BAPA Board Welcomes Pettiford as New President 


This month, Michele Pettiford steps into her new role as president of the Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA) Board of Directors. She plans to “hit the ground running,” looking back at the lessons of 2020 to evaluate BAPA’s goals for 2021.  

“We are still navigating an international pandemic that has impacted every aspect of our daily lives,” Pettiford said.  “Last year, BAPA’s staff devoted countless hours to managing a new normal, creating innovative programs like the Porch Concert Series and Garden Walk; devoting time and energy to assist local businesses and pour economic resources into commercial districts through the 12 Weeks of Christmas Raffle; helping to feed the hungry; and being a liaison and resource for local schools.” 

All of these aspects will transition into BAPA’s platform for 2021. 

“BAPA will continue to be adaptive and responsive to the needs of our community with an increased emphasis on safety, Board engagement with organizations, and, most importantly, staying relevant and ensuring the vitality of our Beverly/Morgan Park community” she said. 

Although Pettiford has been a neighborhood resident for 14 years, she retains a deep appreciation for the connection, caring and commitment that makes the community so special. “There has been a light in all of this darkness and that is you — our neighbors, business owners, school administrators, and essential workers.  Without you and your continued support both in person and financially, this wouldn’t be the Village in the City,” she said.  

Pettiford was raised in central Illinois and her husband, Jeff, is from South Holland. While living in Logan Square, the couple would pass through Beverly/Morgan Park en route to visit Jeff’s grandmother at what is now Smith Village.  

“We would drive down Longwood and see the houses,” Pettiford recalled. “It looked like a good place to raise kids and be a family.” 

Pettiford has never lost that feeling for the core values, kindness among neighbors, and support for community institutions that she found here. As a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker, she doesn’t just show houses to prospective buyers, she gives them a sense of what it’s like to be part of our community, introducing them to local businesses, restaurants and organizations. “I want people coming into the community to see what I’ve been able to see and to experience what I’ve experienced,” she said. 

It is a philosophy she also brings to her roles as a member of Christ the King Parish and A New Direction Beverly Morgan Park Board of Directors, Morgan Park Beverly Hills Business Association and 95th Street Business Association, and in her support of Mercy Home for Boys and Girls and Blue Cap. Michele and Jeff Pettiford have two children, Burk, 12 and Francesca, 9, both students at CK. 

Also joining the BAPA Board in 2021 are Mike Martin, Abby Mazza, Maggie O’Reilly and Kellianne McDonough. They will be profiled in the February issue of The Villager.  

Special thanks to retiring BAPA Board members, Maureen Gainer Reilly (president) and Heather Wills (BAPA Education Committee chair).  Both plan to remain active with the organization. 


Seniors Learn New Ways to Connect with Smart Tech Seniors 3.0 


Seniors are learning how to use more features on their smartphones and tablets thanks to Smart Tech Seniors 3.0, a series of free, live online classes organized by the19th Ward office and BAPA to help seniors better use technology so they can enjoy more fulfilling connections with family, friends and neighbors while staying safe at home.  

Now in its third year, the series features local experts Melody Camp and Claire DiCola for two concurrent training sessionsone for people with Apple devices and the other for people with Android devices.  When registering for classes, participants will be asked to check a box indicating whether they use Apple products including iPhone, iPad and iPodTouch or one of many different brands of Android devices including Nokia, Motorola and Samsung. This approach makes it possible for instructors to be more specific about how to use the features on certain devices. 

Participants may choose as many of the following classes as they like: 

Getting to Know Alexa or Echo Dot, Thurs., Jan, 7, 10:30 a.m., helps seniors explore how to set-up and use voice-activated devices to enjoy music, prompt reminders, create a shopping list, order on Amazon, or ask any kind of question from finding  a quote from Shakespeare to getting a weather forecast. 

Downloading Apps to Make Life Easier, Thurs., Jan. 28, 10:30 a.m., enables participants to discover how to easily access 19th Ward, City of Chicago and BAPA resources as well as how to set up and manage telehealth visits. The class will also cover how to set-up and manage accounts with DoorDash, Grub Hub, InstaCart and Uber Eats for food delivery. 

