BAPA residential member profiles

Girl Scout Leader Celebrates 26 Years

Heather Linehan is well-known in the local scouting community. Her commitment to ensuring that kids get to experience the friendships, service opportunities and outdoor education that scouting provides hits the 26-year mark this fall. From Daisy Scouts to Brownies and beyond, and even a stint with the Boy Scouts, Linehan has graciously volunteered her time and talents with area boys and girls. 

Linehan fondly recalls her time in scouting as a child. She engaged in the program through high school, and participated in the Explorers, a career-based offshoot of the Boy Scouts, where she learned skills that led to a 35-year career as a paramedic with the Chicago Fire Department. 

“I’ve always been a little over-involved,” Linehan admits. Aside from her work with kids, she also trains adults scout leaders and is a co-manager for the local service unit that encompasses all neighborhood Girl Scout troops.  

Her leadership role in the organization began when her daughter, Meghan, was five years old. Linehan started the Daisy troop that is still thriving out of the St. Barnabas location 26 years later. Since settling into her role as the prolific Daisy troop leader, Linehan encourages the girls’ parents to get involved in their own troops as the girls move through the ranks, which go from Daisy to Brownie to Junior to Cadet to Senior, and finally, during the last two years of high school, Ambassador. 

“We’re a volunteer-led organization, so I encourage moms to get together to organize a troop,” Linehan said. “I decided to start the Daisy troop because it’s a simple program and it’s a lot of fun for everyone. I kept the troop as my daughter grew up, and then I just kept going! It seems intimidating to begin a new troop. My advice is to stay organized and really anyone can do it.” 

Linehan encourages people interested in starting a group to leap into it. “The Girl Scouts offers so much support to troop leaders. There’s training and background checks and always someone to call with questions. It can be overwhelming because there are so many badges and opportunities, but I always let the girls decide what they wanted to work on, which is Juliette Low’s [Girl Scouts founder] philosophy,” she said. 

Linehan has organized numerous outings for her troop over the years, and offered first aid classes, firehouse field trips, arts and crafts, service projects, and of course, outdoor education.  

“I’ve taken my troops on outings that I probably would never have done on my own. You can try so many things in Girl Scouts. I’ve taken my daughter’s troops camping in Kentucky and canoe trips on the Wisconsin River. I also hosted overnight camping trips for the younger girls,” she said.  

Linehan’s philosophy is to empower the Daisies to try new things, from cooking over an open fire to making crafts as gifts for senior citizens. “We practice the three Cs: Cooking, Camping and Crafts. Crafts are great for developing small motor skills and instilling creativity. Recently, we’re getting involved in STEM-related activities, and there’s even a robotics badge to earn. Brownies are starting to learn coding, and we also do some science experiments,” Linehan said. “Raising girls of courage, confidence, and character will make the world a better place.” 

To find out how to start a Girl Scout troop, or find one to join, visit 

Committed to Collecting

By Grace Kuikman 

When Gary and Denise Gardner moved to their Beverly/Morgan Park home in March 1982 they had already started buying original works by African American artists, but it wasn’t until nearly 20 years later – once the children were out on their own – that the couple became serious about collecting.   

“We decided to restore the house into an ‘adult’ place, not a place just about kids or hockey sticks,” Denise Gardner said. When she retired, Denise Gardner had time to travel and visit galleries and art fairs, discovering and learning about artists and their work. Now that her husband is semi-retired, they travel together, “learning, appreciating, collecting,” she said.  

A few years ago, they put an addition on their hilltop home, providing more space for their 100+ works of art, including works by Chicago artist Charles White (1918-1979).   

In many ways, White’s work embodies the beauty and intent of the Gardners’ outstanding collection. White grew up on the South Side and used his talent and tenacity to fight against racism by portraying African Americans with dignity in the context of universal themes. He started as a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago when he was still in high school, and became active with the South Side Community Arts Center, establishing himself as one of the most prominent artists to come out of the Chicago Black Renaissance of the 1930s.    

“White is the leading African American Artist from Chicago in the 20th century,” Denise Gardner said.  

The Gardners are Lead Individual Sponsors of “Charles White: A Retrospective,” the first major retrospective for the artist in 35 years, open through Sept. 3 in the Modern Wing of the Art Institute.  

The exhibit features more than 100 of White’s powerful and purposeful representational drawings, paintings and prints which interpret African American history and culture.   

