Runners Beat Heat for a Great Ridge Run

Despite record high temperatures, more than 2000 runners participated in the 10K, 5K run, 5K walk, 10K-5K Challenge and Youth Mile on Memorial Day morning, and everyone received a finisher’s medal, and the top three winners in each age group in the 10K and 5K run received an additional award. The 5K walk and Youth Mile are not timed.

Leaderboard winners and their finish times are:

10K men –  1st, Eric Hofmann, 35:42; 2nd, Anthony Truman, 35:50; and 3rd, Dave Janet, 36:57.

10K women – 1st Erin Heenan, 36:11; 2nd, Emily Gleason, 40:16; and 3rd, Cecilia Light, 42:24.

10K wheelchair – 1st, Mary Kate Callahan, 34:44

5K man – 1st, Matthew Olech, 16:56; 2nd, Jake Christiansen, 17:04; and 3rd, Kyle Hauser, 17:21.

5K women – 1st, Eleanor Odom, 21:55; 2nd, Jessica Dorgan, 22:54; and 3rd, Kaila Konecki, 23:10.

5K wheelchair – 1st,Mary Kate Callahan, 18:48.

Challenge men – 1st, Anthony Truman, 54:11; 2nd, Dave Janet, 56:23; and 3rd, Kevin Malloy, 1:02:42.

Challenge women – 1st, Callista Stefaniak, 1:16:55; 2nd, Marnie Milakovich, 1:17:00; and 3rd, Molly McInerney, 1:17:22.


Find complete race results at–20/

On Your Mark… Get Set… BAPA’s 41st Annual Ridge Run is May 28

By Abby Johnson

Rescue your running shoes and jogging shorts from underneath that suffocating pile of hats and gloves – it’s time to get ready for Beverly Area Planning Association’s annual Ridge Run on Memorial Day, Mon., May 28. For the 41st consecutive year participants will race through the historic Beverly/Morgan Park neighborhood to the sound of whoops and hollers from those on the sidelines. After the race, participants and spectators alike are invited to stay for the Beverly Hills/Morgan Park/Mount Greenwood Memorial Day Parade.

The Ridge Run is among Chicago’s favorite occasions. And with good reason: Few events express such a strong sense of community, the hundreds of cheering spectators the embodiment of dedication to neighbors who have become friends and friends who have become family. It’s a symbol of belonging that, like the race, runs through the heart of our neighborhood.

Runners have multiple choices when it comes to distance. Options include 10K run, 5K run or untimed walk, Ridge Run Challenge 5K and 10K, and, for kids up to age 12, the untimed Youth Mile. (The wee ones can compete in the Tot Trot in the kids’ zone).

Running Up on Healthy Habits

For several years, Southtown Health Foods, 2100 W. 95th St., has been the sponsor of the Ridge Run Youth Mile. The family-owned market has been a community staple since 1962, and the store’s manager, Katie Mahler-Speh says the business’s decision to be a sponsor lies in its desire to give back to the community that has been so welcoming over the past five decades.

“Being healthy is important,” Mahler-Speh said. “It’s important for individuals in the community and the community itself.”

The Youth Mile, said Mahler Speh, is the perfect opportunity to instill healthy habits in children while they’re still young. Being active is a necessity for being healthy, and it’s best to start those healthy habits as early as possible, she said.

Race Schedule

The Ridge Run begins with the 10K at 8 a.m. followed by the Youth Mile at 8:10 a.m. and the 5K at 9:30 a.m. A post-race party will feature the Runners Award Ceremony, along with food, beer and children’s activities, including a bouncy house, petting zoo and TotTrot.

Participants can register online at through May 27, but registration must be completed by May 3 to guarantee receiving a T-shirt. Advance registration and packet pickup is open May 24 through 26, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Running Excels, 10328 S. Western Ave., and May 27, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Ridge Park 9625 S. Longwood Dr. Race day registration opens at 6:30 a.m. at Ridge Park. Race details and information are available at under Events.

