Hero’s welcome

Former Mokena resident returns home

to retire from USMC, Page 4

The grades are in

Annual state report card shows high

marks for D210, Page 6

D-Day remembered

Historian explains seminal WWII

event, Page 7

mokena’s Award-Winning Hometown Newspaper • November 14, 2019 • Vol. 12 No. 14 • $1




Nine-year-old Isabella Enright, of

Mokena, hangs her stocking among

scores of others during Mokena

Community Park District’s Stockings for

Our Troops Friday, Nov. 8. T.J. Kremer

III/22nd Century Media


shows support for

troops by filling

stocking care

packages, Page 3

Appraisal Days

FRI, NOV 15 & SAT, NOV 16

NEW LENOX 1000 E. Lincoln Hwy.


2 | November 14, 2019 | the mokena messenger calendar

In this week’s


Pet of the Week.............11


Faith Briefs....................16


The Scene......................21

Classifieds................ 25-33

The Mokena


ph: 708.326.9170 fx: 708.326.9179


TJ Kremer III, x29

sports editor

Steve Millar, ext 34

Sales director

Lora Healy, x31

real estate sales

Courtney Masinter ext 47

classifieds/Legal Notices

Jeff Schouten, x51


Joe Coughlin 847.272.4565, x16

Managing Editor

Bill Jones, x20


Andrew Nicks


Nancy Burgan, x30

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Orland Park, IL 60467

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1-2 p.m., Nov. 16, Mokena

Community Public

Library District, 11327

W. 195th St. in Mokena.

Come try your luck at

BINGO. Prizes and refreshments.

Ages 18

and older welcome. For

more information, call

(708) 479-9663, or visit

Night of a Thousand Lights

6-11 p.m., Nov. 16, Silver

Lake Country Club,

14700 S. 82nd Ave. in Orland

Park. Join My Joyful

Heart for an evening of

dinner and dancing to celebrate

the 1,000+ children

helped by the nonprofit

organization. Tickets are

$50 per person or $400

per table of eight, and includes

a family-style dinner,

dancing, cash bar,

silent auction and more.

For more information, call

(815) 806-1700, or visit


Mokena Park District’s

Pictures with Santa

Noon-5 p.m., Nov. 17,

Mokena Community Park

District Program Center,

10925 W. LaPorte Road

in Mokena. Santa is making

a special appearance

at Mokena Park District.

TSS Photography of Mokena

will be there to take

your child’s photo with the

Jolly Old Elf. Fee of $8 per

picture includes professional

5”x7” photograph.

Additional packages will

be available for purchase.

Appointments are recommended.

Children’s pictures

from noon-3 p.m.;

Pet pictures from 3-5 p.m.

Call by noon on Thursday,

Nov. 14, to reserve your

spot. Walk-ins accepted

as space allows. Personal

photography, cameras/

camera phones are not allowed.

Call Mokena Park

District for more information

or to reserve your

appointment at (708) 390-


Lincoln-Way Area Chorale

holiday concert

3 p.m., Nov. 17, Lincoln-Way

East Performing

Arts Center, 201 Colorado

Ave. in Frankfort. “Silver

Sounds of the Season” will

be presented by the Lincoln

Way Area Chorale.

Tickets for adults are $18,

seniors and students are

$16. Tickets may be purchased

online at,

from any Chorale member,

or by calling (708) 479-

1863 or (815) 469-1010.


Reading With Rudy

4-5 p.m., Nov. 19, Mokena

Community Public

Library District, 11327 W.

195th St. in Mokena. Rudy,

the certified therapy dog,

helps by giving children

a boost of confidence. We

host reading sessions with

Rudy for children with and

without special needs in

the Activity Room. Class

is limited to six children.

Registration is required

at Children’s Circulation

Desk. For more information,

call (708) 479-9663,

or visit


Christmas Fest

Nov. 23. Kick off the

Holiday Season with the

annual Christmas Fest,

hosted by the Mokena

Chamber of Commerce.

Activities include: Santa’s

Workshop, Crafters, 10

a.m.-2 p.m. at Mokena Elementary

School, 11244

Willowcrest Lane; lunch

and pictures with Mr. and

Mrs. Claus, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

at Mokena Elementary

School, 11244 Willowcrest

Lane; Parade of Lights, 5

p.m., Front Street; Family

Christmas Dance, immediately

following tree lighting

until 10 p.m. at Mokena

VFW Post 725, 19852

S. Wolf Road; and more.

For a full list of activities,


Holiday side dishes and

party planning

1-2 p.m., Nov. 23, Mokena

Community Public

Library District, 11327 W.

195th St. in Mokena. Mokena

Community Public

Library District is happy

to welcome back Chef Michael

Niksic. He is going

to help make our holidays

easier with party planning

tips, and side dish recipes.

For more information, call

(708) 479-9663, or visit

22CM’s 10th Annual

Cheers to Charity

6-10 p.m. Nov. 26,

Rock Bottom Restaurant

& Brewery, 16156 S. La-

Grange Road, Orland Park.

Bring a new, unwrapped

toy for Toy Box Connection

or three canned food

items for Orland Township

Food Pantry and get

$5 off the bill through

Dec. 20 or order a glass of

Rudolph the Prairie Red

and 25 cents will benefit

he Orland Township Food

Pantry. The pantry also is

to receive 10 percent of all

sales on Nov. 26 from 6-10

p.m. For more information,

call (708) 226-0021.


LWABWO Meetings

6-8 p.m. on the third

Tuesday of each month

Sept. through June, Gatto’s

Restaurant, 1938 E.

Lincoln Highway, New

Lenox. The Lincoln-Way

Area Business Women’s

Organization is a non-profit

club formed in 1971 to

provide scholarship funds

to graduating female high

school seniors and adult

women for the purpose of

continuing education. For

more information, visit

We are Lions

7 p.m. first Thursday

of each month, Doc’s

Smokehouse, 19081 Old

LaGrange Road #105 in

Mokena. The Lions Club

of Mokena hosts is monthly

meeting. For more information,

email Mokena


6 p.m. Sundays, Mokena

Fellowship Center, 11137

W. 191st St., Mokena; 7

p.m. Mondays and 6 p.m.

Thursdays, Old Plank Trail

Bank, 20012 Wolf Road

in Mokena. Meetings are

open to anyone who feels

their life has been affected

by a problem drinker.

There are no dues or fees.

All meetings are confidential.

For more information,

call (815) 773-9623.

Mokena Fire Protection

CPR Class

6-9:30 p.m. Ongoing.

Mokena Fire Station


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.

1, 19853 S. Wolf Road,

Moknea. The Mokena Fire

Protection District offers

monthly CPR classes for

the public. The cost of

the class is $35 for Community

CPR and $40

Healthcare CPR. Register

for specific dates at

Kindergarten Registration


8 a.m.-4 p.m. Ongoing.

District Administrative

Center, 20100 South

Spruce Drive in Frankfort.

Summit Hill School

District’s 2019-20 kindergarten

registration drive

continues. Parents may

access studentregistration.

org to review the checklist

of documents needed

for registration. Parents

can enroll their kindergartener

in the extended day

program or the half-day

program. Registration fee

for extended day is $150.

Registration fee for half

day is $125.

Walking Book Club

9-10 a.m. Wednesdays,

The Oaks Fitness & Recreation

Center, 10847

LaPorte Road, Mokena.

Organized by the Mokena

Community Public Library,

this group walks for

30 minutes and then talks

about a book for 30 minutes.

Copies of the reading

schedule are doled out

at weekly meetings. For

more information, call

(708) 479-9663. news

the mokena messenger | November 14, 2019 | 3

Community stuffs stockings bound for overseas troops


T.J. Kremer III, Editor

Christmas came early this year

to The Oaks Recreation and Fitness

Center in Mokena.

Stockings — approximately

300 of them, all individually

decorated — stretched from one

side of the gym to the other.

Scores of community volunteers

— both young and young

at heart — showed up to stuff

stockings for our troops during

Mokena Community Park District’s

annual Stockings for Our

Troops event Friday, Nov. 8.

“We are very excited to be able

to do Stockings for Our Troops

[along with Operation Care Package],”

said Mike Selep, executive

director of the park district.

People brought donated items,

such as soap, shampoo and other

essentials, to stuff the stockings.

Additionally, monetary donations

were accepted, and $236 was collected,

which was matched by the

Mokena Community Park Foundation

for a total of $472.

Siblings Gabriel, 5; Isabella,

9; and Angelica, 6, Enright, of

Mokena, were busy decorating

and stuffing stockings with their

grandmother Cindy Enright. The

Enrights brought some supplies

to stuff their stockings with, such

as toothpaste, deodorant, hand

sanitizer and, of course, candy.

“It’s important because some

can’t come for [the holidays],”

Gabriel said.

“They’re fighting because there

are a lot of mean people who want

to hurt us,” Isabella said.

When asked if she could grant

a Christmas wish for the troops,

Isabella replied, “For them to be

able to come home for the holidays.”

Gabriel added that he would

wish for “them to have a puppy.”

Angelica wished for the troops

“to stay at home with their families

and not get hurt.”

Meanwhile, Lorraine and

Gene Luering, of Mokena, had

made about a dozen stockings in

the first two hours of the event.

Lorraine said she hoped the

stockings would brighten a

troop’s day and remind them of


“We’re grateful for their service

and we’re glad to do something

for them,” Lorraine said.

Gene, who served in the Army

from 1962-65, had a special perspective

on what the stockings

could mean for the troops.

“I was overseas for three

Christmases, so I understand

what it’s like to be away from

home and not be home for

Christmas,” he said. “I think

they would appreciate getting a

little box of goodies.”

The O’Connor sisters — Ainsley (left), 9; Keira (middle), 11; and

Mieve, 6, of Mokena — pose with the stockings they made during

Mokena Community Park District’s Stockings for Our Troops

Friday, Nov. 8. T.J. Kremer III/22nd Century Media

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military intelligence was

a better stepping stone

toward the future he

wanted. He took a test for

a Naval flight officer to

open up his options. The

result: Norm flew in over

100 combat missions.

“This is overwhelming,”

he said. “My previ-

4 | November 14, 2019 | the mokena messenger news

Welcome home, soldier

Former Mokena

resident gets

hero’s welcome

Mary Compton

Freelance Reporter

A member of New

Lenox Community Emergency

Response Team

was going to miss an

important training day.

Phillia Mitchell, of Manhattan,

had a good reason:

her son, Marine Major

Norm Mitchell III, was

coming home.

“I would be [there] but

I have the most important

event going on: welcoming

my son home,” she


Approximately 40

friends, neighbors and

family members came to

Manhattan to welcome

the former Mokena resident

home and thank him

for his service Nov. 2.

“My son grew up in

Mokena,” Phillia said.

“When he was 15, we

moved to New Lenox. I

homeschooled my kids

through high school.”

As Phillia was speaking

about the history of

her son, veterans from

the American Legion Post

935 in Manhattan arrived

at the Mitchell home, now

in Manhattan.

“I’m happy for my son

and his wife, Akena, and

their six kids,” she said.

After 20 years and a dozen

moves, they will be

settling down in Colorado

“It’s been quite a journey,

the whole Marine

Corps life,” Phillia said.

“He has been to Iraq, Afghanistan

and numerous

deployments, as well as

flying in the F-18 fighter

jets. It was scary for us

and his family, but he

loved flying. It’s been so

many years it’s hard for

me to see him not in the

Marine Corps.”

