12 | June 20, 2019 | the mokena messenger news


TPHS students, teachers

moved by promise-keeping


Back in March, fellow

teachers Maureen Koce

and Rebecca Haustein attended

a conference and

walked away so inspired,

they returned to Tinley

Park High with a simplebut-radical

idea: Getting

students and teachers to

make promises — and

keep them.

The duo, along with an

enthusiastic group of about

10 students, started the

school’s Because I Said

I Would program with

the goal of improving the

school, one promise at a


Because I Said I Would

is an international nonprofit

with a straightforwardyet-profound

mission: Improving

humanity through

accountability. The organization

was started by Alex

Sheen in 2012 after he delivered

the eulogy for his

father, a man known for

keeping his word.

Sheen, on that day,

handed out for the first

time what went on to become

known as Promise

Cards — little reminders

to follow through. His

message has blossomed

since, reaching a global

audience across more than

153 countries.

Koce and Haustein recruited

students involved

with the already-established

Say Something initiative,

a violence-prevention

program, and

the poms team, of which

Haustein is a coach, and

got to work.

They held meetings,

planned a school-wide

campaign and, in early

May, made their presence

known in a big way.

Wearing T-shirts emblazoned

with Because I Said

I Would, the students and

teachers took to all corners

of the school, handing out

Promise Cards and spreading

the word about the new

effort, day after day.

After a week of distributing

and collecting cards,

the club organized the

hundreds they received in

a mural just outside the

cafeteria, a heavily trafficked

area where the cards

could be read and have an


Reporting by Will O’Brien,

Freelance Reporter. For

more, visit TinleyJunction.


Broker - Management Team



Library board member

leaves after over three


Lou Broccolo spent the

last 34 years on the New

Lenox Public Library

Board and his time on it finally

came to an end at the

June 10 meeting.

He joked that he started

on the board when he was

10 years old. Broccolo, a

retired middle school social

studies/history teacher,

started on the board in

1985, long before the current

library was built in the

New Lenox Commons.

He saw the library

through many changes, including

the new building

process that was completed

in 2001.

Broccolo lost the first

time he ran for a board position

and he did not think

it would bother him much,

but it did, he said.

“When I ran the first

time, I never said ‘I’m

going to do this, this and

this,’” he said. “I was

just encouraged to run by

Georgia Madden, who has

passed away since then.

She worked here and said

‘you’re in here all the time,

why don’t you run for the

library board.”

Part of what Broccolo

was known for was his

sense of humor, so that

shined through at times.

The second time he ran

unopposed and told Madden

if he somehow lost that

time, he was going to put a

“for sale sign” in front of

his house because he could

not be a “nobody.” And

that was the start of a 34-

year tenure.

Reporting by Sean Hastings,

Editor. For more, visit New


Art on the Green highlights

creativity, community

Downtown Frankfort

was even more alluring

than usual on June 9 as

Art on the Green brought

the creative community together

to celebrate artistic


More than 30 local artists

exhibited their work at

Frankfort’s Breidert Green

Park, and attendees had the

opportunity to purchase

everything from paintings

to photography to jewelry.

As a juried show, the event

showcased a high level

of fine art, and the artists

were in the running to win

prizes for the top three artists

as well as two honorable


Since forming in 2018,

The Frankfort Arts Association

has worked to bring

area artists of all mediums

together. The Village of

Frankfort — a major sponsor

of Art on the Green —

handed off its Fine Arts

Fair to the association

to host the renamed, revamped

event for the first

time this year.

New Lenox ceramicist

Nicholas S. Eckmayer

combines originality and

functionality with his creations.

“Everything is functional

ceramics, and I try my

best to make each piece

individual and unique, just

like a person,” Eckmayer


Reporting by Laurie Fanelli,

Freelance Reporter. For

more, visit FrankfortStation.



Girl, 14, suffers broken

bones, bruised liver after

being struck by car

A 14-year-old girl was

riding her bicycle with a

friend when she was struck

by a car and suffered broken

bones and a bruised

liver the evening of June

9 in Homer Glen, according

to Will County Sheriff’s

Office spokeswoman

Kathy Hoffmeyer.

At 8:47 p.m., deputies

responded to the intersection

of Bell Road, north of

143rd Street, about the girl

being struck, according to

police. When they arrived,

they found the driver of a

Mazda 6 at the intersection

with the teenage girl lying

in the street.

The girl was responsive

but had difficulty speaking,

police said.

The Northwest Homer

Fire Protection District arrived

and transported her

to Silver Cross Hospital,

per Hoffmeyer. The teen

was later transferred to

Christ Hospital to be treated,

and initial reports have

indicated her injuries as

being non-life-threatening.

Witnesses stated the girl

and her friend were crossing

Bell Road on their

bikes against a red light

when the 14-year-old was

struck, according to Hoffmeyer.

The injured girl is a

Homer Glen resident.

The accident remains

under investigation.

No tickets had been issued

initially following the


Reporting by Thomas

Czaja, Editor. For more, visit


LGBTQ support

organization comes to


People in the LGBTQ

community are constantly

battling ignorance and discrimination,

and the fight

for equality is currently

ongoing in the Lockport


The PFLAG organization,

which was founded in

1973 by Jeanne Manford,

is an active organization

with 400 chapters across

the country. PFLAG stands

for Parents, Families, and

Friends of Lesbians and

Gays. PFLAG’s mission is

to “build on a foundation

of loving families united

with LGBTQ people and

allies who support one

another, and to educate

ourselves and our communities

to speak up as advocates

until all hearts and

minds respect, value and

affirm LGBTQ people.”

Michelle Eckmayer,

president of the chapter in

Homer Glen and Lockport,

is confident that PFLAG is

contributing to the communities

by positively

affecting the push for

equality for the LGBTQ

community and making

discrimination less and

less prevalent.

“Really, there [are] three

basic things that we try to

do,” Eckmayer said. “That

is support, educate and advocate.

Those three things

are what we basically

stand for. There is much

more to fight for because

ignorance still surrounds

us. This is why we educate,

because some people

just do not understand it

and get afraid of what they

do not understand. Once

you educate people, they

are more informed and less

likely to discriminate.”

The chapter in Homer

Glen/Lockport is to officially

begin having meetings

the last Tuesday of

every month that will be

open to anyone who wants

to support the LGBTQ


Meetings are to be held

from 6:30-8 p.m. at Cross

of Glory Lutheran, 14719

W. 163rd St., Homer Glen.

Reporting by Christian Villanueva,

Editorial Intern.

For more, visit LockportLeg

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