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Business Briefs: Preservationalists Alves, Burcenski honored for economic revitalization

Preservationalists Alves, Burcenski honored for economic revitalization

Restaurateurs and preservationists, J. Thomas Alves and Robert D. Burcenski of Tallgrass Restaurant, were honored for their role in the economic revitalization of downtown Lockport recently.

Lockport, a canal-era town which was the headquarters of the Illinois & Michigan Canal Commission, was founded in 1830. In recognition of Alves' and Burcenski’s commitment to Lockport, the Canal Corridor Association (CCA) awarded them with the Boat Captain's Award during its 22nd annual Boat Captain's Luncheon.

The Boat Captain’s Luncheon raises funds for the Illinois & Michigan Canal National Heritage Area (IMCNHA), America’s first national heritage area designated by Congress and signed by President Reagan in 1984.

Alves and Burcenski are responsible for the rehabilitation of three historic commercial buildings in the heart of downtown Lockport. They are co-owners of the Tallgrass Restaurant, and previously the Public Landing Restaurant, both of which have served as anchors for downtown Lockport.  

Jerry Adelmann, Lockport native and president of Openlands, recognized in a press release that “Tallgrass has been at the heart and soul of the Renaissance of this community in so many ways.”

Mayor Steve Streit of Lockport acknowledged in a press release that Alves and Burcenski are “highly creative, skilled and have vision combined with the ability to get things done.”

Maintaining the character of historic downtowns, while revitalizing these districts, cannot be overestimated when considering the economic potential of the region and the ability to attract residents, businesses and visitors. Ana Koval, president of the CCA stated, “Mr. Alves and Mr. Burcenski were recognized for having vision, grit, impeccable taste in food and wine, and building rehabilitation in a key canal community.”

Alves and Burcenski join a prestigious list of honorees who have earned the Boat Captain's Award in the past, including governmental leaders, broadcasters, corporate CEOs and heads of private foundations. All share a passion and commitment to preserving history that brings clarity to our future by understanding our past.  

National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, Ottawa Mayor Bob Eschbach, Openlands President Gerald Adelmann, former President of Lewis University Br. James Gaffney, Barbara Donnelley and Bill Kurtis, among others, have been past recipients. 

Donation received by Will County Children’s Advocacy Center

Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow recently accepted a $10,000 contribution on behalf of the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center from the Leopardo Charitable Foundation.

The Leopardo Charitable Foundation (LCF) was established by Leopardo Companies Inc., one of the nation’s largest and most respected construction firms. Leopardo is the first company to make a contribution through a new Corporate Partnership Program established by the not-for-profit Will County Children’s Advocacy Center.

Glasgow, who established the Children’s Advocacy Center in 1995 and chairs its board of directors, thanked Leopardo for helping to launch the Corporate Partnership Program with such a generous donation. Leopardo Senior Vice President Leigh McMillen visited the center recently to make the contribution.

“Leopardo’s significant donation to the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center embodies the very definition of corporate responsibility and community service,” Glasgow said in a press release. “This important contribution will enable the Center to continue its critical mission of providing hope, healing, and justice for abused children.”