My turn

Calumet City native ran in most recent Boston Marathon

2013-05-02T00:00:00Z 2013-05-06T17:39:03Z Calumet City native ran in most recent Boston MarathonGeorge Grenchik Times Columnist
May 02, 2013 12:00 am  • 

The modern Boston Massacre is still in the news every day.

I didn’t know until recently that there was a Calumet City connection to the bombings in Boston. Nancy Elwess is a native of Cal City. I know Nancy from having worked with her many years back when we were both employed by the Calumet Memorial Park District. What I remember most is that Nancy Elwess was a runner — a distance runner and a good one.

Elewess has been out of the area for a long time. She worked at the Mayo Clinic, acquired a doctorate, and for at least 15 years has been teaching biology at the University of New York, Plattsburgh.

I knew that Nancy Elwess ran in the Boston Marathon when she was still living in the area. Her brother, Bill, tells me she has run in 132 marathons. Nancy Elwess is indeed a runner.

I didn’t know that she had run in the most recent Boston Marathon. As it happened, Elwess was 30 yards from the finish line when the bomb exploded. Though she was cut by some of the debris of the blast, Nancy Elwess made those last 30 yards. Her motivation for getting to the finish line was to get away from the blast. Her wounds were not too serious.

You never know.


- Congratulations to my colleague and friend of many years Jeannie Garritano on being named the first recipient of the Sister Alban Award for community service. The award came at the Calumet City Lions Club Awards Night.

For many years Garritano has been associated with Victor Care for St. Victor Parish. Victor Care today takes care of needy families of Calumet City with Christmas presents, Thanksgiving meals, and school supplies. Garritano and her intrepid crew of volunteers have been at it for 15 years.

The Lions Club also bestowed honors on deserving local teachers: Crystal Pedroni of District 149, Karen Walski of District 155, Linda Grabarczyk of District 156, Noell Wiora of District 157, and Liz Stramiglia of Thornton Fractional North High School.

Recognized as police officer of the year was Jason Meclewicz. Firefighter of the year was Glenn Bachert. Both were nominated by their chiefs.

Congratulations and thanks to the Calumet City Lions for all the work they do and for having this recognition for those who serve, educate, and protect others in our town.

- At 4 p.m. Sunday, South Suburban College will present a concert “Trumpet and Drums” at St. Andrew Church, 768 Lincoln Ave. in Calumet City. Great music in a great venue.

- Congratulations to the 65 young people (and a few a little older) who were confirmed as committed Christians by Bishop George Rassas. We need young folks to stand up for what they believe.

- Trivia Nite Out is 7:30 p.m. May 11 at St. Victor Church hall, 553 Hirsch Ave. in Calumet City. Contact me with any questions.

- It was a fitting farewell to Marcy Koller as her son, Dr. Michael Koller, ascended to the choir loft to lead the St. Victor choir, which he directs, in the "Hallelujah" chorus at the conclusion of his mother’s funeral Mass. Marcy, bookkeeper for St. Victor parish, was a great lady. Rest in peace.

Thanks for reading.

The opinions are solely those of the writer. George Grenchik is a longtime Calumet City resident and retired instructor at Bishop Noll Institute in Hammond. He can be reached at

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Latest Local Offers

Featured Businesses



Do you think the Lake County Solid Waste Management District should pay its new director less than its former director?

View Results