76. Final Vote for Barrington’s Best 2011 Scarecrow

365 Barrington Where's the Scarecrow Contest

There’s only one day left to vote for your favorite scarecrows designed this year in the annual scarecrow contest hosted by the Village of Barrington. Voting ends tomorrow on Halloween and they’ll announce the winners on Tuesday, November 1st. Over 60 local merchants designed scarecrows for their storefronts as part of this year’s contest and we’ve highlighted a few of them in recent weeks with our “Spot the Scarecrow” scavenger hunt here at 365Barrington.com.

Our most recent winner correctly guessed the artist scarecrow above perched outside Angelina, a favorite Barrington boutique for gifts, stationery, home accents and fashion accessories. Angelina’s owner, Katie Kuempel, says she designed the art-themed scarecrow as a tribute to the artists whose jewelry and other pieces she sells in her shop.

The winner who correctly guessed Anglina’s scarecrow wins a $15 gift certificate to spend on merchandise at Angelina and her name is…

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75. Halloween Costume Ideas from my 20 Year Reunion

Christmas Dance

I’m bracing myself for a major blast from the past this Saturday night when my husband and I attend my 20 year high school reunion.  Thanks to Facebook, I’ve seen a lot of hilarious old photos posted by my high school classmates in recent weeks.  And, believe me, in many photos, I’m sporting some seriously questionable styles, like this velvet puff sleeve and taffeta skirt number I was workin’ for a freshman year Christmas dance, circa 1987.  Don’t you love how some photos make you relive the most awkward moments?

I went to an all-girls Catholic high school in Wilmette called Regina Dominican, where Laura Ashley dresses were all the rage.  I’ll have an instant costume if I bring out one of those bad boys this Halloween.  And thank God we had some sweet fashion influences in the music of our time. As one of the planners of this weekend’s party, I’m in charge of creating a playlist for the night. And I’m discovering that, if you need an idea for a Halloween costume this weekend, you need look no further than the wardrobe nuggets found in these top ten hit music videos, hand-picked from the late eighties and early nineties.

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74. 8th Annual Barrington Taste Fest and Expo

Courtesy of the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce

Once a year in Barrington, the finest local chefs all come together in one place to serve up a special menu of featured dishes for diners to sample. It’s called the Barrington Taste Fest & Expo, it’s happening Thursday night, October 27th, at the Millrose Restaurant in South Barrington and tickets are selling fast, but still available.

Courtesy of the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce

The event is organized by the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce as a way to help the community get acquainted with some of the latest offerings made by local restaurants, caterers, bakeries, breweries and wine representatives.

Courtesy of the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce

But it’s not just about the food. While you sip and sample, you’ll also be able to mingle with exhibitors representing Barrington businesses in a wide range of categories, including medical professionals, retailers, financial and real estate advisors.  They’ll be sharing the space to feature their products and services while raffling great prizes. And the Chamber puts a fun spin on the event by giving you a passport when you walk through the door…

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73. Inaugural Barrington Honor Ride, Run & Concert

Courtesy of Ride 2 Recovery

We’re all invited to join dozens of retired and active members of the US Military this Sunday, including wounded veterans, four-star generals and a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, as they run and ride their bikes in the first annual Barrington Honor Ride and Run.  The event offers participants three choices, a 30 mile bike ride, 10k or 5k run.  It starts with a race, ends with a concert and comes with the opportunity to shake hands and share the course with men and women who have fought to defend our country.

Courtesy of Ride 2 Recovery

Earlier this year, a group of Barrington residents reached out to Ride 2 Recovery, a non-profit organization that plans races like these throughout the country.  Ride 2 Recovery’s mission is to benefit mental and physical rehabilitation initiatives for the country’s wounded veterans through a series of cycling programs. They coordinated with the Barrington villages along with Operation Homefront, another non-profit group committed to serving the military, and planned this weekend’s event in just over two months.  Today I asked one of the organizers, who is flying in from California to be here, how these rides help ….

