BAPA residential member profiles

BAPA Launches New Website

Jim and Laurie Cleary of The Argus Company built BAPA's new website.

By Grace Kuikman

If you haven’t visited www.bapa.org for a while, you’re in for a treat. BAPA’s new, beautiful and user-friendly website is up and running, and already receiving rave reviews.

The last overhaul of BAPA’s website was about ten years ago. Laurie and Jim Cleary, the creative masterminds at The Argus Company, have developed a new site that uses lots of images and content to introduce visitors to BAPA’s work and the Beverly/Morgan Park community. And it works on desktops, tablets and phones.

The six-month project started with an in-depth assessment of what BAPA wanted to achieve with its new site.

“People are always asking me, ‘What does BAPA do?’” said Margot Holland, BAPA Executive Director. “What we wanted from our new website was the ‘big picture’ answer to that question. That’s what we got!  When people visit the new bapa.org they can really connect to the important work that goes on at BAPA and how that work touches all aspects of our community.”

With that goal always in mind, BAPA and the Clearys got to work.

“We really think through the website-building process – we call it information architecture,” said Laurie Cleary. “We discuss our clients’ goals and how they want the site to be used.”

Working side-by-side with the BAPA staff, the Clearys inventoried the old BAPA website, assessed how content should be reorganized and updated, then tackled the vital issues of improving navigation through the site. They created a site that really reflects the unique qualities of life in Beverly/Morgan Park and clearly informs visitors about the important role BAPA plays in keeping our neighborhood strong and vital.

Filled with neighborhood photos and succinct, detail-rich text, www.bapa.org visitors can easily learn about BAPA’s programs and find their areas of interest; access information about BAPA’s community events; learn about local businesses and institutions, and link directly to their websites; and read articles from The Villager. The site will be easy to expand with photo galleries, additional program information and, coming soon, a comprehensive community calendar.

“BAPA wanted a really useful tool, not just an online ‘business card’,” Jim said. “The site is pretty on the outside and functional on the inside. It draws people in and gets people engaged.”

Although www.bapa.org is up and running, it is designed to be a “living” online resource. Some parts of the site are still being tweaked to maximize easy use, and the BAPA staff is being trained on how to add new content to keep the site fresh.

The Clearys make a great team for website development. Laurie, a writer and editor who spent the first phase of her career as a newspaper reporter and editor for a Chicago-based publisher, focuses on content. Jim, a graphic designer who worked for publishing companies then founded a successful e-commerce company, focuses on design. They have been partners in The Argus Company since 2002, and have designed websites for many local businesses including Horse Thief Hollow, Running Excels and Fitcode Boot Camp. Their sites are dynamic and visually appealing.

“We were honored to be selected to build BAPA’s website,” Laurie said. “It was an opportunity to show how much we care about our neighborhood.”  They worked hard – and successfully – to reflect the unique flavor of our neighborhood and neighbors in BAPA’s website.

“BAPA’s job is to make sure you love where you live,” Holland said. “The new www.bapa.org does that.”

The Clearys, who were both living downtown when they met, moved to Beverly/Morgan Park right after they were married in 1998. Jim’s parents were raised in the neighborhood and his grandmother still lives here, so he has a life-long connection. Laurie grew up in an Air Force family, and immediately fell in love with the “friends and family feel” of our community. They have three children, Duncan, a student at Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, and Elena and Devon, both students at Sutherland School. In addition to their work with BAPA, the Clearys actively support Sutherland School through the PTA and LSC and as volunteers. Learn more about The Argus Company at http://www.argusnet.com/

 

 

Home Cooking: 19 Paul’s Mac and Cheese

KurrinBeamon_19Paul
By Kristin Boza

19 Paul BBQ, 11155 S. Vincennes, began as a dream for owner Kurrin Beamon. Without any previous restaurant experience, Beamon, also a Chicago police officer, worked diligently to make her restaurant one of the best places for barbecue on the south side.

19 Paul is police radio jargon that classifies something as “miscellaneous and other,” according to Beamon. Keeping with the police theme, each of Beamon’s dishes is named using police terminology. From the “Snitches” fish sandwich to the “Top Brass St. Louis Ribs,” all items are culled from recipes passed down to Beamon from her mother and grandmother. The pork and beef brisket are smoked for a minimum of 14 hours and rubbed with a special blend of spices, guaranteed to satisfy the hungriest customer.

Beamon has thrown herself into her business, acting as cook, cleaner, dishwasher, accountant and maintenance repairperson, all while maintaining a satisfying career as a police officer. “Owning a restaurant and being a police officer is certainly challenging, but from the standpoint of time, let’s just say I make sure I get enough rest to keep me sharp while I’m functioning as a police officer in the 22nd District,” she said. “While at the same time, I’m also staying energized to oversee some great food being prepared!”

