Art Fair & Festival Debuts at Ridge Park this Summer

The 1st annual Ridge Park Art Fair & Festival will take place Sat., June 23, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Ridge Park Cultural Center, 9625 S. Longwood Dr. The event is being planned by the Ridge Park Advisory Council (RPAC) and John H. Vanderpoel Art Association along with the Chicago Park District, and will highlight Beverly/Morgan Park as a cultural hub.

The Ridge Park Art Fair & Festival will feature more than 40 Chicago area artists working across a wide variety of media, selling original paintings, sculptures, textiles, photographs, jewelry, art glass, leatherwork and more. Registration is now closed to artists.

As a Chicago Park District cultural center, Ridge Park offers rich and dynamic programming that will be highlighted throughout the art fair and festival. The John H. Vanderpoel Museum is located in the fieldhouse through the Chicago Park District’s Arts Partners in Residency Program, which unites artists and communities in Chicago’s parks. The Museum hosts a world-class collection of Impressionist paintings and other late 19th and early 20th century paintings and works on paper. Ridge Park Art Fair attendees will  have the opportunity to take guided tours of the Vanderpoel Museum, as well as of the park facilities and ceramics studio.

Rounding out the day will be events for patrons of all ages: food trucks, a bouncy castle, local bands, the opportunity to connect with Beverly/Morgan Park institutions and services.

Information about the Ridge Park Art Fair & Festival is available at Donations and sponsorships are still available. For more information, contact Irene Testa,, or Mary Jo Viero,

Experience Beverly/Morgan Park from Rock Island Line on BAPA Home Tour

There were less than 20 years between 1834 when public domain land sales opened in Chicago and John Blackstone started claiming property in the densely wooded area surrounding the Blue Island Ridge, and 1852 when the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad first started laying a trail of tracks between Chicago and Joliet.

Those two events created the perfect climate for building the community we know today as Beverly/Morgan Park. The kismet between land development and fast access to Chicago via commuter rail service will be explored on Sun., May 20, 12 to 5 p.m. when the Beverly Area Planning Association’s 2018 Home Tour invites people to experience Beverly/Morgan Park from the Rock Island

On the afternoon of the tour, five private homes — all within walking distance of local Rock Island Metra stops and examples of the lifestyle and history of commuter service in our community — will be open to visitors. Like so many of today’s neighborhood residents, the proximity of the Rock Island Metra was a factor in our homeowners’ decisions to choose Beverly/Morgan Park as their community. Visitors to the Home Tour residences will also discover the unique hospitality, community spirit and historic beauty that contribute to the Beverly/Morgan Park lifestyle.

Featured on this year’s tour are:

A stunning Colonial Revival mansion set at the top of the Blue Island Ridge hill, and renovated from foundation to roof. Built in 1906 for a successful businessman who worked for the Wrigley Company and who played a significant role in local society, the gracious home has been restored to its original splendor with marble tile, hardwood floors, beamed ceilings and exquisite decorative moldings. More than 100 windows in the house were replaced. Ellie’s Café and Wild Blossom Meadery will be providing meal-and-mead samples in the club style backyard.

A deluxe Chicago bungalow carefully preserved for its distinctive detailing and livability, and beautifully updated for an active family. This welcoming home was built as a “high end” bungalow, complete with slate roof tiles, decorative outdoor elements, and a matching detached garage. Filled with natural light that enhances the simply and lovely decorating, representatives from the Chicago Bungalow Association will be on hand to offer tips on tending vintage homes and share history about what has made Chicago bungalows so uniquely desirable for more than a century.

An gracious Tudor Revival set on a quiet corner lot just a half block from the Dan Ryan Woods has been beautifully restored with close attention to retaining the homes most elegant features including a spacious sunken living room with a cathedral ceiling and wall of beautifully crafted leaded glass windows. Bringing the home up to date is the breakfast room/kitchen area created by reconfiguring the floor plan and adding lovely new cabinets, counters and light fixtures. Southtown Health Foods will be serving samples of fresh, healthy juice.

A charming Foursquare home set atop the hill is influenced by the simple beauty of Prairie and Craftsman styling. Rich woodwork, handsomely crafted furnishings, exceptional art and collections, and personal touches tipped with whimsy all add to a welcoming home. Master Gardeners will meet with tour visitors and pass along timely tips to bring to their home landscapes.




