mokena’s Award-Winning Hometown Newspaper • November 29, 2018 • Vol. 11 No. 16 • $1





Our editor gets an inside perspective of Mokena PD, Page 5

Veggies for

vets Mokena Eagle

Scout completes project

for veterans, Page 3

Cheers to


Annual events raises

money for local food

pantry, Page 8

One of Mokena’s new squad SUVs sits parked outside of the Mokena Police Station on Friday, Nov. 23. MPD allowed our editor to take a ride along

to find out what it’s like to be one of Mokena’s finest. T.J. Kremer III/22nd Century Media

Deck the cards

22CM Holiday Card

contest begins, Page 8

2 | November 29, 2018 | The Mokena Messenger calendar

In this week’s


Pet of the Week.............12



The Scene......................28

Home of the Week.........31

Classifieds................ 32-40

The Mokena


ph: 708.326.9170 fx: 708.326.9179


TJ Kremer III, x29

assistant editor

Amanda Villiger, x34

Sales director

Lora Healy, x31

real estate sales

Tricia Weber, x47

Classified Sales

Kellie Tschopp, x23

Legal Notices

Jeff Schouten, x51


Joe Coughlin 847.272.4565, x16

Managing Editor

Bill Jones, x20


Andrew Nicks


Nancy Burgan, x30

Amanda Villiger


Building With Hope

5:30 p.m. Nov. 29, Mokena

Public Library, 11327

195th St., Mokena. Join

Gwendolyn J. Sterk and the

Family Law Group for a free

program focusing on tips

and legal remedies to handle

different types of harassing

behavior and how to establish



Breakfast with Santa

Deadline to register is

Nov. 30. Breakfast will be

held from 9-10:30 a.m. Saturday,

Dec. 8, Aurelio’s

Restaurant, 310 W. Lincoln

Highway, Frankfort. Registration

includes entertainment,

gifts, and a breakfast

buffet of breakfast calzones,

French toast sticks, scrambled

eggs, sausage and fruit.

Children under 1 are admitted

free (does not include

breakfast, treats or gift).

All children must be accompanied

by an adult. Pre

registration is required and

will not be accepted at the

restaurant. Early bird registration

cost is $16. After

November 8, additional fees

apply. For more information

and registration, call (708)

390-2401 or visit www.

W22 nd Century Media

11516 West 183rd Street

Unit SW Office Condo #3

Orland Park, IL 60467


Chemical- free printing on 30% recycled paper

circulation inquiries

The Mokena Messenger (USPS #025404) is

published weekly by 22nd Century Media, LLC,

328 E Lincoln Hwy New Lenox, IL 60451. MOMS Club of New Lenox

Periodical postage paid at New Lenox, IL 10 a.m. Nov. 30, New

and additional mailing offices.

Lenox Public Library, 120

POSTMASTER: Send changes to:

The Mokena Messenger, 328 E Lincoln Hwy Veterans Parkway, New

New Lenox, IL 60451 Lenox. All ages are invited

to join the MOMS Club

Published by

of New Lenox (including Mokena) for their monthly

meeting, which will be held

in the meeting room adjoining

the lobby. There will

be a fun craft for the children.

For more information,

email momsclubnewlenox@


Nov. 30 and Dec. 1-2; and

Friday-Sunday, Dec. 7-9,

Curtain Call Theatre, 1112

Front St. Mokena. Can five

nuns raise enough money

from a talent show to bury

the final four of the 54 sisters

who died after eating

the vichyssoise prepared

by their cook, Sister Julia

Child of God? Get tickets

to see one of Curtain Call’s

performances of “Nunsense,”

a musical comedy.

Tickets cost $22 and can be

purchased online at www. or by calling

the box office at (708) 609-


Ladies Night

5-9 p.m. Nov. 30, Massage

Envy, 11061 W. Lincoln

Highway, Frankfort.

Join Massage Envy and the

Mokena Chamber of Commerce

for a Ladies Night

with massages, facials, movies,

snacks and more.

Vespers Concert

7 p.m. Nov. 30, Lincoln-

Way Central Auditorium,

1801 E. Lincoln Highway,

New Lenox. Enjoy performances

from all of Central’s

musical programs at this

annual concert. There is no

cost to attend, but a donation

of nonperishable food

is requested to help support

local food pantries. Cookies

will be served, and cookie

donations will be accepted

as well.


Lunch with Santa

11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Dec.

1, Mary Drew Elementary

School, 20130 S. Rosewood

Drive, Frankfort. Children

under 10 years must be accompanied

by an adult. Cost

is $12 for residents and $15

for nonresidents. Everyone

age 1 and older must purchase

a ticket, children under

1 year attend free. Registration

is required, and no

tickets will be sold at the

door. To register, call (815)



Holiday Open House

5-7 p.m. Dec. 3, Studio

16, 19618 S. LaGrange

Road, Mokena. Join Studio

16 and the Mokena Chamber

of Commerce for a holiday

open house with cocktails,

appetizers, raffles and more.


Make A Gingerbread House

Deadline to register is

Thursday, Dec. 6. Program

will take place from 3-4:30

p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, Program

Center Art Room,

10925 La Porte Road, Mokena.

Join the Mokena Park

District for this annual holiday

tradition. Make a unique

gingerbread house, a dazzling

confectionery castle

that is an edible decoration.

Finish it in class and take it

home to share with family

and friends. This program

is for children ages 8–12.

Early Bird registration fee is

$21 by Dec. 1. Fee includes

materials. For more information,

call (708) 390-2401 or


to register online.

Santa’s Mailbox

Letters are due by Friday,

Dec. 7 to the Frankfort

Square Park District’s Community

Center, 7540 W.

Braemar Lane, Frankfort.

For more information, call

(815) 469-3524.

Breakfast with Santa

9-10:30 a.m. Saturday,

Dec. 8, Aurelio’s Restaurant,

310 W. Lincoln Highway,

Frankfort. Enjoy breakfast

with the Jolly Old Elf including

breakfast calzones,

French toast sticks, scrambled

eggs, sausage and fruit.

There will be entertainment

and gifts as well. Children

younger than 1 year are admitted

free (does not include

breakfast, treats or gift) and

all children must be accompanied

by an adult. Registration

is required and will not

be accepted at the restaurant.

Groups are limited to

a maximum of eight. Cost

is $21 for residents and $24

for nonresidents. To register,

call the Mokena Park

District office at (708) 390-


Madrigals Performance

11-11:30 a.m. Saturday,

Dec. 8, Frankfort Public

Library, 21119 S. Pfeiffer

Road, Frankfort. Join the

Lincoln-Way East Madrigals

for a quick show of

their wonderful talents. Stay

afterward to chat with the

performers or enjoy refreshments

with the Friends of

the Frankfort Public Library

District. Doors open at 10:30

a.m., and space is available

on a first-come, first-serve



Reach out to thousands of daily

users by submitting your event at

For just print*, email all information to

*Deadline for print is 5 p.m. the Thursday prior to publication.

Forest Preserve Work Day

8 a.m.-noon, Sunday, Dec.

9, Hickory Creek Preserve —

LaPorte Road Access, 10537

W. La Porte Road, Mokena.

Join the Will County Forest

Preserve for their upcoming

work day. Volunteers will be

cutting, stacking and hauling

away nonnative brush.

Dress for outdoor work and

the weather, including long

pants and sturdy, closedtoe

shoes. To register, email or call

(815) 722-7364.

Senior Outing

Trip will depart at 1:15

p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, Frankfort

Township Building,

11000 W. Lincoln Highway,

Frankfort. Join the Frankfort

Township for a mystery senior

outing with charter bus

transportation, dinner and

some walking involved. All

that is for sure is the trip will

NOT be going to downtown

Chicago. Cost is $60 per

person. To RSVP, contact

Jodi at (815) 806-2766.


Diaper Drive

Ongoing through Wednesday,

Dec. 19, Rep. Margo

McDermed’s Office, 11032

W. Lincoln Highway, Frankfort.

Donations of diapers,

baby wipes and diaper rash

cream will be accepted and

distributed to local nonprofits

that help new mothers

and families in need. Residents

can also set up deliveries

directly tot he office from

online retailers. news

the Mokena Messenger | November 29, 2018 | 3

Central student’s, Eagle

Scout’s project aids veterans


Eagle project

focused on building

raised garden for


Iwill not

Amanda Villiger

Assistant Editor

The harvest season has

certainly ended, but the garden

box built by one local

scout will be used by veterans

for years to come.

Matt Piltaver, who is now

a senior at Lincoln-Way

Central, took on the task

at the Manteno Veterans’

Home as part of his Eagle

Scout project.

He got the idea to do a

project at the veterans home,

but said he was unsure of

exactly what he could do to

help them out.

“I had to go over and talk

to one of the maintenance

guys over there and ask what

they needed,” Piltaver said.

“He gave me a couple things

they needed, and some of

them I couldn’t really do.”

Then he got the suggestion

to build a garden.

“I said, ‘yeah, that would

be great. I can do that.’”

So Piltaver began preplanning,

fundraising and recruiting

of volunteers to make

the garden a reality. Local

businesses offered their support

by ways of donations of

lumber, plants and money, as

did some of Piltaver’s family

and friends.

“I’ve always had a respect

for veterans, and, during

that time that I was thinking

about doing something

for veterans, the whole big

football thing broke out,”

Piltaver said. “They were

just being, in my eyes, disrespectful

to the flag and the

country and the people who

fought for it.”

He said after visiting the

Matt Piltaver (left) points to some of the herbs, vegetables

and flowers planted in the garden at the Manteno Veterans’

Home. The garden was built for his Eagle Scout project.

Photo submitted

home, he noticed many of

the residents did not seem

to have a lot of things to do,

with many of them watching

TV or napping.

“They looked like they

weren’t having a lot of fun,

so that really drove me to

want to do something outside

to get them out and active

and doing something,”

Piltaver said.

With the idea that gardening

could become an enjoyable

passtime for residents,

Piltaver and the other volunteers

planted a variety of

vegetables and herbs in the

garden in May — including

tomatoes and peppers that

could be used in the kitchen.

The Eagle Project is one

of the final tasks for a Scout

to earn his Eagle rank, which

is the highest rank attainable

in the Scouting program.

Other requirements include

completing 21 merit badges

and serving in a leadership

role in the troop. All the

requirements must be completed

before the Scout’s

18th birthday.

He said one of his favorite

of the many merit badges he

completed was the Wilderness

Survival badge, which

requires a Scout to “survive”

on their own for a night with

just a few items including a

water bottle, bug spray and a


“They throw you out in the

woods and you have to build

your own like little campsite

or like little hut to sleep in in

the night,” Piltaver said of

his own experience, “and I

took a bunch of big logs and

propped them up against a

tree and took a lot of twigs

and lined it and used a bunch

of leaves to close it up and

insulate it.

“...And I slept in it over

night and everyone else did

it, [too], and it there was a

cool makeshift campsite that

everyone had.

Piltaver said he has helped

out with a number of other

Scouts’ Eagle projects in

the past, one of his favorites

having also been at the Manteno

Veterans’ Home. During

that project he helped

organize and log old photos

of veterans, which are now

displayed on the walls in the


Please see scout, 12

stress over

the things



Living with Anxiety or


Let ushelp.


We are located in Mokena.

4 | November 29, 2018 | The Mokena Messenger school

Summit Hill D161 Board of Education

Unit District feasibility study on hold, slogan winner announced

Megan Schuller

Freelance Reporter

The D161 board of education

planned on voting to

move forward with the feasibility

study that the Unit

District Committee put forward

before the board at its

Nov. 14 meeting, but the

vote was tabled indefinitely

after unexpected complications.

Osborne Construction’s

bid to complete the study

was withdrawn because Lincoln-Way

Community High

School D210 was not a willing


“D210 decided not to be

a contractual partner. The

State and our district would

have foot the entire bill,”

Board Member Stacey Borgens

said in brief discussion.

Round it Up

A brief recap of other items discussed at

the Nov. 14 D161 meeting

• Board President Rich Marron

addressed comments made by the

district’s teachers union in October,

which included a letter of claims

by the teachers regarding building

maintenance, the new grading policy and

teachers’ concerns falling on the deaf

ears. Marron addressed the concerns,

backed by maintenance reports, grades

and facts that he said backed up the

district’s timely response on the matters.

• The board approved the student tablet

replacement of 1,000 first-generation

Board President Rich

Marron said that the committee

will now seek alternatives

and find another bidder.

Safely surfing the web

“You think you’re clever

but your posts are forever” is

more than a rhyming slogan;

tablets that are slated to be deployed in

a month’s time.

• The board discussed expanding the

benchmarks for academic programing

of the honors and Summit Program to

possibly include students who fell just

short of the benchmark to be in the

classes. It also discussed the possibility

of having a similar setup to the previous

“regular,” “gifted” and “honors”


• The board meetings scheduled for

January and February were cancelled

as the board moves to try to have one

meeting a month, as other local districts


it’s a message to all D161

students regarding internet

and online safety.

The slogan was chosen

by the D161 Board of Education

as the district-wide

internet safety slogan after

the Summit Hill Educational

Foundation held a slogan


SHEF asked D161 students

to create slogans and

winners were chosen from

each school to have their

slogans displayed in their


The board picked Haley

McMaster’s slogan as the

overall district-wide slogan


“All six were very creative,”

President of the Summit

Hill Educational Foundation

Kevin Reutter said.

“We wanted one applicable

from K-8 and Haley’s captured

that. We want students

to be smart online.”

While organizations like

the PTO focus primarily

on school fundings, SHEF

raises money for overall district

needs of infrastructure,

technology and education.

SHEF helped propel the

district with its technology

initiative, getting the district

to a 1:1 student-to-tablet ratio

two years earlier than the

district had originally expected

to be.

Reutter said that since

accomplishing that ratio,

they wanted to bring the

focus back on technology

and online student


“Internet safety contest

was something fun for students,

but it also educated

them on the dangers of the

internet,” he said.

Mokena student earns honors from Lincoln Academy

Submitted by The Lincoln Academy

of Illinois

The top students representing

Illinois’ colleges and universities

were honored by The Lincoln

Academy of Illinois during the

annual Student Laureate Convocation

Nov. 17 at the Old State

Capitol State Historic Site in


Mokena resident Athanasios Kolovos,

a senior at Governors State

University, was among the students

chosen for the designation.

Each fall, an outstanding senior

from each of the state’s four-year

degree-granting colleges and universities

and one student from the

community colleges in Illinois is

awarded the Abraham Lincoln Civic

Engagement Award and thereby

becomes a Student Laureate of The

Lincoln Academy of Illinois. In the

spirit of Lincoln, Student Laureates

are honored for their leadership

and service in the pursuit of

the betterment of humanity and for

overall excellence in curricular and

extracurricular activities.

Each student was presented with

a certificate of merit signed by the

governor, a Lincoln medallion and

a $1,000 check.

This was the 43rd year The Lincoln

Academy has celebrated students’

excellence in Illinois.

For more information visit

RIGHT: Athanasios Kolovos

(middle) of Mokena, a senior at

Governors State University, is

recognized as one of the top

college students in Illinois by The

Lincoln Academy of Illinois during

the annual Student Laureate

ceremony Nov. 17 at the Old

State Capitol State Historic Site

in Springfield. Also pictured are

Lincoln Academy Chancellor-elect

Ron Spears (left) and Lincoln

Academy Chancellor Stephanie

Pace Marshall. Photo submitted news

the Mokena Messenger | November 29, 2018 | 5

Keeping Mokena safe: inside the MPD

T.J. Kremer III, Editor

On Nov. 13, I was allowed

to participate in a ride along

with a Mokena police officer

while he was on patrol. What

follows is my observations

of that event, along with a

follow-up interview with Mokena

Chief of Police Steven

Vaccaro, which was conducted

on Friday, Nov. 23.

Earlier this summer, one

of our regular freelancers,

Megan Schuller, pitched an

idea to do an article on the

Mokena Police Department.

The article would consist of

a ride along with an officer

and she would write about

her experience.

It seemed like a good idea.

Little did we know there

would be a couple of hiccups

along the way to getting the


Unfortunately, we discovered

after working on the

logistics with the Village of

Mokena that Schuller would

not be able to complete the

assignment because our parent

company’s insurance

would not cover her in the

event that something tragic

should happen. Thus, the

first hiccup.

So, I stepped in and took

the assignment on myself. I

felt the story was still worth

pursuing because I wanted

The Messenger to be able to

provide an inside perspective

into what it’s like for the

men and women who serve

our community.

We worked with the MPD

and the Village to make sure

all the proper paperwork was

in order and, once the red

tape had been taken care of,

decided on a date of Nov. 13

for the ride along.

It was a Tuesday morning,

typically a slow day in the

American work week, and, I

assumed, would be so for a

ride along, too.

The Village of Mokena

has a fairly low crime rate,

as compared to the surrounding

communities. According

to information compiled by

the website,

Mokena has a crime index

score — a number used to

reflect the overall amount of

crime in an area — of 67.4;

that’s lower than Tinley Park

(85.4), New Lenox (88.3)

and Orland Park (105.7),

but not as low as Frankfort

(54.6) or Homer Glen (35.2).

I arrived for my scheduled

ride along at 10 a.m. and was

greeted with my second hiccup

of the day: The officer

who was assigned to let me

tag along was not a fan of

the media, nor of civilians

riding along in his vehicle,

so the scope of what I would

be able to report on would be

limited to my own observations

and subsequent followup

interview with Vaccaro.

Speed patrol

The first thing I learned

was how MPD divides the

town in grids and officers

are responsible for covering

their assigned grids throughout

their shifts. Exceptions

to this rule can and are made

when another officer requires


A typical duty for an officer

is to conduct stationary

radar checks for speeders

and erratic drivers, most often

caused at that time of day

by drivers who are distracted

while on their phones while

driving. Trying to operate

a phone and drive is one of

the leading causes for accidents,

so officers are keen to

spot motorists violating the



The stationary radar portion

of the day was mostly

uneventful. There was one

motorist who was going a bit

Mokena Police Chief Steven Vaccaro has held the position

since 2014. t.j. kremer iii/22nd century media

too fast, but was let off with

a warning. This resulted in

my second and third lessons

of the day: No. 1, a person’s

attitude can go a long way

in determining if that person

will receive a ticket or not on

a minor offense, and, No. 2,

there is an awful lot of paperwork

involved in being a

police officer.

