Lake Road. The Kids Zone next to the chamber office, 7602 Hancock Drive, will feature face painting, a dunk tank, obstacle course, photo booth, duck pond and fun, colorful balloons compliments of Dr. Gregory Sierminski, DDS. After having fun at the Kids Zone, walk down to the lake and tour he McHenry County Historical Society’s history bus, and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary’s boats. Then cross the street and enjoy pizza from Paulee’s Pizza, funnel cakes, ice cream, and gourmet coffee cakes and goodies.

Spread your blanket on the beach and enjoy the championship Wonder Lake Water Ski Show Team perform at 4:30 p.m. The day concludes with a fireworks display over the lake.

• Donna Sullivan is executive director of the Wonder Lake Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at 815-728-0682.

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