Posts

A Challenge from the Driehaus Trust

BAPA has been awarded a challenge grant from the Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust that will match donations dollar for dollar, doubling the value of contributions received by #Giving Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018. 

Whether you’re a current BAPA member, planning to renew your annual membership or a first-time member, we hope you can find a little extra in your budget now that your monetary contribution will go twice as far!   

“The Driehaus Trust generally only supports organizations that are successful in carrying out their missions in a meaningful manner,” said Thomas Chomicz, BAPA Vice President. “The Driehaus grant not only provides funds to support BAPA, but recognizes BAPA’s success in serving the Beverly/Morgan Park community.” 

This generous matching grant from the Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust will enable BAPA to expand its grassroots work in the community. BAPA has been busy working on beautification projects that target public spaces, reinvigorating important programs that support neighborhood schools, strengthening services to local businesses, reactivating community partnerships and more.   

BAPA relies on financial support from neighbors who understand our mission to keep Beverly/Morgan Park strong and beautiful. But an important aspect of this grant opportunity is the positive reflection of BAPA’s longstanding work and of our neighborhood. 

“This grant is a validation of BAPA’s leadership and work,” said BAPA Executive Director Susan Flood. “It is tremendous affirmation of BAPA’s vital role in our community.” 

The residents and businesses in Beverly/Morgan Park have a long history of supporting BAPA’s work, and we are hoping that neighbors who have not yet become members will view this grant as an opportunity to show their confidence in BAPA’s work and double the impact of their dollars. 

BAPA is a 501 (c) 3 not0for-profit organization and gifts are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.  

Please use the membership envelope enclosed in this issue of The Villager or visit bapa.org/give where it’s fast and easy to sign up online.  

If you need more information about BAPA and our work, please feel free to call Susan Flood, 773-233-3100 ext. 207. She is eager to make time to talk about all the wonderful work being accomplished on behalf of our community. 

See What’s Inside Our Iconic Buildings: Open House Chicago Architecture Tour Comes to Beverly/Morgan Park Oct. 13 & 14

On the second weekend of October, more than 250 of Chicago’s most intriguing buildings will open their doors for the Chicago Architecture Center’s (CAC) annual Open House Chicago (OHC) tour. For the first time, Beverly/Morgan Park sites are included in this free, behind-the-scenes event.  

One of the world’s largest architecture festivals, Open House Chicago is a free, two-day public event taking place Sat., Oct. 13 and Sun., Oct. 14, with most sites open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.   

“Open House Chicago gives Chicagoans the rare opportunity to discover hidden gems in architecturally significant buildings all across the city,” said Lynn Osmond, President and CEO of the CAC. “But attendees are discovering not only what is near their homes, they are exploring new neighborhoods across town and in the process changing preconceived notions about their neighborhoods.” 

The Beverly Area Planning Association and 19th Ward office worked with OHC planners to identify Beverly/Morgan Park locations for this year’s event.  

“We are thrilled that people from all over Chicagoland will have a chance to get an inside look at the diverse architecture and historic buildings that make Beverly/Morgan Park so amazing,” said BAPA Executive Director Susan Flood. “Being on Open House Chicago’s map has the potential to bring more than a thousand new visitors to our neighborhood. BAPA is proud to be a partner in this citywide event.”  

Persons interested in OHC can pick up a program that details all the citywide locations at any of the participating sites.  

Neighborhood sites and OHS touring hours: 

Givins Castle, 10244 S. Longwood Dr., Chicago’s most famous castle, built 1887 by real estate Robert C. Givins as an extravagant private residence. Open Sat., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sun., 1 to 5 p.m.  

Vanderpoel Art Association Gallery, Ridge Park, 9625 S. Longwood Dr., features an impressive collection of 19th and 20th century art including many pieces that depict Chicago scenes. An exhibit of works by the Chicago Society of Artists will be on display during OHC. Open Sat., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sun., 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Optimo, 1700 W. 95th St., the headquarters and production facility for Chicago’s only custom maker of men’s hats, located in a century-old firehouse renovated by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, is a working museum of hatmaking. Open Sat., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  

Driscoll-Graver House, 10621 S. Seeley, designed by John T. Hetherington in the Tudor Revival style and built in 1922, the house is home to Ridge Historical Society. Open Sat. and Sun., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  

Wild Blossom Meadery & Winery, 9030 S. Hermitage, a crafty adaptive reuse of an industrial building is home to Chicago’s first meadery and winery. Open Sat., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sun., 1 to 5 p.m. 