Even when no ticket is

written, an officer is required

to write up, by hand, what’s

called a “stop card,” which

is a brief report ticket documenting

what a stop was

made for and what actions

were taken.

Dash cam video automatically

turns on and records

everything from the point

the officer activates the

squad car’s lights, so tremendous

effort is put forth

in documenting what an officer

does on his or her shift,

both to protect civilians’ civil

rights and to protect the officers,

should someone make

a false claim about a stop.

About that earlier point

on attitude: I observed the

relationship between law

enforcement and civilians to

be a two-way street. MPD

works hard at maintaining

a good relationship with

the community; however,

there are those who have

a negative view of law enforcement.

Whether that’s

because of personal experience,

or because of the way

some law enforcement officers

have been portrayed

in the media in general, or a

combination of both is tough

to decipher.

“We’re here for service

for our residents and to

those who visit our community,”

Vaccaro said.

“Unfortunately, people, in

many cases, see the bad side

of the police; they see us

when either they’ve done

something wrong and we’re

dealing with that situation,

in many cases by way of arrest,

or when something bad

has happened to them. And

‘bad’ can be defined by anything:

it can be car burglary,

somebody threw eggs at

their house, could be somebody

broke into their house,

somebody harmed them. So,

those are the two situations

people normally see the police.”

So how do police officers

work to resolve those perceptions?

Two words: community


“From my perspective, we

look very hard at community

engagement,” Vaccaro said.

“So, when we serve, it’s

not just responding to calls

and being reactive, it’s being

more proactive by way

of going out and looking for

those who are looking to do

bad — whether it’s car burglaries

or house break-ins or

business break-ins — but,

also, go that extra mile and

engage with our community.

And I think that’s how

we serve is by showing [the

public] that we are human,

that we’re no different than

they are. We have lives and


Balancing act

As alluded to earlier, the

relationship between law

enforcement and the media

isn’t always ideal, either.

Reporters sometimes want

to get the “scoop,” to be the

first to report on an event,

and law enforcement isn’t

always ready to release information

we want, whether

that is to protect the integrity

of an investigation, the victims

or the officer involved.

It’s important for the media

and local law enforcement

to work together to

best serve the community,

and Vaccaro said that, for his

part, he’s willing to do so.

“[Law enforcement has]

to be forthcoming. You have

to put information out that I

think you would otherwise

put out,” Vaccaro said. “If I

have information now that I

know that I’m going to put

out tomorrow that will not

jeopardize my investigation

or my officer or any of my

personnel or my community,

why wouldn’t I put it

out today instead of keeping

it in my hip pocket and just

putting out little bits. And,

from my perspective and my

training… is [law enforcement

and media] can work

out a plan to put information


“… I can sit down with

you and say, ‘T.J., this is

what I know, this is what

I want you to put out,’ or,

‘This is what you can’t put

out.’ But just so that you

have a better picture so you

understand so that you’re not

putting out erroneous or incorrect

information or trying

to create a picture that may

not be there.”

But transparency, both

in the media and in law enforcement,

is a big topic on

the minds of many people

these days, and Vaccaro recognizes

that, too.

“Transparency’s a big

word in public service right

now. And I believe in transparency

but, again, you cannot

put out information that

will jeopardize an investigation

or jeopardize the safety

and security of your own

police officers or residents,”

Vaccaro said. “So, it is a balancing

act. We do walk a fine

line. What can we put out,

what can’t we put out; what

should we put out, what

shouldn’t we put out. It is a

fine line.

“So, I think the solution is

in working with your media

representatives in a small

town — we’re not Chicago,

so we’re not dealing with

[broadcast media], we’re not

dealing with that kind of a

forum — it’s sitting down

with your media representatives

and understanding the

relationship and understanding

the inner workings of

public safety, and me understanding

the inner workings

of the journalism side. And I

think that makes a great relationship,

so that when you

have a critical incident you

come to the table and say,

Please see MPD, 9

6 | November 29, 2018 | The Mokena Messenger mokena

Need aDoctor? See a











Garden Center

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showroom for

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Pictures with Santa &

his live reindeer!

• Board-CertifiedPhysicians

• Easy Access/Parking

• Prompt Attention




LaGrange Road @St. Francis Road

11606 179th Street, Mokena

Saturday, Dec. 1st


*Live reindeer only 10-1pm.

Please RSVP for

pictures with Santa at

708-349-6989 ext. 3

or visit website. mokena

the Mokena Messenger | November 29, 2018 | 7

in the


• The largest illuminated Santa Claus in the United States

• A dazzling light display throughout the Village Commons

• The Holiday Market

• Ice skating

A full holiday season of activities and entertainment!

Join us at our kick-off Celebration on December 2.

Visit for the full schedule of events.

Dan Lekki

Financial Advisor

Member SIPC

Presented by:

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Tinley Park, IL 60477


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Us On

8 | November 29, 2018 | The Mokena Messenger news

Generosity, gratitude highlight 22nd Century Media’s Cheers to Charity

Laurie Fanelli

Freelance Reporter

With the holidays on the

horizon, 22nd Century Media

welcomed the southwest

suburban community to join

its team for a night of good

cheer and generosity at its

annual Cheers to Charity


Held at Rock Bottom Restaurant

and Brewery from

6-10 p.m. Nov. 20, Cheers

to Charity featured a festive

atmosphere, complete with

Christmas carols and holiday

tunes from the Sandburg

High School Chamber Singers,

who roamed the dining

room during the early portion

of the event.

The donation drive, benefitting

Orland Township

Food Pantry and Toy Box

Connection, led to exponential

giving, as everyone who

contributed three canned

food items or a new unwrapped

toy received $5 off

their bill.

Heather Warthen, chief

events officer for 22nd Century

Media, said she enjoys

organizing the event each

year, as it signifies the start

of the giving season.

“We started this as a way

to give back to our local

communities,” Warthen said.

“As a local publication, that

was important to us. We’re

so entrenched in our communities

so, to us, being able

to do an event like this that

gives back to the community

is huge.”

Along with the food and

toy drive, 22nd Century

Media also set up a station

where Rock Bottom patrons

could sign holiday cards

for soldiers to be mailed by

the nonprofit organization

Military Mama Network.

The group sends more than

20,000 cards every season.

On top of all that, 10 percent

of all Rock Bottom

sales during Cheers to Charity

went toward benefitting

the Orland Township Food

Pantry, as did 25 cents of

each glass of Rudolph The

Prairie Red beer.

Brewer Iain Wilson explained

that he always has

fun creating the signature


“Every year, I’ll do something

different with it,” Wilson

said. “This year, I put

a little bit of amber malt in

there, which is a very traditional,

British-style malt. It’s

kind of biscuity or cookielike.

I also switched up some

of the hops a little bit.”

Tinley Park residents Ann

and Pat Rodgers have been

attending Cheers to Charity

since its very first installment

almost a decade ago.

They enjoy tasting each

year’s variation of Rudolph

The Prairie Red while eating

good food and, above all

else, giving back.

“I worked for a local nonprofit

for 12 years, so I know

how important it is for them

to have these fundraisers,”

Ann Rodgers said. “I’m not

able to still work, but I can

still give.”

Nothing quite sets the

tone for the holidays like

music, and the Sandburg

High School Chamber Singers

had everyone humming

and singing along to beloved

Christmas carols during its

6:15-7:30 p.m. performance.

Senior Bridget Lynch explained

that she enjoys

performing with the group

during the holidays — especially

her favorites, “We

Three Kings” and “Carol of

the Bells” — as something

about the season encourages

everyone to come together in


Lynch said, “I like to get

out into the community and

share what we do. We do a

lot with old folks homes and

medical centers, which is

really nice, and things like

this, too — charity events.

It’s a lot of fun to share that

and let the community see

what we’re doing.”

The season of giving

continues at Rock Bottom

Restaurant and Brewery.

Donations will be collected

through Dec. 15 and 25 cents

of each Rudolph The Prairie

Red sold will continue to

benefit the food pantry during

that time.

“We’ve worked with Rock

Bottom ever since Day 1,

and they’ve been a great

partner,” Warthen said.

The next 22nd Century

Media event is scheduled

for Jan. 19, when the annual

Healthy Living Expo is

slated to be held at the Tinley

Park Convention Center.

For more information about

22nd Century Media, visit



Clock’s already ticking on annual Holiday Card Contest

22nd Century Media

announces 2018

details for annual


Bill Jones, Managing Editor

We’re not sure if you

heard, but Christmas season

started in, like, September

this year. So, if you’re still

packing up Halloween decorations,

haven’t thought

about what you’re getting

anyone for Christmas and

are daring to pretend fall is

a thing that still exists (with

changing colors and turkey

dinners), you might as well

be decades behind.

You’re also our kind of


We like to enjoy the costumed

happenings before we

start thinking about Thanksgiving,

and we like to finish

our plate of stuffing, pumpkin

pie and, sure, we guess

even some squash loaded

with enough junk to make

it taste like something more

appetizing than squash, before

we start thinking about


But here we are. Thanksgiving

has come and gone,

and that leaves us but little

time to get you the details on

our 2018 Holiday Card Contest.

So, here it goes.

Send us your best homemade

Christmas cards, the

most boastful of year-end

letters (we are well-versed

in sarcasm, if that’s your

Ann and Pat Rodgers, of Tinley Park, toast Nov. 20 to

another great year of Cheers to Charity at Rock Bottom

Restaurant and Brewery in Orland Park.

Laurie Fanelli/22nd Century Media

thing), abstract children’s

drawings of the family together

at the holidays, photos

of the crew in your ugliest

Christmas sweaters,

crafty Kwanzaa greetings

or Hanukkah Hallmarks —

basically, whatever it is you

send to your loved ones to

make sure they get something

in the mail around the

holidays other than astronomical

credit card bills,

junk mail and early 2020

campaign literature.

We want to see your

coolest Christmas cards —

homemade wonders, unique

presentations, sassy jokes,

beautiful envelopes. We

want to hear who got new

jobs this year, which families

are going to have additional

members by the next

holiday season, and who

brought their parents the best

gift possible: a respectable

report card. We want holiday

photos that range from goofy

to traditional.

Whatever it is you do for

the people you love during

the holidays (just the

PG-13 stuff, please), simply

address these things to

Managing Editor Bill Jones,

and mail them to 11516

W. 183rd St. Unit SW Office

Condo 3, Orland Park,

IL, 60467. Make sure the

items somewhere include a

name and a phone number

at which we can reach you,

should you happen to win

the contest, as well as your


We will accept submissions

through 5 p.m. Thursday,

Dec. 20. They must be

received (not postmarked)

by that day, so please make

sure to give yourself enough

time for holiday mail service.

The entries will be evaluated

by our editorial staff

and judged in two categories:

Best in Show and Funniest,

so please tell us in

which category you’d like to

be considered. We will pick

one winner in each of the

categories from across all

seven of the towns covered

by 22nd Century Media’s

Southwest office: Orland

Park, Tinley Park, Frankfort,

Mokena, New Lenox, Lockport

and Homer Glen.

In addition to awarding

prizes (to be detailed next

week), we plan to publish

images or transcripts of our

winners in print, along with

a few of our other favorites.

We do have three important

rules to follow.

• We are allowing only

one entry per household for

this contest.

• The entry must be from

this holiday season.

• Electronic entries are

accepted (but deprive us of

some fun mail and that tactile

experience). They can

be sent to bill@opprairie.


So, start sending us some

stuff already. It’s Nov. 29,

which means the holidays

are almost over already. news

the Mokena Messenger | November 29, 2018 | 9

Will County Mobile Workforce Center schedule announced

Submitted by Will County

Executive Larry Walsh

The Mobile Workforce

Center’s December schedule

was announced by the

Workforce Services Division

of Will County and

includes a resume building


Standout Resumes will

be presented at 1:30 p.m. on

Dec. 7, at the Mokena Library

stop. Participants can

learn the basics of creating a

competitive resume and cover

letter. Individual resume

reviews are available upon


The mobile unit travels

throughout Will County to

help residents with resume

development, cover letters

and job applications. The


From Page 5

‘This is what I have, this is

what I can give you.’ And

then you understand why

certain pieces of information

can’t be put out, yet. Eventually

it’s all going to be put

on the table, but then you understand

why things can’t be

put out, yet.”

Covering business and

residential areas

Next up on the agenda

was taking a ride through

some of Mokena’s residential

and business areas.

We were on the lookout for

anything that seemed out of

place: people in a parked car

on a side street or parking

lot, vehicles that appear to

have some kind of damage,

vehicles illegally parked in

handicapped spaces in commuter

parking lots and anything

else that just doesn’t

seem right.

Recognizing those “out of

place” things can take years

of on-the-job training, and

officers must have a welldeveloped

sense of what’s

workforce center contains

11 computer stations, internet

access and offers keyboarding

lessons, as well as

resume and job search assistance

using online listings,


and Illinois workNet.

MWC will be at the Mokena

Community Public

Library District, 11327 W.

195th St., Mokena, from

1:30-3:30 p.m. on Fridays.

Will County Executive

Larry Walsh encourages job

seekers to take advantage

of the service, which is offered

at no cost to county


For additional information

about the Workforce Services

Division of Will County,


going on in our community.

That’s all part of the larger

expectation for officers to

always remain vigilant, for

their own protection, as well

as ours.

“I would say the most

dangerous part of this job is

the unknown,” Vaccaro said.

“We can manage our calls

for service, we can manage

our responses. We train. We

embrace officer safety, and

we certainly impress that

on our officers on a regular

basis, but it’s really the unknown.

You just don’t know

sometimes what you’re

walking in to, and it’s being

in that mindset where you’re

keeping yourself safe.

“Part of their academy

training is always staying

in a mindset where you’re

always aware of your surroundings,

you’re aware

of things that are going on.

The time to be complacent is

when you’re at home sitting

in your recliner watching a

football game or your favorite

TV show. When you’re in

a squad car, when you’re out

on the street, that’s not the

time to be complacent. So,

Inside the Mobile Workforce Center, which will be at

Mokena Community Public Library District from 1:30-3:30

p.m. on Fridays. 22nd Century Media file photo

we reinforce that on a regular

basis. We do that with our

training on an annual basis,

we do that through our inservice

trainings on a regular

basis. And it’s all about being

aware of your surroundings

and keeping that level

of awareness that anything

can happen at anywhere.”

Going the extra mile

My final stop of the day

on my ride along was a call

for help. But, no one was

injured, no arrest was to be

made and there was no conflict

to be had.

A woman had locked herself

out of her car and needed

help getting back into her


It turns out that Mokena is

one of the few areas around

that still provides this service

to its citizens.

The officer pulled up to

the woman’s vehicle and

eventually got her back in

it; however, it turned out

that after all that, the vehicle

would not start.

Rather than leaving her

stranded, which would be

a very un-serve-and-protect

thing to do, the officer went

back to the police station

to retrieve a jumper box to

jump start her vehicle.

He didn’t have to do that,

but he did anyway. Why?

Vaccaro explained it’s because

of the commitment

officers make when they

accept the responsibility to

wear the badge, which carries

with it not only the outlined

duties of the profession

but, also, the unwritten

rules of being a decent public


“And this, although for

many of us it’s a calling, it’s

still a job,” Vaccaro said.

“... For us, law enforcement

is our calling, but it

is still a job. We’re funded

by the taxpayers, so from

my perspective, we’re here

to serve our residents and

the visitors, our businesses,

we’re here to serve them.

“I would say they’re going

above and beyond. Do

my officers have to change a

tire? No, but they do it. You

know, things like that. We

go above and beyond here,

we really do. We go that extra

mile for our residents.”

Bob Spychalski


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10 | November 29, 2018 | The Mokena Messenger school

We takejoyful service and

compassionate caretoheart.

the Mokena messenger’s

Standout Student

Sponsored by Marquette Bank

Staying on the cutting edge of medicine is only part of what we do. The primary care doctors and staff

of Franciscan Physician Network are here for our patients. They also team with anumber of specialists

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Chicago Heights | Frankfort | Homewood | Matteson | Olympia Fields | Park Forest | Tinley Park

Nicholas Valentini

Nicholas Valentini is a

seventh-grader at Noonan


What do you like to do when

not in school or studying?

When I am not in school

I like to play video games,

play sports, watch TV, and

play with my sister and

brothers. I play football,

basketball and swim. I have

three brothers and one sister,

so I am never bored.

When is your dream job?

My dream job would be

to have a job where I can

get paid a lot of money but

barely have to work.

What are some of your

most played songs on your


I like listening to rap music

and rock music. I also

like listening to “My Way”

by Frank Sinatra.

What is one thing people

don’t know about you?

People don’t know that I

have already been to 10 different

major league baseball


Whom do you look up to and


I look up to my dad because

he always has a positive

influence on me. He

pushes me to do things I

sometimes do not want to

do, but I know it always

makes me a better person. I

look up to my mom because

she manages to do everything

for everybody in a big

family, and somehow we are

all always prepared every


Photo submitted

What do you keep under

your bed?

I keep a mini-hockey

game under my bed. Sometimes

I keep my iPad under

there when I have to hide it

from my brother.

Who is your favorite teacher

and why?

My favorite teacher is Mr.

Evers. He teaches social

studies. He makes things

easy to understand.

What extracurricular(s) do

you wish your school had?

I wish we could have

sports teams at younger

ages, and I wish we could

have a football team and a

soccer team.

If you could change one thing

about school what would it


If I could change one thing

about school I would make

no school on Mondays. We

do not need five days of

school. Four days of school

is enough.

What’s your best memory

from school?

