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Your say - Wonder Lake: Reader-submitted essays

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We asked you what made your community special. Here's what readers had to way about Wonder Lake and Greenwood:

Big heart at heart of greatness

In 1959, our five children, my husband and I were searching for lake property a little less hectic than the Chain O’ Lakes after years of mooring at the old North Bridge Marina in McHenry.

We found Wonder Lake – a treasure beyond all expectations.

We found a unique community with heart. Immediately, we had at our door the hand of friendship. My children were made to feel they belonged. People waved to each other and helped whenever needed. It was never longer than a minute or two when a broken down boat would be offered a tow. Wonder Lake was one big family.

As my daughter-in-law Lori (Sturm) Gerhardt puts it: “After growing up here, I wanted for my own children to be able to grow up in a place that was safe and, perhaps, a little old-fashioned. ... I know loads of people who still do not lock their doors and know the neighbors would watch their houses.”

My son, Steve Gerhardt, feels the same way.

“We could have lived anywhere in the Chicago area,” he said. “But Lori and I only wanted to live here. We are so happy that our own children have made the same choice, keeping our grand babies in this very special place.”

From our champion water ski show team to our churches, MPOA and village, from canoeing on the Nippersink to fishing, sailing and enjoying our beaches, and from our yacht club to our sportsman’s club and our Lakers Snowmobile Club, this community is a jewel.

Lately, political controversy has erupted. Like all families, sometimes disagreements happen, but when all is said and done, Wonder Lakers will be the same old Wonder Lakers we’ve known and loved for 50 years.

Wonder Lake is a community with heart. A big heart.

Rayne Gerhardt

A nice place for everyone

Wonder Lake is a very small town, so it is easy to get around. Because the town is so small, you get to know the people a lot faster. Many people are very nice.

Wonder Lake is also just a 10-minute ride to the big stores like Wal-Mart or JCPenny.

Wonder Lake is a very nice place to live because there are a lot of nice people, and you can’t lose your way around town. We do have water sports, skiing, snowmobiling, stores, and churches in Wonder Lake. Wonder Lake is a nice place for everyone.

Jordan McReynolds Harrison School eighth-grader

School has a lot to offer

I love to live in Wonder Lake because of the community. I’m telling you I’ve lived in Palatine, Round Lake, Ingleside, Lake Villa and McHenry. Out of all the towns I’ve lived in, this might be the smallest, but it has the most organized, behaved and great school!

There are a lot of community events that go on for a small community. We have a July 4th parade, ice fishing and even snowmobile races.

This is the place for people out there with children who are not as good at socializing or making friends. I know this because my younger brother had this problem when we moved here, and he has made great progress. The school is wonderful because they care about kids. Here, they have a study club for kids who need help or don’t do their homework.

I never had great friends in the past, but here I have the best ever. Here, there are all different kinds of people to meet. Plus, our girls’ basketball team is undefeated. But most important, people love everyone no matter what happens.

James Spoto Harrison School eighth-grader

Beautiful in all seasons

Wonder Lake is one of the best places in the area to raise animals. We have a farm across the school road. I have seen turkey, deer and foxes.

Wonder Lake is beautiful in the summer time. Lots of people go fishing. In the summer, there is a ski and jet ski show on the lake. But in the winter, we have so much snow. We already have had three school days canceled!

In Wonder Lake, neighbors are friendly. One of my favorite memories was the Fourth of July parade. We threw candy out of a garbage can, and we ran out of candy.

Greenwood School is a very nice school. The teachers are friendly. Everything is awesome about the school, especially the school dance.

Wonder Lake has really fun sports like soccer, softball and baseball. Soccer is played at Jacobson Park near Nippersink Creek. Nippersink is a little creek that runs all around Wonder Lake.

Lots of animals drink from the water. We get to see deer, geese, and, sometimes, we even see frogs.

In the winter, there is an ice-sculpting contest. Winter also is good for bonfires in Wonder Lake. The snow is beautiful. I have seen some people go ice skating on the lake.

That is why I like Wonder Lake.

Michael McCarthy Greenwood School fifth-grader

Animals everywhere

Wonder Lake is very special because it is such a quiet place.

There are a lot of animals to see here, such as deer, rabbits, snakes, geese, foxes, frogs and birds.

The property here is great, too, because you’re not living directly on top of each other. There is a lot of land in between houses, which gives us privacy.

The neighbors here are friendly, too. Whenever you go outside, people usually wave. Neighbors are very kind and even lend their things to each other.

If you go to the Wonder Lake beach, there are a lot of small frogs that you can see all across it. In the lake, you can fish, boat and swim.

What I really enjoy is having bonfires in my back yard and roasting marshmallows and s’mores.

We also have a small airport called Galt Airport where you can store your planes. My school is right next door, and, sometimes, I can see the planes take off from the window.

