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Glancer Magazine

15 FASCINATING FACES OF THE YEAR | Nick Scarpino of Naperville

by Kristen Kucharski


Each year Glancer Magazine features a distinct group of residents who are doing extraordinary things, making a difference in the lives of others by giving them hope, guidance or inspiration. Each is so talented and has persevered through all that COVID-19 has presented this past year. Their stories will touch your heart and awaken your spirit. Here are Glancer Magazine's 15 Fascinating Faces of 2020.

Nick Scarpino

NAPERVILLE–An age ole Thanksgiving decoration has become the icon of a new children’s book entitled, Why Do We Eat Turkey on Thanksgiving?

Nick Scarpino of Naperville had always loved the oil painting his 86-year old grandmother created over 15 years ago, so he asked if he could write a book about the history of Thanksgiving using her drawings of Hurkey the Turkey as illustrations.

As the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Off-Premise Dining at Portillo's Hot Dogs based in Oak Brook, Nick had previously published a book in 2013 called "Hey Marketers, Get Your Priorities Straight" and developed a kids' card game called "What's Wild?!" in 2006. His grandmother, Marlene Turner had no previous professional experience, but has always been an active artist.

The two collaborated during the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020, requiring them to work together over Zoom since Marlene and her husband live in Iowa, and Nick lives in Naperville with his wife and four children.

The book tells the story of the many influences behind the traditional Thanksgiving turkey. It references Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Sarah Josepha Hale, among others. It provides kids with a historical, but still approachable and entertaining poem about the roots of an American tradition. Turner’s illustrations bring the story behind the history to life and all proceeds from the sales of the book will be donated to No Kid Hungry - an organization that seeks to eliminate hunger in the United States and abroad.

“We had fun exploring the history behind turkey as our Thanksgiving meal,” Nick says. “But throughout the process, we were constantly aware that there are far too many children in this country who need better access to nutritious food.”

Nick and his grandma are thankful for their many blessings and look forward to sharing with others. Photos Submitted



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