... [M]y favorite overall

memory is that I have had

the chance to make lots of

friends with kids I have

known since kindergarten

all the way to seventh


Standout Student is a weekly

feature for The Mokena Messenger.

Nominations come from

Mokena area schools. news

the Mokena Messenger | November 29, 2018 | 11

Bug’s beauty

Hickory Creek prominent in photo contest

Carter Wright, of New Lenox, earned an honorable mention in Will County Forest

Preserve’s monthly photo contest of this pumpkin-colored orb weaver nestled in a leaf at

Rock Run Preserve in Joliet. Photos Submitted

Nancy Havener took a photo of this collection of macrofungi at Hickory Creek Forest


Joseph Stevenson was able to snap this duck on a rock at a pond at the Hickory Creek

Forest Preserve.

Ken Konecki got in position for this great shot of a train crossing through Hickory Creek

Forest Preserve.

Debi Shapiro got a close-up of this bird on a tree at Hickory Creek Forest Preserve.

Michael Fagan captured this shot of the autumn

trees at Hickory Creek Forest Preserve.

Michael Fagan captured this shot of the

autumn trees at Hickory Creek Forest


12 | November 29, 2018 | The Mokena Messenger community

Eagle Scout story id grayed out for me, so can you please add this for the cutline info: Matt

Piltaver (fifth from the right) and the other volunteers who helped build a vegetable and

herb garden at the Manteno Veterans’ Home pose for a photo. The project was done as

Piltaver’s Eagle Scout project. Photo submitted


From Page 3



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“I remember sitting there

and going through all these

pictures of all these veterans,

and I thought it was nostalgic

to see how young they

used to be,” Piltaver said.

“[It was] cool to see people

in the community who have


Piltaver began his Scouting

journey in first grade as

a Tiger Cub Scout and will

soon complete the cycle by

having his Court of Honor


“I just want to thank

everyone that helped me

throughout my journey because

I couldn’t do it by myself,”

he said.


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Emily Birsan, Soprano

Annie Rosen, Mezzo Soprano

Eric Ferring, Tenor

Bill McMurray, Bass

Program is presented by

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Audience isinvited

to participate in

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This program is partially

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Stilian Kirov, Music Director

Tickets from $27 in advance.

(Fees may apply.)




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Want to see your pet featured as The Mokena Messenger’s Pet of the Week? Send your pet’s

photo and a few sentences explaining why your pet is outstanding to Editor T.J. Kremer III at or 11516 W. 183rd St., Office Condo 3, Suite SW, Orland Park, IL

60467. mokena

the Mokena Messenger | November 29, 2018 | 13

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14 | November 29, 2018 | The Mokena Messenger news

Forest Preserve Board OKs

balanced budget for FY 2019

Ring them bells

Will County Trail Riders partner with The Salvation Army for charity

Expects property tax

rate to drop

Submitted by Forest

Preserve District of Will


The Forest Preserve District

of Will County’s Board

of Commissioners approved

a balanced 2019 budget on

Nov. 8 that is expected to

lower the property tax rate

and also features $775,000

for capital enhancements.

The $40.5 million spending

plan includes a $16.8

million operating budget

and a $14.4 million corporate

fund property tax levy,

which will pay for district

operations in 2019. The

2018 corporate property tax

rate — payable in 2019 —

will be an estimated 0.0677

percent, as compared to the

current year’s extension of

0.0687 percent, a 1.5 percent


“The district’s property tax

rate continues to go down,”

said Ray Tuminello, finance

committee chairman. “As a

result of the district paying

off its 1999 capital appreciation

bonds and holding the

line on operating expenses,

‘Tis the season to

advertise in

The Mokena Messenger


708.326.9170 ext. 31


the 2018 estimated total

property tax rate is decreasing

more than 22 percent

when compared to the previous

year’s extension.”

Over the past six years,

the district has paid down

approximately $85 million

of its long-term general obligation

bonds, said John Gerl,

the district’s chief financial


“As a result of continuing

to pay down its general

obligation debt, the district

continues to present a very

strong balance sheet, which

is one reason why rating

agencies have given the Forest

Preserve a AA+ credit

rating,” he said. “AA+ is the

second-highest credit rating


The budget includes a

$300,000 appropriation for

the district’s infrastructure,

maintenance and replacement

program, which will

maintain the Forest Preserve’s

trails, parking lots

and bridges.

Other budget highlights


• A major connection

along Black Road that will

link the DuPage River Trail

in Shorewood with the

Rock Run Greenway Trail

in Joliet. The trail link will

include pedestrian bridges

over Interstate 55 and the

DuPage River. The project

was delayed when ComEd

hit bedrock as it worked under

the river. The problem

was resolved and work is

scheduled to continue in


• A new shelter at Isle a

la Cache Preserve in Romeoville.

This shelter will be

big enough to accommodate

200 people, and host events

and a variety of educational

programs. Also, accessibility

improvements will be made

to the preserve’s walkways

and amphitheater.

• The trailhead at Schneider’s

Passage along the

Centennial Trail in Romeoville

will be upgraded with

expanded and improved

parking, a new latrine, and


• A new, larger event shelter

will be built at Whalon

Lake in Naperville. The shelter

will accommodate 200

people and it will replace a

smaller lakeside shelter that

has a 25-person capacity.

For more information on

the Forest Preserve District,

visit reconnectwithnature.



The Miller family — (left to right) Sherri, Jim, Noelle and Chloe, along with Indigo the miniature

horse — help ring in the holidays along with The Salvation army. Will County Trail Riders will

again team up with The Salvation Army and will be “ringing bells” with horses from 10 a.m.-4

p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Walmart on Route 30 in New Lenox. Photo submitted

Recycling changes to affect local residents

Submitted by Will County

Executive Larry Walsh

Officials from Will County

announced Nov. 15 significant

changes in the recycling


Will County has created a

website dedicated to informing

residents about safe recycling

practices for various

items, including electronics

and hazardous household

goods, as well as hosting

collection events throughout

the county to simplify the


“I am very proud of our

recycling efforts in Will

County,” said Larry Walsh,

Will County Executive. “We

have led the country in some

of our innovative programs

for our residents and have

used many green initiatives

in our county buildings.

While these changes will

impact our recycling efforts,

our staff is working hard to

find alternative measures to

accommodate all our needs.”

Plastic bags, tangled

items such as hangers, hoses,

wires, cords, ropes, or

chains, or any type of clothing

will no longer be accepted

in the recycling bins.

Also not accepted in recycling

bins is Food, liquid,

diapers, batteries, needles

and shredded paper. Methods

for recycling these items

can be found on the website, Large

items — such as electronics,

wood, propane tanks, scrap

metal, or Styrofoam — can

only be recycled at special

collection events, which can

also be found on the website.

These new rules are a result

of significant changes

initiated in 2017 by China,

one of the world’s largest

recyclers, that has upended

recycling programs across

the United States. China has

implemented strict bans on

accepting these items.

“We appreciate our residents

accommodating these

changes in our recycling

protocol,” Walsh said “Recycling

programs continue

to evolve to become more

convenient and effective.

Responsible recycling is still

the best method of protecting

our natural resources.

I encourage all of our residents

to visit the website to

learn more about our successful

programs.” mokena

the Mokena Messenger | November 29, 2018 | 15





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16 | November 29, 2018 | The Mokena Messenger news


Longtime customers become

new owners of Pizza King

Pizza night was a Monday

tradition for New Lenox

residents Alan and Stephanie


For the past 18 years, one

of the two would always

pick up a pizza from Pizza

King, on the corner of Cedar

Road and Route 30, and

endulge after a long work


That was until Pizza King

closed down in August after

45 years in business.

“I thought, ‘There’s no

other good places to eat

pizza in New Lenox,’” Alan


“We were devastated,”

Stephanie added.

But soon after, the Gendusas

saw this as a business

opportunity. Alan, a lifelong

New Lenox resident, has

owned several businesses in

town, and he did not want to

see another mom-and-pop

shop go away, along with his

favorite pizza.

The couple closed the

deal to buy Pizza King on

Nov. 8, bringing back the

South Side-style pizza.

Since then, the news has

buzzed around New Lenox.

As of Nov. 19, Stephanie’s

Facebook post announcing

the purchase has 915 likes

and 212 shares.

“We just absolutely love

their pizza,” she said. “The

taste, the crust, it is such a

unique flavor and taste that

you cannot find anywhere

else. And we didn’t want that

to die.”

Former owner George

Schneeweiss Jr. is going to

reveal the secret recipes,

and teach Alan and Stephanie

everything he knows to

recreate the beloved pizza.

They plan to keep the original

menu but would like to

expand it. They are already

in the process of remodeling

the interior.

There is no tentative date

yet scheduled for Pizza

King’s re-opening.

Reporting by James Sanchez,

Editor. For more, visit New-


Orland Park resident

celebrates 100th birthday at

White Fence Farm

For almost three decades,

Leo Bialek has called Orland

Park home. In that time, the

long-standing resident has

become woven into the fabric

of the community, thanks

to his charming personality,

dedication to physical fitness

and position as the life of every


On Nov. 18, Bialek’s family

and friends met at White

Fence Farm in Romeoville

to celebrate his 100th birthday.

The restaurant is a longtime

favorite of Bialek’s

— he used to enjoy Sunday

dinners with his late-wife,

Elizabeth, at the establishment

— and it served as an

ideal spot to enjoy a party in

his honor.

Bialek’s granddaughter

and the event’s organizer,

Mary Beth Kyle-Needham,

explained that everyone who

meets her grandfather becomes

his friend.

“Everybody I invited to

the party said, ‘Yes,’” Kyle-

Needham said. “He has so

many friends and family that

love him. I am so impressed

and he’s such a good role

model. As my daughter was

growing up, I felt like it was

important for her to know

her great-grandparents, and

he’s been very interactive

with her. He teaches her

good lessons.”

Along with four generations

of immediate and

extended family, Bialek’s

friends — many of whom

he has made while dancing

at the Willowbrook

Ballroom and walking at

Orland Square — were in

attendance. Several of his

Orland Park neighbors, who

jokingly refer to themselves

as “Leo’s chauffeurs,” also

were on hand to celebrate in


Reporting by Laurie Fanelli,

Freelance Reporter. For more,

visit OP


Interfaith Thanksgiving

Celebration focuses on

fellowship, charity

“People come from different

paths, yet we have the

same destination.”

Ahmed Ali, an Egyptianborn

Islamic motivational

speaker, shared those words

of unity and more Nov. 18

at the inaugural Interfaith

Thanksgiving Celebration at

First Congregational Church

in Lockport.

The event was organized

by the Lockport-Homer

Glen Ministerial Association

in an effort to help local

charities, as well as to show

how people can put aside

their differences and come


The Lockport-Homer

Glen Ministerial Association

in the past has held the

Thanksgiving Celebration

at different area churches to

help benefit the FISH Food

Pantry, but this year the

Rev. Eric Quinney-Burnard

of the First Congregational

Church decided he wanted

to change things up. Rather

than dividing the offering,

all money raised was to

benefit the Lockport Resource

Center, and food was

collected for the Fairmont

Food Pantry. But the biggest

change was that was

the group’s first true interfaith


The hour-long service

featured nine local speakers

of different faiths to discuss

the meaning of Thanksgiving

to them, followed by a

reception of holiday treats.

While each religion may

have different traditions or

ways to celebrate, one message

was made clear: being

faithful means being thankful.

“Literally giving thanks

and giving gratitude to God,

in whatever way that is, is

something we need to share

with one another,” Quinney-Burnard

said. “We all

want to raise our children

to be good people of faith

who get along with everyone,

and this is how we


Reporting by Rochelle

McAuliffe, Freelance

Reporter. For more, visit


Elite Dance Academy to offer

classes for special needs


Rhonda Moore had

hoped for nearly 17 years

that she could one day incorporate

the two things

for which she has the most

passion into her everyday


As the performance company

director at Elite Dance

Academy in Homer Glen,

Moore has made her dream a

reality by recently becoming

a certified instructor, working

with children with special

needs in the studio.

“Working with special

needs kids has always been

a strong passion of mine, especially

in a dance setting,

and I have never had the

resources or the opportunity

to make it happen,” Moore


She applied and received

a scholarship through a program

called Rhythm Works

Integrative Dance, which

according to its website “is

a specialized but inclusive

dance class for people with

individual learning differences

and other special

needs.” In collaboration

with the National Dance

Foundation and Double

Good popcorn store, Moore

and her fellow colleague,

Ashley Deets, who is the artistic

director at Elite, took

courses to get certified this

past February to instruct the


Deets and Moore both

have a strong passion for

working with children who

have special needs and are

thrilled that, starting this

January, Elite Dance Academy

will be offering two

separate classes, one for

ages 4-9 and one for ages 10

and older, to experience the

program firsthand.

Classes are to start Jan.

10, with sessions running

through May. For more information,


or call (708)


Reporting by Jacquelyn

Schlabach, Assistant Editor.

For more, visit HomerHorizon.



Tinley Park school district

selects superintendent

Assistant Superintendent

Shawn Olson was selected

Nov. 15 by the Kirby School

District 140 Board of Education

to be the next superintendent

the district.

Olson is set to succeed

Superintendent Julia Mikulich,

who is retiring at

the end of the 2018-2019

school year.

Olson has been with the

district for the past 17 years

as a teacher and then an administrator,

including serving

as principal at Keller

Elementary and Grissom

Middle School, as well as

the director of technology

for D140. He began

his career as a substitute

teacher, and also has taught

reading and language arts.

He has served on several

district-wide committees

and has been instrumental

in staff development, financial

planning and technology

integration, according

to a press release from


“Dr. Olson is an experienced

leader, with a proven

track record in administration

and community relations,”

Board President

Thomas Martelli said. “His

vision for the district matches

up perfectly with our


All seven board members

voted to approve the hiring.

Olson is scheduled to

assume leadership of the

school district — which

spans portions of Tinley

Park, Orland Park and Orland

Hills — on July 1. He

has earned a doctorate of

education from the University

of St. Francis in addition

to a master’s in educational

administration from

Governors State University.

“I’ve worked closely with

Shawn for the past three

years and am confident that

he will continue to move the

district forward,” Mikulich


Reporting by Cody Mroczka,

Editor. For more, visit



Visit us online at sound off

the Mokena Messenger | November 29, 2018 | 17

Social snapshot

Top Web Stories

From as of

Monday, Nov. 26

From the Assistant Editor

After two years, time to say goodbye

1. Photos: Mokena celebrates Christmas

Fest ’18

2. Nearly 100-year-old murder case is

brought back to life

3. Lincoln-Way Community High School

D210 Board of Education: Debt options

on the table, auditorium named

4. Mokena chef heats things up at Frankfort


5. Home of the Week: 20827 Briarwood

Lane, Mokena, 60448

Become a member:

“Happy Thanksgiving from the Mokena Lions

Club! We are thankful for a great community

who continue to support our Lions

Club! #weserve #BeALion”

Mokena Lion posted this to its Facebook

page Thursday, Nov. 22

Like The Mokena Messenger:

“Happy Thanksgiving! We are thankful for

our amazing LWC students and staff! ”

@LWCentralKnight posted this to its

Twitter account Nov. 21

Follow The Mokena Messenger: @mokenamessenger

Amanda Villiger

It does not seem like that

long ago that it was my

first day walking into

a new office, meeting new

people and learning new


But that’s just how time

works, isn’t it?

I began as the assistant

editor with the Lincoln-

Way papers on Nov. 1,

2016, and I’ll be leaving

22nd Century Media this

Friday, Nov. 30.

Two years does not seem

like that much time to me,

but it is hard to believe I’ve

crammed so many experiences

into those 25 months.

Earlier this week, I was

organizing some files on

my computer and realized

I wrote about at least 335

different topics during my

time here.

And that doesn’t count

the files I lost when the

Sound Off Policy

Editorials and columns are the

opinions of the author. Pieces

from 22nd Century Media are

the thoughts of the company as

a whole. The Mokena Messenger

encourages readers to write letters

to Sound Off. All letters must be

signed, and names and hometowns

will be published. We also ask that

writers include their address and

phone number for verification,

not publication. Letters should be

limited to 400 words. The Mokena

Two years does not seem like that much time to

me, but it is hard to believe I’ve crammed so many

experiences into those 25 months.

hard drive on my computer

crashed earlier this


Going through all those

files gave me a chance to

reflect on all of the people

I’ve had the opportunity to

meet and work with these

past two years.

The people in these communities

where I’ve spent

so much of my life during

my time at 22nd Century

Media have truly made my

job worth it.

In Mokena, I’ve spent

the most time by far with

teachers, administrators and

board members at Mokena

School District 159.

Although I’ve complained

about many a board meeting

that has gone long into the

night, I couldn’t have asked

for a more kind and hardworking

group of people to

work with.

Thank you for always

welcoming me into your

school and your meetings,

working with me on

stories and being transparent

with me on big issues like

Messenger reserves the right to edit

letters. Letters become property of

The Mokena Messenger. Letters that

are published do not reflect the

thoughts and views of The Mokena

Messenger. Letters can be mailed

to: The Mokena Messenger, 11516

West 183rd Street, Unit SW

Office Condo #3, Orland Park,

Illinois, 60467. Fax letters to (708)

326-9179 or e-mail to tj@mok

finances and school


In New Lenox, I’ve had

the pleasure of working

with the Village and the fire

department on a number

of stories, all of which

have left me feeling more

informed than before. The

people I have met always

seem to say hello and

remember my name, one

of the many ways I can tell

they serve their communities

with a personal


The leaders in the Village

of New Lenox really put

the residents first and serve

to the best of their abilities,

which is something I


Lastly, is Frankfort — a

town where I’ve spent

most of my time buzzing

around to different new

businesses, park district

programs and events on

Breidert Green. While I

haven’t had the same type

of focus in Frankfort as I

have for the others, the variety

has been stimulating,

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estate property?

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exciting and, sometimes,


But, I think that is a tribute

to the nature of Frankfort.

It seems there is always

something going on in town,

which makes for a vibrant

and connected community.

