When Chris Jablonski of Brookfield was diagnosed with asthma about six years ago, the first thing she did was try to educate herself about it through the American Lung Association Web site.

Through the site she discovered the Chicagoland Lung Walks, which benefits research and treatment for ailments of the lungs. Around the same time, a friend of hers had died of an asthma attack at the age of 33.

Seeing how badly asthma could affect someone defined the decision for Jablonski to form Footsteps for Maria, in honor of her friend.

“I could walk in her memory,” says Jablonski. “My team welcomes anyone to walk in anyone’s honor.”

Every year, Footsteps for Maria, which was formed in 2004 and has around 40 members now, participates in the American Lung Association’s Lung Walk in October. Jablonski, who was named Family Team Chair, will tell her story and shares fundraising ideas to other teams in the Lung Walk at the annual kickoff luncheon held at the Hyatt Lodge on the McDonald’s campus on July 30, and at a breakfast held at Harry Caray’s on Aug. 6. She shares her information and is a contact for anyone with questions.

The Chicagoland Lung Walks not only benefit those with asthma but all ailments of the lungs. The proceeds earned go towards The Fight for Air, an American Lung Association program that promotes education of lung diseases and research for the cure for ailments.

The American Lung Association hopes to raise over $220,000 at these events and draw in around 2,000 people. There are two Chicagoland Lung Walks this year, on in Oakbrook on Sept. 20 at the McDonald’s Hamburger University and one in Chicago on Sept. 27 in Grant Park.

-Lisa Wieczorek

A new, old face

The Brookfield-Lyons Elementary School District 103 in June named Justin Warnke as assistant principal of George Washington Middle School in Lyons. In addition to being responsible for student discipline, Warnke will also serve as the school’s athletic director.

Over 100 people applied for the job, according to Superintendent Michael Warner, but it was Warnke’s experience with positive behavioral interventions and his knowledge of middle school sports that made him the best fit for job. He will start his new job on Aug. 3.

Warnke is no stranger to District 103, having previously taught physical education at Costello School in Lyons. For the past three years, Warnke has been a P.E. teacher and summer school advisor in Addison School District 4.

District 103 serves five communities, including Lyons, McCook, Stickney, Forest View and the southeast quarter of Brookfield.

On campus

The Riverside-Brookfield High School twirl team was honored with the outstanding team award at the Fred J. Miller summer twirling camp for the second year in a row. The camp was held from June 28 to July 1 at Eureka College. In addition, team member Clarissa Shaw received the camp leadership award.

Team members include co-captains Annie Childers and Clarissa Shaw, Katelyn Reynolds, Jackie Sprague, Claire Childers, Kelsey Stirek, Camilla Shaw, Mia Benker, Bri Mizerka and Caitlin Parisi.

The team is coached by Lisa Anderson-Shaw and Alice Miller.

Several residents of Brookfield and Riverside received advanced degrees recently from the University of Illinois-Chicago, during the institution’s May commencement ceremonies.

Brookfield residents earning degrees were: Amy Rodriguez, Doctor in Dental Surgery; Matthew Norris, Master of Business Administration; Amy Sullivan, doctorate in biological sciences; and Nicole Taylor, Master of Social Work.

Three Riverside residents received master’s degrees from UIC, including David Barker (public health), Barbara Nepil (nursing) and Kathryn Rose (education).