Friends and family gathered on Jan. 31 to celebrate the 100th birthday of longtime Brookfield resident Bernice Skorepa.
Skorepa was born Jan. 29, 1915 in Chicago and attended Sherlock and Wilson elementary schools and Morton High School in Cicero. In 1937, she married Charles Skorepa and the couple made their way Brookfield, where she still resides.
The late Charles Skorepa worked for the Western Electric Company in Cicero and Bernice worked in the offices of the Woolworth Company on Michigan Avenue in Chicago until she had children.
As her children grew up, Bernice became involved as a parent at Hollywood School and as a member of the Hollywood Friendship Club and the Congregational Church in Brookfield.
After the couple’s daughter, Diane, graduated from Riverside-Brookfield High School in 1961, Charles and Bernice did what they loved best — travel. They visited Hawaii and Europe, with Spain being a particular favorite of Bernice’s.
Well-wishers gathered at the home of Bernice’s lifelong friend, Marilyn Flynn, in LaGrange Park, where Bernice opened more than 30 birthday cards, including one from President Barack Obama.
Riverside resident Tom Lupfer, the owner of Lupfer Landscaping in Lyons, has been named to the board of directors of the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association.
Lupfer earned a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and worked for a time in politics, working for the Illinois Secretary of State, in the office of the Illinois Speaker of the House and as an intern in Washington, D.C.
He operated a lawn maintenance business during college, which grew into Lupfer Landscaping, which specializes in sustainable landscaping design.
As a member of the ILCA board, Lupfer said he wants to help the association take an active role in educating the public about landscape contracting and about the difference between professional operations and one who exploit employees.
“I’m on the board to represent the small contractor who needs all the help he can get,’ Lupfer said.
Michelle Ryan, a resident of Brookfield and owner of M.D. Ryan Consulting LLC, was named the 2014 Member of the Year by the Brookfield Chamber of Commerce at the organization’s annual installation dinner on Jan. 22.
The award is given annually to a member at-large who has demonstrated outstanding commitment and service to the chamber. Ryan, who is also a village trustee of Brookfield, served as the chamber’s lead organizer for the Brookfield Farmers Market and Holiday Walk celebration. She also helped with the chamber’s July 4 picnic 60-to-Win raffle and Senior Valentine’s Day Social.
At the dinner, the chamber also announced its officers for 2015, including President Tom Milani (House Pros Home Inspectors), who was named to a second term at the helm of the chamber. Other officers include Allen Goodcase (Future Electronic Systems), first vice president; Tait Jorgensen (Farmers Insurance), second vice president; Amy Weinert (First National Bank of Brookfield), treasurer and Amanda Robert-Curry (Cool!Giraffe Designs), secretary.
Marty Serwinski (The Sanctuary) was named a new member of the chamber board of directors and will join returning board members JoAnn D’Altorio (Brookfield Little League), Steven Langworthy (Edward Jones), Betty LeClere (Betty’s Flowers), Amelia Orozco (Brookfield Zoo), Phil Richard (First National Bank of Brookfield) and Patty Weber (Le Grand Décor).
While parents and students at Blythe Park School may be familiar with Riverside native Amber Gitter — she directed several shows for the Blythe Park PTZ when her son went there — she’s now making a name for herself internationally.
Gitter is the director of John Logan’s play, Hauptmann, which will run from March 17-26 at The Stage, an English-based performing arts community in Tel-Aviv, Israel.
The play, which debuted in Chicago in 1986 tells the story of Bruno Richard Hauptmann, the man who was convicted and executed for the kidnapping and murder of the infant son of famed aviator Charles Lindbergh.
Riverside resident Emily Hejna received her bachelor’s degree in art from the University of Iowa at the close of the fall 2014 semester.
Meanwhile, the following local students were named to the dean’s list for the 2014 fall semester at the University of Iowa: Brookfield residents Andrew Malikowski, Kathryn Skinner and Melissa Freiberg and Riverside residents Haley Croney, Rachel Heuel, Alanna Maloney, Benjamin Mitchell and Lindsey Dowling.
Northern Illinois University in DeKalb announced that the following local students were awarded degrees at the conclusion of the 2014 fall semester: Brookfield residents Michael Paloucek (Bachelor of Science in education) and Sean Feirick (Bachelor of Science) and North Riverside resident Rigoberto Limas (Master of Business Administration).
Annette C. Oddo, of Brookfield, was awarded Bachelor of Arts degree from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston at the end of the 2014 fall semester.
James T. Scigala, of Brookfield, was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bradley University (Peoria) during commencement ceremonies held after the completion of the 2014 fall semester.
Riverside resident Erica Fong, a freshman at the University of Minnesota, has been named to the 2014 fall semester dean’s list in the College of Education and Human Development. She attained a semester grade-point average of at least 3.66 on a 4-point scale.