Her other son, Eric, is

also a Marine.

“Today, it’s kind of a

happy feeling but it’s also

a sad feeling because we

love the military and we

love our country, and I’m

so proud of them for serving

and keeping us free,”

Phillia said.

Several vehicles came

driving down Butler

Road in Manhattan, horns

beeping. Friends and family

ran to the edge of the

street waving American


Tears in her eyes, and

holding her granddaughter,

River, Phillia waved

her flag as she watched

her son stop in front of

their home.

“I’m so touched by the

Illinois Patriot Guard,

the Color Guard from the


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“So glad you’re home

daddy.” Marine Corps

Major Norm Mitchell gets

a hug from his 14 yearold-daughter


Mitchell. Norm Mitchell,

who has served 20 years

in the Marine Corps, will

retire in January.

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Phillia Mitchell, mother of Marine Major Norm Mitchell waves an American flag

while holding granddaughter River Mitchell. Norm Mitchell, who grew up in Mokena

and New Lenox was honored by the Patriot Guard, friends and family after coming

back home to his parents house in Manhattan Nov. 2. Photos by Mary Compton/22nd

Century Media

American Legion, neighbors

who came out to

welcome him home,” she

said. “When your kids are

appreciated for what you

think is a good thing, it’s

an added bonus.”

Norm stepped out holding

hands with his wife,

Akena, and was greeted

with hugs from his children.

“The military calls 20

years [of service] a milestone,”

Norm said to the

crowd. “... It’s a milestone

I feel I have not

confidently crossed; it’s a

milestone that I’ve stumbled

across, gasping for

breath with far better men

than I am. I have been

so fortunate that I have a

phenomenal family who

stood by me through difficult

circumstances. I’ve

been fortunate to find an

environment in the Marine

Corps that is lucky

for me. I was created by

people that care deeply

A small parade of vehicles bring Major Norm Mitchell

home as they drive along Baker Avenue in Manhattan.

After twenty years in the United States Marine Corps,

Major Mitchell will retire in January.

about our country and

about making me better

than I was the day before.

I’m fortunate to have all

of you, this is more than

I deserve. The credit goes

to my family and to the

people whose shoulder I

was standing on.”

When Norm was in

college, he knew that


Please see soldier, 6 mokena

the mokena messenger | November 14, 2019 | 5



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6 | November 14, 2019 | the mokena messenger news

Expires 11/28/19 10/31/19


Expires 11/28/19 10/31/19

Report card shows D210

schools some of best in state

T.J. Kremer III, Editor

6-10PM | TUESDAY, NOV. 26




Rock Bottom Orland Park


The grades are in, and

all three Lincoln-Way

Community High School

District 210 schools

have received “Exemplary”

status, according

to the 2019 Illinois Report

Card, an annual assessment

of the state’s


For the second year in a

row, all three LW schools

placed in the Top 10 percent

academically, with

some of the highlights being

graduation rates and

SAT scores.

Overall, the district

boasted a four-year graduation

rate of 95.5 percent,

compared with the state

average of 85.9 percent;

From 6-10pm


of all sales


will benefit the

food pantry

Cheers Charity

Bring a new unwrapped toy for Toy Box Connection

or 3 canned food items for Orland Township Food Pantry

anytime through Dec. 20 and receive $5 off your total bill!*

*Valid from 11/26/19 through 12/20/19. Must bring new, unwrapped toy or three canned food items to receive $5 off your total bill.

however, this number was

slightly down from its

2018 graduation rate of

96.8 percent, compared

with the state average

of 85.4 percent from the

same year.

The 2019 graduation

rate compared almost exactly

to data that showed

that ninth-graders in the

district were 95.6 were on

track to graduate, compared

with the state average

of 86.6 percent.

Across the district, 17.8

percent of students earned

a Level 4 — which is designated

“Exceeds Standards,”

the highest level

attainable — on the ELA

portion of the SAT scores

and 13.5 percent in the

same category for math,

compared with the state’s

average of 10.6 percent

and 9.1 percent, respectively.

Those numbers appear

to fair well for D210 students,

as approximately 83

percent of D210’s Class

of 2018 students were enrolled

in a two- or fouryear

college within 12-16

months of graduation,

compared with the state

average of approximately

73 percent.

Other data showed the

district’s student population

in decline, losing

87 students, down from

7,010 in 2018 to 6,923

in 2019. The district is

also operating with fewer

teachers in 2019, down

from 404 in 2018 to 390

in 2019. Average class

sizes increased from 20 in

2018, which was also the

state’s average that year,

to 26.4 in 2019, compared

with the state average of


Editorial Intern Carly Styka

contributed to this report.

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From Page 4

ous posting was at Camp

Pendleton three years

ago. The Marines decided

I needed to get some culture

so they sent me to the

Air Force.”

Norm will officially retire

in January 2020.

“I’m going to miss the

people,” he said. “During

hardships, you form

some pretty strong bonds.

When you work with people

that are committed to

you, to holding you to a

high standard and always

having my back means a


At the end of November,

the Mitchell family

will move to Colorado

Springs, Colorado, and

Norm will return to college

to study business.

“I still plan on serving

my country in other

ways,” he said. “The Marines

do a lot of humanitarian

work. It was an

absolute honor and privilege

to serve in the Marine

Corps. I consider life

to be pursuit, something

you never succeed at. Any

ideal you strive for is always

out of reach, which

is a good thing.”

As the celebration

dwindled down, Norm

gave one last comment.

“A lot of people talk

about military service

and associate it with sacrifice,”

he began. “Part of

the reason I’m uncomfortable

with gatherings

like this is because I feel

I have not sacrificed that

much. There are others

who have given their

lives, given up limbs and

had more difficulty than

I’ve had to face. I’m not

a religious person, but I

look at Jesus Christ as

the one who made the

ultimate sacrifice, which

serves as an ideal for that.

If I can pursue a life that

Jesus exemplified, I will

be a happy man.” news

the mokena messenger | November 14, 2019 | 7

Residents learn about events surrounding D-Day


Beth Krooswyk, Freelance Reporter

Jim Gibbons sure can captivate

an audience, from 10-yearolds

to senior citizens, with his

knowledge and energy.

The historian spoke and answered

questions for almost

two hours on Nov. 2 in the

Mokena Community Public

Library District’s community

room during his presentation,

D-Day: The Invasion of Normandy.

“I saw a flyer about this a few

days ago and decided to check

it out because I like history,”

said Mokena resident Tim Wojotulewicz,

who attended the

free event.

Wojotulewicz and the other

history buffs were in for quite

a treat as Gibbons began his

animated talk with his slogan,

“Life is no mystery when you

know your history,” which reflects

another quote he shared

by writer George Santayana,

“Those who cannot remember

the past are condemned to repeat


Then Gibbons launched into

a synopsis of important historical

figures and events surrounding

World War I, which set the

stage for World War II and D-

Day, by tying together for his

listeners the many intricate

details of several decades with

his fast-paced storytelling and


“D-Day was the largest amphibian

landing ever. I don’t

know if something like this

could happen in today’s world

because it was totally planned

in secrecy,” Gibbons said.

Included in the audience

were three 10-year-old boys.

Twins Nick and Joe Biondo,

of Mokena, came with their

dad, Barry Biondo, and grandfather,

Pete Biondo, who had

family involved in WWII.

“I just read an ‘I Survived’

book about D-Day, and I wanted

to learn more about it,” Nick


Joe was also interested to

discover more facts about this

pivotal event in world history.

“I’m kind of into it,” Joe said.

The brothers brought along

their friend and neighbor Nolan


“I didn’t know much about

D-Day, but I learned a lot,” Esquivel


The boys and the rest of the

attendees learned that D-Day

was originally planned for June

5, 1944; however, a monsoon

came up that day, so when the

weather calmed, the amphibian

Please see d-day, 8

Historian Jim Gibbons explains the events leading up to D-Day

during his Mokena Community Public Library District presentation

on Nov. 2. Beth Krooswyk/22nd Century Media

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8 | November 14, 2019 | the mokena messenger school

the Mokena messenger’s

Standout Student

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Andrew Lacny,

Noonan Academy

second grader

What do you like to do

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Play football, baseball

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When is your dream job?

NFL football player.

What are some of your

most played songs on your


“High Hopes” by Panic

at the Disco and “Believer”

by Imagine Dragons

What is one thing people

don’t know about you?

I am a Packers fan and

my whole family loves the


Whom do you look up to

and why?

My papa because he is

funny and he takes us to

cool places.

What’s your favorite class

and why?


From Page 7

Science and recess are

my favorite classes because

I like learning about

the Earth and playing outside.

What extracurricular(s) do

you wish your school had?

I wish that my school

had football.

If you could change one

thing about school what

would it be?

If I could change one

thing about my school it

would be to have a shorter

attack took place instead

on June 6. In addition,

they learned that the bazooka

gun was first used

on Normandy Beach.

Gibbons also noted

that there were around

20,000 total WWII concentration

camps, and

it was Supreme Allied

Commander Dwight D.

Eisenhower who insisted

they be filmed so that future

generations would

believe that it happened.

He pointed out that Eisenhower

was greatly affected

by his experience and

in later years would talk

about any other war but

WWII, even though he

played a vital role in it.

“I just love it,” Gibbons

said of his passion

for history and attention

to detail. “I do many other

presentations — Harry

Truman, FDR, Eisenhower,

Churchill, Pearl

school day.

Photo submitted

What’s your favorite thing

to eat in the cafeteria?

I like to eat Pirate’s Booty

and Domino’s pizza.

What’s your best memory

from school?

I really like Soles for

Souls where we walk to

raise money for charity.

Standout Student is a weekly

feature for The Mokena Messenger.

Nominations come

from Mokena-area schools.

Harbor — and I just take

all these little pieces of

the puzzle and get to put

them all together.”

Gibbons’ passionate

narratives have even

earned him a loyal fan


“I’ve been to probably

60 of his presentations,”

said Michelle Alfano, of

Oak Forest. “We’re like

Deadheads, but with history.

We follow Jim all

over the suburbs. He has

a big following.” news

the mokena messenger | November 14, 2019 | 9

Mokena’s own ‘Golden Girls’

honored for 50 years of service

Beth Krooswyk

Freelance Reporter

Mokena residents Virginia Backhus (left), Joan

Fleckenstein (middle) and Carmen Smallwood were

honored with personalized scrapbooks and more in a

surprise celebration for their 50-year anniversaries with

the Mokena Woman’s Club during the group’s Oct. 14

meeting. Photo submitted

Where were you back in

the autumn of 1969?

If you were Carmen

Smallwood, Joan Fleckenstein

or Virginia Backhus,

then you were attending

your first few meetings of

the then recently formed

Mokena Woman’s Club.

Fifty years later, at the

Club’s Oct. 14 monthly

gathering, these Mokena

residents were recognized

in a surprise celebration for

their golden anniversaries.

They each received their

own 50-year-membership

pin from the General Federation

of Women’s Clubs,

of which the MWC has

been affiliated since its inception

in 1960.

“I was flabbergasted. I

did not expect it,” Fleckenstein

said of the experience.

Smallwood had a similar


“I was really totally

stunned,” she said. “I

thought, ‘How could they

have done all of this without

us knowing?’ It’s always

an honor when your

fellow club members recognize

you like that.”

