Accolade creates collage for Amate

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The clients of Accolade Adult Day Service in Oak Park created and donated two large, colorful pieces of collage art for a silent auction to benefit Amate House, a young adult volunteer program for the Archdiocese of Chicago. The benefit, Amate Magic, was held at Navy Pier in April. Under the direction of activity coordinator Claudia Pontarelli-Hallissey, the artists used hundreds of small scraps of magazine pages in red, white, gold and black to create a piece depicting four playing card symbols and a companion piece of a joker. Accolade provides a safe setting for older adults with physical disabilities or cognitive impairments who need assistance during
the day.

Spellnuts vs. Friends
vs. Mouthy Moms

The Library Spellnuts, a team of librarians representing River Forest, Berwyn and Cicero, won the Literacy Volunteers of Western Cook County's Seventh Annual Spell-A-Thon. A record 10 teams, with 30 contestants, battled it out in front of a standing-room-only crowd at Holley Court Terrace on April 14. The Friends of the Oak Park Library team took second place. Third place went to the Mouthy Middle-aged Moms, a team comprised of a Literacy Volunteer tutor and friends. Winning teams received awards ranging from multi-compartment tote bags and electronic 3-in-1 calendar/alarm clock/calculator sets to LVWCC T-shirts. All participants took home certificates for competing in the event.

Bear speaks, astronaut gets degree
at Dominican

Philanthropist and former Chicago Bears defensive tackle Christopher R. Zorich spoke at the May 7 undergraduate commencement ceremony at Dominican University on Saturday morning in the Lund Auditorium on the River Forest campus. Bachelor's degrees were awarded to 190 students. Zorich received his law degree in 2002 from the University of Notre Dame and works for a Chicago law firm; he's also founder and chairman of the Christopher Zorich Foundation, which has helped over 100,000 people through its various programs. NASA astronaut Pamela A. Melroy received an honorary degree. The second American woman in NASA's history to qualify as a shuttle pilot, Melroy has piloted two space flights.

In the afternoon on May 7, over 200 graduate students were awarded master's degrees. William J. McDonough, chairman and CEO of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board at the Securities Exchange Commission spoke at this commencement exercise, and received an honorary degree. McDonough retired from First Chicago Corp and its bank, First National Bank of Chicago, in 1989 and has also served as president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York. Rev. John T. Pawlikowski, professor of social ethics and director of the Catholic-Jewish studies program at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, also was awarded an honorary degree.

Naperville's loss is Oak Park's gain

Roderick and Martha Evans of Naperville and Jean and Russ Barganski of Chicago announce the engagement of their daughter, Jennifer Evans of Oak Park, to Darren Ferguson of Naperville, son of David and Luanne Ferguson of Morris. The bride-to-be holds a B.S. in education from Illinois State University and an M.Ed. in administration and leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She's employed as a program supervisor of the math and science department in Cicero Public Schools District 99. The groom-to-be holds a B.S. in accounting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and is enrolled in the MBA program at DePaul University. He is a controller with MAS Consulting in Chicago.

The couple plan a July wedding in St. Charles. They will reside in Oak Park.

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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