Ann Kulinski, of Brookfield, a senior in environmental engineering at the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, was named to the honor list for the 2014 fall semester for attaining a GPA of at least 3.2.
Riverside resident Haley Scaman was named to the honor roll for the 2014 fall semester at the University of Oklahoma for earning a GPA of at least 3.5.
North Riverside resident Kelsey Egger was named to the dean’s list at Carroll College (Waukesha, Wisconsin) for the 2014 fall semester by attaining a GPA of at least 3.5.
Ashley H. Rayfield, of Riverside, was named to the dean’s list for the 2014 fall semester at Miami University (Oxford, Ohio). Rayfield was ranked in the top 20 percent of undergraduate students in her division.
Brookfield resident Katherine Andrulis earned a spot on the dean’s list for the 2014 fall semester at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. She attained a GPA of at least 3.5 during the semester.
Rachel Dlask, of Brookfield, is a member of the staff at the Lewis University (Romeoville) student newspaper, The Flyer, which won second place in the Best of Show category at the 24th Annual Associated Collegiate Press Best of the Midwest College Journalism Convention in February. Dlask is the publication’s layout editor.
Erin Ulanowicz, of North Riverside, participated in a study tour to Puerto Rico in January with Carthage College (Kenosha, Wisconsin). As part of the course of study, students filmed the people and events they saw. The footage will be edited to produce a TV travel show.
In addition, Brookfield resident Tyler Sanchez participated in Carthage College’s study tour to India in January, examining the life and interactions of three different religious communities, Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs, and analyzed how those interactions have been shaped by their historical and cultural contexts.
Astin Moravek and Kristen Santoro, both of Riverside, utilized $2,000 Augie Choice grants available to students at Augustana University (Rock Island) to fund a study abroad experience, internship or research project during the fall 2014 semester.
Nazareth Academy in LaGrange Park recently announced that several local students were named to the honor rolls for the first semester of the 2014-15 school year.
Named to the A Honor Roll were Brookfield residents Gloria Corona, Jeremy Kolasa, Rebecca Letcher, Brittany Schneider and Robert Schneider; North Riverside residents Guillermo Arroyo, Connor O’Neill, Emylee Zdarsky and Danny Zontos; and Riverside resident Hana Sedivy.
Named to the B Honor Roll were Brookfield residents, Gina Crisanti and Alex Zuniga; North Riverside resident Calixto Arroyo; and Riverside residents Gregory Bernasek and Schylar Rockiki.
Trinity High School in River Forest named the several Riverside students to their honor rolls for the first semester of the 2014-15 school year.
Achieving First Honors (3.75 + GPA) were seniors Jane Alm, Nikole Crane, Grace Lattner, Emma Mosbrook and Carrie Reilly; juniors Carolyn Judy and Olivia Maher; sophomores Emma Alm, Sarah Austin, Molly Gates and Liucija Siliunas; and freshmen Sara LaMantia and Daniela Pope.
Attained Second Honors (3.3-3.74 GPA) were senior Paulina Marquez, sophomore Grace Brick and freshman Abigail Freel.
Three Brookfield residents were among the Lyons Township High School art students advancing to the Scholastic Art Awards national competition in New York. LTHS artists from Brookfield whose work will be shown at the national competition include junior Claire Meany, who has two pieces in the jewelry category and one in printmaking; senior Daniel Dinh, who is competing in animation; and senior Nick Leal, who is competing in digital art.
Other Brookfield students who won awards at the regional Scholastic Art Competition, but did not advance to the national stage, were junior Rachel Larsen (silver, printmaking) and junior Claire Meany (silver, drawing).
Brookfield resident Mitchell Galgan, a senior at Lyons Township High School and member of the school’s honors orchestra, was one of 20 LTHS students who participated in the 67th Annual Illinois Music Educators All-State Conference in Peoria on Jan. 28-31.
The student musicians were selected out of a group of about 2,400 through a stringent audition process.
Gissel Gomez and Julia Melone, both of Brookfield, were cast members in Lyons Township High School’s production of Once on this Island, which was staged in February.
Longtime Riverside resident Mary Simpson celebrated her 99th birthday in Ohio in February. Simpson was a member and official of the Riverside Presbyterian Church, and her late husband, Art, was a village board member and scoutmaster of Troop 24.
A resident of Gage Road for more than 25 years, Simpson was a nationally ranked archer. Simpson and another Riversider, former men’s national champion Bob Bitner, formed the backbone of the Columbus Park Archery Team.
Riverside Lions induct new members
Frank Gangware and Katie Marchetti are the newest members of the Riverside Township Lions Club following their induction at the club’s Feb. 10 meeting. Gangware was sponsored by Lou Heine and Marchetti by her husband, Jonathon Marchetti.
The Riverside Township Lions Club was founded in 1948 and meets monthly. Involved in civic activities in Riverside and North Riverside, the club also provides annual financial support to charities and community organizations.