Thumbs-up: To a banner day for community philanthropy. The most recent Give DeKalb County campaign, which lasted all day Thursday, raised more than $613,000 for 91 local nonprofit groups, the largest one-day total in the event’s five-year history. Organizers said the event has been helped by continued publicity and public familiarity, as well as the inclusion of walk-in donations at the DeKalb County Community Foundation’s office at the Sycamore Depot. We’re pleased at the way this event has grown over the years, becoming a key source of funding for organizations that provide a number of essential services for our community. Thank you to all who gave, all who contributed to the bonus pool, and all who worked to make the fifth annual Give DeKalb County a success.
Thumbs-up: To showcasing great performances by one of DeKalb’s own. On Thursday, acclaimed actor Richard Jenkins, who graduated from DeKalb High School in 1965, announced that the Egyptian Theatre would be screening nine of his favorite movies in which he has appeared. The films shown at the Egyptian will be “Dear John,” “Eat Pray Love,” “Flirting with Disaster,” “Bone Tomahawk,” “North Country,” “The Visitor,” “Step Brothers,” “Norman” and “The Shape of Water.” Jenkins’ performances in “The Visitor” and “The Shape of Water” earned him Academy Award nominations. It’s good to see the local theater celebrating the work of an accomplished actor with local roots, and it’s a great reminder that none of us should be afraid to dream big.
Thumbs-up: To honors for a local school superintendent. Rick Schmitt, the longtime superintendent of Sandwich School District 430, was named a 2018 Superintendent of Distinction through the Illinois Association of School Administrators this week. Schmitt has been an educator for 34 years and has been the top administrator for Sandwich schools for 19 years. He was one of 21 administrators statewide to be honored by the Illinois Association of School Administrators with the distinction this year. Congratulations to him on being honored by his peers. Education is critical for the future of our society, and Schmitt’s dedication to his district is commendable.
Thumbs-down: To another midair scare for Southwest Airlines passengers. On Wednesday, a Southwest flight from Chicago to Newark, New Jersey, had to make an emergency landing in Cleveland after a window on the plane cracked, alarming the 76 passengers aboard. One of those on the airplane was Rich Robinson of Sandwich, who described how startled passengers cleared out of two rows near the cracked window. The incident occurred only two weeks after a passenger on a Southwest Boeing 737 plane died after almost being sucked out of a window that was broken by debris from a failed engine. We’re grateful no one was hurt this time, and expect Southwest will take necessary measures to ensure the safety of passengers.