Frank Veselak (left), of North Riverside, received the Chicago Zoological Society’s Volunteer of the Year Award from CZS President and CEO Dr. Michael Adkesson earlier this fall. | Provided

Earlier this fall, the Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, celebrated its volunteers, including a number of Brookfield, North Riverside and Riverside residents for their dedicated service. 

Returning after the pandemic, the zoo’s 400 adult volunteers contributed nearly 28,000 hours in 2021.

An awards dinner featured the presentation of service and special awards to those who have generously contributed their time to Brookfield Zoo. Docent Frank Veselak, of North Riverside, who has been a zoo volunteer for 34 years, was honored with the Volunteer of the Year award. 

CZS President and CEO Dr. Michael Adkesson also recognized Brookfield resident Betsy Snyder for her 40 years of volunteer service to Brookfield Zoo. Also among those recognized for their years of volunteer service were Riverside residents Nancy Schulze (25 years), Kathy Schaeflein (20), Frank Oles (10) and Nancy Hencke (5).

 Anyone interested in volunteer opportunities at Brookfield Zoo can visit for updated information beginning in February 2023.

On campus

Clarisa Gonzalez

Brookfield resident Katherine Geisert, a senior student-artist at Lyons Township High School, received an honorable mention award for her drawing submitted in the annual Chicagoland 4 X 5 art exhibit, which included more than 1,000 entries from 49 high schools, all measuring 4-by-5 inches.

Of the artwork submitted just over 100 received awards.

Isabella Forero-Cadena

The North and South campus administrations at Lyons Township High School have announced their November Students of the Month, nominated by their teachers and then selected by various departments as the most exemplary students in each subject.

Michael Guzman

At South Campus, Brookfield resident Clarisa Gonzalez, a sophomore, was named Student of the Month in French II.

At North Campus, Brookfield seniors Isabella Forero-Cadena and Michael Guzman as well as junior Briana Gonzalez were each named Student of the Month.

Briana Gonzalez

Three student-musicians from Brookfield were among the 41 Lyons Township High School students selected to be part of the Illinois Music Educators Association District 1 Band, Orchestra, Jazz Band and Choir after a competitive audition process featuring more than 2,000 students from 80 high schools from Chicago and the suburbs.

Being chosen is the first step on the way to being selected an all-state musician and participating in the ILMEA state music convention in January.

Among those selected for the District 1 ensemble were Brookfield residents Anthony Galvez (orchestra), Rachel O’Riley (band) and Nate Scalzo (band).

Brookfield resident Greta Nelson was among the 34 students from Nazareth Academy in LaGrange Park named 2023 Illinois State Scholars, an award given annually by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission to approximately the top 10 percent of high school seniors across the state.