A handsome stucco cottage with a garden hideaway is the cherished home of a couple who has spent 20 years making it the perfect place to welcome guests. The house, believed to be the first built in the block, is one of several cottages with almost identical floor plans that were built in the 1910s. Many of these modest homes were owned – including the one featured on the Tour – were owned by people working for the Rock Island Railroad. One of the owners of this house spent his career working downtown and riding the Rock Island five days a week. Now retired, the friends his he made on his daily commute often stop by the house to visit. Open Outcry Brewing Company will be offering samples of their craft-brewed beers in this home’s yard.

The Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour begins at the RMH Design Showroom, 1802-1806 W. 103rd St., where people can pick up the guide books that serve as entry into the featured homes as well as complimentary goody bags.  The RMH showroom is a visual delight of merchandise and samples for mall projects through total remodeling jobs, including fabrics, tile, flooring, counters, wallpaper, rugs, cabinets and more.

Calumet Paint and Wallpaper, paint showcase sponsor for the Home Tour, will have representatives at RMH to share information and expert advice on painting, wallpaper and more.

Homes are selected for the Tour because of their outstanding decorating, amenities and architecture which offer a range of great ideas for updating kitchens, baths, basements and even yards. The homes also show the inextricable impact the opening of the Rock Island Railroad’s service to this area made on the creation and expansion of the community we now know as Beverly/Morgan Park. The convenience of the Metra Rock Island service to Chicago’s Loop is still an important factor in why new residents choose to purchase homes here.

A True Commuter Community

Beverly/Morgan Park would not exist today had it not been for the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad (now the Metra Rock Island). When the Rock began daily commuter service downtown in the later 1800s, the sparsely settled areas along the Blue Island Ridge that became Beverly/Morgan Park began attracting people who desired homes in a “suburban” setting but accessible to jobs and shopping, as well as railroad workers and service providers in need of lodging close to station stops.

Home construction on the Ridge boomed following the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. From mansions that housed some of Chicago’s most prominent families, to cottages and bungalows for families of more modest means, quick transportation downtown was a key influencer for home buyers more than a century ago, just as it is for buyers today. Many of the stations, now located at four-block intervals from 91st to 115th Streets, served as village centers for shopping, and the surviving stations built in the late 1800s and early 1900s form the Rock Island Train Station historic district because of their historic and architectural significance. All of the stations are part of daily life for the estimated 8.3 million riders currently commuting between Joliet and LaSalle Street each year.

At Home in Beverly/Morgan Park Today

For more than four decades, BAPA’s Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour has been opening the doors to some of the neighborhood’s most remarkable private residences. Tickets to this year’s tour are $30 in advance at or $35 on the day of the tour, Sun., May 20. Advance tickets are also available at RMH Design, 1806 W. 103rd St., County Fair Foods, `0800 S. Western, and Steuber Florist, 2654 W. 111th St. Homes are open from 12 to 5 p.m. on the day of the tour; all tours are self-guided and must begin by 3 p.m.

Thank You Home Tour Sponsors

Mike Haggerty Buick-GMC-Volkswagen in Oak Lawn, Beverly Bank & Trust, Pacor Mortgage, Marquette Bank,  Berkshire Hathaway Home Services – Biros Real Estate, Calumet Paint and Wallpaper, Benjamin Moore Paint, CIBC, PRS Real Estate Services, Beverly Hills Animal Hospital, Steuber Florist & Greenhouses, Southtown Health Foods, Coldwell Banker Residential Oak Lawn,  19th Ward Youth Foundation, County Fair, The Beverly Review, RMH Design, Smith Village, Bridget Gainer, Road Home Program, Beverly Cabinets and Construction, State Sen. Bill Cunningham, State Rep. Fran Hurley, Open Outcry Brewing Company.

Information about the Home Tour contact BAPA, 773-233-3100 or


Half-Marathon Commitment Proves ‘Nothing is Impossible’

By Abby Johnson

John Cancialosi was hit with a great idea while lying in bed. It was 2011, he was in writhing pain from a life-threatening pressure sore and bone infection that had left him immobilized for six months, and he had just learned that surgery was a must, a procedure that would extend his bedridden sentence another twelve weeks. While this type of news is discouraging for most, for John it was inspiration. Inspiration in the shape of a three-wheeled handcycle that in 2015 would make Cancialosi the first athlete to complete a half-marathon on a handcycle. Now he’s doing it again.

Cancialosi had received bad news before. It had come in a more devastating form 30 years prior after a diving accident that damaged his lower spine and left him a C-6 quadriplegic at the ripe age of 20. It was this accident that would eventually lead to Cancialosi’s infection in 2011.

