Stories about nonprofit and community organizations that are working to improve the neighborhood and help others.

Researcher Studies Chicagoans’ Unique Language Patterns

By Grace Kuikman

Until I lived away from the city for three years, I didn’t hear my distinctive Chicago accent or realize the impact that my South Side upbringing had on the way I think as well as talk.

This summer, a team of researchers in the Linguistics Department at Northwestern University led by Assistant Professor Annette D’Onofrio, is conducting a research study, The Chicagoland Language Project. Through that study, D’Onofrio is listening closely as life-long residents of Chicago and Beverly/Morgan Park tell their stories, using what she hears to discern more about the way language influences social behavior.

According to D’Onofrio, the study is designed to document language and life in Chicago by capturing people’s experiences in their own words, focusing on the language and culture of Chicago residents in different neighborhoods and suburbs.

According to information provided by the study, the dialects of English spoken in Chicago have been relatively understudied compared to other large urban areas of the United States. Rather than assuming that there is just one way to “talk like a Chicagoan,” researchers are visiting specific neighborhoods and talking with a variety of people.

“There are so many different neighborhoods, lifestyles and perspectives within the city of Chicago.” D’Onofrio said.  “Researchers know quite a bit about social dynamics and divisions in the city, but we know much less about how language fits into that picture. Our project aims to look at the many different ways a person can be a Chicagoan, and how this corresponds to language.”

D’Onofrio and her students have begun conducting interviews with residents of Beverly and Morgan Park, and will continue throughout the summer. “We decided to start with Beverly and Morgan Park because of these neighborhoods’ rich histories, diversity, and strong sense of community,” D’Onofrio says. “We’re interested in learning what it means to people to be part of these communities, and we hope to interview as many residents of these neighborhoods as we can, from all walks of life.”

Interviews, which are taped, center on what it’s like to grown up and live in your community and Chicago, and whether you think people in different areas use language differently. Study participants are also asked to read a short list of words and offer opinions in a short listening experiment. The entire session takes about an hour to complete.

D’Onofrio, whose father was a New Yorker and spoke like one, grew up in Minnesota, where the accent is influenced by the proximity to Canada. She became interested in linguistics when she enrolled in a class in college. “I had a facility for it,” she said. That may be an understatement.

D’Onofrio, who was awarded a Mellon Dissertation Year Fellowship, earned her PhD from Stanford University in 2016, and accepted a position as an assistant professor in the Department of Linguistics at Northwestern University.

“I’m broadly interested in how phonetic features play into the ways that we understand and create the social world around us,” D’Onofrio said in a statement on her Northwestern University faculty profile. “I am particularly interested in how we use social information to understand spoken language, and how we use linguistic styles to form ideas about who other people are, both consciously and automatically.”

D’Onofrio and her team will be conducting interviews with Beverly/Morgan Park residents locally, including at the BAPA office, through September. Participants of all ages are needed. To learn more about participating in the Chicago Language Project study can contact D’Onofrio at

Dan Ryan Woods Turns 100; Ribbon Cut for Improvements, Visitor Center

By Kristin Boza

As the Dan Ryan Woods turns 100 this month, numerous family-friendly activities are set to honor the anniversary and showcase the forest preserve to those who may not have had the opportunity to visit before.

On Sun., Aug. 27, 2 to 7 p.m., a 100th anniversary event will be held at the Dan Ryan Woods Pavilion which includes guided hikes, archery and information about the preserve, including its namesake. Forest Jam begins at 5:30 p.m. and offers group jam sessions, education on making instruments from natural and recycled materials and a concert by local musicians. All events are free and open to the public.

Additionally, Archery 101 is offered on Thurs., Aug. 24, 3:30 to 6 p.m. Participants must be at least 10 years old and everyone will learn about the history of archery, bow parts and proper technique. This class is also free and all equipment is provided.

According to Stacina Stagner, communications manager for the forest preserve district, the Dan Ryan Woods was a working farm before the Forest Preserves of Cook County purchased its 112 acres and created the Beverly Hills Preserve. In 1924, it was renamed Dan Ryan Woods in honor of Dan Ryan, Sr., a president of the Cook County Board.

“Dan Ryan Woods is among the most popular sites in the Forest Preserves. It is often one of the top-visited picnic locations year after year,” Stagner said. “Within this 257-acre preserve, visitors can explore historic limestone aqueducts, hop on the beginning of the Major Taylor Trail for a bike ride, and walk the paved loop trail. It’s also home to one of the highest points in Chicago, where visitors can look out and see the beautiful landscape. During winter, Dan Ryan Woods is a popular sledding destination.”

The Forest Preserves of Cook County offers a variety of ways for residents to get involved in preservation and improvement of Dan Ryan Woods, including the Adopt-A-Site and Trail Watch programs. “Through Adopt-A-Site, people of all ages make a commitment to their favorite Forest Preserves location and clean up litter,” Stagner said. “The Trail Watch program means volunteers help make the Forest Preserves safer simply by doing what they’re already doing — visiting the Forest Preserves.” For more information on volunteer opportunities, visit

Keep an eye out for some updates to Dan Ryan Woods in the future; Stagner says that a new nature play area and installation of a kiosk featuring panels showcasing Dan Ryan’s new amenities and history are on the horizon.


Dan Ryan Woods Enhancements Include New Visitor Center, Loop Trail  

Cook County Board and Forest Preserves of Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle, joined by Sen. Bill Cunningham, Rep. Fran Hurley, and numerous Commissioners and officials from the Forest Preserves of Cook County, celebrated recent improvements made to Dan Ryan Woods as it becomes one of the Forest Preserves’ first signature “Gateway” locations under the Forest Preserves’ Gateway Master Plan.

