Southwest Morgan Park Civic Association Seeks to Plan Greenspace

By Kristin Boza

The Southwest Morgan Park Civic Association (SWMPCA) serves the neighborhood between 111th and 119th Streets, and Western Avenue east to the Metra tracks. The group is working toward building their community, according to SWMPCA secretary David Lauryn.

“At this point, we need members and leaders,” Lauryn said. “We do not charge membership dues and there are no other costs to join. The membership benefits include the benefits of accruing good neighbors and living in a good neighborhood. We want to collaborate to promote safety, healthy property values, peaceful coexistence and fellowship.”

The group tries to meet quarterly, and the next general meeting is Thurs., May 18, 7 p.m., Peterson Hall, St. Walter Church, Parish, 11722 S. Oakley Ave.

Mark Cornell, a resident within SWMPCA boundaries, attended a meeting recently to bring up his concerns surrounding the greenspace behind St. Walter Church and school. “I was interested in finding out what was going on with the greenspace, and I ended up also attending a Chicago Park District meeting to find out how to start a Park Advisory Board,” he said. Cornell took his findings on how to start a board to SWMPCA and now the association and the park district will work together to address the potential future use of the greenspace.

Cornell and the new Park Advisory Board will be the liaison between the community and the park district. “We can express our views but not necessarily tell them what we want,” Cornell said. “Right now, the Park Advisory Board is working with SWMPCA to gather ideas about what the neighbors would like to see in the space.”

Another pressing issue for SWMPCA is traffic, particularly around the greenspace and the Morgan Park Sports Center at 115th and Western. The group plans to start a petition to request speed bumps in the area around the greenspace, and they’re considering also asking for two 20 mph speed limit signs to be placed on Bell and Oakley Avenues.

SWMPCA is truly focused on creating a safe, friendly area that will benefit all neighbors. Anyone interested in helping should plan on attending the meeting on May 18.

Kennedy Park Advisory Council Raising Money for Pool Chairs

By Kristin Boza

With pool season only a few short months away, the Kennedy Park Advisory Council (KPAC) is looking toward summer and working hard to improve the Kennedy Park pool experience for everyone in the neighborhood. The KPAC, formed in Sept. 2016 and led by president Carly Carney, is engaged in a fundraising effort to purchase new deck and lounge chairs and a sun sail for shade to create a more relaxing environment for pool patrons.

“Since the new heating system was installed several years ago, Kennedy Park has really become this summer oasis for neighborhood families, seniors and adults,” Carney said. “Often, there aren’t enough chairs and the ones that have been supplied by the park district have deteriorated over the years. It always weighed on my heart to see a mom with a little one that didn’t have a place to sit, or a senior citizen in an unstable chair.”

The KPAC aims to raise enough money to purchase 20 deck chairs and 20 lounge chairs. To combat the issue of no shade on the pool deck, they hope to also purchase a sun sail to give swimmers the opportunity to rest in the shade when they’re not enjoying the water.

Carney praises the Chicago Park District for their efforts in listening to residents and making much-needed changes. They extended the pool hours for lap swimmers and family swim times, and they chose Kennedy Park to be part of an initiative to extend the pool season into September.

“If the Chicago Park District is willing to work with us, then it is the right thing to do to work within their constraints,” Carney said. “It feels like a joint partnership with Eric Fischer, head of aquatics, and Ed Affolter, regional manager.”

While budget limitations prohibit the park district from purchasing the chairs themselves, Carney and the rest of the KPAC are motivated to solve the problem. “By solving this problem, it actually enhances this neighborhood resource and will make it even more friendly and comfortable to those who use the pool,” she said.

95th Street Business Association president Erin Ross helped the KPAC set up the fundraiser so that those who donate are eligible for a tax deduction. To donate, visit Kennedy Park Pool and Advisory Council on Facebook for a link to their GoFundMe page.

“The fundraising initiative is really an extended effort of how small changes can be made if we support one another,” Carney said. “The more neighborhood families use the pool, the more of a gathering place it becomes for our community.”



Get Involved! Neighborhood Association News

Whether your time is limited or you’re looking for regular volunteer opportunities, you can find way to make a difference in our community! Local associations invite Beverly/Morgan Park residents to get involved.