As a member of the Art Institute Board and a member of the Leadership Advisory Committee (LAC), Denise Gardner was among the people who encouraged the AIC to acquire a sketchbook of works by Charles White, and to start the conversation that has culminated in the Charles White Retrospective. The purpose of the LAC is to support diversity in the AIC vision, collections, staff, exhibitions and audience. White’s work fits squarely into that mission.  

And the timing was right: “[White] would have been 100 this year,” Gardner said. 

Mounting the exhibit presented challenges. The African American artists of the 40s, 50s and 60s did not get the recognition they deserved. Co-curators from the AIC and Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, where the Retrospective will go next, needed to do a lot of research in the three cities where White lived and worked – Chicago, New York and Los Angeles – to develop a definitive catalog of the artist’s work and exhibitions. That catalog provides an important resource for students, collectors and art historians.   

The Retrospective covers all four decades of White’s career, showing his development as an artist, social activist and eloquent documenter of the dignity of African American people, culture and history. The exhibit goes to MoMA in October then to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in February.  

The timing of the White Retrospective is also right from an art collector’s standpoint. “In the past ten years there has been an explosion of extraordinarily talented living artists of color,” said Denise Gardner. The Gardners are adding works by younger artists to their collection, and seeing the connection of the generations of artists. White’s work, so reflective of the human condition, can be a powerful link in that connection.   

Cassandra Taylor: Entrepreneur, Mom and Youth Advocate

By Kristin Boza 

Beverly/Morgan Park resident Cassandra Taylor is a tenacious entrepreneur and founder of Just For Kids, a before and after school program that fills a much-needed childcare role in the community. Now entering its 13th year, Just For Kids expanded to include summer camp and school holiday programs to ensure kids have a safe and fun place to go when school is out of session and their parents are at work.  

Taylor began her career as a Chicago Public Schools teacher, but felt called to serve the community in other ways after her first child was born. “I greatly enjoyed my time teaching in the classroom, but it had always been my calling to do something on a larger scale that impacted youth,” she said. “Teaching does this, but it has boundaries. The sky is the limit when you are operating your own establishment.” 

After spending a lot of time in prayer, Taylor says God gave her the vision to develop an after school program. “I began to research the idea and speak with people in the industry in different states. Some local companies were discouraging as they stated ‘you’ll never be able to sustain serving school-aged children only.’ But it wasn’t, and still isn’t, about monetary gain for me. It’s about serving the community, helping other moms, and keeping children safe,” she said. 

Just For Kids officially opened in 2005, and moved to space in Morgan Park Baptist Church in 2006. Taylor was able to make a sustainable business when others thought it couldn’t be done. Community support has been integral to her success. “I am most thankful for the wonderful committee of Morgan Park Baptist Church; they are the most loving, supportive and caring group of people. The neighbors of the church have been so kind in supporting our youth program in the community. Ald. Matt O’Shea has been a fantastic leader and his office is amazing in their support,” she said. “Our children and parents at Just For Kids are family and we seek to be a home away from home for our families.” 

Aside from Just For Kids, Taylor has been a real estate investor in a family-owned business since 1999, and also owned and operated a literacy program for youth that she initiated in 1998. Now, she is working on a series of books that focus on spirituality and children. “The art and reflection that goes into writing requires a lot of time, prayer and solitude,” Taylor said. Yet she’s able to effectively balance her four children, plus her “kids” at Just For Kids.  

As a positive and spiritual individual, Taylor encourages other female entrepreneurs to keep looking at the glass as half full and surround themselves with positive people. “If it sometimes boils down to only you, that’s just fine. God needs personal time to work with you on what your assignment is. Stay focused. When one door closes, there are plenty of others that are available to open. Don’t beat yourself up when failures happen, they exist to make you stronger. This world is gigantic, take your dream where it’ll work for you and you for it!” 

To find out more about Just For Kids, call 773-747-6473 or visit 

Spolarich Named to Chicago Rising Star Honor Roll

Hallie Spolarich has been named to the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) 2018 Rising Star Honor Roll, an annual recognition of outstanding youth who show creative leadership. In addition to a passion for and outstanding skill in the arts, Rising Stars finds ways to lead and serve others, whether helping in class, with their peers or in their community.  

Spolarich was nominated for this prestigious award by the Beverly Arts Center (BAC) in the area of theater. Nominees were reviewed and winners chosen by Chicago artist professionals. 