“Dan Ryan Woods is among the most popular sites in the Forest Preserves, and is actually one of the few within Chicago proper. It is also often one of the top-visited picnic locations year after year, and it’s easy to see why,” said President Preckwinkle. “Without question, Dan Ryan Woods was selected as a Gateway site. For decades, families have come together here to enjoy a respite from the city, gathering for picnics, sporting events, or simply a walk”

The Gateway Master Plan explores gateways as a class of special sites with identifiable entry-ways at various locations throughout the preserves to encourage people to take advantage of the natural open space available in Cook County. According to the plan, Gateway sites will undergo enhancements to help convey a sense of welcome, interest, safety and beauty. Opportunities to create a “sense of place” include increasing natural area restoration, integrating art and sculptures, and developing a policy on interpretation that communicates natural and cultural assets within the Forest Preserves.

Recent investments at Dan Ryan Woods include the Visitors Center which features permit sales and a new outdoor classroom, as well as improvements to the Dan Ryan Woods Pavilion. Further enhancements coming to Dan Ryan Woods include special interpretive signs showcasing the amenities and history of the site, a nature play area with a treehouse and new sledding hill stairs.

“The Dan Ryan Woods are a wonderful place for families to experience the Forest Preserves without leaving the city of Chicago. The latest improvements will continue to enhance the experience of local residents and visitors,” said Commissioner John Daley, 11th District.

“One of the major goals of the Gateway master plan is to encourage the public to take advantage of the natural open space available in Cook County,” said Arnold Randall, General Superintendent of the Forest Preserves. “We feel this is especially important within the City of Chicago, where residents may not have as easy of access to nature. We also recognize that many visitors may need a guide when it comes to the nature.”

The new interpretive kiosk will stand 11 feet high and display six panels of information including key features to enjoy at Dan Ryan and how to access those locations. The history of Dan Ryan Woods will also be displayed, as well as information on the local habitat and how to get involved in volunteer efforts and participate in upcoming events. The tree house will be built with natural elements and introduce the nature play concept in the area.

On Sun., Aug.t 27, the Forest Preserves will be hosting the Dan Ryan Woods 100th Anniversary celebration, which will include guided hikes, archery, information about the preserve and Dan Ryan himself, as well as a free Forest Jams concert. The event is free to attend, and will be hosted from 2. to 7 p.m.

For more information on the Gateway Master Plan, visit For more information on the Forest Preserves, visit

Beverly Improvement Association Celebrates 100 Years

By Kristin Boza

It’s always interesting to think about who lived in our neighborhood as it was established so many years ago. The Beverly Improvement Association, a civic association serving North Beverly residents, is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, a milestone that goes to show the unique commitment that residents have to the community.

According to a 100th anniversary pamphlet compiled by the BIA, North Beverly has come a long way since 1917. Back then, traffic on 95th Street moved a lot slower on the two-lane gravel country road. Sidewalks were made of five-foot square slabs of smooth stone — some of which still exists on the southwest corner of 94th and Vanderpoel. Street lamps were lit each night with a blow torch by a man on a bicycle. And snow was removed by a man with a team of horses and a v-shaped plow.

Nearly half of the lots between Damen (known then as Robey Street) and Charles were vacant, which caused some concern among the neighbors of 100 years ago. The BIA was organized by people who realized that they needed to come together to take action to improve their community, according to the BIA brochure.

These days, roads are paved, electricity is plentiful and horses are a hobby — but the feeling of community and the desire to continually improve it has remained the same.

“BIA has been a leader amongst local community service organizations in the Beverly/Morgan Park area,” said Joe Kratzer, current BIA president. “BIA will continue its long history of promoting and hosting family-friendly events, which offer neighbors the chance to meet new faces and enjoy the many great community assets in North Beverly. We live in a community where people care about their neighbors, and BIA will be here to ensure that spirit of community is maintained.”

BIA celebrated its 100th anniversary on June 29, the date when the secretary of state issued the charter officially recognizing the organization. While no official 100th anniversary celebration is planned, the BIA is busy with their much-anticipated events, including the Bicycle Treasure Hunt, BIA Fall Fest, BIA Family Bike Ride, cross-country ski outings in the Dan Ryan Woods, and Santa’s Workshop.

BIA members also actively participate in the City of Chicago’s Clean and Green days and other beautification efforts, and help on projects that support North Beverly and the rest of the neighborhood.

To find out more about the BIA, visit their Facebook page: Beverly Improvement Association (BIA).

Neighborhood Notes

Superhero Series at Beverly Library.  Don’t miss the action at Beverly Library, 1962 W. 95th St.! Superhero Ballet for preschoolers, Tues., Aug. 1, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.; Masked Heroes of Reading for ages 7 to 16, Thurs., Aug. 3, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.; and Superhero Character Program featuring research, discussion and more for ages 6 and up, Sat., Aug. 5, 2 to 3:30 p.m. Registration required for these programs: 312-747-9673.