But being confined to a wheelchair for more than three decades has not diminished Cancialosi’s zest for life. There is a positive energy that emanates from him as he sits at his desk at Tinley Park Kitchen & Bath Shoppe, the business he has owned and operated for 15 years. He is happy to be able to run his own company, he says. And even happier to have the opportunity to use his disability to show the children that nothing is impossible.

“They’re young,” Cancialosi said. “We need to show them that no disability or unfortunate occurrence in life makes them less capable of success.”

That’s why Cancialosi is participating in this year’s Southwest Half Marathon as a charity runner for South West Special Recreation Association (SWSRA), a non-profit organization that provides year-round quality recreation programs and services for individuals with special needs. A week before the May 6 race day, Cancialosi had raised $3,865 of his $4,000 goal. And his dedication goes beyond the physical realm: Cancialosi and his wife have pledged to donate $1,000 themselves.

So how difficult is riding a bike without being able to use your legs? When asked, Cancialosi responds so matter-of-factly that another laudable characteristic shines through. One that is perhaps even more admirable than his resilience. Cancialosi is modest. He has use of one bicep, one tricep and zero finger dexterity. Yet he is capable of operating the bike with his upper body strength alone, using his arms as one would use pedals to move the cycle forward. It’s tiring. Challenging. Strenuous. But Cancialosi does it. Because the alternative is not an option.

“I don’t want my disability to prevent me from having a normal life,” he said. He makes a few clicks on his computer and up pops a picture of a kitchen he recently designed for a client. It’s sleek and modern. A telltale sign of his talent and passion. He’s proud.

“I don’t want it to stop me from doing what I love.

The good news? It hasn’t.

For more information or to make a donation visit Cancialosi’s GoFundMe page,

Public Art Installation Coming to 99th Street

Quantum Me, a permanent piece of public art created by Chicago artist Davis McCarty will be unveiled at 99th and Walden Parkway amid a community celebration on Sat., May 19 beginning at 5:30 p.m. Quantum Me s a sculpture fabricated from mirror polished stainless steel and dichroic Plexiglas, is the 19th Ward’s installation through the City of Chicago’s 50×50 Neighborhood Arts Project.

Among the people planning to gather for the installation are Mark Kelly, Commissioner of the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), artist Davis McCarty, 19th Ward Ald. Matt O’Shea, Morgan Park Beverly Hills Business Association Executive Director Caroline Connors, and Co-Directors of the Beverly Area Arts Alliance Monica Wilczak and Sal Campbell. The public is invited to the installation which will be followed by a block-party style celebration between 99th and 100th Streets on Walden Parkway.

‘This is a great opportunity for us to come together and show Mark Kelly and the City that we are a neighborhood that loves and supports art,” Campbell said.

Quantum Me is a piece of art that will be easy to love” Colorful, ever-changing and offering a reflective perspective of viewers and the environment.

“If you walk around Quantum Me, the colors will magically change before your eyes,” McCarty said. “Two people standing in different locations can actually see different colors looking at the same spot.”

People who gather for the celebration will be among the first to have a close-up look at the sculpture that is sure to draw a lot of attention and visitors at its spot just across the street from the 99th Street Metra Station.  The celebration will include live music by blues vocalist Sheryl Youngblood, micro-brews from Horse Thief Hollow and Open Outcry Brewing Company, food from local establishments, and a preview of the Brews, Bags and Art competition coming up on May 20. All of the 99th and Walden businesses will stay open late for the event.

McCarty’s companion piece to Quantum Me is installed in Rogers Park, book-ending the city. Quantum Me is a giant spherical ball that transports the viewer into the sky. The Rogers Park sculpture is reversed, with the ball on the ground.

McCarty grew up in Southeast Asia where his parents were missionaries. He moved back to the United States to attend school at Beloit College in Wisconsin, majoring in computer science.  His work is influenced by Asian temples as well as science and technology.

The sculptures McCarty created for the 19th Ward and Rogers Park will last for decades because of the materials used to create them. “They will look as great in 50 years as they do today,” McCarty said.

The polished steel portion of Quantum Me is made from the same material as the Bean in Millennium Park. “As a society, we use images to share our experience with others,” McCarty said. “Creating a sculpture that allows people to photograph themselves in the art while simultaneously capturing the city is a great way to commemorate the experience of visiting Beverly. I hope to make people ask ‘where is that?’ and want to plan their own visit.”

McCarty’s Quantum Me was selected for the 19th Ward by a panel of community members, including representatives from BAPA, the Ward office, residents and artists. The project was spearheaded by the Beverly Area Arts Alliance.