Club historian Joann

Jeffers, who is also first

vice president and parliamentary

advisor, went

through many past club

photos and archives to prepare

a scrapbook for each

of the ladies as a keepsake,

which also included reflections

from current and former


“Carmen, Joan and Virginia

were always willing

to step up to the plate. All

three of them were club

officers within just a few

years of their joining,” Jeffers

said. “They became

members of a women’s

service organization when

women’s lib basically was

just starting. Between the

three of them, they have

13 kids, so not only were

they raising their children,

working full-time jobs and

active in their churches and

other community organizations,

but they were also

willing to become involved

and were instrumental in

serving this organization in

many different capacities

throughout the years.”

Fleckenstein, who

worked in data entry and

then also started Fleckenstein’s

Bakery with

her husband during these

years, had modest reasons

for originally joining the


“I had a young child at

the time, and I joined with


a friend,” she said. “I kept

going because I enjoyed

the club and the people in


Backhus and Fleckenstein

knew each other at

the time they joined the

MWC. Backhus was a registered

nurse then, and will

be retiring from the Mokena

Public Library at the

end of this year.

Over these 50 years, the

three of them altogether

have held a total of 31

years of being officers in

the club’s five different

elected positions. In addition,

they’ve helped with

many club projects, including

the maintenance of

Pioneer Cemetery, as well

as all 46 years of the Holli-

Daze craft show.

“I got in [the club] as

Please see golden girls, 12





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the mokena messenger | November 14, 2019 | 11

Changing of the guard

Mokena Chamber of Commerce moves to elect new board



President of the Mokena Chamber of Commerce, Michelle DePaolis (left to right), with

Lincolnway Community Bank; Skye Bergeson, with Edward Jones; president-elect

Ed Kasza; 2019 Volunteer of the Year Samantha Tunney, with CTO Enterprises; Gavin

“Guy” Weir, with The Huntington Bank; and Brian Ciapinski, with Shark Shredding, are

recognized at the Chamber’s Nov. 5 meeting. T.J. Kremer III/22nd Century Media

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Cartons - Milk, Juice,

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Junk Mail, Glossy

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NAWS Illinois Humane Society 9981 W.

190th St. Mokena, 60448

Kino is a handsome, 1-year-old, male

mix who is looking for his forever

home. He is a fun, active and energetic

boy. He can be slightly tentative in

new situations, but he quickly adjusts.

Once you gain his trust, his playful and

loving nature shows. He has already

mastered “sit” and would love for

someone to continue his training. Kino

loves other dogs and would love to find a home with another energetic dog he

could play with. Please email Heather at or call NAWS at

(708) 478-5102 to setup and appointment with an adoption counselor to meet


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

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12 | November 14, 2019 | the mokena messenger news


Dentist leads Real Men

Wear Pink fundraising

campaign in the southern


Whether breast cancer,

prostate cancer, lung cancer,

or any other type of

cancers, today, nearly everyone

has been impacted

by cancer in one way or


For Dr. Ralph Ginn,

dentist at Tinley Park’s

My Care Dental, cancer

has been a part of his life

in many ways. Every day,

he looks for oral cancers

while examining his patients

and, like many others,

he has been called to

support loved ones who

received the diagnosis.

Although he spends

a lot of time educating

people about oral cancers,

Ginn knew he could do

more. Then last year, a

longtime patient educated

him about the American

Cancer Society’s Real

Men Wear Pink campaign,

which happens every year

during Breast Cancer

Awareness Month.

This year, the south suburban

campaign has a goal

to raise a total of $50,000.

As of press time, Ginn was

leading the pack, raising

almost $5,000 himself.

Reporting by Amanda Del

Buono, Freelance Reporter.

For more, visit


Orland Park man

advocates importance

of CPR after saving

stranger’s life

After saving the life of

a stranger who was in cardiac

arrest on a Swallow

Cliff Woods trail, Thomas

O’Brien, of Orland Park,

is raising awareness on the

importance of being CPR


Just over a year ago, on

Sept. 14, 2018, Thomas

and his wife, Deb, went

running on the Swallow

Cliff Woods trail at a time

they typically do not run.

During the run, Deb got

ahead of him. As Thomas

was running, he noticed a

man, who would later be

identified as Denis Fellmann,

also of Orland Park,

lying face down on the


“There was a man lying

face down on the trail,

and he wasn’t moving at

all, so I flipped him over,”

Thomas said. “He wasn’t

breathing and his eyes

weren’t open. He was in

big trouble.”

After rolling him over,

Thomas immediately performed

CPR. Realizing

the severity of the situation,

Thomas dialed 911,

and soon first responders

arrived and transported

Fellmann to the hospital.

Fellmann survived,

thanks in large part to

Thomas’ quick actions.

As a result, the O’Briens’

church, All Saints Lutheran

in Orland Park, has

hosted a few CPR classes.

Reporting by Alyssa Groh,

Freelance Reporter. For more,



Scouts celebrated with

Eagle Court of Honor


The members of Frankfort

Boy Scout Troop 270

are well-known throughout

the community. From

running the Frankfort Fall

Fest parking lot to hosting

Winter on the Green

events to coordinating

food drives for the Frankfort

Food Pantry, these

Scouts are always ready to

help in any way they can.

On Nov. 3, Michael

Clarkin, Alex Desjardins,

Rory Hanlon, Jake Leonard,

Matthew Lexow and

Justin Murray of Troop

Please see nfyn, 13

golden girls

From Page 9

a young mother and fulltime

teacher. I thought I

didn’t have time for it,”

Smallwood said. “But I

absolutely fell in love with

it. The opportunity to meet

a variety of ladies from

around the country was

extremely enjoyable. The

club broadened my life

and improved my leadership


At the celebratory October

meeting, Jeffers also

proposed that the club add

a new “Our Golden Girls”

chapter of 50-year members,

with Smallwood,

Fleckenstein and Backhus

being charter members.

The MWC also dedicated

their current club year to

the three ladies.

“The ironic thing is that

they all attended their very

first meeting together and

they were inducted into

membership at the same

meeting, too,” Jeffers said

of this full-circle moment.

“They were genuinely surprised

and moved by it all.

It was a neat thing for us to

do for them.”

In addition to the pins

and scrapbooks, they each

received an etched glass

plaque from the MWC, as

well as a letter of congratulations

from GFWC International

President Mary

Ellen Brock.

“What a noteworthy

milestone this is,” Brock

stated in the letter. “You

have spent these years

contributing to GFWC’s

proud tradition of achievement,

but more importantly,

you have helped ensure

the continuation of that

legacy into the future.”

While the club’s future

projects will continue to

serve the changing needs

of the times — especially

in the areas of education,

scholarships, politics and

charitable giving for the

community — the focus

will stay the same as it’s

always been in the past.

“Our Mokena Woman’s

Club motto is, ‘Where

community service and

friendship meet,’ and we

really hold true to that,”

Jeffers said. “One person

can do a little, but a whole

group of people can do a

lot. Our focus has always

been service, and the reward

from that service is

the friendships that are

formed.” sound off

the mokena messenger | November 14, 2019 | 13

Social snapshot

Top Web Stories

From as of

Monday, Nov. 11.

From the Editorial Intern

Don’t rush to Christmas

1. New Lenox — UPDATE: Missing Tinley

Park woman found safe

2. Mokena’s own ‘Golden Girls’ honored

for 50 years of service

3. Mokena man shares milestone

marathon with his daughter

4. Woman allegedly groped on Old Plank

Road Trail

5. Matt’s Old Mokena — Gangster’s roots

planted in Mokena

Become a member:

“MES Student Council held a supply drive

for Mokena Marley FISH pantry. Mokena is

a community that cares!”

Mokena School District 159 posted this to

its Facebook page Nov. 5.

Like The Mokena Messenger:

Carly Styka

Editorial Intern

Christmas is a big

deal for many

people. Sharing in

the holiday festivities with

family is one of the best

things about it. Despite

this, putting up decorations

and shopping for

gifts can be time-consuming

and even stressful. Not

to mention the difficult

transition from crisp fall

weather to brutally cold

temperatures and snow.

Why wouldn’t we want

to dwell on Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is a great

holiday to celebrate.

Events such as Turkey

Trots and parades are fun

ways to celebrate and bask

in the cool fall weather.

Don’t get me wrong; I

always look forward to

Christmas. Giving and receiving

presents is a great

way to bond with family

and friends. (Such as the

case with our Cover Story

on Page 3.) The only

problem is that it seems to

trump Thanksgiving.

Many retail stores begin

putting up their Christmas

displays right after

Halloween, some even as

early as September. Of

course, people want to get

good deals on decorations

and other holiday items,

but it would be nice if the

stores could hold off on

the Christmas trees just a

little bit.

Holiday sales, such as

Black Friday, have been

creeping up earlier each

year. Many stores are open

on Thanksgiving. Target

released its Black Friday

ad three weeks early and

some stores even have

pre-Black Friday specials.

I’m not totally against

these sales. I have gone

shopping on Thanksgiving

in the past and gotten

some great deals. I have

also had to work on

holidays, and while it is

unfortunate, it is not the

worst thing in the world.

Although, having to listen

to Christmas music for

eight hours straight every

day in the months leading

up to Christmas can drive

anyone crazy.

It makes sense for retailers

to open their doors

and start their holiday

sales earlier if customers

are willing to spend their

money. This is how business


Retailers must stay

competitive. If a store

is the only one in their

region that is not selling

holiday items, then they

are missing out on that

potential sale.

I am not a fan of

holidays being used for

profit many months ahead

of time. It’s overkill and

makes it seem like the

holidays exist solely for

the purpose of making

large corporations money.

It cheapens the meaning

of the holiday.

Whether you like it or

not, the early deals are

most likely here to stay.

We may even see Christmas

trees being sold as

early as July.

“Congratulations to the LWC October

Student of the Month- Hunter Kidwell.”

@LWCentralKnight posted this to its

Twitter account Nov. 4.

Follow The Mokena Messenger: @mokenamessenger


From Page 12

270 participated in an

Eagle Court of Honor ceremony


each young man’s achievement

of attaining Scouting’s

highest rank of Eagle


Jim Hurley, who serves

as Scoutmaster of Troop

270 along with Arnaud

Desjardins, explained that

the event was a milestone

for the group.

“This past year, we

reached 100 Eagles, so

now we’re above 100,”

Hurley said, adding he was

grateful to all the adults

who help run the program.

“These boys have done a

fantastic job supporting

the community through

different service projects,

Eagle projects and food

drives. I’m really, really

proud of them.”

Reporting by Laurie Fanelli,

Freelance Reporter. For

more, visit FrankfortStation


Man in Navy does 20-mile

ruck march for veteran

suicide awareness

Twenty miles for the 20

veterans who die by suicide


That is what New Lenox

resident Ryan Brazel —

who has been in the Navy

since he was 18, enlisting

in the wake of Sept. 11 —

did Nov. 2.

That Saturday was cold,

and he had an extra 35-40

pounds on his back, with

blistered and bloody feet,

but the ruck march was

something he had to do.

“The number 20 always

stuck out to me, because

the suicides among the active

duty veterans is 20 a

day, 7,300 a year, which

is more than the number

we had killed in action in

Afghanistan and Iraq the

entire time we’ve been

there,” Brazel said.