Spolarich, a talented and dedicated actor and dancer, has been taking classes at the BAC, since she was eight years old. She has performed in many theatrical and dance productions. “With all the time I have spent there, I considerate [the BAC] home,” she said.  

“The BAC is a place where everyone can grow in different types of disciplines,” Spolarich said, adding that her studies at the BAC taught her many skills that she can use on and off stage. “I have strengthened my [dance] technique in ballet, modern, tap, pointe and jazz, [but] the most important concept that I have learned in dance is that we all learn and grow from each other.”  

Spolarich said that being named to the Rising Star Honor Roll is “truly the most amazing thing that has happened to me. There is so much talent in Chicago and I am honored to be recognized .  .  . It makes my passion for theater even stronger.” 

A recent graduate of Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, Spolarich will be a theater and mathematics major at Hope College, Holland, Mich. in the fall. Following college, she hopes to return to Chicago to pursue a career in acting.  Spolarich is a resident of Beverly/Morgan Park and the daughter of Ken and Elizabeth Spolarich.  

Spolarich and Chicago’s Rising Stars show that creative youth can be great artists and great citizens. This award celebrates the creative spirit of the next generation as an essential part of Chicago’s cultural life. 

Rising Stars and their nominators will celebrate their achievements at a reception in August at the Chicago Cultural Center. The Rising Stars will also be recognized as a group at the Creative Youth Festival in Millennium Park on Saturday, Sept. 22, and they will have opportunities for continued engagement through the DCASE Year of Creative Youth. 

Special Recreation in Mount Greenwood Gives Back

By Kristin Boza

With the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics is this July, the participants in the Special Recreation program at Mount Greenwood Park are gearing up for the competition while maintaining their mission of giving back to the community. 

The program serves children and adults with intellectual disabilities in the Chicagoland area, and currently has 115 participants ranging in age from 7 to 65, according to Special Recreation Coordinator Lisa Mulcrone. Mulcrone has been a part of the program in some capacity for the last 27 years, beginning as a volunteer when her sister, Sioban, was enrolled in the Special Recreation program. 

While the program accepts community volunteers to help out, the participants in the Special Recreation program have become great partners to other community groups as well. 

“We have volunteered by baking cookies at the Oak Lawn Ronald McDonald House, we assist BAPA with the Ridge Run and Home Tour, and we volunteer with Special Children’s charities in various jobs, such as assisting with 5K runs, the annual Duck Derby fundraiser, and the Polar Plunge, to name a few,” Mulcrone said.  

The Special Recreation group has been essential in helping BAPA with the Ridge Run by stuffing goody bags, handing out fliers along the race route, and passing out refreshments and finishing medals to the Ridge Run runners. 

Mulcrone and the team is especially looking forward to participating in the Special Olympics July 17 through 21 at Illinois State University in Bloomington, Ill. Athletes will compete in power lifting, track and field, gymnastics, swimming and bocce, according to Mulcrone.  

“We are extremely excited about being a part of the 50th Anniversary of the Special Olympics. We will be attending as a group, hoping to make it to the majority of activities that Special Olympics has planned,” Mulcrone said. “We compete year-round in 14 different Special Olympic sports.” 

To get involved as a volunteer with the Special Recreation program in Mount Greenwood, contact Lisa Mulcrone, To volunteer at a Special Olympics event, contact Eileen Guinane, 


Local Mountain Biker a Champion

By Abby Johnson 

Jim Pittacora is not the kind of person to fill his fireplace mantle with medals. He doesn’t want anyone to know that he has more than 100 of them for mountain biking. And even talking about the shiny prizes makes him anxious; he waves his hand in the air as if to say that particular piece of information isn’t important. 

But there is no hiding that Pittacora is a champion.  

He has won four state titles since his first big race in 2012 and twice finished first place in the Breck 100, a 100-mile cycling course climbing more than 13,700 feet that took Pittacora 12.5 hours to complete. This race is the most challenging, he says. And he’s training to do it again in August. 

One hundred seems to be the magic number for Pittacora: One hundred plus medals, 100-mile courses and his participation in more than 100 races. It’s a funny coincidence, the frequency of this number, because it’s also a reflection of Pittacora’s dedication to the sport. He gives everything his 100%.  

He’s currently preparing for a 15-miler that will take place in West Virginia on July 19. When asked if it’s a relief to be riding such a short distance, he shakes his head. In fact, this race will keep him up the night before, he says. 

