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Jenna says goodbye after 10 years as Youth Center Director

“We’re definitely going to miss Lansing”

by Melanie Jongsma
Parents, friends, Village officials, and alumni participated in last Thursday’s farewell party for Jenna Comer-Hill. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

LANSING, Ill. (October 21, 2018) – Last Thursday there were more adults than usual at the Patti Leach Youth Center. Parents, friends, Village officials, and Youth Center alumni congregated in the basement around cake and lemonade. They were there to say goodbye to Jenna Comer-Hill, who has served as Youth Center Director for the past 10 years. Comer-Hill accepted a job with the YMCA in Ohio, where her parents still live. Her last day at the large brick building on Burnham will be Tuesday.

Jenna (far right) and her husband Anthony and their son Walker “totally fell in love with” Lansing. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
At the October 16 Board meeting when her farewell was announced, Comer-Hill said, “I never anticipated to be here for 10 years.” When she and husband Anthony arrived in 2009, they looked for a place to rent, but Lansing proved to be so affordable that they bought a home. “We totally fell in love with the town,” she told the Board.

She fell in love with the job too, and she expressed thanks to the 10 years of families she has interacted with: “For the parents that let me hang out with your kids and share your family a little bit, I appreciate that. That was the best part of the job.”

Mayor Patty Eidam recognized the role that Comer-Hill has played in the Youth Center and in the community: “We appreciate the time and effort that you put into our kids. Jenna has started many new programs at the Youth Center and kept it alive. As you might know, it’s not an easy task. Many communities around us have tried and actually failed at youth centers, so we consider it a very valuable part of our village.”

Mayor Eidam (left) honored Jenna with an award. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
The Youth Center was established 21 years ago; Comer-Hill has given it direction for almost half that time.

Mayor Eidam presented Comer-Hill with an award and read the inscription aloud: “Presented to Jenna Comer-Hill, Director of the Patty Leach Youth Center, in recognition and sincere appreciation for 10 years of distinguished service, guidance, and devotion to the Village of Lansing.”

After Mayor Eidam presented Jenna with an award of recognition, Trustees, Department Heads, and members of the public expressed their appreciation with a standing ovation. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

Comer-Hill is excited to begin a new chapter of work, and she’s pleased that her four-year-old son Walker will get to spend more time with his grandparents. But, she says, “We’re definitely going to miss Lansing.”

The Patti Leach Youth Center is located at 18123 Burnham Avenue, and is open every weekday from 3:30–8:00pm. Residents who are interested in learning more about the services offered can call 708-418-8050.

The Patti Leach Youth Center is located at 18123 Burnham Avenue in Lansing. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

The Village has begun advertising for a new Youth Center Director. The job posting reads, “Must be well organized and able to prioritize tasks as well as have the ability to manage multiple areas of responsibility with overlapping deadlines in a fast-paced environment. The Youth Director is responsible for developing, implementing, and evaluating activities at the Youth Center for middle and high school youth in the community. Send résumé to Anne Newberry by mail to the Village of Lansing Municipal Center, 3141 Ridge Road, or email [email protected].”



Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.