by Danielle Fitzpatrick Clark
Photos by Lynn Logan & Mike Mantucca Unless Otherwise Submitted
Introducing 5 Fascinating Kids of the Year.....
Congratulations to our 15 Fascinating Faces for the Year of 2014! Though we received many inspiring and heartening stories about fascinating west suburban residents, we could only choose a few to feature in this year’s annual issue. Those who were chosen will uplift you during this holiday season, sharing their joys, triumphs, and inspirational messages. Click here to meet them.
What started out as music lessons at Hix Bros. Music in Aurora and Batavia progressed to an amazing rock band for the four members of LiveWire. Nikko Viejon, Danny Cappelli, Alex Cappelli, and Cohen Bessler formed the band three years ago this past November. “We are all passionate about playing music, and have found inspiration in each other, and other musicians,” Alex shares. LiveWire plays songs by classic rock artists and also donates and plays for several charities. The group writes original music as well and has recently released two singles on iTunes called But U Did and Crushed. For more information go to: www.WeAreLiveWire.com.
Ava Morse has been singing and acting since she was 5. This holiday season she’ll be playing the role of Emily Cratchit in A Christmas Carol at the Goodman Theater, but her professional career doesn’t stop there! She’s made several TV appearances, including a recurring role in NBC’s Chicago PD. This past summer, Ava won the 13-year-and-under division of Singing at the Fling at Naperville’s Last Fling. One of her favorite characters to play was Mollie in Annie, “because she was really sassy and sneaky,” Ava shares. Her current goal is to play the title role in the Broadway national tour of Matilda.
Twelve-year-old Griffin Murphy has wanted to act since starting voice lessons at Stacey De and Company over two years ago. Not only has he excelled in his music, but has proved his acting chops in several performances as well. In 2010, Griffin performed in his first play, Aladdin, with Stacey De and Company. He’s played several key characters in his school’s plays and has participated in numerous BAM Theater kids’ workshops over the past few summers as well. For future plans, Griffin hopes to professionally sing and act, but as a backup plan, he’d like to become a doctor!
Being bullied and tortured for nearly five years because of an auto-immune disease called alopecia was the worst thing 16-year-old Camille Paddock has ever endured. Feelings of worthlessness and depression enveloped Camille to the point of almost giving up. With the help of her family Camille bounced back stronger than ever, and started Cam’s Dare to Be Different – speaking out to schools, kids, parents, and administrators on the adverse effects of bullying. This year she was crowned Miss Teen Illinois International and is currently writing a book, due next year, on her experiences with bullying. Her personal motto - “Never, EVER, give up.”
Haleigh Bruckner has loved football since the fourth grade – when she first saw her younger brother Connor playing for Saint Raphael’s football league. “Playing such a fun and physical sport just got my adrenaline going and I knew right then I wanted to get in on the action,” she says. Now 15 and a sophomore at Neuqua High, Haleigh plays end on the defensive line for Neuqua and credits her family and teammates for support and acceptance as she’s taken on such a male-dominated sport. “I love football with all my heart and it definitely is my greatest passion,” she enthuses.