Runners will receive finisher medals, as well as goody bags and runner refreshments. A post-race festival at Ridge Park is open for participants and spectators includes a Kids’ Zone with jump house, petting zoo and Tot Trot; team town; runner awards; food and beverages available for purchase; and more.

Little Company of Mary Returns as Presenting Sponsor

Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers is presenting sponsor of the Ridge Run, and generously provides the day’s health necessities, like the Ridge Run doctor and first aid tent, along with free on-site blood pressure checks and general health information. Children are welcome to learn about healthy lifestyles. Runners will receive a free cooling towel courtesy of Little Company of Mary Hospital.

Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers (LCMH) is a Catholic, not-for-profit hospital based in Evergreen Park and has been a vital health resource for the surrounding community for nearly 90 years. LCMH continues to achieve accolades for quality through its revolutionary medical technologies and services both at its home and satellite locations and was recently named among best hospitals by U.S. News and World Report.

Beverly/Morgan Park neighbor Dr. Ginny Hendricks is returning for her 4th year as the Ridge Run doctor. She practices Family Medicine at LCM Medical Group and is fellowship-trained in Sports Medicine. Her skills and interests make her a great fit for the Ridge Run.

“I practice Sports Medicine including the care of the athlete (concussions, strains and sprains, and sports physicals), joint health (backs, knees, shoulders, etc), fracture care, and exercise recommendations in patients of all ages,” Dr. Hendricks related for a LCMH profile. “I enjoy helping people be as healthy and active as they can be whether that’s achieving control of someone’s diabetes or getting a high school pitcher back to playing after some elbow pain or a recreational runner back pounding the pavement after a stress fracture.”

Tricia Deskovich, Advanced Nurse Practitioner (APN) with Little Company of Mary’s Medical Group, will be returning to assist Dr. Hendricks at the Ridge Run’s LCMH First Aid Tent.

Dr. Hendricks attended Ross University School of Medicine and completed her residency at Indiana University/Methodist Hospital. Her fellowship in Sports Medicine was completed at Resurrection Hospital here in Chicago. As a runner herself, Dr. Hendricks especially enjoys being available at the Ridge Run to help if athletes need assistance.

The Meaning of Memorial Day

While the Ridge Run is no doubt an exciting kick-off to summer, what should be most prominent is Memorial Day itself: The day in which we honor those who lost their lives fighting for the American freedom whose reign is sometimes taken for granted. One of the oldest community parades in Chicago – the Beverly Hills/Morgan Park/Mount Greenwood Memorial Day Parade – does just that. This year’s parade will be led by members of the American Gold Star Mothers, women who have lost a son or daughter in military service. The non-denominational, non-profit, politically unaffiliated organization was founded in June of 1928 and works to perpetuate the memory of those whose lives were sacrificed in our wars and to aid the men and women who were wounded or incapacitated during hostilities.

Community members are encouraged to join BAPA, parade participants, community leaders and families for the laying of the wreath, color guard and Memorial Day Ceremony at Ridge Park at 9 a.m. The parade will begin at 10 a.m., 110th and Longwood Dr., and follows the last of the runners back to Ridge Park. Everyone is invited to march. Applications are available at

Road Home Program is Parade Presenting Sponsor

The Road Home Program: The Center for Veterans and Their Families at Rush University Medical Center is presenting sponsor of this year’s Beverly Hills/Morgan Park/Mount Greenwood Memorial Day Parade. The Road Home Program understands that transitioning from military to civilian life is a challenge. That’s why they provide confidential support, counseling and veteran health services to help families cope with the invisible wounds of war. Services are provided regardless of ability to pay. Modie Lavin is the Senior Family Community Outreach Coordinator. She can be reached at 312-942-8354.

In conjunction with the Ridge Run, donations from the races will be made to Special Olympics Chicago/Mount Greenwood Park and to the Ridge Park Advisory Council for the restoration of the Ridge Park Field House.