Her passion for both of her careers is contagious, and Beamon thrives on making her customers happy. “Hands down, my favorite part is seeing the smiles on the faces of our customers as they leave 19 Paul satisfied,” she said. One dish that consistently gets rave reviews is Beamon’s Hot Leads Mac and Cheese, which she is sharing with Villager readers.

Beamon loves everything on 19 Paul’s menu, but the ribs, brisket and mac and cheese round out her top three. At home, she loves to cook baked chicken with vegetables and rice, all influenced by 19 Paul flavors, she said.

Additionally, 19 Paul offers catering services, and has catered many community events. “We have been so fortunate to serve the community on so many occasions,” Beamon said. She’s provided food for the Emily Beazley Kures for Kids fundraiser, the St. Margaret’s all-class reunion, numerous block parties and BAPA’s Bikes and Brews.

19 Paul is open Mon. through Thurs., 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Fri. and Sat., 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Hot Leads Mac N Cheese

Mix: 1 c buttermilk, 1 c sour cream and 1 egg

In a separate bowl, combine: 4 c sharp cheese, hot peppers, corn kernels, and salt and pepper to taste

Boil three cups of macaroni noodles, drain. Add to the cheese mixture. Stir, then add the wet mixture. Put in a baking pan, add cheese topping and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

 

 

BAPA Makes Donation to Special Olympics

Villager_Aug_2016_SpecialOlympicsThanks to all the Ridge Runners who donated to the Mt. Greenwood Special Olympics program, BAPA Executive Director Margot Holland was able to present a check for $2,800 to Lisa Mulcrone, program director and Mt. Greenwood Special Olympic Athletes. The donation will go directly to their program to improve facilities. Also present for the gift presentaton are local officials and Special Olympic Board members 19th Ward Ald. Matt O’Shea and State Rep. Fran Hurley. (Photo by Mary Jo Viero)

I’m a BAPA Member. Are You?: Caroll Vaughn

“I have been aware of BAPA’s work 1970, when I first moved from Hyde Park to Beverly/Morgan Park. For over 35 I have been attending community meetings and neighborhood events. After I retired 12+ years ago, I began to volunteer more with community organizations and civic groups, and started attending CAPS meetings. I noticed that BAPA was involved all over the community, sponsoring special events, supporting various civic groups and organizations, finding grants, working with neighborhood businesses and local legislators, and advocating to keep our community safe. Residents have a community a problem? Call BAPA.

Through my community involvement I get a chance to talk to a lot of people, young, old and of various genders. When asked, “What does BAPA do?”  I answer with an analogy: Imagine BAPA is a huge umbrella in our community. Suddenly, it starts to rain really hard and most residents run to seek shelter under the big umbrella. The rain is pouring down and the residents start to get uncomfortable and communication breaks down. The mediator – BAPA — steps forward to assist. BAPA is the support system that helps to find solutions to our community problems and to keep an open dialog. BAPA’s staff is very helpful and continues to work hard at resolving community issues.  BAPA works with the whole community to help keep it strong, make it a good place to live, and keep it safe, and prosperous.”

I’m a BAPA Member. Are You?: Susan Kill Kegan

“The recent recession caused much loss of work, and, like so many small businesses, my landscape architectural office was effected. When my business picked up this spring, I felt it was time to join BAPA, to support the organization that has been there for us for so many years. The services that BAPA provides our local businesses, most importantly trade referrals, workshops and networking opportunities, will serve me well as my business continues to grow. And The Villager is a great platform for my ad! “

Edna White Community Garden Branching Out

The Edna White Community Garden is taking on “more eclectic offerings” in its 18th year, according to Kathy Figel, garden executive director.

“We can’t be all things to all people but we can be all-inclusive for those who support us,” said Figel. “The current state of the garden is perfectly suited to introduce new programs that speak to the entire community.”

Last fall’s successful peace initiative brought a broader base of community members to the garden for music, poetry, speeches and prayers for peace. Participants expressed a desire to use the space in more creative ways. To that end, Figel welcomed creative people Edna White to express themselves. Those people are providing programs and events that neighbors can enjoy.

Life-long Beverly/Morgan Park resident Cathy Sorich tapped her experiences as a visual artist to create mural art cutouts of butterflies, dragonflies and ladybugs. Children and adults alike can step into the stationary figure to “become” the insect.  “I’ve seen mural art where people stand in front of wings and take photos,” said Sorich.  “I thought it would be a great idea and perfect fit for our community garden, as well a way to help get more people familiar with the garden’s beauty firsthand.”

