Newsletter - Volume 1 Issue 4 - Winter 2006

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Inside this issue:

Give the Gift of Chocolate!
Prayers from Italy
A Playhouse on "Kathryn Bender Blvd."
"Kathryn's Bears" and Handheld Games
Paint your Butterfly
Dancing for the Holidays
Turkey Bowl 2006
One Year has Passed...
Thank You




Please visit our website to stay updated with our upcoming events this next year, such as our 2nd Annual Kathryn Bender Showcase on May 15th, 2007 and our KBMF 5K Walk/Run.


Give the Gift of Chocolate!

Attention Chocolate Lovers!!!

The Chocolate Thursdays cookbooks are now available!!!

Chocolate Thursdays is a cookbook containing a variety of recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth. It also makes for a great gift idea for any chocolate lover any time of the year!

The cookbook idea was a result of chocolate treats that were brought in every Thursday, first by the third grade team at Beebe Elementary School, which then spread to the entire staff at Beebe.

During this time of sharing chocolate treats on Thursdays, Kathryn passed away.

Under the guidance of Amy Tomney, the recipes were collected and placed into a beautifully designed cookbook. The cost of this cookbook is $10.00. A major portion of the proceeds from the sale of this cookbook will be going to KBMF.

Chocolate Thursdays can be purchased at Anderson's Bookshop in Downtown Naperville, the School District 203 Administration offices, and also at the following District 203 schools: Beebe, Mill Street and Naper Elementary, Washington Junior High and Naperville North High School. STEPS Dance Center located on Commons Dr. in Aurora, will also have cookbooks for purchasing.

If you are unable to go to any of the listed locations to purchase a cookbook, please send us an e-mail from the contact us link on our website and we will be sure that you receive one!


Prayers from Italy

On November 20th, there were many thoughts and prayers being said in remembrance of the first anniversary of Kathryn's passing. One in particular came as quite a surprise to all, especially to Melissa and Tom Kuhrt who, while in Rome, Italy, wanted to do something in Kathryn's memory.

They thought it would be a tribute to Kathryn to have a mass said for her at St. Peter's Basilica. This great building is the largest church in the world located in the Vatican City. The response they heard was that there was a long wait for having a mass said for someone, but they would add Kathryn's name on the list.

After a return visit to the Basilica, they saw the priest that they had spoken to about the mass for Kathryn and they were told that a mass had been said for her already.

When Melissa and Tom asked the date of the mass, they were told that it took place unexpectedly on the 20th of November.


A Playhouse on "Kathryn Bender Blvd."

On November 20, 2005, the day Kathryn passed away, Naperville resident Leigh Ann Boscarino won a playhouse from a Saybrook Garden Club raffle. The playhouse is a replica of a house built in Naperville and was built by Siena Custom Builders.

Leigh Ann has three children who attend Beebe Elementary school, which is also where Kathryn's mother, Doris, teaches kindergarten. The next day, when Leigh Ann heard about Kathryn's death, she decided to donate the playhouse to Beebe school in her memory. "I've had such a wonderful experience with the neighborhood and with the school, and it just seemed right," said Leigh Ann.

With the help of Beebe's principal Robyn Rippel, Naperville's City Manager Peter Burchard and Naperville's Development Services Team Leader Dick Dublinski, LaGrange Crane Services Inc. was contacted and donated the $500 expense of moving the playhouse. They lifted the playhouse over the building and into the school's courtyard just outside Doris' classroom. Now, not only can the children play in the playhouse, but Doris can view the house from her classroom window. The city has also donated a yellow street sign for the courtyard that says, "Kathryn Bender Blvd" on one side and on the other side "Beebe School."

"I feel so proud and so thrilled...not just for the Bender family, but for the Beebe family, too," Rippel said. "Because everybody is going to be able to benefit for generations to come on this wonderful donation in memory of such a fabulous young girl."


"Kathryn's Bears" and Handheld Games

Last year before the holidays, KBMF collected stuffed bears in memory of Kathryn. We donated Kathryn's Bears to Children's Memorial Hospital for kids to receive during the holiday season or after an operation throughout the year.

We recently had a guestbook entry on our website from a young girl named Madeline who had received one of Kathryn's Bears after an operation. "When getting an operation...I had gotten one of the Kathryn's Bears donated from Steps and it means a lot to me, and even though I didn't know her, she will never be forgotten in my heart," she said.

This year again, we have collected Kathryn's Bears and have taken them to Children's Memorial Hospital. Along with the bears, we collected handheld games to donate as well.

Thank you to Steps Dance Center who set up the collection for us this year and to all who donated bears and games. We are excited that these donations will bring a smile to the faces of many children.


Paint your Butterfly

The mural that was started last summer at Naper Elementary School is still in the works. It will be an ongoing process in order to allow everyone to paint their butterflies on the wall. We have received several e-mails from people wishing to paint a butterfly for Kathryn. As soon as the weather allows, we will set up dates to paint.

If you wish to paint a butterfly for Kathryn, please let us know by sending us an e-mail in the contact us link on our website.

We are excited to see how many butterflies we can paint to fill the wall!


Dancing for the Holidays

This month, Steps Dance Center is sending dancers to perform at a holiday party held by Our Children's Homestead.

Our Children's Homestead is the foster care agency that we are working with to provide children the opportunity to participate in dance classes using KBMF. The funds provide lessons and dance apparel to each participating child.

Not only will we entertain the audience with a twenty minute dance performance, but also allow an opportunity for interaction with the children to teach them a short dance routine.

Kathryn's love for children and her passion for dance will be shared through this event.


Turkey Bowl 2006

A tradition started many years ago helped to benefit KBMF this time around. Each year Nicholas, Kathryn's brother, and his friends meet on Thanksgiving for a yearly football game. This year the organizer of the annual game, Joey Nikkel, asked for all those involved to make a donation to Kathryn's fund. We are thankful for all those who continue to remember Kathryn and all the ways we are trying to reach others through the use of her funds.


One Year has Passed...

This past November 20th, marked the one year anniversary of Kathryn's passing. During the year, we hope that we have made a difference in the lives of others. The outpouring of support we have received, has allowed us to share a bit of Kathryn with many. We hope that the information on Kathryn's website has opened your hearts as to what a difference one person can make.

There is no doubt that Kathryn had many people thinking about her and praying for her not only on November 20th, but every day of the year. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.


Thank You...

Amy Tomney for creating and putting together the Chocolate Thursdays Cookbook fundraiser.

Barron Family, Cathy Rosenberg and Jennifer Fiduccia for donating money from their yard sales to KBMF.

Greg Woods for his musical talent in composing a piano piece entitled "Song for Kathryn."

Joey Nikkel for organizing the Turkey Bowl as a fundraiser.

Nick Melville for keeping the KBMF website up to date.

NNHS Friends of Drama for donating portions of the Fall play to KBMF.

Paula Rhodes and Ray Kinney from Minuteman Press for editing and printing the Chocolate Thursdays Cookbook.

Ray Kinney at Minuteman Press for printing our newsletter.

Shelly Patch and Lisa Harmon for their creative talents on the cookbook.

Waubonsie Valley High School for their special tribute to Kathryn at their Fox Valley showcase this November.

Family and Friends who have visited the cemetery and left flowers, cards and gifts for Kathryn.

And all those who continue to support and contribute to KMBF.