Thank You Sponsors

Ridge Run sponsors help to ensure the success of the event. Thank you to Little Company of Mary Hospital, Mike Haggerty Buick GMC Volkswagen of Oak Lawn, Beverly Bank, Road Home Program, Southtown Health Foods, CIBC, County Fair, 19th Ward Youth Foundation, Marquette Bank, State Rep. Fran Hurley, State Sen. Bill Cunningham,  Chicago Park District, McCready Law, 670 Score Sports Radio, State Farm Agent John Harrell, TreadFit Beverly, Chicago Recovery Room, Calabria Imports, Running Excels, The Beverly Review, 100.3SheChicago, Trace Ambulance, Marathon Sportswear,  Beverly Records, Cork & Kerry, Haribo, and Original Rainbow Cone.

For more information about participating in or volunteering for the Ridge Run or Memorial Day Parade, contact the Beverly Area Planning Association, 773-233-3100,  bapa@bapa,org or





This Way to Running the 5K! How to Start a School Running Club

By Kristin Boza

Coming off of their big success in winning the Ridge Run Running Club Challenge trophy in 2017, Christ the King School’s running club, the CK Roadrunners, is gearing up for another fun training season. CK running club parent volunteer Bridget Segroves offers a variety of tips to get a running club started at any school.

Anyone Can Do It!

Parent volunteers need to oversee the club, but they do not need any running or coaching experience; simply email Margot Holland,, and ask for a free training guide.  Segroves, however, was a four-time national qualifier in cross country at Saint Xavier University and coached the Marist High School girls for seven years.

“I believe that everyone can run, and running is a lifetime sport,” Segroves said. “Kids can run by themselves, and use running to get in shape for another sport. In high school, there are unlimited spots on the cross country and track teams, so students can continue to compete and participate throughout their teens.”

 ‘Together’ Time + ‘Me’ Time

Segroves was able to mobilize the CK running club by making participation productive for the volunteers. “I ask for student non-athletes and athletes, parents trying to fit in that workout, moms pushing strollers, and walkers. The parents come to run, walk, act as crossing guards, and ride bikes to monitor different groups,” she said. “It’s a way for students and parents to exercise and spend time together.”

Team Smiles Can Take You Miles

On the day of the Ridge Run, school running clubs can set up a base camp in Team Town as a place to gather and stretch before and after the run. “I love to see the teamwork between the kids. I am always shocked by their improvement, and I admire their endless energy,” Segroves said.

Training Tips

  1. Offer participation to a wide variety of students. The CK running club is open to students in kindergarten through 8th grade.
  2. Don’t compete with spring sports schedules. Segroves offers an open door policy for students to drop in when they’re available.
  3. Use email and text messages to stay in touch with parents about practices, especially when the weather is bad.
  4. Get creative. Create different routes, play some music, or create a scavenger hunt to get the kids running. The CK Roadrunners also have one training session with the Special Olympics athletes.

Email BAPA at for a free 5K Ridge Run training program, created by Jenny Harkins, owner of Treadfit.

LITTLE COMPANY OF MARY HOSPITAL & HEALTH CARE CENTERS is presenting sponsor of the Ridge Run.

Gold Star Mothers Are Grand Marshals of Memorial Day Parade

When BAPA’s Beverly/Morgan Park/Mount Greenwood Memorial Day Parade steps off following the Ridge Run on May 28, everyone in the line of march and gathering along Longwood Drive to watch the parade should reflect on the true meaning of the day: Honoring the men and woman who have given their lives in active service with the U.S. Armed Forces.

With members of the American Gold Star Mothers leading the parade as Grand Marshals, the solemnity of the day will be particularly poignant. Gold Star Mothers have lost a son or daughter in military service.  Neighborhood resident Modie Lavin, whose son Marine Cpl. Conner T. Lowry was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2012, will be among the Gold Star Mothers in the parade. Lavin is the Family Outreach Coordinator for the Road Home Program for veterans at Rush University Medical Center, presenting sponsor of the parade.

Area Gold Star Mothers are encouraged to join the group of parade Grand Marshals.

