by Lisa Stamos


One of my favorite things about Barrington and our neighboring villages is knowing that the pioneer spirit is alive and well today, and can be found in our innovative school district, charities and nonprofits, local clubs, village and government leaders, and local businesses. And while the founding of the Village of Barrington preceded the incorporation of Barrington Hills by 92 years, the first settlement for the Village of Barrington (Barrington Center) was located in what is now Barrington Hills.

Both Villages were founded by pioneers with help from their horses. All around us live people with a pioneer spirit, like the Riding Club of Barrington Hills, that work to preserve this area, and maintain the traditions that remind us of how precious and irreplaceable our open spaces are today.

As an editor, nothing for me compares to producing a feature story that has a shot at becoming definitive local history. Our cover feature story on the Riding Club of Barrington Hills may qualify. Working with historian and writer Barbara Benson is a joy and experience that I cherish. Watching her devotion and commitment to knowing and checking facts, reciting sound bites and stories, and witnessing her as she works through massive mental and physical catalogues of people and things past is marvelous.

This is our annual philanthropy issue. There are so many extraordinary stories within that reflect the innovation and efforts of people young and old who are changing the world and improving the lives of others. In this issue you’ll meet Jan Gierlach, who carries the torch of Bob Lee, and plans for his Ride For 3 Reasons this winter to benefit three different charities that are striving for answers to disease. Then, you’ll meet Marie Schaack, who only stopped volunteering a couple of years ago, because she lost her ride to and from JourneyCare where she stuffed envelops for mailings for the nonprofit. At 104 years, Marie is Barrington’s longest-serving volunteer.

We are so pleased to introduce you to Rita and John Canning who we honor as our Quintessential People. Service, foresight, and leadership knows no bounds with this couple. While family is their highest priority, Rita and John have had a remarkably positive impact on our area. They have supported many places that encourage good health and safe havens to those in need. We are proud to share their story with you.

As we go forward into the New Year, we wish you good health, happiness, and prosperity. We hope you enjoy the many stories about philanthropy, charitable good works, and preservation in this issue. Our advertisers who are innovative business owners, and members of our top-notch health care community in this issue’s Medical Guide, make this publication possible. Please keep them in mind when you go to market.

Happy New Year,

See you around town!