Food Truck Fridays. Food Truck Fridays continue this month in the beer garden at Cork & Kerry, 10614 S. Western. Enjoy food in a family-friendly atmosphere on Fridays, 5 to 8 p.m. Aug. 4, Joey’s Red Hots; Aug. 11, The Fat Shallot; Aug. 18, Cheesie’s Truck & Doughs Guys Bakery; and Aug. 25, Calabria On Wheels Beer special available. Info:

Top Programs at Little Company of Mary Hospital in August. Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers, 2800 W. 95th St., offers a variety of programs that help area residents lead healthier lives. The 30th Annual Men’s Wellness Event, Sat., Aug. 5, 7:30 to 10 a.m., offers breakfast, a presentation on symptoms and treatment for erectile dysfunction, and comprehensive lab work, blood pressure, and PSA and exam with urologist for men at risk for prostate cancer, $85 to $100; Health Academy – “Don’t Get Shingled Out,” what you need to know about shingles presented by infectious disease specialist Dr. Godfredo Carandang, Mon., Aug. 14, 11:15 a.m., free; and, new this summer, Reflexology, a healing modality that stimulates sensitive sensory cells to specific points in areas on the feet, hands, or ears that impact the muscles and internal organs, $50 per session. Info and registration (required), 708-423-5774.

BAC Outreach Offers New Page to Stage Program. Among the new theatre performance outreach programs offered by the Beverly Arts Center (BAC) at area schools is the new Page to Stage program through which students will read and interpret books, then develop an original show based on the story. The Page to Stage program was developed with the assistance of a donation from Michaels. As part of the Outreach curriculum that provides teaching artists for a variety of performance programs, Page to Stage has a goal of helping schools raise test scores, according to information from BAC Outreach Manager Carly Bishop. Teaching artists in participating schools will work with students to read and interpret a book, concentrating on literacy concepts such as plot, character, sequence, dramatic irony, conflict, etc. In the process of creating a show based on the book, students will learn dramatic playwriting terminology not always covered in the classroom, but present on standardized testing, according to Bishop. Students would also help create costumes, set and props, and participate in rehearsals. The show would be presented to the entire school, parents, guardians and friends. The BAC Outreach Department provides arts enrichment programming in theater, dance, music, film and visual arts in before school, in-school, and after school drop-in workshop and residency programs. More than 6000 students in 32 Chicago and suburban public and private schools and community organizations participated in BAC Outreach programs during the 2016-17 school year. Schools interested in learning more about Page to Stage and other theater performance programs, including staging original musicals, can contact Bishop, 773-445-2828 ext. 208 or

Live Music Sundays. Enjoy live music on Sundays, 3 to 5 p.m. at Cork & Kerry, 10614 S. Western.

Live Music Mondays. Live Music Mondays features the BAC Cabaret and Open Mic, Mon., Aug. 7, 7 p.m. in the courtyard at the Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. $5 donation appreciated. Cash bar available. No outside beverages or pets. Bring lawn chairs.

Registration Open for BAC Summer Camps. Area kids who love to perform can still enroll in the last two sessions of summer camps at the Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. In Original Musical!, campers will work with a professional playwright and composer to write an original musical, which they will perform for a live audience on the final day of camp. The camp runs Mon. through Fri., Aug. 7 to 18. Other performance camps are also available. In The Rhythm is Gonna Get Ya!, campers will take workshops in drumming, body percussion, rhythm and movement, dance, singing, improvisation and more, Mon. through Fri., Aug. 21 to Sept. 1. The session in a showcase in the Baffes Theatre, Camp hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and before and after care are available. Info and registration: 773-445-3838,

Shakespeare in the Park. The Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks presents a free 75-minute abridged production of Romeo and Juliet on Fri., Aug. 18 and Sat., Aug. 19, 6:30 p.m., Ridge Park, 9625 S. Longwood Dr. The Saturday performance includes an American Sign Language interpretation. A specially equipped truck will roll into the park, a stage unfolds, and a company of professional actors shares Shakespeare’s story of star-crossed lovers caught in the feud between the Capulets and Montagues that divides the city of Verona. The performances are made possible by a partnership between Chicago Shakespeare Theater, City of Chicago, Chicago Park District, Boeing and BMO Harris Bank.

Free Activities at Dan Ryan Woods. Plan to have some fun at the Dan Ryan Woods! Archery 101 covers the history of archery, bow parts and proper technique for participants age 10 and over, Thurs., Aug. 24, 3:30 to 6 p.m., Dan Ryan Woods Central, 8395 S. Western; celebrate the 100th anniversary of the woods with guided hikes, archery, history of the woods and a free Forest Jam concert and instrument-making workshop Sun., Aug. 27, 2 to 7 p.m., Dan Ryan Woods Pavilion. Info: 312-415-2970 or

Back to School Fest. Barnard School, 10354 S. Charles, will hold Back to School Fest, Thurs., Aug. 24, 4 to 7 p.m. The school will partner with IMPACT Family Services to present the event, which is also supported by BAPA and the 19th Ward and features food, activities and giveaways.

Free Home Buyer Seminar. Ernest Jones, Mortgage Loan Specialist with Marquette Bank, will present a free home buyer seminar Sat., Aug. 26, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the BAPA Community Room, 11109 S. Longwood Dr. Topics include whether to rent or own, understanding the home-buying process, the benefits of working with a real estate agent, kinds of mortgages and how to make an offer. First time buyers can also learn about whether they are eligible to apply for grants that can be applied toward down payments or closing costs. Seating is limited; registration by Aug. 24 at