Beverly Woods Homeowners Association Looking to Regroup

For the last year and a half, Lydia Barnes has worked hard to get the Beverly Woods Homeowners Association (BWHA) up and running again. She is looking for help to organize in her neighborhood and address the unique issues the Beverly Woods area faces. The north/south boundaries for the BWHA are from 115th to 119th streets, and from Western west to Rockwell Avenue.

“We need an association. When things happen in your neighborhood, there needs to be forms of communication and a place where you can voice your complaints as a neighborhood,” she said. “You need to get the support of your city government as a neighborhood, not as an individual, since it’s more effective to have the clout of an association behind you.”

For example, Barnes would like to see the street lights updated, since the current ones are old and some are rusted and falling over. Beverly Woods is solidly residential, without any parks, and it bounded on Western by a variety of businesses, including restaurants and bars. “We have unique problems,” Barnes said.

Barnes runs a Facebook page for association residents which can be found by searching for BWHA. On it, she posts local news and events that would be of interest to her neighbors.

Last summer, Barnes teamed up with neighbor Lynn Sloyan to organize a food drive. They went door to door, leaving a grocery bag at each house. “County Fair provided bags and BAPA helped us to make fliers. We attached the fliers to the bags and had the Boy Scout troop collect the food on a Saturday morning. It was very successful and benefitted the Maple/Morgan Park Food Pantry and a food bank in Roseland,” she said.

Thanks to the success of the food drive, Barnes feels that the neighborhood is encouraged to participate, but she does need help organizing events and addressing neighborhood concerns. If anyone in the Beverly Woods neighborhood would like to help lead the charge, contact Lydia Barnes through BWHA’s Facebook page or email her directly at

BRHA Block Buddies

Neighbors who live between Western and the Metra tracks from 95th to 103rd Streets and are interested in taking on a leadership role for your block within the larger community are invited to become a Beverly Ridge Homeowners Association (BRHA) Block Buddy. BRHA’s next meeting is Mon., Feb. 13, 7:30 p.m., Ridge Park, 9625 S. Longwood Dr. For info, email

WBCA Meeting

The West Beverly Civic Association (WBCA) will meet Wed., Feb. 8, 7 p.m., at Barney Callaghans, 10618 S. Western. Attendance is welcome for people who reside between 99th and 107th Streets, Western to California.

SWMPCA Meeting

Southwest Morgan Park Civic Association (SWMPCA) will hold its’s quarterly meeting, Tue., Feb. 7, 7 p.m. St. Walter’s Parish, Peterson Hall, 11722 S. Oakley Ave. Neighbors who live between Western and the Metra tracks, from 111th to 119th Streets are encouraged to attend and here the area news and association updates.

VIA General Meeting

The Vanderpoel Improvement Association (VIA) general membership meeting will be held Sat., Feb. 25, 9:30 a.m., Beverly Library, 95th & Damen. All neighbors residing between 95th and 99th Streets, Wood to Charles Streets (both sides) are welcome to attend. Refreshments will be served.

RPAC Meeting

The Ridge Park Advisory Council (RPAC) will meet Tues., Feb. 28, 7 p.m., Ridge Park fieldhouse, 9625 S. Longwood Dr. Election of officers is on the agenda along with discussions of upcoming programs and projects. Meetings will be held on the 4th Tuesday, every other month. RPAC members will be partnering with members of Vanderpoel Improvement Association, Beverly Ridge Homeowners Association and BAPA on an Earth Day Clean & Green in April, designating Ridge Park, the 95th Street Metra Station and the 99th Street Metra Station for clean-ups. The RPAC is a group of concerned citizens assisting the Chicago Park District and staff of the Ridge Park Field House and Cultural Center in sustaining and advocating for improvements to the historic fieldhouse built in 1913, the park grounds and park programs. For information, contact Mary Jo Viero, or 773-233-3100.


Beverly Art Competition Exhibit ‘Christens’ Jack Simmerling Gallery at BAC


On the evening that the Beverly Art Center’s main gallery was dedicated as the Jack Simmerling Gallery, winners in the 40th annual Beverly Art Competition were announced. It was a fitting legacy for the late Jack Simmerling who, as a neighbor and artist, did so much for our community and the BAC.