Americanos Serves Up Authentic Mexican Dishes

By Kristin Boza

Americanos, 11060 S. Western Ave., opened recently to a great buzz. The restaurant, located in the spot formerly occupied by Leona’s, offers authentic Mexican food with an American twist and is owner A.J. Castillo’s first foray into a brick and mortar restaurant; his previous endeavor was operating a food truck on the north side.

Castillo is a part of the Firewater Saloon team, which was originally looking at the former Leona’s for their restaurant. While the spot wasn’t right for Firewater (which opened on 111th Street I Mount Greenwood), the owners felt it was a great spot for a different concept, and Castillo’s extensive knowledge and ease in creating original Mexican dishes won out.

“One of my biggest concerns before opening was what people’s expectations were. People were probably thinking we would offer enchiladas, or full plate meals, but instead we serve our food a la carte,” Castillo said. “It’s set up so you can get a little bit of everything and can try a variety of tacos, or split a torta with someone else. We celebrate each taco and torta; each one has different components and they’re all unique in their own way.” Castillo points to the fried chicken torta and brisket taco as two out-of-the-ordinary items.

Castillo is most proud of the Americanos tortas, created by putting his own spin on the typical sandwich people see at other Mexican restaurants, Castillo builds the tortas with a variety of meat and toppings and places them on high-quality bread.

One unique menu item is the agua chile, which is cooked octopus over a bed of cucumber and jicama, with a dash of lime, salt, chimichurri sauce and cholula sauce. “The agua chile is a refreshing appetizer, almost like sushi. It’s one of our statement dishes,” Castillo said.

While the menu is well thought out and unique, Castillo sees himself as an entrepreneur first and a chef second. “When I’d tell my mentors and other people about how I wanted to open a restaurant, they constantly doubted me. As I got older and more time passed, I got more serious about making it happen,” he said. “I was the young dreamer kid on the block; I had to put my head down and work hard to ensure that I’d prove people wrong.”

Castillo credits his mother, Cynthia Castillo, with giving him a love for exceptional food. “When I was a kid, my mom cooked every day and it was expected that something good was on the table every night. That was part of my road to get to where I am today, and she really inspired me,” he said. “My team and I plan to work hard every day to give the neighborhood what they want. We are trying hard to give the neighborhood something special and new.” Castillo’s mom works with her son as Americanos Front of House Manager.

Americanos is open daily, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Brunch will begin in May, and the liquor license will also be approved, so stop in for margaritas with your lunch or dinner.



Your Health: The Emotional Impact of Stroke

By Eileen McNichols, Director of Community Health and Pastoral Care Services

Stroke is a devastating health challenge. An increased awareness of signs and symptoms of stroke and the importance of seeking treatment as soon as the first indication of stroke occurs has had a positive impact on the long-term effects of stroke. But many people are not familiar with the emotional effects of stroke.

Many stroke survivors experience fear, anxiety, frustration, sadness and a sense of loss for the functional changes that accompany a stroke. Some stroke survivors experience Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA), a medical condition that causes sudden and unpredictable episodes of crying or laughing in socially inappropriate situations. PBA is caused brain damage that occurred during the stroke.

The National Stroke Association performed a survey in 2010 about PBA and 53% of the stroke survivors who answered the survey reported symptoms of PBA. Only one in five stroke survivors surveyed were familiar with PBA. Those who experience PBA frequently report that the unpredictable episodes of crying or laughing interferes with their ability to enjoy social activities, even with their own family members and close friends.

The goal of treatment for PBA is to reduce the severity and frequency of emotional outbursts. Some medications may help, such as low doses of antidepressants. A medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration is designed specifically to treat PBA.

There are a few things that one can do to help cope with this difficult condition. First, it is important for family and friends to know about PBA so they are not surprised or confused when episodes occur. During an episode, it is best to take deep breaths, relax the body and change positions. Neurologists who care for stroke survivors are a wonderful resource.  On Mon., May 7, 11 a.m., neurologist Melissa Rooney, MD, will present a free seminar about PBA at Little Company of Mary Hospital (LCMH), 2800 W. 95th St. For information and to register, call 708-423-5774.

Support is key to managing recovery from a stroke for both the survivor and caregivers. LCMH has a free support group that focuses on the specific needs of community members who have experienced a stroke or stroke symptoms. The next meeting is Tues., June 19. For information, call 708-229-5412.

The Joint Commission, the independent not-for-profit organization that reviews healthcare performance standards, recently reaccredited and recertified LCMH as a Primary Stroke Center. After undergoing a vigorous certification process, involving an on-site evaluation and demonstration of compliance with nationally developed standards for stroke, LCMH’s Stroke Center earned the Gold Seal of Approval.

