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updated: 4/17/2014 4:31 PM

Nursery school director named Lombard Woman of the Year

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  • Susan Bielenda has been named the Lombard Woman of the Year.

      Susan Bielenda has been named the Lombard Woman of the Year.
    Photo submitted by Gail Fromer

 
 

Susan Bielenda says she's "kind of reducing" the number of things she's doing now.

The avid volunteer, however, is still involved in the Lombard Juniors Club, the DuPage Association for the Education of Young Children and the General Federation of Women's Clubs.

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In recent years, she has helped with the Northern Illinois Food Pantry, the DuPage PADS homeless shelter and the community meal at First Church of Lombard.

And she does it all while working as the director of the Cooperative Nursery School of Lombard.

It seems fitting, then, that Bielenda has been named the 2014 Lombard Woman of the Year by the Lombard Service League. She was surprised with the announcement during the league's meeting on April 10.

"It's quite an honor to be thought of as someone who's done a lot for the community," Bielenda said. "My mom was very involved in the PTA and Girl Scouts, so I guess part of it is just what I grew up with, that you gave back to the community. I do it because I want to help the community and especially the children of the community."

Anna Weselak, who serves as the chairwoman for the Woman of the Year contest, said the league has given the honor annually since 1965.

"It recognizes a woman in Lombard who has given up herself to the community, whether it be through volunteer organizations, through her church, through her work or through her family," she said.

When her children were growing up, Bielenda served as the leader of Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops and helped run a vacation Bible school at her church.

In the 1980s, Bielenda was the first woman named to the board of the Lombard Baseball League, which at the time, she said, was fairly controversial. She also served as the group's secretary and ran fundraising and concessions.

Belinda was involved in the parent teacher associations at three schools, including Glenbard East, and served 10 years as president of Friends of the Helen Plum Library.

For 24 years, Belinda has been a member of the Lombard Junior Womens Club, which she joined because she had a cousin who attended a camp the club runs for children with cancer. She said the camp and the club have a special place in her heart.

"I just have kind of done things that I feel need to be done, and things I love doing." she said.

A display recognizing Bielenda and last year's recipient of the Lombard Woman of the Year award will be put up in the Helen Plum Library, Weselak said. Bielenda also will take part in the Lilac Parade.

The Lombard Jaycees are still accepting nominations for the Lombard Man of the Year contest. Judging will occur on April 22 and a ceremony will take place at village hall on May 5. For information call (630) 519-3694 or email president@lombardjaycees.org.

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