Hispanic Heritage Festival | Vietnam Veterans-Veterans Day | A Pint for Kim

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Hispanic Heritage Festival

A new festival is coming to town this September. To celebrate Naperville’s sister city, Cancún Mexico, the Naperville Sister Cities Commission is hosting a Hispanic Heritage Festival. The event will feature a mariachi band, Naperville Municipal Band, and possibly youth dance and choral groups. The three-hour event is scheduled for September 18 in Central Park at 104 E. Benton Avenue during National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Gold Star Memorial Project

At last night’s meeting of the Naperville Park District Board of Commissioners, the group discussed potential funding for a Gold Star Memorial project planned for Veterans Park. The monument is a partnership between Naperville Century Walk and the Woody Williams Foundation and will honor families of military service members who died in the line of duty. Park district staff identified $10,000 available from underspend on other projects to contribute to the monument. The board will vote on whether to grant those funds at its next meeting. Earlier this month, Naperville City Council granted additional SECA funds to Century Walk for the project.

North Central College Collaboration

A collaboration among North Central College, Valparaiso University, the University of Evansville and Drake University is receiving $10 million in grant funding from Lilly Endowment. The grant will support the establishment of a shared, cloud-based enterprise resource planning system with a single set of standardized business practices. The four learning institutions will also form a non-profit organization called the College and University Sustainability Project to provide efficient and effective non-academic services.

Vietnam Veterans-Veterans Day

On Monday, American Legion Post 43 and the Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873 are hosting Vietnam Veterans-Veterans Day. March 29 marks the 48th anniversary of the U.S. departure from Vietnam, and the program is to honor all those who served. Three Vietnam veterans will speak and the ceremony will also recognize “11 Naperville Fallen.” The public is welcome to join the 30-minute tribute, which will be observed at Veterans Park at 303 E. Gartner Road at 10:30 a.m. All COVID-19 safety protocols will be followed.

A Pint for Kim

This year’s “A Pint for Kim” blood drive will take place at the J.A. Air Center at the Aurora Municipal Airport in Sugar Grove on May 8. The inaugural drive was held last year, organized by Naperville resident Kimberly Sandford’s family in her honor. Sandford lost her long battle with cancer just days before the drive. The family says this year’s event will be bigger, with beds for donations set up for social distancing inside an airplane hangar. There will also be food trucks, live music, and a raffle. Last year’s event set the Illinois record for blood donations on a single day in a single location with almost 500 pints of blood. This year they hope to reach 500. Updates for this year’s drive can be found on the A Pint for Kim Facebook page.