Top Four Programs at LCMH

Information and registration, 708-423-5774

Health Academy:  Pseudobulbar Affect after Stroke, presented by neurologist Melissa Rooney, MD, Mon., May 7, 11 a.m., Little Company of Mary Hospital Conference Room, 1st floor. Free.

C.H.E.E.R Body and Soul: The Importance of Caring for the Spirit, Wed., May 9, 11 a.m., Little Company of Mary Hospital Conference Room, 1st floor. Free.

Lung Cancer Screening, Sat., May 12, 8 a.m. to noon, includes a low dose CT scan of the chest; must meet certain criteria. Outpatient Care Center, 6700 W. 95th St. Registration required. Fee: $125.

Wake Up Call Screening, one-hour comprehensive screening for heart attack and stroke, Sat., May 19, 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Includes labs, ultrasounds of abdominal aorta and carotid arteries, heart rhythm screening for A Fib and more. No doctor’s order needed. Registration required. Fee: $155. (Value $4,500).

95th Street Farmers Market Opens for the Season

By Kristin Boza

Grab your reusable shopping bags and your appetite, then head to the 95th Street Farmers Market on opening day, Sun., May 6 in the commuter parking lot at 95th and Longwood Dr. The market is open every Sunday through Oct. 28 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine.

This year’s market will host many favorite vendors from years past, as well as some new ones, selling items that range from bedding plants for your garden, fresh produce, baked goods, cheese, homemade jams and sauces, hormone-free meat, fresh eggs,  prepared foods, astisan-made merchandise and products, and more.  Also expect to enjoy activities for the kids, live music, representatives from area organizations in the community tent, tasty treats, and more. Sponsors include Beverly Bank & Trust, Southtown Health Foods, 19th Ward Youth Foundation, State Sen. Bill Cunningham, State Rep. Fran Hurley, the 95th Street Business Association, Pacor Mortgage Corporation, BAPA and Ald. Matt O’Shea.

Erin Ross, director of the 95th Street Business Association, leads the coordination of the market. “Our goal is to create a destination that our residents don’t want to miss on Sundays,” she said. “They can gather with friends, have a bite to eat, shop for healthy items, and enjoy good music and camaraderie without traveling very far from home.”

Ross is excited to welcome back many vendors, while also welcoming some new ones. “Many of our vendors tell me that our market is their favorite in all of the Chicagoland markets they participate in. We take great pride in this because we have worked very hard to grow the market since taking it over from the City of Chicago.”

New vendors this year include Sitka Salmon Shares, Homebody Basics, John Bailey Honey, and B-Sides Coffee + Tea. Sitka Salmon is a fishermen-owned cooperative from Sitka, Alaska that will sell fish that is wild-caught and sustainably fished.

B-Sides Coffee + Tea will sell hot and iced coffee by the cup, as well as 12 ounce bags of coffee and 15 packs of Rishi Tea. “As customers and a family, we’ve always looked forward to going to the farmer’s market, and now we look forward to being a vendor representing our local business just four blocks away,” said Karen O’Malley who owns B-Sides Coffee with her husband, Kevin.

Returning vendors are looking forward to welcoming new and longtime customers for the new growing season.

Crystal Nells of C&D Farms sells meat and eggs free from antibiotics, steroids and hormones. She is happy to return to the market for her 11th year. “Beverly is my favorite farmers market,” she said. “I do markets all over Chicago and the people of Beverly are the most genuine. I don’t feel that any of them look down at farmers; I feel appreciated for what I do and what I provide.”

Frank Damiano of Breadman is another long-time vendor, selling breads and sweets made without artificial preservatives, colors or flavorings, and utilizing ingredients sold by other vendors at the market whenever possible. “The musical entertainment is one reason why I love the market. Each week is something different and occasionally I’ll sit in with my guitar for a few songs. Being a baker and a musician, it’s great when I can combine the two,” he said. “What I’m looking forward to most this year is to see how big the little kids got over the winter. I’ve been there so long I’ve seen families of three become a family of five. I get to see the kids going from the stroller one season to walking around the next.” Breadman offers whole grain breads, tomato basil bread, foccacia bread, and his two most popular: cinnamon raisin swirl and his famous zucchini bread.

Other vendors you’ll find at the 95th Street Farmers Market this year are: Blankenship Farm, Coco’s Tamales, Down to Earth Beverly, The Eating Well, Fountain BBQ, Gotta B Crepes, Madsen Farms, Noffke Family Farms, Not Just Cookies, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Pollo Locuas, Southtown Health Foods, Stamper Cheese, Sweet Freaks, Twin Gardens Inc., Urban Canopy, Homebody Basics, John Bailey Honey and Long Table Pancakes.