Matthew Doherty, also a Beverly/Morgan Park resident, volunteered to cut out and prep all the cutout material as well as paint the art pieces on display.  Doherty is donating most of the paint and prep materials from his personal workshop.  A sign maker, Doherty is known to many for his “Christmas Block” displays on 99th and Campbell. “Cathy Sorich and I are longtime friends,” said Doherty.  “This is our first collaboration together and we’re thrilled to have Edna White as the backdrop.”  Volunteer students from Fenger and Julian high schools will create the cement base to stabilize the life-size cutouts.

Yoga classes of all offerings have been building interest through the summer and will continue, “weather permitting,” into the fall.  Erin Kelly and Joan Zigulich are the teachers.  Kelly instructs a “goddess flow” class for women at 7 p.m. Wednesdays.  Several Thursday nights, Kelly guides the movement and percussionist Brendan McAlinden weaves in sound patterns with nature to engage the spirit and twilight.  Zigulich brings a fresh new approach to yoga at 6 a.m. on Fridays.

Bicycle art will adorn the outer garden sidewalks featuring vintage bikes and saluting ours as one of the city’s most bike-friendly communities. Figel welcomes more “no longer functional yet classic in styling” bicycles.

Fall dates are being considered for the 2nd Annual Gathering for Peace. Persons interested in helping should contact Figel through the Edna White Gardens Facebook page.

“Edna White Garden’s evolution into more of a community gathering hub is becoming a reality,” said Figel.

In the past five years, the Edna White Community Garden has added more vegetable beds, greater synergy with local school student volunteer programs, stronger ties with the Beverly Area Planning Association and an overall awareness in the community. Participants are encouraged to  “friend” Edna White Garden on Facebook to remain updated on classes and view day-of announcements.

A Starring Role for My House

By Janelle Richmond

Having a commercial filmed in our house turned out to be a fun, occasionally chaotic experience. Here are some of the highlights…

How it Happened

Last fall, our block in Beverly/Morgan Park was scouted for a television commercial. While we didn’t get that one, we did have interior house photos taken for the location scout’s portfolio. When a commercial calls for a certain type of house, directors review the portfolio and choose a handful to visit. Over the winter and spring, we had four or five walk-though visits but were never chosen. Still, it was fun to meet new people and show them our home

Then one Friday night in mid-July, we got a call from the scout asking if we were available the next morning for a creative team to see the house. The following Monday we learned we were chosen for a Comcast commercial and a tech crew walked through to get an idea of layout, camera placement, etc. By Friday, they were filming and at the end of day Saturday it was wrapped.

When Your House is a Film Set

The day before filming, people showed up to put cardboard on the floors and wrap exposed surfaces (that are out of sight of the camera) in bubble wrap to protect them from the 70 to 80 people who will be in the house. The day of the filming, a hoard of trucks appeared with various items including portable air conditioning.

They moved my furniture out and stored it on a truck. They even took out some light fixtures and replaced them with their own. Then they moved prop furniture in to create the set. The team was friendly and professional. The location manager made sure I knew what was going on and patiently answered all my questions.

The crew left equipment overnight to make shooting the next day quicker. Their days begin early with people arriving between 6:30 and 7 a.m.  Everyone was both friendly and respectful of our property. Our neighbors pitched in too, allowing the crew’s RV, food, and props tents to be set up in their driveway.

What I Learned

It’s important to be flexible when your house is a film set. I went through the house and put away as many knickknacks as possible. I stayed around for most of the set-up, filming, and take down mainly because I was curious, though some homeowners leave for the duration. And I only freaked out a little when they disconnected the chandelier in the dining room and took off the front screen door. It was reassuring that everyone I talked to spontaneously promised to put the house back together when they were done. And they did!

It helps immeasurably if you enjoy meeting tons of new people and having them hang out at your house for 12 to 14 hours a day! It’s also good if your neighbors can genially tolerate a carnival atmosphere for the duration on the filming.

Would I do it again? Absolutely. It was an enjoyable experience to see a professional film crew in action.

Garden Center Services Supports Individuals with Disabilities to Gain Employment

By Kristin Boza∼

For area residents with developmental or intellectual disabilities, Garden Center Services, 10444 S. Kedzie Ave., offers a Supported Employment Program to pair them with local businesses looking for employees.

“This is a creative approach to employment for people with disabilities and a valuable resource for local businesses,” said Gerry Beagles, executive director of Garden Center Services. “Employees receive individualized job skills training and on-the-job support to ensure their performance meets employer expectation and encourages job retention.”

An important aspect of the program is the job coach provided by Garden Center Services at no cost to the employer. This coach works side-by-side with the employee until he or she is able to complete the job on their own.

Current program participants are employed as receptionists, clerical support staff, direct care aides, printing machine operator, and kitchen/dining room clean-up and set-up staff. “Once a business identifies what their needs are, the employment coordinator will train and coach a selected individual to strengthen the requisite skills,” Beagles said.

