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January Spring




Galer becomes chair of National Newspaper Association board


John Galer (right), owner of The Journal-News in Hillsboro, is handed the gavel by outgoing National Newspapers Association Chair Brett Wesner, president of Wesner Publications in Cordell, Oklahoma, as Galer becomes the organization's new board chair. Galer was handed the gavel Oct. 8 during the NNA's annual meeting at its convention in San Francisco. (Photo by Kate Decker for PubAux in Pensacola, Florida)


The Illinois Press Association and its more than 400 members congratulate John Galer on his installation as chairman of the National Newspaper Association Board of Directors. Galer received the gavel in the traditional ceremony in San Francisco on Oct. 8.

John and the entire Galer family represent what is best about community newspapers across Illinois and across the nation.

The Journal-News of Hillsboro and its sister publications in central Illinois are part of a multi-generational family-owned company which does exactly what community newspapers should do. They provide local news, sports and community coverage which is so important to the readers in those towns.

John has also given his time to state and local concerns in the newspaper industry. He was a member of the Illinois Press Association Board of Directors for many years, serving as board president in 2013. John was on the IPA Board as the Association developed and implemented Public Notice Illinois, a public notice platform owned and managed by newspapers, for newspapers. Public Notice Illinois provides the template now used by more than 17 sister state newspaper associations to promote public notices, in newspapers and on the web, at no additional cost to the local governments which are required to publish public notices.

Since 2014 he has served as a guiding member of the Board of Directors for the Illinois Press Foundation, providing advice and insight as the Foundation launched, and now expands, Capitol News Illinois, a news bureau which operates from the state Capitol in Springfield. Opening with three reporters in 2019, the bureau is now expanding with additional print reporters and with a broadcast component set to begin in January 2023.

Congratulations to John, and congratulations to the NNA on another year of protecting the interests of community newspapers across the country.


Jerry Reppert, Reppert Publications of Anna, carries the Illinois flag during the flag ceremony of the opening breakfast of the National Newspaper Association Foundation's 136th Annual Convention & Trade Show in San Francisco. Reppert also is president of the Illinois Press Foundation Board. (Photo by Kate Decker for PubAux in Pensacola, Florida)

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Press Releases


Contact: Sara Davis
Habitat for Humanity of McHenry County
(815) 759-9002 ext. 102



Habitat ReStores in Woodstock & McHenry
kick off Winter 2022 Donation Drive

McHENRY COUNTY — McHenry County residents can support the store that helps build homes by donating to the Habitat McHenry County ReStores Winter Donation Drive, happening now through Dec. 31!
With free and convenient pickup service, McHenry County residents can easily donate new and gently used household items, appliances, building materials, furniture, lighting fixtures, cabinets, and more!
The Habitat ReStores in Woodstock and McHenry carry gently used donations along with an excellent selection of new and like new furniture, tools, home d├ęcor, and more! Habitat ReStores are open to the general public for shopping and donation drop-offs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Every purchase at a Habitat ReStore generates funds to help build, rehabilitate or repair Habitat for Humanity homes in McHenry County. Individuals and families applying to the Home Ownership program must complete a brief application, earn between 30% and 80% of the area median income based on their family size, and perform sweat equity to be considered for a home. 
“Every item donated to our ReStores helps to improve the lives of families in need of safe, affordable housing,” said Sara Davis, operations director for Habitat McHenry County, “This year alone, proceeds from our Habitat ReStores have helped us build and repair homes for more than 15 families in McHenry County.”
The Habitat ReStores rely heavily on the generosity of community donors, and all donations made through the 2022 Winter Donation Drive are tax deductible. For information about how to schedule a donation drop-off or pickup, email donations@habitatmchenry.org or call: 815-331-8153 ext. 302.
Habitat for Humanity ReStores – Woodstock, IL and McHenry, IL
Open to the public, Habitat ReStores are thrift home improvement stores and donation centers that sell building materials, appliances, furniture, and home decor at deep discounts to the communities they serve. In fiscal year 2021 alone, Habitat ReStores nationwide raised more than $76 million to help support Habitat's affordable housing mission while also diverting reusable material from landfills. All proceeds generated between both HFHMC ReStores are used to help build or improve homes in McHenry County. To shop, donate or volunteer, visit us online at www.habitatmchenry.org.



Contact: Brandon Bergersen
Valley Orchard
(815) 332-9696



Valley Orchard celebrates 45 years in the community with 'Fall 45 Fest' on October 8


CHERRY VALLEY – Valley Orchard in Cherry Valley, Illinois, is one of the oldest orchards in the community and has been a destination for cherry picking, apple picking, and apple cider donuts for 45 years in northern Illinois. Every spring, summer, and fall it has been a spot for outdoor entertainment, farm market shopping, and cider slushes. On October 8, the orchard is commemorating all the roles it has played for the community throughout its 45 years in business with a daylong anniversary celebration called “The Fall 45 Fest”. 

The event will be celebrating with the community by offering a variety of fun activities from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, October 8. This will include attractions for guests of all ages including pumpkin carving and scarecrow building contests, children’s activities, an antique tractor show, yard games, multiple food trucks, and one free apple cider donut for every visitor. For the full schedule of events visit the Valley Orchard Facebook event. 

"I love growing apples, I have for 45 years," said Valley Orchard owner and operator Raoul Bergersen.

Bergersen went on to say how grew up with a love for farming.

"I had a friend that one day said, 'Hey, are you interested in doing an apple orchard?' I said, 'Sure, why not' and had absolutely no idea how to do it," Bergersen said when asked how it all started. "In retrospect, that was really foolish knowing what I know now," Bergersen said with a laugh. "But it was really fun."

Bergersen purchased the land in the Village of Cherry Valley in 1977. In the first year, he planted 1,800 apple trees which now have more than 5,000 trees on the 35-acre property.
With an array of apples, including their own handcrafted Johnalicious, berries, pumpkins, corn, and an abundance of rhubarb; visitors can find everything they need.

"You become friends with your customers," Bergersen said, “and we want to celebrate 45 years with them. I'm going to keep this up for as long as I possibly can, and hopefully my sons will continue something that I started 45 years ago."

Join Valley Orchard for 45 years of fun on October 8 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 



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