Stay up to date on the latest happenings by following the 95th Street Farmers Market on Facebook. Find out which bands will play and which local organizations will be hosting the Community Tent each week.

The Power of Pink: Beverly Breast Cancer Walk Takes 19th Stroll Through Neighborhood on May 13

The 19th Annual Beverly Breast Cancer Walk (BBCW) will take place on Mother’s Day, Sun., May 13, 8 a.m., starting at Ridge Park, 9625 S. Longwood Dr. Walk planners are expecting more than 14,000 participants to step up and show their care for breast cancer patients, survivors and family members and to raise money to support Little Company of Mary Hospital’s award-winning Comprehensive Breast Health Center in its important work of healing and helping.

Over the past 18 years, the BBCW has raised more than $5.5 million, funding breast health programming and deepening LCMH’s impact on patients, survivors and their families.

Top funding priorities for the 2018 Beverly Breast Cancer Walk include: support to expand breast health programming, assistance through the BBCW Crisis Fund to those who may be in financial crisis during their treatment, and empowering survivors to thrive.

It’s an amazing experience to be among the thousands of men, women and children walking through Beverly/Morgan Park on Mother Day morning, commemorating the countless wives, daughters and mothers who have fought breast cancer. The walk began 19 years ago when three pioneering women came together on Mother’s Day to walk in remembrance of loved ones and keep the fight against breast cancer at the forefront of people’s hearts and minds.

Nearly two decades ago, area resident Carol Moriarty sought treatment at Little Company of Mary’s Comprehensive Breast Health Center to aid her in her battle with breast cancer. After a successful plan of treatments, Moriarty found herself cancer-free with a new profound vision for life.

In 1999, Carol Moriarty, an area resident and breast cancer patient who was treated at Little Company of Mary Hospital, worked with her sister Nancy Mulcahy and longtime friend Lisa O’Brien, to give Southland residents a local option to walk in support of the fight against breast cancer. The walk quickly grew into a community-wide event. A talented group of committee members donate their time and talents to make the BBCW a bigger and bigger success each year. These efforts have helped to save countless lives.

New this year, people can shop for Beverly Breast Cancer Walk apparel online. Options include sportswear such as long sleeve shirts and pants.

To participate in the 18th Annual Beverly Breast Cancer Walk on Mother’s Day, register at www.BeverlyBreastCancerWalk.  Register early to receive a t-shirt with the $30 entry fee. The entry fee for children ages 18 and under is $15. Walk-day registration is $10 more for adults and $5 more for children 18 and under. T-shirt availability is not guaranteed for day-of registrants.

Walk-up registration and T-shirt pick-up will be offered at Little Company of Mary Hospital, 2800 W. 95th St., Cancer Center/main lobby entrance, Sat., May 5, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wed., May 9, 4 to 7 p.m., and Sat., May 12, 9 a.m. to 1 pm.


Local Real Estate Trends See Rising Values, Quick Sales 

By Grace Kuikman

Bracketing the beginning of the winter real estate sales lull and start of the spring market were two articles in major publications that called attention to the quality and value of real estate in Beverly.

An article in Crain’s Chicago Business last fall reported that, according to their analysis of Midwest Real Estate Sales Data, sales in the first nine months of 2017 were up 27% over the same period in 2016. Crain’s also reported that, according to the Chicago Association of Realtors, the median sales prices of Beverly homes was up 7.7% from 2016.

“No other place among the city’s 77 officially designated neighborhoods has seen as much growth in home sales as Beverly,” the article said, offering two reasons for the upward trend: the long history of affordability and the new “layer of hipness spreading through the neighborhood.”

Bill Biros of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/Biros Real Estate, operates one of the local real estate companies seeing the uptick in home sales – he said business was up 11% in 2017 over 2016. But, like the other local realtors, Biros is concerned about the effect the low inventory of homes for sale may have on home values.

“[Prices] have not gone up at the rate we’d like to see,” Biros said. “One problem is appraisals.”  According Biros and other local real estate professionals, appraisers from outside the area don’t understand local demand and value – it’s not just a problem here. But, with the healthy housing market  in Beverly/Morgan Park, Biros expects that “prices will creep up.”

