BAPA’s Ridge Run Offers Paces and Races for All Runners; 

BAPA’s Ridge Run Offers Paces and Races for All Runners; 

Memorial Day Parade Follows Races to Ridge Park 

The Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA) invites runners of all ages, paces and distances to participate in the 42nd Annual Ridge Run on Memorial Day, Mon., May 27Runners can compete for a share of the $1800 in cash prizes or simply race to place in age categories ranging from 6 to 80 or beat their personal best time.   

The Ridge Run, long considered Chicago’s favorite neighborhood race, takes participants through the Ridge Historic District to run the 10K run, 5K run and walk and Youth Mile run routesCheering spectators line the route, offering encouragement, water and energy to the runners. Races start and finish at Ridge Park, 9625 S. Longwood Dr.  

Runners who are training for the Chicago Marathon are also encouraged to sign up for the 10K since completing a 6.2mile race by June is a benchmark in marathon training. 

The Memorial Day Ceremony honoring the men and women in the U.S. armed forces who have given their lives in service to our country, will be held at 9 a.m. at Ridge Park. The ceremony includes the laying of the wreath, taps and a solemn remembrance of the true meaning of Memorial Day.  

The running events are followed by the Beverly Hills/Morgan Park/Mount Greenwood Memorial Day Parade, starting at 110th Place and traveling north down Longwood Drive to join the Ridge Run post-race festival at Ridge Park. Run and parade spectators and participants are invited to enjoy food, beverages, information from event sponsors, Team Town and more. The Kids Zone, sponsored by Marquette Bank, will feature a visit from Captain America, the popular Tot Trot, jump houses and more.  

The presenting sponsor of the Ridge Run is Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers (LCMH)Evergreen Park, which generously provides the day’s health necessities including the Ridge Run doctor and first aid tent, as well as with general health information. The hospital has been a vital health resource for the community for nearly 90 years and continues to achieve accolades for quality through its revolutionary medical technologies and services both at its home and satellite locations. LCMH was recently named among best hospitals by U.S. News and World Report. 

Ridge Run registration continues until race day for participants signing up for the 10K run, 5K run or untimed walk, Ridge Run Challenge 5K and 10K, and, for kids up to age 12, the untimed Youth Mile.  Register by May 1 to guarantee getting your Ridge Run t-shirt. Sign up online until May 20 at www.bapa.org, then sign-up and pick up race packets through May 26 (see www.bapa.org for complete registration schedule). Fees increase for race-day registration, which opens at 6:30 a.m.  

Volunteers are needed to help with the Ridge Run, and a variety of dates and tasks are available. Sign up at www.bapa.org on the Ridge Run page or call 773-233-3100 for more information.  

Memorial Day Parade 

The Beverly/Morgan Park/Mount Greenwood Memorial Day Parade, planned and presented by BAPA  steps at about 10 a.m. The parade features a variety of units including military vehicles, antique cars, floats, scouts, bands, the Jesse White Tumblers and the Bluesmobile 

Beverly/Morgan Park resident Tim Noonan, founder of the Chicago Council of Gold Star Mothers (CCGSM), will lead the parade as Grand Marshal. The Road Home Program Center for Veterans and their Families at Rush University Medical Center is the parade presenting sponsor.  

A few years ago, Noonan formed CCSGM with the mission of restoring and preserving a forgotten monument erected nearly a century ago to honor Chicagoans who gave their lives serving in World War I. His tireless efforts have led to the restoration of that monument, which was installed last fall in a place of honor in the Dan Ryan Woods and rededicated in an official ceremony in time for the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended WWI. 

The CCCSM relied on what Noonan called “blind faith” to get the project completed. They ordered a new bronze plaque from a Chicago manufacturer who, according to Noonan, used the same techniques employed on the longlost original plaque. The International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers guided the hands of apprentice masons in rebuilding the monument, also using century-old techniques, with the original stones supplemented by local stones collected by Noonan. The Forest Preserves District of Cook County built the new concrete footing for the memorial.    

