Villa Park Village Board members voted unanimously during their April 10 meeting to authorize the acceptance of a proposal from K-Five Construction Corporation of Westmont for corrective measures on Highridge Road. In 2016, K-Five completed the milling and resurfacing of Highridge from Ardmore Avenue to the village’s west limits. The project was completed in August, shortly before the start of Willowbrook’s 2016- 17 school year. The finished pavement reportedly does not provide a smooth ride for motorists. Villa Park Village Manager Rich Keehner and assistant village engineer Jeremie Lukowicz both stated that the roller used to roll the asphalt either malfunctioned or was not aligned properly. K-Five and the village will reportedly split the cost of corrective measures. That cost is estimated at about $73,000. Lukowicz said during the April 10 meeting that K-Five will grind about 1.5 inches of asphalt from the road. Workers will then add new asphalt and roll the pavement. Keehner noted that last year’s project to resurface Highridge Road was let through the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), not the village. Lukowicz said K-Five is anxious to begin the corrective measures on the road, and that work could begin before the end of April. He said the village is in talks with Willowbrook, and that K-Five will work around the school’s schedule to minimize traffic disruptions. Willowbrook’s Class of 2017 will hold its graduation ceremony in the school’s main gymnasium on May 21.
Willowbrook senior receives District 88’s Best honor for April
Willowbrook High School senior Valentina Poggi of Villa Park received her school’s District 88’s Best honor for April. Poggi was recognized at the District 88 Board of Education meeting on April 10. The district’s school board and administration created the District 88’s Best award to honor students at the district’s two schools—Willowbrook and Addison Trail—for reaching their personal bests in various endeavors in and out of the classroom. The award recognizes nine students from each school during each school year. Poggi has consistently pursued the most rigorous courses available at Willowbrook. When she graduates next month, she will have completed seven Advanced Placement (AP) college-level courses, as well as several honors courses. Poggi is an Advanced Placement Scholar and an Illinois State Scholar. She has also been named to her school’s Distinction Honor Roll in each semester of her time at Willowbrook. Poggi is an inductee of the National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, Math Honor Society, World Language Honor Society and Willowbrook’s social studies honor society— Civitas. Outside of the classroom, Poggi is a member of Willowbrook’s Key Club, Environmental Club, Blue Crew and Science Olympiad. She has also been a member of the school band. Poggi is a four-year member of the Warriors’ girls soccer program, serving as a team captain and earning recognition on the West Suburban Gold Conference’s all-conference team. Poggi will continue her education and soccer career at Elmhurst College, where she has earned the Presidential Scholarship. She plans to study biology before continuing her studies in veterinary medicine.
Meet Lilac Princess Kyla Denwood
By Jane Charmelo LOMBARDIAN-VILLA PARK REVIEW STAFF REPORTER
This is the third in a series of five profiles of the 2017 Lilac Court. Two members of the court—Taylor Balsitis and Kyla Denwood— are students at Willowbrook High School. Another court member—Liana Pavese—graduated from Willowbrook in 2015. One of the five princesses will be coronated as the 2017 Lilac Queen on May 6 in Lombard’s Lilacia Park.
For Kyla Alisha Denwood, working hard to get good grades is important, to which she explained, “I’ve always tried to do my best academically.” That effort has paid off, seeing as how the Willowbrook High School senior is an Illinois State Scholar, a Questbridge College Prep (scholarship program) Scholar, was named among District 88’s Best, has been on the high school’s honor roll all four years and earned an IHSA Scholastic Achievement Award. In addition to focusing on her academic studies, the Lilac Princess is a member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society, has been on the speech team and student council; and has participated in track and field, and mock trial; and plays the flute and piccolo in the marching band, pit orchestra and jazz combo. Princess Kyla also has participated in T.A.L.E.N.T.E.D. and the Black Organization of Student Success, an after-school club she was asked to join as a mentor. Relating to others through these organizations, she said, is “pretty fun…[I] meet new people…telling them about the experiences I’ve had.” Outside of school, the princess participated in the College of DuPage Afro-American Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics, where she earned first-place honors both for music composition and music instrumental/ classical. She volunteered at Elmhurst Hospital during her freshman and sophomore years in the reception area of the birthing unit, and also volunteered as an assistant with the Salvation Army’s summer day camp, commenting how, until she volunteered, “I didn’t know a lot about what they did there for the community.” Princess Kyla enjoys weight training and music composition, and she works as a cashier and cook at Freshii. She plans to attend either Tulane University or New York University to major in international relations, hoping to go into law or foreign service. When asked why she wanted to become a member of the 2017 Lilac Court, the princess responded that she wanted to challenge herself and to be a role model for others. Unlike many of the princesses before her, Princess Kyla did not initially grow up in Lombard, but did find out about the Lilac Court during the Lilac Parade when she was in Jackson Middle School’s marching band in eighth grade. She also had a friend who was a Lilac Princess, and “I asked her what it’s all about,” Kyle said, adding, “It was kind of cool learning about it.” Now, as a member of the Lilac Court herself, the Lilac Princess said she will strive to be a role model for the younger children who look up to her, which she defines as “being that friendly face that people can go to.” Princess Kyla said she will encourage others to “take every opportunity there is possible… mostly doing it for yourself.” The princess also said she plans to encourage others to be “a part of the community.” When asked how she juggles academics, work, and volunteer and after-school activities, the Lilac Princess said with a chuckle, “a really, really big calendar.” Princess Kyla is the daughter of Catherine Douglas; and sister of Kayla, 20; and Kyle, 16.
