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On-Line Edition      Thursday, November 23, 2017      Vol. 59  No. 47

***  For subscription information, please call 630-627-7010  ***

'Jingle Bell’ time is near!

Downtown Lombard will be transformed into a magical holiday wonderland again Saturday, Dec. 2, during the 12th annual Jingle Bell Jubilee. Activities include scenes from “The Nutcracker” performed by dancers in store windows, tree lighting and Santa’s arrival in Lilacia Park, candlelight tours at the Victorian Cottage Museum, music performed at the Helen M. Plum Memorial Library, a sing-along at the Maple Street Chapel, concerts at Lombard Bible Church, and much more. Pictured in Lilacia Park are (left to right) Deb Ahlgrim, Lombard Bible Church; Sarah Richardt, Lombard Historical Society; Deb Kruser, Helen M. Plum Memorial Library; Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer; Stephanie Schiszik, Lombard Town Centre; Katie Manheim, Lombard Park District, and Vicki Webb, Maple Street Chapel. Visit www.villageoflombard.org/4646/Jinglebell-Jubilee or see the story in Lombard News, for more information.          Photo by Steve Spoden

                ***** Out & About  by Jane Charmelo *****

Glass Court Swim & Fitness Club celebrates 40 years

The game of racquetball is alive and well, right in Lombard, as evidenced by one fitness center that has been offering a venue for the sport to the public going on 40 years.
    Glass Court Swim & Fitness Club, which touts "fitness for a lifetime," offers members a variety of options both in and out of water, according to Dan Jaskier, whose mother, the late Diane, and stepfather, Joe DeArmas, took over the business in 1993.
    The club president related that the Lombard fitness center was first owned by Jim Brunner in 1978, who then sold it, after about three years, to Carol Braje and Carol Stevens.
    At the time, he continued, his mom and stepdad were working at the DuPage Racquet Club in Addison, and when the women planned to sell the business, "they [mom and stepdad] saw an opportunity to purchase the club. They knew them [the two Carols] through racquetball."
    The DeArmases bought Glass Court in 1993, Jaskier recounted, adding that he came on board around 1994, after working as a programmer of computerized lathes.
    It was time for a career change, he said, and besides, "They needed help with the business."
    Jaskier said that he initially served as an assistant to the general manager, sold memberships, did maintenance work and was a bartender.
    When the DeArmases took over, there were nine racquetball courts, a basketball court, indoor and outdoor heated pools, and a full-service bar.
    There was some free-weight and cardio equipment, he said, but because there was a track around the indoor pool, "There wasn't one treadmill in the building."
    His mom and stepdad doubled gross revenues within the first year, Jaskier calculated, adding, "They felt there was a niche for this business," although he also thinks they went without paying themselves for roughly the first five years so as to grow their business.
    As time passed, the couple began upgrading all the exercise equipment — about 70 percent in two years — and Jaskier commented that "we're constantly upgrading."
    He said the men's locker room was remodeled about 11 years ago and the women's, about 12 years ago. Part of the remodeling included remodeling one racquetball court and doubling its space to use as an exercise room.
    "The structure of the building is basically the same," the president outlined. "We keep upgrading as trends change. We make changes all the time."
    Membership, he added, has gone from about 800 when the DeArmases bought Glass Court, to about 3,500 members now, which includes families.
    He described the facility as "the only three-walled glass court in the state of Illinois, and only one of four left in the country."
    Glass Court offers swim lessons, Jaskier noted, saying, "We have a huge learn to swim program," for children as young as preschool age (with their parent) on up, and also private lessons for adults.
    In addition to racquetball courts (free adult clinics every third Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m.), fans of wallyball can find a game at Glass Court.
    The club president said he enjoyed wallyball, which is played with a volleyball on a racquetball court, and didn't know how to play racquetball when he first came on board.    The club also offers aerobics and water aerobics, cardio and free-weight fitness, yoga and Pilates, and a pro shop and lounge.
    The club also hosts tournaments, one of which is the Shamrock Shootout, held in March, and "the biggest tournament basically in the state of Illinois," according to Jaskier.
    Glass Court has been the host for the last four years, he continued, adding that players have come from as many as nine countries to participate.
    The facility hosts some of its own tournaments, and the Illinois State Racquetball Association holds singles and doubles tournaments at the Lombard facility. Handball tournaments have also been held at Glass Court.
    In what he believes, to his knowledge, is "the last family-owned health club in the area," Glass Court is ideal "for families to use the club, swim, have fun," the club president said, adding, "There are not a lot of facilities that offer racquetball...and the number of courts."
    The club president stated modestly that his facility "has a very good casual atmosphere" and that the members are typically "average Joes of the world."
    "People do not do their hair and makeup just to go work out here," Jaskier continued, adding, "When a person joins Glass Court, they are not only joining a club, they are joining a family."
    Jaskier said in honor of the 40th anniversary, Glass Court, located at 830 E. Roosevelt Road, Lombard, is offering special deals on memberships.
    For more information, visit www.glasscourt.com, and click on Home, then Current Membership Specials, or call 630-629-3390. Information is also available on lounge rental and party packages.

                 *** September 11, 2011 ***