Good news


Sixty students participating in Community Memorial Foundation’s youth philanthropy program have awarded $30,000 in grant funding to four local nonprofit organizations working to meet people’s basic needs in the Western Suburbs.

The program, known as YC2 (Young Community Changemakers), unites students from Hinsdale Central, Lyons Township, Nazareth Academy and Riverside-Brookfield high schools in a semester-long effort dedicated to understanding the important roles of the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors. Community Memorial Foundation, based in Hinsdale, partners with local philanthropists (The Burjan Family, Moira and Paul Naffah, and Hinsdale’s Corlyn and Jeff Simmons) to provide grant funding and facilitate the program, with the intent of creating a culture of philanthropy throughout the region.

“Community Memorial Foundation and its partners share the vision that young people need opportunities to develop skills that will help them become future leaders and stewards of our community,” said Greg DiDomenico, president and CEO of Community Memorial Foundation.

The program, now in its fourth year, encourages students to explore their local community and its social needs, learn about philanthropic theory and engage in organizational evaluation and grantmaking. This year’s participants elected to direct funding toward efforts that “address the effect of poverty on health by providing for basic needs such as access to nutritious food, homelessness prevention and promotion of self-sufficiency.”

Twenty-one organizations applied for a grant and four were awarded funding: BEDS Plus ($7,500), Bridge Communities ($10,000), Hope’s Front Door ($5,000) and Housing Forward ($7,500).

Participating students, schools and philanthropic and nonprofit partners were recognized at a May 6 dinner at the Holiday Inn Countryside.

Hinsdale Central participants are Badr Abusalah, Katherine DeMakis, Hannah Fawley, Colin Griffin, Catherine Huber, Jenna Jazayerli, Cody Jurgenson, Varun Kanangat, Fatima Khan, Aleksandra Korza, Caroline O’Hara, Alexander Olguin, Simmi Rajagopalan, Holden Satre, Frances Schmelka, Eric Seppanen, Jackson Videbeck and Jason Yawe.

Participants from Nazareth who live in Hinsdale are Diana Anos and Tate Vaughan.


David Pequet, CEO and senior portfolio manager at MPI Wealth Management in Hinsdale, attended the 2022 Barron’s Top Independent Advisors Summit March 21-23 in Louisville, Ky. The invitation-only conference is hosted by Barron’s Magazine.

The summit is a gathering of self-made leaders who have earned a distinct place within the financial services industry. The event offers the top independent practitioners a unique opportunity to interface and network with the peers who best understand their businesses.

“As we celebrate our 36th year in business as an independent registered investment advisor, Matt (Pequet) and I are very proud that this is the 11th year in a row we have been invited to the Barron’s conference,” Pequet said. “The top 1 percent of advisors in the country attend.”

Offered by Barron’s Advisor since 2009, this curated experience has become the premier annual event for ranked independent advisors, with content designed to highlight the best practices and specific needs of independent advisors.

The advisors selected by Barron’s for the Summit are chosen based on volume of assets managed by the advisors’ team and the quality of the advisors’ practice.


More than 500 people came out for Clarendon Hills Middle School PTO’s annual Pizza Wars event April 27.

The well-attended event raised about $7,000 with the help of sponsorships from local businesses CHT Orthodontics, Club Pilates, County Line Properties and Genius Tutors.

Sarpino’s of Downers Grove was named best overall pizza and best crust. Brama La Pizza was awarded best sauce.

Altamura Pizza and Sauced Pizzeria & Bar, both in Hinsdale, participated in the event, along with La Barra of Oakbrook and Zazzo’s Pizzeria & Bar of Westmont.

Now in its unofficial ninth year (the event was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic lockdown and was held virtually in 2021), this year’s Pizza Wars was much more than a fundraiser, said co-chair Katheryn Mansell.

“Part of our goal with the event was to reconnect as a community after the pandemic,” Mansell said.

Many parents have never attended an event at CHMS, co-chair Kate Hickey added.

“This was the perfect way to get back to reality,” she said.

Attendees included families from CHMS and the middle school’s three feeder schools: Monroe, Prospect and Walker. In addition to sampling some great local pizza, the event offered games like corn hole, curling and giant connect four as well as a DJ spinning the latest hits.

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Several Hinsdale students were named to the dean’s list at their respective colleges and universities for the fall 2021 semester.

• Hannah Anderson, Washington University in St. Louis

• Stephanie Bowater, Washington University in St. Louis

• Michael Brescia, Colgate University

• Elena Cacchillo, Washington University in St. Louis

• Harry Gao, Washington University in St. Louis

• Audrey Giltner, Colgate University

• Daniel McKay, Colgate University

• Rehan Mehta, Washington University in St. Louis

• Garrett Oakey, Colgate University

• Vytautas Staniskis, Washington University in St. Louis

• John Tischke, Washington University in St. Louis

• Roslyn Tischke, Washington University in St. Louis