The CCGSM continues to raise funds to cover the costs of the restored memorial, and the costs of preserving the memorial as well as adding benches and amenities for visitors. For more information about the history behind the monument, the restoration effort and how you can make a donation, visit Chicago Council of Gold Star Mothers on Facebook.  

Parade presenting sponsor, The Road Home Program, provides individualized care to veterans and their families to help heal the “invisible wounds of war.”  The program helps 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; call her at 312-942-8354.  

Registration for participating in the Memorial Day Parade continues through May 20. Applications are available online at www.bapa.org  on the Ridge Run page or you can request a paper application by emailing bapa@bapa.org 

Thank you to all of the Ridge Run sponsors: Little Company of Mary Hospital, Mike Haggerty Buick-GMC-Volkswagen, Beverly Bank, Marquette Bank, Whole Foods, The Road Home, CIBC, Beverly Hills Animal HospitalSouthtown Health Foods, Berlshire Hathaway Home Services – Biros Real Estate, Smith Village, County Faor, 19th Ward Youth Foundation, Original Rainbow Cone, The Beverly Review, Running Excels, State Farm Insurance – Agent John Harrell, Home Run Inn Pizza, 670- The Score, Meijer, Beverly records, Calabria Imports, Chicago Park District,  

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

Run, Walk, Trot or Cheer 

BAPA Hosts 42nd Annual Ridge Run on Memorial Day 

Expect some new challenges and fun changes at BAPA’s 42nd Annual Ridge Run on Mon., May 27. The race course has been recertified and will take 10K runners on a slightly different route, and the festival will offer new vendors and kid-friendly activities.  

We keep the event fresh and exciting for participants, but some things will never change for the Ridge Run,” said BAPA Executive Director Susan Flood. “The spirits of the runners will always be lifted by cheers from the spectators and beauty of our neighborhood, and participants will always be challenged by making it up Chicago’s highest hill.” 

The community’s signature event takes runners, walkers and marchers through the historic district to run the 10K, 5K and Youth Mile Ridge Runs followed by the Beverly Hills/Morgan Park/Mount Greenwood Memorial Day Parade down Longwood Drive. 

The Ridge Run is Chicago’s favorite neighborhood race because it expresses such a strong sense of community,” Flood said. “The cheering spectators all along the route are 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. 

The presenting sponsor of the Ridge Run is Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers (LCMH), which generously provides the day’s health necessities including the Ridge Run doctor and first aid tent, as well as with general health information.  

A Catholic, not-for-profit hospital, LCMH been a vital health resource for the 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. 

Presenting sponsor of the parade is the Road Home Program Center for Veterans and their Families at Rush University Medical Center (find more information on page ).  

Start Training Now! 

April is the time to get in the full swing of training for the Ridge Run. If you’ve never run before, check out the new 5K training at Running Excels, 10328 S. Western (read more on page __.) 

Students and families at local schools are also training to run as teams and compete for the 2019 school team trophy presented by BAPA. School teams are supervised by volunteers and training guides developed by Jenny Harkins of Treadfit Beverly are available for free from BAPA, contact Gary Jenkins, gjenkins@bapa.org 

Registration 

Ridge Run registration continues until race day for participants signing up for the 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).  Register by May 1 to guarantee getting your Ridge Run t-shirt. Sign up online until May 20 at www.bapa.org, then sign-up and pick up race packets through May 26 (see www.bapa.org for registration schedule). Fees increase for race-day registration.  

Registration for participating in the Memorial Day Parade continues through May 20. Applications are available online at www.bapa.org  on the Ridge Run page or you can request a paper application by emailing bapa@bapa.org 

Race Day 

The Ridge Run begins with the 10K at 8 a.m. followed by the Youth Mile at 8:10 a.m. The Memorial Day Ceremony begins at 9 a.m. in Ridge Park and the 5K run and walk starts at 9:30 a.m.  

