The Frederick Law Olmsted Society presented its 2010 Restoration Award to Giuseppe Zappani, owner of the historic Arcade Building in downtown Riverside, for the exterior masonry restoration work completed last fall.

The Arcade Building, originally known as the Riverside Improvement Company Building, was designed by Frederick C. Withers around 1871. It was the first commercial building constructed in Riverside and since 2008 had been largely vacant and in severe disrepair as the result of becoming embroiled in an international securities fraud lawsuit involving its former owner.

Zappani finalized the purchase of the Arcade Building in August. A month later, work crews stripped off the stucco from the ground floor façade and restored the brick façade to its original design.

Olmsted Society Vice President Tim Ozga and Architecture Chairman Sander Kaplan presented Zappani a framed plaque recognizing his efforts at the society’s annual meeting Jan. 14.

In other Olmsted Society news, the group’s officers for 2011 are Kim Jacobs, president; Tim Ozga, vice president, Cindy Kellogg, secretary; and Fred Kitch, treasurer. New board members elected for three-year terms were Gintaras Lietuvninkas, Cathy Maloney, Harjit Singh, Luigi Franceschina and Rachael Franceschina. Jeff Miller and Jacqueline Miller were elected to two-year terms on the board.

Honorary director status was conferred on Jane Kunka, John Kunka, Karen Graham and Lonnie Sacchi, who are leaving as members of the Olmsted Society board.

Losers are winners

Seven teams competed for the title of “Thinner Winner” at Bellafit fitness studio in Riverside in December and January, with the Team Now – Cindy Reynolds Rayfield, Sara Thompson, Courtenay Erb, Olga Sylvester and Karen Cornelius – winning the $2,000 grand prize by losing a collective 45.6 pounds.

Life saver

Riverside police officer Edwin Ruiz on Feb. 15 was presented with a Life Saving Award from Lyons Fire and Police departments for his actions while assisting with a fire in that village in December.

On Dec. 15, according to reports, Ruiz arrived on the scene of the fire, located a ladder and climbed it to rescue a woman trapped on the second floor of her home.

The citation from the village of Lyons reads, “Your bravery and dedication to duty are directly responsible for saving this woman’s life and are a direct reflection of your professionalism and integrity.”

New gig

The British Home in Brookfield has named Clarendon Hills resident Mary Beth Hardy as the institution’s director of community based services. In her new role, Hardy will manage the company’s homecare division (Staying at Home) and create partnerships with other individuals and local organizations who serve seniors.

Prior to her new position at The British Home, Hardy was regional director of the senior services organization LivHOME. Before that she was founder of Partners in Aging and was instrumental in establishing the Aging Well model in greater Lyons Township.

Earlier in her career she was a nurse and administrator at Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove. She serves on the board of Aging Care Connections in LaGrange.

High honor

Linda Sokol Francis, who operates Brookfield Financial Plans in Brookfield, was recently named to the President’s Council of Waddell & Reed Inc., with which her business is affiliated.

The President’s Council award is given to only 12 of Waddell & Reed’s financial advisors out of its network of nearly 2,400 advisors. This is the 25th time, Francis has earned this honor.

Francis has been in the financial services industry for 43 years and joined Waddell & Reed in 1975.

Welcome to our world

Greg and Carol Franzo of Riverside are the proud grandparents of a boy born to their son, Thomas Franzo, and his wife, Carrie, in Wausau, Wis., on Jan. 22.

Andrew Daniel Franzo was 20.5 inches long and weighed 7 pounds, 6 ounces when he was born at Aspirus Wausau Hospital. Andrew’s other grandparents are Dennis and Cathy Southerland of Indianapolis.

Hot chili

Faith Lutheran Church in Brookfield held is Chili Cook-off on Jan. 29. In addition to raising $700 for the congregation’s youth group, the church also named winners in three categories:

Spiciest Chili winner was “Gramie’s Spicie Chili” by JoAnne Velasco of LaGrange Highlands. She won a prize of cooking supplies for her efforts.

Brookfield resident Christine Schaffer won in the Most Unique Chili category with her “Christine’s White Chili.” She also won cooking supplies.

The coveted Golden Ladle for Best Overall Chili, however, went to Brookfield resident Jim McCarthy for his “Holy Mole Chili.”

On campus

Nazareth Academy in LaGrange Park has announced that 36 members of its Class of 2011 have been designated as Illinois State Scholars by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. Selection is based on SAT, ACT and/or Prairie State Achievement Exam scores, and/or class rank at the end of junior year.

Among those named Illinois State Scholars were Brookfield residents Shannon Cawley, Ryan Graham and Justin Letcher and Riverside resident Rachel Meyer.

The artwork of Lyons Township High School art teacher Jamie Rey was on display on Michigan Avenue in Chicago throughout the month of February. In connection with Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute’s “Hearts a Bluhm” education campaign, 5-foot tall hearts, including one by Rey, will be displayed along the street side by side with plaques giving health tips.

Three Brookfield residents – sophomore Joe Castro (math), freshman Crystal Bonilla (English) and senior Courtney Kulinski (jewelry and metalsmithing) – were among the 31 students at Lyons Township High School named Students of the Month in December by teachers in the various departments of the school.

Several local students were named to the honor rolls at Trinity High School in River Forest for the second block of the 2010-11 school year. Earning first honors (3.75 GPA or above) were Riverside residents Olivia Jordan, Amelija Siliunas and Sarrah Spohnholtz.

Chamber raffle mystery winner found

The mystery winner who bought a 60-to-Win raffle ticket at Tischler’s Finer Foods and won $100 from the Brookfield Chamber of Commerce last November picked up her check last week.

Margorie Sternad, of Brookfield, bought her 60-to-Win ticket at the grocery last fall. Her ticket was one of 60 drawn over a 10-week period during the contest, which started in September. The Chamber of Commerce each week gave away one $1,000 prize and five $100 prizes, a total of $10,000.

Sternad’s ticket was drawn on Nov. 11, but the chamber couldn’t locate the stub bearing the owners contact information.

“We called it Tischler’s Mystery Winner,” said Ellen Frantzen, the chamber’s 60-to-Win chairwoman.

The chamber posted a sign at the store, which Sternad saw when she went shopping there. She also found her receipt and figured she’d call and find out if it was her ticket that got picked. It was.

Sternad met officials from the chamber at Tischler’s on Thursday and took home her $100 check.