This column describes how BAPA is fulfilling its mission of offering programs, services, and events in the Beverly and Morgan Park neighborhoods.

Village Viewpoint

Dear Neighbors,

Another Chicago summer has come and gone, and for many neighbors and families it’s time to get back into the routine of the school year. I’m not gonna lie, I have some mixed emotions about it all as we gear up for early mornings, lunch-packing, too many afterschool activities and homework instead of sunscreen, s’mores and babysitters! I am sure that before we know it we’ll be back in the swing of things, looking forward to football games, changing leaves and fall festivals.

We continue to be busy here at BAPA! We launched our fabulous new website, www.bapa.org after working for the last six months with local webmasters, Jim and Laurie Cleary to create, a better, faster and stronger online presence that will bring you all the newest and most relevant neighborhood information! It is truly a reflection of our beautiful community. Big thank you to Grace Kuikman for her hard work making this all come to fruition.

We continue to expand BAPA’s mission-driven programming by partnering with local schools, and recruiting for our Parent Mentor Program, beautification projects and weeding Wednesdays. In August, we held our first ever small business tour for high school age students from the Margaret Walsh Mercy Home for Girls.  Special thanks to local small business owners, Jamenda McCoy of Belle up and Rachel Bernei-Green of Laines Bake Shop for opening up their local business and sharing their small business stories.

But the BIGGEST news at BAPA is that we have received a matching grant, thanks to the generosity of the Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust. The Trust will be matching dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000, doubling your donation and the positive impact it has on our neighborhood. Please join our membership committee and the other 1350 Beverly/Morgan Park neighbors in supporting BAPA. Help us meet the challenge by giving today!

Thank you for continued support of BAPA, I hope you enjoy this issue of The Villager and the change of seasons September brings!

All the Best,

Margot

P.S. Mark your calendars for our upcoming events: Tap into BAPA on Nov.12, and the NEW Cookie Crawl on Dec. 3! Get more information on our new website, www.bapa.org.

Village Viewpoint

Dear Neighbors,

First, I just want to say THANK YOU to the 3,000 neighbors and volunteers who came out to support and enjoy the Bikes and Brews festival and watch the 14th annual Beverly Hills Cycling Classic! We were overwhelmed by the attendance and so thankful to see so many neighbors out to enjoy a fun night in the neighborhood. We appreciate all the support from the 22nd District, 19th Ward, Beacon Therapeutic School, the breweries and food vendors.

Everywhere I go, neighbors and friends talk to me about all the changes at BAPA and how we are working so hard to revitalize the organization, the events and what it means to be a BAPA member – it’s more than just a donation, it’s an investment in our community.

It’s true we are working hard to revitalize BAPA but, in the process, we have learned that is can only be accomplished through true partnerships with neighborhood organizations.

Over the last year, we have partnered with many local organizations including the Mt. Greenwood Special Olympics chapter to support the athletes. We have been supporting the 95th Street Business Association to boost the Farmers Market on Sundays – the market is better than ever, showcasing quality vendors, entertainment, kids’ activities and much more! We have been organizing Weeding Wednesdays, continuing to keep beautification at the top of our priority list. We’re so pleased to give neighbors who want to help out an opportunity to join us!

Following the success of Bikes and Brews, we will continue to partner with Beacon Therapeutic School and the 19th Ward to revitalize 107th street hill and parkway.  We are proud to be the catalyst of change and know that it is only possible through these important partnerships.

Your support of BAPA events and membership is a true investment in our community. Thank you for all your continued support and encouragement! As our event season winds down we will be continuing to grow our program areas that make a difference in our schools, parks and local businesses.

In the meantime, I hope you are able to take long walks, runs or bike rides through our beautiful neighborhood, enjoying all the trees and gardens in full swing and saying hello to neighbors.

All the Best,

Margot  Holland