Taking Safety and Security Measures, Thurs., Feb. 11, 10:30 a.m., covers how to stay safe online. Learn how to respond when someone offers to take your device to fix a problem; how to identify scam emails; how to delete and unsubscribe from unwanted emails; what to do if you make a mistake; and how to install Ring and other doorbells with security cameras.  

Each 30-minute class is followed by a 15-minute question and answer session. Prior to each class, participants can send questions for the trainer.  Class recordings, copies of instructions and helpful hints sheets that can be printed will be available at the 19th Ward and BAPA websites, making it easy for participants to review information, or for people not able to attend to review the presentation 

Register for classes at or; click on the Smart Tech Seniors 3.0 section and fill in the form. All registered participants will receive an email with a link. Joining the class just takes one click. For help registering or for more details, call 773-238-8766. 

Smart Tech Seniors 3.0 virtual classes are sponsored by State Sen. Bill Cunningham, State Rep. Fran Hurley, State Rep. Kelly Burke, State Rep. Justin Slaughter, Mercy Circle and Smith Village.  

12 Weeks of Christmas: Thank You

By Brittany Wiley 
BAPA Business Liaison  

In October, BAPA began the 12 Weeks of Christmas Raffle with a mission to engage the community, put $18,000 back into the local economy, and raise funds for BAPA following the cancellation of our 2020 special events.   

It was a great success!    

We want to extend our sincere gratitude to everyone in the community who participated in the raffle and to our incredible local businesses for their creativity and partnership in developing tantalizing prize packages. 

At the time The Villager went to press, not all raffles were completed.  We will post a comprehensive list of winners in February’s issue.  

Top Chef Joe Flamm: Cooking and Connection 

By Grace Kuikman 

The winner of Week 12 – a private dinner prepared by Top Chef Joe Flamm  will be thrilled not just with the food, but with the company. Flamm has an amazing love of food traditions that bring people together around a meal as the centerpiece of celebrating connection. 

Flamm’s path to success began in Ashburn where he grew up, and came full circle back to the South Side when he and his wife, Beverly/Morgan Park native Hillary Delich settled in North Beverly two years ago. It was a move that put them in close proximity with family (Hillary’s parents and Joe’s mother live in the neighborhood) and provided the sense of community the couple wants for their son Luca, who will be two this month.  

Family and community are priorities for Flamm who learned to love cooking and food traditions as a child, helping his Grandma Mary, now 91, in her kitchen. Grandma Mary’s parents came from Italy, and Flamm said they didn’t have much but tradition and recipes. “I always loved the traditions and the holidays,” Flamm said. “… making ravioli for Thanksgiving and the feast of the seven fishes for Christmas. That’s how I came up. I feel really grateful for that.”   

Flamm got his first restaurant job when he was 15.  “I instantly fell in love with the energy of being in a restaurant, and the sense of belonging, he said. Early on he decided he wanted to own a restaurant someday. Not knowing anyone in the business who could guide him to his dream, he enrolled in college for accounting. He planned to go to law school, become a lawyer and make enough money to open a restaurant when he was 50.  About halfway through college, he realized that was a flawed plan, so he dropped out and enrolled in culinary school.  

“A week later I started my first real cooking job at Table Fifty-Two on the Gold Coast,” he said. He went to culinary school Monday through Friday, 8 to 4, then headed straight to the restaurant to work. On Saturday and Sunday, he worked doubles.  “All I did was cook . . . I was hooked.”  

Flamm was on a trajectory for success.  

“Chicago’s one of those cities where the food scene is so good, it’s a city with a lot of great chefs,” he said. He had the opportunity to work with some of those chefs: Art Smith at Table Fifty-Two, Stephanie Izard at Girl and the Goat , Bill Kim at bellyQ, and Tony Mantuano at Michelen-starred Spiaggia and Café Spiaggia.  

When he was working as executive chef at Spiaggiathere was a casting call in Chicago for Bravo’s Top Chef. “I didn’t go,” Flamm said. “I didn’t even know about it.”  