Villa Park briefs
Congressman visits Willowbrook on Saturday Residents are invited to attend a town hall meeting with U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi on Saturday, April 22. The event will take place from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Willowbrook High School, 1250 S. Ardmore Ave. The free event will give residents an opportunity to meet at ask questions of Krishnamoorthi, who represents the Eighth District of Illinois in the U.S. House of Representatives. The district includes Villa Park and portions of Lombard.
Community gardens kickoff event on Saturday Villa Park Recreation will celebrate its new community garden project with a kickoff event at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, at Westmore Park (between Plymouth and Sunset). In the event of rain, the event will take place at the same date and time at the Iowa Community Center, 338 N. Iowa Ave. The village is making garden plots available at Westmore Park this year. All of the 21 plots that were originally made available have been purchased for a fee of $10 each. More plots will be offered this year. The plots are available to community members and organizations. Each plot covers 10 by 10 feet. The celebration will give visitors a chance to meet fellow gardeners and to learn about gardening from various organizations. Call Villa Park Recreation at 630-834-8970 for more information.
Recreation department holds Mom and Son Night on April 28 Villa Park Recreation will hold a Mom and Son Night from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, April 28, at Sugar Creek Golf Course, 500 E. Van Buren St. Young men and their special dates will enjoy dinner catered by Michael Anthony’s. Coach Josh and DJ Superman will provide music and entertainment. Attendees can bring their golf clubs so they hit some balls at the driving range. A keepsake photo of the evening will be included. Pre-registration is required for the event. The fee is $39. Call 630-834-8970 for more information.
Annual Great Western Trail/Prairie Path cleanup takes place April 29 Villa Park’s Community Pride Commission invites residents to take part in the annual cleanup of the village’s portions of the Great Western Trail and Illinois Prairie Path. This year’s event will take place (rain or shine) from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 29. Residents and members of community clubs and groups are invited to volunteer to pick up litter along the two trails. Volunteers can sign in at the Villa Park Historical Museum, 220 S. Villa Ave. Each volunteer who signs in will be provided with water, snacks, a backpack, rubber gloves and garbage bags.
Whistle While You Walk/Run 5K set for April 30 at Willowbrook The Emilio Perez Foundation will hold its third annual “Whistle While You Walk/Run 5K” on Sunday, April 30. The event will begin at 8 a.m. outside of Willowbrook High School, 1250 S. Ardmore Ave. The 5-kilometer run/walk honors the memory of Emilio Perez, a member of Willowbrook’s Class of 2015. Perez died one day after his 17th birthday, in March 2014. He was struck and killed by a hit-and-run motorist on Interstate 88 in western Illinois. The entry fee is $25 per adult. Children 12 and under can participate for free. Willowbrook students are eligible for a twofor- one registration deal. All participants who pre-register will receive a T-shirt. The funds raised by the event will provide scholarships to Willowbrook students. To register online, or to download a printable registration form, visit emilioperezfoundation.com.
Pool passes go on sale on May 1; early-bird rates through June 10 Villa Park pool passes for the 2017 season will go on sale at the early-bird rate on Monday, May 1. Passes may be used to attend both Jefferson Pool (341 N. Harvard Ave.) and Lufkin Pool (1000 S. Ardmore Ave.) throughout the 2017 season. The passes will be on sale at the Iowa Community Center, 338 N. Iowa Ave., and at the Community Recreation Building, 320 E. Wildwood Ave. The early-bird rates, which run through June 10, offer the same prices as last year; resident passes for ages 3 to 59 are $53. The pass rate for senior residents 60 and older is $48. For more information, call the Villa Park Parks and Recreation Department at 630-834-8970.
Villa Park’s yard waste collection for 2017 has begun This year’s yard waste collection in Villa Park began during the first week of April and will run through Nov. 30. Yard waste consists of grass, shrubbery clippings, leaves and plant material. According to information provided by the village, yard waste is to be set out in 30-gallon Kraft paper bags designed for the collection of yard waste, or in 35-gallon (maximum) refuse cans clearly marked “Yard Waste Only.” A prepaid yellow yard waste tag must be affixed to each bag or can set out for collection. Stickers are available for purchase at Villa Park Village Hall and several other locations. Each bag and can should weigh 50 pounds or less when full. Do not use plastic bags for yard waste; plastic cannot be composted or tilled into soil. Yard waste must be placed by 6 a.m. on the day of collection. Waste is limited to what is generated at the residence being serviced. For more information, call the village at 630-834-8505, or visit invillapark.com.