Which brings me around

to the place where I’ve

spend the vast majority

of my time since starting

here: the office. At 22nd

Century Media, I’ve found

that there’s rarely a dull day.

Even on weeks that are light

with news, the people I’ve

worked with make the days


Between T.J. Kremer III,

James Sanchez and Nuria

Mathog I’ve learned a lot

and had a lot of very interesting

conversations, including

those about time-space

theories or less intellectual

topics such as whether a

taco is a sandwich.

Thank you, everyone, for

helping me grow as a writer

and as a person.

It’s been fun, but I’m off

to my next adventure.

18 | November 29, 2018 | The Mokena Messenger mokena

Brookside Meadows has exactly what new

homebuyers look for: value, comfort, solid

construction and just as important, location.

Along with all of the peaceful attributes

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Kenootz Pizza celebrates 30 years of

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the mokena messenger | November 29, 2018 |

Blending in quickly One

Tropical Smoothie location swiftly turns

into three for local owners, Page 27

‘Nunsense’ to premiere this weekend at Curtain Call Theatre, Page 21

The cast of “Nunsense” — (left to right) Mandy Barry, Alicia Cuccia, Laureann Price, Nicole Henderson and Julia Gorban — get in character during rehearsal Nov. 20 for

Curtain Call Theatre’s production of the musical, scheduled to run the weekends of Nov. 30-Dec. 2 and Dec. 7-9. T.J. Kremer III/22nd Century Media

20 | November 29, 2018 | The Mokena Messenger faith

Faith Briefs

St. Mary’s Catholic Church (19515 115th

Ave., Mokena)

Church Service

5 p.m. Saturdays; 8 a.m,

9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 6:

p.m. Sundays


Wednesdays following

8:00 a.m. Mass in the Chapel

until 6:45 p.m.

Young at Heart Senior Club

1 p.m. the first and third

Wednesday of the month.

Join the senior club for activities

and outings Sept.-

June. For more information,

call (708) 699-5018.

Holy Rosary

7:30 a.m. daily; 7 p.m.

Tuesday evenings.

St. John’s United Church of Christ (11100

Second St., Mokena)

Traditional Service

8 a.m. traditional mass,

9:45 a.m. contemporary &

traditional music in a service

of praise and reverence. Supervised

childcare available.

For more information, call

(708) 479-5123.

Garden Club

8 a.m. Tuesdays. For more

information, call (708) 479-


Cards for a Cause

7 p.m. the second Monday

of each month. Bring your

tape, scissors and colored

pencils — if you have them

— and plan for a creative

evening with lots of fun.

Bundles of Love

7 p.m. the second and

fourth Monday of each

month. Enjoy fun and fellowship

while making baby

quilts for infants baptized at

St. John’s and lap quilts for


Mokena United Methodist Church (10901

LaPorte Road, Mokena)

Cookie Sale

9 a.m.-noon Saturday,

Dec. 1.

Service and Sunday School

10:15 a.m. Sundays.

Church service and children’s

Sunday School will

be held. For more information,

call (708) 479-1110.

Bible Study

7 p.m. Tuesdays at the

church. For more information,

call (708) 479-1110.

Community Prayer Gathering

2:30 p.m. every 4th Sunday.


9 a.m. every third Saturday

of the month.

Choir Practice

7:30 p.m. Wednesdays.

Newcomers welcome.

Weight Watchers


Weigh-ins take place at

6:30 p.m., while the meeting

is at 7 p.m.

Marley Community Church (12625 W.

187th St., Mokena)

Church Service

10 a.m. Sundays. Childcare

is provided.

Sunday School

9-10 a.m. Sundays.

Senior High Youth Group

7-8:30 p.m. Wednesdays.

For more information, email


Junior High Youth Group

6-7:30 p.m. Fridays. For

more information, email


Men’s Group

6 p.m. Sunday nights in

the church basement. All

men are welcome.

Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church

(10731 W. La Porte Road, Mokena)


9 a.m. Sundays.

God’s Kids Club

10:15 a.m. Sundays in


Adult Bible Study

10:15 a.m. Sundays in


Mokena Baptist Church (9960 W. 187th

St., Mokena)

Sunday Services

11 a.m. and 5 p.m. For

more information, call (312)


Sunday School

10:15 a.m. Sundays. Mokena

Baptist offers Sunday

School classes for all ages.

For more information, call

(312) 350-2279.

Parker Road Bible Church (18512 Parker

Road, Mokena)

Worship Service

10:30 a.m. Sundays. Be

sure to arrive early for our

Sunday Worship Service to

enjoy a hot, complimentary

cup of coffee every week at

the church. Following the

Christian Education Hour

(9:15-10:15 a.m.), all beverages

can be found just outside

the sanctuary.

Survivng the Holidays

9-11 a.m. Saturday, Dec.

15. Join Park Road Bible

Church for a GriefShare session

entitled, “Surviving the

Holidays.” This seminar will

help those who have lost a

loved one and assist in coping

with the upcoming holidays.

For more information,

visit the GriefShare website


or contact Gary DeVries at

(708) 990-9282.

Grace Fellowship Church (11049 LaPorte

Road, Mokena)

Narcotics Anonymous

7-9 p.m. Mondays. All

those struggling or who have

struggled with a narcotics

addiction are welcome. All

meetings are confidential.

For more information, call

(708) 479-0300.

Spanish Church

12:30 p.m. Sundays.

Worship Service

10 a.m. Sundays. All are


Women’s Bible Study

8:45-9:45 a.m. Sundays

and 2-3 p.m. Tuesdays.

Victory Baptist Church (13550 US Route

6, Mokena)

Sunday School

9:30 a.m. Sundays.

Morning Worship

10:45 a.m. Sundays.

Evening Worship

6 p.m. Sundays.

Weekday Worship

7 p.m. Wednesdays.

Have something for Faith

Briefs? Contact Assistant

Editor Amanda Villiger at

or call (708) 326-9170 ext. 34.

Deadline is noon Thursday one

week prior to publication.

Advertise in our Legal Services Directory

For More Information or to place a listing

Call 708-326-9170

In Memoriam

Edward A. Cieply

Edward A. Cieply, 96, of

Mokena, died Nov. 16.

He was the beloved husband

of the late Antonia

(Rentauskas); loving father

of Craig (Marilyn) and Donna

(Norman) Hecht; proud

grandfather of seven; and

great-grandfather of 15.

He was a WWII “Battle of

the Bulge” veteran with the

U.S. Army, and a member of

the VFW post 725 and the K

of C #6993.



Do you have someone’s life

you’d like to honor? Email

Editor T.J. Kremer III at tj@ with

information about a loved one

who was a part of the Mokena

community. life & arts

the Mokena Messenger | November 29, 2018 | 21

Nuns can be fun: ‘Nunsense’ on deck for CC Theatre

T.J. Kremer III, Editor

Nuns aren’t generally known for

their sense of humor and comedic

wit. Unless, that is, one is referring

to the off-Broadway hit “Nunsense.”

The musical began its run in

1985 and has remained popular

with audiences today. Now, Mokena’s

Curtain Call Theatre is set

to begin its run of the zany musical

about five nuns — six if you

count the puppet, Sister Mary Annette

— who devise a talent show

of sorts to help raise money for

their convent.

“It’s a variety show put on by

nuns who really aren’t performers

but want to be,” Director and

Frankfort resident Michael Kotze

said. “So they’re all a little bit

out over their skis in the course

of the show, which makes it very


Kotze compared the show to the

Marx Brothers in a convent.

“A lot of the humor is not quite

what you’d expect,” Kotze said.

“It’s kind of oddball. And I found

that very appealing.”

Also appealing to Kotze was

the different types of skills the

actors needed for this particular


“The cast required for this is

very different than the cast for

every other show we’re doing,”

Kotze said. “So, people come

out of the woodwork based on

the show that you’re doing, and

I couldn’t be happier with this


“In this case, a lot of the roles

are very much sort of types. Our

Mother Superior needs to be a

convincing authority figure, but

she still needs to have that twinkle

in her eye and the ability to

put over a big number. One of the

sisters is an aspiring ballerina,

so we were looking for someone

who actually had some ballet

training, and the young lady we

do have is actually quite an accomplished

dancer. So, we don’t

have to do just sort of mock bad

ballet, we can actually do something

where there’s actually some

very nice dancing in the show.”

Mokena resident Alicia Cuccia,

who plays Sister Robert Anne —

or Sister Robert “Ham,” as Cuccia

sometimes calls her — first

saw the musical “about 100 years

ago” at Drury Lane Theatre in

Oakbrook Terrace and has been

wanting to perform in it ever


The musical takes place in Hoboken,

New Jersey, where Cuccia is

originally from. But the similarities

don’t end there: Cuccia attended a

private catholic school in New Jersey,

and the nuns there were not the

stereotypical nuns some of us may

think of.

“Our Mother Superior, who

was the principal, used to dye her

hair blonde and was always — if

we wanted to put on a show, no

problem. She was always bringing

having artists come in a teach us

how to paint or do pottery or very

interesting things. … This character

says at one point that this nun,

Sister Rose Francis, was the only

one who truly believed in her. And

this Mother Superior principal who

I had, Sister Renee was her name,

every time she would see me in the

hallway would say, ‘Oh, there’s

my little Katharine Hepburn. Oh,

how’s my little Katharine Hepburn

today?’ So, in a way, she really

boosted my confidence, too. So,

that is something really relatable to

me, something I can really draw off

of for this character.

“This show is not about how

nuns are stiff, staunchy people;

they’re fun.”

Cuccia said she can relate to her

character’s need to express herself

on stage.

Cuccia has been acting for much

of her life, but gave it up for about

20 years, until Curtain Call Theatre

opened in its current location in


Cuccia first came to Chicago on

a scholarship with the famous Second

City comedy improv troupe.

She’s been a resident of Mokena

for the past 25 years.

For Cuccia, community theatre

gives her the opportunity to do

what she loves without the ultra

The cast of “Nunsense” — (left to right) Mandy Barry, playing Sister Mary Amnesia; Laureann Price, playing

Reverend Mother; Alicia Cuccia, playing Sister Robert Ann; Nicole Henderson, playing Sister Hubert; and

Julia Gorban, playing Sister Mary Leo — prepares for opening weekend at Curtain Call Theatre. Photos by T.J.

Kremer III/22nd Century Media

If you’re going…

What: “Nunsense”

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov.

30 and Saturday, Dec. 1; 2

p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2; 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 7; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 8; 2 p.m. Dec. 9

Where: Curtain Call Theatre,

11112 Front St., in Mokena

Cost: $22 for general


For more information…

Phone: (708) 607-2281


competitiveness of making theatre

her 24/7 gig.

“When [Sister Robert Anne] entered

the convent she had a choice:

She was either going to be an actress

or a nun, and she chose the

convent,” Cuccia said. “… She still

wants to be a star. But, she took a

vow of poverty, she took a vow,

and she doesn’t perform for money

Mandy Barry, who plays Sister Mary Amnesia, rehearses with puppet

Sister Mary Annette.

or fame, it’s just something deep

inside of her that needs to come out

every once in awhile.”

Cuccia credits the well-written

music and dialogue for the longlasting

popularity of the show.

“They don’t write ’em like they

used to,” she said.

22 | November 29, 2018 | The Mokena Messenger mokena



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the Mokena Messenger | November 29, 2018 | 23

Local dancers featured in annual performance of ‘Beyond the Nutcracker’

Amanda Villiger

Assistant Editor

The sweet sound of Tchaikovsky’s

“Dance of the Sugar

Plum Fairy” is a hallmark

of the classic “Nutcracker”

ballet that spans generations.

Featuring songs from the

original ballet, Frankfortbased

Ballet 5:8’s “Beyond

the Nutcracker” will offer

audience members a modern,

spiritual take on the story.

As a professional ballet

company and school of the

arts, Ballet 5:8’s annual production

incudes professional

dance company members as

well as trainees and students

with original choreography

by Artistic Director Julianna

Rubio Slager.

Students and company

members travel from all

over the country to study at

the school, but many of their

students are from the local

area as well.

Catherine Lobash, of Mokena,

will perform in Ballet

5:8’s production of “Beyond

the Nutcracker,” which is

now in its fourth year.

“It is fun to perform with

such a great company and

to share such a meaningful

message with the community,”

Lobash said.

Sophia Snider, a junior at

Lincoln-Way Central, has

been studying ballet since

she was 5 and began at Ballet

5:8 when it opened in


“[Conservancy II] is for

preprofessional students

training to be professionals,”

Snider said about her

level of training. “It’s a very

intense schedule: Monday

through Friday from, like, 2

o’clock to around 6 o’clock.

“We work on our artistry,

technique — specifically

ballet — and we train under

the company members and

the artistic director Miss Juliana


Snider, who is a New

Lenox resident, will be featured

in the show’s “Snow”

scene and has a solo part in

Renee Ruchala (right), of Tinley Park, rehearses “English

Roses,” a dance number from “Beyond the Nutcracker.”

Ballet 5:8’s performances are scheduled for Dec. 15 and 16

at Lincoln-Way West High School in New Lenox.

the “English Roses” scene

where she plays a Rose


As someone who has performed

in the show before,

Snider said the practices always

get more intense as the

opening day nears but that it

offers a unique opportunity

for improvement.

“There’s just so much

room to grow,” she said.

“And you feel it, and you

keep pushing yourself. I always

look forward to performing

‘[Beyond the] Nutcracker.’”

James Wainwright, a recent

graduate of Lincoln-

Way West, reflected on his

recently-begun dancing

career during a recent interview

about the upcoming

production. The 18-year-old

is a trainee with the company

but only began dancing at

the age of 16.

“It’s just amazing to be

at this level and be a part

of a company,” Wainwright

said. “I am grateful for every


Wainwright, a New Lenox

native, will be featured during

the “English Roses”

scene, and will be doing a

‘Beyond the Nutcracker’

When: 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Dec. 15; and 3 p.m. Dec.


Where: Lincoln-Way West

High School, Performing

Arts Center, 21701

Gougar Road in New


Cost: $10 for children

12 and younger; $18 for


Tickets: visit www. or call (708)


partner dance during the

“Spanish Pas.”

“I’ve always been around

dance. It has always been a

part of my life, but it always

was just around,” said Wainwright,

whose mother owned

a dance school in New

Lenox when he was young.

“I didn’t make it an integral

part of my life — it’s ironic

— [until] my mother closed

her studio.”

As part of the company’s

trainee program, Wainwright’s

practice schedule

consists of full, long days

of training, often more than

The Ballet 5:8 Studio Company poses after practicing the “English Roses” choreography on

Nov. 20 at Ballet 5:8 in Frankfort. The dancers are preparing for an upcoming performance

of “Beyond the Nutcracker,” which has become an annual show for the Frankfort-based

professional dance company. Photos by Amanda Villiger/22nd Century Media

Sophia Snider (right), of New Lenox, and Catherine Lobash (left), of Mokena, rehearse

“English Roses” during a dance practice at Ballet 5:8 in Frankfort.

five days a week.

“It’s a very intense level

but it’s all to make me a

better dancer, and it’s what

I love,” he said. “I couldn’t

imagine doing anything


Employing traditional

ballet training, “Beyond the

Nutcracker” is a story that

takes the main character,

Emma, to different areas of

the world and back in time

to the first Christmas. The

show will feature 150 cast

members as well as original

costumes, sets and choreography.

“For me, even with my

short career, it’s already

become part of the season,

like fresh fallen snow or

hot chocolate, it just feels

like when it comes time, I

wouldn’t imagine winter and

the holiday season and celebrating

the birth of Christ

with any other way,” Wainwright


Performances are scheduled

for 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 15 and 3 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 16 at Lincoln-

Way West High School in

New Lenox. Cost is $18 for

adults, and $10 for children

12 and younger. To purchase

tickets, visit or

call (708) 329-8773.

24 | November 29, 2018 | The Mokena Messenger life & arts

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Summit Hill D161 students perform at music festivals

Submitted by Summit Hill


Summit Hill was well represented

in this fall’s Illinois

Music Educator’s Association

festivals. Approximately

1,000 students from more

than 70 different schools

auditioned in late September

for spots in the 2018 Festival

Band, Choir, Orchestra and

Jazz Bands.

The Band/Choir/Orchestra

Festival was held at

Lincoln-Way Central High

School on Nov. 3. Representing

D161 were: Annie

Wu (clarinet, band); Sarah

Pollard, Kelsey Rasmussen

and Abby Salgado (choir);

and Evan Bourgeois (cello),

Ella Fisher (violin) and Haley

Wedster (viola).

At the ILMEA High School

and Junior High Jazz Festival

on Nov. 10 at Hinsdale Central

High School, trombonist

Brady McKnight represented

Summit Hill District 161 was represented at this fall’s

ILMEA festivals by (left to right) Sarah Pollard and Kelsey

Rasmussen (festival choir); Brady McKnight (jazz festival);

Evan Bourgeois, Ella Fisher and Haley Wedster (festival

orchestra), and Annie Wu (festival band). Not pictured:

sixth-grader Abby Salgado (festival choir). Photo submitted

Summit Hill Junior High in

the junior jazz band.

At each festival, the top

musicians from all over the

Chicagoland area meet for

a day’s worth of rehearsals

with a guest conductor.

The day is topped off with

a concert performed by the

ensembles for the public. It

is an honor to be selected by

audition for these festivals

and Summit Hill is proud

to have been represented by

these talented young musicians.

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the Mokena Messenger | November 29, 2018 | 25

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26 | November 29, 2018 | The Mokena Messenger dining out

The Dish

Kenootz Pizza celebrates 30 years this month

Business opened

second location in

Homer Glen in May


Thomas Czaja

Contributing Editor

Ken Keeler can still remember

the exact time and

date, as well as the order.

It was 5:01 p.m. Nov. 23,

1988. The first order was

a large pizza with sausage,

onion, green pepper and

mushrooms, delivered to a

man next door to his business,

which Keeler opened

that day and called Kenootz


Kenootz was the nickname

given to Keeler by his

grandmother as a child, and


• Health & Wellness • Fitness

• Medical • Dental

• Insurance and more!