Ingersoll Blackwelder House, 10910 S. Prospect, an elegant Victorian home built in two stages beginning in 1874, and home to several historic community leaders. Currently owned by physicists, the house will showcase three quark-inspired outdoor sculptures by Guy J. Ballaver during OHC. Open Sat. and Sun., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Morgan Park Academy Alumni Hall, 2153 W. 111th St., a stately neo-Gothic building built in 1927 and showcasing dramatic spaces that include the historic library with a vaulted ceiling, grand fireplace and wrap-around mezzanine. Open Sat. and Sun., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Morgan Park United Methodist Church, 11030 S. Longwood Dr., designed by village architect H.H. Waterman and built in 1913, the Prairie Style church features Art Nouveau windows, curving pews and a stained glass dome. Open Sat., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sun., 1 to 5 p.m. 

Wintrust is the presenting sponsor of Open House Chicago.   

BAPA Events Build Community Spirit, Attract New Neighbors

Although area residents best know the Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA) for our events, they don’t always realize that events are organized for purposes that align with the organization’s mission to sustain and enhance the Beverly/Morgan Park neighborhood.  

The Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour showcases beautiful homes to potential home buyers; the Ridge Run and Memorial Day Parade bring thousands of athletes and spectators to the historic district to show off the community’s rich architecture and outstanding lifestyle; and events like Family Fun Nights and the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic/Bikes and Brews Festival are designed to boost community connection.    

BAPA is involved with five upcoming events that are designed to bring customers to neighborhood commercial strips and foster shopping locally and to show off our spectacular architecture.  

Sip and Shop #2 

BAPA will be collaborating with the 19th Ward Office and Morgan Park Beverly Hills Business Association to present Sip n’ Shop Girls Night Out on Thurs., Sept. 20. Businesses in the train station districts at 99th and 103rd Streets will participate in the event that features special sales, beverage and food tastings, demonstrations and more from 6 to 9 p.m., and a BYOB after party from 9 to 11 p.m.  Admission of $10 in advance or $15 at the event covers the goodies and giveaways, and the first 250 people to sign up will get a free wine tote. Check in is at Calabria Imports, 1905 W. 103rd St., 6 to 8 p.m. 

Stores committed to participate include Belle Up, Beverly Barre, Beverly Yoga Center, B Sides Coffee, Cakewalk Chicago/Markland Hubbard, Capsule, Heritage Gallery & Gifts, New Beginning Alterations, Ohana Ice, RMH Design, Root, Sweet Freaks, The Blossom Boys, Turkey and Tranquility Salon. Buy tickets online at www.bapa.org 

Fall Fest on 95th Street 

On Sat., Oct. 6, BAPA will team up with the 95th Street Business Association and 19th Ward Office to host Fall Fest on 95th Street. Participants will gather in the parking lot at Barraco’s, 2105 W. 95th St., for activities and entertainment. Televisions will be tuned to college games.  

Open House Chicago 

For the first time, Beverly/Morgan Park will be featured on the Chicago Architecture Center’s Open House Chicago, Sat., Oct. 13 and Sun., Oct. 14. Several neighborhood spots will be among more than 300 locations open for this popular – and free — city-wide event. Locations, which are not widely open to the public, are chosen for their architectural importance, historic value and outstanding interest. Among the neighborhood locations where visitors will get behind-the-scenes tours are the Optimo Hat Co., Morgan Park Academy Alumni Hall, The Castle, Wild Blossom Meadery and several more. 

BAPA and the 19th Ward Office are working with Open House Chicago to make sure the neighborhood is ready to welcome 1,000 or more guests from throughout Chicagoland for the two-day event. Area residents can help out as volunteers at the neighborhood locations. For information on how to volunteer and volunteer benefits, visit openhousechicago.org/volunteer.  