Serendipity being what it is, the show’s producers called Chef Mantuano; they were disappointed in the talent that showed up for the casting call and asked if he could recommend chef for them to interview. “He told them, ‘Sit down with my chef Joe. I think you’ll really like him,’” Flamm recalled. Then Mantuano called Flamm at the restaurant. “He said to stay there. The show producers were on their way to the restaurant to meet me.”  

That meeting was the catalyst for a nearly fourmonth process that culminated with Flamm being chosen for the TV cooking competition. “They called and said, “Pack your bags.” Flamm spent two months in Colorado, spending all day cooking at the highest level, winning day after day until he was named Top Chef season 15. “Top Chef is kind of a crazy experience; a weird and rigorous competition. I made friends for life,” he said.  

He also made a name for himself as a chef. 

Flamm’s next big thing is opening his restaurant, Rose Mary (named for his two grandmothers), in the West Loop in 2021. Flamm will be serving Adriatic cuisines from the food traditions of Italy inspired by his family, and Croatia, inspired by Hillary’s father, Lou Delich, who is CroatianThe two cuisines have a lot in common.  

“Italy and Croatia are not far apart geographically so the cultures are intertwined,” Flamm said, adding, 

“You marry into a culture. It becomes your life and your child’s life. So much of culture is about cuisine.”  

The winners of BAPA’s 12 Weeks of Christmas final raffle have a lot to look forward to, but there are no sneak previews. “I always like planning the dinner with the person,” Flamm said. Of course he does.  

Tickets for the last four offerings in BAPA’s 12 Weeks of Christmas Raffle are $20 each and available at  


12 Weeks of Christmas Continues!

By Brittany Wiley 

BAPA Business Liaison 

BAPA’s 12 Weeks of Christmas Raffle is ramping up for the last four drawings The December prize packages focus on wellness, music, golf and a fabulous private dinner prepared by Top Chef Joe FlammFor just $20 per ticket, players have a chance to win a prize that’s worth $1500!  

Each package is composed of gift certificates, experiences and/or merchandise purchased at full retail price from small businesses and business owners in our community. Check out the weekly prizes and buy your raffle tickets at Ticket purchases for that week’s raffle close at 3 p.m. and drawings are at 5 p.m. on Fri., Dec. 4, 11 and 18, and Wed., Dec. 23.  

Look for BAPA’s 12 Weeks of Christmas Raffle links in BAPA’s Facebook and Instagram posts, at and via QR codes on posters and promotional materials distributed throughout the neighborhood.  

Week 9: Self Care  

Drawing: Dec. 4 

Stay healthy and centered as you enter holiday season with this amazing package from local wellness gurus.  Relax at Relaxation Station with a massage from Shan Van Robertson, a therapist certified in Swedish, deep tissue, tender/trigger point and hydro therapy, plus hot/cold stone, aromatherapy, reflexology and more.  Then put your hair in the skilled hands of Lisa Maureen Aherna stylist specializing in color techniques such as balayage and trending haircuts. 

Southtown Health Foods owner and health expert Katie Mahler Speh provides a private consultation to help you create a personal plan that will positively impact your health and wellbeing and guide you through vitamin and supplement choices.   

Elevate your state at Joplin Marley Studios with Meg’n Barba’s personal workshops and sessions focusing personal growth, self-empowerment, and elevating your life in conscious and creative ways.  Get 4 personal 1on1 guidance sessions or a 3-hour wellness workshop for you and 4 of your friends.   

Bring home a gift basket worth $400 curated by Turkey Chicago and Beverly Dry Goods and including McCabe Clay mug, teas, smudge sticks, incense, soap, healing balm, candle, flower cocktail kit and basket and more. 

Week 10: Vinyl Virtuoso 

Drawing: Dec. 11 

Beverly Records has been Chicago’s vinyl resource since 1967, specializing in rare and vintage finds.  Let the experts set you up with new equipment including an Audio Technica Direct-Drive professional turntable with USB output that connects directly to your computerEdifier Powered Bookshelf Speakers with BluetoothVinyl Styl record washer and vinyl care kit and professional carrying case, plu$600 in Beverly Records credit and help curating the ultimate music collection. 

