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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.




 
   
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