Reporting by Sean Hastings,

Editor. For more, visit

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 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

14 | November 14, 2019 | the mokena messenger mokena

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Crafting galore

Holli-Daze Arts and Crafts

Show draws approximately 4K

people, Page 18

the mokena messenger | November 14, 2019 |

Stirring things up

The Barrel Club aims to please lunchtime

diners, nightlife seekers and event crowds

alike at south suburban spot, Page 20

A mixed-media piece from Lincoln-Way Central

student Cara Hansen hangs in the Vogt Visual Arts

Center’s High School Fine Art Exhibit.

An acrylic painting from Lincoln-Way West student Morgan Burke hangs in

the Vogt Visual Arts Center’s High School Fine Art Exhibit. Photos by Laurie

Fanelli/22nd Century Media

Lincoln-Way East senior Jessica Selph takes home

“Best in Show” in the Vogt Visual Arts Center’s High

School Fine Art Exhibit for her colored pencil piece.

LW students shine at art show, Page 17

16 | November 14, 2019 | 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 a.m. Mass in the Chapel

until 6:45 p.m.

Holy Rosary

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

Tuesday evenings.

St. John’s United Church of Christ

(11100 Second St., Mokena)

Christmas craft fair

11 a.m.-3 p.m., Dec. 8.

Join St. John’s UCC for a

Christmas craft fair with

handmade crafts, local

vendors, raffle prizes and a

children’s craft station. Free

entry to the event. For more

information, call (708) 479-

5123, or visit

Church Service

8 a.m. traditional service,

9:45 a.m. contemporary

and family service

with children’s bible lesson

during adult worship

service. For more information,

visit stjohnsmokena.


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


Mokena United Methodist Church

(10901 LaPorte Road, Mokena)


10:15 a.m. Sundays.

For more information, call

(708) 479-1110.

Bible Study

7 p.m. Tuesdays at the

church. For more information,

call (708) 479-



9 a.m. every third Saturday

of the month.





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Marley Community Church (12625 W.

187th St., Mokena)

Untraditional Traditional

Thanksgiving Dinner

3 p.m., Nov. 28. Please

join us for a traditional

turkey meal complete

with all the trimmings,

untraditionally sharing it

with people you may not

know. Young or old, rich

or poor, all are welcome.

Dinner is complimentary,

the only requirement

is a reservation. Call

(708) 692-6172 to RSVP.

Limited seating available

so reservations are


Church Service

10 a.m. Sundays. Childcare

is provided.

Sunday School

9-10 a.m. Sundays.

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,



5 p.m. Saturdays and 9

a.m. Sundays.

God’s Kids Club

10:15 a.m. Sundays in


Adult Bible Study

10:15 a.m. Sundays in


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


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-


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.

Mokena Baptist Church (9960 W. 187th

St., Mokena)

Sunday Services

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

more information, call

(312) 350-2279.

Evening Worship

6 p.m. Sundays.

Weekday Worship

7 p.m. Wednesdays.

Contact the


Sunday School

10:15 a.m. Sundays.

Mokena Baptist offers

Sunday School classes

for all ages. For more information,

call (312) 350-


Have something for Faith

Briefs? Contact Editor T.J.

Kremer at tj@mokenames or call (708)

326-9170 ext. 29. Deadline

is noon Thursday one week

prior to publication. Life & arts

the mokena messenger | November 14, 2019 | 17

High School Art Exhibit highlights fresh talent


LW East student

takes home Best in

Show honor

Laurie Fanelli

Freelance Reporter

From self portraits to

still lives, abstract paintings

to photography, the

Vogt Visual Arts Center

in Tinley Park is featuring

an array of mediums from

talented young artists during

its annual High School

Fine Art Exhibit.

Students from eight

area schools – double last

year’s participation – including

Lincoln-Way Central,

East, and West High

Schools, Victor J. Andrew,

Tinley Park, Bremen,

Oak Forest, and Hillcrest,

which will run through

Nov. 27.

During the exhibit’s

opening reception on the

afternoon of Nov. 2 artists

had the opportunity to

see the work of their peers

while also sharing insight

into their own creations.

Gallery Director Julie

Dekker was struck by

the personal, original and

emotional nature of many

of this year’s submissions.

“It’s very individual

type of work, very expressive.

As always, this group

brings in interesting subject

matter,” Dekker said. “It’s

very personal and evokes

emotion more than some art

we see from adults who are

more representative. That’s

always exciting to see.”

A panel of Vogt Visual

Orland Park resident Rose Skinulis admires a painting

by her great-granddaughter Olivia Freiberg, a Lincoln-

Way Central student, at the Vogt Visual Arts Center on

Nov. 2. Laurie Fanelli/22nd Century Media

Arts Center instructors selected

several pieces from

each school to receive special

recognition awards

and Jessica Selph, a senior

at Lincoln-Way East, took

home the honor of Best in


“It’s a very interesting

piece, very imaginative,”

Dekker said of Selph’s colored

pencil work. “It’s sort

of a little girl with a bunny

mask on, big eyes and she’s

holding two bunches of carrots.

It’s very fantasy driven

and very well done. It’s

a well thought-out piece. It

jumps right at you.”

Lincoln-Way West student

Shawna Gordon

tapped into both her left

and right brain to create

her black and white marker


“I wanted to do something

with depth,” Gordon

said. “Toward the center

you can see that the lines

get closer together and then

[farther] apart going toward

the outside. I like to

play with that kind of thing

along with a sea feeling. It

has these parts on the bottom

and top that are almost

like seaweed and the little

rocks all around play at the

idea of the bottom of an

ocean that’s topsy turvy.”

Tinley Park resident

Stephanie Odubunmi, a

freshman at Andrew, captured

a fleeting moment

of perfect lighting on her

brother David with her

photography submission.

She explained that using

film, rather than digital

photography, makes the

artistic process that much

more enjoyable.

“The process of using

film is very interesting

to me. Digital is like you

just take the photo and it’s

there, but I like seeing it

come along,” Odubunmi

said. “This picture was

taken around five o’clock.

My brother came outside

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Club’s annual Holli-

Daze draws crowd

from across US

Beth Krooswyk

Freelance Reporter

It took 46 years to look

this good.

The Holli-Daze 2019

Arts and Craft show, presented

by the Mokena

Woman’s Club, filled the

Lincoln-Way East fieldhouse,

bustling with 153

vendors and about 4,000

customers over two days,

Oct. 26-27.

“The craft fair has always

been our only fundraiser

for the entire year,”

said Mary MacKenzie,

reservation and applications

co-chair for the Mokena

Woman’s Club.

Yet the first Holli-Daze

craft fair had more humble

beginnings, held in 1973

at what was then Mokena

Middle School.

“That first year, we had

something like 42 exhibitors,”

said Joann Jeffers,

first vice president and

parliamentary advisor

for the Mokena Woman’s


Jeffers even drew up

the first floor plan for that

original event and has

been part of every craft

show since then.

“The concept that you

pay an admission fee to

enter a craft show was a

brand-new idea back then

because people were used

to little craft shows and

church bazaars,” Jeffers

explained, noting that the

money from the vendor

booths covers the show’s

expenses, while the profit

raised from admission fees

goes toward the Club’s

“Artist George” Senediak, of South Haven, Michigan,

offers his vibrant oil paint landscapes at the Mokena

Woman’s Club Holli-Daze Arts and Crafts Show

at Lincoln-Way East High School Oct. 26. Beth

Krooswyk/22nd Century Media

scholarship program and

charitable giving fund.

This year’s exhibitors

displayed all sorts of

eye-catching wares: custom

pillowcases and pillows,

handmade jewelry,

tablerunners and cloth

napkins, holiday décor of

all types, hand-crocheted

and knit hats and scarves,

baby blankets and bibs,

ceramics, ornaments, doll

clothing and furniture,

handcrafted cards, stuffed

animals, wooden signs

and puzzles, metal word

art, artisan chocolates and

fudge, and much more.

“We have crafters who

come from the whole Midwest,

especially Illinois,

Indiana, Michigan and

Wisconsin,” MacKenzie


“Artist George” Senediak

displayed about 25 of

his original large oil-painted

canvases at his booth.

He uses a special knife

technique to create his almost

3-D-like landscapes.

“I’ve been in this business

of designer and artist

for 45 years,” the South

Haven, Michigan, resident

said. “Off and on, I’ve

been coming to this particular

craft fair for 20-25


Gary Provance came

from Naperville to participate

in the Holli-Daze

event. He offered whimsical

decorative light switch

covers of all types —

sports teams, bands, funny

sayings, superheroes and

more — through his Just

Switch It 2 business.

“I’ve been crafting

about eight or nine years,

and this is my fifth year

at this show,” Provance

said. “I find pictures wherever

I can, size them, print

them, then laminate them

on metal switch plates

with three coats of finish.

I always keep a list of people’s

special requests for

future ideas.”

The Mokena Woman’s

Club hosts meetings on the

second Monday of every

month, September through

May, at the Mokena Community

Public Library District,

11327 195th St. For

more information, contact

Club President Kathy Voboril

at (708) 751-0114. mokena

the mokena messenger | November 14, 2019 | 19








4–8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5,

Orland Park Crossing,

14225 95th Ave. Orland Park

Former Charming Charlie's

space (North Pole)

Former The Dailey Method

space (South Pole)



Vendors Include

This event will feature:

• 70+ vendor booths to finish your holiday shopping!

• Santa, Mrs. Claus and an elf - bring your camera

(4-8 p.m.) - North Pole

• Live reindeer (5-8 p.m.) - North Pole

• Live Ice Carving with Chef Michael McGreal

of Joliet Junior College Culinary Arts

(5:30 p.m.) - South Pole

• Sandburg Chamber Singers (5:30-6:30 p.m.)

• Enter to win a chance to see Andy Grammar

LIVE at WeishFest, or Broadway in Chicago tickets!

• Bring a new, unwrapped toy for our Toy Drive!

• Free tote bag to first 200 people, courtesy of

Artistic Med Spa!

• Paint your own ornament with DIY Sign Party ($5-$8)

• Holiday makeovers with Von Maur!

• 22nd Century Media

• 3B’s Mobile Boutique

• A-N-D Bedding

• ARMOR Video & Photo

• Artistic Med Spa

• Avon

• Bare Scrubs by Mary


• Beautycounter

• Between Me, You, and

The Wall

• Brannigan Chiropractic

• ChoVonne Accessories

• Colleen McLaughlin, The

McLaughlin Team, Coldwell

Banker Residential


• Coldwell Banker Residential

Brokerage & Neighborhood


• Color Street - Tracy

Swanson, independent stylist

• Comfy Threads Boutique

• Crafts by Rosemary

• DIY Sign Party


• Dykstra Home Services

• Eagle Sports Range

• Elements by The Odyssey

• Fabulously Sweet Creations

• Four 12 Photography

• Fred Astaire Mokena

• Gemzisle

• Gift Basket by Occasion

• GorJus Whips Body Butter

• Gracie Pie Apothecary

• Hemp Heals Body Shop

• Huaywasi: Handmade in Peru

• Imperfect Produce

• Infinity Scarves by Nancy

• Inspirational Lula Ladies

Tiffany & Sheri (LuLaRoe)

• Inspire Studio Gallery

• Irish Greens

• Jean Lachat Photography

• Jewels 2 U

• Juicy Luzy Sangria

• Just a Spoonful

• Laurie's Fudgelicious


Skin Care

• LegalShield

• Madewithalittlelove

• Mary Kay Cosmetics

• Matilda Jane Clothing

• Mrs. Banton’s Cookies


• Norwex

• Nothing Bundt Cake

• Nuturing through Nature

• Oberweis Dairy Home Delivery

• Paparazzi (Glamour Bijoux)

• Parker James Boutique

• Porter Place Memory Care

• Premier Designs Jewelry

• Rock's #1 Gals Jewelry

• RockNmom Art

• Smart Cake Creations

• Sterk Family Law Group, P.C.

