A marriage made in retirement

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Beth Robinson of Oak Park and Bob Rogers of Appleton, Wis., have announced their engagement. The bride-to-be is a retired school media specialist and presently works in the Holmes School library. She earned her MLS from Rosary College (now Dominican University) in River Forest. She's volunteered for many local groups and events, including Wright Plus, Unity Temple (and its Concert Series) and Pilgrim Church, and has served with the Pleasant Home board, Ernest Hemingway Foundation board, Arts Council of Oak Park, Tidmarsh Arts Foundation, and the Park District of Oak Park's Memorial Trust.

The groom-to-be is a retired anthropology professor. He graduated from Milwaukee's Country Day School, earned his Ph.B. (bachelor's in philosophy) from the University of Wisconsin, and an M.A. in anthropology from Ohio State University. Along with teaching anthropology at Rio Grande College in Ohio and Sierra Madre College in California, he's traveled to Gambia, Senegal and Mali for monkey observations. After retirement he moved to Oregon, where he skied and enjoyed a rustic life before moving back to the Midwest.

The couple will continue to live in Oak Park after their June wedding at Pilgrim Congregational Church, where their children and grandchildren will participate in the ceremony.

Resident takes up residency

Ravi Bashyal, a 1997 graduate of Oak Park and River Forest High School, has completed medical school at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and will begin a five-year residency program in orthopaedic surgery at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. The son of Ram and Niranjana Bashyal of Oak Park, Ravi was first featured in WEDNESDAY JOURNAL as a 1997 recipient of the Citizen Award for graduating high school seniors. He was also the subject of a 1999 article highlighting his work at NASA as a college student.

Ravi graduated magna cum laude with honors from the University of Illinois in 2001, and moved to Philadelphia to pursue his medical education. During his time at Penn, he served as president of his class and was a key member of the Penn Med basketball team, which he captained for the past two years.

Roosevelt students raise money
for St. Jude

Students at Roosevelt Middle School in River Forest completed a Math-A-Thon fundraiser for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, raising $8,215.06. The program, in which students obtain sponsors for the number of math problems completed on CDs or workbooks provided for them, is sponsored nationally by Six Flags Theme Parks, who donate free tickets to their parks for every student who raises $35 or more.

"We are very proud of our students for working so hard on the Math-A-Thon," said Jerri Gapastione, volunteer coordinator, who worked with Stephanie Farruggia of the Roosevelt Service Club. "With their help, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital will be able to create new treatments that may one day lead to a cure for many forms of cancer. I also want to extend our thanks to the River Forest community for their support of our students."

Garden Club blooms at state

The Garden Club of Oak Park and River Forest won two awards from the Garden Clubs of Illinois during the state convention in April. The local club's "September Song" Standard Flower Show, chaired by Jeff and Frances Kraft, tied for Flower Show of Excellence with one other show and qualified for the national awards, which will be announced this summer. Also, the Myrtle R. Walgreen Award for Civic Project first prize of $50 was awarded to the club for its Curb Appeal project, headed by Carol DeBoth.NAMI names new director

Bernadine Drew of River Forest has been named the new executive director of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, Metro Suburban. Selected after a long search by the board of directors of the local NAMI affiliate, Drew will also serve as the administrator of the drop-in center at 814 Harrison St. in Oak Park, which is open six days a week from 4 to 8 p.m. for persons who have a mental illness and want to participate in activities and socialize with others in the same situation. Drew is a licensed clinical social worker who holds a master's degree in social work from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a B.S. in social work from Illinois State University at Normal. She plans to help make NAMI better known and better funded, as well as increasing its membership, with an emphasis on diversity in all forms.

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