The theme of this issue is breakthrough for several reasons. More daylight, the sun is out, the grass is greener, and flowers are blooming. You catch the drift. We take it a step further. In this issue, we feature many individuals who break through the clutter. It is loaded with unique stories about those in our town of Downers Grove and beyond.

I am one of those parents on the sidelines of games who tries to remain calm and cool – but admittedly – sometimes fail. My competitive nature comes out. Guilty as charged. And I know the stats. My kids’ sports careers will come to an end after four years of high school. After all, only about 2% of high school athletes are awarded some sort of athletic scholarship to compete in college. And pro? About .02% of high school athletes move onto the big leagues. I don’t even know the statistics of high school athletes who leap into the pros. Is there one?

All I do know is that baseball standout George Wolkow has been on our radar since last June when the Chicago White Sox drafted him. A multi-sport athlete at Downers Grove North, we happily highlight this impressive young man on his way to hopefully a storied career. Thanks to writer Jeff Vorva, George, and the Wolkow family for their help bringing his breakthrough performance to our pages.

The Grove Express (formerly The Bonfield Express) is one of my favorite events in Downers Grove. Not a native of this town, I remember the first time seeing Will Kupisch emceeing the event. I turned to a friend and asked, “Who is that guy?” Her response was simply, “A local legend.” Thanks to contributing editor Valerie Hardy, who had the chance to catch up with “Kup” and share his story.

In December, a local resident and reader, Mary Sobut, reached out to me regarding highlighting organ donation in our community. Mary knows this subject all too well. Her daughter, Amy Kilner, a former teacher at Herrick Middle School, has gone through two kidney transplants. We are proud to feature Amy’s story and the need for many waiting for their chance to receive an organ donation. Thank you, Mary and Amy, for bringing this important story – and need – to our readers.

Allison Rosati, News Anchor at NBC5, shares her journey and how she still has the gift of gab after over thirty years on air. Other breakthrough stories include Ronan Kristufek, who recently joined Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance, and West Suburban Community Pantry’s newest CEO, Sue Armato. Our final breakthrough story? Cicadas. They are back with a vengeance—best of luck with that.

Happy reading, and we will see you in May!

Anne Healy
Associate Publisher