Working the polls on Election Day is always interesting for a variety of reasons, but it also gives one a chance to see people and learn what’s happening in their lives. When Riverside resident Judy Baar Topinka came to the polling place, she not only voted for herself (for the GOP’s candidate for state comptroller) but she shared some big news – she is going to be a grandmother.

Topinka’s son, Joe (“Pepi” to those who have known him a long time), and his wife, Christina, will be welcoming a baby girl to the family on March 17. It will be the first child for the couple who have been married for 11 years.

The couple is currently resides in Universal City, Texas as Major Topinka is stationed with the Army at Fort Sam Houston. Born and raised in Riverside on Selborne Road, Joe attended the Riverside grade schools and had the advantage of having his grandparents and his great-grandmother living nearby.

He went to high school in Hinsdale and continued his education at the University of Illinois and Northern Illinois University Law School. His career in the service has taken him far from his hometown, as far away as Fairbanks, Alaska; Fort Knox, Kentucky; and Fort Lewis, Washington. On one of his return trips to Riverside in 2008 he was the guest speaker at the Riverside Memorial Day celebration in Guthrie Park.

In March, he will become Major Dad and for Judy Baar Topinka, who may have a new title in the fall, “Babicka” is one she will also wear proudly. Congratulations Joe and Christina!

Cutting for a cause

Nothing is as strong as family, and when his cousin needed help following the removal of two brain tumors, Frank Paganis of Pagani Hair Salon, 5 Longcommon Road in Riverside, stepped in to help.

The salon will be having a Cut-a-Thon on Sunday, Feb. 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with 100 percent of the money from haircuts, product sales and donations going to Paganis’ cousin, “Big Frank” Paganis.

Those interested in having their hair cut by precision stylists (minimum donation of $35) and at the same time help out a good cause can call the salon at 447-5004 for an appointment or more information.