MORE INFO: (708) 326-9170 ext. 16

his mother told him to use

that namesake for his pizzeria

for good luck.

The business started in

Oak Forest, doubled its size

and moved to Midlothian,

changing its address there

once before settling into its

permanent location in that

town. It opened its second

location in Homer Glen in

May 2017, which has several

tables inside but is more of a

carryout and delivery spot,

as opposed to its Midlothian

counterpart, which has more


Keeler and his wife, Dee,

went into business with

Homer Glen residents Kris

and Tom Boylan, who now

run the Homer Kenootz

location. Keeler met Kris

when she worked as a waitress

at a now-closed restaurant

in Midlothian.

“I wanted to open a pizza

place out here [in Homer

Glen], but I’m too busy

at the one in Midlothian,”

Keeler said of how he and

his wife became co-owners

with the Boylans. “I needed

a third person, and I knew

how Kris worked. I handpicked

her to run this place.”

With the business about

to celebrate 30 years, Keeler

reflected on the time that

has gone by and was candid

when he said he could not

have envisioned things turning

out as well as they have.

“[The pizza business] was

the only business I really

knew,” Keeler said. “I had

worked at pizza places and

figured I could do it myself.”

“I didn’t think when I

opened it up I could make


Jan. 19, 2019

9am - 1pm


Tinley Park




DEC. 12, 2018

Kenootz Pizza

15755 S. Bell Road in

Homer Glen


• 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily

For more information ...

Phone: (708) 737-7188


The thin crust, 16-inch large pizza ($19.99 for cheese)

is shown at Kenootz Pizza in Homer Glen, here with a

sausage topping added. Jacquelyn Schlabach/22nd Century


a good living out of selling


But despite starting out

with only $3,000 to run

things at the age of 23, perhaps

it was the fortune of the

Kenootz name that allowed

him to make a good living.

Now, with 30 years of business

have come three decades

worth of stories.

One of the top tales is

when pizza helped Keeler

find love, as roughly a decade

ago he met Dee when

she got a postcard for a free

pie from the business and

came in to claim it.

Keeler would go on to

propose to her with green

peppers spelling out “Will

you marry me?” on a pizza.

In 1991, he introduced the

Kenootzer 20-inch thin crust

pizza to the menu ($24.49

for cheese) — a bigger size

that appealed to families and

bigger crowds.

“We used to only go to 18

[inches], and people said it

couldn’t always feed a family,

so we added the Kenootzer,”

he said.

Keeler added that the

cheese and sausage is a big

seller for Kenootz. Other

thin crust sizes include a

small 12-inch ($12.99), medium

14-inch (14.99), large

16-inch (19.99) and party

18-inch ($21.99), with a variety

of toppings available at

an additional cost.

Also at Kenootz is the

deluxe pizza (prices vary

by size), which includes

sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms,

green pepper, onion,

bacon, ham, black olives and

a 2 liter of soda. Customers

now can order gluten-free

pizza, as well.

“All veggies are fresh;

nothing is frozen on our

pizza,” Keeler said. “On our

pizza, everything is fresh.”

The sauce at Kenootz is

consistent between both locations,

with Keeler describing

it as sweet.

“I made the sauce myself

the day I opened and

tweaked it over the years by

listening to customers,” he


Beyond pizza, Kenootz

has a number of other options,

including wraps and

pitas at just the Homer Glen

location. This is an example

of Kris responding to what

customers are looking for,

with Keeler giving her his

menu to start but telling her

to adapt it to what the community


All wraps and pitas are

$7.99 and come with fries.

Kris noted the chicken Caesar

— which comes with romaine

lettuce, Caesar dressing,

mozzarella cheese, and

breaded or unbreaded chicken

breast — is one of the

popular selections for diners

looking to go that route.

Wings ($6.99 for a seven

pieces, Buffalo or barbecue)

are another fixture on the

menu and come served with

a choice of ranch or blue


The theme of listening to

the customer has allowed

Kenootz to survive and

thrive, as Kris always is

willing to fulfill a request a

customer might have if she

has the right ingredients,

even if it is not on the menu.

And Kenootz goes beyond

making pizza, with Keeler

long having been passionate

about giving back.

“He helps everybody,”

Dee said.

Over the years, Keeler has

spoken at career days from

elementary to high schools

about making pizzas, as well

as donated countless pies

and time to the likes of fire

and police, sports and school

fundraisers, churches, seniors,

and more. The charitable

concept is shared by

Kris, who has brought that

same giving nature to the

Homer Glen store.

“Whenever someone calls,

we try to do donate gift cards

or sponsor or figure it out,”

she said. dining out

the Mokena Messenger | November 29, 2018 | 27

The Dish

Tropical Smoothie Cafe branching out to south suburbs

Tinley Park couple opens

spot in hometown

Cody Mroczka, Contributing Editor

More than three decades ago,

Phil and Theresa Knippen were

merely co-workers at a Brown’s

Chicken fast food restaurant on the

South Side of Chicago.

“I was young, and it was fun,”

Theresa said, “[Phil] was into the

food business.”

Now, the married couple of the

last 31 years have three Tropical

Smoothie Cafes spread across the

south suburbs, with plans to add

more. The Knippens’ first fast-casual

eatery — which specializes in

healthy meal and snack options in

the form of smoothies, sandwiches,

wraps and bowls — opened in

New Lenox back in 2012. Another

location was opened in Lockport

in March, followed by the most

recent opening in Tinley Park in


“Eight years ago, [Theresa] and

I went to a franchise show,” Phil

recalled. “We tried their products

— their smoothies and their food.

We really fell in love, and then I

learned the area was available to

develop. That’s what interested me

the most.”

Around the time the couple got

married, they also settled in Tinley

Park, where they would raise

three children. Phil owned multiple

Brown’s Chicken franchises

as well as a plumbing business

before selling those to concentrate

on Tropical Smoothie. The investment

paid off, as Phil was named

the area developer for the south

suburban Chicago area, making

him responsible for planning and

ensuring future site developments

and operations.

“It’s kind of like a master franchise,”

Phil said. “So people that

are interested in purchasing a Tropical

Smoothie Cafe, I would assist

them in finding sites; I would assist

them in the construction process;

I would give them training at my

store, and then continue to inspect

Tropical Smoothie Cafe

• 7101 W. 183rd St. in Tinley


• 1872 E. Lincoln Highway in

New Lenox

• 16105 Farrell Road in



• 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-


• 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday

For more information ...

Phone: (708) 468-8456 for

Tinley Park, (815) 717-8095

for New Lenox, (815) 524-

4647 for Lockport

Web: www.

their stores on a monthly or quarterly


Where Phil concentrates on the

big-picture items, Theresa is more

detail-orientated and makes sure

the three locations are all running

smoothly and efficiently. Though

she was not involved in Phil’s

other franchises, Theresa is now

fully invested as a co-owner and


“When we opened our first one

in New Lenox, people were asking

for it in other areas,” Theresa said.

“Then, it was Lockport, and we

were hearing the same thing in Tinley

Park. Once they come in and

they try it, they’re hooked.”

Phil said he believes in the franchise

system, because “you don’t

have to reinvent the wheel.” When

the Knippens first started, there

were 260 Tropical Smoothie locations

in the country. It has since

grown to more than 700, and the

Knippens think the Chicago area

is “wide open” for more expansion.

A part of the challenge is

overcoming the idea that a place

with smoothie in its name has

more to offer than just blended


“We don’t have fryers,” Phil

said. “It’s an easier operation. It’s

cleaner, and we’re using real fruit,

bananas, strawberries, mangos,

The chicken caprese pressed sandwich ($7.49) features grilled chicken, fresh mozzarella and tomato, with a

pesto and balsamic glaze, served with a side of kale and apple slaw.

Photos by Cody Mrozcka/22nd Century Media

fresh spinach and kale. There’s

over a dozen supplements you can

put into it, and three different kids

of whey protein. We’re talking 22-

26 grams of protein in one drink.

It’s a healthier concept. ‘Eat better,

feel better’ is kind of our main


Some local favorites in the south

suburbs include the Island Green

superfood smoothie ($5.49 for 24

ounces) — made with spinach,

kale, mango, pineapple and banana

— as well as the Bahama Mama

($5.29, 24 ounces) classic smoothie,

a mix of strawberries, pineapples,

white chocolate and coconut.

Available now are two holiday specialty

smoothies, known as Very

Berry Cranberry and Cranberry


Theresa points to the Supergreen

chicken Caesar wrap or Buffalo

chicken wrap, both $6.99 and also

available in bowls, as two common

orders. But she encourages patrons

try the Cuban pressed sandwich

($7.49) or the chipotle chicken club

($5.49) if they like a little spice.

The locations also offer catering

for businesses or family parties.

“Spicy or regular, whatever your

taste, the food is phenomenal,”

Theresa said. “The flatbreads with

chipotle mayo are so tasty. The

Island Green [has] five servings

of fruits and vegetables, but you

would never know. It’s something

different. It’s a healthier, better option.”

RIGHT: Phil Knippen, of Tinley

Park, owns all three south

suburban Tropical Smoothie Cafes

and also serves as the Chicago

area developer for the franchise.

28 | November 29, 2018 | The Mokena Messenger puzzles

crosstown CROSSWORD & Sudoku

The crosstowns: Frankfort, Homer Glen, Lockport, Mokena, New Lenox, Orland Park, Tinley Park

Crossword by Myles Mellor and Cindy LaFleur


1. John ___ Passos

4. Called across the


9. Syringes, for short

14. German one

15. Treasure

16. Exceed

17. Mokena Village

President, Frank

19. Former game

show announcer


20. No. 1 fighter pilots

21. Type of tide

23. Fur-bearing animal

26. T-bars

31. Lt.’s inferior, in

the Navy

32. Squeegee

34. Certain spoons

35. Mokena football


38. Chinese currency

39. Art colony in New


41. Tantalite, e.g.

42. Drinks

43. ___ Linda, California

44. Nevertheless

46. Met productions

49. Rocky prominence

50. BBC detective,


53. Source of sudden


56. Cave dwellers

58. Movie princess

59. Sweet nothings

60. Big name in

kitchen foil

64. Trattoria offering

68. Camelot, to Arthur

69. Neighbor of


70. Unburdened

71. Crow’s home

72. Big name in children’s


73. Drink cooler


1. Tarnish one’s repute

2. Tin man’s necessity

3. Scorns

4. The Rockies, for instance:


5. Dungeons & Dragons foe

6. Cry at a circus

7. 50-50 bet

8. Bo of “10”

9. Hype

10. “The Magnificent Seven”


11. Quart divs.

12. ___meter in an auto

13. Step follower

18. Believer suffix

22. Do poorly

24. Flightless flock

25. Common conjunction

27. Pastoral poem

28. Furnace duct

29. London get-togethers

30. Figure on an IRS form

33. Ship’s front

35. Table game item

36. “Either you do it, __ will!”

37. Rectangular paving stone

39. Safari hat

40. “I’ll second that”

42. Modern Maturity org.

43. Cattle call

45. Gp. in charge of condominiums,


47. Alive

48. Automotive Engineer’s


50. Russian stylist, Vinokurov

51. NBA team

52. Like some jokes and jobs

54. Kudrow and Bonet

55. Run out, as a subscription

57. Not WSW

60. Busts, oils, etc.

61. Old time western actor, __


62. Small- ___ company

63. Bullring chant

65. Sun Devils’ sch.

66. Blast

67. Letters before Queen Mary


The Alley Grill and Tap House

(18700 S. Old LaGrange

Road, Mokena; (708) 478-


■9 ■ p.m. Tuesdays: Karaoke

Fox’s Restaurant and Pub

(11247 W. 187th St., Mokena;

(708) 478-8888)

■6 ■ p.m. Thursday Eman

■6 ■ p.m. Friday and Saturday

“The Beat 2”


Little Joe’s Restaurant

(1300 N. Cedar Road,

New Lenox; (815) 463-


■5-8 ■ p.m. Tuesdays:

Piano Styles by Joe


Front Row

(14903 S. Bell Road, Homer

Glen; (708) 645-7000)

■7 ■ p.m. Wednesdays:



Pete Mitchell’s Bar & Grill

(21000 Frankfort Square

Road, Frankfort; (815)


■6-8 ■ p.m. Wednesdays:

Free N’ Fun Bar Game.

Free to play.


Port Noir

(900 S. State St., Lockport;

(815) 834-9463)

■4-7 ■ p.m. Monday-Friday:

Happy Hour

■8-10 ■ p.m. Thursdays:

Comedy Bingo

■8-11 ■ p.m. Fridays and

Saturdays: Live Band

■7-11 ■ p.m. Sundays:

Open Mic Night

Strike N Spare II

(811 Northern Drive,

Lockport; (708) 301-


■9:30 ■ p.m.-12:30 a.m.

Mondays: Quartermania

■10 ■ p.m.-midnight Saturdays:

Cosmic Bowl


Ed & Joe’s Restaurant &


(17332 S. Oak Park Ave.,

Tinley Park; (708) 532-


7:30 p.m. Tuesdays: Team


To place an event in The

Scene, email a.stoll@22nd


How to play Sudoku

Each sudoku puzzle consists of a 9x9 grid that

has been subdivided into nine smaller grids of 3x3

squares. To solve the puzzle, each row, column and

box must contain each of the numbers 1 to 9.

LEVEL: Medium

Sudoku by Myles Mellor and Susan Flanagan mokena

the Mokena Messenger | November 29, 2018 | 29

Subscribe to for

$3.25/month and receive FREE access to regional

news through our other six news sites!

Subscribe today at

30 | November 29, 2018 | The Mokena Messenger local living

Distinctive Home Builders Introduces New Craftsman Homes

In Manhattan and Peotone – From the mid-$200’s

New designs are a result of buyer feedback

Two refreshing designs mark

the beginning of a new series

of Craftsman-style homes

available from Distinctive Home

Builders at its latest new home

communities: Prairie Trails;

located in Manhattan within the

highly-regarded Lincoln-Way

School District and at WestGate

Manor in Peotone within

the desirable Peotone School


“Craftsman homes were

introduced in the early 1900s

in California with designs

based on a simpler, functional

aesthetic using a higher level

of craftsmanship and natural

materials. These homes were a

departure from homes that were

mass produced from that era,

“according to Bryan Nooner,

president of Distinctive Home


“The Craftsman design has

made a comeback today for

many of the same reasons it

started over a century ago. Our

customers want to live in a home

that gets away from the “mass

produced” look and live in a

home that has more character. As

a result of our daily interaction

with our homeowners and their

input, we are excited to introduce

these two homes, with additional

designs in the works.”

Nooner, who meets with

each homeowner prior to

construction, has been working

on these plans for a while and felt

that the timing was ideal for the

debut. “Customers were asking

for something different and

simple with less monotony and

higher architectural standards.”

The result was the Craftsman

ranch and the Prairie twostory,

now available at Prairie

Trails and WestGate Manor.

The Craftsman ranch features

an open floor plan with Great

Room, three bedrooms, two

baths and a two-car (optional

three-car) garage. The Prairie

features a two-story foyer and

Great Room, three bedrooms

and one and one-half baths, a

convenient Flex Room space

on the main level and a two-car

(optional three-car) garage. The

Craftsman architectural elements

on both homes include brick and

stone exteriors with cedar shake

accent siding, low-pitched gabled

bracket roofs, front porches with

tapered columns and stone piers,

partially paned windows, and a

standard panel front entry door.

Distinctive Home Builders

offers a Craftsman-style trim

package offering trim without

ornate profiles and routers. The

trim features simplicity in design

with rectangles, straight lines and

layered look trims over doors for

example. The front entry door

will have the standard Craftsman

panel style door. Distinctive has

also created a Craftsman color

palate to assist buyers in making

coordinated choices for the

interior of their new Craftsman

home. Colors, cabinet styles and

flooring choices blend seamlessly

with the Craftsman trim package

and are available in gray tones

package and earth tones.

Distinctive offers custom maple

kitchen cabinets featuring solid

wood construction (no particle

board), have solid wood drawers

with dove tail joints, which is

very rare in the marketplace.

“When you buy a new home

from Distinctive, you truly are

receiving custom made cabinets

in every home we sell no matter

what the price range,” noted


Distinctive Home Builders

works to achieve a delivery goal

of 90 days with zero punch list

items for its homeowners. “Our

three decades building homes

provides an efficient construction

system,” said Nooner. “Many of

our skilled craftsmen have been

working with our company

for over 20 years. We also

take pride on having excellent

communicators throughout our

organization. This translates into

a positive buying and building

experience for our homeowners

and one of the highest referral

rates in the industry.”

Nooner added that all homes

are highly energy efficient. Every

home built will have upgraded

wall and ceiling insulation

values with energy efficient

windows and high efficiency

furnaces. Before homeowners

move into their new home,

Distinctive Home Builders

conducts a blower door test that

pressurizes the home to ensure

that each home passes a set of

very stringent Energy Efficiency


With the addition of these two

new designs, there are now 15

ranch, split-level and six twostory

single-family home styles to

choose from each offering from

three to eight different exterior

elevations at both communities.

The three- to four-bedroom

homes feature one and one-half

to two-and-one-half baths, twoto

three-car garages and a family

room, all in approximately 1,600

to over 3,000 square feet of living

space. Basements are included in

most models as well. Distinctive

also encourages customization

to make your new home truly

personalized to suit your lifestyle.

Oversize home sites; brick

exteriors on all four sides of the

first floor; custom maple cabinets;

ceramic tile or hardwood

floors in the kitchen, baths and

foyer; genuine wood trim and

doors and concrete driveways

can all be yours at Prairie

Trails and WestGate Manor.

Most all home sites at Prairie

Trails and WestGate Manor

can accommodate a three-car

garage; a very important amenity

to the Manhattan homebuyer,

said Nooner.