Week 11: Four for Golf 

Drawing: Dec. 18  

Win golf and clubhouse gift certificates for your favorite foursome at Beverly Country Club and Ridge Country Club. 

 Beverly Country Club is a mainstay in the Chicagoland golf community. From its inception almost 100 years ago, Beverly was recognized as a championship course — it has been host to four Western Opens and is one of Golfweek’s Top 100 Classic Golf courses in the United States. 

Ridge Country Club is the only private 18-hole golf course located fully within the city of Chicago. Constructed in 1902 by designer H.J. Tweedie, the course sprawls across 105 acres of tree-lined fairways and is famous for its perfectly manicured and fast greens. In 2016, they installed the highly regarded Billy Bunker System to rebuild the sand traps and elevate competitive play.  

Week 12: Top Chef Private Dinner 

Drawing: Dec. 23  

Win 4 course private dinner for 6 prepared in your home by Top Chef Joe Flamm.  Elevate this experience with a tablescape by Oak & Bloom, including fresh florals and vintage place settings.  Leave the serving and cleanup to the professionals at Party Pros.  Sit back and enjoy a once in a lifetime experience! 

Joe Flamm, winner of Bravo’s Top Chef Season 15, blends classic dishes from his Italian heritage with bold and vibrant flavors from the Croatian coast. He will utilize a charcoal hearth and an abundance of seasonal ingredients to create a menu focusing on what he describes as “Adriatic drinking food”. 

Most recently, Flamm was Executive Chef of Chicago’s Michelin-starred Spiaggia and Café Spiaggia, cooking with James Beard award-winning Chef Tony Mantuano. He refined his culinary skills alongside Chicago’s best chefs, including Stephanie Izard at Girl and the Goat, Art Smith at Table Fifty-Two, and Bill Kim at bellyQ 

Read more about Top Chef Joe Flamm on page ___.  

Holidays at the BAC 

A lot has changed this year, but one thing is for sure: The Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St., offers ways to have some holiday fun.  

Santa Sleighs the Holidays is socially-distant, drive-thru visit with Santa and his elves Sat., Dec. 12 and Sat., Dec. 19, 5 to 8 p.m. Register in advance for a limited number of spots to receive a Letter to Santa template and details about the event. Kids can tell Santa whether they’ve been naughty or nice from the safety of the car. Each family will receive a photo of the encounter and each child will receive a special surprise from Santa. $10 per car. (If your family is experiencing financial impact due to COVID-19, contact Carly Bishop, Artistic Director,, for information.) The Morgan Park Beverly Hills Business Association is the BAC’s partner for this holiday event.  

Holly Jolly Painting Party | Hybrid: In Person or Online | Sat, Dec, 21 | 7-10PM | Adults 21+ | $45($40) 

Paint a holiday themed masterpiece using acrylic paint on canvas and receive step by step guidance from a professional Teaching Artist while socially-distanced and wearing a mask (online option) at the Holly Jolly Painting Party, Sat., Dec. 21, 7 to 10 p.m.  Ages 21 and up. $45 per person. All supplies provided; online participants can pick up supply kits from the BAC Wed., Dec. 9.)  

December Mini-Mester | School of Fine Arts Workshops | Nov 30 – Dec 20 

Looking for a creative outlet to break up the monotony or interested in “dipping your toes” in a new art form? Join the BAC School of Fine Arts Teaching Artists for mini-mester workshops during December. The mini-mester, offered in-person, online or hybrid, giives students the opportunity to try something new for just three classes. Check workshop details at  

Winter Break Camp
Monday – Wednesday, December 21-23 AND Monday – Wednesday, December 28-30 | $270($243)
Kids age 5 to 12 can learn about winter holidays and traditions from all over the world while creating gifts for friends and family, making tasty winter-themed creations, and enjoying songs and theatre along the way at the Winter Break Camp, Dec. 21 through 23 and 28 through 30, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pre and after care available.  

Remnants & Remains, an exhibit of works by Elaine Miller, continues through Dec. 8 in the Simmerling Gallery, to 8 p.m. weekdays, and 12 to 4 p.m. weekends Free.  Miller is scenic artist painting who exhibits nationally. She is a recent recipient of business and City of Chicago grants towards a billboard project promoting the urban forest through a series of paintings. 