About Gold Star Mothers

The American Gold Star Mothers was officially organized on June 4, 1928 in Washington DC, but it was the death of a young man from Chicago during military service in World War I that inspired the creation of this national organization. The young man – Lieut. George Vaughn Seibold – volunteered to be an aviator in 1917. In Dec. 1918, after not hearing from him for many months, his family was notified that Lieut. Seibold had been killed in action in France.

During the period when George was serving in the Great War, his mother, Grace Darling Seibold, visited wounded troops in Washington DC, comforting many young men whose mothers could not be there themselves. Following news of her son’s death, Seibold realized that devoting time to other mothers who shared her pain of loss gave her a sense of peace and purpose.

At about the same time, Lillian A. White, whose son Frank A. White also died in WWI, was among the women organizing the Chicago Council of Gold Star Mothers.  Similar groups had been organizing throughout the country, identifying as Gold Star Mothers because of the service flags displayed in the homes of families who had members serving in the war:  Blue stars designated a son or daughter actively serving, and gold stars signified that a son or daughter had died in service.  Wanting to be part of a larger initiative the groups affiliated into the national group which was chartered as a nondenominational, not-for-profit, nonpolitical organization.

Parade Party Raises Funds for Gold Star Mothers Memorial

Some time before they became a part of the national group, the Chicago Council of Gold Star Mothers erected a stone memorial in honor of the men and women who gave their lives in World War I at the then peaceful southeast corner of what is now the busy intersection of 87th and Western. Over the decades that monumentl was forgotten and fell into extreme disrepair. A few years ago, it was rediscovered by volunteers in the Dan Ryan Woods. A group of neighborhood residents organized by Tim Noonan is working to have the memorial restored. Last fall, the memorial was decommissioned in a formal ceremony and placed in storage while the group raises funds for the restoration and placement in a permanent and more visible location in the woods.

In honor of the American Gold Star Mothers, BAPA is hosting a Memorial Day Parade kick-off event Thurs., Apr. 19, 7 to 9 p.m. at Cork and Kerry, 10614 S. Western. Admission is $25 and proceeds will be donated to the restoration of the Gold Star Mothers Memorial. The event includes beverages and food, as well as music. The community is invited to attend. People unable to attend the event but who would like to support the endeavor to restore the memorial can contact Tim Noonan, or 773-852-3080.

The continuing focus of the American Gold Star Mothers is to support one another and to assist U.S. Armed Forces veterans from all wars and conflicts in getting the help they need. Gold Star Mothers also participate in in patriotic work and foster a sense of individual obligation to the community, state and nation. Membership in the American Gold Star Mothers is open to any woman who is a U.S. citizen or legal resident who has lost a son or daughter in active military service.

Participate in the Parade

Area groups, families, organizations and businesses are invited to march behind the Gold Star Mothers in the Memorial Day Parade. The oldest community Memorial Day parade in Chicago features military vehicles, a color guard, scout troops, historical figures, floats, vehicles, flags, music and the Jesse White Tumblers.

For information about participating in the Memorial Day Parade or to purchase tickets to the fund raising event, visit or call 773-233-3100. For information about the Chicago Council of Gold Star Mothers Memorial, visit or call Tim Noonan.


Schools Gearing Up for Ridge Run Showdown

By Kristin Boza

Now is the time to start training for BAPA’s 41st Annual Ridge Run on Memorial Day, Mon., May 28. For the third year in a row, BAPA is engaging area schools in friendly competition to see who can get the most (per capita) students to run under their school’s name. Clissold Elementary School earned the first place trophy in the competition’s inaugural year of 2016, but were unseated by Christ the King (CK) School in 2017.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for all schools to come together for something our community,” said Sean McNichols, Clissold School principal. “When Margot [Holland] and I started talking about this competition a few years back, we realized it would be a great way to promote health among our students while also creating a buzz for the Ridge Run.”