“When we opened Prairie

Trails and WestGate Manor we

wanted to provide the best new

home value for the dollar and

we feel with offering Premium

Standard Features that we do

just that. So why wait? This is

truly the best time to build your

dream home!”

Prairie Trails is also a beautiful

place to live and raise a family

featuring a 20-acre lake on site,

as well as direct access to the 22-

mile Wauponsee Glacial Prairie

Path that borders the community

and meanders through many

neighboring communities and

links to many other popular

trails. The Manhattan Metra

station is less than a mile away.

Besides Prairie Trails,

Distinctive Home Builders

has built homes throughout

Manhattan in the Butternut

Ridge and Leighlinbridge

developments, as well as in the

Will and south Cook county

areas over the past 30 years.

Distinctive Home Builders

chose the Will County village

of Peotone for its newest

community of 38 single-family

homes at WestGate Manor

within walking distance of the

esteemed Peotone High School.

Its convenient location between

Interstate 57 and Illinois Route

50 provide easy access to I-80

and commuters enjoy several

nearby train stations and a

35-minute drive to Chicago.

Visit the on-site sales

information center for

unadvertised specials and view

the numerous styles of homes

being offered and the available

lots. Call Lynne Rinck at (708)

737-9142 or (708) 479-7700 for

more information or visit www.

The Prairie Trails and WestGate

Manor new home information

center is located three miles

south of Laraway Rd. on Rt.

52. The address is 24458 S.

Rt. 52, Manhattan, IL. 60422.

Open Daily 10:00 a.m. – 5:00

p.m. Closed Wednesday and

Thursday and always available

by appointment.

Specials, prices, specifications,

standard features, model

offerings, build times and lot

availability are subject to change

without notice. Please contact

a Distinctive representative for

current pricing and complete

details. Real estate

the Mokena Messenger | November 29, 2018 | 31

The Mokena Messenger’s

Sponsored content

of the


Huge custom-built two-story with walkout

basement on 1.75-acre wooded


Where: 11151 203rd St., Mokena

What: Six bedrooms, six baths

Oct. 4

• 19216 Aspen Court,

Mokena, 60448-8298 -

Gregory M. Anderson to

Craig E. Dian, Debra Marie

Dian, $623,000

Oct. 5

• 20951 Mayfair Court,

Mokena, 60448-2011 -

Pretium Mtg Acquisition

Trust to Joseph Evans,

Anne Evans, $347,000

Oct. 12

• 18051 S. Crystal Lake

Drive, Mokena, 60448-

8586 - Gintautas Ciabilis

to Daniel J. McCarty,

Martha L. McCarty,


• 19508 115th Ave. D,

Mokena, 60448-1289 -

David Baxter to Thomas

Provancal, $130,000

• 19621 Sycamore St.,

Mokena, 60448-8497 -

Federal Natl Mtg Assn to

Katrina Otto, $168,000

• 19912 Scarth Lane,

Mokena, 60448-1741 -

Eric C. Papier to Maureen

Volin, Jeff Volin, $310,000

Amenities: If you are looking for a

big house on a huge lot, don’t miss

this hidden Mokena gem. Huge

custom-built two-story with a walk-out

basement on 1.75-acre wooded lot.

Three-and-a-half-car, attached, heated

garage, plus detached two-car garage with office space. Main floor features two-story

foyer. Formal den with French doors. Huge two-story great room with fireplace. Massive

kitchen with upgraded cabinets, center island and stunning private views. Main floor

also features bedroom, full bath, mud room and laundry room. Second floor features

master suite with sitting room, one-of-a-kind master bath with double sinks, walk-in

shower, plus huge walk-in closet and bonus room. Three spare bedrooms upstairs, all

with private bath access. Full, walk-out basement is finished with bedroom, full bath,

theater space, plus rec room. Wow exterior features cozy front porch, massive deck,

plus brick patio. So many options for this home: related living, multi-family or run your

business from home. Great central Mokena location. Close to everything yet super


Listing Price: $575,000

Listing Agent: David

J. Cobb, GRI. You can

reach him at (708) 205-

2622. E-mail: David@ For

more information and

photos of this property

(and other listings) visit

Listing Brokerage: RE/

MAX “10”

The Going Rate is provided by

Record Information Services,

Inc. For more information,


or call (630) 557-1000 Want to know how to become Home of the Week? Contact Tricia at (708) 326-9170 ext. 47.

32 | November 29, 2018 | The Mokena Messenger classifieds


Help Wanted · Garage Sales · Automotive

Real Estate · Rentals · Merchandise



1003 Help


Hiring Desk Clerk

(must be flexible w/ shifts)

& Housekeeping (Morning)

Needed at

Super 8 Motel

Apply within:

9485 W. 191st St, Mokena

No Phone Calls

Holiday Help

Mon-Fri 8:30-5pm. Job can

turn into permanent

full-time position, apply in

person: Same Day Tees

9525 W Laraway Rd

Frankfort, IL 60423

Lighthouse Fellowship

Church in Frankfort is

seeking a P/T Minister of

music. Must be able to lead

and direct worship service.

Send resume to

Looking to hire

Construction Laborer with

Remodeling Experience

Call 815.412.4705

1004 Employment


Paid In Advance!!

Make $1000 Weekly Mailing

Brochures From Home.

Helping Home

Workers Since 2001!

No Experience Required.

Genuine Opportunity.

Start Immediately.

1023 Caregiver

Caregiver Services

Provided by

Margaret’s Agency Inc.

State Licensed & Bonded

since 1998. Providing quality

care for elderly.

Live-in/ Come & go.



Compassionate Female CNA

MA, licensed for 25+ years.

Medical & personal care for

elderly patients, cook & clean.

Patients treated like family!

$15/Hour, Part-Time or

Full-Time 708-403-7471

1024 Senior


Senior Companion

Do your loved ones need

holiday shopping done,

grocery shopping, to be

taken to a doctor appt,

errands run or just

socialization? If so

Call Betty (815)545-4935

1037 Prayer /


Oh most Beautiful Flower

of Mt Carmel, Fruitful vine,

splendor of heaven, blessed

mother of the Son of God,

Immaculate Virgin, Assist

me in this my neccessity, oh

star of the sea help me and

show me herein you are my

mother. Oh holy Mary,

Mother of God, Queen of

Heaven and Earth, I humbly

beeseach you from the bottom

ofmyheart to succor

me in my necessity (make

request) there are none that

can withstand your power,

oh Mary conceived without

sin, pray for us who have

recourse tothee (3x). Holy

Mary, Iplace this cause in

your hands (3x). Say this

prayer for three consecutive

days, you must publish it

and it will be granted to

you. MT

1037 Prayer / Novena

Oh, Holy StJude, Apostle &

Martyr, great in virtue and rich

in miracle, near kinsman of Jesus

Christ, faithful intercessor

of all who invoke your special

patronage in time ofneed. To

you Ihave recourse from the

depth of my heart and humbly

beg to whom God has given

such great power to come to

my assistance. Help me in my

present and urgent petition, in

1061 Autos Wanted



Running Or Not from Old to New!

Top Dollar Paid - Free Pick-Up

Locally Located


Don’t Junk

Your Vehicle!

$$CASH$$ Paid

Vehicles Running or Not

Cars, Trucks, Vans etc.



1225 Apartments for Rent

New Lenox

Clean, larger 2bedroom 1-1/2

bath apartment, comes with

ref, stove, dishwasher, air, includes

gas, water, heat, laundry

in building. New Lenox,

walk to Metra &shopping, no

pets, no smoking, Chicago

water $1250/mo.


Sell It 708.326.9170

Fax It 708.326.9179

Charge It


Friday at 3pm



4 lines/

7 papers

p g p ,

return, I promise to make your

name known and cause you to

be invoked. Say three Our Fathers,

three Hail Marys and

Glories for nine consecutive

days. Publications must be

promised. St. Jude pray for us

all who invoke your aid.

Amen. This Novena has never

been known tofail, Ihave had

requests granted. D.B.






Help Wanted

per line $13

4 lines/

7 papers

1225 Apartments

for Rent

Oak Forest Terrace

15815 Terrace, Oak Forest

Spacious 1 & 2 Bdrms.

Serene setting & Beautiful

Grounds. Tennis, Pool,

Walking Trails. Near metra.


1310 Offices for


The perfect downtown


11225 Front St. Mokena, IL

Newly rehabbed office spaces

avail. Office spaces are flexible

for any type of business.

Includes lobby, private bathrooms,

utilities and Comcast

Internet/Wifi. Units ready to

lease Sept 1st. $299/mo total.

Julie Carnes 708-906-3301

Village Realty Inc.

1315 Commercial

Property For Rent

Commercial Property

(South of Rt. 80 at 615 Mills

Road Joliet)

Storage area, 5 acres for

trucks, equipment, or material

with building and weigh

scale for trucks. Call A/C

815-727-4342 for information

General Machine Tool.

Real Estate


7 lines/

7 papers



4 lines/

7 papers

Business Directory

2003 Appliance





• Air Conditioning • Furnaces

Refrigeration • Dishwashers

Stoves & Ovens • Microwaves

Garbage Disposals


Family Owned &Operatedsince 1986

Someone you can TRUST


BEST price in town!


2017 Cleaning



Cleaning Lady

Will Clean House or


Free estimates!

815 690 7633 classifieds

the Mokena Messenger | November 29, 2018 | 33


Help Wanted · Garage Sales · Automotive

Real Estate · Rentals · Merchandise




Mike McCatty





Sell It 708.326.9170

Fax It 708.326.9179

Charge It




4 lines/

Friday at 3pm


7 papers



Help Wanted

per line $13

4 lines/

7 papers

Real Estate


7 lines/

7 papers



4 lines/

7 papers

2006 Basement Waterproofing

Leaky Basement?

• Bowing Walls

• Concrete Raising

• Crack Raising

• Crawlspaces

• Drainage Systems

• Sump Pumps

• Window Wells

(866) 851-8822 Family Waterproofing Solutions

(815) 515-0077



2011 Brick/Chimney Experts

Sell It!

With a Classified Ad

Contact Classified Department

to Advertise in this Directory

See the Classified Section for more info, or call



34 | November 29, 2018 | The Mokena Messenger classifieds


Help Wanted · Garage Sales · Automotive

Real Estate · Rentals · Merchandise

2011 Brick/Chimney Experts

Sell It 708.326.9170

Fax It 708.326.9179

Charge It


Friday at 3pm

2070 Electrical



4 lines/

7 papers

Help Wanted

per line $13

4 lines/

7 papers

Real Estate


7 lines/

7 papers

2080 Firewood



4 lines/

7 papers








(708) 478-8269


2025 Concrete Work

2080 Firewood


Landscape Services!

Get Your Firewood

Early This Year

FREE Local Delivery

Contact us at



Visit our website

2090 Flooring

2032 Decking


Deck & Fence

Repair, Rebuild or


Make It Safe - Make it Sturdy

708 479 9035

2060 Drywall


*Hanging *Taping

*New Homes



Call Greg At:




Seasoned Mixed


$120.00 per FC

Free Stacking &


708 235 8917

815 981 0127

Don’t just

list your

real estate


Sell It!

With a Classified Ad

See the Classified Section for more info,

or call 708.326.9170 classifieds

the Mokena Messenger | November 29, 2018 | 35


Help Wanted · Garage Sales · Automotive

Real Estate · Rentals · Merchandise

Sell It 708.326.9170

Fax It 708.326.9179

Charge It


Friday at 3pm


Real Estate


4 lines/

7 papers Help Wanted


7 lines/

7 papers Merchandise


per line

4 lines/

7 papers


4 lines/

7 papers

2132 Home Improvement

2110 Gutter Systems

2130 Heating/Cooling place


Classified Ad!



2120 Handyman

2132 Home Improvement



Windows, Doors, Decks Kitchen & Bathroom Remodeling, Plumbing Interior and

Exterior Painting Wall Paper Removal Professional Work At Competitive Prices

CALL MIKE AT 708-790-3416

2135 Insulation

Celebrating 3generations of outstanding service!

Tens of Thousands of Highly Satisfied Customers!

Family owned &operated -66years in business!

Advertise your



in the newspaper

people turn

to first

CALL US TODAY: 708.326.9170


•Blown-In Fiber

Glass Insulation

•Foam nsulation

• nsulation Removals.

36 | November 29, 2018 | The Mokena Messenger classifieds


Sell It 708.326.9170

Fax It 708.326.9179

Charge It


Help Wanted

Real Estate

per line

Help Wanted · Garage Sales · Automotive





4 lines/

4 lines/

7 lines/

Real Estate · Rentals · Merchandise

Friday at 3pm

7 papers

7 papers

7 papers

2150 Paint & Decorating 2170 Plumbing 2170 Plumbing



4 lines/

7 papers

See the Classified

Section for more info,

or call 708.326.9170

2180 Remodeling

Don’t just

list your

real estate


Sell It!

With a Classified Ad

2200 Roofing










SAVE 15% when


January 1st


708 860-JADE (5233)

All Work is Warrantied

Celebrating 3 generations of outstanding service!

Tens of Thousands of Highly Satisfied Customers!

Family owned & operated - 66 years in business!

"HAVE oNEoN THE HousE- • Sffit/Facia


•Chmney Cap


• Sidng


•Gttering classifieds

the Mokena Messenger | November 29, 2018 | 37


Help Wanted · Garage Sales · Automotive

Real Estate · Rentals · Merchandise

Sell It 708.326.9170

Fax It 708.326.9179

Charge It


Friday at 3pm



4 lines/

7 papers

Help Wanted

per line $13

4 lines/

7 papers

Real Estate


7 lines/

7 papers

2200 Roofing 2200 Roofing



4 lines/

7 papers

2255 Tree Service



Reach over

83% of


employees in

your area!



708-326-9170 place your

Classified Ad!


38 | November 29, 2018 | The Mokena Messenger classifieds


Help Wanted · Garage Sales · Automotive

Real Estate · Rentals · Merchandise

2294 Window




Window Cleaning

Gutter Cleaning

Power Washing

Office Cleaning

call and get $40.00 off

708 974-8044

2296 Window


Blinds &



I Do Windows &


Call Pat

815 355 1112

815 485 1112

o f f i c e

I Do House Calls







Metal Wanted

Scrap Metal, Garden



Appliances, Etc.


Call 815-210-8819

Free pickup!



2390 Computer Services/Repair

Buy It!



ILCS 605/9(g)(5), and 765 ILCS

605/18.5(g-1), you are hereby notified

that the purchaser of the unit, other than

amortgagee, shall pay the assessments

and legal fees required by subdivisions

(g)(1) and (g)(4) of Section 9and the assessments

required by subsection (g-1)

of Section 18.5 of the Illinois Condominium

Property Act.

Pursuant to Local Court Rule 11.03 (J)

if there is asurplus following application

ofthe proceeds of sale, then the

plaintiff shall send written notice pursuant

to 735 ILCS 5/15-1512(d) to all parin









708-326-9170 |

Sell It 708.326.9170

Fax It 708.326.9179

Charge It


Friday at 3pm



4 lines/

7 papers

2701 Property for




60448 (Blue vinyl siding, two story single

family home with attached two car

garage). On the 20th day of December,

2018 to be held at 12:00 noon, at the

Will County Courthouse Annex, 57 N.

Ottawa Street, Room 201, Joliet, IL

60432, under Case Title: DITECH FI-









Case No. 17CH 0224 in the Circuit

Court of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit,

Will County, Illinois.

Terms of Sale: ten percent (10%) at the

time of sale and the balance within

twenty-four (24) hours. Nojudicial sale

fee shall be paid by the mortgagee acquiring

the residential real estate pursuant

to its credit bid at the sale or by any

mortgagee, judgment creditor, or other

lienor acquiring the residential real estate

whose rights in and tothe residential

real estate arose prior to the sale. All

payments shall be made in cash or certified

funds payable tothe Sheriff of Will

County. Judgment amount is

$223,852.49 plus interest, cost and post

judgment advances, if any.

In the event the property is acondomin-

ium, in accordance with 735 ILCS

5/15-1507(c)(1)(H-1) and (H-2), 765

ILCS 605/9(g)(5), and 765 ILCS

605/18.5(g-1), you are hereby notified

that the purchaser of the unit, other than

amortgagee, shall pay the assessments

and legal fees required by subdivisions

(g)(1) and (g)(4) of Section 9and the assessments

required by subsection (g-1)

of Section 18.5 of the Illinois Condominium

Property Act.

Pursuant to Local Court Rule 11.03 (J)

if there is asurplus following application

ofthe proceeds of sale, then the

plaintiff shall send written notice pursuant

to 735 ILCS 5/15-1512(d) to all parties

to the proceeding advising them of

the amount ofthe surplus and that the

surplus will beheld until aparty obtains

acourt order for its distribution or, in

the absence of an order, until the surplus

is forfeited to the State.

For Information Please Contact:


1 N. Dearborn Suite 1300

Chicago, Illinois 60602

P: 312-346-9088











of 10259 Cambridge Court Unit K,

Mokena, IL 60448 (Town home ).On

the 13th day of December, 2018 to be

held at 12:00 noon, at the Will County

Courthouse Annex, 57 N. Ottawa Street,

Room 201, Joliet, IL 60432, under Case

Title: Fifth Third Mortgage Company

Plaintiff V. Lawrence Colafello aka

Lawrence Colafello Sr.; Cambridge

Place/Mokena Townhouse Association;

Fifth Third Bank (Western Michigan);

Banco Popular North America; Un-

Help Wanted

per line $13

4 lines/

7 papers

2701 Property for


known Owners and Non-Record Claimants


Case No. 18CH 0582 in the Circuit

Court of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit,

Will County, Illinois.