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72. Scarecrow Fest, Pumpkins & Ponies OH MY

Courtesy of the Village of Barrington

It’s all straw and games tomorrow at the Village of Barrington’s annual Scarecrow Festival.  There will be plenty of materials on hand to decorate an army of straw folks along with pumpkins for your doorstep. All are welcome to join the community and come check it out at Memorial Park.

Courtesy of the Village of Barrington

The free festival will feature scarecrow, pumpkin and cookie decorating along with pony rides, games, a moonwalk and a slide for kids. Materials for scarecrows will be provided, but you can also bring your own clothing and accessories to personalize your creations.

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71. Bust a Move for the Pink Glove Dance Competition

Pink Glove Dance Competition

It’s not every day that you see people dancing through the halls at Good Shepherd Hospital.  It’s not every day that you find hospital doctors, nurses and staff wearing pink gloves and feather boas to work.  But they’ve been up to something over at the hospital here in Barrington and, when I saw what it was, it gave me goosebumps.  It’s a video of about 100 Good Shepherd Hospital employees, wearing pink and dancing to Firework, one of my favorite Katy Perry songs. Who knew so many of our local healthcare providers double as dancing divas!?!

Photo Courtesy of Good Shepherd RN Breast Care Manager, Charlotte Dioguardi

They created the video to win a dance competition and it’s a major feat in choreographed camaraderie executed by employees, men and women, from just about every department at the hospital.

Photo Courtesy of Good Shepherd RN Breast Care Manager, Charlotte Dioguardi

From the hospital’s president, Karen Lambert, to its housekeepers, from its doctors to its paramedics, there’s no sign of stage fright over wearing wacky pink accessories while grooving to the beat.

Courtesy of Good Shepherd RN Breast Care Manager, Charlotte Dioguardi

They’re bringing out the boogie in hospital beds, at their desks and through the hospital halls.  NOW IT’S OUR TURN to help them dance their way to winning a top prize.  Read on to watch their video and cast your vote…

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70. Stiletto March Pub Crawl & Girls Night Out

Stiletto March at the South Barrington Arboretum

Who wants to join a stampede of ladies in stilettos in South Barrington tonight?  A bevy of Barrington’s most bodacious babes will be there to shop, sip cocktails and help stamp out breast cancer, one heel at a time!  The guest list is growing and we’re all invited to take part.  It’s a new spin on a classic pub crawl, where you’ll be standing tall and looking lovely while catching up with friends and helping a great cause.  So if you want an excuse to break out your favorite pair of stiletto heels, look no further!

Tonight’s Stiletto March at The Arboretum of South Barrington starts at 5 p.m. and I’m told a lot of ladies are planning to be there, in their stilettos, of course. It’s a girls night out, but guys, you might want to show up, too. After all, where else will you find so much beauty, all in one place? So here’s the scoop…

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69. Chicago Art Gala for Local Cancer Support Center

McLeod Family, Courtesy of Wellness Place

One of the scariest feelings of all is when someone you love is diagnosed with cancer. But when it happened to one of my closest family members, I didn’t realize that help is right around the corner. Wellness Place is a community cancer resource in Palatine for cancer patients of all ages and those who love and care for them.  The group was founded eleven years ago by two Barrington cancer survivors.  It’s thriving today, thanks to contributions from the community and events like this Saturday’s Art of the Human Spirit Gala, on October 8th at the Art Institute of Chicago. Over the years, hundreds of cancer patients and their families have turned to Wellness Place to find comfort and to cope with the disease in their own way and at no charge. The McLeod family is sharing their story to give us a look at one of the ways Wellness helps.

McLeod Family, Courtesy of Wellness Place

When Carolyn and Mike McLeod’s 5-year-old son, Sam, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia two years ago, they turned to Wellness Place to find ways to help Sam and his little sister, Grace deal with the diagnosis. Carolyn says, “It really has been tearing me apart to watch Sam go through so much while fighting this awful disease. It’s just as heart-wrenching to see my healthy child experience all that she has.” Wellness Place Art Therapist, Lori Mackey, has worked hard to help Grace better understand her big brother’s situation.

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