“There is zero room for mistakes when you’re riding such a short distance,” he said. “You mess up one time, everyone flies by you and that’s it. You’re done for.” 

To lessen the possibility of any mistakes, he will spend every night for the next few weeks practicing his starting position, so it can be as close to flawless as possible when the starter pistol fires.  

For Pittacora, training isn’t a chore, it’s just part of a hobby. One that began in 2005 and accelerated in 2010 when he retired from his job as a Chicago Police Officer and began preparing for competitive cycle racing. Of course, it’s a good way to stay in shape, he says. But it’s not about the exercise. Pittacora does this because he enjoys it. 

“It’s tiring,” he said. “But that’s not something you notice if you like what you’re doing.” 

Sometimes he will ride to Dan Ryan Woods and time himself racing up and down the toboggan slides.  

Pittacora surely has the stamina, the endurance to excel at something so mentally and physically demanding. But his response when asked how he got to this point is surprising, considering he has certainly earned his bragging rights. It wasn’t hard, he says. Anyone could do it. 

“There’s no magic formula. Just ride.” 

Fire Up Your Smoker With Tips from a BBQ Expert

By Kristin Boza 

Beverly/Morgan Park resident John Fitzpatrick has been honing his BBQ skills for years and shares some of his best tips to ensure your ribs are the best at every backyard BBQ and block party this year. 

Fitzpatrick is an amateur rib smoker who dedicated many summers to replicating his favorite restaurant-quality recipes, until he ultimately began concocting his own way of smoking racks of ribs.  

He’s taken his hobby to the competitive level, participating in the Memphis in May World BBQ Championship Cook-Off as the Smoke n’ Beers team, competing against BBQ masters from around the world. 

“I had a big custom rotisserie pit mounted on a trailer that I could jam about 16 racks in at a time,” he said. “But it looked like a toy compared to the huge rigs, some two stories high, that the guys in Memphis were using… but overall, it was just an awesome experience.” 

When he first discovered ribs as a kid, Fitzpatrick loved the classic Homestead restaurant at 122nd and Vincennes. “They closed down when I was in high school and left me with the same feeling the ’85 Bears did after their one Super Bowl victory,” he said. “I kept waiting for them to reopen and they never did!”  

That disappointment sent Fitzpatrick on a life-long quest to find ribs just as good as Homestead’s. About 15 years ago, Fitzpatrick and his wife stopped at the 17th Street Bar & Grill in southern Illinois and he was swept away by the ribs he ate there. After chatting for over an hour with the owner, Fitzpatrick was inspired to buy his own smoker and start creating his own ribs at home.  

For those embarking on the home smoker/BBQ rib experience, Fitzpatrick recommends first heading to County Fair to pick up some great ribs. His favorite commercial sauce is Dreamland Bar-B-Que from Birmingham, Ala., and his favorite commercial dry rub is Ploughboys BBQ Yardbird Rub. Or, check out the recipe below to make your own dry rub, courtesy of Fitzpatrick. 

Once the ribs are ready to cook, the challenge is to make sure they’re cooked through without having them dry out or char. Sometimes, Fitzpatrick warns, people will take the ribs off and they’ll be perfect, but they will dry out and taste burnt after 45 minutes on the buffet table. To combat this problem, he advises cookers to wrap the ribs in aluminum foil for the last third of the total cooking time. 

“If your total cooking time is 3 and a half hours, foil the ribs for about the last hour and a half. The lower your cooking temp, the longer your cook time, and the longer your cook time is, the more important it becomes to foil your ribs. If you like sauce, it’s a great idea to brush them with a little just before you foil.”  

Fitzpatrick cautions against putting a can of water into the cooker or partially pre-cooking the ribs in a pan with water on the bottom since the ribs “will taste like you pulled them out of the dishwasher.” 

To get Fitzpatrick-worthy ribs, check out his carefully crafted rib cooking schedule; 


Best Homemade Dry Rub from John Fitzpatrick
1 cup turbinado sugar  

3/4 cup kosher salt 

1/2 cup paprika (highest quality you can find) 

6 tbsp. chili powder 

2 tbsp. cumin seeds, freshly ground 

4 tsp. mixed peppercorns, freshly ground 

3 tsp. onion granules 

2 tsp. MSG (or Accent) 

1 tsp. chipotle powder 


Mix together and rub on ribs before cooking. 


