Katie_595 In the spring of 2006, following the tragic loss of Kati Mendieta, our entire community grieved. As a coach, I was proud of the support our families offered the Mendietas and humbled when many of you asked me to explore ways we, as a community, could show the Mendieta family how much we valued their lost child.

Katina “Kati” joined the Lincolnwood swim team at the age of five. Like anything else, Kati did, she made the most out of her time on the swim team and was always positive. She started and finished each swim with a bright smile. For her swimming was not all about winning but trying your best, having fun and making new friends.

4/5/2006When Julie Gross, Spencer Stoneberg’s mother, suggested a scholarship to perpetuate Katie’s memory, I believed this was an idea that would be welcomed by everyone. Julie envisioned this scholarship as an annual event. Its proceeds would fund a membership to the Swim Team for children each year in Katie’s honor.

The Lincolnwood Lightning’s held the first annual swim-a-thon in Katie’s honor in August of 2006. With this money, we made scholarship awards to four children whom we believed best exemplified Fun, Fairness and Teamwork

4/5/2006From time to time during a swim season, we distribute nomination forms to parents, swimmers and coaches, asking each one of you to name both a boy and a girl who you think exemplify Katie’s values.

Please help us in honoring the memory of our lost team member.

"Katie is and will always be our brightest star"

Past Recipients

2014 Mendieta Winners


Katina Winners 2007