Tap Into BAPA 

Tap Into BAPA, our popular pub crawl, returns to Western Avenue on Sat., Nov. 10, starting at 3 p.m. Patrons age 21 and over will receive music, food and giveaways with their ticket, and drink specials for purchase at each location. Tickets are $25 in advance at www.bapa.org or $30 on the night of the event. Join in at any location for an evening filled with community spirit.  

Holiday Cookie Crawl  

BAPA invites area families to sweeten up the spirit of the season at the 3rd Annual Holiday Cookie Crawl on Sat., Dec. 8. Just purchase a souvenir tin from BAPA, then spend the afternoon filling it with a variety of cookies and treats from participating businesses. Make sure you take time to shop where you stop, and support the businesses that support our community.  

Keep up with event details at www.bapa.org, in The Villager or with The Villager Weekly Report enews. Info: 773-233-3100 or bapa@bapa.org. Founded in 1947, BAPA is a community-based not-for-profit organization located at 1987 W. 111th St. and supported in part by donations from area residents and businesses.  

Village Viewpoint

By Susan Flood, BAPA Executive Director 

Like any good Chicagoan I am absolutely thrilled when summertime rolls around.  I often find myself wondering if those who live in warm climates ever experience the day after day euphoria we feel when we open our front doors on summer days.      

At BAPA, summer comes with some kind of event to produce almost weekly: Home Tour, Ridge Run and Memorial Day Parade, weekly Family Fun Nights and Tech Tuesdays. Coming up next is the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic.   

While these events keep the BAPA staff on our toes for a few months, they are not possible without the time, energy and commitment of our neighborhood partners. The process is a lot like leading an orchestra for a performance piece with BAPA as the conductor.  The music happens when everybody comes together with their talent and hard work, sitting alongside friends and neighbors, pursuing the common goal of offering sheer enjoyment to all who come out to join us.   

Our local restaurants come out of their kitchens to offer their best in picnic style foods, beverages and treats.  The Alderman’s staff and the police from our 22nd District help in too many ways to count.  The Ridge Run wouldn’t be possible without Chicago Park District’s Ridge Park and the big-hearted hard-working Park District staff.   

We showcase our neighbors who have talent (and there are so many) to entertain us with music, art or children’s activities.  Our local businesses sponsor the events so we can afford to put them on, and join us onsite to meet residents and talk about what they have to offer.   

This year our 16th Beverly Hills Cycling Classic and Bikes and Brews Festival will be possible thanks to St. Barnabas parish joining us as a new festival partner following the closing last year of Beacon Therapeutic School.  The new St. Barnabas location makes the event more exciting than ever, with a challenging new race course and sprawling festival grounds in the St. Barnabas parking lot. I can practically hear the music now!   

And of course, all of you are important partners. 

Neighbors jump in to volunteer for tasks like selling tickets, pouring drinks, serving as course marshals or helping set up tables or tents.   

Watching everyone coming together takes us all to a new height of connection.  Like individual instruments, we can all make music as a solo, but when we’re all working together the result is an experience that transforms the day.  As a team, we create memories, make new friends and accomplish something wonderful. And it’s all in our own backyard.   

I can tell you, from where BAPA stands as conductor, our community orchestra is nothing short of extraordinary.  

Beverly Hills Cycling Classic #16 – Bikes and Brews

On Fri., July 20, a burst of smoke will explode from a starting gun, signaling the start of day one of the 2018 Intelligentsia Cup cycling series, as well as the return of BAPA’s Beverly Hills Cycling Classic: Bikes & Brews Festival.

The Races

The local event for the Prairie States Cycling Series Intelligentsia Cup features six pro/am races on a 1.54 kilometer criterium course that includes hills and thrills that attract professional riders from around the world. This year’s course has been rerouted and will take riders in a loop through the historic Beverly/Morgan Park neighborhood from Longwood Drive to Seeley Avenue between 100th and 102nd Streets.

