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BAPA Welcomes Maureen Kelly, Jayne Corcoran to Board of Directors

By Kristin Boza 

 

 Maureen Kelly: Strengthening the Volunteer Experience 

Maureen Kelly joins BAPA’s board this year, continuing a long history of volunteering with the organization. As a Beverly/Morgan Park resident since 1985, Kelly has been a Home Tour co-chair, Ridge Run volunteer, and, along with her husband Jack, chairman of the now retired Snowflake Ball. She hopes to engage others in volunteerism as not only a way to serve the community, but to make new friends as well — just as she has. 

With a strong background in government relations, Kelly has served as an aide to U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, and is currently the Director of Government Relations at Governors State University. She previously served as the Chairman of the Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce and is currently the co-chair of their Government Relations Committee. 

“In my work experience, I have tracked and analyzed legislation, worked with legislators and their staff, and various stakeholders and community organizations to advance the mission and goals of my employers and the community,” Kelly said. “I look forward to utilizing my skills, experience, and network to the BAPA Board.” 

Kelly is team-oriented and is eager to get to know her fellow Board members and find new ways to impact the Beverly/Morgan Park community. “I have been very happy to see the energy and vitality that has become part of BAPA over the last few years,” she said. “I love the willingness to try new things as BAPA remains committed to its core mission. BAPA has made great strides in beautifying the community, holding consumer and safety workshops, and developing the BAPA Card to support our local businesses.” 

A commitment to advocating on BAPA’s behalf is central to Kelly’s goals for her tenure on the Board. “I hope to quickly familiarize myself with BAPA’s finances and goals, but in the meanwhile, I will engage and re-engage community members and highlight the critically important work BAPA does,” she said. “I also look forward to evaluating the cost effectiveness of BAPA’s special events and brainstorming on creative and fun events that will draw a great deal of support from the community. The Dreihaus Challenge is a great example of creative fundraising and the partnership speaks volumes about BAPA.” 

 

Jayne Corcoran: Telling Others About Our Village in the City 

Jayne Corcoran recently joined the BAPA Marketing Committee, and then agreed to take a seat on the Board of Directors. She brings two decades of marketing communication experience to the BAPA team. As a relative newcomer to the neighborhood — she and her family moved to Beverly/Morgan Park five years ago — Corcoran first learned about BAPA when she received a brochure welcoming her to the neighborhood. She became further involved after learning about the Openlands tree planting partnership with BAPA that provides complimentary saplings to fill in the spaces left when older trees succumb to disease or storms. 

“I saw BAPA’s name on the Home Tour, Bikes & Brews, Ridge Run and Family Fun Nights; I then realized that they really cover a lot of ground for residents and businesses,” Corcoran said. “It’s pretty incredible that their team can have a dual focus on our community in that way.” 

Corcoran’s career as a marketing communications and graphic design/branding expert in the Chicago real estate industry gave her the background to understand the ways that communities and businesses can grow together, and the absolute necessity of bridging the idea that one cannot succeed without the other. “By doing good and weaving your efforts and intentions into your community, you see a ripple effect and success coming full circle,” Corcoran said.  

“BAPA’s mission is to foster a safe, friendly, diverse and family-oriented neighborhood, and we are very fortunate that this is true of our community. Existing residents are loyal and find a great sense of community here, while newbies are pleasantly surprised by the way residents rally for one another,” Corcoran said. “There is a great selection of events, schools, and resident-owned businesses, including those that created this community and new entrepreneurs that regularly pop up. It’s an exciting time to see Beverly/Morgan Park grow.” 

Through her work on the Marketing Committee, Corcoran seeks to find innovative ways to communicate BAPA’s mission to the community and attract visitors from all over the area. “I am hopeful that I can help BAPA continue the message that Beverly/Morgan Park truly is unique and helps foster their tagline ‘A Village in the City,'” she said. 

Goals, Information are Key to Advocating for Better Health Care 

“You’ll never have to go into the hospital unless you break a bone or have another baby!.” This was a promise nurse anesthetist Margaret Fitzpatrick made to her mother Alma. At the time, Alma was 90 years old, and the promise – made by the youngest of the matriarch’s 16 children – put a light spin on a serious subject. Mom did not want to spend the last years of her life at doctor’s appointments or in hospitals, and, as a medical professional, her daughter knows first-hand that health care decisions are not one-size-fits-all.   