Terms of Sale: ten percent (10%) at the

time of sale and the balance within

twenty-four (24) hours. No judicial sale

fee shall be paid by the mortgagee acquiring

the residential real estate pursuant

to its credit bid at the sale or by any

mortgagee, judgment creditor, or other

lienor acquiring the residential real estate

whose rights inand to the residential

real estate arose prior to the sale. All

payments shall be made in cash or certified

funds payable tothe Sheriff of Will


In the event the property is acondomin-

ium, in accordance with 735 ILCS

5/15-1507(c)(1)(H-1) and (H-2), 765

ILCS 605/9(g)(5), and 765 ILCS

605/18.5(g-1), you are hereby notified

that the purchaser of the unit, other than

amortgagee, shall pay the assessments

and legal fees required by subdivisions

(g)(1) and (g)(4) of Section 9and the assessments

required by subsection (g-1)

of Section 18.5 of the Illinois Condominium

Property Act.

Pursuant to Local Court Rule 11.03 (J)

if there is asurplus following application

ofthe proceeds of sale, then the

plaintiff shall send written notice pursuant

to 735 ILCS 5/15-1512(d) to all parties

to the proceeding advising them of

the amount ofthe surplus and that the

surplus will beheld until aparty obtains

acourt order for its distribution or, in

the absence of an order, until the surplus

is forfeited to the State.

For Information Please Contact:



1771 W. Diehl Rd. Suite 120


P: 630-453-6960

F: 630-428-4620









2702 Public


Certificate No. 32545 was filed in

the office of the County Clerk of

Will County on November 8, 2018

wherein the business firm ofDana

Digrispino Custom Clothing &Alterations

located at 9910 W. 190th

Street, Suite L, Mokena, IL 60448

is registered and acertificate notice

setting forth the following:

Dana Digrispino, 15750 113th Ct,

Orland Park, IL 60467



hereunto set my hand and Official

Seal at my office in Joliet; Illinois,

this 8th day of November, 2018

Nancy Schultz Voots

Will County Clerk

Real Estate


7 lines/

7 papers



4 lines/

7 papers

2703 Legal











) SS.















Defendant. No. 17 CH 0224


Public notice ishereby given that pursuant

toajudgment entered in the above

cause onthe 18th day of September,

2018, MIKE KELLEY, Sheriff of Will

County, Illinois, will on Thursday, the

20th day of December, 2018 , commencing

at 12:00 o'clock noon, at the

Will County Courthouse Annex, 57 N.

Ottawa Street, Room 201, Joliet, IL

60432, sell at public auction to the highest

and best bidder orbidders the following-described

real estate:











Commonly known as: 18837 RUTH


Description of Improvements:

Blue vinyl siding, two story single family

home with attached two car garage

P.I.N.: 15-08-02-402-012-0000

Terms ofSale: ten percent (10%) at the

time of sale and the balance within

twenty-four (24) hours. No judicial sale

fee shall be paid by the mortgagee acquiring

the residential real estate pursuant

to its credit bid at the sale or by any

mortgagee, judgment creditor, or other

lienor acquiring the residential real estate

whose rights inand to the residential

real estate arose prior to the sale. All

payments shall be made in cash or certified

funds payable tothe Sheriff of Will

County. Judgment amount is

$223,852.49 plus interest, cost and post

judgment advances, if any.

In the event the property is acondomin-

ium, in accordance with 735 ILCS

5/15-1507(c)(1)(H-1) and (H-2), 765

® classifieds

the Mokena Messenger | November 29, 2018 | 39


Help Wanted · Garage Sales · Automotive

Real Estate · Rentals · Merchandise

Sell It 708.326.9170

Fax It 708.326.9179

Charge It


Friday at 3pm



4 lines/

7 papers

Help Wanted

per line $13

4 lines/

7 papers

Real Estate


7 lines/

7 papers



4 lines/

7 papers

2703 Legal


2703 Legal


2900 Merchandise Under $100

ties to the proceeding advising them of

the amount ofthe surplus and that the

surplus will beheld until aparty obtains

acourt order for its distribution or, in

the absence of an order, until the surplus

is forfeited to the State.




1 N. Dearborn Suite 1300

Chicago, Illinois 60602

P: 312-346-9088


Plaintiff's Attorney


Sheriff of Will County










) SS.





Fifth Third Mortgage Company



Lawrence Colafello aka Lawrence Colafello

Sr.; Cambridge Place/Mokena

Townhouse Association; Fifth Third

Bank (Western Michigan); Banco Popular

North America; Unknown Owners

and Non-Record Claimants

Defendant. No. 18 CH 0582


Public notice ishereby given that pursuant

toajudgment entered in the above

cause on the 24th day of August, 2018,

MIKE KELLEY, Sheriff of Will

County, Illinois, will on Thursday, the

13th day of December, 2018 , commencing

at 12:00 o'clock noon, at the

Will County Courthouse Annex, 57 N.

Ottawa Street, Room 201, Joliet, IL

60432, sell at public auction to the highest

and best bidder orbidders the following-described

real estate:














NO. R92-75695, IN WILL COUNTY,


Commonly known as: 10259 Cambridge

Court Unit K, Mokena, IL 60448

Description of Improvements:

Town home

P.I.N.: 19-09-09-351-055-0000






















DOCUMENT NO. R93-77117.

P.I.N.: 19-09-09-351-055-0000

Terms of Sale: ten percent (10%) at the

time of sale and the balance within

twenty-four (24) hours. Nojudicial sale

fee shall be paid by the mortgagee acquiring

the residential real estate pursuant

to its credit bid at the sale or by any

mortgagee, judgment creditor, or other

lienor acquiring the residential real estate

whose rights in and tothe residential

real estate arose prior to the sale. All

payments shall be made in cash or certified

funds payable tothe Sheriff of Will


In the event the property is acondomin-

ium, in accordance with 735 ILCS

5/15-1507(c)(1)(H-1) and (H-2), 765

ILCS 605/9(g)(5), and 765 ILCS

605/18.5(g-1), you are hereby notified

that the purchaser of the unit, other than

amortgagee, shall pay the assessments

and legal fees required by subdivisions

(g)(1) and (g)(4) of Section 9and the assessments

required by subsection (g-1)

of Section 18.5 of the Illinois Condominium

Property Act.

Pursuant to Local Court Rule 11.03 (J)

if there is asurplus following application

ofthe proceeds of sale, then the

plaintiff shall send written notice pursuant

to 735 ILCS 5/15-1512(d) to all parties

to the proceeding advising them of

the amount ofthe surplus and that the

surplus will beheld until aparty obtains

acourt order for its distribution or, in

the absence of an order, until the surplus

is forfeited to the State.





1771 W. Diehl Rd. Suite 120


P: 630-453-6960

F: 630-428-4620

Plaintiff's Attorney


Sheriff of Will County



Under $100

12 crystal champagne flutes

$20. Brass fireplace screen

$25. Fanshaped fireplace log

holder $15. 815.277.2859

12 piece China set, soft pattern,

extra pieces, padded covers to

avoid breakage, great Holiday

gift! $100. Must be seen.


13 strap ontree climbing steps

for deer hunting, like new. Paid

$7.50 ea. at Cabelas, selling for

$2 ea or $20 for all.


2pcXLPepsi cola world tournament

green lounge set $25.


4Beanie Babies $5. Baseball

cards. Chris 708.465.40143

8 drawer tool chest, good condition,

needs key $75 obo.


Air tools $50 each.


Apple fireplace logs $100.


Black IKEA leather chair, perfect

condition $50. Entertainment

center black with glass

doors $40. Call Debbie


Brand new Hunter mid-calf

boots. Black, size 8, never

worn. Original box with receipt

from Nordstrom $100.


China cabinet, excellent condition,

dark wood color $100.


Christmas Anna-Lee dolls 9-16

inches tall, entire set of6for

$20. Sunbeam deluxe mixmaster,

standing varying speed,

chrome, like new $20.


Classic oak framed mirror to

sit 29x24” above dresser. 2

braces tosupport mirror. Ornate

carved oak $100 Call

815.464.8866 or

Construction scaffolding 5x5,

stored inside, good condition

$75. 815.592.9474

Drapes, one pair 50” W x

86”L. Color: taupe w/ white

lining, pleated at top. Never

used. Rayon/Polyester. $30 pr.


Earings, clip style $1 pair. Also

ice machine for sports injury

$15. Fishing reels $15 ea.

Johnson outboard gastank $25.


Fisher Price Disney Pixar

Lightening McQueen battery

powered car $50. 708.403.2473

Lightweight transport wheel

chair $100 firm. Excellent condition!


Like new Black & Decker

lawn edger, 2years old. Electric

powered $70 firm price.

Call 708.349.8569. Please

leave message if no answer.

2lamps, 2end tables, excellent

conditon $100. 708.226.4994

Long, navy winter coat 100%

wool. Size 14, Kristin Blake,

excellent condition $20 or best

offer. 708.444.8535

Mens heavy duty boots, very

good condition/hardly worn.

Thinsulate size 11, Explorers

size 9. Haband’s size 11. $10

each. 708.403.2473

Mens leather black jacket with

lining, never owrn $40. Xmas

tree in box $5. Tinley Park.


Metal detector, MP3 pro digital,

used once tofind ring, like

new. IKEA Inreda bookshelf,

halogen lights, new have 10$5

each. Carl 708.717.5054

Mirrored motion sound; lighted

picture 20x39 beautiful for any

room for great atomasphere.

Paid $175. Must sell $30.


Santa Claus suit, XL jacket,

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the Mokena Messenger | November 29, 2018 | 41

Athlete of the Week

10 Questions

with Gus Christensen

Gus Christensen is a senior

wrestler on the Lincoln-Way

East team

How’d you get started

in wrestling?

I first started out in seventh

grade. My brother did it

when he was little, and my

dad just wanted us to start

it up again just to see if we

liked it because he knew that

it helps us with football and

also teaches us great mental

strength and mental toughness.

He wanted us to be better

overall people because

he knew that wrestling helps

with all the lessons that you

learn in hard work, and it

just teaches you a bunch of

great lessons. And I’ve loved

it ever since.

Do you have any

pre-match rituals or


I do not. I make sure I do a

couple of pushups and a couple

of sprints back and forth,

then I’m all sweaty. But I

don’t really have anything

except making sure I highfive

my coach and making

sure I’m all ready.

What’s your favorite

memory of wrestling?

Going to Malecek, Wisconsin,

with my team this

summer. We have a different

coach this year [Kevin

Rockett]. … It was just fun

to bond with all my new

teammates and my new


If you won the lottery,

then what would be the

first thing you’d buy?

I would say a Range Rover.

That’s my favorite car.

That’s just been my dream

car since I was little and I’ve

always wanted one. That’d

be the first thing. A silver


You’re also a linebacker

for the Griffins’ football

team. How does

wrestling help with


Well it definitely teaches

you balance. You’re always

on one leg. You have great

body awareness, especially

in all three different stances.

And it helps you with tackling

and takedowns, [which]

have a great similarity. And I

think it just helps you mostly

with mental toughness,

whether it’s deep in to a

match or in the fourth quarter

of a game.

What’s your favorite


“I am Legend” with Will

Smith. I just like the movie.

Who would you choose

as a tag team partner?

Definitely Jordan Rose.

I’ve always looked up to

him, especially since I started

wrestling. When you start

a sport, you look for people

who you can look up to and

be like... So, since then, I’ve

always wanted to be like him

and looked up to him.

Photo submitted

If you could have dinner

with anyone living or

dead, then who would

it be?

Probably [NFL Hall of

Fame linebacker] Ray Lewis.

He wrestled when he was

in high school, too. He’s

another guy I look up to because

he played football and

wrestled. And even though

we came up from different

— he had a hard childhood

and I came up in Frankfort, a

very wealthy [town] — he’s

just a guy I look up to and

hope to be like.

What are your plans for


I plan on going to Washington

University of St. Louis.

And I plan to play football

there. I don’t think I’m going

to wrestle there. I’m either

going to play outside

linebacker or maybe some


What advice do you

have for the next

generation of Griffins’


I would say, “Stick with

it.” It’s going to be hard in

the beginning just with the

whole mental part of it and

cutting weight and all those

long tournaments. But, definitely

stick with it because

it teaches you great lessons

and definitely builds your


Interview conducted by Editor

T.J. Kremer III

This Week In...

Knights Varsity


Boys Basketball

■Nov. ■ 30 - at Homewood-

Flossmoor, 7 p.m.

■Dec. ■ 5 - host Southland

College Prep, 6 p.m.

Girls Basketball

■Dec. ■ 4 - at Homewood-

Flossmoor, 6:30 p.m.

Boys Bowling

■Nov. ■ 29 - hosts Lincoln-Way

East, 4:30 p.m.

■Dec. ■ 1 - at Oak Forest Invite,

8:30 a.m.

■Dec. ■ 3 - at Lockport, 4:30


■Dec. ■ 6 - host Sandburg

(Senior Night), 4:30 p.m.

Girls Bowling

■Dec. ■ 1 - at Rich East

Tournament, 9 a.m.

■Dec. ■ 3 - at Plainfield South,

4:30 p.m.

■Dec. ■ 4 - host Thornridge,

4:30 p.m.

■Dec. ■ 6 - at Andrew, 4:30



■Nov. ■ 29 - at Thornridge,

Bradley-Bourbonnais, 5 p.m.

■Nov. ■ 30 - host Naperville

North, 5 p.m.

■Dec. ■ 1 - at Plainfield North

Mega Duals, 9 a.m.

■Dec. ■ 6 - at Sandburg, 5 p.m.

Boys Swimming and


■Nov. ■ 30 - host Warrior

Pentathalon, 4:45 p.m.

■Dec. ■ 4 - at Lockport, 5 p.m.

■Dec. ■ 6 - host Lincoln-Way

East, 5 p.m.

Competitive Dance

■Dec. ■ 1 - at Lake Zurich

Invitational, TBA

■Dec. ■ 2 - at Naperville North

Invitational, TBA

Girls gymnastics

■Dec. ■ 1 - at Glenbard West

Invite, 11 a.m.

■Dec. ■ 4 - at Andrew, 5:30


Griffins Varsity


Boys Basketball

■Nov. ■ 30 - host Bradley-

Bourbonnais, 6:30 p.m.

■Dec. ■ 4 - at Bloom Township,

6:30 p.m.

Girls Basketball

■Nov. ■ 29 - host Bloomington

Catholic Central, 5:45 p.m.

■Dec. ■ 4 - host Bradley-

Bourbonnais, 6:30 p.m.

■Dec. ■ 6 - at Crete-Monee, 6


Boys Bowling

■Nov. ■ 29 - at Lincoln-Way

Central, 4:30 p.m.

■Dec. ■ 1 - at 15th Annual

high school highlights

The rest of the week in high school sports

Boys basketball

Lincoln-Way East 68, Plainfield South 67

Julian Barr hit a 3-pointer with 4 seconds

left to win the game for the Griffins Nov. 21.

Girls basketball

Lincoln-Way East 67, Plainfield East 21

Lilly Genis (15 points) led the Griffins

Nov. 21.

Lincoln-Way East 59, Crete-Monee 39

Boys Bengal Bowling Invite,

8:30 a.m.

■Dec. ■ 4 - host Lincoln-Way

West, 4:30 p.m.

■Dec. ■ 6 - host Lockport, 4:30


Girls Bowling

■Dec. ■ 1 - at Joliet West Invite,

9 a.m.

■Dec. ■ 3 - at Rich South, 4:30


■Dec. ■ 4 - host Stagg, 4:30


■Dec. ■ 5 - at Herscher, 4:30


■Dec. ■ 6 - at Thornridge, 4:30



■Nov. ■ 30 - host Homewood-

Flossmoor, 5 p.m.

■Dec. ■ 1 - at Plainfield North

Mega Duels, 9 a.m.

Boys Swimming and


■Dec. ■ 4 - host Andrew, 5 p.m.

■Dec. ■ 6 - at Lincoln-Way

Central, 5 p.m.

Competitive Dance

■Dec. ■ 1 - at Minooka Dance

Invite, 8 a.m.

Girls gymnastics

■Dec. ■ 1 - at Glenbard West

Invite, 11 a.m.

■Dec. ■ 4 - at Andrew, 5:30


Lilly Genis (15 points) led the Griffins in

the victory Nov. 20.

Lincoln-Way East 53, Marist 55

Katchie Savic led the Griffins with 17

points in the loss Nov. 19.

Lincoln-Way Central 47, Joliet West 42

Haley Stoklosa (13 points, 7 rebounds) and

Abi Baumgartner (12 points, 10 rebounds)

led the way for the Knights on Nov. 17.

Visit us online at

42 | November 29, 2018 | The Mokena Messenger mokena mokena

the Mokena Messenger | November 29, 2018 | 43




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44 | November 29, 2018 | The Mokena Messenger sports

LW Central, West


commit on Signing Day

Submitted by Lincoln-Way

Community High School

District 210

Eight Lincoln-Way Central

student-athletes and

five from Lincoln-Way

West were recently recognized

during National Signing

Day at their respective


Those from Central who

were recognized were:

Mackenzie Brownrigg (Illinois

State University, cross

country and track), Bri

Bolden (University of Missouri,

golf), Grace Curran

(University of Minnesota,

golf), Ashley Platek (Grand

Valley State University,

softball), Gabriella Gedville

(Winona State University,

softball), Danielle Abel

(Maryville College, softball),

Amanda Weyh (Lindenwood

University, softball)

and Michael Campo

(Purdue University Northwest,


The West student-athletes

recognized were: Madison

Eckberg (University of St

Francis, softball), Isabelle

Gryga (Upper Iowa University,

cross country), Robert

Jackman (Olivet Nazarene

University, baseball), Delaney

Janosek (St. Ambrose

University, swimming) and

Kaley Ludvigsen (Marion

University, softball).

“Each of these students

are quality role models for

all of our student athletes by

excelling in the classroom,

on the field of play, and by

their determination and desire

to become a college student

athlete,” said Ted Robbins,

West’s athletic director.

“We look forward to following

your collegiate careers.”

Eight Lincoln-Way Central student-athletes were recently

recognized during Signing Day. Photo submitted

Brandon Laux, a Brother Rice student and former Lincoln-Way East baseball player, shows off his two World Series rings

Nov. 14 at the Chicago White Sox Amateur City Elite signing day ceremony at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago.