The first competition is a Juniors race for ages 9 through 14, and it begins at 4:15 p.m. Other races are Juniors ages 15 to 18, 4:40 p.m.; Men’s category 2 and 3, 5:10 p.m.; William Blaire Masters 35+ categories 1, 2 and 3, 5:55 p.m.; Pro Women, categories 1, 2 and 3, 6:40 p.m.; and Pro Men, categories 1 and 2, 7:35 p.m. Neighbors are encouraged to cheer on the racers as they whizz by.

The Festival

The Bikes & Brews festival location is also new this year — the St. Barnabas parish parking lot, 10100 S. Longwood Dr. Festival hours are 4 to 10 p.m. Leadfoot will perform following the races, about 8:30 p.m.

Craft beers from Lagunitas and local brewery favorites Open Outcry Brewing, Horse Thief Hollow, Blue Island Brewing Co. and Argus Brewery, and wine from PRP will be for sale for customers age 21 and up.

Plenty of food will be available for purchase, including Original Rainbow Cone, Franconello, Misericordia cupcake truck, Reilly’s Daughter, Calabria, Home Run Inn Pizza and Cilantro Taco Grill.

The Kids Zone will feature a gaming truck, face painting, crafts and more.

Mercy Home/Walsh Campus will provide a bike valet service for people who want to ride their bikes to the event.

The Presenting Sponsor

The presenting sponsor of this year’s festival is Beverly Bike and Ski, 9121 S. Western Ave. The shop has been serving the community since 1921, and a lead partner in sponsoring the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic since the beginning of the event’s history – this year is the 16th annual.

Beverly/Morgan Park resident Paul Weiss has owned Beverly Bike and Ski since 1996 and says it’s an honor to be part of Bikes & Brews because of its history within the community he serves. Weiss is a passionate rider himself, and although he jokes that he is nowhere near the skill level of the Cycling Classic competitors, he likes the idea of encouraging the community to become more interested in riding.

“Racing has its ups and downs,” he said. “But we have to keep it alive.”

For many years, the store even has its own racing team and offers its own racing events in late summer and early fall: The Gravel Bike Race is set for in August and the CycloCross Cup is coming up in October in the Dan Ryan Woods.

Get In on the Action

In professional bike racing, riders make their living by winning prizes. To attract the best riders to the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic, BAPA needs to offer top primes – cash prizes awarded to the winner of a lap in a race. The amount of primes available in a pro/am cycling race is a strong incentive for elite riders to participate – only one rider can win the top prize; several riders can win the primes. And the more competitive the event, the more exciting the action for spectators.

Area residents and businesses are invited to sponsor primes in the 16th annual Beverly Hills Cycling Classic | Bikes & Brews. Primes are collected in increments of $200, $100 and $50.  Donors have their names announced over the public address system during the race. The more you give, the more often your name is mentioned. 100% of the money donated for primes is awarded to riders competing races.

The final deadline for donating a prime is Mon., July 9.  For information or applications call 773-233-3100 or email reception@bapa.org.

Summer Bike Raffle

Once again, Beverly Bike and Ski has donated a brand new Giant Cypress bike to be raffled off this summer. Tickets are $5 each or three for $10 and available at the bike shop as well as at Bikes and Brews.

Be a Volunteer

People are needed to help out as course marshals and at the festival on race day. Sign up at bapa.org/support-bapa/volunteer/ or call 773-233-3100.

Thanks to the Sponsors

Other sponsors of the event include Mike Haggerty Buick – GMC – Volkswagen, Beverly Bank & Trust, the 19th Ward Youth Foundation, CIBC, Smith Village, Marquette Bank, AT&T, The Beverly Review, State Farm/John Harrell agent, Xpress Tax Appeal, Lagunitas, Horse Thief Hollow, Open Outcry Brewing Co., Blue Island Brewing Co. and Argus Brewery.

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/

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 www.bapa.org 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 www.bapa.org.

 

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.

 

BAPA Names New Executive Director, Expands Programming

The Board of the Beverly Area Planning Association is delighted to announce that Susan Flood has joined the staff as the new BAPA Executive Director.

