Building a community of character is the basis of the Lisle Community Character Alliance.
Anyone connected to the Lisle community is invited to be part of the alliance. Residents, educators, business owners, civic officials, church members, parents and seniors all could contribute their insights and in doing so have a positive impact on their community.
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At the core are six values that provide a framework for the Character Counts program: Respect, Responsibility, Trustworthiness, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship. The nonprofit organization is not affiliated with any church, school or fraternal organization. It meets at 10 a.m. on the second Tuesday of most months in the village hall. Details are at lislelcca.org.
To acknowledge good deeds in the community, the LCCA Pillar Awards honor a Lisle resident, business or group, nominated for a kindness that demonstrates good character.
Three individuals and one group will be honored for their achievements at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7, at the village board meeting in the Lisle Village Hall, 925 Burlington Ave. Lisle home viewers may watch the proceedings live on local government access Channel 10.
Here is a look at the honorees:
Lisle resident Kathy Brock puts more of her upbeat personality into her part-time position as a crossing guard than expected and in the process makes all the children and their parents she encounters start their day with a smile. Brock's first shift starts at 7:25 a.m. and covers the crosswalk by Schiesher Elementary School and Lisle Junior High. She has a couple of midday kindergarten shifts and a longer shift at the end of the school day.
"I feel I am lucky to have this job, and know that just smiling at someone makes them feel better," Brock said. "It is such a pleasure to talk to the parents and kids every day."
Even if Mother Nature throws us an Arctic blast with a windchill of 18 below, Brock is at her station making sure the children are safe and lends an ear to anxious parents.
"In my job, I've learned that most people are really good, friendly and caring individuals," Brock said.
For her caring approach, Brock will receive a Pillar Award for Caring in the adult category.
Paul Eckard is the kind of neighbor everyone wishes they had.
"(Eckard) is a really nice guy who would do anything for you," is the way one neighbor described the longtime Lisle resident.
He has cleared fire hydrants of snow, shoveled a neighbor's driveway, uses his generator to help residents without lights, and every day escorts his grandchildren to the bus stop, where he joins in the day's discussion in the minutes everyone waits for the school bus.
Sometimes Eckard shares a story about what Lisle was like 40 to 50 years ago when he raised his family. Other times he might contribute a current news item. No matter what the temperature, these parents make sure the half-dozen kids on their corner safely get on the school bus.
No matter where the conversation goes, the parents on the corner appreciate Eckard being with them every school day. Eckard will receive a Pillar Award for Caring in the adult category.
Like the other nominees, Helen Chow does not think her volunteer efforts were exceptional, but the person who nominated the Lisle resident for a Pillar award appreciated Chow's work.
Chow volunteered to help teach a group of 15 to 20 children in the Lisle Police Department's RadKids program on a Saturday last spring.
"The program helps children recognize dangerous situations and develop their confidence to create a plan to escape possible danger," said Officer Jodie Wise, who spearheads the free program.
RadKids provides children with an opportunity to practice safety skills and avoid potential danger. The children practice different situations so they can gain confidence and polish skills. They even get to see the inside of a police car.
"I definitely think the RadKids program is a very good thing to have in our town," Chow said. "I would encourage everyone who has a youngster to register for this action-oriented class."
Watch the village newsletter at vilageoflisle.org for future RadKids registration.
Chow will receive the Pillar Award for Citizenship in the adult category.
St. Joan of Arc Eighth-Grade Religious Formation Class
The St. Joan of Arc eighth-grade religious formation class and its teacher, Elizabeth Clifford, will receive the Pillar of Responsibility in the group category. This amazing group of 15 students did many hours beyond the required 25 to 30 service hours.
"The group is the most important part of this honor," Clifford said. "We have done, as of today, 2010 hours, which includes someone mowing their sick neighbor's lawn and having 40 kids show up to work because students brought along a friend."
The kids were so motivated as seventh-graders that they met to do good deeds over the summer and now continue their service as the eighth-grade class.
"These are great kids; they help in so many ways," Clifford said. "We stress the Golden Rule, to do on to others as you would like them to do on to you."
The young students, who attend two different schools, worked at Hesed House Food Pantry, a Rock 'n' Roll Marathon for cancer research, Sleep Out Saturday, Alliance for Children, Feed My Starving Children and several Market Days. This fall, the group worked for Team in Training for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and were called at the last minute to help at the parish Octoberfest when an organizer became ill.
The Pillar Awards in Lisle are a unique benchmark for acts of kindness. Since the first awards in 2004, the Lisle Community Character Alliance has bestowed 113 Pillars. Tonight the number grows to 117. Each story is a reason to celebrate good character.
• Joan Broz writes about Lisle twice a month in Neighbor.