When Swedish Ambassador Björn Lyrvall came to Geneva, IL, for a visit on May 23 at Riverside Receptions, he was greeted by an array of local dignitaries, from Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns to 14th District U.S. Congressman Randy Hultgren to Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen.
And while his visit brought smiles and goodwill and some serious global networking opportunities, it also caused cartoon question marks to pop up over the heads of some Kane County officials.
What can Kane County offer as a gift to a visiting Swedish ambassador? (Or for any visiting dignitary, for that matter?)
Mayor Burns presented Lyrvall with a Swedish crystal ornament. Hultgren offered a Blackhawks jersey (with good old No. 4, Niklas Hjalmarsson, on the back.)
When asked what I might suggest as a gift from Kane County, I must admit, I was tested. Obviously, you’d want something iconic, that really represents Kane County. But what would that be?
Here’s what I came up with:
- A canoe paddle with “Kane County” engraved on it?
- A framed photo of the old Kane County courthouse or Kane County Government Center?
- Solheim Cup souvenir from Rich Harvest Farms? (Probably good for the Sweden connection but maybe not for all occasions.)
- An Elgin watch?
Since I more or less came up empty, I thought it might be fun to ask the creative folks of Kane County for your best ideas.
And I thought we might be able to spice it up a bit by making a contest out of it — and it could be OUR FIRST-EVER KANE COUNTY CONNECTS CONTEST!! (Insert smiley face emoticon here.)
Before I get too excited and start telling you about the contest rules, I should probably mention that I’m making up the rules as I go along. And I’ve been around the block long enough to know that there’s always an extreme amount of angst, generally from good-hearted lawyer types, whenever the word “contest” is mentioned. There generally follows the generation of about 20 column-inches of fine print and a delay of at least a month, and to be honest, I’m old and don’t have that kind of patience.
So let me just call this the First-Ever PLUPERFECTLY UNOFFICIAL Kane County Connects Contest and hope I don’t have to take down this article 20 minutes after I post it.
Here are the rules:
- You come up with an idea for a relatively inexpensive gift that would be appropriate for a Kane County official to give a visiting dignitary.
- Let’s say, something in the range of $15 to $50.
- But closer to $15 is probably better.
- A panel of expert judges (probably consisting of me and Dawn Barsanti) evaluates your gift ideas based on extremely objective criteria. (Like: How cool is that???)
- Some of those criteria include: “Is it closer to $15 than $50?”, “Does this have anything to do with Kane County, really?”, “Would a visiting dignitary, say from Sweden, laugh his Bröstvårta off if he were presented with this gift,” and the aforementioned, “Like, how cool is that???”
- The winner, (“if any,” as they say in The Wizard of Oz) will receive the actual “token of esteem” that he/she has suggested.
That last part — the prize giving — is probably what makes this whole contest thing a little dicey. So I’m just saying that the winner of our first-ever PLUPERFECTLY UNOFFICIAL CONTEST (a) might not get a prize or (b) I might just happen to buy the prize my ownself and just happen to drop it off at a place you could pick it up, as a friend, and totally unrelated to any contest, along with an official-looking note saying that any use of this “prize” without the express written consent of the National Football League is prohibited.
Also, to win, you can’t be a Kane County employee or relative of an employee, and the contest period is from now (5:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 28) to the length of my attention span, which we will arbitrarily set at … 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 4.
To enter, leave a comment with this article, or on our Kane County Connects Facebook page, or send an email to email@example.com. Include your email address or some other contact information, so that I definitely will not, under any circumstances, deliver your prize.