A longtime Beverly/Morgan Park resident and active volunteer and supporter of BAPA for many years, Flood brings expertise in business development, non-profit management and strategic planning to the organization.

Margot Burke Holland, who recently completed her three-year commitment as BAPA Executive Director, has moved into the newly created position of BAPA Program Director. In that role, she will focus on developing and enhancing programs that fulfill BAPA’s mission in the areas of supporting local schools, small businesses, community safety, beautification and quality of life.

The addition of Flood at BAPA’s helm and transition of Holland into an important new role fulfills BAPA’s recent efforts to reorganize the staff and reenergize the programs and services that benefit the Beverly/Morgan Park community.

“I could not be more thrilled to welcome Susan Flood to BAPA as the new Executive Director,” said BAPA Board President Maureen Gainer Reilly. “BAPA will benefit from her years of experience and strong non-profit, event and fundraising background. The neighborhood is so fortunate to have yet another talented, dynamic executive director to ensure BAPA’s success. With Margot Holland transitioning to a newly created program director role, the staff is poised to continue their ‘back to basics’ approach which has strengthened the organization.”

Flood began her career doing business development in the tech industry, then took a break to raise three children and pursue some personal development. She dabbled in Chicago’s improv scene at Second City and Improv Olympic and on weekends embarked on training new runners for their first races and marathons. Her first experience with BAPA was through the Ridge Running 101 training program where she trained to run then signed on to train others. “I trained more than 200 women for the Ridge Run and another 200-plus to run marathons to raise funds for the American Diabetes Association,” she said. Flood was also on the committee that organized the first Beverly Hills Cycling Classic, setting a course for this popular annual summer event.

When she reentered the work force, Flood joined the staff at Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, taking a leadership role in fundraising. Among the many successful programs Flood spearheaded during her ten years at Mercy Home were the “Mercy Home Heroes” Chicago Marathon team program and Legacy of Learning, an endowment campaign that raised money for the education of Mercy Home’s youth in perpetuity. Susan remains committed to the kids at Mercy Home through service on their Leader Council, a women’s board that funds the home through their Graduates Luncheon, held in the spring.

Flood has shared her expertise for many years as a member of BAPA’s Development Committee. She has served on Christ the King’s Family and School Association and began the parish Moms and Tots group.

“I’m thrilled to have an opportunity to lead BAPA into the future, building on the dynamic and extremely successful formula of solid programs and talented staff,” Flood said.

In the past three years, BAPA’s mission-based programs have been expanded and special events have grown to attract bigger audiences and more engaged participants. These trends are expected to continue and realize even better growth with the addition of Susan to the team.  .

In her tenure as executive director, Holland introduced successful programs including the recent Author in the Schools at local public elementary schools, the community safety survey, and the popular Meet Me at the Metra Family Fun Nights.

Village Viewpoint – January 2018

Dear Neighbors,

Happy New Year from all of us at BAPA! We hope you and your family enjoyed a wonderful holiday. This is a time of year when we can reflect on all that has taken place over the last year and make goals for the upcoming year ahead. We had a great year 2017 at the Beverly Area Planning Association and that is because of you — our neighbors and members are more engaged than ever. Your support provides the gift of community, and that is something money can’t buy.  Thank you to all those who attended BAPA events, sent in membership and volunteered in 2017!

During 2017 we were able to expand our programming in schools and safety and our support of local businesses. In 2018 BAPA will continue to build in these areas. The BAPA board has been hard at work organizing committees to support the staff and expanding programming. Coming up in 2018, in addition to our existing services, BAPA will launch Author in the Schools, Tech Tuesdays for seniors and shared office space in the new and improved community room space in our building. We are proud of all that has been accomplished and all that is to come in 2018.

As part of our growth, early in the year I will be completing my three year term as Executive Director and will move into the new position of Director of Programming to launch these new initiatives. I am proud of all the change and positive momentum that our staff and board have been able to accomplish and look forward to a new chapter of climbing even higher.

BAPA is in a very strong position both organizationally and financially, and poised to continue all the good work for many years to come.

All the best,

Margot