CHRIS FOX PHOTO

Willowbrook High School’s Athletic Booster Club held its senior athletic banquet near the end of the 2021-22 school year. The banquet included the presentation of scholarships and awards to several members of Willowbrook’s Class of 2022. Four student-athletes received the Susan Jurkonis Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship honors 1994 Willowbrook graduate Susan Jurkonis, who played badminton and volleyball for the Warriors. A member of Willowbrook’s Athletic Hall of Fame, Jurkonis received a scholarship to play volleyball at Purdue University. She passed away in 1998, at the age of 22, after battling a malignant brain tumor. Susan’s parents—Karl and Ellen Jurkonis—presented the scholarships moments after Susan’s sisters—Jill Jurkonis Lesch and Krista Jurkonis—read the names of this year’s 19 applicants.

“When she was given a gift as she became ill, she asked that it be used for scholarships for Willowbrook student-athletes,” said Karl Jurkonis while referring to the Susan Jurkonis Memorial Scholarship Foundation. The first of the scholarships was presented in 1999. The foundation has now presented 66 scholarships.

This year’s four Susan Jurkonis Memorial Scholarship recipients are: Elizabeth Bruschuk, Devin Cullerton, Rachael Klamecki and Cristian Lager. Each of those four student-athletes received a $2,500 scholarship. The award that came with each of those scholarships noted that they were presented for exemplary character. “What a great group of applicants; they give us hope,” stated Ellen Jurkonis. Mr. and Mrs. Jurkonis and their daughters are all Willowbrook graduates. Pictured left to right are: Jill Jurkonis Lesch, Krista Jurkonis, Lager, Bruschuk, Cullerton, Klamecki, Ellen Jurkonis and Karl Jurkonis.

 

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