The Brookfield Beautification Commission recognized three local businesses with their Brookie Awards, given to business owners who have improved their business’ façade and interior space.

Once a year, the commission recognizes businesses that have made changes which have improved the general appearance of the village and they hope it inspires other business owners to reinvest in their properties as well.

In 2021, the commission recognized Stafa Amin and Nichole Mucha of Sebastian’s Ale and Whiskey House, 8900 Fairview Ave.; Christopher Chin and Juan Silva of Beach Ave. BBQ, 3453 Grand Blvd.; and Fidelina Guadalupe, Alberto Guadalupe and Dionicio Guadalupe of Broadway Pancake House, 9215 Broadway Ave.

I’d be honored

Richard Dolejs

The America Legion has recognized Richard Dolejs who is a member of the Riverside Post #488, for his 60 years of continuous membership in the veterans’ organization. Dolejs, who owns a Lyons-based real estate and property management company, served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.

During his time in the service, Dolejs was a special agent in the Army’s Counterintelligence Corps, stationed in both South Korea and Japan and reporting on security at Pusan and investigating potential threats to military security.

He was interviewed about his time in the service by the Pritzker Military Museum for their oral history initiative. The interview and a full transcript can be accessed online at

On campus

Sophia Arcos, of Riverside, was among the 26 high school students in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin to receive Regional Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards from the Hispanic Heritage Foundation in March.

The educational grant program honors Latino high school seniors who excel in the classroom and community and for their excellence in various categories. Arcos, a Riverside-Brookfield High School student, was recognized as the silver award winner for excellence in technology.

Awardees receive grants for their education or to fund an idea or community project to encourage “actionable leadership,” which is HHC’s call to action.

Riverside resident Alexis Econie graduated in December 2020 with a Master of Science degree in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison during a ceremony held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

North Riverside residents Madeline Ackerman and Gabrielle Mandel were initiated into the Elmhurst College chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Only the top 10 percent of seniors and 7.5 percent of juniors are eligible for membership, and initiation requires nomination and approval by a chapter.

Caryn Hughes

Riverside native Caryn Hughes, a senior at Roosevelt University in Chicago, was one of five students chosen for the selective Al Golin Fellowship, an opportunity to attend workshops with senior public relations executives and interview at major Chicago agencies. Hughes will graduate in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in integrated marketing communications.

Riverside resident George Connelly was named to the 2020 fall semester dean’s list at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Julianne Gannon, of Brookfield, and Caroline Waddle, of Riverside, were named to the 2020 fall semester dean’s list at Ohio University in Athens for attaining semester grade-point averages of at least 3.5 on a 4-point scale.

Chris Magno, of Riverside, was among those named to the 2020 fall semester dean’s list at Miami (Ohio) University. To be included on the dean’s list undergraduate students must be among the top 20 percent in each division.

North Riverside residents Olivia Blood, Camila Davila and Alivia Ranieri; Brookfield resident Liam Hosack; and Riverside residents DiAngelo Gonzalez and Eva Harvin were among those named to the 2020 fall semester dean’s list at Augustana College in Rock Island for maintaining a GPA of at least 3.5 during the term. 

Jonathon Kulhanek, of Riverside, was named to the 2020 fall semester dean’s list at the University of Tampa. A senior majoring in biology, Kulhanek maintained a semester GPA of at least 3.75.

Christopher Doherty, of Brookfield, was named to the 2020 fall semester dean’s list at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh for attaining a semester GPA of at least 3.75.

Brookfield residents Lane Feary, Jordan Gatsos, Elina Kunickas, Calista Lopez and Megan Riordan and Riverside residents Maya Diaz, Haley Legan and Lucille Roudebush were named to the 2020 fall semester dean’s list at Marquette University in Milwaukee.

Maddie Hanrahan, of Brookfield, and Rachel McCarthy, of Riverside, were named to the fall 2020 dean’s list at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington for attaining a semester GPA of at least 3.5. Hanrahan is a senior majoring in vocal performance. McCarthy is a senior majoring in English and psychology.

Riverside resident Veronica Cariveau was among the more than 1,400 University of Iowa students who participated in the 27th annual student-led Dance Marathon which raised more than $1.4 million for the university’s Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

Riverside-Brookfield High School student Jovanis Prodanich and Lyons Township High School student Kevin Murphy were among those receiving Mary Wheeler Scholarship awards of $3,000 each by West Suburban Teachers Union Local 571, of the American Federation of Teachers, for the 2020-21 school year.

The scholarships are given to children and grandchildren of union members who have exhibited the highest academic standards and involvement in school and community service.

Brookfield resident Ahmad Ayyeh, a senior at Lyons Township High School, was one of six members of the school’s congressional debate team named semifinalists at the IHSA Debate Championships earlier this month. Students follow procedures of senators and representatives in Washington, D.C., writing legislation, working in committees and debating bills and resolutions.

Lyons Township High School has named its March 2021 Students of the Month, nominated by their teachers and then selected by various departments as the most exemplary students in each subject. Among those named were three Brookfield residents, including senior Julio Marmolejo (Furniture and Cabinet Making I), Mesfin Duwell (biology) and Katherine Geisert (digital photo art).

In February, Brookfield resident Leila Rivera, a junior, was named Student of the Month for English 3.

Brookfield resident Anthony Traverso, a junior at Lyons Township High School, was a member of the Business Professionals of America Club’s economic research team that placed second at the BPA state competition and qualified for the BPA nationals in May. The students are led and coached by teachers Jennifer Walker and Tom Sloan