Make your way or stay on Longwood Drive once the 5K runners pass by! The Memorial Day Parade steps off immediately following the last runner at about 10:30 a.m., starting from 110th and Longwood Drive and proceeding north to Ridge Park.  

Post-race festivities at Ridge Park feature runner awards, food trucks and children’s activities 

Be a Ridge Run Volunteer 

BAPA’s neighborhood race travels through the heart of our community, and we need volunteers to help as course marshals at selected corners to make sure runners stay on the route, at aid stations where they hand out water and at Ridge Park. Volunteers get a great volunteer t-shirt. Interested? If you have questions, call BAPA, 773-233-3100.Sign up to volunteer at www.bapa,org on the Ridge Run page.   

 

Thank You Sponsors  

Ridge Run sponsors help to ensure the success of the event, and sponsorships are still available; for information contact Anna Fratto, 773-233-3100 or afratto@bapa.org 

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, Smith Village, Whole Foods, ExcellCare Physical Therapy, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services – Biros Real Estate, Beverly Hills Animal Hospital, Home Run Inn, Chicago Park District, 670 Score Sports Radio, State Farm Agent John Harrell, IMPACT Physical Therapy, Chicago Recovery Room, Calabria Imports, Running Excels, The Beverly Review and Beverly Records.  

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 www.bapa.org. 

 

 

 

 

School Teams Invite Students to Compete in Ridge Run  

Now is the time to start training for BAPA’s 42nd Annual Ridge Run on Memorial Day, Mon., May 27, and a great place for kids to start is right at school. 

BAPA’s popular free 5k training program for schools provides a specific training schedule of group and independent training goals as well as exercises that help the kids build up skills, strength and health. School team members receive a discount on Ridge Run registration fees and the team get a Team Town meeting spot in Ridge Park on the day of the event.   

Teams also engage students 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 the trophy went to Christ the King (CK) School in 2017 and 2018 

Who will take the trophy this year? 

The free training program was created by Treadfit owner Jenny Harkins specifically for young athletes prepping for the Ridge Run. Parent and school volunteers oversee the Running Clubs at each school, and do not have to be runners themselves.  All of the exercises outlined in the training program are simple to follow.  

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.  

BAPA and Running Excels Launch Ridge Run 5K Walk to Run Program   

BAPA and Running Excels are launching a Ridge Run 5K Walk to Run program designed to get non-runners from the couch to the starting line on Memorial Day, Mon., May 27.   

Specifically designed by Running Excels for walkers, the eightweek plan starts Sat., Apr. 6 and breaks down, week by week, a walker’s journey to becoming a runner. Participants will meet at Running Excels, 10328 S. Western, on Saturdays for group walk/runs led by experienced running specialists, including Running Excels owner Beverly Lynch and nine-time marathon finisher, Stephanie Ramirez.   

The power of a program combined with the support of a group is unstoppableand this plan will get walkers started off on the right foot, according to Ramirez.   

Running can be intimidating, she explained, but this program is specifically designed for beginners and includes information sessions, weekly encouragement emails and Q&As, along with local business partnerships and discounts.   

People interested in joining up for the chance to improve their fitnessparticipate in Beverly/Morgan Park’s iconic Ridge Run and have some fun along the way can sign up at www.bapa.orgThe cost is $100. Sign up with a friend and save $10 each by using the code Buddy.  

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 http://results.active.com/events/ridge-run–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 www.bapa.org 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 www.bapa.org 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 www.bapa.org

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 www.bapa.org.

 

 

 

 

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, mholland@bapa.org, 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 mholland@bapa.org 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,  info.ccgsm@gmail.com 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 www.bapa.org or call 773-233-3100. For information about the Chicago Council of Gold Star Mothers Memorial, visit www.ccgsm.org 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.