Page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16

Name Date Entry
Mom, Elizabeth and Nicholas 4/15/07 Two years ago today we wished you a happy 17th
Not knowing that was your last birthday we would celebrate together
Now today instead of phone calls and gifts to show you that we care,
We simply offer you our prayers and send you a balloon through the air.

We think of you today like every other day
But celebrate without you knowing life is not the same

Happy 19th Birthday, Kathryn!
That’s what the cake would read
You would laugh because we always sing off key.
Nineteen candles to blow out, make a wish before they go dark
But even though they lose their light,
The lessons we’ve learned, by the example of your life
Will forever shine on bright.
Betten Family 4/15/07

Dear Bender Family,

Our thoughts and prayers are with you today as they are every day. Kathryn still lives in our hearts and always will. We miss her serene smile and loving nature, but our memories of her remain strong. We shall all be with her again someday.

                             Love and Prayers,

                             Paul, Gayle, Elizabeth,
                             Samantha and Jonathan

The Sara Family 4/15/07

Happy Birthday Kathryn!

We love you and are sending up prayers on this special day.

Kelsey Zavadovics 4/15/07

Happy 19th Birthday Kathryn. [4,15,07]

At the Neuqua recital it will not be the same without your bright smiling face on stage dancing your heart out. It wasn't the same last year.

Today I danced for a long time from the dance videos in your memory. I loved you so much and I still do.

Blow out those 19 candles and make a wish.

I wish the Bender family well

~Kelsey Zavadovics

Megan Dworzycki 4/22/07

I knew Kathryn because I met her at my cousin's house and we always made ginger bread houses, I miss those times with her.

~Megan Dworzycki

Meghan Falconio 05/15/07 ~HER CHOICE ~

Her eyes closed.
Everything was so different.
No pain,
     No hurt,
          No worries.

She felt like as if she was dancing
Through the sapphire sky
How can I be?
I was just getting ready
To dance on stage.

Her eyes opened.
And looked at him in disbelief.
It can't be!

She would have to make a choice.
Many questions filled her mind.

Her life was full,
Her life was complete.
She only missed out on one thing,
Her dad.

She had memories with her mom, sister, and brother,
But she couldn't remember any with her dad.
Her decision would hurt a loved one either way.

In her heart she knew her choice
She held his hand and
Gave him a long overdue hug.
Tears of joy ran down their faces.
She always wondered
What it would be for him to hold her again.
Unfortunately, they weren't the only ones
Whose tears were present.

Their eyes looked downward at their family,
Those tears were
     Of sadness,
          Of heartbreak,
               And of pain.

In the church at the funeral,
Her mom felt the warmth of the sun
As it shined through a single pane of the stained glass window.
A tear ran down her cheek and touched the tip of her smile.
She knew her daughter
     Was safe,
          Was at peace,
               And was at home.
Her baby girl of seventeen
Was finally in the arms of her dad.

~This poem was published in The Coil, which is the Monmouth College
     Creative Arts Magazine
Jaclyn Montagano 05/29/2007

It's amazing how fast the 2007 year has gone by. We just finished the 2nd annual Kathryn Bender Memorial Showcase at COD this year. Everyone did a fantastic job. I give props the Nick and Elizabeth's dance which just touched my heart. It's almost time for the Steps Dance Recital and the rewarding of the 2007 Kathryn Bender Dance Scholarships for two dancers. I know each and every dancer and audience member will be keeping Kathryn's love for dance and people in their memories and their hearts as they watch this years show. But our shows will never be the same because we are missing one very important, special dancer. We love you Kathryn. Everyone still has you in their prayers and their hearts and you will never be forgotten. God bless Kathryn and the Bender Family!

Jaclyn Montagano

Eileen Lannon 06/18/2007

To all the dancers who danced in the 2nd Annual Kathryn Bender Memorial Showcase: You were wonderful. I am astonished at how gifted you all are! I didn't want the dancing to end. When the 3rd Annual Showcase comes around, I hope to see you all there!

To all the people "behind the scenes:" Once again the Showcase was a night to remember and certainly honor Kathryn.

Nicholas and Elizabeth, your dance was wonderful! Your hard work showed throughout the evening. You both continue to amaze me with all that you do...and do so well.

Elleise Piche 07/05/2007

A lot happened during the 2006-2007 dance year. Competitions, conventions, showcases and classes. Steps changed a lot during the last year. But throughout all of the times that Steps was going through both difficult and fantastic times, everyone had the same thought, still in the back of our minds; Kathryn Bender. Through the difficult times, Kathryn brought Steps together. Though a lot of people, and myself, are moving to different studios the upcoming dance season, we still share the memories of the difficult times, and the memories of trying to get through them together. Kathryn Bender had truly changed all of us for the better.

Rosie Sajak, CFRE 10/14/2007

On behalf of the DuPage Children's Museum I wanted to acknowledge your very thoughtful gift in Kathryn's honor. This tile is such a thoughtful and permanent way to nurture our future generation of teachers. Thank you so much for all you are doing in Kathryn's name.

Warm regards,
Rosie Sajak, CFRE