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A process that could ultimately result in major improvements to Mokena Community Park District facilities is set to move forward Tuesday, April 15, when a citizens committee charged with gathering and relaying public opinion will be formed.
The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the park district’s Program Center, 10925 LaPorte Road.
The district has proposed expanding The Oaks Recreation & Fitness Center and renovating portions of the historic McGovney-Yunker Homestead site. The work, as first detailed in the March 20 Mokena Messenger, would cost about $7.1 million.

Will O'Brien

Stars of the Week 

1. Lincoln-Way East competitive cheerleaders 

The Griffins brought home the school’s first state trophy in competitive cheerleading with a 97.06 score — more than two points better than second-place finisher Neuqua Valley. 

2. Kara Krolicki 

The Lincoln-Way East senior scored a total of 35 points in two games last week against Joliet West and Homewood-Flossmoor.

3. Sam Pietruszynski 

It is often said that a picture paints a thousand words, but in the case of one local girl’s masterpieces, there is only one word that matters – “family.”

Eight-year-old Mokena resident Zoe O’Connor held an art show fundraiser to help her favorite cousin, Lockport resident Jeannine Gomez, May 2 at the Mokena Community Public Library.

Danny Ciamprone

At the end of August, family, friends and supporters came together for the renaming of Townline Road as Aaron Toppen Memorial Drive.

Come the end of September, hundreds of supporters will gather again on the newly named road, only some will be going at a quicker pace. 

The first annual “Our Fallen Hero” 5k run/walk to honor Pvt. Aaron Toppen is quickly approaching for Saturday, Sept. 27, and online registration ends Sunday, Sept. 21.

Participants can still register the day of the event from 6:30-7:30 a.m.

Danny Ciamprone

Pictured are (left to right, front row) Mokena resident Maggie Tinman, Elizabeth Bollinger, Gianna Bauer, Ella Jacobson, Mokena resident Mia Hackett; (second row) Mokena resident Isabelle Toosley, Kara Frencl, Chloe Honchar, Olivia Flinn, Maura Small and Katie Burns. They are members of the Blue Wave Fast Pitch 11U team that recently won the 12U Rumble hosted March 7-9 in Rosement. Photo Submitted

On Saturday, Feb. 15, Summit Hill Junior High School band members participated in the Illinois Grade School Music Association Solo/Ensemble Contest at Liberty Junior High School in New Lenox. The band members competed in 49 different events, including solos, duets, quartets and quintets. The Summit Hill students received 45 first-division ratings. 

Six students received perfect scores from judges for their solos. They were: seventh-graders Brianna Toman, Sean Fisher, Julia Maylone and Suvidhi Shah and eighth-graders Tommy Brady and Tyler Win.

It was a proud day for the Lincoln-Way North athletic department, family and friends as they gathered Wednesday, Feb. 4, to celebrate with eight student-athletes who signed letters of intent at a National Signing Day ceremony.

The students were honored by North officials during an event held in Phoenix Hall. Students who signed on to continue their athletic careers in college were: Emmanuel Pilatos, Kyle Pijarowski, Nina Tholl, Jake Abramowicz, Ryan Arthur, Ben Bajic, Adam Sylvester and Jake Chudzik.

Rebecca Susmarski

Take a combination of learners, creators, enthusiasts and the curious, mix them all together on a stage ideal for a geek’s paradise, and the outcome is not just a Comic-Con meets giant show and tell but the ongoing phenomena of a community gravitating toward a love of learning and exploring.

Welcoming numerous vendors and hundreds of guests, the second annual Maker Faire returned to Mokena Aug. 22, this time with a new name – Chicago Southland Mini Maker Faire – and took place in a new, larger venue – Pipe Fitters.

Danny Ciamprone

Nicole Lesch and Bryan Druktenis, Mokena residents 

Ranger is a 1-year-old Goldendoodle. He loves to play fetch, get belly rubs, chew on his bully bones, and give hi-fives and kisses for treats! He has a perfect combination of a sweet and spunky personality and he is just the best puppy!

Danny Ciamprone


Mokena residents named to Providence Catholic honor roll

Numerous Mokena residents were recently named to Providence Catholic’s third-quarter honor roll. 

First honors recipients obtained GPAs of 3.51-4.00, while second honors students received GPAs of 3.00-3.50.

The group included first-honors seniors: Jeffrey Cesario, Skylar Evans, Thomas Jeffries, Danielle Little, Meghan Marth, Carly Prekwas, Austin Regan, Courtney Rimsnider, Joseph Schaefer and Matthew Zielke.

Will O'Brien