‘Something for Everyone’

Affordability, quality of housing stock and a “formidable collection of food and beverage offerings” are cited as reasons for Beverly’s attraction for potential buyers in an article titled “Here’s What You Can Get for Under $500K in Beverly” in Chicago Magazine’s March issue. “Beverly is surprisingly affordable. No matter your budget, there’s something for everyone in Beverly,” wrote A. J. LaTrace.

“I see lots of North Side people coming in to look at Beverly,” said Michele Pettiford, a Beverly/Morgan Park resident and real estate agent for Coldwell Banker Residential of Oak Lawn. One of Pettiford’s listings made it into Chicago Magazine’s four picks for the real estate article. Even though she’s not “homegrown,” as she put it, Pettiford has lived in the community long enough to experience the high number of home buyers who grew up in Beverly/Morgan Park, moved “up north,” then returned when it’s time to start families. She said the house hunters she’s seeing coming from the North Side, downtown and suburbs are frequently people who have never been to this community.

“It’s not just people coming back home,” she said.

Recent press that underscores neighborhood amenities, enduring home values and expanding recreational opportunities are a factor in reaching young people who may never have looked for Beverly listings in the past, Pettiford said. And when that increasing population of millennials finds their way to one of her local showings, Pettiford wastes no time before winding into a sales pitch that is based on her own positive experience as a neighborhood “transplant.”

Commute + Community

“People are consistently drawn here by the short commute downtown and the value of the homes, but it’s the sense of community they discover here that really appeals to them,” she said. “When I’m on appointments, I talk about the neighborhood and all the great things Beverly/Morgan Park has to offer.” She lists the brew pubs, the boutiques, Bookies, the Beverly Arts Center and more. “It’s amazing what this community has done!”

Mary Ellen Fitzgerald, who owns and operates Fitzgerald Real Estate with her husband Rich, agrees that positive press about new amenities like the Beverly Art Walk, Frunchroom reading series, and brew pubs attracts interested potential buyers to our community. Her recent clients include people from the North Side, downtown, South Loop, south suburbs and more. The Fitzgeralds wish that there were more homes for sale to accommodate all the interested buyers coming their way. “We could use more inventory,” Mary Ellen said. “There are more buyers than sellers.”

All of the real estate agents and brokers interviewed for this article agree that home prices are going up – not as fast as in some other neighborhoods, but steadily, which is historically how the local real estate market trends.

Morgan Park Market

Rich Fitzgerald said that he thinks the local market could be even stronger if potential buyers from outside the neighborhood were searching “Morgan Park” in addition to “Beverly” on real estate platforms like Zillow. “There are a lot of great values in Morgan Park but a lot of new buyers don’t know about it,” Rich said, explaining that the boundary for “Beverly” ends at 107th Street, so that’s where the Beverly listings stop. Although most area residents think of Beverly and Morgan Park as one, close-knit community that they often call “Beverly,” they are technically considered two neighborhoods.

According to the Fitzgeralds, that’s just one of many good reasons to work with local real estate professionals when you are buying or selling. “Local realtors know the neighborhood and will show people all around,” Rich said. “Every part of this neighborhood – east, west, north, south – all have something to offer.”

Dual Market

Another housing trend noted by each of the interviewed real estate agents and brokers is a distinct dual market: People buying distressed homes cheaply to rehab and resell fast at high prices, and those buying what Pettiford called “forever homes.”

“For those properties that need complete rehab or modernization, buyers come from . . . all corners of the city and suburbs,” said Barbara Thouvenell, Managing Broker for PRS Associates. “There are usually multiple offers, they are cash buyers, and this is a business transaction, that’s it.”

Because there are so few homes in this community that need extensive rehab, the rehabbed properties turn over quickly and, according to Thouvenell, “tend to go to first time buyers. They love the fresh new look the house has, and are appreciative of the newest trends in colors, tile and kitchens.”

The majority of neighborhood housing stock is what Thouvenell called the traditional market. “This market tends to be driven by the need for more space, more bedrooms, main level family room, a finished basement, and more baths,” she said, adding that this market is “very tight right now, especially in the $325,000 and under range.”

Move-in Condition a Must

Another trend that real estate professionals believe is here to stay: Homes must be in move-in condition for most of today’s buyers.

“Buyers don’t want to do anything,” said Bernadette Molloy, owner of Molloy Real Estate. According to Molloy, houses have to be ready for market before they’re listed: “Streamlined, clean, as updated as possible within the seller’s budget, and priced properly,” she said.

Harder to sell are the kind of houses that most us live in: Nice, somewhat updated, but loved and lived in.

Across the board, the local realtors agree that, if they can afford it, sellers should invest in making important updates if they want their house to sell relatively quickly.

