SEF names award recipients, sets Take Root fundraiser

The Sycamore Education Foundation has named the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients: Gary Holland, owner of Holland and Sons (SHS Class of 1956), Miki Racine-Berardelli, CEO of Kidbox (SHS Class of 1988), and the first-ever posthumous award recipient, Brain Finn (SHS Class of 1985), who worked for Fermi National Accelerator Lab, Nelson Industries, Volkswagen and Tesla Motors Co., founded Digisonix, and was credited with multiple patents prior to his death in 2010.

The Annual Alumni Celebration Weekend, Sept. 22 and 23, will kick off with the announcement of the distinguished award recipients at the varsity football game at Sycamore High School on Friday night at 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday, there will be a tour of SHS at noon, followed by the Distinguished Alumni Award Induction Ceremony at 1 p.m. Thanks to the generosity of the event sponsors, Greenfield Creative and Kidbox, the induction ceremony, including the high school tour and reception, is free and open to the public. However, to ensure adequate accommodations, RSVP online at through the “2017 Distinguished Alumni Induction!” post or call Maria L. P. Boynton at 815-901-3403.

The SEF’s “Take Root” fundraiser, “Harvest Hoedown at Dayton Farms,” wraps up the weekend from 6 to 11 p.m. at 17443 Old State Road in Sycamore. Tickets cost $40 per person and include live music, heavy appetizers, beer, wine and s’mores around the outdoor fire pits. In addition, the distinguished alumni recipients and their families will be welcomed, there will be an online silent auction, a live auction with an on-site auctioneer, and a cash bar. Tickets are available online at

The SEF is the “academic booster club” for Sycamore School District 427. All funds raised go toward enriching educational opportunities for students of the district. SEF awarded 12 grants in the past year, including those to fund the Blink Arm Bands for the Physical Education Department and the Little Spartans wheeled outdoor equipment.

For more information on SEF, visit

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