Boy Scouts honor four DeKalb County citizens

By Ryan Felgenhauer

Jesus Romero donates his time to helping fellow Sycamore residents, but he wasn’t always so fond of the city.

“When I first moved here, I didn’t like it,” Romero said. “But now that I have my own family, I cannot think of a better place in which to live.”

Romero was one of two Sycamore heroes honored by the Three Fires Boy Scouts Council Thursday.

“Tribute to Heroes” was held to honor citizens of DeKalb County recognized for their service to the community.

Romero is known for his charitable works around the Sycamore area, said Rose Treml, director of Sycamore’s Chamber of Commerce and presenter.

“Romero donates his time and money to the welfare of youth,” Treml said. “He would do just about anything for his family, and his family includes the whole community.”

Romero is an immigrant from Mexico who worked his way from a dishwasher at his uncle’s restaurant to owning Taxco Restaurant, 223 W. State St. in Sycamore, Treml said.

Romero described Sycamore as a town full of residents just as dedicated to community service as he is.

“In this town, there is a hero on every corner,” Romero said.

Treml said Romero puts his service to the community ahead of everything else.

“People like Jesus are the reason why DeKalb county is so good,” Treml said. “For him, generosity and care for his community comes first.”

Bruce Griffith of Sycamore was also honored at the event.

Griffith spent much of his time as a fund advisor for a charitable trust fund.

“He helped fund many projects for the Boy Scouts,” said Fred Wallace, deputy regional director for the Boy Scouts of America. “He takes an active role in awarding scholarships and providing funding.”

Griffith also received an award for his work with the Kishwaukee Education Consortium, an organization dedicated to teaching high school juniors and seniors post-high school skills.

“He’s helped students find their dream career,” said Kathy Watkins, retired director of Kishwaukee Education Consortium.

Griffith helped students by teaching courses and finding contacts to use in their professional lives.

“He makes the world a better place through old-fashioned social interaction,” Watkins said.

Watkins described Griffith as a real-life hero.

“When people think of heroes, they think of Superman or Spider-Man,” Griffith said. “Bruce is not a comic book hero, but he is absolutely a hero.”

Griffith gave credit to the community more than himself.

“It’s not just the four of us [recognized citizens] tonight,” Griffith said. “It is the community who are heroes.”

Also honored at the event were Elmer Hughes of Genoa and Barbara “Boots” Hoffman of Sandwich.

“It’s a feel-good kind of evening,” said Ken Doubler, one of the masters of ceremonies for the reception. “So far, we’ve honored 40 people from DeKalb county.”