Glen Ellyn Park District invites public to 75th anniversary celebration of Lake Ellyn Boathouse

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The Glen Ellyn Park District is hosting an open house in celebration of the 75th anniversary of Glen Ellyn landmark  the Lake Ellyn Boathouse on Sunday November 11.

The public is invited to attend the free event, which is scheduled to begin immediately after the annual Veterans Day observance in Lake Ellyn Park concludes, at approximately 11:45 a.m., and run until 2 p.m.

The open house will include live performances by The Need to Be Seen Radio Troupe; a display of historical photos of Lake Ellyn, the boathouse and the Glen Ellyn Hotel; and reproductions of Works Progress Administration posters and movie posters and news clippings from 1937. In addition, the Glen Ellyn Historical Society will host an informational booth and sell select items from Stacy’s Corners Store.

A PowerPoint presentation of a newly created Park District archival website, will be shown, as will clips from the 1937 film, “Make Way for Tomorrow.” Light refreshments will also be served.

Based in Geneva, IL, The Need to Be Seen Radio Troupe will perform "The Case of the Big Top Murders," an episode from the popular Dick Tracy radio program. The troupe comprises a talented and dedicated group of individuals, including:

  • Actor and writer Doug Cefala, who has performed in numerous community theater productions;

  • Former Geneva High School artistic director Jan Crooch, who has taught theater camp for youth at Waubonsee Community College and drama classes for the Geneva Park District;

  • Michael Udelhoven, who has extensive amateur theatrical performance experience in plays  such as “Waiting for Godot,” “Oklahoma,” and “Murder at Café Noir;”

  • Beth Willadsen, who studied theater at the University of Illinois;

  • Katie Willadsen, a Geneva High School senior who is active in her school’s theater program;

  • Local attorney and avid theater lover Daniel O’Brien;

  • Mary Jean Bankmann, who directed plays at Geneva Middle School for 18 years before retiring;

  • Lauren Udelhoven, active in a number of amateur plays, musicals and operas, in addition to having worked as a designer of promotional materials for the NYC Ballet and Ford Foundation;

  • Dana Udelhoven, an accomplished actress and musician.


A Works Progress Administration project built as part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal economic program, “The Recreation House” opened its doors 75 years ago November 12 as a warming house for ice skaters. Today, Lake Ellyn Boathouse has grown in purpose to serve the entire community as a place to gather and celebrate life’s many milestones year ‘round.

Drop in after the Veterans Day ceremony in Lake Ellyn Park to learn more about this building that has been an integral part of Glen Ellyn for a quarter of a century. Donations for the Glen Ellyn Park District Scholarship Fund will be accepted at this event.

The boathouse is located at 645 Lenox Road in Glen Ellyn.


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