Marks Travel celebrated its 60th year in the travel business with an open house June 2, at 1140 Chicago Ave. in Oak Park. Marks Travel is owned by Marlene Lynch. Her staff includes Parul Patel, Grace Dinucci, and Laura Furlan.

Holley Court wins spell-a-thon

Holley Court Terrace won Literacy Volunteers of Western Cook County’s (LVWCC’s) Ninth Annual Spell-A-Thon. This year’s event took place before a standing-room-only crowd, April 18, at Holley Court Terrace in Oak Park. Six teams competed in the event. The eighteen contestants spelled words such as “cataclysm,” “dystopia,” and “baccalaureate” before a crowd of over 40 spectators. This year, the field of competitors was dominated by area libraries and friends of the libraries, which included second-place winners, Friends of the Forest Park Public Library (aka “Les Filles de Zeno”); Friends of the Oak Park Public Library; and the Elmwood Park Public Library. Third place went to returning champions, “Disparate Housewives.” Winning teams received awards ranging from “Lettuce Entertain You” gift certificates to Bakers Square whole pies. All participants received certificates for competing in the event. Team winners included Doris Landrum, Bill Firke and Herb Thompson (Holley Court Terrace); Nancy Robinson, Marge Zwadlo and Ruth Loyd (Friends of the Forest Park Public Library); and Alison Nelson, Susan Scherer and Louisa Karosanidze (Disparate Housewives).

A special thank you goes to the tutors and other LVWCC supporters who served as Buy-A-Word and Buy-A-Letter sponsors this year: Berwyn Public Library, Elmwood Park Library, Friends of the Elmwood Park Library, Bridget Fusco, Greg and Dina Gordon, Erik and Paula Krueger, Cynthia Maroon, Marilyn Meier, Richard Murphy, Melissa Mickelberry, Sylvia Neumann, Virginia Olsen, Reba Osborne, Bernard Wise, Steve and Nancy York-Erwin, and Martha Yount.

Literacy Volunteers of Western Cook County is a nonprofit literacy organization whose mission is to empower individuals from Western Cook County to enhance their basic literacy skills in English so they can improve their life skills, enhance their employability, and become greater contributors within their communities.

U of I international
engineering scholarship

Greg Holzer a recent graduate of Oak Park and River Forest High School was awarded an International Engineering Scholarship from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (whose engineering program is ranked fourth nationally). The scholarship includes a $1,000 scholarship, and $3,000 per semester for one or two semesters abroad.

Attorney for the homeless honored

Thanks to a teen volunteer, Illinois Dollars for Scholars recently honored Oak Park attorney Patricia Nix-Hodes, associate director of the Law Project at the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. Nix-Hodes was recognized for representing homeless children and teens who have problems trying to attend public schools. The volunteer who nominated her, Emily Hanneman, who recently graduated from Oak Park and River Forest High School in an essay. Her essay was the winner in the 7th Congressional District and the statewide runner-up. Hanneman was awarded $4,500 in scholarships which she plans to use at Michigan’s Kalamazoo College this fall.

Holy Cross Book Prize

Dante Johnson-Hoyte was awarded the Holy Cross Book Prize at St. Thomas More School’s commencement exercises on May 19 in Oakdale, Ct. The prize is awarded to the junior in the top 5-10 percent of his/her class who has a responsible attitude and has shown sincere concern for their peers. Johnson-Hoyte and his parents, Lennox P. Hoyte and Miriam Johnson-Hoyte, formerly lived in Oak Park.

-Compiled by Chris Barnes

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