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Olivia Rydzewski first became interested in horses in second grade, when she spotted a riding program description in a Frankfort Square Park District brochure.
“She’s been in love ever since,” Liz Rydzewski, Olivia’s mother, said of her daughter.
The Lincoln-Way North freshman and Tinley Park resident was among dozens of Nova Quarter Horses, Inc. students to participate in the Mokena riding stable’s Spring Fling showcase on the weekend of March 29-30.

Will O'Brien

Down one game in the Illinois High School Association state title game and tied 24-24 in the second set Saturday, June 7, Lincoln-Way East senior outside hitter Nate Van Dellen was as confident as ever.

Van Dellen didn’t doubt his team would come back against Warren and win the school’s first boys volleyball state title.

“Not at all; not for a second,” he said. “At the time, we had won 40 games together. I didn’t doubt these guys for a second.”

Rebecca Susmarski

It is with a certain degree of bittersweet emotion I am announcing my resignation as Editor of The Mokena Messenger.

My last day with the paper was Friday, June 13, (not unlucky, I hope). This edition is the last one my fast-typing, phone-dialing hands will touch.

In May 2012, I moved to Chicago a starry-eyed Wisconsin boy not far removed from college, hoping one day I’d know the pleasures of not only living but also working in the city, so that’s what I’m going to do.

Rebecca Susmarski

Declan Crowley, Mokena Elementary School third-grader

What is one essential you must have when studying and why?

I need to concentrate, and a pencil.

What do you like to do when not in school or studying?

Play sports.

What is your dream job and why?

I want to be a football player because I like playing football.

A trio of Lincoln-Way North seniors were on Tuesday, May 13, recognized as the inaugural group of Fernando J. Pavon Sunrise Scholarship recipients. 

The scholarship program, coordinated in part by the League of United Latin American Citizens, Frankfort Council #5005, was established to encourage Latino youth to pursue higher education and community involvement, said Rick Pavon, the brother of Fernando, whose January 2013 death and lifetime of inspiring accomplishments led to the scholarship program’s creation.

Will O'Brien

Pictured (left to right) are Mokena Brownie Troop 70802 members Mia Karnezis, Micaela Bernardin, Amy Bueschel, Alana Hamwi, Sofia Peralta, Sarah Podzal and Hailey Archer performing a Brownie cheer during their bridging ceremony, Tuesday, June 3, at Lincoln-Way East. During the event, 40 Girl Scouts were bridged to the next level of Scouting, a long-standing tradition of Girl Scouts. Photo by Jean Lachat/22nd Century Media

Rebecca Susmarski

Representatives on behalf of the Meijer store due to open in Mokena this summer gave $25,000 to the Mokena Elementary School District 159 Board of Education during a June 18 board meeting. 

Jags Brar, director of the Mokena Meijer, and Lisa Milla, Brar’s partner, presented the check to board president Danielle Didrickson in front of superintendent Omar Castillo and four other members of the board. (Members Joseph Spalla and Patrick Markham were absent.) 

Rebecca Susmarski

Construction season has gotten underway in Mokena.
Crews began working Wednesday, April 2, to replace water mains running under a pair of downtown district streets, and improvements to a well-trafficked bridge on the town’s west side aren’t far off.
Those projects, however, are just a portion of a busy spring and summer of road repaving, sidewalk fixing and other infrastructure work ahead.
“It’s going to be going fast and furious now, after being pent up for the last few months,” Assistant Village Administrator Kirk Zoellner said.

Will O'Brien


elcome back.

Memorial Day is fast approaching. It’s a time to remember and appreciate, a time to honor those brave men and women in our military who have sacrificed so much in the name of freedom and liberty, not just for us, but for the entire world.

Will O'Brien

The Mokena Village Board confirmed the dates of several upcoming public events during its March 24 meeting.
The William Martin VFW Post 725 was given approval to conduct its annual Memorial Day procession and cemetery ceremonies on Monday, May 26, using Wolf Road between 195th Street and Kluth Drive.
The Mokena Baseball/Softball Association received clearance to conduct its annual parade on Sunday, June 1, on Mokena Street between the McGovney Street Metra lot and Main Park.

Will O'Brien