BAPA’s 12 Weeks of Christmas raffle got off to a great start!

BAPA’s 12 Weeks of Christmas raffle got off to a great start! The people having the best time are, of course, the winners! Holly Donovan and Brendan Murphy are the first two.  

Holly Donovan won a private party for 24 on the Open Outcry Brewing Company rooftop in the Week #1 raffle.  

Donovan has lived in the community for 20 years working as a photographer and as a “plant hugger” at  City Grange, which is where she first heard about BAPA’s raffle. Holly and a few of her coworkers all bought promising that if anyone won, they would enjoy a nice evening out together.  

Donovan on buying more raffle — she particularly has her eye on week five’s room makeover, and week six’s Horsethief Hollow at Home. She also appreciates BAPA’s efforts in supporting the local businesses, by buying the prizes from them and by drawing attention to them so even if people don’t  win the raffle, they’ll remember  to shop at the businesses later. 

Brendan Murphy won a $1300 road bike from Beverly Bike &Ski in the Week #2 drawing. Murphy and his family have lived in the community for eight years. “We love the neighborhood, love the neighbors, and love supporting local business,” he said. Beverly Bike and Ski is a great business to have here in the community . . .  I’ve been using them since I moved into the neighborhood to fix up/tune up my old road bike.” 

Murphy was picking up donuts at Beverly Bakery (another of his favorite local stops) when he saw the 12 Weeks of Christmas postcard on the counter.  He went to while he was drinking his coffee. “That’s when I saw the current raffle was for a road bike at Beverly Bike and Ski.  I figured I could use a new road bike and if I didn’t win at least it was for a great cause, glad I got to fulfill both of the intended goals. 



BAPA Update 



New Neighbors Meet and Greet 

If you’re new to Beverly/Morgan Park and interested in learning more about the community and meeting other news neighbors in an outdoor, socially distant setting, you’re invited to BAPA’s new neighbor meet and greet on Fri., Aug. 14. Look for an invitation in the mail or contact BAPA, 773-233-3100 or to share your information.  

 Reach Out and Help a School Family 

The 2020-21 school year is quickly approaching as schools consider a return to the classroom, hybrid options or remote learning. After all that we’ve been through as a community and the continued run of COVID-19, our school families need support, and with your help, BAPA would like to arrange it. If you are a retired educator who would like to contribute to our community by tutoring area students,  contact Tina Jenkins Bell, BAPA School Liaison, 


BAPA Porch Concerts Continue 

BAPA’s popular Friday Night Live series of live streamed porch concerts is continuing!  Neighbors who have a porch or yard large enough to accommodate the musicians and some socially distancing neighbors, and musicians interested in performing are invited to contact BAPA, or 773-233-3100, for more information. Friday Night Live has been a real hit, with thousands of people viewing on Facebook. Concerts can still be accessed, in case you missed any of them!   


Take a Ride 

Enjoy one of the many splendid safe biking routes on BAPA’s new Bike Beverly online map. The routes offer several options that are family-friendlyavoid busy streets whenever possible, and feature stop signs and traffic lights. Find the maps at  


Take it Slow Out There 

It’s the summer of COVID and it seems like everyone is outside walking, running, skating and biking. For the safety of our neighbors, drivers need to slow down! BAPA’s Slow Down for our neighbors’ sake lawn signs are popping around the community, and now available to people who would like one for their yard or cornerEmail bapa@bapa.orgA donation of $15 will help cover costs.  


Weeding Wednesdays 

BAPA and the 19th Ward are partnering neighborhood volunteers to beautify public areas throughout the community. Volunteers meet at 9 a.m. on Wednesdays. Bring gardening gloves. For locations, email BAPA Executive Director Mary Jo Viero, 


Volunteer Opportunities for Teens 

Local teens interested in helping their neighbors and earning community service hours are welcome to join other teens already volunteering through BAPA’s Teen Service Corps. Contact Tina Bell for meeting dates and more information.  


