043033 UC Ingalls Mental Health Awareness Month Ad Reoirter

‘Operation Santa’ wraps up a season of goodwill

sara and marina photo 12 26 1 e1577381802834
Photo by Kelly White
Sara Bishawi, 16, and Marina Tovar, 15, both of Oak Lawn, participated in Operation Santa Claus, The event focused on the adoption of a families’ wish list for Christmas, including the purchasing, wrapping and distributing gifts to families within the school district. A gift-wrapping party was held at the school at 9400 Southwest Highway,, on Dec. 18.
By Kelly White
Oak Lawn Community High School students are wrapping up care and good wishes to their peers this season.
This is the 15th year of the school’s annual Operation Santa Claus, an event focused on the adoption of families’ wish lists for Christmas, including the purchasing, wrapping and distributing of gifts to families within the school district.
“ It’s nice to have the opportunity to give back to the community and the families who are in need,” said Kennedy Johnson, 17, of Oak Lawn.
“ It is overwhelming to see the generosity of our staff and students who give anonymously to help those less fortunate,” said Jeana Lietz, principal at Oak Lawn Community High School. “I know that we have outstanding students who demonstrate Spartan pride, and this is one way that we can show the larger Oak Lawn-Hometown community how great they truly are; and, our staff members who run the program dedicate their own time, and money, to make sure that families can have a better holiday.
Families were selected who demonstrated a need for assistance, as determined by the counselors and social workers. Once the families were selected, wish lists hung on candy canes that were then placed on Christmas trees in both the student and staff cafeterias at the high school at 9400 Southwest Highway.
Each candy cane had a gift tag identifying a person, their age, and their Christmas wish. Wishes included items such as: clothing, gas and grocery gift cards, and toys. The names of the families are kept confidential.
In order to become a part of the project’s wish list, every family participating had to have one or more students attending Oak Lawn Community High School, with ages ranging anywhere from freshmen to seniors.
Students and staff members were able to select a random candy cane, purchase the gift(s), and return it unwrapped to the school. Over the past 14 years the school has donated 3,680 gifts and $15,770 in gift cards to 336 Oak Lawn residents.
“ This is the only charitable event at Oak Lawn Community High School that directly assists families at the high school,” said math teacher Ellen Kruger. “As a school we host many programs to assist those in the community at large, but these donations go right to the families of our students.”
Kruger was responsible for organizing the event, along with classroom teachers Chris Repa and Joyce Rafferty.
“ I participated on the committee of a similar project in college at James Madison University and always adopted a family to purchase gifts for as I was growing up,” Kruger said. “My parents instilled in me the importance of helping others who are less fortunate and I wanted to continue those efforts on a grander scale.”
The Operation Santa Claus committee, made up of the school’s extracurricular group Cross Countries Rapid Response Team, under the guidance of Oak Lawn Community High School’s dean, Jamie Hernandez, held a gift wrapping party on Wednesday, Dec. 18.
“ I really enjoy wrapping gifts so this is a lot of fun for me,” said Alyssa Cintron, 16, of Oak Lawn. “It’s wonderful to be able to bring joy to others.”
“ It’s a great because it helps not just the community, but specific students at our school,” said Michaela Brosnan, 18, of Oak Lawn.
From there, the gifts were taken on the school’s Spartan minibus and hand-delivered by staff and students to the families in need. At least 200 members of the student body and 50 or so staff members participate in collecting spare change or purchasing a gift, Kruger said.
“ I hope that they gain a sense of philanthropy and the chance to contribute towards the true meaning of the holiday season, which is giving to others less fortunate than yourself,” Kruger said.
Students, including Lauren Burke of Oak Lawn, said they enjoyed being a part of Operation Santa
“ It’s just really important to give back,” Burke, 17, said.

Local News

Orland Township Supervisor Paul O’Grady talks with a recruiter at last fall’s job fair. (File photo)

Orland Township to host summer job fair June 7

From staff reports Orland Township will host its Summer Job Fair on Tuesday, June 7, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Orland Township Activity Center, 14807 S. Ravinia Avenue, Orland Park. The fair is open to all members of the public, and attendance is highly encouraged. Nearly 30 companies will be attending, representing…

John Kosmowski

Feds indict Summit police chief, building inspector

Indictment says they shared a bribe over liquor license for the Mars Bar A federal grand jury this week indicted Summit Police Chief John Kosmowski and building inspector Bill Mundy with sharing a bribe from a business owner in 2017 to facilitate the transfer of a liquor license for the Mars Bar. The indictment returned…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound May 25, 2022

regional orland memorial day 2022 preview

Orland Park to add 7 names during Memorial Day ceremony

The Orland Park community is invited to join the village this Memorial Day in remembrance of those who have given their lives for our country. The ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, May 30, at the village’s memorial, Ara Pace – Place of Peace, located outside of Village Hall at 14700 S.…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Girls Soccer: De La Salle tops Bremen for program’s first regional title

By Steve Millar Correspondent De La Salle coach Carlos Nunez has seen his teams come up a bit short in the postseason repeatedly over the years. The Meteors had never won a regional championship in girls soccer. Until this year, that is. “I’ve been in every single one that we’ve lost in,” Nunez said. “We’ve…

Mallory Pugh, middle, moves the ball during the preseason. She played her first NWSL game Sunday and had two goals and an assist. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Pro soccer report: Pugh tallies twice return in Red Stars’ win over Orlando

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Mallory Pugh gave a sample of what could be a big 2022 season when she scored four goals in the exhibition Challenge Cup series. But the Red Stars scoring threat missed the first two games of the NWSL season with an injury, and the team split decisions against Louisville and…