In celebrating the honor to their father, Jack Simmerling’s children attended the event, warmly welcomed by Lori and Ed McGunn, whose gift the gallery dedication possible.

Judging the art competition weres Judie Anderson and Raymond A. Thomas. Winners are:  Beverly Bank Best of Show, Zachary Williams – “Angry Bombs;”  Alice & Arthur Baer Award, Alvin Hawkins – “Shelter From The Storm;” Bill & Judie Anderson Award, Vicki Hayes – “Torrence Av.;” Figurative Award, Justin Clemmons – “C.H.I.C.A.G.O.;” Non-Representational Award, Cynthia Lee – “Momento Mori;” 3 Dimensional Award,

Martin Kirk – “Piranha Attack;” Photographic/Digital Award, Louisa Murzyn – “Foggy River Sunrise;” and Honorable Mentions, Pamela Stalker – “The Conversation,” Lee Galusha –  “Black,” andDamon Lamar Reed – “I Got Right.”

The exhibit of finalists and winners continues through Jan. 8 at the BAC, 2407 W. 111th St.

The Beverly Art Competition was founded in 1976 by real estate developer Arthur Rubloff and local artists William and Judie Anderson, all original supporters of the BAC. Today, funding for this important juried competition continues thanks to the generosity and community spirit of The Beverly Bank & Trust Co., and new partners The Chicago Community Trust, and The Reva and David Logan Foundation.

Neighborhood Notes

Shop Small. Give Big. When small businesses succeed, we all do!  BAPA, the Morgan Park Beverly Hills Business Association, 95th Street Business Association and Mount Greenwood Community and Business Association hosts Shop 19 and Earn Neighborhood Rewards, a month-long campaign through which neighbors who spend $300 at local stores through Dec. 24 and could win a $50 gift card. Drop off copies of your receipts documenting purchases of $25 or more and totaling $300 spent at local businesses by Jan. 6, to BAPA, 1987 W. 111th St., or Mount Greenwood Community & Business Association, 3400 W. 111th St. For details and restrictions, visit Make every Saturday Small Business Saturday! #ShopSmall!

Document Shredding/Electronics and Prescription Disposal. Document shredding and disposal of electronics and prescriptions will be available for 19th Ward residents Sat., Dec. 3, 9 to 11 a.m., St. Barnabas School parking lot, 10121 S. Longwood Dr. Free. Documents must be loose with no staples or binders.

Flu Shots. Flu vaccinations for people over age 10 will be available at the 19th Ward Community Room, 10402 S. Western, Tues., Dec. 6, 1 to 4 p.m., first come, first served. Staff from Walgreen’s will be available to assist with paperwork to bill insurance or provide vouchers for free shots for people who do not have insurance. This service is provided by Ald. Matt O’Shea, Sen. Bill Cunningham and Rep. Fran Hurley in partnership with Walgreen’s Pharmacy. Info: 773-238-8766 or

Young Writers to Create Illustrated Books. Young writers can create their very own comic or picture books in a two-part program at the Beverly Branch Library, 1962 W. 95th St. On Wed., Dec. 7, 4 to 5 p.m., children are invited to bring a favorite illustrated book and tell why they like it, and on Wed., Dec. 14, 4 to 6 p.m., they are invited to return and create their own books using a storyboard and art/writing supplies. Registration required: 312-747-9673.

Become an HCBA member. The Historic Chicago Bungalow Association (HCBA) has expanded its mission to permit homeowners of any style of vintage home (50 years of age or older) to become HCBA members and take advantage of workshops and programs. HCBA members also have opportunities to apply for grants, of they are income-eligible. Info:

Pillowcase Challenge Benefits Charities. The Quilter’s Trunk, 10352 S. Western, invites neighbors to participate in the 1 Million Pillowcases Challenge, sponsored by American Patchwork & Quilting. The shop is collecting donations of handmade pillowcases and quilts which will be given to various local charities.