• Surprise Parties

• Tastefully Simple

• The Little Red Donut Truck

• Total Life Changes (TLC)

• Totes & Taggies by Melinda

• Usborne Books & More

• Virtue Cider

• Von Maur

• Wakaya Perfection/CBD/KETO

• Wicks & Wax

• Wine, Spirit, Butterbeer Mixes

• Women’s Healthcare of Illinois

• Young Living Essential Oils

(Oily University)

• Younique


For more information, call (708) 326-9170 ext. 16 or


20 | November 14, 2019 | the mokena messenger dining out

The Dish

Barrel Club more than the sum of its steaks, spirits and stogies

Oak Lawn eatery

switches vibes from

lunch to dinner, focuses

on gatherings

Bill Jones, Managing Editor

At a quick glance, The Barrel

Club looks on paper like

something of a throwback, with

a steak-heavy dinner menu, a

drinks list that leans hard on

bourbon and a showcase of cigar

selections for the smokers.

Make no mistake: Spirits are

the star of the show at The Barrel

Club. From the membership program

that for $39 monthly sends

customers home with different

bottles of the Barrel Club’s spirits

and accessories — think branded

shot glasses, ice ball silicones and

rocks glasses — to a list that rivals

most city establishments for

whiskey enthusiasts, drinks are

undoubtedly the No. 1 attraction

at the Oak Lawn establishment.

But the facade of the building

on 111th Street near Cicero Avenue

is enough to let passersby

know the offerings are more than

first meets the eye. The modern

confines hint at the wines Barrel

Club also proudly offers. A patio

with a fire pit welcomes musical

acts and outdoor loungers alike.

The event spaces are designed to

attract both corporate meetings

and small birthday gatherings

(ask to see The Little Pub). And

the lunch menu caters to a family

crowd more than the nightlife

seekers might otherwise imagine.

Barrel Club strives to be more

than the typical suburban eatery,

Oak Lawn’s Barrel Club offers sandwiches during its lunch hours,

including the pictured Barrel Dip ($14), featuring shaved rib-eye on

a French roll, with giardiniera, au jus and horseradish cream.

and it strives to please a lot of

different people in the process.

As Director of Operations

April Koerber, an Orland Parker,

puts it, “It’s downtown dining on

the south side of Chicago. The

food looks like a masterpiece.”

Behind that food is executive

chef Carlos DeLeon, who approaches

an ingredient-focused

menu with a “less is best on the

plate” philosophy.

“The products that we use here

are great,” he said.

They use Duke’s mayonnaise,

for instance, simply because,

DeLeon said, “It’s delicious, the

king of mayos.”

Diners will find that on the

lobster roll ($16), which Koerber

cites as a favorite for the simplicity

of its Maine lobster, mayo,

Old Bay and brioche.

The kitchen at Barrel Club

also takes the time to make its

own creme fraiche — a threeday

process. And the roasted

chicken (for 2, $29) — which is

sliced in front of customers —

goes through a 48-hour process.

“What you get out of it is a

crisp, seasoned-all-the-waythrough

chicken,” DeLeon said.

Among the sandwich standouts

for the lunch crowd is the

Cuban ($13), featuring pork carnitas,

smoked ham, Chihuahua

cheese, dill pickle and mustard

on a telera roll.

“Its not a traditional Cuban, but

it’s damn close,” DeLeon said.

The restaurant also has some

fun mixing influences with items

like the potato and cheese pierogies

($9), which feature Yukon

Gold potatoes and Chihuahua

cheese for a combination that is

part Polish, part Mexican, according

to DeLeon. Giardiniera

finds its way into Barrel Club’s

chopped salad ($13) for a distinct

Chicago tweak to the classic.

The Barrel Club’s Traces of Buffalo whiskey flight ($22) is one of 10

that offer guests tastes of three different spirits — in this case W.L.

Weller Special Reserve, E.H. Taylor Small Batch and George Stagg Jr.

— alongside optional bitters. Photos by Bill Jones/22nd Century Media

The Barrel Club

4910 W. 111th St. in Oak Lawn

Kitchen Hours

• Lunch: 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.


• Brunch: 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.


• Dinner: 4-10 p.m. daily

Bar Hours

• 10 a.m.-midnight Sunday-


• 10 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday-


For more information ...


Phone: (708) 581-3357

And gluten-free and vegetarians

diners are not forgotten, with

options for both highlighted on

the menus.

“You just try to keep it balanced

for people with allergies,”

DeLeon said.

The Barrel Club maintains

membership with the Orland Park

Area Chamber of Commerce, and

Koerber, who previously worked

with several businesses in Orland

Park, said she made the jump for

a new opportunity to work with a

restaurant that does a spirits club.

It also gives her the opportunity

to continue to organize events,

including benefits for local organizations

Barrel Club has done

since its recent opening.

Koerber said she has enjoyed the

new role because Barrel Club tries

to create a “wow factor” for its customers,

whether that’s an elderly

group doing an early lunch, whiskey

fanatics working their way

through the spirits selection or executives

looking to impress clients.

“It’s really personal,” she said.

“And they want that personalized


lw art

From Page 17

and I saw the light. I told him to

look this way and I took the picture.”

The result is a beautiful portrait

with shadows and lights

working together to reveal hints

of the subject’s personality.

Crosshatching, acrylic painting

and digital photography were

also popular mediums of this

year’s high school show.

Following the High School

Fine Art Exhibit, the Vogt Visual

Arts Center is getting ready for

the holidays with its highly-anticipated

Model Train exhibit.

“It’s time for our model train

show,” Dekker said. “Our dollhouse

and miniatures show has

morphed into a model train exhibit

and it’s gotten really popular.

This year we’re excited

because we have several new

layouts. We’re changing it all

around. We have new participants

so it’s going to be a little

bit bigger and I’m really excited

about it.”

The High School Fine Art

Exhibit will be on display until

Nov. 27 and the opening reception

for the Trains and Miniatures

Exhibit will be held from

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 7 and

from noon until 5 p.m. on Dec.

8 to coincide with Downtown

Tinley Park’s Holiday Market.

The Vogt Visual Arts Center is

located at 17420 67th Court. For

more information, visit tinleyp puzzles

the mokena messenger | November 14, 2019 | 21

crosstown CROSSWORD & Sudoku The crosstowns: Frankfort, Homer Glen, Lockport, Mokena, New Lenox, Orland Park, Tinley Park

Crossword by Myles Mellor and Cindy LaFleur


1. Some Brit. sports


4. Trademarks, abbr.

7. Pandowdy, e.g.

10. Birchbark

13. ‘’__ a Lady’’ (Tom

Jones tune)

14. Epithet for the


15. LTHS 2019 Jackson

Award winner,

technology teacher,

Jeff ____

16. Official doc.

17. Regal Norse name

18. At first light

19. Make ___ while the

sun shines

20. ___ gratias

21. Way back when

23. Lucy of “Charlie’s

Angels,” 2000

25. Human blood classification

28. __ Zeppelin

29. Abe Vigoda, in

“The Godfather”

30. Conservative


32. Railroad employee

35. Welcome rugs

39. Australian jumper,

for short

40. Fund-raising suffix

41. Jealous

44. Tyrant

45. Dig in

47. Do-say link

50. Wore away

51. Land of opportunity

53. “____ into Lockport”

- classic car


55. The tone “G”

57. Van Gogh: “___


59. Gets licked

60. The Adamsons’ cat

62. Border on

63. Mindless

64. Epitome of redness

65. Flower receptacle

66. Do watercolors

67. Some degs.

68. UFO crew

69. Vegas opener


1. 1990s-2000s TV


2. Car storage locale

3. Wheezed

4. “___-Team”

5. Actress Streep

6. Jet that was retired

in 2003

7. Northern California


8. Personal statement


9. Post delivery:


11. Certain hooters

12. Ethereal singer,

and namesakes

13. Academic types

14. Defendant called


20. Silver coin

22. Chipper

24. Practice suffix

26. “Très ___!”

27. Dinghy propeller

31. Fireplace remains

33. Money to the

bottom line, abbr.

34. Pigeon pen

35. Bubbly name

36. Estimates value

37. Coffee stirrer

38. Capital of South


41. Handheld

42. Ave. crossers

43. Musical talent

46. Holland export

47. Attack

48. Reddish brown

49. Atlas features

52. Chance for a hit

54. College in New

Rochelle, New York

56. Cereal grain

58. Weak one

60. Go down

61. Meadow (Brit.)

62. 5th ___

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 1-9.

LEVEL: Medium

Crossword by Myles Mellor and Susan Flanagan



The Alley Grill and Tap


(18700 S. Old LaGrange

Road, Mokena; (708)


■9 ■ p.m. Tuesdays:


Fox’s Restaurant and Pub

(11247 W. 187th St.,

Mokena; (708) 478-


■6 ■ p.m. Thursdays,

Fridays and Saturdays:

Performance by Jerry



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-


■7 ■ p.m. Wednesdays:



Pete Mitchell’s Bar & Grill

(21000 Frankfort

Square Road, Frankfort;

(815) 464-8100)

■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

Strike N Spare II

(811 Northern Drive,

Lockport; (708) 301-


■9:30 ■ p.m.-12:30 a.m.

Mondays: Quartermania


Traverso’s Restaurant

(15601 S. Harlem Ave.,

Orland Park; (708) 532-


■8 ■ p.m. Wednesdays

and Saturdays: Karaoke

To place an event

in The Scene, email



22 | November 14, 2019 | the mokena messenger local living local living

the mokena messenger | November 14, 2019 | 23

If you are looking for the perfect ranch home

at a great price, look no more. Ranch Villas at

Keating Point, in the Village of Channahon,

offers ranch homes that are both beautiful and


These unique, detached townhomes feature

two bedrooms and two baths in 1,308 to 1,621

square feet. Each comes equipped with a full

basement, two-car attached garage, brick fronts,

and central air.

These Ranch Villas start in the $230’s and

boast an association fee of just $140 per month.

We offer five floorplans for you to choose from.

Do you long for a little more time to yourself?

For more family moments, too?

Luxury Ranch Detached Townhomes

Immediate Move-Ins. • Maintenance-Free Living

Starting from the $230’s

Maintenance-free living at The Ranch Villas at

Keating Pointe is our solution to your problem.

In one of our ranch townhomes, you can finally

wave goodbye to the chores that gobble up your

precious time. All exterior and landscaping

maintenance is done for you, including snow

removal. If you’ve had enough of cleaning

gutters, mowing the lawn, and shoveling the

driveway, you’re ready to take the next step.

The photos in this article feature The Roma,

one of the floorplans you can choose from for

your new ranch home. This 1,467 sq. ft. design

features two bedrooms and two baths. Plus,

you’ll get a flex room to use as you see fit.

Office? Guest room?You tell us. The Roma also

features ceilings that reach nine feet high and a

large kitchen with included appliances. You’ll

enjoy an impressively roomy feel, bounty of


Speaking of convenience, a basement, two-car

attached garage, and patio are included. The

Roma starts in the low $240’s, delivering quality

in its construction and price tag.