Screen Shot 2022-05-23 at 8.23.03 AM

New ward map OKed

Reflects Madigan’s power By Tim Hadac The City Council this week approved a new ward map that, among other things, will see all of Clearing and most of Garfield Ridge shifted to the 13th Ward. Midway International Airport also would shift from the 23rd Ward to the 13th. Monday’s 43-7 vote means the issue will…

Sandburg's Jeremy Johnson, the hero of a semifinal win over Homewood-Flossmoor, legs out a hit in a 6-3 loss to Lockport on Saturday at Ozinga Field. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup: Sandburg takes 2nd at Bajenski tourney

By Jeff Vorva Staff writer The Sandburg baseball team has had more downs than ups this season. But the Eagles finished the regular season on a strong note with a run to second place at the Steven M. Bajenski Memorial Tournament, which wrapped up May 21 at Ozinga Field in Crestwood. To get to the…

Sandburg's 3200 meter relay team of (left to right) Sean Marquardt Declan Tunney, Trent Anderson and Brock Rice ran the third-best time in the nation Thursday at Lockport and finished in second place. Photo courtesy of Sandburg High School.

Track Postseason Report: Sandburg boys 3200 relay records nation’s third-best time in 2022

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer How good was the competition in the boys track Class 3A Lockport Sectional in the 3200 meter relay? Sandburg’s relay team of Brock Rice, Declan Tunney, Trent Anderson and Sean Marquardt ran a time of 7:42.42, which tied for the third-best time in the nation in 2022. And that was…

biz pop's beef logo

Pop’s to celebrate National Italian Beef Day with week of specials

Palos Heights-based Pop’s Italian Beef & Sausage is beefing up May this year with a week-long celebration of National Italian Beef Day at each of their locations. As part of the celebrations, Pop’s is hosting an interactive contest on their Facebook page during the week of National Italian Beef Day from Monday, May 23, through…

Neighbors

DVN JCs Restoration House Ad
Orland Township Supervisor Paul O’Grady talks with a recruiter at last fall’s job fair. (File photo)

Orland Township to host summer job fair June 7

From staff reports Orland Township will host its Summer Job Fair on Tuesday, June 7, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Orland Township Activity Center, 14807 S. Ravinia Avenue, Orland Park. The fair is open to all members of the public, and attendance is highly encouraged. Nearly 30 companies will be attending, representing…

John Kosmowski

Feds indict Summit police chief, building inspector

Indictment says they shared a bribe over liquor license for the Mars Bar A federal grand jury this week indicted Summit Police Chief John Kosmowski and building inspector Bill Mundy with sharing a bribe from a business owner in 2017 to facilitate the transfer of a liquor license for the Mars Bar. The indictment returned…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound May 25, 2022

regional orland memorial day 2022 preview

Orland Park to add 7 names during Memorial Day ceremony

The Orland Park community is invited to join the village this Memorial Day in remembrance of those who have given their lives for our country. The ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, May 30, at the village’s memorial, Ara Pace – Place of Peace, located outside of Village Hall at 14700 S.…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Girls Soccer: De La Salle tops Bremen for program’s first regional title

By Steve Millar Correspondent De La Salle coach Carlos Nunez has seen his teams come up a bit short in the postseason repeatedly over the years. The Meteors had never won a regional championship in girls soccer. Until this year, that is. “I’ve been in every single one that we’ve lost in,” Nunez said. “We’ve…

Mallory Pugh, middle, moves the ball during the preseason. She played her first NWSL game Sunday and had two goals and an assist. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Pro soccer report: Pugh tallies twice return in Red Stars’ win over Orlando

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Mallory Pugh gave a sample of what could be a big 2022 season when she scored four goals in the exhibition Challenge Cup series. But the Red Stars scoring threat missed the first two games of the NWSL season with an injury, and the team split decisions against Louisville and…

Screen Shot 2022-05-23 at 8.23.03 AM

New ward map OKed

Reflects Madigan’s power By Tim Hadac The City Council this week approved a new ward map that, among other things, will see all of Clearing and most of Garfield Ridge shifted to the 13th Ward. Midway International Airport also would shift from the 23rd Ward to the 13th. Monday’s 43-7 vote means the issue will…

Sandburg's Jeremy Johnson, the hero of a semifinal win over Homewood-Flossmoor, legs out a hit in a 6-3 loss to Lockport on Saturday at Ozinga Field. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup: Sandburg takes 2nd at Bajenski tourney

By Jeff Vorva Staff writer The Sandburg baseball team has had more downs than ups this season. But the Eagles finished the regular season on a strong note with a run to second place at the Steven M. Bajenski Memorial Tournament, which wrapped up May 21 at Ozinga Field in Crestwood. To get to the…

Sandburg's 3200 meter relay team of (left to right) Sean Marquardt Declan Tunney, Trent Anderson and Brock Rice ran the third-best time in the nation Thursday at Lockport and finished in second place. Photo courtesy of Sandburg High School.

Track Postseason Report: Sandburg boys 3200 relay records nation’s third-best time in 2022

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer How good was the competition in the boys track Class 3A Lockport Sectional in the 3200 meter relay? Sandburg’s relay team of Brock Rice, Declan Tunney, Trent Anderson and Sean Marquardt ran a time of 7:42.42, which tied for the third-best time in the nation in 2022. And that was…

biz pop's beef logo

Pop’s to celebrate National Italian Beef Day with week of specials

Palos Heights-based Pop’s Italian Beef & Sausage is beefing up May this year with a week-long celebration of National Italian Beef Day at each of their locations. As part of the celebrations, Pop’s is hosting an interactive contest on their Facebook page during the week of National Italian Beef Day from Monday, May 23, through…

House Ad Subscription2
CRR NH Farmers Insurance Cavoto House Ad