GLEN ELLYN – The victory bell at Glenbard West High School in Glen Ellyn has been restored to its former glory.
The restored bell recently was installed in a new stand atop a new pedestal. A dedication ceremony for the restored bell will be held between 10:30 and 11 a.m. Sept. 22 at Glenbard West as part of the school's homecoming activities. The Hitters varsity football team will face Downers Grove North High School at 1:30 p.m. that day.
To this day, Glenbard West football players continue a long-standing tradition of ringing the school's victory bell following a win. A shared gift from the classes of 1960 and 1966, the bell was presented to the school in April 1967.
"Hopefully it will add an incentive to the football team to ring the bell on homecoming weekend," said 1966 Glenbard West graduate and class Vice President Pete Konkle, who was involved in the bell restoration campaign.
Major funding for the project was provided by the classes of 1966, 1967 and 1968. A new support frame was donated by the class of 1984, and restoration and enhancement of the pedestal was a gift from the class of 2018.
"It's just gratifying to see the effort that so many people made," Konkle said. "Hundreds of people donated to this thing, either time or money. It's going to be very gratifying to see the new bell."
The project was fully funded through donations.
"I think we raised around $16,000," Konkle said.
Konkle was a member of the graduating gift committee that presented the bell to the school. Fellow 1966 class member Tom Traber spearheaded the bell restoration campaign after noticing the bell was in need of repair at the class of 1966's 50th reunion in October 2016.
"There were some very pleasant surprises along the way, as well as an unexpected glitch or two," Traber said in an email. "The important thing is that everything seems to have come together, and that the bell is in good condition, ready to be ringing for many years to come."