“We had such a huge turnout that proves that families wanted something like this; it’s a free program and the kids have flexibility to participate in addition to their other activities,” said Dr. Ann Marie Riordan, CK principal. “We couldn’t have resurrected the CK Road Runners without the leadership of [CK mom] Bridget Segroves, who runs every practice. She also plans three ‘fun runs’, including a Color Run, a Watermelon Run, and a workout with Special Olympics athletes — those are our most popular practices!”

Clissold, CK and nearly every other area school encourages their students to participate in a school Running Club, which is run via BAPA’s free training program created by Treadfit owner Jenny Harkins specifically for young athletes prepping for the Ridge Run. Parent and school volunteers at the helm of the Running Clubs do not have to be athletes themselves, as the exercises outlined in the training program are simple to follow. As an added bonus, Running Clubs are a great bonding experience between parents and their kids, helping everyone become race-ready and train together.

“I’m hopeful that more schools will have more running club participants because it makes the Ridge Run even more fun,” McNichols said. “It’s a great day for our community, and the goal is to get as many schools out there to celebrate. We’re disappointed that we’re not still holding the trophy, but confident that we’ll be getting it back after this year’s Ridge Run.”

Riordan says CK has found success with opening the program to their youngest students as well as their older ones. “I love that the little ones are out there and gaining exposure to the idea that running is just fun — they’re not looking at it as exercise, and I think that will carry on as they get older,” she said. Riordan is excited for the competition as well, urging other teams to “Catch us if you can!”

The scalable training program consists of 10 weeks of preparation, and it also includes information on how to cross train, what to eat, and even how to choose a running shoe. Running Clubs typically meet twice a week, with a third run encouraged on their own over the weekend. Practices begin with a warm-up and move onto a practice run, drills and a cool-down game, and end with a group stretch.

Ridge Run Running Club Training guides and more information are available from BAPA, 773-233-3100.

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,


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 through May 24, but you must be registered by May 4 to guarantee receiving a T-shirt. Race details and registration are available at 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 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


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 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





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.


Olympic Marathon Trials Athlete to Hold Ridge Run Trainings

By Kristin Boza

The Ridge Run is a fun event that has brought the neighborhood together for 40 years. Since the Chicago Area Runner’s Association (CARA) named the Ridge Run as a Runner’s Choice race in 2017, it’s been drawing the attention of serious runners from all over the Chicago area.

One of those runners is 37-year-old Kate DeProsperis of Clarendon Hills. An elite runner, DeProsperis chose the Ridge Run to help train for her second trip to the Olympic Marathon Trials later this year. Her 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. Additionally, she will be offering a training run for local runners to learn from one of the fastest marathoners in the Midwest.

DeProsperis ran her first marathon in 1999 and has since shaved off over an hour from her time. She competed in the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials, which is a competitive process in and of itself. “A set time standard will be announced and runners have approximately two to two-and-a-half years to attain that time in a certified race,” she said. “If you are able to hit that time, then you can compete in the Olympic Trials and have the chance to qualify for the Olympics. It is such an honor to be at the Trials because there are very few people who can hit the qualifying mark. When I qualified [for the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials], I was the only female Illinois resident to compete.”

Only about 200 runners achieve the standards set by the Olympic committee to even attempt to qualify for the Olympics. “The professional runners will be the ones to go to the Olympics, but just making the trials is like the ‘Olympics’ for so many non-professional sub-elite marathoners like myself,” she said.

DeProsperis and her running team, Jenny Spangler Racing, chose to add the Ridge Run to their spring racing calendar because speed work is essential to marathon training. “Having good speed translates to faster marathon times, so we always work on speed in the spring and transition to longer runs as we approach the fall marathon,” she said. “It’s also a good way to get out of your comfort zone. I am not great at short distances, so it teaches me to just compete better and push myself in a way that’s different than the marathon.”

According to DeProsperis, the best way to prepare for a 5K or 10K is to slowly build up your distance and then gradually incorporate some fast running in your workouts. By adding fast running, it will help your legs respond better to faster speeds. It will also help with speed endurance, which you need for the 5 to 10K distances,” she said.