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Aside from spiders and greedy bears that steal picnic baskets, I love all animals.

It doesn’t matter what it is - dogs, cats, hamsters, snakes, ligers ... the list goes on.

Now cue “Angel” by Sarah McLachlan. 

Let that play in the background as you read the rest of this column. We know it’s on a playlist of yours somewhere, or that SPCA commercial, the saddest ad to tug on our heart strings of all time, is playing in your mind right now.

Danny Ciamprone

Louie and Ninja

Kristle Corcuera

Mokena resident

These pups are dressed to impress! Eight-year-old Louie (left) and 2-year-old Ninja, both Yorkshire terriers, are the pride and joy of this Mokena resident.

Will O'Brien

The Lincoln-Way North cheerleading program is all about progress.

After enduring early season injuries, the team improved with each competition during the 2013-2014 season and won a conference title.

“Each competition we started to climb the ladder as far as how high we placed,” said coach Jamie Calby.

Stiff sectional competition prevented the squad from qualifying for state, but the Phoenix team isn’t sulking. The girls know good things are ahead, Calby said.

Parker Road Bible Church (18512 Parker Road, Mokena)

Young Adults Group

7-9 p.m. Thursdays until May 29. College-aged singles and couples welcome. Meetings take place at the Nelson home. For more information, call (815) 463-1125.

Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church (10731 W. La Porte Road, Mokena)

Vacation Bible School

The first of several member events for Hometown Advantage members kicks off at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 18, at Dancing Marlin. It is to be quickly followed by a wine-and-food pairing event at 6 p.m. Monday, June 23, at Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant in Orland Park.

Will O'Brien

Last week, I spoke at length about how important reader participation is to The Mokena Messenger’s quality and success.
My story hasn’t changed, and happily, my column seems to have worked in eliciting resident feedback, at least a bit, anyway. I’ve heard from readers with ideas and suggestions, some with compliments and yet others with complaints. I’m listening to it all, taking notes and using the responses as constructively as possible.

Will O'Brien

The Irish Pig BBQ is set off U.S. 30 in New Lenox, away from the eyes of drivers. But that doesn’t mean the barbecue staples served by owner/operator Kathy Connolly aren’t worth the slight detour.

What started out as a catering business blossomed into a full-service barbecue joint tucked away in the back of a strip mall off U.S. 30. The Irish Pig is a modest establishment with a focus on smoked meats and homemade sides.

Area Varsity Athletics

Boys Gymnastics

March 14 LW co-op at Homewood-Flossmoor Invite, 6 p.m.

Boys Track and Field

March 15 LW East at SWSC Meet (Lockport), 9 a.m.

March 15 LW North at SWSC Meet (Thornton), 10 a.m.

Boys Water Polo

March 17 LW North at Sandburg, 5 p.m.

March 20 LW East at Fenwick, 5 p.m.

An early passion for baking took Sue Peltzer down a sweet and successful path in life.

Peltzer and her husband Jim, both Mokena residents for nearly 10 years, own Delicious Creations in Hickory Hills. Delicious Creations is a candy and cake supply store, which includes made-to-order cakes. 

The second game of an early season nonconference match against Mount Carmel may have been closer than Lincoln-Way East boys volleyball coach Kris Fiore was comfortable with, but when the team got going, there was really no doubt about the outcome.

The Griffins handled Mount Carmel 25-13, 25-20 for a victory Monday, March 31, in Frankfort. Nate Van Dellen led the way with eight kills and eight digs, while fellow senior outside hitter Ryan Vorderer added seven kills and four digs.

Austin Royer, East’s senior setter, contributed 15 assists.

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