Looking to move into a new home sometime

soon? Our ranch homes also feature quick

delivery homes. These quick delivery homes

have move-in dates as early as this fall.

To learn more about our detached ranch

townhomes, give us a call at (815) 290-5303 or

go to

Immediate Move-Ins • Maintenance-Free Living

24 | November 14, 2019 | the mokena messenger real estate

Sept. 12

• 19132 S. Richard

Ave., Mokena, 60448-

8702 - Marc D. Nesci to

Pat C. Diorio, $307,500

• 11046 Quail Drive,

Mokena, 60448-8290

- Robert W. Holzhauser

to Walter Tyler, Karyl J.

Tyler, $243,000

• 19537 116th Ave.

D, Mokena, 60448-

1849 - Jim Kupiec to

Nathanael Beeson,


• 11618 Roberts St.

7, Mokena, 60448-

1809 - Scott Robert

Baumgartner to Jason

E. Potacki, $112,000

Sept. 13

• 19511 Catulpa St.,

Mokena, 60448-8911 -

James Crilly to Raj Soni,


The Going Rate is provided

by Record Information

Services, Inc. For more

information, visit www. or call

(630) 557-1000.




For more info visit classifieds

the mokena messenger | November 14, 2019 | 25


Help Wanted · Garage Sales · Automotive

Real Estate · Rentals · Merchandise

School Bus Drivers Wanted

Homer School District 33C

seeks quality individuals

to join our family of

school bus drivers.

$17.42/hr. + full benefits


Training provided.

Call (708) 226-7625

or visit

employment tab

Hiring Desk Clerk

(must be flexible w/ shifts)

& Housekeeping


Needed at Super 8 Motel

Apply within:

9485 W. 191st St, Mokena

No Phone Calls

Van-Go Transportation

Looking for Drivers and

One-on-One Aids

for Special Needs Van

Bus Driver permit a plus,

but will train

Great part-time job with

great pay: $14-$18/hour

(815) 931-2880



1003 Help Wanted

Cashiers Wanted for

Microsoft Computer Registers

$10.00/hr to start, 6 week raise

Paid vacation, Winter bonus

15% employee discount

Never work past 9:00pm!

Must be 18 years and older

No phone calls! Apply in store:

Sox Outlet 6220 W. 159th St.

Oak Forest, IL

Medical Office in

Orland Park seeks P/T,

licensed medical X-ray

technician for 1 day/wk.

Fax resume to 708.460.9254

or email

Alvernia Manor Senior Living

is now hiring 3 positions

- CNA to work all shifts

- Activity aide, part-time

Call to apply: 630-257-7721

Production Worker

No Experience Necessary

No Evenings or Weekends

Located in Mokena place


Classified Ad!


1021 Lost &


Sell It 708.326.9170

Fax It 708.326.9179

Charge It


Friday at 3pm

1027 Arts and Craft Fairs



4 lines/

7 papers

1023 Caregiver

Heaven Sent Caregivers

Professional caregiving

service. 24 hr or hourly

services; shower or bath

visits. Licensed & bonded.

Try the best! 708.638.0641

1037 Prayer / Novena

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin

Oh, most beautiful flower of

Mt. Carmel, fruitful vine,

splendor of Heaven, Blessed

Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate

Virgin, assist me in

my necessity. 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 beseech you from

the bottom of my heart to succor

me in this necessity. There

are none that can withstand

your power. Oh show me

herein you are my mother. Oh

Mary, conceived without sin,

pray for us who have recourse

to thee (3x). Holy Mother, I

place this cause in your hands.

Miraculous Prayer

Dear heart of Jesus in the past

I have asked for favors.

This time I ask you for this

very special one (mention

Favor). Take it dear Jesus and

place it within your own

broken heart where your father

sees it then in your merciful

eyes it will become your favor

not mine. Amen. - Tom





Help Wanted

per line $13

4 lines/

7 papers

1042 Pets Wanted

Looking for young, adult

Schnauzer. Housebroken, preferably

male. Can guarantee a

loving home! Contact afternoons

only 708-590-6243


1069 Antique


1948 Plymouth Deluxe

4-Door Sedan

Radio, Spotlight,

Shop-Manual Included

Last Driven 1985

Garage Kept

Asking for $2000

(708) 532-4117

1074 Auto for


1995 Honda Del Sol

New tires, 103k miles

$2250 OBO


1996 Chevrolet Suburban

Custom Lights

Engine/Trans/Brakes Great.

Pull Any Trailer.

160K mileage. $2000

Call (815) 464-8866

1077 Tractor for


For Sale to Good Home or

Collector: Antique tractor,

1938 Allis Chalmers

Model WC. Runs great,

have to see to appreciate!

$1,200 708-821-7311





in the


people turn

to first CALL US TODAY: 708.326.9170

Real Estate


7 lines/

7 papers



4 lines/

7 papers

Real Estate

1090 House for


Beautiful Custom

Home in

Silo Ridge Estates

$975,000 call Whitney

Wang 312-857-4658

Prospect Equities Real Estate

1091 Condo for


Mokena, Condo FSBO

2bd/1ba, $99,900

Excellent conidtion! new

carpeting, electric heat,

wall ac, carpet/tile,

shower/tub, dishwasher,

parking in lot, For

info/pics call 708-479-9655


1225 Apartments

for Rent


Wills Apartments

1 Bedroom apt. $ 850

2 Bedroom apt. $ 980



1226 Townhouses

for Rent

3 bed/2bath townhouse with

garage completed remodeled

in 2011, hardwoods

downstairs new appliances

Pheseant Ridge Mokena

1st/last, plus deposit $1,250

month 630-660-4889

26 | November 14, 2019 | the mokena messenger classifieds


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

Business Directory

2003 Appliance Repair




• Air Conditioning • Furnaces

Refrigeration • Dishwashers

Stoves & Ovens • Microwaves

Garbage Disposals


Family Owned &Operatedsince 1986

Someone you can TRUST


BEST price in town!


2004 Asphalt Paving/Seal Coating


Handling your entire Family’shousing needs for over 15 years.

• Your listing advertised on all major websites

• Instant feedback- weekly updates

• Professional photography- aerial shots too

• Discounts to all teachers, senior citizens,

veterans, 1st responders, doctors & nurses.


Bob Haustein

Lincoln-Way Resident • Remax 1st Service

Call, Text or Email


Advertise your


in the newspaper

people turn to first

CALL US TODAY: 708.326.9170

2006 Basement Waterproofing place your

Classified Ad!

708.326.9170 classifieds

the mokena messenger | November 14, 2019 | 27


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

2011 Brick/Chimney Experts

2025 Concrete Work

2080 Firewood



Seasoned Mixed


$120.00 per FC

Free Stacking &


708 856 5422


2032 Decking


Deck & Fence

Repair, Rebuild or


Make It Safe - Make it Sturdy

708 479 9035

2070 Electrical







(708) 478-8269

2090 Flooring


Landscape Services!

Get Your Firewood

Early This Year

FREE Local Delivery

Contact us at



Visit our website

2060 Drywall


*Hanging *Taping

*New Homes



Call Greg At:


2017 Cleaning Services

Barb’s Cleaning


We clean your home the

way YOU want it

cleaned! Good

Quality, Professional,

Reliable, and


Please call for









in the




2080 Firewood

2110 Gutter Systems place


Classified Ad!







28 | November 14, 2019 | the mokena messenger classifieds

2120 Handyman

2120 Handyman

2132 Home Improvement

2130 Heating/Cooling

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 classifieds

the mokena messenger | November 14, 2019 | 29

2135 Insulation


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

2150 Paint & Decorating

2170 Plumbing

2140 Landscaping



Interior / Exterior

Fast, Neat Painting


Wallpaper Removal


Free Estimates

20% Off with this ad








in the




2170 Plumbing

2150 Paint & Decorating

2200 Roofing place your

Classified Ad!


30 | November 14, 2019 | the mokena messenger classifieds


Help Wanted · Garage Sales · Automotive

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34 | November 14, 2019 | the mokena messenger sports

Youth Sports


Loss to JCA ends Providence

volleyball’s best run since 2005

Mokena Junior High’s boys cross country team competed at the IESA state meet.

Team members included Vince Demma, Sam Simone, Korey Cagnolatti, Matthew

Bettenhausen, Braden Meyer, Jackson Meyer and Noah Sloane. Photos submitted

Area cross country runners

compete at IESA state meet

STEVE MILLAR, Sports Editor

Several athletes from local

junior highs qualified

for the Illinois Elementary

School Association state

cross country meet, which

was held Oct. 19 at Maxwell

Park in Normal.

Leading the way among

area runners was Mokena

Junior High eighth-grader

Vince Demma, who finished

sixth in the Class

2A boys race, finishing the

two-mile race in 10 minutes,

51.2 seconds.

“It was Vince’s best

race of the year,” Mokena

coach Rick West said.

“It was the first time he

went under 11 [minutes].

It was definitely his best

performance at the right


Mokena Junior High

qualified its boys team

to state for the first time

in seven years, and finished

22nd. In addition to

Demma, Mokena runners

Summit Hill Junior High cross country runners who

qualified for state were (from left) Makayla Kelly, Kara

Waishwell and Mia Hedrick.

included Sam Simone, Korey

Cagnolatti, Matthew

Bettenhausen, Braden

Meyer, Jackson Meyer and

Noah Sloane.

“It was nice to get the

whole boys team down

there,” West said. “It was

exciting, it’s tough to even

place at sectional. Our girls

almost made it, but we got

three down individually.

So we had 10 kids, it was

really nice.”

Gabriella Bush, Marissa

Culver and Taylor White

were the girls qualifiers

from Mokena.

The girls team from

Hickory Creek Middle

School in Frankfort finished

ninth in Class 3A.

Hickory Creek’s runners

were Maura Hanrahan,

Ava Conway, Ellie Feigl,

Kylie Lamonto, Katie

O’Brien, Riley Drzewiecki

and Elyse Defrank.

Summit Hill Junior

High in Frankfort also had

three girls compete at state

in Mia Hedrick, Makayla

Kelly and Kara Waishwell.

STEVE MILLAR, Sports Editor

This Week In




■Nov. ■ 19 – hosts Joliet

Central, 6:30 p.m.


■Nov. ■ 14 – hosts Stagg at

Laraway Lanes, 4:30 p.m.

■Nov. ■ 16 – Lake Park Invite

at Stardust Bowl, 10 a.m.

■Nov. ■ 18 – T.F. South at

Providence was playing

its best volleyball of

the year at the right time,

storming through its first

three playoff matches with


The Celtics won all three

in straight sets, and never

let an opponent reach 20


That included a 25-19,

25-18 stomping of Marian

Catholic in the Class 3A

Joliet Catholic Sectional

semifinal Nov. 4, an especially

impressive result

considering Marian’s history

of success the last decade,

including a 3A state

championship in 2016.

The Spartans also beat

Providence earlier in the


“We’ve been really on

lately, and I think it’s because

we know we’ve put

in all this work,” junior

Gillian Peterson said after

the Marian win “We know

we can come out here and

beat any of these teams if

we play our ‘A’ game.”

Providence earned its

way into a sectional final

for the first time since

2005. But the Celtics ran

into Joliet Catholic in its

own gym in the championship

match, and the

Angels’ postseason experience

and homecourt advantage

proved too much

to overcome.