“Assess the issues and make repairs that will keep your property from selling,” said Biros. Points to consider: Make needed repairs to get your house in good condition; the age of the roof and the furnace is extremely important; replace windows that are old or in poor condition, if it’s within your budget.

Dated Homes = Best Buys

“The best bargains are houses in good condition but dated,” said Bill Biros. “The best deals can be had if [buyers] are willing to do the updates.”

The hallmark of the local housing market has been slow and steady for many years. Most people buy here because they plan to stay, raise their kids, babysit their grandkids, and eventually pay off that 30-year mortgage. In that kind of market, prices go up – and go down – more slowly. That’s part of the value of loving where you live.


Business Update – April 2018

Book Discussion and Author Visits in Store at Bookie’s

Start reading! Bookie’s, 10324 S. Western, is hosting several events this month. The Second Sunday Book Club will meet Sun., Apr. 8, 2 p.m. at Open Outcry Brewing Co., 10934 S. Western. The book is “We Care for You” by Paul Kitcatt. Copies are available at the book store, and the author will join the book club discussion via Skype. Participating in the Second Sunday Book Club is open to all.

Independent Bookstore Day is Sat., Apr. 28, and Bookies will host special guests, including R.C. Goodwin, the author of Side Street Press’s new release, “Model Child,” a psychological thriller. During Children’s Book Week, Apr. 30 through May 6, Bookies will host guests almost every day.

Bookie’s is open 7 days a week and offers a wide selection of new and used books. Looking for a particular title? Call 773-239-1110, or, better yet, stop by the store and enjoy browsing through the books. More info


Biros Real Estate Welcomes 3 New Brokers

Erin Cotter, Susan Stevens and Mary Therese Quiter recently joined Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Biros Real Estate. “Mary Therese, Erin and Susan will assist buyers and sellers in their purchase and sale of residential or commercial real estate,” said said Bill Biros, Broker/Owner, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Biros Real Estate. “All three live in the neighborhoods we serve and they are the type of sales professionals we are seeking, as we continue to grow the company, and increase our presence in the local community. Our focus is on the customer and our goal is to provide the best products and services. The knowledge, professionalism and dedication of our sales agents has made working with BHHS Biros Real Estate the right choice for thousands of satisfied buyers and sellers over the last 35 years.”


Spring Tree Care Leaves Your Summer Made in the Shade

Even though spring is a busy time of year for neighborhood families, the certified arborists at Smitty’s Tree Service recommend making time to ensure that one of our community’s finest assets – the trees – are strong and healthy.

According to Smitty’s specialists, homeowners should clear away winter debris from tree root areas, spread a light layer of mulch, and, once the ground is thawed, give each tree a good watering. These activities will assist in root health as the cool spring transitions into the hot summer.

Spring is also a good time to apply fertilizer. Well-fertilized trees are healthier and can fight off pests and disease more easily. Trees should also be inspected for damage, disease and pests in spring. These jobs may require the help of a certified arborist.

Certified arborists have the skills and knowledge needed to detect damage, diagnose diseases in trees and shrubs, and identify pests that can cause extensive damage or even kill trees. Chicago winters can be hard on trees. Broken and dead branches should be removed, and trees should be inspected for damage from salt and hard freezes. Certified arborists can care for damaged or sick trees and nurse them back to health. Diseases that kill trees and can spread to other trees if not treated. Insect infestations can also be deadly. Local trees are vulnerable to Japanese beetles, leaf miners, aphids, bagworms and other pests.

Smitty’s Tree Service is a BAPA Business Member; see their business directory listing at under resources. They have been serving residential and commercial customers for more than 60 years, and are fully insured and licensed. For a free estimate, contact Smitty’s at 708-385-2814 or


Get the Help You Need to Make Your Business Successful

Local business owners are encouraged to take advantage of expert advice from counselors from SCORE and the Far South Community Development Corporation. Mentors from these organizations meet with clients at the BAPA office, 1987 W. 111th St.  SCORE business mentor Kevin Scanlan is available by appointment to help entrepreneurs learn more about business start-up, finding funding, expanding their current businesses, managing cash flow and marketing. Mentoring is free and offered by appointment only. Make appointments at

Florence Hardy and Kathryn Jackson of the Far South Community Development Corporation (FSCDC) make appointments to help small businesses with business accounting and business plans on the second Wednesday of each month between 10 a.m. and noon. Far South counselors are experts at connecting businesses with resources and services for current and prospective business owners. To schedule an appointment, call BAPA, 773-233-3100.