BAC Hosts 4th Annual Beverly Brews Fest. The Beverly Arts Center of Chicago will host the 4th annual Beverly Brews Fest Sat., Aug. 26 at the Center, 2407 W. 111th St. The event opens at 7 p.m. for participants purchasing $35 general admission, which includes a sampling glass and unlimited tastings from more than 20 craft breweries, including Open Outcry, Horse Thief Hollow, Blue Island Beer Company, Flossmoor Station and Argus Brewery. Food trucks will be on site to complement the evening’s festivities. People purchasing the $50 VIP ticket gain entry at 6 p.m. and enjoy special food pairings from Horse Thief Hollow, Chef Alvin Green and others, as well as a free t-shirt and beer sampling glass. Only 100 VIP tickets will be available. Live music at the Beverly Brews Fest will be performed by the winners of the BAC’s Battle of the Bands on Fri., Aug. 25. Up to ten bands will compete for prize money and the chance to perform. Battle of the Bands admission is $15 and the audience will have the chance to vote for their favorite band. Tickets to the Beverly Brews Fest and Battle of the Bands are available at the BAC, by calling 773-445-3838 or online at

Painted Lady Competition. The Chicago Paint and Coatings Association is accepting submissions to the 31st Annual Chicago Finest Painted Ladies and Her Court Competition, open to owners who have completed their exterior painting projects between Labor Day 2016 and Labor Day 2017. Buildings do not have to be Victorian architecture, and can be painted professionally or by the building owner. Entrants will be required to submit photos and paint chips. Applications, photos and competition details are available at 847-240-0102, or

Sip and Shop. Save the date for BAPA’s back-to-school Sip and Shop supporting local businesses, Thurs., Sept. 14 in the train station districts on 99th and 103rd Streets. Included in admission are a Love Where You Live wine tote, beverage and food tastings, trunks shows and demonstrations, and an after party. Look for details in the September issue of The Villager.

Reservations Open for Anti-Bullying Conference. Area resident Dorothy J. Thompson, head of Bullying Prevention and Awareness 365, and  National Louis University, Chicago will hold a one-day conference, “The Collective Roles of Adults in Bullying Prevention and Students’ Well-Being,” at the University, Fri., Oct. 13, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Approximately 250 educators, paraprofessionals, authors, parents and anti-bullying activists are expected to attend. Reservations:   Questions:



Neighborhood Notes

Live Music Sundays. Cork & Kerry, 10614 S. Western, hosts Live Music Sundays this summer, 3 to 5 p.m. This month: Joe Fascetta, July 2; Eric Ortiz, July 9 and 16; Jay O’Malley, July 23; and John and Phil, July 30. Next month: Joe Facetta, Aug. 6 and 27; Jay O’Malley, Aug. 13; and Dan Harvey, Aug. 20.

July at the BAC. Free Live Music Mondays continue through the summer in the Beverly Arts Center courtyard, 7 p.m.; no concert July 3.  Performing on the main stage are John Primer and the Real Deal Blues Band performs Fri., July 14, 8 p.m. and Corky Siegel’s Chamber Blues, Sat., July 29, 7:30 p.m. Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W.111th St., 773-445-3838. Info and tickets:

Memory Care Support Group. Smith Village, 2320 W. 113th Pl., invites area residents who are caregivers for older adults with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease to a free memory care support group Wed., July 5, 6:30 p.m. Smith Village memory support coordinator Diane Morgan will talk about the stages of dementia, different types of behavior and a variety of communication techniques. Caregivers will be able to ask questions. Reservations: 773-474-7300 or

VIA Block Sale. Vanderpoel Improvement Association (VIA) is planning an association-wide block and yard sale, Sat., July 8. Shop for a variety of items on Wood, Vanderpoel, Prospect and Charles between 95th and 99th streets. Info: Ruta Spencer, 773-351-5460.

How to Be a Beekeeper. The Historic Pullman Beekeepers Club welcomes anyone interested in learning about beekeeping and the wonderful life of bees to their next meeting, Sun., July 9, 12 p.m., 614 E. 113th St. Info: 773-744-8888, 773-259-4439 or

Second Sunday Book Club. Open Outcry Brewing Co., Bookies and Beverly Arts Center invite area readers to join them at the Second Sunday Book Club, Sun., July 9, 2 p.m., at Open Outcry, 10934 S. Western. The first book is “A Long Way Home” by Saroo Brierley, the book on which the movie “Lion” was based, available at Bookies, 10324 S. Western. On Wed., July 26, 7:30 p.m., book club participants will receive $1 off on their ticket to see “Lion” at the Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St.

Picnic and Event Permits Available at Dan Ryan Woods Visitor Center. Permits for picnics and events in the Forest Preserves can be purchased at the visitor center at Dan Ryan Woods, 87th and Western. The Woods is one of the Forest Preserves of Cook County’s most popular sites. Permit sales at Dan Ryan Visitor Center will be available through Labor Day, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. Permit purchases by credit card only. Visitors can also obtain information on other Forest Preserves offerings and upcoming events. Permits can also be purchased online at, where site availability, grove maps and the various fees associated with grove rentals are also available.  Dan Ryan Woods has long offered visitors a scenic location to gather with family and friends while being surround by nature. Amenities at Dan Ryan Woods include playfields, 16 picnic groves, a 120-guest pavilion and a sledding hill.  Hikers, bikers and walkers can traverse a nearly 1-mile loop trail in Dan Ryan Woods Central, and access the Major Taylor Trail in Dan Ryan Woods North. Dan Ryan Woods South visitors can access various unpaved trails that weave through open and wooded areas. For assistance with online permit purchases, call 800-870-3666. For more information on Dan Ryan Woods or other Forest Preserves locations, visit

Food Truck Fridays at Cork & Kerry. Cork & Kerry Tavern, 10614 S. Western, is hosting a summer of family-friendly Food Truck Fridays in the beer garden. Each week a different food truck will be selling and serving Cork & Kerry patrons from 5 to 8 p.m. The July schedule is Bruges Brothers, July 7; Toasty Cheese. July 14; Happy Lobster, July 21; and Aztec Daves, July 28. The July beer specials for Food Trick Fridays are Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy and Berry Weiss.