Mary Compton/22nd Century Media

Former East pitcher to continue baseball career in Iowa

Mary Compton

Freelance Reporter

Brandon Laux could not

contain his excitement.

The Frankfort resident

and former Lincoln-Way

East High School baseball

player not only took part in

the Nov. 14 Chicago White

Sox Amateur City Elite

signing day ceremony at

Guaranteed Rate Field in

Chicago but also received

his second World Series


“This means a lot to me,

to get this ring,” Laux said.

“We train so hard everyday.

To have these opportunities

to win something is big for

our team. For a team from

Chicago [ACE] that doesn’t

play year-round to win a

championship is big for our


During the event, members

of the White Sox ACE

program officially signed

letters of intent to play baseball

at the collegiate level.

Ten players, including Laux,

were on the 17U team that

won the RBI World Series

Senior Baseball Championship

during the summer and

were presented with World

Series rings from the White


Laux was awarded a baseball

scholarship from Kirkwood

Community College

in Iowa.

“I am going to work to

continue my velocity for college-level

ball,” Laux said.

“I want to win the NCAA

National Championship one


Laux, who recently transferred

to Brother Rice High

School in Chicago, has been

working closely with Sean

McBride, the school’s head

baseball coach.

“He is a pitcher, so we are

preparing him for the top

rotation for Brother Rice

varsity ball,” McBride said.

“He’s got natural leadership

qualities. He’s got an aura

that other players like to follow.

Just by the way he carries

himself, he has a lot of


Laux said he chose to

change schools his senior

year because he wanted to

go to the same school as his


“I’m getting used to the

Catholic teams; it’s a different

competition,” he said.

“Most of my Brother Rice

friends are on the Chicago

White Sox ACE team with

me. I’m getting stronger for

the season.”

For McBride, it was not

surprising. McBride knew

Laux’s older brother, who

played baseballm and has

watched Brandon for a long


“Everyone’s situation is

different,” McBride said.

“We’re open to having great

players in our baseball program.

He came over, we

welcomed him with open

arms, we’re happy to have

him. Last year we won sectionals,

so with Brandon

here and the key leaders and

players we broke through

the sectional barrier last year

and hoping to go further this


It was the first time Mc-

Bride had attended a collegiate

signing at the home of

the Chicago White Sox.

“I grew up a White Sox

fan so this ACE baseball

program they have is

filled with great kids and

great families,” he said.

“They’re here for the kids,

they get to travel and they

play against the best teams

in the country. They improve

as human beings

and in baseball. With four

Chicago White Sox ACE

players playing for Brother

Rice and six returning key

players, we have the talent,

so we’re going to see where

that takes us.”

McBride took a moment

to stop and listen as Laux

shared some final words

before signing his letter of


“I just want to thank all

the coaches and ACE to give

me a chance to showcase my

talent all across the country,”

Laux said. “This is an honor

of being a part of something

special with my baseball

brothers. This is a day I’ll

never forget. I also want to

thank my mom and dad for

everything they do for me;

it’s been a blessing.” sports

the Mokena Messenger | November 29, 2018 | 45

Boys basketball

Griffins start season hot in win over Crete-Monee

RANDY WHALEN, Freelance Reporter

Julian Barr knows that the bar

has been set high for the Lincoln-

Way East boys basketball team.

Now a senior guard on the team,

he hopes to help the Griffins take it

even higher.

Coming off back-to-back seasons

of at least 20 wins, and the

first regional title in school history

this past March, East was hit

hard by graduation as six seniors

graduated from last season’s 23-6

team. Included in those was a trio

of three-year varsity players: Joey

Buggemi, Zach Parduhn and Sam


But Barr had a direct answer

when asked if the Griffins had a

goal for this season.

“To beat last year’s records,” he


Well, East got off to a good start

in doing that last week with a 64-

49 victory over Crete-Monee in the

season-opening game on Nov. 19

on the first day of the Joliet West

Tiger Thanksgiving Classic.

Barr led the way with 17 points,

15 of those in the second half.

Junior post players Nate Seputis

(7 rebounds) and Ryan Sierocki,

along with senior post player Alex

Witkowski (8 rebounds) all added

eight points each for the Griffins.

“We’re going to keep it going,”

Barr said of the Griffins’ recent

success. “We were able to all move

the ball, make the right play and hit

the shot.”

East (1-0) jumped out to a 5-1

lead, but the Warriors (0-1) came

back with five straight points to

take their only lead of the game at

6-5. An old-fashioned 3-point play

by Afolabi Alabi then started a 7-0

run and gave the Griffins the lead

for good. Those were the first varsity

points for Alabi, a senior center

who was cut from the team last

season but came back out this year.

At the end of the first quarter,

the Griffins led 12-8. Leading 16-

12 with 5:47 to play in the second

quarter, they went on a 15-0 run to

end the first half with a 31-12 advantage.

The best part of that for

East was that seven different players

scored in the spurt.

“Hopefully one of our strengths

is that we have guys that can

score,” East coach Rich Kolimas

said. “Julian Barr, Nate Seputis,

[senior forward] Tyler Vaundry

(5 points) and Alex Witkowski

were our only guys out there with

experience. [Junior center] Sean

McLaughlin will also return but is

just getting back from football.”

The Griffins continued the

streak into the second half, scoring

the first three points to go up

by 22. Crete-Monee, which has a

new head coach in alumni Bradley

Meyer, didn’t go away easily drawing

within 39-30 with 2:08 left in

the third quarter.

But 3-pointers by junior guard

Matt Wasso and senior forward

Lemone Lampley II (5 points) restored

the East lead to 45-30 at the

end of the third quarter. Lampley is

a transfer from St. Rita. He is the

son of former DePaul University

player Lemone Lampley. The Warriors,

who were led by a game-high

24 points by senior guard Karriem

Hamilton, never got closer than 10

points in the final quarter as Barr

held them at bay with 11 points in

the fourth quarter.

“We wanted the ball in Julian’s

hands at the end,” Kolimas said.

“We have two sophomores playing

point guard with Jhei-R Jones,

who started, and Tanner Vaundry is

the backup. We have a good team,

good chemistry, but there’s going

to be a learning curve.”

Barr thinks so, too, and plans to

help lead the Griffins as they continue

to improve.

“I wanted to get the ball into my

hands at the end,” Barr said. “We

had a lot of turnovers (17). We just

have to make sure we make better

passes and meet all our passes.”

East ended last week with three

more games at the Joliet West Tiger

Thanksgiving Classic. The

next game is also the home opener

is at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30,

against Bradley-Bourbonnais in a

SouthWest Suburban Conference


Lincoln-Way East senior Julian Barr (left) goes for the layup against Crete-Monee Nov. 19. Barr finished with a

team-high 17 points in the 64-49 season-opening win. Photos by Julie McMann/22nd Century Media

The Griffins Tyler Vaundry makes a move to get around a Crete-Monee defender. Vaundry finished with five

points in the game.

46 | November 29, 2018 | The Mokena Messenger sports

Griffins victorious over Knights at LW East Quad

Sean Hastings

Freelance Reporter

Tyrone Byrd spent the last

10 years as the wrestling

coach at Lincoln-Way East

and is now on the other side

at Lincoln-Way Central.

And while he still has

many friends and former

players left at East, when it

came time for their match at

the Lincoln-Way East Quad

on Nov. 21, all that was put


But his former Griffins

were able to beat his Knights


“I’m disappointed that we

fell short, but I’m excited

for the potential for all the

guys as a team and as individuals,”

Byrd said. “I have

a very distinct process that

we’re trying to instill over

at Central and, given some

time, that process that will

start to show itself. And had

it shown itself a little more

tonight, I think we could

have came away with a


The Knights’ matchup

with the Griffins was neckand-neck

up until the final

few matchups.

East had the lead for much

of the match, and while

Central kept chipping away

at getting points back, the

Griffins were able to get

three late pins that sealed the


Two wrestlers whom Byrd

pointed out performed well

and could possibly stand on

the state podium at the end

of the season were Jackson

Hosman (160 pounds) and

Mason Sargent (195).

Hosman’s matchup

against East’s Dominic Adamo

was very physical, and

the heated rivalry of Central

and East was prevalent.

Hosman’s win by decision

put the Knights within two at


“They have to clean up a

few things both functionally

and from a mat-savvy standpoint,”

Byrd said. “Just have

a little better strategy going

into a match and that will

happen. They’re both good

kids and receptive to criticism

and want to get better.”

Also picking up points for

the Knights were Joey Malito

(106), who won by pin

over Jack Marion; Jake Jarecki

(132), who by decision;

Mitchell Rudsinski (145),

who also won by decision;

and Sargent (195), who won

by decision.

Heavyweight Chris Pasowisty

won his first match

against before the Griffins

forfeited to him.

Byrd would like to see

what Pasowisty is able do in

a more challenging match,

where he can spend more

time on the mat.

“I thought all the guys

showed some promise one

way or the other,” he said.

“We’re going to talk goals at

the end of the week and really

start talking about what

we have to do to get to those

individual goals, and then

talk about teams and what

we have to do to get to those


If Byrd can take away one

positive thing from losing

to East it’s that it can show

him and the Knights that the

process he is trying to instill

works, he said.

Central beat Oak Lawn

60-22 in the opening match

of the quad.

For East, just as Hosman’s

hard-fought decision win

could have sparked something

for the Knights, Adamo’s

loss sparked even more

for the Griffins as the next

two guys up finished with

pins to get 12 quick points

for East.

The lead went from 17-15

to 29-15 seemingly in the

blink of an eye.

Lincoln-Way Central’s Mitchell Rudsinski (left) gets Lincoln-Way East’s Jake Abeja

airborne in the 145-pound matchup during the Lincoln-Way East Quad Nov. 21. The Griffins

were victorious in the meet, 35-27. Photos by Julie McMann/22nd Century Media

The Griffins’ Noah Alsguson (top) pins the Knights’ TJ Hincks in the 170-pound division.

Noah Alsguson (170)

pinned Central’s TJ Hincks,

and Nick Mihajlovich (182)

followed him with a pin over

Jackson Porier.

“We started to hit a little

stride there,” new head

coach Kevin Rockett said.

“It’s always bad to get in a

hole, so it was big to jump

back with some pins and get

those bonus points. We had

struggled in the past getting

those bonus points when we

could, so I felt like when we

had the opportunity, we took

advantage of it.”

Rockett said he liked how

the Griffins were able to

wrestle aggressive, which

put them in the lead and not

have to chase.

“Right now, we’ve had a

couple guys stand out for

us,” Rockett said. “Noah

Alsguson has looked pretty

good at 160 pounds

and Jake LaMonto at 220

pounds. He’s gone out and

got five victories in five duals

this year. He’s looking

really good. He’s going out

and getting bonus points

for us and helping out the


The Griffins have even

bumped him around to a

higher weight class to get

wins and help East.

With already a big lead in

hand, LaMonto pinned Central’s

Ron Jancaric to make

the score 35-18.

Also picking up points for

the Griffins were Chance

Satka (120), who won by

major decision; Aj Lizak

(126) who pinned Colin

Hobert; and Paul Malito

(138), who won by decision.

With Byrd departing after

spending 10 years as the

Griffins’ coach, it is Kevin

Rockett’s team now.

He was a head coach at

Lincoln-Way North for four


And, just as Byrd feels,

Rockett agrees that they are

friends when they are not


“I learned a lot from him,”

Rockett said. “I consider

him a friend when we’re

not competing, but it’s always

good to get a win over

someone like him because

he is such a competitor. It’s

always good to compete

with him. And it’s Central;

they’re always right there.”

It is very early in the season,

but Rockett said he

liked how they competed,

but said there is some sloppiness

that can be cleaned up.

Conditioning will take

care of that, he said.

“I don’t think some of us

are at the weight classes that

we need to be at right now,”

he said. “These first couple

weeks are always kind of

a struggle getting to where

we need to get. Just being

a little bit more physical in

our matches and continuing

to wrestle the whole six minutes.

We struggled a bit the

last two days just finishing

matches.” sports

the Mokena Messenger | November 29, 2018 | 47


Girls Basketball

Buzzer-beater bank shot beats Knights

Julie McMann/22nd Century



Familiar faces, new


1. Knights wrestling

(Above) Lincoln-Way

Central has a new

head coach this year.

Tyrone Byrd comes

over after spending

the last 10 years

as the head coach

at rival Lincoln-Way


2. Griffins wrestling

Byrd’s departure

opened the door

for its own new

head coach, Kevin

Rockett. Although

new at Lincoln-Way

East, Rockett spent

four years as the

head coach of the

wrestling program at

Lincoln-Way North.

3. Stock on the rise

Byrd said he’s

impressed with the

potential of Jackson

Hosman (162 lbs.)

and Mason Sargent;

while Rockett is looking

at Noah Alsgusson

(160 lbs.) and

Jake LaMonto (220



LoConte receive All-

Tournament honors

Sean Hastings

Freelance Reporter

Joliet Central’s buzzer

beating bank shot to win

the Thanksgiving Tournament

on Nov. 21 is not going

to dictate the rest of the

Lincoln-Way Central girls

basketball team’s season.

The teams traded baskets

and neither team was able to

pull away, and it came down

to the final shot. The Steelmen

called a timeout with 12

seconds left to draw up the

game-winning play.

Whether or not that was

the play they drew up, it

was good enough to win the

game and the tournament


This was the Knights’ first

loss of the season, but coach

Dave Campanile was happy

with how the girls played

throughout the tournament.

“This was just one game,”

he said. “I was very proud of

how we played and how we

carried ourselves. We’re 4-1

to start our year (as of Nov.

20). I told our girls, ‘If we’re

going to lose our championship

on a buzzer beater bank

in from a person who hasn’t

made one all day, I’ll take


Just less than two weeks

ago, the Knights squeaked

“I told our girls, ‘If we’re going to lose our

championship on a buzzer beater bank in from a

person who hasn’t made one all day, I’ll take that.’”

Dave Campanile — Lincoln-Way Central girls basketball coach

past the Steelmen by

one point in the season


That game was just like

this one: teams playing

good defense and forcing

tough shots. And when

points were scored, they

were hard fought and down


“It was tough to get on

big runs,” Campanile said.

“Either team traded blows

and went punch for punch

and they were able to match

when we tried to extend.

Their pressure came out on

top in the end.”

The Steelmen forced the

Knights into 13 turnovers

and did a good job in transition

going back the other

way to get key points at their

end of the floor.

But that was something

the Knights knew Joliet

Central was capable of, as

they saw the same thing

when they opened the season

against them.

“That was one of the

things we struggled with

when we beat them a couple

weeks ago,” Campanile said.

“It was just a one-point win.

We knew their defensive

pressure is tough. We had to

make better decisions with

the ball. They do a great job

after turnovers in transition.”

Campanile said the

Knights played better zone

defense in the second half,

but the wrong players ended

up getting the shots off.

“The wrong people scored

and the last possession was

indicative of that,” Campanile

said. “The wrong person

took the shot and we

did great on the last possession,

but it doesn’t fall for us


For the Knights, when

they needed someone to pull

through and take control,

Abi Baumgartner was able


She scored 19 points after

a slow start to the game.

The beginning of the game

for the Knights, everyone

was playing quick and the

ball was never fully secured,

but Central was able to settle

down in the second quarter,

especially Baumgartner, and

piece together good possessions.

Baumgartner scored just

two points in the first quarter,

but as Campanile put it,

she “played like a senior and

a captain.”

“I think she responded in

difficult moments and that’s

what you want a senior to

do. I think she did a great job

leading the team just based

on her play,” he said. “She

kind of had a little bit of a

slow start in the first half,

then really made the decision

to she’s going to impact

the game.”

Her physical play was

noticeable in the second

quarter and on. She brought

down 12 rebounds and had a


“When she makes those

decisions both on the defense

and the offensive end,

she finds ways to impact the

game and she did,” Campanile

said. “She ended with

19 and made some big free

throws down the stretch.”

Campanile said the

Knights made a few adjustments

to try and get her into

position to make plays and

score rather than having her

move around a lot, but it

was mostly her mentally responding.

I think she just did a great

job responding herself,” he

said. “She decided to give

more effort, she decided

to bang in there a little bit

more, she decided to get

loose balls. When she turns

things on, she’s quite a physical

force to deal with when

she does that. I give a lot of

credit to he to say ‘I’m a senior,

I’m a leader and I’m a

captain and captains are supposed

to respond’ and she

responded great.”

Baumgartner made a free

throw that tied the game at

45 with one minute left in

the game.

Baumgartner, along with

Regan LoConte received

All-Tournament honors.

LoConte scored seven

points for the Knights and

was the second leading scorer

for the team.

As demoralizing as a

buzzer beater to lose a championship

could be, Campanile

was happy after the game

and told his team that a win

does not mean that they are

a great team and a loss does

not mean they are a bad


How the result turned out

tonight isn’t going to make

or break the season,” he

said. “Down the stretch, the

lessons we can learn here are

going to pay off more than a

win and a turkey at the end

of the day.”

What Campanile is concerned

about is where the

team is at in February when

they are gearing up for regionals.

Listen Up

“I’m disappointed that we fell short, but I’m

excited for the potential for all the guys as a team

and as individuals.”

Tyrone Byrd – Lincoln-Way Central wrestling coach


Lincoln-way central boys basketball

6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5

• The Knights make their home debut of the

season against Southland College Prep.


41 – Athlete of the Week

41 – This Week In...

FASTBREAK is compiled by Editor T.J. Kremer III, tj@

mokena’s Hometown Newspaper | | November 29, 2018

Tough turkey

Knights girls basketball

loses own tourney on

buzzer beater, Page 47

Quick start

LW East boys basketball

start season with win,

Page 45

LW East hosts Knights at quad

meet, Page 46

Lincoln-Way East’s Jake Abeja (left) prepares to start a match against Lincoln-Way Central’s Mitchell Rudsinski in the 145-pound weight class Nov. 21 at the Lincoln-Way East

Quad. Julie McMann/22nd Century Media


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