BDC to Honor Nora Laureto at the 31st Annual Charles E. Piper Award Dinner
|The Berwyn Development Corporation (BDC) will host the 31st Annual Charles E. Piper Award Dinner honoring Nora Laureto on Saturday, November 7, 2015. The event – The Golden Age of Hollywood – will feature a classic Hollywood film theme with dueling pianos, a grand prize drawing and a silent auction fundraiser. Classic 1920s–1960s cocktail attire is highly encouraged as a photographer will be on site to capture the festivities. Prizes will be awarded to the best dressed male and female. The event will begin at 6:00 p.m. at Skylite West Banquets located at 7117 W Ogden Avenue in Berwyn, Illinois.|
The BDC is proud to present Nora Laureto with this respected community award to honor her achievements and contributions towards the growth and development of Berwyn’s business community. Each year, the BDC membership selects an individual who best exemplifies the spirit of one of Berwyn’s original developers, Charles E. Piper.
A lifelong resident of Berwyn, Nora Laureto has established deep roots within the community. She currently sits as the 8th Ward Alderman for the City of Berwyn, is the Vice President of the Board of Berwyn North School District 98 Educational Foundation and is a member of the Roosevelt Road Special Events Commission of the Berwyn Development Corporation, which organizes community events along Berwyn’s northern border.
Nora has been an enduring advocate for youth and a tireless connector within the community. She is presently partnering with Youth Crossroads and Berwyn Arts & Music (BAM) to begin the neighborhood beautification project, “Paint the Plugs.” With the support of the City of Berwyn’s Public Works Department, Berwyn Fire Department and Berwyn Firefighters Union Local 506, Morton West High School students will design and paint characters on the fire hydrants along Roosevelt Road in October in honor of National Fire Prevention Month.
Among Nora’s fondest memories was orchestrating the relocation of the “Lincoln, the Friendly Neighbor” statue from the former Land of Lincoln Bank on Riverside Drive to the entrance of Lincoln Middle School on 16th Street. After passing a referendum to expand Lincoln Middle School, Nora had the idea to enhance the school’s campus with public art. She discovered that the Lincoln sculpture had been donated to the City of Berwyn by the former bank’s owners, and the City was willing to donate the statue as long as funds were raised to do so. In order fund the relocation project, she launched the “Pennies for Lincoln” campaign with the school district. With the support of countless students, parents, neighbors and friends, the fundraiser was a success. Nora recalled, “There was nothing better than watching the statue come down East Avenue with all of the Lincoln students out in front, watching it be hoisted onto the new marble pedestal that everyone had worked together to accomplish.” The statue’s inscription reads, “The better part of one’s life consists of his friendships,” and this holds true as Nora continues her lifelong tradition of actively engaging and inspiring leadership in her community.
Nora Laureto has donated her time and talents to a number of community organizations in Berwyn, including the following:
- Past Member and Secretary, City of Berwyn’s Community Relations Commission
- Past Member, City of Berwyn Zoning Board of Appeals
- Co-chair of Keeping Berwyn Beautiful
- Member, City of Berwyn’s Blue Ribbon Committee for Historical Preservation
- Past Board President, Youth Crossroads (formerly Youth-in-Crisis)
- Member, Strategic Planning Committee for Berwyn North School District 98
- Past PTA President of Jefferson Elementary and Lincoln Middle Schools
- Past Chair, Illinois District PTA #28 Scholarship (8 yrs.)
- Referendum Chair for building additions at Lincoln Middle School and construction of Prairie Oak
- Board Secretary, Berwyn Main Street (2006-08)
- Past Assistant Cubmaster, Pack 41, Jefferson Elementary School
- Member, City of Berwyn’s 911 Memorial Committee
- Member, Berwyn Women’s Club
- Member, Berwyn Historical Society
- Member, Berwyn Development Corporation
Nora has also been honored for her special achievements with the following awards:
- PTA Lifetime Membership Award
- Illinois PTA Book of Recognition
- Illinois State Board of Education’s Those Who Excel Award for community involvement (1996-97)
- Youth-in-Crisis, Cornerstone of Youth Award (2001)
- Berwyn United Gay And Lesbian Organization’s (BUNGALO) Founders’ Award (2008)
Nora’s credits her family and neighbors as her inspiration for her vision for a better Berwyn. She shared, “I am proud to call Berwyn home. I am the third generation living in our Berwyn bungalow. As Alderman of the 8th Ward, I have watched Roosevelt Road become the music, arts and dining destination I have always envisioned it could be. I am very thankful for the family that I have. They know that they are the most important things in my life and my involvement and volunteering was done to make things better not only for them but also for the whole community. I have never done anything for the recognition or honor. I do things because I truly enjoy being part of this wonderful community. I am very honored to receive this award from the Berwyn Development Corporation.”
Mayor Robert J. Lovero commented, “As Mayor of the City of Berwyn, I would like to enthusiastically congratulate Nora Laureto on receiving the Charles E. Piper Award. Nora, as a lifelong friend and resident of Berwyn, has dedicated herself in bettering our community by volunteering countless hours with the schools, youth organizations, historic preservation, the local business committees and representing her local constituents as alderman. Nora exemplifies every characteristic that a Piper Award winner should have.” Mal Montoya, President of the BDC Board of Directors added, “On behalf of the Berwyn Development Corporation, it is my distinct honor to congratulate Nora Laureto for being selected as this year’s Charles E. Piper Award recipient. All sectors, including the arts, education, youth programs and economic development, have directly benefited as a result of her countless contributions. We are proud to honor an individual who has given tirelessly to our fine community.”
To purchase tickets, make a donation to the silent auction, or obtain additional information on the 31st Annual Charles E. Piper Award Dinner and fundraiser, contact the Berwyn Development Corporation at (708) 788-8100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.