Big City Basketball Camp. The Church of Chicago will host the Big City Basketball Camp July 10 through 21, 6:30 to 8 p.m., Vanderpoel School, 9510 S. Prospect Ave. The camp welcomes children in 3rd through 8th grades and participants will develop sportsmanship and teamwork through skill training, contests, life lessons and healthy competition. Every camper gets an equal opportunity to play and learn, and a t-shirt, basketball and awards poster. Info: 773-672-7230 or

Longwood Writers Guild. Longwood Writers Guild, a critique group for adult creative writers, will meet Mon., July 10 and Mon., Aug. 14, 7 p.m., BAPA Community Room, 11109 S. Longwood Dr. Bring a piece you are working to read aloud for critique or work from a prompt. Into:

Movie in the Park.  The Chicago Park District will screen “The Peanuts Movie” at a free Night Out in the Park Tues., July 11, dusk (about 8:30 p.m.), at Beverly Park, 2460 W. 102nd St. Bring a blanket, lawn chair  and family and friends, and enjoy an evening under the stars watching Charlie  Brown and Snoopy undertake a heroic quest.

Workshop Goal is Student Success. Own It Chicago is offering a series of summer workshops for students ranging from junior high to college that will help students learn organizational skills, develop better study habits, and strengthen time management and self-advocacy. Upcoming workshops will be held Wed., July 26, 3 to 5:30 p.m. for junior high students and 6 to 8:30 p.m. for incoming freshmen; Tues., Aug. 1, 6 to 8:30 p.m. for current high school students; and Wed., Aug. 2, 6 to 8:30 p.m. for college students. All workshops are held at Morgan Park Academy, 2153 W. St., and are designed to help evaluate their own learning styles and build an individualized plan to be successful in the upcoming school year and beyond. Info: or

Yoga at Edna White Garden. Edna White Garden, 1850 W. Monterey Ave., is hosting a variety of yoga classes this summer: Goddess Yoga with live music with Brendan and Erin, Thursdays, July 13, Aug. 10, Aug. 31, 7:30 p.m., donation requested; Sunrise Yoga with Joan Zigulich, Fri., July 7 and 21, 6 a.m.; and , Fri., July 7 and 21, 6 a.m.; and  Mommy and Me Yoga with Colleen Hosman, Wednesdays, beginning July 12, 11 a.m. Info: Edna White Garden on Facebook

Blues at the BAC. John Primer and the Real Deal Blues Band will perform Fri., July 14, 8 p.m., Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. Doors open at 7 p.m.  Tickets are $30 or $27 for BAC members, and available online at Coming from Camden, Mississippi in 1963, two-time Grammy nominated John Primer started playing in Chicago at Theresa’s Lounge on the South Side. His blue roots took shape under the tutelage of legendary blues greats that include James Cotton, Junior Wells, Sammy Lawhorn and Buddy Guy. Primer played in Willie Dixon’s All Stars Band, then became the lead guitar player for Muddy Waters. Following Waters’ death, Primer played for 14 years with Magic Slim before going out on his own with the Real Deal Blues Band. Last year, Primer was named the Traditional Blues Male Artist of the Year at the Blues Music Awards.

Beverly Barre and Beers. Open Outcry Brewing and Beverly Barre will host Beverly Barre & Beers beginning Sun., July 16. Participants are invited to join in for one hour of barre followed by one free pint at Open Outcry, 10934 S. Western. Beverly Barre is a low-impact, high-result exercise that combines yoga, pilates and strength-training movements. Sessions are open to all levels of experience. Bring mat, water bottle and towel.

Free Night Out in the Park. The Chicago Park District hosts Storytown Improv at a free Night Out in the Park Tues., July 18, 5:30 to 7 p.m., at Beverly Park, 2460 W. 102nd St. Enjoy an interactive, fully improvised adventure created from audience suggestions and ideas by the Storytown actors, artists and musicians.  The possibilities are endless.  The show is recommended for children ages 3 to 10 years and their families.  Parental supervision is required throughout the program.

Summer Swelter. The Leadfoot Band headlines at the Summer Swelter outdoor festival Sat., July 22, 5 to 10:30 p.m., Horse Thief Hollow, 10426 S. Western. Admission to the homage to the sultry days of summer is $20 and includes three food or drink tickets. Also performing is the Pack Drumline & Dance Crew. Enjoy beating the heat with ice-cold beer from Horse Thief Hollow and a variety of local breweries, plus tasty eats. Local artisans will showcase and sell artwork and handcrafted beer-themed jewelry. Proceeds from the Summer Swelter benefit the Conner Lowry Foundation and other nonprofits that serve veterans.

Mercy Circle Hosts Summer Open House. In addition to touring the chapel, exercise room, salon, library, gardens and dining rooms at the open house on July 23, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., visitors will be encouraged to ask questions about the many services and levels of care available at Mercy Circle, 3659 W. 99th St. The staff looks forward to showing visitors the advantages of becoming a resident of Mercy Circle. Info or to set up a private appointment: 773-253-3600.

