Riverside Village President Michael Gorman participated in the three-day “Bosslift” program hosted by the Illinois Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) in Gulfport, Miss., from June 19 to 21.

The Bosslift brings influential employers and community leaders to military bases to see firsthand the work performed by the National Guard and reservists. Gorman was nominated to participate in the program by Riverside resident John Scully, a retired U.S. Army Reserve general and former Illinois state chairman of ESGR.

Gorman and other participants flew to Gulfport via a U.S. Air Force C-130. There they visited the U.S. Coast Guard Port Security Unit 308 and toured the operation, then visited the Naval Construction Battalion Center, home to the Atlantic Fleet Seabees, where they participated in a Humvee convoy simulator.

In addition, Gorman and the others toured the Maneuver Area Training Equipment Site, where they witnessed firsthand the capabilities of an M1A1 tank and at the Armed Forces Museum participated in “engagement skills training,” which simulates a combat experience with specially equipped weapons.

Before departing, Gorman and the other visited Keesler Air Force Base and learned about the Air Force Reserve unit known as the “Hurricane Hunters.”

“I certainly developed a clearer sense of the importance of employer support for the men and women of the Guard and Reserve,” said Gorman, in a press release from Illinois ESGR. “Cutting-edge technology and training methods provide the reservists with the skills to be productive employees in the private sector and their personal lives.”

A different ‘warrior’

Brookfield resident Monica Stadnicki isn’t just a financial counselor at Adventist LaGrange Memorial Hospital, she’s a warrior.

More specifically, Stadnicki is a “prayer warrior.”

Several years ago she and fellow employee Norma Lovett set out “prayer boxes” where co-workers can submit requests. More recently prayer boxes have been placed at patient registration stations for patients and family members. They’ve even popped up in other departments, including the emergency room.

Every Friday, Stadnicki collects the requests and pays through them alone or with others. Other times chaplains pray for the requests.

“I really feel like this is why I am here,” Stadnicki said in a press release. “God put me here for a specific purpose – to pray for others.”

Explorers to attend conference

Six youth and two adult members of the Riverside Police Explorers Post #390 will attend the National Law Enforcement Exploring Conference from July 15 to 22 at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo.

The Explorers will have the opportunity to live in dorms on campus, attend seminars by a variety of law enforcement agencies and compete against Explorers from across the country.

Among those attending the conference will be advisors Officer Brian Greenenwald and Allyson Greenenwald and Explorers Joseph Metcalf-Reyes, Michael Kosik, Doug Robertson, Ryan Lukas, Tim Geroulis and Ryan Blecha.

Riding for a cure

Riverside resident Peter Wengerski raised almost $1,900, the most for an individual participant, during the Spin Relay earlier this year at the Loyola Center for Fitness. The relay is a fundraiser benefitting Loyola University Health System’s Survivor Care, a wellness program for cancer survivors.

The $15,000 raised during the event created scholarships for 75 people who are unable to participate in Survivor Care due to financial need. Twelve teams and 60 people participated in the four-hour event.

I’d be honored

Ellie Babka, of Riverside, was one of 43 volunteers from throughout the Chicago area honored June 14 by AgeOptions at their 37th annual volunteer recognition day in Rosemont.

Babka, a volunteer for 20 years, was nominated by Riverside Township. A member of the Riverside Township Radio Players, Babka scripts and directs theater group the presents live recreations of old-time radio shows for monthly township programs. She also teaches light calisthenics to older adults. A three-time survivor of cancer, she raised two daughters with her husband of 56 years and was active in the PTA.

Margaret A. Connolly of the financial services firm Edward Jones in North Riverside recently won the firm’s exclusive Spirit of Partnership Award for outstanding performance during 2011.

She was one of just 1,100 financial advisors out of the firm’s more than 12,000 to receive the award. Jim Weddle, the firm’s managing partner, called Connolly a leader in the firm and an example for other advisors.

“Margaret has demonstrated unyielding dedication and enthusiasm for her business of serving individual investors, Weddle said in a press release.

Connolly moved to her North Riverside location at 7222 W. Cermak Road in March.

Lions name new officers

Lions Club District 1A Governor Austin D’Souza administered the oath of office June 12 as Olga Sylvester was sworn in for a second term as president of the Riverside Township Lions Club.

The installation was held in the Scottish Home in North Riverside.

First Vice President Joe Dvorak IV, Secretary Chuck Courtney and Treasurer Ben Gulino also will remain in their positions. Alex Gallegos moved up from third vice president to second vice president and Robert J. Lifka was sworn in as third vice president. Elections were held at the club’s May meeting.

Also installed were Melissa Kotrba and Schofield Gross, tail twisters, and John O’Brien and Carmela Albachiara, Lion tamers. The Rev. Scott Jansen will continue as chaplain.

