The Rev. Roger E. Timm, pastor of Ascension Lutheran Church in Riverside, has announced Beau Surratt is the church’s new director of music ministries. Surratt directs an adult choir, handbell choir and children’s choir, and serves as organist/pianist for all services in addition to helping plan worship.

He comes to Ascension after having served as organist and/or director of music at churches in Illinois, Indiana and Tennessee.

A native of Jackson, Tenn., Surratt holds a B.A. in theology and religion from Elmhurst College, where he studied both theology and church music. His primary organ teachers have been Chicago native A. Steven Taranto and Dr. David Christiansen of Elmhurst College and St. Andrews Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Park Ridge.

He has also studied with such notable organists as Diane Meredith Belcher of Westminster Choir College and, through the young organist program at Yale University, with Thomas Murray of Yale and Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra of Eastern Michigan University.

According to Timm, Surratt is committed to both the pastoral and theological roles of the church musician, as well as the musical ones. He is a versatile musician, having served in numerous roles as accompanists for choirs, vocalists, instrumentalists, and musical theatre productions.

In addition, he is committed to diversity and inclusivity in church music and has particular interest in gospel and world music.

Ascension is located at 400 Nuttall Road, across from Ames Elementary School, in the northwest corner of Riverside. Sunday worship services are offered at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.

Well done!

 North Riverside Fire Chief Ray Martinek presented Fire Chief’s Award of Merit recognition plaques last month to five firefighters at the village’s Feb. 6 board meeting.

Those honored included Firefighter Dwayne Eriksen for his work on the fire department’s awarded FEMA grant; firefighters Richard Gray and Jason Williams for their humanitarian efforts and actions in responding to the State of Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina; Lt. Brian Basek for public education programs and demonstrations in 2005; and Lt. Rick Schoemer for fire inspection and training administrative duties performed in 2005.

 At the Brookfield village board meeting on Feb. 13, Police Chief Thomas Schoenfeld announced three auxiliary police promotions. Jim Haase was promoted to captain, Gregory Pardini was promoted to lieutenant and Robert Fitzgerald was promoted to sergeant.

 Also at the Feb. 13 Brookfield village board meeting, Brookfield Police Officer Robert Palos was presented with an achievement award from the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Division of Safety in recognition of Palos making 66 DUI arrests since Jan. 1, 2001.

On a mission from …

The Rev. Michael Wanda will lead the annual parish mission at St. Barbara Church, 4008 Prairie Ave., Brookfield, at 7:30 p.m. March 13, 14 and 15.

The theme will be “Your Mission: To Be Transfigured.”

Confessions will be held Tuesday and Wednesday evenings after the talk. Free babysitting will be available in the Parents’ Room of Church. Wanda grew up in Brookfield and attended St. Barbara Parish. He then attended the archdiocesan seminaries of Niles College and St. Mary of the Lake.

After his ordination in 1991, he was assigned to St. Gall Parish in Chicago. Recently, he was the associate pastor at St. Louise de Marillac in LaGrange Park. Currently, he is the associate pastor at Mary, Seat of Wisdom Parish in Park Ridge.

Wanda is a regular speaker for the Office of Young Adult Ministry of the archdiocese and frequently presents seminars, retreats and missions around the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Diocese of Joliet.


When the West Suburban Youth Orchestra took to the stage for its Winter Concert on Feb. 26 at Sandburg Middle School in Elmhurst, several of the musicians were local children, including Brookfield residents Natalie Crisanti (French horn), Andrew Huebler (bassoon), Krystal Krejcik (clarinet), Maximo Menchaca (trumpet) and Cheryl Okuda (clarinet); Riverside residents Maria Arevalo (flute), Eric Din (trumpet), Caitlin Dunham (viola), Theresa Dunham (flute), Frances Enger (violin), Max Enger (violin), Josephine Krajniak (oboe), Sherry Krajniak (French horn), Kulbis Kovas (violin), Vidas Kulbis (violin), Dovas Lietuvninkas (trumpet), Vija Lietuvninkas (trumpet), Dennis Magdato (violin), Galen Ryan (percussion), Andreja Siliunas (violin), Max Steinberg (French horn), Zoe Steinberg (clarinet), Lauren Tortorella (oboe) and Audrey Wenzel (violin); and North Riverside resident Matt Waas.


Lyons Township Mental Health Commission Executive Director Gilbert Zych was recently elected president of the Association of Community Mental Health Authorities of Illinois.

Founded in 1972, ACMHAI is a statewide non-profit professional association whose membership is comprised of staff and board members of local mental health authorities.

In addition to heading the Lyons Township Mental Health Commission for 20 years, Zych has served as the ACMHAI’s vice president and treasurer and currently serves as member of the state’s Infrastructure Transformation Task Force, whose goal is to transform Illinois’ mental health system along federal guidelines.

He’s also a longtime member of the Kiwanis Club of LaGrange. In 200, he was presented with a Millennium Award for community service by the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce.

On campus

 Riverside-Brookfield High School student Nick La Gro traveled overseas last month to explore the world of international trade. La Gro attended Ambiente, which is held every year in Frankfurt, Germany, and billed as the largest consumer goods fair in the world. This year, some 4,600 exhibitors from roughly 90 countries appeared at the event.

“It was interesting to see innovative design concepts from every corner of the world,” La Gro said.

La Gro is currently enrolled in interrelated occupations, a business class at RB that focuses on business ethics, career opportunities and career placements. He plans to study international business in college.

 Tomas Kuprys, Edvardas Kuprys and Jennifer Katele, all residents of Riverside, were named to the dean’s list for the fall 2005 semester at Dominican University in River Forest.

Tomas and Edvardas Kuprys are graduates of Northridge Preparatory School. Katele, a graduate of Fenwick High School, is majoring in psychology and criminology.

To qualify for the prestigious Dean’s List, students must achieve a semester grade point average of 3.80 on a 4.0 scale, based on 12 credit hours.

 St. Joseph High School in Westchester recently announced that the several local students were named to the second quarter honor rolls. Among those on the A honor roll were Brookfield residents Thaddeus Brija, Julie Buckley, John Kissane, Elizabeth Smith and Brenda Stozek. Those named to the B honor roll included Brookfield residents Lisa Brzezicki and Amanda Gerald; North Riverside resident Timothy Gustafson; and Riverside residents, Celeste Hernandez and Adam Tonkin.

 Brookfield resident Mike Rovner was among the cast performing the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic “Flower Drum Song” at Lyons Township High School during February. Rovner, a junior, was a member of the chorus for the show, which tells the story of Chinese immigrants in 1960 San Francisco.

 Riverside resident Jason Prestinario was among 14 students at St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago named National Merit Finalists for the 2005-06 school year. The top 1 percent of students participating in the National Merit Scholarship Program are nominated as finalists.

As finalists, the students have the opportunity to receive cash scholarships. Scholarship winners will be notified between March and mid-June.

 Four Brookfield residents last month received honorable mention awards at the Regional Scholastic Art Awards competition. Jenna Rothaupt (drawing), Nicole Kavala (ceramics), Tim Brown (drawing) and Robyn Adair (photography) were among 52 Lyons Township High School students receiving recognition at the event. The winning artwork was narrowed from more than 2,000 pieces of art produced by students from 36 schools.