Unity in the Community Picnic. Neighborhood residents are welcome to attend the Unity in the Community Picnic Sun., July 23, 1 to 4 p.m., Beverly Unitarian Church, 10244 S. Longwood Dr.  Bring a dish to share; beverages will be provided. The event includes music, dancing and activities for children. Bring a lawn chair for yourself; extra chairs are welcome. Picnic sponsors are Unity in Diversity, Southwest Chicago Diversity Collaborative, Southsiders for Peace, Community of Churches and Chicago Commission on Human Relations.  In case of rain the picnic will be held in the church. Info: 773-233-1420 or 773-239-1439.

Growing Beverly. Open Outcry Brewing Company and The Geranium Guild collaborate on Growing Beverly, a collaborative workshop series starting Sun., July 23, 12:30 p.m., at Open Outcry, 10934 S. Western. In the first workshop, participants will build their own terrarium succulent garden; all materials, plants and glassware provided, including one free pint! $35 per person Tickets (limited number) and

Storytelling for Grown-Ups. Storytelling for Grown-Ups: Where To Begin, a six part workshop series that focuses on writing the small episodes of life that reveal the depth of who we are, why our story is unique and how it connects us to an audience and changes their lives forever, will be held on Mondays, July 24 through Aug. 28, Catholic Youth Ministry Center, 1825 W. Monterey Ave. Instructor David Boyle will concentrate on developing 7 to 15 minute personal stories. $125. Registration:

Lecture on Water. Water: Contamination, Privatization and Use as a Weapon of War, a lecture by Dr. Ramirez-Knight, will be presented Sat., July 29, 12 p.m., Beverly Branch Library, 1962 W. 95th St. The lecture looks at the manipulation of clean water and the effects of water as a weapon of war.

Slow Roll Comes to Beverly/Morgan Park. Cicyclists of all ages are invited to participate in a community cycling event in Beverly/Morgan Park later this month. Slow Roll Chicago, a non-profit organization that aims to improve the city by organizing community bicycle rides throughout the greater Chicago area, will lead a group ride through the streets of Beverly/Morgan Park on the afternoon of Sat., July 29. Founded in Detroit, Mich., in 2010, Slow Roll was brought to Chicago in 2014 by Jamal Julien and Olatunji Oboi Reed as a means of social change. Every Wednesday evening from April to October, a diverse group of cyclists gathers to ride through different Chicago neighborhoods, showcasing those neighborhoods while bringing people together for an activity that is universally appealing. Rides are slow paced and are open to riders of all ages, skill levels and types of bikes. Details of the Beverly/Morgan Park ride have not yet been finalized, but participants can expect to ride approximately nine miles on residential streets throughout the neighborhood with occasional stops. Volunteers with Slow Roll will lead the ride, manage traffic situations and assist with flat tires and other mechanical issues. The event will conclude with a party at the 99th and Walden business district that is also open to non-riders. More information on the event will be available in the coming weeks.

Beverly Art Walk Call for Artists. Fri., Aug. 1 is the deadline for artists and venues to apply for the 2017 Beverly Art Walk. Apply online at to be an exhibiting artist (painter, photographer, sculptor, etc.) or host business. Makers/artisans interested in a vendor booth at the Uprising Handmade Market should use The Uprising application. The 4th annual Beverly Art Walk will be held Sat., Oct. 7, 12 to 7 p.m. Info:

Save the Date. The Cygnus Ladies of Bethany Union Church will present Coffee, Tea, Flowers & Me, Sat., Sept. 9 at the church, 1750 W. 103rd St. Donation: $15. Reservations: 708-975-3311.

LCMH Experts Help Cancer Patient Defy the Odds

Donnell Hall, a 52-year-old area resident, had no family history of disease when he received a very rare cancer diagnosis in early 2016.  The otherwise healthy former college basketball player and print shop owner is the “glue” of his family. Their world was shaken when diagnosis was delivered.

In late 2015, Hall had been experiencing difficulty swallowing and catching his breath. He made an appointment with his primary care provider who performed a series of initial tests, then referred Hall to an academic medical center in Chicago where his greatest fear was confirmed. Malignant Metastatic Paraganglioma: Three words that neither Donnell nor his healthcare team had heard before.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), malignant paraganglioma is extremely rare — in 2002, the estimated incidence in the United States was 93 cases per 400 million people. Diagnosis is a challenge, so in up to about 10 percent of cases — including Hall’s — metastases are already present at diagnosis. If left untreated, the prognosis is poor.

After a two-week hospital stay, providers at the medical center informed Hall that he may not have much time left, and began to discuss hospice and palliative care options.

“This was the most difficult conversation I ever had in my life,” said Hall. “I didn’t know what to do, but I knew I was not ready. As far as I was concerned, my fight had just begun and I was determined to fight for my life.”

It was at this time that Hall’s primary care provider referred him to M. Bassel Atassi, M.D., hematologist/oncologist and internal medicine physician at Little Company of Mary Hoapital (LCMH), who was willing and ready to lead Hall in his fight.

“Dr. Atassi wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer,” said Hall. “He is my guardian angel and the reason I am here today.”

Because this rare form of cancer was new to Dr. Atassi, Hall’s treatments were determined one appointment at a time. It was found that the cancer originated in Donnell’s chest. Over the course of a year, Donnell underwent local radiation to the main cancer mass, targeted radiation liver-directed Radioembolization treatments, and chemotherapy treatments. In April, CT and PET scans showed that the metastasis is shrinking with no new growths.

In addition to Dr. Atassi, members of Hall’s healthcare team at LCMH include Julia Choo, M.D., radiation oncologist; Don Martinez, M.D., interventional radiologist; and Hamid Nazeer, D.O., interventional radiologist.