Elected to one-year terms on the Board of Directors are Ralph Choutka, Shirley Misare, Jay Van Cura, Mike Wimmer and Adam Yurkiw.

Elected to two-year terms are Diane Ceragioli, JoAnne and Joe Kosey, Tony Miezio, Robin Mooney, Dave Moravecek and David Vesecky.

On campus

The following local residents received degrees at the spring 2012 commencement ceremonies at Marquette University in Milwaukee: Frances Lorenzini, of Brookfield, Bachelor of Science in biomedical sciences; Mark Strauss, of Brookfield, Bachelor of Arts in history; Ellison Hitt, of Riverside, Juris Doctor in law; Sara Sedlacek, of Brookfield, Bachelor of Science in nursing; and Sara Patek, Bachelor of Arts in writing intensive English.

Meanwhile, named to the dean’s list at Marquette for the spring semester were Lorenzini, Patek and Riverside resident Daniel Tallarico, who is majoring in finance.

Carolyn Tomecek, the daughter of Michael and Sharon Tomecek, of Riverside, was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude in English and psychology on June 10 from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis. She is a 2008 graduate of Riverside-Brookfield High School.

Dominican University in River Forest recently announced its spring 2012 graduates, including Brookfield resident Elizabeth Skokna, who received a bachelor’s degree cum laude in graphic design; North Riverside resident Kelly Gavin, who received a bachelor’s degree in psychology; and North Riverside resident Emily Sitton, who received a bachelor’s degree in criminology and sociology.

The Frederick Law Olmsted Society recently announced the winners of the 2012 “Reflections on Riverside” student poetry contest. More than 200 students participated this year. The first-place winners from each school are:

Emily Kowal, Ames School, “Where Nature’s Always Found”; Ryan Gaynor, Blythe Park School, “The Wish”; Angela Murray, Central School, “The Gentle Des Plaines”; Madeleine Meehan, Hollywood School, “Riverside”; Kane Layng, St. Mary School, “Seasons in Riverside”; and Olivia Liu, Hauser Junior High, “Good Morning River.”

The poems are available online at www.olmstedsociety.org.

Courtney Ann Kulinski, of Brookfield, a freshman in engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Mo., has been named to the honor list for the 2012 spring semester.

Honor list recipients must have at least a 3.2 grade-point average on a 4-point scale.

Several local students were named to the dean’s list at Augustana College in Rock Island for the spring 2012 semester. Dean’s list student have maintained a GPA of 3.5 or higher during the term.

Among those named to the list were Riverside residents Keegan Buttimer, a sophomore majoring in computer science and mathematics; Isaac Lauritsen, a junior majoring in English and philosophy; and Amanda Miller, a senior majoring in mathematics and art history; and Brookfield residents Brittany Hite, a junior majoring in sociology and psychology; Kaitlynn Markowski, a sophomore majoring in psychology; and Natalie Viscariello, a senior majoring in physics.

Riverside resident Andreja Siliunas, a graduate of Trinity High School in River Forest, was named to the dean’s list for the spring semester at the College of Wooster (Ohio). The sophomore sociology major achieved a GPA of 3.65 or above for the semester.

Evan Bartlett, a senior history major from Brookfield, was named to the spring semester dean’s list at Bryant College in Smithfield, R.I.

Riverside resident Chelsea Goldsmith was awarded an Olin Fellowship for her senior thesis project research by the English Department at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn. In May.

Goldsmith, a graduate of Riverside-Brookfield High School, is majoring in English, American studies and history.

Nazareth Academy in LaGrange Park recently announced its second semester honor for the 2011-12 school year. Named to the A Honor Roll were Brookfield residents Natalie Crisanti, Rachel Dimaranan, Drew Dunker, Rebecca Letcher, Chris Mandziejewicz, Robert Schneider, Jacquie Skokna and Jacqueline Sukacz; North Riverside residents James Holden, Gianna Milaro, Sarah Wozniak and Emylee Zdarsky; and Riverside residents Andrew Golniewicz and Josephine Krajniak.

Named to the B Honor Roll were Brookfield residents Zachary Johnson, Nicholas Kosenesky, Ryan Russ and Ashley Scott and Riverside residents Haley Croney and Marisa Nikischer.

Rachel Dimaranan, of Brookfield, was one of 11 Nazareth Academy students to spend June 11 to 15 in New Orleans for a service trip to help those still feeling the effects of Hurricane Katrina. The week included working at The Arc, a center for people with disabilities and with some of the New Orleans Head Start programs.

Students toured the Lower Ninth Ward, which was devastated by the flooding the wake of the hurricane, and witnessed both the extent of the damage but also the re-building that has taken place since.