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More work required

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—
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

Meet Lilac Princess Kyla Denwood

By Jane Charmelo

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/
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
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.