In my neighborhood, I have an ice cream man, but he only comes once or twice a year.

I really enjoy living in Wonder Lake because of the people, the neighborhoods and especially my school.

Thomas Furst Greenwood School fifth-grader

People make village nice

Wonder Lake is really cool, and the people are nice. There are great days in summer so I can play catch with my family or barbecue in our back yard.

When I go for bike rides, everybody is so nice. When you drive by you can sometimes see baby deer eat the grass.

The lake is a great place to go in the summer. It is very fun to do water sports on the lake. The ski club has shows usually every Friday on the lake.

Our neighbors are so nice because when we need help, they help us. One time when our dog got lost, the neighbors helped us find her.

I really enjoy playing soccer at Jacobson Park. During the summer at Galt Airport, you can see an airplane show. In the summer, the ice cream man comes around the neighborhood, and the ice cream is good.

Greenwood School is the best! The teachers are good, and the food at lunch is good, too. My teacher is Mrs. Maltese. The school dances are awesome. At the end of the year, the school has a spaghetti dinner to raise money.

As you can see, I enjoy living in Wonder Lake because the people are nice and the summer is fun, and the lake is awesome!

Travis Busch Greenwood School fifth-grader

Wonder Lake all about fun

I’ve lived in Wonder Lake my whole life.

I live in the country. There are animals like deer, turkeys and cats. There is farmland and forests all over the place. My sister and I went in a forest before, and we were hanging on vines.

In the summer, I like to play soccer, basketball and softball. My family and I like to go for walks and bike rides. I like to go to the concert at Galt Airport.

In the winter, it can get below zero and can have a couple feet of snow. It is fun to play in the snow. I like to go sledding, too.

Greenwood Elementary School is great. I like the school dances the best because you can buy candy and drinks at the dance. I also like the spaghetti dinner. At the dinner, there are games to play like rock wall, and there is a game in every room. Greenwood School has the best teachers. My teacher this year is Mrs. Maltese. In fifth grade, we got to go to the Challenger Center.

Wonder Lake is fun in the summer and in the winter. That is why I love living in Wonder Lake.

Danielle Chamberlain Greenwood School fifth-grader

No need to be scared of coyotes

The neighbors in Wonder Lake are friendly no matter where you go. And the animals are amazing!

Sometimes in the summer, you can hear coyotes howling. I used to be scared of it when I first moved here, but that was six years ago.

Another great thing is how the town is set up. It’s not too big and not too small.

When it’s not summer, I enjoy seeing my friends at Greenwood School. It’s always hard going back on the first day, but with the friendly teachers, I get used to it quickly.

The teachers are really nice because they let you have holiday parties. I think the specials are the best. Gym, in my opinion, is the best subject. In gym, you can roller skate and climb on the rock wall at certain parts of the year.

And when summer comes, I always feel a little sad that I won’t see my teacher for a long time. But, then again, I will see them in three months. I will look forward to seeing my school again, and know that I’ll have even more fun. No matter what, Wonder Lake is the best town!

Mark Richards Greenwood School fifth-grader

Many reasons for greatness

I have lived in Wonder Lake for nine years.

I love it here! This town is great for kids because all the houses are spread apart so you have a front yard and back yard.

In Wonder Lake, we have a lake. So, you should have a boat or a Ski-Doo.

There also are a lot of animals here. Once, my family went to Disney and my older brother watched my dog. When he let my dog out, he heard barking, and, when he looked out the window, there was a deer running around in my back yard.

By our school there is Galt Airport. In the summer and spring, there are air shows.

On the opposite end of the lake from where I live there is a beach that has a water show every year. A band plays at the water show.

At Greenwood Elementary School, we have a lot of cool activities. The teachers are nice, too.

As you can see, I have a lot of reasons that Wonder Lake is a great place to live. You or someone else might have different reasons, but these are mine.

Molly Schwieger Greenwood School fifth-grader

Summer by the lake is great

I live in a great neighborhood that is very peaceful. I live right down the road from an actual lake, so it is great.

Summertime is the most fun for my family and me. I have a lot of boats and jet skis, so my family and I have a blast.

Another great thing about Wonder Lake is the people. My neighbors are all very friendly. They are always waving hello.

Winter is a great, fun time, too, but sometimes it gets cold.

I have a huge back yard. In my back yard, I have a pool and even a trampoline. In the summer time, I go in my pool all the time, and even my neighbors come in the pool.

Also in the summer time, a lot of people in Wonder Lake have bonfires. I love the smell of the wood that burns.

Also, I love my school. Greenwood Elementary School is like one of the best schools in the Greenwood area ever.

All the teachers at my school are so friendly. In fifth grade, you get to join band and chorus if you want. I happen to be in both, and it’s great. I love Greenwood so much.

I am very happy to be living in Wonder Lake and going to school at Greenwood.

Terenan Positano Greenwood School fifth-grader

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