Pillowcases are quick and easy projects for any skill level and age – even for kids! Free pillowcase patterns are available at The Quilter’s Trunk – just ask! For more information on the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge, visit For more information from The Quilter’s Trunk, call 773-980-1100 or visit

League of Women Voters. The League of Women Voters of Chicago, Far Southwest Side Group, will meet Wed., Dec. 7, 7 p.m., 9746 S. Walden Pkwy., to discuss natural resources – Chicago’s water. The League is a non-partisan organization that provides informal discussion of current political, social and economic issues. Public welcome. Info: 312-939-5949, 773-779-4928 or

Surviving the Holidays. The holiday season can be an emotionally charged and difficult one for those who have become disconnected from family and friends. Beverly Therapists, 10725 S. Western, 2nd floor will host this month’s Stress Management workshop Sat., Dec. 10, 3 to 5 p.m. The workshop creates intentional space to discuss tips on how to cope during the holidays, including normal grief reactions, ways to honor loved ones, children’s concern and ways to celebrate oneself and feel validated and uplifted.  $10. Info/registration: or 773-310-3488.

Mercy Circle Open House. Mercy Circle, 3659 W. 99th St., will hold an open house events Sun., Dec., 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. providing an opportunity to meet staff members, tour the retirement community and enjoy holiday refreshments. Mercy Circle is the only faith-based retirement community in the area and it offers apartments for independent living residents, along with generous amenities, enrichment programs and services as well as healthcare and services for assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing care residents.Info:773-253-3600.

Weight Loss Center Opening. Illinois Wellness and Weight Loss Centers will open at 9933 S. Western in January. Owned and operated by. Dr. Goldwyn B. Foggie who has over 20 years of experience in women’s health. She is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology, and a board-eligible Obesity Medicine Specialist. A member of the Obesity Medicine Association and the Obesity Society, Dr. Foggie helps patients who are overweight or obese, working on individual plans to help them meet goals for wellness and weight loss. Info: or 872-702-4254.

Snow Removal Reminder. Property owners are responsible for removing snow from sidewalks and driveways. Snow should not be shoveled, plowed or snow blown onto the street.



‘Never Go Without’ Serves Women in Need

By Kristin Boza

During the holiday season, it’s easy to find a food, toy or clothing drive to donate new or used items to. It’s also easy to forget that essential items, especially feminine care products, are in dire need year-round. That’s one reason why Beverly/Morgan Park native Jesseca Rhymes founded Never Go Without, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to filling the gap and ensuring every woman and girl can take care of her personal hygiene each month.

“I started Never Go Without to combine my love for fun and service,” Rhymes said. “In honor of my 24th birthday, I hosted my first feminine care product drive. I promoted the drive, picked up donations and shopped for products every night for about a month.”

At her birthday party, friends and family brought donations. Rhymes is eager to make this an annual event. To date, Rhymes and her mother, Lynette, have been able to donate over 23,000 incontinence supplies, pads, tampons, pantiliners and wipes to Chicago-area women in need.

The biggest recipient of Never Go Without’s donations is Deborah’s Place, the oldest and largest provider of housing for women experiencing homelessness in Chicago. “Deborah’s Place is always in need of incontinence supplies,” Rhymes said. “This makes perfect sense because a period lasts maybe 10 days at the most, but when a woman is dealing with incontinence issues, that is a daily struggle.”

Product donations can be dropped off or mailed to DJ’s Bike Doctor in Hyde Park. However, there are a couple other ways to donate that can stretch the dollar and even benefit the giver.

“We are involved with a company called Aunt Flow, which is a one-to-one purchasing program,” Rhymes said. “For every box of tampons or pads you purchase for yourself, you can choose to donate a box to Never Go Without.” Users can sign up for a monthly delivery to receive tampons or pads, and can even customize the box based on their individual flow needs. In turn, Aunt Flow will donate the same box to Never Go Without. Sign up at

Alternatively, monetary donations are accepted through their website at “We shop very frugally and coupon in order to make our donation dollars stretch,” Rhymes said.

Rhymes’ next goal is to spread the word across the Chicago area via social media with the hashtag #likesharefollowdonate. “We always need people to share what we are doing via Facebook and Instagram. Half the battle is making sure people know and understand this is a real need,” she said.

“I cannot imagine dealing with my period and not having the proper supplies. It is unacceptable that there are women who do it every month,” Rhymes said. “This is a simple need that is way too often overlooked, and I just want to shine more light on the issue.”