Joliet Catholic won its

11th sectional title in the

last 17 years with a 25-

21, 25-20 victory over the

Celtics on Nov. 6.

Providence has still not

won a sectional championship

since 2001.

“I think the crowd really

made a difference,” Providence

senior Izabela Gorys

said. “It was just a lot

of mental things for us. We

played our hearts out, and

I’m really proud of every

single one of our girls.”

Peterson had seven kills

to lead the Celtics (23-17).

Juliana Warfield added six

and Gorys had five.

After dropping the opening

set, Providence stormed

out to a 12-4 lead in the second,

behind three kills from

Warfield and strong serving

from Abby Lab, Gorys and

Kailey Labuda.

Joliet Catholic (24-14),

though, countered with an

11-2 run to take a 15-14

lead. After the stunning

swing, Providence never

led again.

In the win over Marian,

Gorys and Warfield

Lynwood Lanes, 4:30 p.m.


■Nov. ■ 16 – hosts LW

Central Sectional, 9 a.m.




■Nov. ■ 19 – hosts Maine

South, 6 p.m.

■Nov. ■ 20 – at Marist

Thanksgiving Tournament,


led with eight kills each,

Peterson had six kills,

Labuda and Vittoria Conte

added 11 digs each, and

Lab had 10 assists.

Opportunities increase for


Lincoln-Way East

graduate Nick Allegretti

stepped in at right guard

during the Kansas City

Chiefs’ 35-32 loss to the

Tennessee Titans on Sunday,

Nov. 10. Allegretti

got his opportunity to play

a significant number of

snaps after a pair of injuries

on the offensive line.

Fellow Chiefs lineman

Andrew Wylie said Allegretti

“had a gleam in his

eye,” according to Chiefs


Knights bowlers fifth

in season-opening


Lincoln-Way Central’s

boys bowling team

opened the season with a

fifth-place showing at the

Naperville Central Baker

Kickoff Classic.

The Knights qualified

for the tournament’s Gold

Division, then fired 2,272

over 12 Baker games to

finish fifth as Glenbard

East (2,506) won the event.


■Nov. ■ 14 – hosts Sandburg

at Thunder Bowl, 4:30 p.m.

■Nov. ■ 19 – hosts Stagg at

Thunder Bowl, 4:30 p.m.


■Nov. ■ 16 – hosts Class 8A

quarterfinal vs. H-F, 1 p.m.


■Nov. ■ 16 – at LW Central

Sectional, 9 a.m. sports

the mokena messenger | November 14, 2019 | 35

Athlete of the Week

10 Questions

with Kevin Conway

Mokena native Kevin

Conway is a junior quarterback

on the Providence

football team.

How long have you

been playing football

and how did you get


I’ve been playing since

kindergarten. I started

with flag football until, I

think, third grade, and then

I started tackle in fourth.

My dad actually played at

Mount Carmel and won

state there, so football has

always been a big thing in

my family. I always would

play football with my dad

on the side of the house.

What did your dad

think of you going to

Providence and not

Mount Carmel?

He always told me just

to go where I wanted to

go and of course he was

going to support me wherever

I went. Plus, at the

time when I was deciding

where to go, Mount Carmel

was running the triple

option. So, why would I


got into that offense? It obviously

didn’t really fit me

as a quarterback.

What do you like so

much about football?

I like the whole family

bonding that you have

with your team. I don’t

think there’s another sport

that brings people so close

together. I’ve played baseball

and basketball, too,

but football is just different.

It’s always been number

one for me.

Have you always

Steve Millar/22nd Century


played quarterback?

No, I didn’t start until

seventh or eighth grade. I

was always a running back

before that. My dad was a

running back. I didn’t think

I’d ever be fast enough to

be a running back at the

next level, so I wanted to

try quarterback. I still run a

lot, though. I love running

the football.

What does it take to

play quarterback?

What it really comes

down to is first you have

to understand your entire

offense and know that like

the back of your hand.

Then, you have to be able

to look up and read coverages

and know who is going

to be open. Knowing

all that makes everything

else so much easier.

Do you have any

pregame routines?

I listen to music to get

pumped up. Also, my

coach always sends me the

[play-calling] script and I

draw it all out before the

game to get ready.

If you could be

anybody else for a

day, who would you

want to be?

Tom Brady. He has everything.

It’d be really fun

to live that life for a day.

You’re stranded on a

deserted island and

can have an endless

supply of one food.

What do you pick?

Steak, probably filet mignon.

I love steak and it’s

usually expensive, so if I

can have an endless supply,

that’d be great. Crab

would be good, too.

What is your favorite


“Lone Survivor.” It’s

crazy how close those four

guys were and how they

had each other’s backs no

matter what.

If a movie was being

made about your life,

who would play you?

You know Kevin from

“Home Alone”? I’d say

him [Macaulay Culkin],

but at my age.

Interview conducted by

Sports Editor Steve Millar.

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the mokena messenger | November 14, 2019 | 37


Vaughn unstoppable as Providence ends Crete-Monee’s undefeated season


Freelance Reporter

On Saturday, Nov. 9,

Aaron Vaughn ran into

some old friends — and

past them, around them

and through them.

Providence’s sophomore

running back, who is from

Crete, ran wild to help

end the season of Crete-

Monee, which rostered

many of Vaughn’s friends.

So does he feel bad

about that?

“A little bit,” he said

before pausing. “Well, not

really. It’s business.”

Vaughn made sure the

host Celtics took care of

business as he ran 26 times

for 366 yards and scored

four touchdowns. His

career-best performance

helped Providence pull

away from the Warriors

for an unforgettable 61-37

victory in a Class 6A second-round

playoff game in

New Lenox.

There were nearly 900

combined yards of offense

in the game. The 61

points are the second most

in Providence postseason

history. The record is 68

in a shutout of Fenger in a

first-round playoff game in


The Celtics (8-3) are now

19-1 in second-round playoff

games, including 9-0 at

home in the past 25 years.

They will host another undefeated

team – Glenwood

(11-0), from downstate

Chatham, in a quarterfinal.

Crete-Monee (10-1), the

2018 6A state runner-up,

was hoping to make its

fourth state title game appearance

in the past eight

seasons. But Vaughn had

other ideas. Even if he was

anxious about them.

“I was nervous,” Vaughn

said. “I came out and felt

like I was going to puke.

These were the guys I grew

up with. I knew them and

they knew me. I couldn’t

sleep [Friday] night. I

woke up at six [Saturday

morning] and I was going

to sleep until eight.”

Those nerves didn’t matter

much as Vaughn scored

on runs of three, 65, 42 and

33 yards. The final two of

those came in the last 1:44

of the game as the Celtics

capped it off by scoring the

final 21 points.

“Every time they [the

Providence’s Aaron Vaughn breaks off a big run as the

Celtics’ sideline cheers him on Saturday, Nov. 9, in New

Lenox. Vaughn ran for 366 yards and four touchdowns

in Providence’s 61-37 win. BOB KLEIN/22ND CENTURY MEDIA

Warriors] scored I told

our guys, ‘That’s OK,”

Vaughn said. “We will just

score again and add to our

stats. We have the best offensive

line in the state and

they showed that.”

Indeed, the all-senior offensive

line of Tre Allen,

Adam Banathy, Michael

Charnot, Oliver Cox, and

Jake Renfro, along with

junior tight end Jameson

Geers, helped lead the way

as 481 of the Celtics 589

total yards came on the


But in a game where

Vaughn was the star, it was

a handoff by him that led

to the most important play

of the game.

Crete-Monee had cut the

Celtics’ lead to 40-37 with

8:48 to play on a 50-yard

TD run by Trayvon Rudolph.,

the quarterback’s

fourth touchdown run of

the game.

On the ensuing possession,

Providence had a

third-and-16 from its own

49. Junior quarterback

Kevin Conway had left the

game moments before after

taking a big hit. Vaughn

lined up at quarterback

in the Wildcat formation

Crete-Monee At Providence

1 2 3 4 F

Crete-Monee 3 13 8 13 37

Providence 7 17 10 27 61


1. Aaron Vaughn, Providence, sophomore running back:

26 carries - 366 yards, four TD’s of 3, 65, 42 and 33


2. Trayvon Rudolph, Crete-Monee senior quarterback: 23

carries - 201 yards, four TD’s of 38, 40, 1 and 50

yards. Also 12-of-19 passing for 83 yards.

3. Kevin Conway, Providence, junior quarterback; 20 carries

- 96 yards, three TD’s of 7, 1 and 1 yards. Also 4-of-6

passing for 108 yards, including a 66-yard TD pass to

Lucas Porto.

and handed it off to Kevin

Countryman, who ran 18

yards for a first down.

Countryman, a senior

defensive back who had an

interception earlier in the

game, was playing offense

for the first time this season.

Conway came back in

and scored on a 1-yard run

with 3:53 remaining to up

the lead to 47-37.

Conway ran 20 times

for 96 yards, including TD

runs of 7, 1 and 1 yards.

He was 4-of-6 passing for


Up Next: Providence hosts Glenwood (11-0) in a Class 6A


108 yards, including a 66-

yard TD pass to senior Lucas


“I came in with an injured

ankle, but on that play

I got clobbered in the ribs,”

Conway said of leaving the

game. “I just needed to take

a play or two off. No, I have

never played in a game like

this. But our tough schedule

prepared us for it.

“Still, it was insane. But

[Vaughn] did the greatest

job I’ve ever seen by a running


Our staff’s predictions for the top games in the quarterfinals of the playoffs

There are still just two teams left from our area

– Providence and Lincoln-Way East. Could we

see two teams in the state title game in DeKalb

two days after belching up our Thanksgiving Day

meals? It is a possibility.



Thomas Czaja |


• LWE 27, Homewood-Flossmoor

24. Vikings will give Griffins their

closest game of the season in

rematch, but East handles them

again to advance.

• Providence 35, Chatham Glenwood

28. Celtics have proven time and

again to throw out the records this

time of year – they know how to

make a postseason run.




Sean Hastings |

Contributing Editor

• LW East 34, Homewood-Flossmoor

28. Griffins win battle of two area


• Providence 24, Chatham Glenwood

14. Celtics utilize home-field



GameS of the Week

• Homewood-Flossmoor (10-1) at LW East (11-0)

• Chatham Glenwood (11-0) at Providence (8-3)

Jeff Vorva |

Sports Editor

• LWE 35, Homewood-Flossmoor 14. A

rematch of the regular season Game

of the Century should receive plenty

of hype, but Griffs’ are refocused

after being shut out in second half

against Niles Notre Dame.

• Providence 28, Chatham Glenwood

23. Hay, Hay! Coach Dave Hay of

Glenwood brings in a spiffy 34-9 career

record but the Celtics should send

him home with double digit losses

after a fun game in New Lenox.

Steve Millar |

Sports Editor

• LWE 31, Homewood-Flossmoor 20.

East QB Kyle Quinn did not play

in the regular season win over the

Vikings. He will throw a couple of

TD passes in this one to get the

Griffins back into the semifinals.

• Providence 31, Chatham Glenwood

28. Beating undefeated teams in

back-to-back weeks is a tough task,

but if the Celtics offense keeps

rolling, they can pull it off.

Joe Coughlin |


• LWE 24, Homewood-Flossmoor 14.

