Willowbrook students pull an all-nighter to raise money to fight cancer
By Chris Fox LOMBARDIAN-VILLA PARK REVIEW STAFF REPORTER
The annual Relay for Life of District 88 Youth took place over the weekend in the field house at Willowbrook High School. Students from District 88’s two schools—Willowbrook and Addison Trail—spent Saturday night in the field house to raise money to fight cancer. The American Cancer Society describes Relay for Life as its signature fundraiser. According to the organization, Relay for Life events are staffed and coordinated by volunteers in more than 5,200 communities and 27 countries. The purpose of each Relay for Life event is to bring communities together to remember loved ones lost to cancer, honor survivors of all cancers and to raise money to help the American Cancer Society make a global impact on cancer. The students who took part in the Relay for Life event at Willowbrook arrived at the school at about 6 p.m. on Saturday. They didn’t leave until the wee hours of Sunday morning. Throughout the event, members of each fundraising team took turns walking around the track of the field house. Each team is directed to have at least one member walking on the track at all times during the event to signify that cancer never sleeps. “Cancer patients don’t stop because they’re tired, and for one night, neither do we,” states the American Cancer Society’s website in describing Relay for Life fundraisers. In addition to walking around the track, members of fundraising teams spent the night taking part in a variety of events, including Zumba, karaoke and dodgeball. The opening lap of the event, known as the survivor’s lap, was reserved for cancer survivors. The participants lined the inside of the field house’s track to cheer on the survivors who walked the first lap. The next lap was open to survivors and their caregivers. All of the Relay for Life student participants walked around the track during the following lap. The web site identified the District 88 event’s top fundraising team as “Pirates of the CURE-ibbean,” a group of 26 students primarily made up of Willowbrook juniors. Team captain BettyAnn Garrett, one of those Willowbrook juniors, stated her team ended the night raising nearly $6,200. Garrett said her team was assembled in December and has been fundraising since January. The event at Willowbrook has a total fundraising goal of $60,000. One of the highlights of the Relay for Life event was the luminaria ceremony, which took place around 10 p.m. on Saturday. The ceremony honored the memory of loved ones who have died from cancer, as well as those currently in treatment and those who have overcome cancer. For more information about Relay for Life events, or to make a donation, visit relay. acsevents.org. Entering a nearby zip code under the “Relay Events Near You” column will direct donors to the District 88 event. Donations can be directed toward a team, a participant or the event. Selecting “Donate,” followed by clicking on “Change” under “Relay for Life of District 88 Youth” will provide specific directions for donations.
Villa Park’s Mary Reedy O’Connor receives Woman of the Year honor
Lifelong village resident will be one of the honorees at a special Mass in Joliet
The St. Alexander Council of Catholic Women has named Villa Park’s Mary Reedy O’Connor as its Woman of the Year. O’Connor and Joyce Splan— the president of the parish’s Council of Catholic Women (CCW)—will be honored next month. O’Connor and Splan will be honored at an April 29 Mass celebrated by the Most Reverend Joseph M. Siegel, Auxiliary Bishop of Joliet, at the Cathedral of St. Raymond in Joliet. The Mass, which will have a theme of “Kindness Begins with Me,” will honor the Women of the Year and parish CCW presidents throughout the Diocese of Joliet. A lifelong resident of Villa Park, O’Connor and her husband Kevin have four children and nine grandchildren. She works as a realtor in her family’s business, which was started by her grandfather—Jack Reedy—in 1928. O’Connor, who is involved in numerous aspects of St. Alexander Parish, will also be honored at the parish’s spring luncheon, which will take place on April 22. She will also be recognized at the 8:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday, April 23.
Villa Park briefs
Village invites residents to tonight’s meeting regarding sales-tax referendum question
The Village of Villa Park will hold a community outreach meeting tonight—Thursday, March 23—regarding the sales-tax referendum question in the upcoming election. The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Iowa Community Center, 338 N. Iowa Ave. The referendum question in the April 4 election asks voters if they want to approve an increase in the village’s sales-tax rate, from 7.5 to 8 percent. If approved, the increase would reportedly produce about $1.5 in additional revenue per year for the village. That money would be used to pay for infrastructure projects, including the installation of storm sewers and water mains.
Show choir presents ‘A Night at the Cabaret’ at Willowbrook on April 7
The Willowbrook High School CenterStage Show Choir will present its annual “A Night at the Cabaret” fundraiser on Friday, April 7. The event, which will include dinner and a show, will begin at 7 p.m. in the school’s Silver and Blue Café. The show will feature a variety of performances from members of the show choir. Tickets cost $20 per person and are available from the school’s music department. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 630-530-3963.
VP Recreation holds spring break camp for kids March 27-31
Villa Park Recreation will offer sports camps for kids during spring break week—March 27-31. The camps will take place at the Iowa Community Center, 338 N. Iowa Ave. Kids ages 6–12 can take part in a multi-sport camp and a dodgeball camp, both coached by All Star Sports. The multi-sport camp will meet daily from 4–6 p.m., while the dodgeball camp will meet from 6–8 p.m. Parents ware invited to take part in a dodgeball battle with their children on the final day of the camp. The fee for each camp is $99 per person, and pre-registration is required. To register, or for more information about the camps, call 630-834-8970, or visit invillapark. com.
VP Parks and Recreation Department offers indoor swim lessons in Addison
The Villa Park Parks and Recreation Department is offering indoor swim lessons in cooperation with the Addison Park District. The lessons are held at the indoor pool at Club Fitness, 1776 W. Centennial Place, Addison. The next session begins the week of April 8. Classes are available on Saturday mornings and Tuesday and Thursday evenings for swimmers of all levels of experience. The offerings include parent/ tot classes. To see the full schedule of lessons, as well as fees, call 630- 834-8970, or visit invillapark.com.
Villa Park Junior Women’s Club welcomes applications for 2017 scholarships; Apply by April 15
The Villa Park Junior Women’s Club (VPJWC) is accepting applications for its annual scholarships. The club will award two scholarships this year—one for $1,500 and another for $500. The scholarships will be awarded to female high school students who are graduating in the spring of 2017. Eligible students must be full-time residents of Villa Park. The club began accepting applications in February. The deadline to apply is April 15. Winners are chosen based on their applications and recommendations. The scholarships are not awarded based on financial need. To qualify for the scholarship, an applicant must be a senior in high school with a minimum grade-point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent). Applicants must have participated in a minimum of one community-service activity for at least two years, including the current semester. Applicants must also provide two letters of recommendation from non-family members. For more information, or to download an application form, go online and visit vpjwc.org/scholarship.
VP Recreation’s ‘Discover Dance’ spring program begins April 3
Registrations are being accepted for the Villa Park Recreation Department’s “Discover Dance” spring program. The program runs from April 3 to May 13. Classes are available for dancers age 3 and up and include hip-hop, ballet, poms, tap, jazz and more. For additional information on days and times of classes, call 630- 834-8970.