Norm Staszak pins a badge on his son, David's lapel as David was promoted to sergeant in a ceremony July 17. (Photos by Jeff Vorva)

Norm Staszak pins a badge on his son, David's lapel as David was promoted to sergeant in a ceremony July 17. (Photos by Jeff Vorva)

Police, Cups 4 Cancer founder honored by Orland Park board

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HONOREE

Austin Bielski is flanked by Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau and Homer Glen Mayor Christine Neitzke-Troike as he was given a community service award.

By Jeff Vorva

Several Orland Park police officers were lauded or promoted at the Bi-Annual Awards Ceremony on July 17 at the village’s Committee of the Whole meeting.

Mayor Keith Pekau, Orland Police Chief Eric Rossi and Chairman of the Fire and Police Commission Dave O’Connor provided the introductions, with Rossi saying: “The men and women of the Orland Park Police Department are the ones out there day-in-and-day-out keeping us safe.”

Pekau called the force, the best in the state.

New sergeant David Staszak was sworn in as were new officers David Ortega, Michael Dybalski, Brendan Tinoco and Patrick Gallagher.

Exceptional service awards were given to investigators Doug Klein, John Folliard, Scott Prieto, sergeant Casey Wall and officers Daniel Livingston, Nathan O’Connor, David Hansen, Tyler Lorek and Anthony Fallucca.

A life-saving award was presented to officers Christopher Pearce, Daniel Durling and Morgan Hill of for helping save the life of Chad Willis, who was also at the meeting to thank the officers involved.

Two towns proud of Bielski

Austin Bielski, who has an Orland Park address but lives in Homer Glen, was presented the Community Pride Award at the July 17 Board of Trustees meeting.

Bielski has been running a Cups 4 Cancer lemonade stand and raising money to benefit the Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Foundation in recent years.

“What a phenomenal effort by this young man to help improve the lives of people who are affected by childhood cancer,” Pekau said. “He’s raised over $18,000 for children and teens.”

Also joining the meeting was Homer Glen Mayor Christina Neitzke-Troike.

“I am honored to have him as a resident of Homer Glen and Mayor Pekau and I would like to kick off your donations this year with $500 each to get you to your goal,” she said. “I believe he has a goal this year of $8,000 so we’ll start him off with his first thousand.”

Library request passed

The board voted 5-2 to approve using excess funds for capital projects.

Trustees Sean Kampas and Joni Radaszewski voted “no” and Pekau gave a reluctant affirmative vote as he said did not want to override another governing body.

“They levy 52% of the village’s levy for one building and have not controlled their operating costs and have no understanding of what their capital needs are,” he said. “We could have said ‘no’. But the voters elected the library board members and it’s up to the voters to hold them accountable.”

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