Griffins defense answers the call

against familiar foe.

• Providence 45, Chatham Glenwood

38. Celtics are on fire and outscore

another big-time opponent.

Heather Warthen |

Chief Marketing Officer

• LWE 24, Homewood-Flossmoor 21.

Griffins continue hot streak and

close out the Vikings’ season.

• Providence 28, Chatham Glenwood

21. Home-field advantage does the

Celtics good as they continue their

playoff march.

38 | November 14, 2019 | the mokena messenger sports

Kreis pushes hard, finishes fifth in historic state meet



Freelance Reporter

It was the fastest cross

country race ever ran

on the famed Detweiller

course in Peoria at the

IHSA state cross country

finals, and Lincoln-Way

Central’s Jared Kreis had

no regrets.

Josh Methner, of

Hersey, broke Craig Virgin’s

course record of 13

minutes, 50 seconds set

in 1972, running 13:49

on Saturday, Nov. 9. The

record had a magical connotation

for many in the


Kreis, a senior who was

in second place the first

half of the race, was satisfied

with his effort and his

fifth-place finish, running


It was the best finish

ever for a Central runner,

topping the sixth-place

showing from Mark Battista

in 2006.

“I was really surprised

that Josh [Methner] took

it out so hard,” Kreis said.

“He went for the record

and it was really fast from

the start. But I have no

regrets because I went after

it also. It was fun and

I can look back and not

have any what ifs. It’s

pretty good to finish in

fifth place.”

The Knights placed

23rd as a team and Kreis,

a Duke recruit, was the

only senior among the

five runners who scored.

Sophomore Caden Simone

finished 132nd, freshman

Nolan Sams 158th, freshman

Connor LeBeau 184th

and junior Jay Parker was


“Jared went out after it

and he knew what he had

to do because he is such a

great student of the sport,”

Knights coach John Taylor

said. “This team had a

great mix of guys this year

and we are young.

“Our younger guys

learned a lot today and

they ran well and when

you do that in the biggest

meet of the year that is all

you can ask.”

Lincoln-Way East finished

in 25th and is in a

similar situation as Central

with a very young team.

East was led by sophomore

Nolan Rogers in

153rd. He was followed

by junior Nolan Enright

(190th), and freshmen Justin

Falejczyk (193rd), Jack

Roberts (208th) and Gerry

Cushing (209th).

The Griffins were without

one of the best runners

in the state, as senior Brett

Gardner could not run because

of a left leg injury.

After finishing second in

the sectional meet, Gardner

knew there was something


“I felt something before

the race but didn’t think

much about it, but coach

[Ross Widinski] and I

talked and he just said run

to qualify. He told me during

the race that our team

was qualified, so I backed

off, but after the race I

knew something wasn’t

right. It was different than

I had ever felt before and

runners know their bodies

well and I knew this

wasn’t good.

“I didn’t want anyone to

know until after the visit to

the doctor on Monday and

it was a stress reaction in

my lower leg. I feel bad

and it’s frustrating not to

run here, but I’d rather be

out four weeks than four


Gardner shifted to a

cheerleading and coaching


Lincoln-Way Central’s Jared Kreis receives his All-State medal after finishing fifth in

the Class 3A state cross country race Saturday, Nov. 9. Clark Brooks/PhotoNews Media

Junior Merrigan Allen led the Lincoln-Way Central girls team with a 45th-place finish

in the Class 3A state cross country race. 22nd Century Media file photo.

“This entire weekend

I’ve been excited for our

team and I’m here to help

them anyway I can,” he

said. “It’s different and

I’m taking this entire experience

of being here

from a different perspective.

I know that if I get

healthy my hard work will

pay off down the road and

hopefully that will be [next

spring] in track.”

Central placed 22nd as

a team in the girls race

and received a 45th-place

finish from junior Merrigan

Allen (17:45). Senior

Rachel Baumgartner

followed in 75th (18:06).

Junior Catherine Ihrke

(136th), junior Colleen

Erdman (174th) and freshman

Emma Olson (186th)

rounded out the scorers.

“I’m so happy with my

race today,” Allen said.

“All the hard work has

paid off and hopefully

this will now carry over to

track. Last year being here

and getting sick just days

before the race really motivated

me to do so much

better this year and it’s sort

of redemption for getting

sick last year.”

Ihrke — who Knights

coach Ryan Stapinski said

has improved as much as

anyone on the team — was

extremely happy with her

race and the state meet experience.

“It was fun,” Ihrke said.

“I came through the mile

faster than I ever have and

I thought to myself If I

feel this good going this

fast, I might as well keep


“It’s a mindset that you

can do this, and our team

is really close. We have

great chemistry together

and really help each other

and I’m looking forward to

more of this next year.”

Stapinski said there was

a lot for the Knights to be

proud of.

“I’m very pleased with

our performance,” Stapinski

said. “Merrigan ran so

well and Rachel went out

after it today. Everyone did

their best and how can you

not be happy with that, this

meet is what it’s about.”

Lincoln-Way East

sophomore Kate Guderjan

placed 142nd but suffered

a fall in the first half-mile

of the race according to

coach Wendy Hegarty.

Providence had one individual

in the girls 2A

race as Emma Kulpinski

finished 163rd. sports

the mokena messenger | November 14, 2019 | 39


Steve Millar/22nd Century


1st and 3

three notes on


which is set to begin

monday, nov. 18

1. LW Central

The Knights look to

improve on a 13-15

season in 2018-

19 behind senior

sharpshooter Regan

LoConte (above)

and junior Haley

Stoklosa. Junior

Megan Hutchinson

is a multi-sport

standout who stars

in soccer.

2. LW East

The Griffins must

replace some key

pieces from a 19-10

team in 2018-19.

Olivia Molnar and

Reilly Sheehan have

some experience at

guard. Senior Andie

Perch is an inside

presence at 6-foot-1.

3. Providence

The Celtics have a

strong trio of starters

back from a GCAC

White championship

squad: Lauren

Knight, Ashley

Raymer and Claire



Henning, defense help Griffins overcome up-and-down performance


Freelance Reporter

If onlookers had not

checked the scoreboard

minutes after Lincoln-

Way East’s 23-13 victory

over Niles Notre Dame in

a Class 8A second-round

game on Saturday, Nov. 9,

it could have easily looked

like the Griffins were lamenting

a loss.

But after a second half

that saw the Dons outscore

East 13-0, the players and

coaches in cobalt blue

openly took accountability

for the up-and-down performance.

“As well as we played in

the first half was as poorly

as we did in the second,”

East coach Rob Zvonar

said, while also giving

credit to Notre Dame for

the second-half performance.

“They could have

folded at halftime, but

they came back out and

competed. If you look at

the box score, we lost the

second half 13-0. Our guys

know that if that happens

next week, it’ll be the last


“We’ve got a lot of

things we have to look at

in the second half and kind

of figure out why that happened.

Hopefully, we’ll

figure it out, so history

doesn’t repeat itself.”

The Griffins (11-0) will

host SouthWest Suburban

rival Homewood-Flossmoor

(10-1) - a 38-23 winner

over Neuqua Valley

- in the quarterfinals. East


1 2 3 4 F

Notre Dame 0 0 7 6 13

LW East 16 7 0 0 23

Three Stars of the Game:

1. AJ Henning, LW East, senior wide receiver – Eight

receptions, 100 yards, two touchdowns; 1-yard

rushing touchdown

2. Kyle Quinn, LW East, senior quarterback – 10-of-18

passing, 115 yards, two touchdowns

3. Jalen Hacha, LW East senior defensive back – fumble

recovery, punt block for a safety

Up Next: LW East will host Homewood-Flossmoor (10-1) in a

Class 8A quarterfinal. The Griffins beat the Vikings 28-14 on

Sept. 27.

beat H-F 28-14 on Sept.


East got out of the gate

hot against Notre Dame,

with the defense forcing

three straight three-andouts

for the Dons (8-3).

On that third Notre

Dame possession, the snap

on the punt was fumbled

and East’s Jalen Hacha fell

on top of it to set the Griffins

up at the Dons’ 4-yard

line. A few plays later, senior

AJ Henning scored on

a 1-yard run.

“We practiced the

hardest we ever have

[this] week,” said Sean

McLaughlin, East senior

defensive end and captain.

“Going into this game, we

knew they were a good

enough opponent to beat

us. So, we just flipped a

switch and we were ready

to go.”

After the defense forced

another three-and-out, the

Griffins’ special teams got

in on the action again as

Hacha blocked a punt. The

ball rolled backward and

out of the end zone for a

safety to make it 9-0 with

1:07 left in the opening


On the ensuing offensive

possession, East quarterback

Kyle Quinn completed

four straight passes

of 10 yards or more – the

last of which was a 29-

yard touchdown strike to

Henning to make it 16-0

with 14 seconds left.

“It’s just not fair,”

McLaughlin said of Henning.

“I mean, that kid

is one of a kind. There is

nothing better than seeing

No. 3 running down the

sidelines. We know that

even when he doesn’t have

those crazy stat lines, he is

going to do something to

help us win. He’s got tremendous

blocking on the

Lincoln-Way East offensive lineman Alec Ogarek lifts up

AJ Henning after one of Henning’s three touchdowns

in the Griffins’ 23-13 win over Notre Dame in a Class 8A

second-round game Saturday, Nov. 9, in Frankfort.


outside, and he knows he

wants all of his other teammates

to succeed, so that’s

what he is going to do.”

The Griffins added on

late in the second quarter,

as defensive lineman

Owen Phaby recovered a

fumble by Dons running

back Julian Schurr. On the

next play, Quinn connected

with Henning on a 13-

yard catch-and-run touchdown

to make it 23-0.

However, on the extrapoint

attempt, East defensive

end Adrian Wilson

was hurt on the play and

would not return the rest

of the game.

On Notre Dame’s first

offensive possession of

the third quarter, the Dons


actively exploited the side

of the field where Wilson

would have been – culminating

in a long drive

that ended with a 1-yard

touchdown run by Schurr

with 2:06 remaining in the


Then, late in the fourth

quarter, the Dons scored

on an 11-yard touchdown

pass from Anthony Sayles

to Nick Giamarusti. The

Dons’ two-point attempt

failed, however, making it

23-13 with 1:02 left in the


East recovered the ensuing

onside kick to ice the


This is the fourth straight

year the Griffins have advanced

to the quarterfinals.


“It was fun and I can look back and not have any what ifs. It’s

pretty good to finish in fifth place.”

Jared Kreis – LW Central senior, on pushing hard to try to keep pace

with Hersey’s Josh Methner’s record-breaking run at the Class 3A

cross country state meet

Tune In

Girls Swimming, 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 16

LW Central Sectional

• The Knights, Griffins and Warriors all compete and each

team should send several swimmers to state.


35 - Athlete of the Week

34 - This Week In

FASTBREAK is compiled by Sports Editor

Steve Millar,

mokena’s Hometown Newspaper | November 14, 2019


start helps Griffins overcome

lackluster finish, Page 39


Providence piles up points to

knock off Crete-Monee, Page 37

LW Central’s Kreis

takes fifth at state

cross country, alltime

best finish for a

Knight, Page 38

Lincoln-Way Central senior

Jared Kreis runs on his way

to a fifth-place finish in the

Class 3A state cross country

race Saturday, Nov. 9, at

Detweiller Park in Peoria.

Clark Brooks/PhotoNews


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