Looking forward, Rhymes is gearing up for their annual event next year and is seeking sponsorship and partners to make the event bigger and better, she said. “We are small but mighty. We are still finding the right path for us, but no matter where we go or what we do, we are going to keep making sure we get feminine care products to more women in need,” Rhymes said.

To find out how you can help, email Jesseca Rhymes at

VIA: Working Together for Common Good

By Kristin Boza

The area between 95th and 99th Streets, from Charles to Wood Streets is organized by the Vanderpoel Improvement Association (VIA), a civic association with the goal to be the “Voices in Action” for their area of the neighborhood.

Gary Jenkins, VIA president, was just elected to his second term. “I’m a newbie with the VIA; I really admire the people who’ve been doing this a long time,” Jenkins said. “These folks have kept VIA going for, and they are the people who come out and do great things for the community.”

Jenkins has always been proud to serve his community, and he’s done so in every community he’s lived in. Originally from the East Coast, Jenkins and his wife Sharon moved to Chicago 17 years ago, and to Beverly/Morgan Park 14 years ago.

“I’m a strong believer that a neighborhood is made up of its small parts. All civic associations help keep the neighborhood safe and a great place for kids and families,” Jenkins said. “People make the neighborhood; the more you’re involved in your neighborhood, the better it’s going to be. It’s something I want to do as often as I can.”

Jenkins likes to utilize the VIA as a resource for the neighborhood. “Civic associations are a connection to the neighborhood, but not everyone can come out and be involved,” he said. “So, we’re here if people need something or may not know where to go or who to turn to. Civic associations are a service to the neighbors to provide an extension of the government, so to speak, and it’s serving the greater good.”

VIA membership costs $10 per year. Jenkins and the rest of the VIA committee work hard to get the word out about their services to the community, particularly new neighbors. “We have a roster of new neighbors from BAPA; last year we knocked on the doors to meet the new neighbors and offer VIA membership. We may try to put together some welcome packets this year to include copies of local newspapers and lists of schools and other important information,” he said. Last year, the group went door-to-door throughout the 300-home service area to introduce themselves and bring awareness to the VIA.

A big part of VIA’s community outreach was the VIA Resource Extravaganza held in August at Vanderpoel Elementary School, 95th and Prospect. “This was a way for the community to meet local businesses and schools,” Jenkins said. “We hope to have it at least every other year.” Despite the storm that rolled through, Jenkins said the event was a great success. The children enjoyed face painters, a jumpy house and a visit from the fire department, and everyone enjoyed a variety of refreshments.

Another big VIA project was getting medallions installed on Charles Street, Vanderpoel Avenue, and Prospect Avenue to identify the VIA boundaries. Jenkins said this was a point of pride for the neighborhood.

This month, the VIA is working with the 22nd police district on their Snowman’s Ball luncheon to help local families in need. As a CAPS facilitator, Jenkins heard about this event. The VIA collected donations to give to the Snowman’s Ball organizers, and Jenkins worked with Vanderpoel Elementary School to identify students in need to benefit from the luncheon.

Anyone within VIA’s boundaries who would like to learn more and get involved, email



Shop Small Campaign Helps Businesses, Neighborhood



A new program that encourages consumers to “shop small” is giving Beverly/Morgan Park and Mount Greenwood residents another great reason to spend their money locally this holiday season. The Shop Small Chicago Neighborhood Rewards program provides shoppers who spend $300 or more at independently owned small businesses in the 19th Ward an opportunity to win a $50 gift card for a business in the community.

The Neighborhood Rewards program kicked off on Nov. 26 and runs through Dec. 24. To be eligible, shoppers must spend $300 or more, not including tax or gratuity, at a minimum of three businesses, with at least $25 spent at each business. Expenditures for medication and membership cannot be applied and a maximum of $100 can be spent on alcohol and groceries. Once $300 in purchases is made, participants submit a copy of the receipts, along with their name, address, phone number and e-mail address, to one of two local drop-off locations (see addresses below). Only one submission per person is allowed, and gift cards are available on a first-come-first-served basis while supplies last. Gift cards will be distributed by Feb. 3.

Tied to Small Business Saturday, a national campaign created in 2010 by American Express, the Shop Small Chicago Neighborhood Rewards program is sponsored by the city of Chicago and a coalition comprised of national, state and local organizations, including Women Impacting Public Policy, the 95th Street Business Association, the Mount Greenwood Community and Business Association, the Morgan Park Beverly Hills Business Association and the Beverly Area Planning Association.