John Fitzpatrick’s Rib Competition Cooking Schedule for Perfectly Smoked Ribs 

5 hours, 25 minutes before serving: Start smoker and get it to 250 degrees 

4 hours, 40 minutes before serving: Slather and rub ribs 

4 hours, 25 minutes before serving: Put ribs on smoker, meat side up 

3 hours, 10 minutes before serving: Rotate ribs 

1 hour, 55 minutes before serving: Foil ribs, meat side down and add braising liquid 

1 hour, 45 minutes before serving: Put ribs back in smoker 

45 minutes before serving: Take ribs out of smoker and vent. Reseal foil. Let rest in liquid. Heat sauce. 

30 minutes before serving: Drain liquid. Rub and sauce ribs. Re-foil. Put ribs in smoker at 200 degrees. 

10 minutes before serving: Cut, select and re-sauce ribs 

5 minutes before serving: Plate the ribs then serve.  

Your Attention Please! Family Fun Nights Now Arriving at Your Station

By Abby Johnson

Spice up your daily home commute with live music, fun activities and good food at BAPA’s 3rd annual Family Fun Nights. The celebratory summer kick-off is coming to a station near you on Thursdays, June 14, 21 and 28 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. 

“It’s a great opportunity for people to spend time with their families and mingle with their neighbors,” said BAPA Executive Director Susan Flood. “You’re on the same train with the same people every day, but how many times do you actually talk to each other?” 

Family Fun Nights was started in 2015 for this exact reason: To encourage neighbors to get to know each other. To make friends of what may be only friendly faces. Now the festivities are in their third year, and their popularity, their symbolizing of Beverly as a familial neighborhood, are what make Flood proud of continuing this tradition.  

“One of our goal’s at BAPA is to make our community more than a place where people live,” Flood said. “We want the Beverly Hills/Morgan Park neighborhood to feel like home. We want residents to love where they live.” 

Of course, these events must be planned with the children in mind. That’s why the “Meet Mom ‘N’ Dad at the Metra” is the theme for the third year in a row. With a bouncy house, face painting and sidewalk chalk available at every station, there are plenty of activities to keep the kids busy. Food and beverages will be available for purchase from the Calabria Imports food truck and Sweet Freaks Chocolates will be selling desserts. 

While the event hasn’t wavered from its original purpose, its location has changed. For the first time, Family Fun Nights are “on the move”, advancing from one Metra station to another, much like the trains that run alongside them. This year, the festivities will take place at three locations, as opposed to the previous years’ steady 103rd St. spot. Flood said the move is an attempt to bring attention to other gathering places throughout the neighborhood. The fun nights have been so popular, they begged for expansion, she said. 

“We want people from all across the neighborhood to have the chance to join in the fun,” Flood said. 

The festivities will take place at a different Metra station every Thursday, beginning Jun. 14 at 91st St Station/Maggie Cosme Park, 9201 S. Longwood Dr., where guests can participate in soccer drills with Kics United, listen to a performance by the Chicago Children’s Choir and practice tennis drills with the Beverly Hills Tennis Club. Kids can also learn about animals and nature with Erin Yanz of Nature’s Creatures. 

Commuters of the 99th St Station can enjoy the festivities Jun. 21, which will feature Live Music with Bridget and Garrett at Tranquility Stage, an arts/crafts table and Nature’s Creatures. The caboose arrives at 111th St. Station for the final gathering on Jun. 28, where children can enjoy a petting zoo from Miss Jamie’s Farm. 

Sponsors of this year’s event are Little Company of Mary Hospital, Mike Haggerty Buick GMC, Beverly Bank & Trust, Office of the 19th Ward, Beverly Improvement Association, AT&T, Shops of Walden, and Beverly Ridge Homeowners Association. 


Know Your Neighbors: Kevin & Karen O’Malley

By Kristin Boza

Community Involvement with a Splash of Coffee

Kevin and Karen O’Malley made a huge splash on the neighborhood small business scene when they opened B-Sides Coffee + Tea, 9907 S. Walden Pkwy., last summer. The family moved to Beverly/Morgan Park three years ago and are raising their children, Cassidy, 2 and Aiden, 6 weeks, in a neighborhood that they’re committed to contributing to.

“We chose to move to Beverly because it’s close to downtown, it’s a supportive community, and there are many beautiful homes and young families like ours,” Karen said. “The thing we like best about living here is definitely the people. Everyone is so friendly and it is a true sense of community.”

Eager to get out and walk with their stroller, the O’Malleys realized how important amenities are to a neighborhood.