Get the Job Done 

BAPA’s expanded, updated and easier-to-use online BAPA Trades Referral List is now available at www.bapa.orgLook for the BAPA Verified badge for companies that are BAPA business members and have supplied current letters of recommendation from local customers. Is your business interested in getting on BAPA’s list? Contact BAPA Business Liaison Brittany Wiley,   


Our Response to Readers 



In the July issue of The Villager, BAPA ran a front page article on the Moms of Beverly Facebook page and its anti-racism policy.  

The article generated more response that any other story in the 40 year history of The Villager. Some of the emails, calls and social media messages were from people who chastised BAPA for reporting on the local social media group that they perceive as anti-police and anti-white. (The group has clearly refuted those claims.) But more communications, by far, came from people thanking BAPA for sharing information about the Moms of Beverly and its policy that takes an unyielding stand against racism.  

The messages revealed how far we’ve come as a community since integration began here in the 1960s, and how far we have yet to go. Here are a few excerpts: 

“We cannot tout how our neighborhood is proud of its integration without admitting that there is still work to be done and the many people working to move the community forward in that direction. Our neighborhood will rise up against the hate and I’m glad BAPA ion the right side of history.” 

“I believe our neighborhood is at its best when we are inclusive and welcoming and diverse. I admire the work these women put into ensuring the page is safe for moms of color, and I commend BAPA for drawing attention to that work.” 

“I find it hard to believe that in this neighborhood, in this day and age, one needs to worry about an article about a group trying to be anti-racist for themselves and their children.”  

“To see that so many of my neighbors feel the same about combatting racism makes me love this neighborhood and feel confident that we made the right decision to move here.” 

“I think a lot of people misunderstood the message because they themselves have not learned more about racism and how it manifests, but a group like [Moms of Beverly] really pushes people to think.”  

For the BAPA staff and leaders, the response to the piece underscored how important it is to fight against bias of all kinds and work for productive conversations that will, finally and as fully as possible, bring people together.   

BAPA is confident that Beverly/Morgan Park is up to the challenge as a community where connection and support defines us. Look through the pages of this issue of this publication to see our neighbors, our volunteers, our local busiesses and our families togehter building community, supporting one another and our first responders, and working together to love where we live.  

The Villager highlighted the Moms of Beverly because of their commitment to anti-racism. As our reporter Kristin Boza wrote in the article, “In light of the actions and conversations taking place around racism across the country, the [Moms of Beverly] admin team decided an anti-racist statement was essential to move the group’s conversations forward, stating in part: ‘The reality is that discussing parenting is not possible in a diverse group of women unless conversations of race and equity are had. In this group, we will not be silencing the voices of Black mothers or anyone who seeks to be heard (except if you are blatantly racist) . . . We will, through our words and actions, oppose racism in all forms and seek to actively support initiatives that seek to promote equity and unity in our community.’ They asked all members to commit to anti-racism.”   

At BAPA, we don’t see every social media post or hear every conversation, but we read and hear a lot.   

We know that these are especially turbulent times, and that people are passionate about their beliefs. And we believe that we must always stand on the side of what is fair, just and inclusive. 

The overwhelming positive response from our community to the Moms of Beverly article is an affirmation of this mission.   


Beverly/Morgan Park Garden Walk 


After a rough spring and summer of cancelled plans and foregone gatherings due to pandemic restrictions, BAPA is planning an outdoor event that’s sure to restore community spirits: the Beverly/Morgan Park Garden Walk 

Join us on Sun., Sept. 13, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to visit some of the neighborhood’s most beautiful private gardens and hidden spaces as the beauty of summer begins its transformation into the vibrant colors of fall. Gardens are being selected for their quality and variety, and will feature sunny and shady locations, and mixes of annuals and perennials, flowers and veggies, and formal and casual places. Details will be announced in the September issue of The Villager.  

Showcasing spaces throughout the neighborhood, the Garden Walk will be organized following safety guidelines that include planned physical distancing, staggered starting points and wearing masks. Fun and informative experiences will also be staged in many of the gardens, including tastings, garden tips and music. 
BAPA is recruiting Garden Walk volunteers (gardening knowledge helpful but not required) as well as sponsorships. For information, email or call 773-233-3100.