Good news


Natalie Brunini of Hinsdale is one of five seniors at DePauw University who has received an Orr Fellowships.

The fellowships place students after graduation in jobs in Indianapolis for two years. Brunini will work for DemandJump, a marketing company. She is earning a major in communication and minor in film studies.

Fellows typically begin work in mid-June of their graduating year. Hannah Scifres, the public relations coordinator for the Gov. Bob Orr Indiana Entrepreneurial Fellowship, said that, in light of Covid-19-related stay-at-home order, the organization’s executive director is working with the host companies to determine the best course of action for each fellow.

The Orr Fellowship is highly competitive, with only about 5 percent of applicants ultimately winning a spot. This year, 1,371 students applied, and 70 students from 25 universities were chosen after a series of networking events and interviews. Each fellow is granted a full-time position for two years with an innovative, Indianapolis-based company. The job involves training in community involvement, professional development and leadership.


The Hinsdale Rotary Club raised more than $4,000 to help 2016 Hinsdale Central High School graduate Sophie Lekas study engineering research at Oxford University.

Lekas, a midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy, was chosen for another year of academic study before she is formally commissioned as an officer in the Navy based on her high academic achievement in her chosen field of aerospace engineering.

She received an invitation to study at Oxford, with the stipulation that she raise half $32,000, or half the tuition needed to attend.

Lekas called Rotary President Tom Norton March 25 to inform him of her need. On March 31 she notified Rotary members that she had succeeded in raising the full $32,000.


Jeannie Cella, who retired in December as president and chief executive officer of Wellness House, has been named to the Mother McAuley 2020 Hall of Honor.

She will be inducted at a special ceremony March 29. This year’s honorees, selected from more than 100 nominations, include educators, health and wellness advocates and athletic trailblazers.

Cella began her career at Wellness House as an intern and spent 29 years there.


Ninety volunteers sorted 48 large boxes of supplies as the culmination of the Community Consolidated District 181 Cradles to Crayons donation drive.

Schools collected clothes, toys, books and shoes from Feb. 24 to March 4 for the annual D181 Cares donation drive. The goal was to fill one mega-box per school, or nine total. Thanks to the community’s generosity, the district filled 48 mega-boxes — or about 500 bags of items — for children in need.

Photos appear online at


Hinsdale’s Vinaya Sharma and matching donors generated $2,000 for the Hinsdale Humane Society’s “Match Me Up” campaign for adoptions of harder to place cats, including senior cats, those with FIV, bonded pairs, medical cases, longterm residents and cats that need special home. Veterans adopting cats through the campaign also will receive special cat care packages.


Actor and Hinsdale resident D.B. Sweeney has released the short film “Two Dum Micks,” which he produced and stars in. The film, which has won more than 50 film festival awards, follows a pair of unlucky guys who meet in jail and hatch a flawed scheme to pay for an attorney to handle their cases. Sweeney, known for his work in films including “The Cutting Edge” and “Eight Men Out,” co-stars with Sean Astin of “Lord of the Rings” and “Rudy” fame.

The film can be viewed online at