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New event planned in downtown Batavia to celebrate Day of Peace

The US International Day of Peace is scheduled for Sept. 21 and the Batavia Parks Foundation will offer you a fresh celebration in the town to tie-in with the function.

The Batavia Peace Day event will start at 5: 30 p.m. at the Peace Bridge and Riverwalk South Plaza in downtown Batavia.

The celebration has been sponsored by Drendel & Jansons Law Group.

Batavia resident Craig Foltos, 69, who owns a barber shop around, will serve because the master of ceremonies and said he could be excited about the city having the possiblity to get together over something positive.

Anytime you may get a lot of people together and feel the right things and realize were all in this together, he said, isnt a good thing to accomplish?

Years back, Foltos constructed wooden letters saying Peace on the planet which have been placed over the bicycle-pedestrian bridge each year through the Christmas season.

Once you drive across that bridge and note that peace sign it puts you in an improved mood, Foltos said.

The Batavia Parks Foundation, Foltos said, wished to partner with him hoping of raising money for permanent metal letters featuring LED lighting which will identify the Peace Bridge.

Foltos raised funds himself for the project through sales of T-shirts and sweatshirts in addition to private donations to provide to the building blocks.

Batavia resident Britta McKenna, president of the Batavia Parks Foundation, said the board got inspired when Craig (Foltos) handed us a $4,000 check.

They were the funds he previously raised and he said every season we hold a sing-along before we take the letters down and its own so moving and somebody else discussed each day of peace. Somebody Googled it and heard bout the US Day of Peace, McKenna said. Board members were texting me overnight and saying, We must do this therefore we jumped onto it and decided were likely to take the US Day of Peace and amplify their message and take it to Batavia.

The full total cost of the project to set up the metal letters on the bridge is $50,000, McKenna said, adding that in the span of a couple of months, the group has recently raised $32,000.

Following the Highland Park tragedy were researching to actively promote peace which event gives our project more exposure and also supporting the thought of peace, she said. I cant solve violence but we are able to promote peace.

McKenna thought to date, each one of the letters has been sponsored and that Drendel & Jansons Law Group contacted her about how exactly they too could easily get involved.

We are in need of working capital and we asked should they wanted to be considered a sponsor of the local day of peace plus they said yes, McKenna said. If all goes well, hopefully to truly have a ribbon cutting because of this project installed at the 2023 Day of Peace.

The schedule because of this years inaugural celebration includes guitar selections by Dave Ramont at 5: 30 p.m.; Unity Circle dancing, led by dancer and mentor Behati Hart, at 6 p.m.; the Batavia SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL Orchestra, conducted by Allison Liska, at 6: 30 p.m.; and a poetry recitation of a bit called Peace on the planet by Christopher Kuhl and a proclamation by the town of Batavia at 6: 55 p.m.

A 7 p.m. you will have a residential area sing-along and luminaria on display.

Corporate sponsorships and donations are increasingly being accepted for the project. For information, e-mail

Donations via check could be made out to Batavia Parks Foundation and mailed to Batavia Parks Foundation, 327 W. Wilson St., Batavia, IL. 60510.

David Sharos is really a freelance reporter for The Beacon-News.

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