Dr. Asima Doriwala, a doctor with expertise in adult internal medicine has joined the Loyola University Health System team. 

She is working as a member of the primary care team at the Loyola Center for Health in North Riverside and as an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

Honored by Cardinal George

Two people with local ties were among the more than 200 lay people honored by Cardinal Francis George at the Annual Archdiocesan Awards ceremony on Oct. 26 at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago.

Carina Willems, a parishioner at St. Mary Church in Riverside, and Stan Czerwien, a Brookfield resident who is a parishioner at St. Louise de Marillac Church in LaGrange Park, received the Christifideles Award, which is given to Catholic lay people who have, by participating in parish life, demonstrated the personal and ministerial renewal called for by the papal exhortation Christifideles Laici.

The exhortation calls laity to the vocation of responsibility for the Church’s life springing from the gift and mission of their baptism.

Fine fundraisers

For the past four years 9-year-old Lauren Sanduski, of Riverside, has been collecting Christmas presents for children in developing nations. Lauren and her family work with the nonprofit organization Samaritan’s Purse, through their Operation Christmas Child project.

Over the years Lauren has donated more than 350 wrapped shoeboxes filled with T-shirts, socks, stuffed animals, hard candy, stickers and small toys. She is wrapping up her 2014 collection of 125 shoeboxes.

“One shoebox can make a big difference and I feel really good when I give,’ said Lauren.

Dr. Jerry Udelson, a Riverside resident and owner of Children’s Dentistry and Forest Park Orthodontics in Forest Park, hosted his 6th Annual Halloween Candy Buy Back on Nov. 3, collecting 622 pounds of candy to send to U.S. Military troops.

Donors were able to come to the office, weigh their candy, receive $1 per pound of candy up to 10 pounds and create a card to express their gratitude to service members.

The candy is included in care packages sent to troops and is sent to local veterans administration hospitals and organizations.

Joe Rizza Ford in North Riverside hosted a 4UR Community fundraising event to benefit J. Sterling Morton High School District 201 on Nov. 4 in conjunction with the schools’ parent-teacher conferences.

The event donated 420 toward the school district for every test drive in one of seven Ford vehicles. The event raised more than $2,000.

Author! Author! 

Brookfield resident and YouTube talk show host Desda Ravanesi has written a new guide for plus-size women on their journey to self-acceptance, titled A Curvy Girl’s Guide to 10 Steps Toward Self-Love and Self-Acceptance.

Ravanesi said the book “took years of self-examination and appreciation for all that I have undertaken and succeeded at doing. I wanted to give women hope and a way to meet this goal through seminars utilizing these principles.

Seminars based on the book are still in the works. For more information contact Ravanesi online at www.plusimagesworld@gmail.com. The book is available on eBay and Etsy (LoveWPurplePassion).

Nice to meet you 

Bill Kanatas of Outreach/Feed6, an Iowa-based organization that provides food and services in the areas of water, food, medicine and education to impoverished residents of Tanzania, Africa, spoke to members of the Riverside Township Lions Club at their Oct. 14 meeting.

Just days later, local residents partnered with Feed6 to for Feed Our Community Day in North Riverside, preparing tens of thousands of box meals of pasta and cheese fortified with protein, nutrients and vitamins for distribution to food pantries in the western suburbs.

It was the third time local residents and Feed 6 partnered for the event.

 On campus

Riverside-Brookfield High School librarian Bridget Wilmot has been selected to be on the Abraham Lincoln Nominations Committee for a three-year term. As part of the committee, she will help choose the Abraham Lincoln Award Books, which librarians often consider to be the best books for high school students. 

Emily Andrulis, of Brookfield, was one of 26 Cornell College (Mount Vernon, Iowa) students to take part in the school’s Steel Drum Ensemble concert on Oct. 30. The concert was held in King Chapel on Cornell’s campus and featured Halloween favorites, such as the theme to the “Addams Family” and “The Monster Mash.”

Brookfield resident Joe Rossetti, a senior at Lyons Township High School, was one of 10 current and former staff members of the school’s newspaper, Lion, to win awards at the National Scholastic Press Association and Journalism Education Association national high school journalism convention in Washington, D.C.

Rossetti earned an honorable mention award for sports writing.

On Oct. 17, Riverside-Brookfield High School honored 10 students representing each academic department as Students of the Quarter. The students were chosen by faculty members for excelling in academics and character.

Among those honored were Samantha Rodriguez Noguez, science; Rachel Bakalich, fine arts; Cameron Shaw, English; MacKayla Reilley, wellness; Lana Herrmann, math; Joe Tan, building leader; Charles Connelly, social science; Caterina Dentone, applied arts; Diamante Rodriguez, library/media arts; and Keith Hermanek, world languages.

Lyons Township High School senior Mardi Sramek, a resident of Brookfield, was a member of the cast of All in the Timing, a collection of six short comic plays by David Ives staged at the school Nov. 13-15 at the South Campus.

Thirteen Hauser Junior High School musicians participated in the Illinois Music Educators Association festival in Lockport on Nov. 8, where they rehearsed all day with a guest conductor and performed a concert.

The students were selected through a competitive audition in October. They included orchestra students Matthew Cowell, Lazaro Esquivel, Isabel Hughes, Alexandra Lukas, Mazzy Marcucci, Alessia Mollo, Elizabeth Murphy and Elaina Raffensperger-Schill; choir students Gabriella Galloway, Fidel Gutierrez, Angela Murray and Keira Notz; and band student Sofia Perry.

Riverside resident Nick Navarro, a seventh-grader at St. Mary School in Riverside, placed ninth at the Illinois Junior Academy of Science competition held at Fenwick High School on Nov. 12.

Students participating in the competition had to complete a high school-level science exam that lasted three hours. The top 25 students were given individual awards.

On Nov. 5, the Riverside-Brookfield High School’s School of Environmental Education (SEE Team) hosted a live phone conference between its students and nationally recognized speaker and sustainable farmer Joel Salatin.

Salatin, who owns Polyface Farms in Virginia, was featured in Michael Pollan’s book The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which was being studied by the SEE Team at the time. He’s also featured in the film Food Inc.

Students and Salatin discussed his role in the book and film and his thoughts on how food and farming impact the environment.

 By the numbers

The eighth-grade math team from St. Louise de Marillac School in LaGrange Park placed second out of 37 teams from 16 different schools at the St. Laurence High School-Queen of Peace High School Math Competition on Nov. 8. Members of the team included (from left) David Keen, David Sullivan, Braden Schneider and Neha Immaneni. They are coached by teacher Brandon Gress, a first-year math and science teacher at St. Louise.