“We want Beverly to be the best neighborhood possible; we thought the shops at 99th and Walden provided the perfect location for a coffee shop. It is convenient for commuters, parents dropping their kids off at school, salon customers, and those wanting to work away from the office,” Karen said.

For the O’Malleys, the location also had some special perks.

“The advantage to working so close to home is being close to the kids, as well as shorter days since there is no commute,” Karen said. “With our daughter at All Day Montessori, across the street from our shop, it is very convenient to drop her off and pick her up before and after work.”

The O’Malleys take pride in showcasing their inviting atmosphere, friendly staff, and quality food and drinks at B-Sides. The shop also offers an extensive collection of vinyl records, so customers can enjoy great music while caffeinating. Karen says their customers are eager to enjoy their Instant Karma latte (made of dark chocolate and caramel), pistachio muffins from Iversen’s Bakery in Blue Island and Turmeric Ginger herbal tea. B-Sides Coffee + Tea is a BAPA Business Member.

In addition to contributing to the build-up and buzz around 99th and Walden, B-Sides will be making appearances at the 95th Street Farmers Market this summer, selling coffee and 12 ounce bags of Metropolis beans to brew at home. For and hours, call 773-629-6001.

Beloved Visionary Retires from Little Company of Mary Hospital after 53 Years of Dedicated Service

Joan Murphy recently retired from Little Company of Mary Hospital (LCMH) after 53 years of dedicated service. Murphy spent her time at LCMH changing the lives of women with her unique blend of Christian humor, faith-based nursing and love of life. Murphy is a registered nurse with an MS in Management and a PhD in Behavioral Psychology. Murphy served at LCMH as an ICU Nurse, Director of Community Health and, most recently, Leadership Mentoring Specialist.

During her time as Director of Community Health, Murphy cultivated many relationships and health and wellness opportunities for women and the community through the hospital’s Health Educations Center and the Women’s Wellness Consultants. Murphy began teaching community wellness classes in the early 1970s, which included disease prevention, diet, medication, stress management and exercise. She knew 30 years ago that the female presence in the household was the most influential in the family’s healthcare decisions. These programs were so well recognized that LCMH received national acknowledgment from the American Hospital Association. Murphy’s efforts also were awarded by the State of Illinois with the Illinois Governor’s Council on Health and Fitness Award in 1991.

Over the years, Murphy and her community wellness team created numerous programs for the entire family. Murphy has been an innovator of community health and continues to utilize her PhD in Behavioral Psychology, focusing on humor and its powerful impact on health. Murphy developed CHEER (Choices, Humor, Enhancement, Education, Renewal), which is a free program that works by bringing community members who have life-threatening diseases together to interact and heal through laughter and positive attitude.

In 1985, Murphy developed LCMH’s first annual Women’s Wellness Weekend. This popular event gave women a chance to get away for the weekend and be in the company of other women, focusing on themselves, renewing their spirits and learning better ways to care for themselves and their families. Murphy also was instrumental in creating an annual Women’s Event at LCMH that features an expert physician who focuses on women’s health issues.

Murphy transitioned to her role as Leadership Mentoring Specialist in the fall 2015. She offered positive support and provided both individual and cohort counseling sessions to leaders in the LCMH organization.

In addition to her career at the hospital, Murphy is involved with other laity supporting the work of religious women of the Little Company of Mary. As a Little Company of Mary Associate, Murphy carries on the mission of Venerable Mary Potter, founder of the Little Company of Mary Sisters, in the Sisters’ institutions, in their communities and in their own lives. She also is a national public speaker and has been a past presenter for the American Hospital Association, American Association of Nurse Executive Women, American Cancer Society, and American Heart Association.

“Murphy brings love and laughter to all who know her,” said Mary Jo Quick, Vice President of Mission and Spirituality at LCMH. “Even through nursing a family member through a chronic illness, she never revealed that her day’s events might be the slightest bit stressful. Murphy is known for reminding others to ‘let your performance be bigger than your applause.’ She has touched the lives of thousands and has played a large role in ensuring the southwest Chicago area is a healthier place for women to grow and succeed.”

Murphy is a loving mother of three and grandmother of seven. Her children Colleen, Peggy and Vince are in the helping professions of special education, nursing and social work. Since the passing of her beloved husband Vince nearly a decade ago, her four-legged love, Oliver, has given her a new “leash” on life and many laughs.