Welcome to another edition of SO Magazine, as we turn the corner on summer and barrel our way headlong into autumn. As colorful as the coming fall leaves, we hope this issue offers an interesting palette of choices to pique your interest.
Our cover story by Kathleen Ostrander is about Robin Hood. Well, it's actually about John Stremsterfer, who is known for giving in a big way to those in need. As director of the Sangamon County Community Foundation, he helps families, individuals and organizations make the best use of their money. Under his leadership, the foundation has developed during the past six years into a diverse and still-evolving entity that offers opportunities for giving on any level for any reason.
As gatekeeper, Stremsterfer can give a very official and dignified explanation of the foundation's mission. At the same time, it isn't out of character for him to describe giving money to organizations and people who need it - and deserve it - as a "blast." Confident, witty and comfortable with stacks of money, both the coming-in and the giving-away kind, Stremsterfer enjoys making our community a better place to be.
As usual, we take a couple of trips. We visit Marceline, Mo., Walt Disney's original happy place and hometown. We also go to the Continent as we take in the amazing beauty of Barcelona. And, I had the good fortune to take a memorable golf trip - and live to write about it - to the enchanting linksland of Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.
If you think you hear the clop, clop, clopping of hooves, might be that you're near Tom Nichols' garage and his marvelous Ford Mustangs. But wait, the four-legged kind has a place here, too. Meet Drew Coontz and Marcus Miller, two up-and-comers in horse racing - thoroughbred and harness.
Miller is one of harness racing's more successful sulky drivers, and he has yet to turn 30. Coontz, employed by one of thoroughbred racing's more successful stables and barely beyond his apprenticeship, is in charge of a majestic chestnut colt named Giant Oak. Remember that name.
Come along to look inside Brian Huff's beautiful home on a hill overlooking The Rail Golf Club. He's put his own stamp on a house that will likely be familiar to you.
Be sure to visit us on the Web at www.springfieldsown.com, and we thank you, as always, for spending time with us and SO Magazine.
Story published Friday, September 4, 2009 ( Volume 4, Number 5 )