“I truly accredit our entire team for Donnell’s success story,” said Dr. Atassi. “None of us ever had encountered a patient with this type of cancer, but we all came together as collaborating physicians to create a customized treatment plan and ultimately save Donnell’s life.”

Today, Hall is grateful just to be alive. During treatment, he made the decision to close his print shop which has helped him to slow down and enjoy life. In spring, Hall and his family celebrated his overcoming cancer by going on a cruise.

“Before this diagnosis, I was one busy man… constantly on-the-go and rushing through life. Now, I just live life as I can. I take time to hear the birds,” said Hall. “The personalized care that I have received at the Cancer Center at LCMH has been indescribable and every person I have encountered has made me feel special and important. Little Company of Mary is like family to me. I am most grateful to my entire healthcare team, but especially to Dr. Atassi. He saved my life.”

To learn more about cancer care at Little Company of Mary Hospital, visit To make an appointment at the Cancer Center, call 708-229-6020.



15th Annual Beverly Hills Cycling Classic Rides on July 14

Gears, Beers & Cheers! Family Ride, Festival and Pro/Am Cycling

Four thrilling pro/am cycle races are the centerpiece of BAPA’s 15th Annual Beverly Hills Cycling Classic: Bikes and Brews on Fri., July 14. The first racing event in this year’s multi-day Prairie States Cycling Series Intelligentsia Cup, the races are sure to provide plenty of action for spectators all around the race course and plenty of fun in the festival area.

The start/finish and festival grounds are located at 107th and Longwood Drive, with the race course running in a one-mile loop south on Longwood Drive to 108th Place then up to Hoyne, down to 107th Street, over to Seeley, down 105th Place and back to Longwood Drive. The Bikes and Brews festival opens at 4 p.m. and races start at 4:30 p.m. Following the last race, Coyote Riot will take the stage and play until 10pm.

Shorter Lines, More Beer

We admit it: At last year’s Bikes and Brews the lines were way too long and the supply of beer was way too short. That won’t happen again! “Lagunitas Brewing has stepped in as our beer sponsor, and they’re donating several kegs of beer,” said BAPA Executive Director Margot Holland. “That donation takes some of the burden off the area microbreweries what will also be pouring their craft beers at the festival.”

Alongside Lagunitas, look for craft beers from Horse Thief Hollow, Open Outcry Brewing Co., Argus Brewery, Blue Island Beer Company and Baderbrau Brewing Company.

“Based on our experience last year, we’re expecting a huge crowd to join us at this exciting summer event – and we’re ready for the crowd!” Holland said.

Festival goers will also be able to purchase wine and soft drinks.

Mobile Food & Games

A variety of portable edibles will be served up from food trucks. Calabria will be serving favorites from their new food truck Pollo Locuas will be serving a variety of tacos, Mike’s Revenge will be serving a menu of hearty sandwiches and sides, and Misericordia’s Hearts & Flour food truck will be selling desserts. Dappers Game Zone will keep the kids busy aboard their video game truck in the festival’s expanded Kids Zone.

Music by Coyote Riot

Area fans of rockabilly and bluegrass won’t want to miss the live performance by Coyote Riot that begins at 8:30 p.m. The festival area will remain open until 10 p.m. for music, brews and socializing.

The Racing

Founded in 2012 as the Prairie State Cycling Series, the Intelligentsia Cup brings competitive bicycle racing to the Chicago metro area, featuring top-level professional and elite amateur athletes. The Beverly Hills Cycling Classic is day one of the nine-day series, and this year will add a professional men’s race that’s sure to step-up the action.

Area residents and businesses can also add to the racing excitement by donating primes — cash prizes awarded to the winner of a lap. Only one person can win the overall race, but several riders and win prizes throughout the races.  The amount of primes available to win is a strong incentive for elite riders to participate. The more competitive the event, the more exciting the action for spectators!

Primes are collected in increments of $200, $100 and $50 and donors have their names announced over the public address system during the race. The deadline for donating a prime is Mon. July 10. Call 773-233-3100 or email for information.

Family Ride

Area residents are invited to ride their bikes to the event and join the fun for a half mile family ride on the race course at 7:05 p.m., between the women’s race and the final pro men’s race. Participation in the family ride is free. All riders must wear helmets and all children must be accompanied by adults. A free bike valet will be provided at the festival site.

The Bike Raffle

Don’t miss the chance to win a brand new bike donated by Beverly Bike and Ski! Tickets to BAPA’s Bike Raffle will be available at Bikes and Brews.

Thank Our Sponsors!

Beverly Bike-Vee Pak Racing Team returns as presenting sponsor of the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic. Underwritten by Beverly Bike and Ski and Vee Pak Manufacturing, the racing team is composed of several amateur riders who compete in races throughout the area.

Also sponsoring the event are Mike Haggery Buick – GMC – Volkswagen, Beverly Bank & Trust, the 19th Ward Youth Foundation, Smith Village, AT&T, Beverly Bike and Ski, MetroSouth Health Center at West Beverly/Dr. Kevin Dolehide, John Harrell State Farm. Lagunitas Brewing, PRP Wine International and The Beverly Review.

BAPA hosts the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic as a community-building summer event, the suggested donation for admission to the Bikes & Brews festival area is $5 and supports BAPA’s community-based programs.