These neighborhood organizations are working together to promote Small Business Saturday as a day to support the local businesses that are essential to preserving the unique culture and charm of the Beverly/Morgan Park and Mt. Greenwood neighborhoods. The benefits of shopping locally include:

More money in the local economy. On average, $68 of every $100 spent at a locally owned business stays in the community versus $43 for the same $100 spent at a national retailer. In addition, independent businesses employ more people directly per dollar of revenue than their national competitors; in turn, their employees contribute to the local economy by purchasing goods and services at the businesses located near their place of employment.

Helping the environment. Shopping locally conserves fuel consumption, reduces packaging and limits urban sprawl and the resultant demand on roads, sewers and other infrastructure.

Economic development and financial growth. Independent businesses bring vibrancy and personality to neighborhoods, making them destinations for both residents and visitors. When business districts flourish, they attract more development, which leads to an increase in property values, per capita income growth and the prosperity of local organizations.

Building better communities. Small business owners are neighbors and friends who have made a significant financial investment in the communities in which they live. Shopping small supports entrepreneurship and innovation, fosters good will and creates a personal connection between consumers and merchants that is often lacking in corporate America.

Mail or drop-off a copy of receipts to: Beverly Area Planning Association, 1987 W. 111th St., Chicago, IL 60643 or Mount Greenwood Community and Business Association c/o Chicago Lockbox, 3400 W. 111th St., Chicago, IL 60655

(Note: For more information about the Shop Small Chicago Neighborhood Rewards program, contact Morgan Park Beverly Hills Business Association Executive Director Caroline Connors at 773-779-2530 or

Neighborhood Notes

Register for Turkey Trot. Registration is open for the 8th Annual Beverly Hills Turkey Trot 5K Run/Walk to be held Sat., Nov. 26. Proceeds benefit the John McNicholas Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and the 19th Ward Youth Foundation. Info/registration: or 7732–238-8766.

Smith Village Holiday Vendor Fair.  Smith Village, 2320 W. 113th Pl., invites the general public to the Fall Holiday Vendor Fair, Fri., Nov. 4, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  More than a dozen vendors will offer games, children’s books, soaps, specialty chocolates, greeting cards, jewelry, scarves, purses, shawls, hand-crafted items and more. Vendors include Kim Schuch’s tabletop games; Julie Larsen’s Nisse Farm honey, soaps and lotions; Portraits by Rose; Tastefully Simple; Avon; Leslie’s Chocolates; Fannie Mae; Inspired Boutique Clothing; Usborne Books; Vicki’s Scents and Candles; Kathy’s Jewelry; Rich’s Warmers and Tools; and Smith Village Stitchery Group. Info:  773-474-7300 or

Holiday Bazaar & Craft Fair Bethany Union Church, 1750 W. 103rd St., will host the annual Holiday Bazaar & Craft Fair, Sat., Nov. 5, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the social hall. This event has been held for over 50 years and features jewelry at the Tiffany Booth; homemade fudge, breads, pies and other baked goods; 97-mile brooms; an opportunity table; and much more. The Bazaar Committee accept donations including fudge, jewelry, toiletries, raffle items, etc. Info:

CK Class of ’17 FUNDrive. The Class of 2017 at Christ the King School, 9240 S. Hoyne,  is accepting clothing, shoes, bedding, towels, hats, mittens, accessories, toys, small electronics, sporting goods, books and much more to be reused and recycled to fund school activities. Drop off items at the school during school hours or at the church after Mass, or bring items to the church parking lot Sat., Nov. 5, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Info:

Combined Voices Literary Reading.  Members of the Beverly/Morgan Park-based Longwood Writers Guild and Chicago-wide TallGrass Writers Guild will present a “combined voices” reading of original works, including works published in the Outrider Press Black and White anthology series, Sat., Nov. 5, 2:30 p.m., BAPA Community Room, 11109 S. Longwood Dr. Readers include Grazina Smith, LD Barnes, Bill Grady, Grace Kuikman and Brenda Robinson of the Longwood Writers Guild, and Martin Altman and Joe Weintraub of the TallGrass Writers Guild.  Free and open to the public. Copies of the Black and White anthologies will be available for purchase and signing. Info:, or 219-322-7270.

HollyDays Helps Families. Start your holiday shopping season by making a difference in the lives of families with at-risk or special needs children. The annual HollyDays shopping event on Sat., Nov. 5, 6 to 10 p.m. at the Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St., raises funds for I Am Who I Am and fosters acceptance through awareness. Admission: $10. Proceeds from the event fund to the volunteer-driven I Am Who I Am not-for-profit. Info:

Join the Community Choir. The Beverly Morgan Park Community Choir is recruiting singers for its 2016 Christmas Concert. Rehearsals begin Sun., Nov. 6, 2 to 4 p.m., Morgan Park Presbyterian Church, 2017 W. 110th Pl. The concert will be held Fri., Dec. 16, 7 p.m. also at Morgan Park Presbyterian Church and in collaboration with the church’s choir and the Chatham Choral Ensemble. The Beverly Morgan Park Community Choir is open to all, and particularly needs male voices. An audition is not required. Sign up to sing at Info:

Christmas International House Seeks Host Families. The Beverly Hills/Morgan Park Community of Churches is seeking volunteer host families for Christmas International House (CIH), a Christian ministry that offers hospitality to international students studying at American universities who may be unable to travel home for the holidays. Hosts are responsible for providing students with breakfast and dinner as well as Christmas celebrations of services or Mass. Host families are encouraged to plan group activities that expand sharing about one another’s cultures and deepen friendships. For more information on becoming a host family, contact Bill Waddell, 773-896-7801, or Allan Lindrup, 773-595-4921.

Blessings of CHEER.  The Little Company of Mary Health Education Center offers “Blessings and Beyond,” a program on gratitude in preparation for Thanksgiving through CHEER (Choices for Humor Education Enlightenment and Renewal) Wed., Nov. 9, 11 a.m. to noon, LCMH, 2800 W. 95th St. Free. Registration: 708-423-5774.

Coping with the Holidays. Coping With the Holidays, presented by Father Jim Heneghan, offers support and encouragement for facing the holiday season to people mourning the loss of a loved one, Wed., Nov. 9, 6:30 to 8 p.m., Little Company of Mary Hospital, 2800 W. 95th St. Registration: 708-229 5480.

Small Business Marketing. 6 Steps to a Winning Marketing Campaign, a workshop by small business marketing consultant Britt’ni Fields, will be held Wed., Nov. 9, 6 p.m., Beverly Branch Library, 1962 W. 95th St. Participants will learn how to lay out the life cycle of a marketing campaign in six basic steps, from determining the campaign target to measuring success. Info: 312-747-9673.

Platinum Adventures. The Beverly Bank Platinum Adventures Club will host Memories of South Side Chicago with humorist Larry Bergnach, Thurs., Nov. 10, 2 p.m., Smith Village, 2320 W. 113th Pl.; Historic Christmas Tree Ship presentation with original photos, Tues., Nov. 29, 2 p.m., Oak Lawn Bank & Trust, 5300 W. 95th St.; and Christmas Traditions, the real life stories behind some of the most beloved holiday practices, Tues., Dec. 6, Smith Village, 2320 W. 113th Pl. All events, free for members or $5. Info/registration: Margie O’Connell, 773-239-2265 or

BAC Student Productions. BACStar Productions presents student actors in “Music Man Kids,” Fri, Nov. 11, 7 p.m. and Sun, Nov. 13,  2 p.m., and “The Nifty Fifties,” Fri., Nov. 18 and Sat., Nov. 19, 7 p.m., and Sun., Nov. 20, 2 p.m. Tickets and information: 773-445-3838 or

Stress Management Workshop. Jennifer Lara, LCPC will present on Stress Management and Boundaries, Sat., Nov. 12, 3 to 5 p.m., Beverly Therapists, 10735 S. Western, 2nd floor. The workshop is the third in the nine part series, and will offer ways to increase awareness about boundaries and establish boundaries and provide tools for assertiveness. $10. Info/registration

Second City at the BAC. Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St., hosts the Second City Touring Company in “Holidazed & Confused Revue,” a send-up of the holiday season, Sat., Nov. 12, 8 p.m. Tickets $25 or $23 BAC members at 773-445-3838 or

CK Mass for Veterans. Christ the King Church, 9235 S. Hamilton Ave., will host a Veterans Day Mass with choir, Sun., Nov. 13, 9:30 a.m. The parish will honor Ret. Col. Helen L. McCormick, U.S. Army, who served 30 years in the military spanning World War II, Korea and Vietnam eras. Terri Guldan will be present to sign her book, “The Letter, a Family Tale Unplugged.” Info: 773-238-4877.

