Back in August, we featured a Riverside Girl Scout who was planning to collect money to fund the planting of 100 trees in the village. Shannon Layng, a senior at Riverside-Brookfield High School, is working on her Gold Award (the Girl Scouting equivalent of the Eagle rank) and this tree-planting campaign represents the service project aspect of the process.

Shannon named her project “Century of Trees” and set about contacting local groups and appearing before them to tell of her goal of not just achieving an her award but replenishing Riverside’s trees, many of which continue to be lost to diseases such as Dutch elm and the emerald ash borer.

Well congratulations to Shannon, who achieved her goal – as of last week, according to Riverside Trustee Joe Ballerine, 107 trees will be planted through her hard work and the generosity of many who donated to the project. Riverside will begin planting the trees in November, according to Ballerine.

Kudos to all who ran in the recent Chicago Marathon, particularly those in the Landmark area whose names and times were printed online last week. I hope you all got your medals, especially Colleen Lieggi, principal at Ames School in Riverside who ran for more than just a medal.

Lieggi had pledged to raise $3000 for the “All in For Ethan Fund” named for Ethan Tkalec, who suffers from giant axonal neuropathy (GAN). Lieggi not only reached the finish line but exceeded her goal and raised more than $5,000.

Wearing bib number 9239, she finished the marathon in 3 hours, 38 minutes and 37 seconds, and has now qualified for the Boston Marathon to be held on Patriots Day in Boston (the third Monday in April). The course is 26.2 miles and is an event which attracts nearly 500,000 spectators. The Boston Marathon is billed as the most widely viewed athletic event in New England and the second longest continuously running foot race in North America.

So to all you who participated in the Chicago Marathon, or any other race, you all deserve a medal for whatever reason you enjoy running.

And, with the success of Shannon Layng’s Century of Trees project we all became winners as we can continue to enjoy the beauty of trees which are so much a part of the beauty of our area.