For more information or to volunteer to help with Bikes and Brews, call 773-233-3100, sign up on the Bikes and Brews event page at or email




Village Viewpoint – June 2017

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Today, I am filled with gratitude! Together we experienced another great set of events for our community!! Thank you to all those who participated and volunteered to make the Beverly Hills/Morgan Park Home Tour and the Ridge Run and Memorial Day Parade huge successes.

These events bring over 5,000 people together in our community and would not be possible without the 300 volunteers who step up each year to help. More than ever we count on volunteers to support the BAPA staff and make these events special. Every May I am humbled by the thousands of participants and volunteers who connect with our community through BAPA. It is truly inspiring! THANK YOU!

The Beverly Area Planning Association’s mission is “to sustain and enhance Beverly/Morgan Park as a safe, culturally diverse Village in the City with increasing home values, high quality schools, thriving commercial areas and a low crime rate.” But more than that, our mission is to highlight the neighborhood to potential investors, attract new neighbors and continue the tradition of excellence this neighborhood as long enjoyed. To me, year after year the events presented in May and throughout the summer complete this mission.

In addition to volunteers these events would not be possible without our generous sponsors who love this community as we do. Please take time to support those businesses that support our community and the Beverly Area Planning Association.

Looking forward to June and the summer is very exciting as well! As the weather warms we will see the parks and libraries fill up with kids for summer programs and, hopefully, take time to enjoy our community. Each Thursday in June beginning June 8, meet us at the 103rd Street Metra for free Family Fun Nights. There will be food, entertainment and lots of fun for the family! Also mark your calendars for Bikes and Brews, the 15th annual Beverly Hills Cycling Classic, Fri., July 14 at 107th and Longwood. Most of all have a safe and happy kick off to summer! I look forward to seeing everyone!

All the best,


Beverly Hills Cycling Classic: Bikes & Brews

Join us on Fri., July 14 when the Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA) presents the 15th Annual Beverly Hills Cycling Classic: Bikes and Brews. The start/finish and festival grounds are centered at Beacon Therapeutic Center, 107th and Longwood Drive, with the race course running in a one-mile loop between 105th Place and 108th Place, Longwood Drive to Hoyne and Seeley avenues.

On the schedule of the Prairie States Cycling Series Intelligentsia Cup, the local event features four exciting pro/am races sure to provide plenty of action for spectators all around the race course.

The Bikes and Brews festival opens at 4 p.m. and features craft beers from Lagunitas and other favorite breweries.  The expanded Kids Zone includes a game truck, bike activities from the Pedalpushers and more. Food trucks include the Roost Carolina Kitchen serving friend chicken and homestyle fixings. Live music starts at 8 p.m.

The Racing

Founded in 2012 as the Prairie State Cycling Series, the Intelligentsia Cup brings competitive bicycle racing to the Chicago metro area, featuring top-level professional and elite amateur athletes. The Beverly Hills Cycling Classic is day one of the nine-day series. The Beverly Hills Cycling Classic will host a Masters’ race, women’s race and two men’s races.

Area residents are invited to ride their bikes to the event and join the fun for a ½ mile family ride on the race course. All riders must wear helmets! Free bike valet will be provided at the festival site.

The Bike Raffle

Tickets to BAPA’s Bike Raffle are now on sale. Don’t miss your chance to win a brand new bike donated by Beverly Bike and Ski.

The Sponsors

Beverly Bike-Vee Pak Racing Team returns as presenting sponsor. Underwritten by Beverly Bike and Ski and Vee Pak Manufacturing, the racing team is composed of several amateur riders who compete in races throughout the area.

Also sponsoring the event are Mike Haggery Buick – GMC – Volkswagen, Beverly Bank & Trust, the 19th Ward Youth Foundation, Smith Village, AT&T, Beverly Bike and Ski, The Beverly Review,

BAPA hosts the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic as a community-building summer event, the suggested donation for admission to the Bikes & Brews festival area is $5 and supports BAPA’s community-based programs.

For more information or to volunteer to help with Bikes and Brews, call 773-233-3100 or email

Free Family Fun Nights Start June 8

Make a date with your kids for Family Fun Nights, Thursdays, June 8, 15. 22 and 29, 5:30 to 7p.m., across from the Metra Station adjacent to the Beverly Bank parking lot, 1908 W. 103rd St.

Every week a different theme will be celebrated with special guests, activities, music, fun and food. Little Company of Mary Hospital will be handing out giveaways to the kids and doctors will be available to talk about family health.

On June 8, Miss Jamie’s Farm will hold a Rootin’ Tootin’ Hoedown with songs and activities sure to appeal to all her barnyard buddies. Jamie performs at parties around Chicagoland, and is a favorite among kids and their parents.

The DJ John from Beverly Records will be playing the tunes for a Dance Party on June 15.

The June 22 event features No Business Like Show Business, a performance by the Storybox Improv Theater. Actors will create a story from an audience suggestion in this imaginative and fully improvised show.

On June 29, families will join in the official Summer Kick-Off Party! Music and lots of fun activities are in store as we celebrate everyone’s favorite time of year.

Each week Pedalheads will be offering tips on bike safety and more, and Calabria Imports will be selling food and beverages. Bring your chairs and blankets, and get ready for a good time!

Family Fun Nights are co-sponsored by the Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA), Little Company of Mary Hospital, University of Chicago Medicine/Comer Children’s Hospital, Beverly Bank and Trust, 19th Ward Youth Foundation, Calabria Imports, People’s Gas and Mike Haggerty Buick-GMC-Volkswagen.

Family Fun Nights will be presented as planned, weather permitting.