Evanston news delivered free to your inbox! 


The Kiwanis Club of Evanston presented six Evanston Township High School scholar athletes with the Van Zelst award, named for Ted Van Zelst, a prominent Evanston businessman who excelled in science, the arts and humanitarian causes. 

In November the club saluted Jalen Christian, Boys Basketball, Ramin Abrahm, Wrestling and Soccer, and new Illinois State Diving champion, Lucy Hogan. Jalen and Ramin have yet to settle on a school after graduation. Lucy, who has excelled in diving since her freshman year at ETHS, will attend the University of Michigan and compete for the Wolverines.

The December honorees were Ben Tarpey, football and basketball standout; Rafael Salinas, a three-sport athlete in wrestling, basketball and gymnastics; and Delany Brooks, a four-year member of the girls basketball team. 

Ben has played football and basketball at ETHS and holds the all-time record for pass completions. He also makes time to work with special needs students. Rafael was a standout in last year’s Illinois State Wrestling championships and hopes to improve his record this year. 

Delany has played basketball for several years, beginning in the feeder programs and culminating a in a four-year position on the girls basketball team.  She will attend a Division 3 school and hopes to continue her playing career.  She also spends time working with Appalachian families in the off-season.  Ben and Rafael are still considering their college options.

Kiwanis members are always impressed and uplifted by the quality and work ethic displayed by student athletes and their ability to communicate with older audiences. Each honoree receives a certificate of recognition, a book on leadership and a $25 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble.