40th Annual Ridge Run: Jog Back to the Seventies for Ridge Run Fun

 

Event includes Memorial Day Parade, Post-Race Festival, Kids Area and More

Dig out your tube socks, sweat bands and jogging shorts — Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA) is reaching back to the seventies for the 40th Annual Ridge Run through the historic Beverly neighborhood on Memorial Day, Mon., May 29. Races start and finish at Ridge Park, 9625 S. Longwood Dr., Chicago.

In commemoration of the anniversary, registered runners who participate in the races will receive a finisher medal. The post-race festival includes food, beer and family activities in Ridge Park, and the event includes the Beverly Hills/Morgan Park/Mount Greenwood Memorial Day Parade.

One of Chicago’s favorite neighborhood races, the Ridge Run is well-known for the thousands of spectators that line the route, cheering on the runners, offering water and playing music. Neighbors are encouraged to be part of this amazing event, add your voices to the cheering, and make your way to Longwood Drive for one of Chicago’s oldest community Memorial Day parades.

Race options include 10K run, 5K run or untimed walk, Ridge Run Challenge 5K and 10K, and the untimed Youth Mile. Participants can register online at www.bapa.org through May 24, but you must be registered by May 4 to guarantee receiving a T-shirt. Race details and registration are available at www.bapa.org under events. This year’s race is a CARA certified Runners Choice race.

Little Company of Mary Hospital Returns as Presenting Sponsor

Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers is presenting sponsor of the Ridge Run, and generously supplies the Ridge Run doctor and first aid tent as well as on-site free blood pressure checks and general health information. Children are invited to learn about good health and receive a free gift (while they last) from the Little Company of Mary volunteers.

Little Company of Mary Hospital has been tending to area patients since the 1930s. State-of-the-art medical technologies and services are offered at their Evergreen Park hospital as well as satellite centers. For information on the wide variety of medical services and health education opportunities or to find a physician, visit www.lcmh,org.

Road Home Program is Parade Presenting Sponsor

The Ridge Run event is a great morning for athletes and spectators alike. The Memorial Day Ceremony honoring the men and women in the US Armed Forces who have given their lives for our freedom will be held in the park at 9 a.m. The Beverly Hills/Morgan Park/Mount Greenwood Memorial Day Parade steps off from at 110th Place and Longwood Drive and follows the last of the Ridge Run 5K participants, and marches north to Ridge Park. U.S. Army veteran Rich Doyle is Grand Marshal of this year’s Memorial Day Parade. Doyle served in the Vietnam War and rose through the ranks, ultimately becoming a sergeant during this three years on active duty.

The Road Home Program: The Center for Veterans and Their Families at Rush University Medical Center is presenting sponsor of the Beverly Hills/Morgan Park/Mount Greenwood Memorial Day Parade. The Road Home Program provides individualized care to veterans and their families to help heal the “invisible wounds of war.” The program is committed to helping all veterans returning home to address service and combat-related health and mental health issues as well as family challenges. Services are provided regardless of ability to pay. Beverly/Morgan Park neighbor Modie Lavin is the Community Outreach Coordinator, and she can be reached at 312-942-8354.

Among the many groups participating in the Memorial Day Parade are the Morgan Park High School State Champ basketball team, Mount Greenwood Special Olympics gold medalist in the recent Austria games Tommy Shimoda, Jesse White Tumblers, Beverly Bombshells, area Cub Scout, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, Ridge Historical Society, military groups, schools and teams. Anyone interested in marching can by calling 773-233-3100 or at www.bapa.org on the Ridge Run registration page.

Stepping Up the Pace for Fun

The Ridge Run begins with the 10K at 8 a.m. followed by the youth mile at 8:10 and 5K at 9:30. Mike Haggerty Buick, GMC, Volkswagen is sponsor of the 10K and provides the Ridge Run pace car.

The Ridge Run finish line takes runners right into the post-race festival area in Ridge Park. Runners and spectators are invited to enjoy food and beer, the Tot Trot, face painting, a visit from Nature’s Creatures and other activities. Beverly Bank is sponsoring the children’s area.

Running Club Challenge

Running teams, families, school running clubs will be well represented in this year’s Ridge Run! More than a dozen local schools are participating in the youth 5K training program. Last year, Clissold Elementary School at 110th and Western had the biggest running club with 100+ members. This year, BAPA and Clissold School are challenging other school teams to be bigger and better. The team with the best turn out will win a plaque and have special Ridge Run team T-shirts for next year’s race.

The Youth Mile, sponsored by Southtown Health Foods, is open to children age 6 to 13. Members of the Chicago Special Olympics at Mount Greenwood Park will be leading the Youth Mile and also volunteering.

Train with an Elite Athlete

Kate DeProsperis of Clarendon Hills, an elite runner who chose the Ridge Run to help train for her second trip to the Olympic Marathon Trials later this year, will offer a free Ridge Run training session Wed., May 17, 4 p.m., Ridge Park, 9625 S. Longwood Dr. DeProsperis’ latest marathon time clocked in at a speedy 2:42:49, and she’s running the Ridge Run 10K with the goal of achieving a personal best. Local runner who join her for the training session will learn from one of the fastest marathoners in the Midwest. For info, contact Margot Holland at mholland@bapa.org.

 

Registration and Race Day

Online registration closes on May 24, but advance registration continues at Running Excels, 10328 S. Western, May 24 through 27, and at Ridge Park, Sun., May 28, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Race day registration opens at 6:30 a.m. at Ridge Park. Race start times are 10K run, 8 a.m., Youth Mile, 8:10 a.m., and 5K run and untimed walk, 9:30 a.m. Race details and the schedule for advance registration and packet pick-up is at www.bapa.org under Events.

Event Sponsors

Sponsors of the 40th Annual Ridge Run are Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers (presenting sponsor), Mike Haggerty Buick, GMC, Volkswagen, Beverly Bank & Trust, Road Home Program (Memorial Day Parade sponsor), Beverly Hills Animal Hospital, Southtown Health Foods, Marquette Bank, 19th Ward Youth Foundation, County Fair, The Private Bank, Commissioner Bridget Gainer, Pendo Advisors LLC, AT&T, PLS, Running Excels, 670The SCORE, AthleteX, Sports & Ortho Physical Therapy, WSHE 100.3, Marathon Sportswear, TreadFit, The Beverly Review, AlphaGraphics, Calabria Imports, Trace Ambulance, Beverly Records, Original Rainbow Cone, Cork & Kerry, Dino Jump, Chicago Park District, Mariano’s, Health Advocates and Special Olympics/Mount Greenwood Park.

The Ridge Run raises funds for the Beverly Area Planning Association, a not-for-profit organization serving Chicago’s Beverly/Morgan Park neighborhood. Information: 773-233-3100 or http://bapa.org/events/ridge-run-parade/

 

 

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BAPA History: Events and Community Engagement

By Willie Winters

“When a community comes together, good things happen.”

After reading former BAPA executive director Chuck Shanabruch’s article in the April issue of The Villager, I was reminded of how difficult the challenge of maintaining a strong, vibrant community can be. Chuck laid out the key programs and areas of work that BAPA has so steadfastly maintained over the years.

During my tenure as executive director, BAPA continued to push the organization’s original mission and, I believe, accomplished good outcomes in many areas including maintaining quality schools and improving retail corridors, community safety and housing. This was due to a talented BAPA staff which at the time included Adeline Ray, Marcia Walsh, Alice Collins, Pam Holt and Grace Kuikman all working together with a strong and committed board.

BAPA board members worked tirelessly to keep our community moving in the right direction. I was especially grateful for the insightful and professional direction we received from the board presidents. Tom Hogan, Rosa Hudson, Greg Richmond, Mike Stanton and Melody Camp were terrific leaders who made tough decisions, all in the interest of keeping BAPA strong and on task.

Mike Sise, who headed up the Beverly Morgan Park CDC, deserves special recognition for his development work in our community and for gifting BAPA’s current location to the organization in 2005.

Programs are the outward mechanisms of an organization that push forward the mission, but in order to keep programs solid you have to have resources. BAPA is self-funded, largely through the generous donations of community residents and businesses. Community events are also a significant source of income and support for BAPA’s programs.

During the eight years I was with BAPA our events underwent significant changes. Many folks in our community don’t necessarily like change, but it’s necessary to breathe new life into events with both subtle and sometimes dramatic changes. In 2001, we changed the route of the Ridge Run (which celebrates its 40th run this Memorial Day!). The route was extended south of 111th Street for the first time with the idea of including more parts of the community in the race while giving the runners a change of scenery. (The route has since moved back north of 111th Street due to higher costs of street closures etc.) We also added chip timing, enhanced runner refreshments, dri-tech shirts and the youth mile. The Memorial Day celebration included the traveling Viet Nam Wall one year.

We introduced a fall festival on the grounds of Morgan Park Academy that was mildly successful the first year and even visited by the young Obama family. The next year it was, literally, snowed out.

The Snowflake Ball was one of BAPA’s signature events and great fundraiser for many years but as The Plaza deteriorated and lost business, we saw a drop in attendance.  We moved it to St. Xavier University for a few years, but it never gained back its old charm and we decided to cancel it.

Fortunately we were able to bring an exciting new event to the community in the summer of 2003, the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic. Thanks to assistance from David Kennedy, who was with the Mayor’s Office of Special events at that time, we were introduced to the operators of the oldest criterium series in the country and became the first Chicago location for the race. The BHCC still takes place every July, providing the excitement of bicycle racing along with the opportunity to spend time with friends and neighbors in a festival setting.

All of the BAPA events are designed to bring people to our community while bringing our community together.  We want others to see the beauty of our neighborhood and perhaps come back to purchase a home and become part of our community.

Hundreds of residents were introduced to the Beverly/Morgan park community through BAPA events. Many people have remarked of how they were impressed by all of the volunteers who welcomed them to our community.

More importantly, events build community. The Beverly/Morgan Park area is divided into little communities by geography, parishes, churches, schools and civic associations. Community wide events bring everybody together to celebrate, participate and share our stories. Because at the heart of any good community is a story that must be told, improved on and shared. It’s what makes our community and any community special.

See you in the neighborhood.

 

BAPA History: Planning for a Stronger Community

By Charles Shanabruch

In 1980, the Beverly Area Planning Association’s stated mission was to sustain the Beverly/Morgan Park neighborhood as a “quality, stable, integrated community.” Sociologists had projected that the area would follow the pattern of resegregation that had been characteristic of the South Side. The challenge to maintain integration was sensed by most of the community’s 40,000 residents.

Fortunately, Pat Stanton’s call to reinvigorate BAPA in 1971 had made a critical difference. Rather than the “a total lack of planning” that often occurs in communities where individual interests take precedent over the common interests, this community was engaged in “total planning” making sure every facet of life was attended to.

From 1980 to 1985, I was executive director of BAPA. It was a daunting assignment and has been the highlight of my professional career. Through the efforts of BAPA’s dedicated and creative board members and staff, committed elected officials, and more than a thousand generous volunteers, we made good on the promise of “total planning.”

At the time, the community’s greatest challenges came from the issues regarding schools, public safety, community building, and unfair housing practices. On each of these interconnected issues BAPA gathered the support of civic associations, churches and local businesses.

Education

The educational excellence of local schools was essential. However, this was threatened as many families with public school students left the community and those families who stayed feared that the Chicago Board of Education’s mandate to desegregate neighborhood schools would lead to busing and the closure of low enrollment schools.

BAPA met the challenge head on. An education committee composed of eight public school parents and led by Barb Vick (for whom the Vick School is named) sought to make each public elementary school attractive and unique so current parents would want to keep their kids enrolled and ne families would choose them.

Numerous meetings with Board of Ed officials, PTAs and parents led to plan proposing that Vanderpoel, Barnard, Clissold and Kellogg become magnet schools and special 7th and 8th grade programs be created at Morgan Park High School. BAPA convinced the Board of Ed that our community could be a city-wide model. With full community support the plan was adopted and the schools thrived.

Public Safety

In the 1980s, when the Chicago Police Department proposed closing several stations, including the 22nd District, BAPA led the fight to keep the station open. Using its civic association networks and block representatives, BAPA flooded the community with petitions. In only four days almost 18,000 signatures were gathered. BAPA delivered the petitions when it testified at a special committee hearing at City Hall. The testimony included BAPA’s promise of more community action. In fact, BAPA had purchased 12,000 yards of CPD-blue plastic ribbon to be tied on every light post in the community until our station was no longer hostage to the “efficiency” plan. Fortunately, the ribbons were never used. (I still have a 100 yard roll in my home office as a reminder of the community’s successful fight for the station.)

Communication

Communication is a critical element in mobilizing community action, but it was just as important in BAPA’s goal of building a sense of “a village in the city.” In Sept. 1980, BAPA replaced its quarterly newsletter with The Villager. Monthly 15,000 copies were distributed free to every residence and hundreds more were dropped at the train stations for commuters to read on their way to work. Its purpose was to keep the community informed, promote engagement, support local businesses and our schools and ensure that BAPA’s perspective was clearly portrayed on issues.

Another very important initiative was the Neighborhood Involvement Program. BAPA identified residents on nearly every block to “NIP” problems in the bud. They were the community’s eyes and ears who called BAPA identifying problems or opportunities to enhance community quality.

Housing

The biggest challenge facing Beverly/Morgan Park was unfair housing practices. Chicago’s history of racial discrimination and segregation threatened BAPA’s mission to sustain a stable integrated community. The real estate market did not provide free and open access to information. Realtors steered blacks to areas where blacks and whites lived and whites to areas that were predominantly white thus creating segregated communities.

BAPA addressed the dual housing market through education and litigation. Numerous block meetings were held to discuss issues of racial change directly and openly with whites and blacks together. BAPA also tried to persuade realtors to obey fair housing laws that had been put in place in the 1960s.

Realtors seeking to accelerate racial change used for sale signs and unsolicited calls to ask people to list their homes for sale as the tools of panic peddling. BAPA supported a ban on for sale signs and also secured signatures on anti-solicitation letters from home owners then served lists of the residents to dozens of real estate offices; when signers were solicited BAPA got the States Attorney to investigate cases and file lawsuits.

Despite these initiatives, racial steering persisted. BAPA realized that until all communities were open those that were integrated would be threatened by the injustice of steering. For this reason, BAPA partnered with the Leadership Council of Metropolitan Open Communities to “test” real estate offices. Matched couples of white and black were trained and then went to real estate offices to see whether each couple received the same real estate listings. When blacks were given only information about integrated neighborhoods and whites were given listings in nearly all white communities, the law was broken.

In Nov. 1983, BAPA filed four law suits in Federal court charging discriminatory real estate practices. BAPA lost the first case brought to trial but the other suits ended in settlements. Most importantly, BAPA’s initiative gave notice to all realtors that racial steering would not be tolerated.

BAPA’s President, Rich Andersen, constantly reminded staff, “Good things do not happen by chance.” Very intentionally, BAPA paid attention to details and the big picture so the community thrived.

BAPA History: ‘Beverly Now’ Leads to BAPA Reorganization

By L. Patrick “Pat” Stanton

The summer of 1971 marked the change of BAPA from a reactive to a proactive role in the Beverly/Morgan Park community. Because of my role in that change in the form of my plan called Beverly Now, I was asked to summarize the event the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Beverly Area Planning Association.

First, recognize the importance of two related events. The Chicago City Council had approved the removal of the historic ban in residential deeds which had prevented the sale of a home to African-Americans. As a result, much of the South Side had changed racially, always on a block-by block basis, in response to pressure from “blockbusting” real estate sales people. Real Estate Research Corporation, highly- respected in urban research, had already forecast complete racial change within five years in both North Beverly and South Morgan Park and the balance of the community in ten years. Nevertheless, there was no discussion in churches or local media about the likelihood of racial change in Beverly/Morgan Park.

The other significant change was in the Catholic Church, through the influence of

Pope John. Activism by laity and young clergy was permitted, and in some cases like Christ the King in North Beverly encouraged. Christ the King had young activist priests and a structure including a Parish Council and a variety of committees.

But where did Beverly Now fit in?

In my personal frustration with this “head in the sand” failure to address impending integration, I penned a ten-page letter to the officers of my North Beverly neighborhood association, Beverly Improvement Association (BIA). In the letter I suggested addressing the subject with a new umbrella organization headed by a professional director, a community-wide organization accepting the inevitability of integration but not re-segregation. Their response was polite, but my proposal they saw as way beyond the scope of the organization, nor did they suggest I take it further.

Remember my reference to activism at Christ the King parish. Its Community

Relations Committee, of which I was a member, had successfully conducted an

Anti-Real Estate Solicitation sign-up within the parish. Trudi Dressel, the Committee chair, lamented to me that to really make a difference we needed a plan aimed at the entire community. Because I had the outline of such a plan in my letter to BIA, I offered to prepare one.

The result: a 20-page magic marker flip chart proposal which I called Beverly Now to stress its urgency. The proposal recommended coordinated programs in four areas: public relations, area-wide education, control of real estate practices and planned business activity. Also, it specifically called for showing homes to black buyers throughout the community and not next to an already integrated block.

Coordinating the activities would be an umbrella organization with a suggested annual budget of $75.000, headed by an executive director with a background in public relations who could inspire and organize an “army of volunteers.”

Then came the clincher: I asked that not only that Christ the King parish endorse Beverly Now, but also pledge $15,000 of parish funds toward its initial setup. The Council gave its approval with the caveat that the entire parish be exposed to the plan first.

Therefore, on the weekend of July 11 and 12, 1971, instead of a pastoral homily, I delivered the Beverly Now proposal from the Christ the King Church’s marble pulpit (since removed.)

As I spoke, the pages from my presentation were flashed on a large screen on the altar prepared by Fr. Jim Quirk, a young assistant. Despite the format and the controversial subject matter, at each mass the congregation burst into applause, a rare response then. A few days later the Christ the King Council approved the pledge.

Over the next couple weeks I was invited to make the Beverly Now presentation to several civic, church and synagogue groups, always well-received with implied eventual financial support. Then about July 25, I received a call from Arthur Baer, asking for a meeting. Arthur was president of Beverly Bank, then an independent bank at 103rd and Vincennes, and the leading citizen of the community. Without him and his wife Alice, neither Beverly Arts Center nor Ridge Historical Society would likely exist.

At our meeting, Arthur immediately concurred with the need for a new umbrella organization focused on impending change and broader community matters. Could BAPA – then an organization that focused on issues such as zoning and beautification — provide that structure in a different format? We agreed that rebuilding an existing organization, particularly one already fairly representative, would be expeditious and have greater acceptability.

With Arthur Baer’s blessing, progress was startling.

On August 4, 1971 over 200 influential residents were invited to a meeting at the Beverly Art Center, where I was invited to give my last presentation of Beverly Now. Then Bob Seward, BAPA’s president, spoke announcing that BAPA would be re-structured to become a broad-based umbrella organization with much wider representation on its Board of Directors. A professional staff would be hired, and the organization would address the issues raised by Beverly Now.

Within a few weeks money was pledged by various institutions, mostly financial, to fund the new BAPA. Also, ten new more representative directors were elected including two women (a first), two clergymen– a minister and a priest — (both a first) and me.

Seventeen chairs were appointed of mostly new committees. As an example of community enthusiasm, the Public Relations Committee, of which I was chair, had 16 well-qualified members at its first meeting in December and it grew. Most important, by February after a nation-wide search G. Phillip Dolan was hard at work as BAPA Executive Director.

In retrospect, I say those three weeks in the summer of 1971 were truly a re-birth for BAPA. We are especially grateful for the five special people – Trudi Dressel, Fr. Ed Myers, Arthur Baer, Bob Seward and Phil Dolan. Each played a special role in our being able to celebrate BAPA’s 70 years.

Let us also celebrate their lives as we enjoy their legacy.