Deal on Winter Art Classes. A one-day sale on School of the Arts class registration will be offered Thurs., Nov. 17 at the Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. Classes are offered for preschoolers through adults in visual and performing arts. Registration: 773-445-3838 or

‘Dream Havana.’  Morgan Park United Methodist Church, 11030 S.  Longwood Dr., invites the community to a showing of “Dream Havana,” Sat., Nov. 19, 5 p.m.  The award-winning 2007 documentary, produced and directed by Gary Marks, Music Director at the church, describes the long-time friendship between two writers who face the choice of staying in Cuba and continuing to struggle or to brave open water to reach a better life in Florida. Marks will be in attendance for a discussion of the film Info: 773-238-2600 or

Potluck Dinner and Dancing. Unity in Diversity, Community of Churches and Southsiders for Peace will host a potluck dinner and square and line dancing featuring caller Pete Pribyl , Sat., Nov. 19, 6 p.m., Trinity United Methodist Church, 9848 S. Winchester. Everyone is welcome.  Bring a dish to share, beverages will be provided. Donation: $3 per person or $5 for the family. Info: 773-233-1420 or 773-216-6515

Silhouettes by Erik. World-renowned silhouette artist Erik Johnson will be at Belle Up. 1915 W. 103rd St., creating amazing keepsakes in time for the holidays, Sun., Dec. 4, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Silhouettes are $30. Reservations required. Info:



Maple Morgan Park Food Pantry Seeks Donations

Hundreds of families will receive special holiday dinners through the Maple Morgan Park Food Pantry

Hundreds of families will receive special holiday dinners through the Maple Morgan Park Food Pantry

Help Requested to Provide Turkey Dinners to Families in Need

The Maple Morgan Park Community Food Pantry is requesting the continued financial support of Beverly/Morgan Park and nearby communities. The annual holiday appeal asks for $15 donations that provide turkey dinners for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Although the Pantry receives food donations, a lot of what they distribute – including the turkeys – must be paid for. For a recent Thanksgiving distribution, the Pantry spent nearly $10,000 on 600 turkeys and other food items, including fresh foods, feeding families in the 60643 and 60655 zip codes.

“We can’t thank the community enough for the outstanding support we receive,” said Henry Vellinga, board member and volunteer.

The Maple Morgan Park Food Pantry, now in its 33rd year, is run on volunteer effort and donations from the community. Although people feel the needs most acutely during the holidays, the pantry is busy all year around.

The Food Pantry is located in Morgan Park United Methodist Church, 11030 S. Longwood Dr., and is open on Tuesdays, 12 to 2 p.m., to accept donations. Food distributions take place on Fridays.

Although holiday meals include some extras, according to Pantry Director Lillian Hennings the average Friday distribution aims at providing enough food for two to three days and includes 6 to 8 cans of fruits and vegetables, cereal, main meal canned items such as tuna, chicken and stews, bread, and, if available, fresh meat and fresh produce.

Hennings has met a lot people who are in need and a lot of people who are profoundly touched by the generosity of the people and organizations that fund this very local ministry. “There’s more to it than hunger, more than food,” Hennings said. “It’s about caring for people.”

The Maple Morgan Park Community Food Pantry needs donations of money and dry goods – pancake mix, cereal, macaroni and cheese. In addition to food purchases, donations help to fund equipment such as freezers and shelving, and other da- to-day needs.

For each turkey dinner, send $15 or more payable to the Maple Morgan Park Food Pantry, 11030 S. Longwood Dr., Chicago, IL 60643-4102. For information, call 773-239-3013. Holiday greeting cards indicating that a turkey dinner has been donated to a needy family in the name of the card recipient are available upon request.