Garden Center Services’ Kedzie Day Program opened at its current location in the spring of 2012, and is one of three locations where individuals with disabilities can participate in developmental training. The program relies heavily on following the lead of the participants and focusing on their interests and input in four categories: Life skills, leisure, art and micro-business.

Garden Center Services used to place individuals in community jobs through a Department of Rehabilitation Services grant, but the grant became unfunded. “Many of our participants have the skills and desire to be employed in the community, and because of the incredibly supportive culture we have encountered throughout the 19th Ward, we have dedicated some of our state and donor funding to make this happen,” Beagles said. “We are very excited to work with some of the local businesses and make our connections in the community even stronger.”

Every adult supported by the Garden Center Services is eligible to participate in the program, and every licensed employer in good standing is eligible to hire them.

“We have a number of individuals who deserve a competitive job and who demonstrate a variety of skills that are needed in the work place,” Beagles said.

To start the hiring process, employers are asked to develop a list of tasks and responsibilities. Next, the employer will work with a Garden Center Services employment coordinator to choose a program participant who would be a good fit for the position. “As the person becomes an employee, they will be compensated at an hourly wage equal to or better than the established minimum wage for the municipality,” Beagles said.

Businesses that employ the program participants will be getting a solid employee dedicated to the job. “Our individuals are eager to work, very dependable, can focus on a task without being distracted, and respond well to feedback,” Beagles said. “We have been told by employers that having one of our individuals on staff is motivating to their other employees and that the workplace becomes lighter and more productive. Your customers and neighborhood realize that you are truly committed to creating a work environment that supports a diverse and inclusive community.”

The Super Sunny 5K, an event that benefits adults with intellectual disabilities at Garden Center Services, will be held Sat., June 4, 8:30 a.m., Newcastle Park, Burbank. Info and registration: www.supersunny5k.com

Garden Center Services is in the process of holding meetings with Beverly Hills/Morgan Park businesses. To learn more about the hiring process for your business, contact Tammy Ingraffia, community employment coordinator, 708-398-6578 or tingraffia@GardenCenterServices.org.

 

Meet the Malloys

 MalloyFamily

Beth and Kevin Malloy moved to North Beverly from Lincoln Park in the fall, along with their three children: Christian, 7; Patrick, 5; and Molly, 4.

When they decided it was time to find a bigger home, Beverly Hills/Morgan Park was a natural choice for the Malloys. They have good friends here and they were members of Beverly Country Club. “We got to know a number of people in the neighborhood. We were really drawn to Beverly,” Kevin said.

Kevin is an avid runner “with decent times” who has participated in the Ridge Run for the last four years. “I think it’s a great race, you get a nice tour of the neighborhood and it has a very good community feel to it,” he said. “It is hard to beat running along Lake Michigan, but the Beverly hills are challenging, and I’m looking forward to finding some new routes.” He’s now training for the Boston Marathon in April.

While the kids attend Christ the King School, Kevin spends his days working as a commercial litigation attorney at Forde Law Offices LLP, and Beth is the Lake Erie and Lake Michigan Manager at the U.S. EPA Great Lakes National Program Office.

The Malloys report that the neighborhood has welcomed them warmly; the welcoming committee at Bethlehem Lutheran Church left cookies on their porch, a new neighbor brought over a Christmas plant, and they’ve received numerous offers for help with house-sitting and child care. “The friendliness and the true neighborhood/community feel [are some of the best things about living here],” Kevin said. “We are so happy we chose to move here,” Beth added.

The family is having fun exploring local restaurants, including Ellie’s Cafe and Horse Thief Hollow. “The kids are already big fans of Rainbow Cone, and I’m having fun sampling the local eateries – I really adore Beverly Bakery!” Beth said.

The Malloys don’t have any family ties to the area: Beth grew up in Ohio and Kevin grew up outside of Buffalo, NY. He’ll be easy to spot as one of the few people around here wearing Bills or Sabres gear.

The Malloy family is already heavily involved in the community, with Beth coaching the kindergarten Junior Lego team at Christ the King. “We’re planning on getting more involved in school and BAPA,” Kevin said.

A sports family, Christian and Patrick played soccer at Christ the King, and hockey with the St. Jude’s Knights. “The new Morgan Park ice rink is impressive and great to have close by,” Kevin said. Beth joined Treadfit and participated in the March Madness Challenge there, and the entire family is looking forward to running in the Ridge Run together and watching the boys play baseball with Ridge Beverly. Molly is active in art classes at the Beverly Arts Center.

The family is adjusting to the challenges of living in a new place. “I’m still getting used to the train schedule; missing a train has consequences!” Kevin said. “We’re learning all there is to know about owning an old home,” Beth said.

Despite not being native Chicagoans and moving to Beverly Hills/Morgan Park from the north side, Kevin is quick to point out that they are a proud White Sox family. They’ll fit right in.

By Kristin Boza