A Brookfield auto repair business made the year a little brighter for a local family, donating a 2005 Dodge Caravan to the family through National Auto Body Council’s Recycled Rides Program.

Lou and Anthony Scola of Carstar Scola, 9110 Ogden Ave., participated in the national program for the first time in 2010, delivering the vehicle to the Procter family of Brookfield in late February.

“I’m going to do it every year,” said Lou Scola, who has run the business with his brother in Brookfield for 20 years. “I donated the van to a family that really needed it and did something for my community.”

Vehicles for Recycled Rides are donated to body shops by insurance companies, who take possession of them after total-loss accidents.

“They select the vehicle, and if they feel it’s rebuildable they ask us to look at it,” Scola said.

Scola partnered with the St. Barbara Food Pantry to help identify a family and chose the Procters out of 21 applicants.

“We selected a final five, and my brother and I talked about each family to decide who would benefit the most and who needed it the most,” Scola said.

After receiving the van, a team of Scola’s employees volunteered their time repair the vehicle. And while some companies donated parts for the project, Scola paid for many out of his own pocket.

Going up!

Riverside firefighter Jim Cotiguala participated in the 2011 Fight for Air Climb on March 27 at the Presidential Towers in downtown Chicago. The climb, sponsored by the American Lung Association, challenges participants to ascend 45 floors in all four towers -180 floors in all – of the complex.

Cotiguala scaled all four towers wearing firefighting equipment and was joined in the climb by his father, Jac Cotiguala.

The event raises funds for the American Lung Association.

Appointed

Brookfield Village President Michael Garvey in March was named to the 31-member Local government Advisory Board, which works with the Illinois state comptroller on issues related to local government finances.

Garvey was appointed to the board by Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, of Riverside. Topinka also took time out in March to take part in a Celebrity Reader program hosted by Blythe Park School in Riverside. She read Dr. Seuss’ “If I Ran the Zoo” to fourth-graders at the school.

Nice work

Riverside police officer Leo Kotor was honored on March 21 by the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists (AAIM) for outstanding DUI enforcement. Kotor was given a certificate of appreciation by AAIM victim advocate Dave Perozzi for his efforts in arresting a drunk driver who fled from police and was only stopped when Kotor forced his way into the man’s car and subdued him.

The offender has since received a prison sentence of 27 months in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Blackhawks honor Dombrowski

The Chicago Blackhawks honored Leo Dombrowski, the father of Brookfield residents Leo J. Dombrowski Jr. and Mary Calzada, prior to the singing of the National Anthem at the game against the San Jose Sharks on March 14.

The Hawks honor veterans on the ice prior to each game. Dombrowski, a resident of LaGrange, served in the U.S. Coast Guard for six years, beginning in 1950, leaving at the rank of senior lieutenant.

Join the club

Five new members have joined the Riverside Township Lions Club in 2010-11. The most recent inductees are Tom Coffey, Joe Ballerine, Margaret Connolly, Chester Biedron and Eric Sundstrom. Connolly and Sundstrom are sponsored by Alex Gallegos. Coffey is sponsored by Jack Wiaduck. Ballerine is sponsored by Melissa Kotrba. Biedron is sponsored by Schofield Gross.

On campus

Hannah Toriumi, a Riverside resident, was one of 36 members of the North Central College Concert Choir that toured Italy in March, singing at in various sites in the country, including at worship services at St. Peter’s in Rome and St. Mark’s in Venice and concert performances in Florence, Venice and Siena.

Four students representing Hauser Junior High School in Riverside won highest honors in this year’s WordMasters Challenge, a national language arts competition featuring 220,000 students competing in three separate meets throughout the school year.

Competing in the Gold division, eighth-graders Claire Bartolone, Sophie Mouros, Andrew Pilewski and Andrew Salij were among just 237 eighth-graders nationwide to earn perfect scores in the second meet, held in February.

Others from the school competing in the meet were seventh-graders Riley Zushlag, Dylan Dreilich, Alex Frank and Kit Kodama and eighth-graders John Doherty, Nick Fucinato, Ugne Jurgaiyte, Jackie LaBelle, Stuart Marciniak, Louise Martin, Margaret Miezio, Cecelia Ringo, Moira Dunn, Joey Jones and Mason Klonoski.

Riverside-Brookfield High School student Rebecca Pendola is one of six high school seniors awarded a Mary Wheeler Scholarship award of $1,650 by the West Suburban Teachers Union, Local 571, of the American Federation of Teachers.

The union gives scholarships annually to members’ sons and daughters who exhibit the highest academic standards and involvement in school and community service. The scholarship is named after Mary Wheeler, who taught at Proviso East High School from 1924 to 1965.

The Riverside-Brookfield High School board in March recognized several students for their achievements in music, art and math.

The board commended the school’s all-state musicians, including Trent Baer (choir), Kyle Perfect (choir), Andrew Payton (honors choir; 3rd place instrumental arranging), James Wang (honors choir), Kevin Dinh (band), Dovas Lietuvninkas (honors band), Sarah Otmanski (honors band), Molly Chaney (orchestra) and Megan Welch (1st place, tower chorale vocal music).

Artists honored were Scholastic Art Competition gold award winners Jacob Curtin, Aneleise Gibson, Samantha Friend and Amanda Stamm; Triton College Art Competition blue ribbon winners Elise Castelaz (computer art), Deanasia Sanders (photo), SarahJane Gembara (drawing) and Madeline Muntean (painting), who also won the Award for Excellence from the West Suburban Artist Guild.

Brookfield resident Leo Jasien, a senior at Lyons Township High School, was one of 18 students named to the Technology Center of DuPage “A-Team.” These students earned an “A” in the first semester and outstanding achievement in their respective programs.

Jasien earned his recognition in construction at the Technology Center, which offers elective career education programs to juniors and seniors. The campus is located in Addison.

Katharine Sauer and Constantina Savas, both of Brookfield, were among the 15 Lyons Township High School students named National Merit Finalists in March. They are now eligible to receive a Merit Scholarship.

Finalists score in the top one-half of 1 percent among students taking the PSAT, a preliminary college entrance exam. More than 1 million students entered the competition nationwide and 15,000 were chosen as finalists.

Brookfield resident Kevin Kraus has received the Dean’s Award from Xavier University in Cincinnati. Kraus will graduate from Riverside-Brookfield High School in 2011 and is active as an Eagle Scout, in swimming and in band. The son of Amy and Bob Kraus, Kevin plans on majoring in nursing.

Lyons Township High School sophomore Samantha Lenz, of Brookfield, placed fourth in keyboarding production at the Business Professionals of American Leadership Conference. Lenz, a member of the organization through the school, advanced to the national competition in Washington, D.C., in May, along with seven other LT students.

Brookfield resident Mike Jouza channeled his inner Iron Chef recently, competing with other Lyons Township High School students at the Illinois Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) regional competition. Jouza, a senior, was one of five LT students in the Culinary Arts division to move on to the state competition in April.

Meanwhile, senior Nicholas Lindmark placed second in the competition’s Preschool Storytelling division.