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Top 5 most uplifting stories of 2013 in the La Grange Suburban Life

Published: Monday, Dec. 30, 2013 10:45 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, July 25, 2014 4:46 a.m. CDT
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(Photo Provided)
A group of girls celebrating a birthday at Salt Creek Butterfly Farm admire a Monarch butterfly. Lori Harris, owner of Salt Creek Butterfly Farm in Countryside, started providing Monarchs for butterfly releases last year after realizing how much the activity meant to families grieving a lost loved one, for example, or groups commemorating a special event.

One of the best parts of our job is meeting residents who do incredible things and have extraordinary stories to tell. Check out some of our favorite uplifting and inspirational stories that we covered in 2013. 

La Grange resident organizes collection after flooding

La Grange resident Ax Torres observed the aftereffects of a heavy storm April 18 on his way to work – like cars up to their headlights in water – and decided he wanted to help. Using trucks from DHL, his employer, Torres organized a collection that brought in hundreds of pounds of clothing, canned goods, bottled water and cleaning supplies, which were then distributed to area residents affected by the flooding. 

Read the coverage online at:

http://shawurl.com/l7i

Moms remember Sandy Hook victims one year later in Western Springs

Like parents across the country, Western Springs resident Nicole Chen was heartbroken after 20 kids and six staff members were shot dead at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., Dec. 14, 2012. Shortly after the tragedy, Chen joined Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which lobbies for reformed gun safety laws. Chen organized a vigil one year after the shooting, bringing together about 30 people on a cold, snowy morning to honor the victims. 

Read the coverage online at:

http://shawurl.com/wvs

La Grange Park girl battling leukemia gets bedroom makeover

Becca Mueller, 10, has been battling leukemia since 2010, but she’s always kept her spirits up. Last summer, an organization called Special Spaces gave her a room to match her positive, bright attitude. After being “kicked out” of the house for a day, Becca and her 8-year-old sister, Julie, came home to a completely remodeled room, with pink everything and a bunch of cool new furniture. 

Read the coverage online at:

http://shawurl.com/xbr

Countryside butterfly farm offers “butterfly therapy”

Lori Harris, owner of Salt Creek Butterfly Farm, uses her beautiful creatures in a way you might not expect. Harris ships monarch butterflies to people or groups who want to honor a lost loved one by releasing butterflies into the air. After they are removed from their portable home and as they wake up, the butterflies flutter around before flying off, allowing people to connect with the monarchs and even whisper a message to them to honor a lost family member or friend. 

Read the coverage online at:

http://shawurl.com/xbs

Water works miracles for kids with brain-related disabilities

One of Westchester-based Miracles in Progress’ most popular programs is called Pool Pals, where kids with brain-related disabilities get to swim with family members or volunteers and move in ways they normally can’t. The buoyancy of water frees them to move around more than they are able to even during physical therapy sessions. Aquatherapy is typically expensive, but through donations and fundraisers, the nonprofit is able to offer Pool Pals at no cost. 

Read the coverage online at:

http://shawurl.com/ln1

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