Riverside Foods co-owner Peter Boutsikakis (second from right) stands with the Greek wine vendors at Reading Between the Wines in February. His efforts were instrumental in organizing the tasting event. | Provided

The 2023 Reading Between the Wines fundraiser at the Riverside Public Library in February generated $11,862, with more than 200 tickets sold.

In addition to vendors pouring wines from around the world, this year’s event also featured a special port tasting. The money raised will be used to pay for a main-level lighting upgrade in the administration area. 

Belcore Electrical Contractors & Engineers of Melrose Park submitted the winning bid of $12,300 for the lighting upgrade for Patron Services, the director’s office and the elevator hallway. The lighting was installed in the Patrons Services area on April 13.

While a successful referendum in 2020 allowed the library to issue $1.5 million in bonds to completely renovate the lower level of the building, those funds cannot be used for improvements on the main floor.

Instrumental in bringing Reading Between The Wines to the library was Peter Boutsikakis, co-owner of Riverside Foods, who enlisted all of the wine vendors for the tasting event. 

Event sponsors included the Riverside Friends of the Library, Studio GC, Rory & Co. Real Estate, Gaslight Realty, Wintrust Bank, GT Mechanical, Sheila Gentile, First American Bank and College Hunks of Brookfield.

The event committee consisted of library trustees Jane Birmingham and Christine Long; library staff Janice Foley, Diane Silva and Jane Wilhelm; and Cyndi Robinson of the Friends of the Library.

In the books

Retired North Riverside firefighter Austin Nicholl has just published a new book, “Minutes to Memories: Growing Up with Sports in the 1970s,” a memoir telling how icons like Muhammad Ali, Reggie Jackson and Adrian Dantley left indelible marks on a child who idolized them and longed to imitate their greatness.

Austin Nicholl

The book, which is available as a paperback on Amazon, is Nicholl’s second. In 2013, he published “Smile On Your Brother: A Family Still Hears The Echoes Of Vietnam,” recounting the true story of 20-year-old Marine Timothy Fitzmaurice, who was killed in action and how his death still impacted family and friends more than 40 years later.

On campus

  • Christian Gatsos, of Brookfield, was named to the 2022 fall semester dean’s list at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington for earning a semester GPA of at least 3.5. Gatsos is majoring in neuroscience.
  • Brookfield resident Matthew Agnew and North Riverside resident Tyler Miller were among the more than 950 students named to the 2022 fall semester dean’s list at Carthage College in Kenosha for earning a semester GPA of at least 3.5.
  • Among those named to the 2022 fall semester dean’s list at Augustana College in Rock Island for maintaining a GPA of at least 3.5 were North Riverside residents Paige Beggs, Olivia Blood and Nadia Ranieri; Brookfield residents Alexander Ardisana and Elizabeth Considine; and Riverside resident Grace Fuechtmann.
  • Nathan Sanchez, of Riverside, was named to the 2022 fall semester dean’s list at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, for achieving a semester GPA of at least 3.5.
  • Haley Rayfield, of North Riverside, was named to the 2022 fall semester dean’s list at Ithaca College, in Ithaca, New York.