New Toy Store a Dream Come True

Mauricio and Angelo Romy, parents of two young daughters, used to dream about opening a store filled with educational and skill-building toys that challenge children to figure things out while staying engaged and learning. That dream became a reality late last year (in time for the holidays) when they opened Happki in the Deer Park Town Center. Happki (a mash-up of “Happy Kids”) occupies a light-filled, airy space with a wide variety of toys, puzzles and games for kids of all kids and abilities. Learn more at

The Greater Barrington Area Looks Ahead at Forum

The Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce (BACC) will host its 2020 Annual Economic Summit, “State of the Barrington Region,” on Wednesday, Feb. 5 from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. at Barrington’s White House, 145 W. Main St., Barrington. The event gathers village officials from 11 surrounding communities to update local business leaders and the community on current economic conditions and what lies ahead for the Barrington area in 2020. The public is invited. Seating is limited.

“This is a premier event that captures where we are, where we have been, and what’s ahead for our region,” said BACC President Suzanne Corr. Invited speakers include: Karen Darch of Barrington; Martin McLaughlin of Barrington Hills; Dale Sands of Deer Park; John Tatooles of Inverness; Nandia Black of Kildeer; Kevin Richardson of Lake Barrington; Bill Jacob of Long Grove; Eleanor Sweet McDonnell of North Barrington; Shannon Yeaton of Port Barrington; Paula McCombie of South Barrington and David Parro of Tower Lakes.

Local Restaurants Join the “Shedd the Straw” Movement

Scientists predict that marine plastic trash could outweigh all the fishes in the ocean by 2050. Close to home in the Great Lakes, nearly 22 million pounds of plastic enter waterways each year; that’s heavier than 7,300 adult beluga whales. The Shedd Aquarium advocates that restaurants “Shedd the Straw” to help stop the flow of plastics into our lakes, oceans and waterways to protect the animals that call these places home. Area restaurants participating in this campaign include Pine Food Company, Egg Harbor, Francesca’s Famiglia, Yankee Doodle Inn, Southern Belle’s, Onion Pub, Ciao Baby, Farmhouse on North and Cook Street Coffee. Diners everywhere are encouraged to ask their servers to “Shedd the Straw” when ordering.

Caring Women’s Connections Grant Applications Available

Not-for-profit organizations serving women and children in Lake County are encouraged to submit a grant application to Caring Women’s Connections (CWC). Application forms were to be posted effective January 1 at The annual grant application deadline is April 1. CWC raises funds throughout the year and every spring gives it all away.

Learn Storm Water Management for Your Yard and Garden

Yard storm water management practices will be subject of a presentation by local landscape architect Marcus de la fleur. Sustainable storm water management at the residential scale includes the use of native prairie plants and resilient ecological landscaping practices including rain gardens and bioswales. He will also touch on the soils of the midwest, another important aspect in the development of sustainable landscapes. He has created pilot projects to demonstrate that garden aesthetics can be combined with sustainable and ecological yards as well as storm water management. Marcus de la fleur is a Registered Landscape Architect with more than 20 years of experience. He owns a design and consulting firm, de la fleur LLC in Chicago. The program will be at 10 am, January 18 at Barrington Village Hall, 200 S. Hough St.