In her new book, “Getting the Best Care: Rescuing Your Loved One from the HealthCare Conveyor Belt,” Fitzpatrick provides resources for better understanding treatment options and making informed medical decisions that can help patients and their families navigate the healthcare landscape at all stages of life. In a one-hour presentation Tues., Feb. 26, 10:30 a.m. at Smith Village Community Hall, 2320 W. 113th Pl., Fitzpatrick will share information based on her 20 years of professional experience as well patient stories that can illustrate how caregivers and patients can become better advocates.    

Fitzpatrick grew up in Beverly/Morgan Park and attended Sutherland School. She worked as a critical care nurse at Northwestern Memorial Hospital then Christ Hospital before earning her masters and becoming a nurse anesthetist 10 years ago.  

“Since I got my masters, I’ve seen so much suffering in hospitals,” Fitzpatrick said. It was the experiences of her patients who were older or dealing with multiple medical problems – the people who she said were on the “healthcare conveyor belt” of excessive treatments and prescriptions — that compelled Fitzpatrick to write her book  

“Everybody wants to feel that they are taking care of a person,” Fitzpatrick said. Unfortunately, more is not necessarily better for many older patients, according to Fitzpatrick. Knowing what questions to ask, what kinds of outcomes can you expect from routinely provided treatments and what you need to know before you’re in the throes of a medical emergency can help people make choices that align with their medical wishes.  

In her book, Fitzpatrick provides practical information on topics like setting health care goals, special considerations for advocating for people with dementia, how to maintain autonomy over your health care and how to start the conversation on end-of-life decisions with your family.  

In each chapter, the author uses true stories of patients to illustrate how decisions affect health outcomes. 

Fitzpatrick’s first book, “What to Ask the Doc: The Questions to Ask to Get the Answers You Need,” was released in 2004 and co-authored with two other nurses. The book achieved some success, including a television interview with Katie Couric on the Today Show.  

“Getting the Best Care. Rescuing Your Loved One from the HealthCare Conveyor Belt,” will be released through Amazon this month. Info and excerpts, as well as a chance to win a free copy or purchase the book, are available at gettingthebestcare.com. Advance copies will also be given as door prizes at the Smith Village presentation.  

The Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA) is partnering with Smith Village to present Fitzpatrick’s talk. Admission is free, but reservations are requested by Fri., Feb. 22 at Smith Village, 773-474-7303Complimentary valet parking will be available. 

 

BAPA Home Expo

Connect With Experts on Home Improvement and Restoration

Since the 1970s, the Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA) has been connecting area residents with local tradespeople when they need help maintaining and repairing their vintage homes. On Sun., Feb. 24, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the BAPA Home Expo will showcase professionals offering foundation-to-ceiling advice on everything from renovation to decorating. The event will be held at the Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St., and feature vendors, workshops and historic preservation resources.

“Every day we get calls from people looking for a reliable local business to hire for small and large jobs,” said BAPA Executive Director Susan Flood. “People trust BAPA and trust the businesses we recommend. The BAPA Home Expo will bring together people with questions about caring for their homes with experts in every aspect of home improvement.”

Audience admission to the BAPA Home Expo is free.

Home Improvement businesses interested in learning more about becoming vendors can call BAPA. 773-233-3100, for more information.

BAPA is also accepting applications for trades referrals listings from carpenters, contractors, roofers, electricians, plumbers, painters, plasterers, handymen, exterminators, landscapers and more.

The popular trades referral program requires that participating businesses provide three letters of recommendation from local customers and be fully licensed and insured. Businesses that receive complaints are subject to being removed from the list. Business owners interested in applying can email bapa@bapa.org or call 773-233-3100 for information and applications.

 

95th Street Fall Fest Offers Family Fun

Pumpkin Spice and everything nice! Celebrate the new season at the 95th Street Fall Fest, Sat. Oct. 6, 12 to 3 p.m., Barraco’s Beverly parking lot, 2105 W. 95th St. From face painting for the kids to TVs tuned to college football games for the dads, it’s a guaranteed good time for the whole family. 

The event provides a platform for 95th Street businesses to promote themselves to area shoppers. Many of the stores are participating in or sponsoring the fest. 

Erin Ross, Executive Director of the 95th Street Business Association, said the fest is the perfect opportunity for residents to discover all that the 95th Street businesses have to offer. “Our businesses are excited to showcase their goods and services,” Ross said. “Residents can travel down 95th Street and explore our many shops.” The business community looks forward to welcoming area residents for an afternoon of celebration, she added. 

Don’t miss enjoying the Fall Fest pictures colored by local third grade students that will be displayed in many of the store windows. Students from Kellogg, Christ the King, St. Barnabas, Sutherland and Vanderpoel elementary schools were invited to participate in a coloring contest sponsored by the Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA). Check out the art while browsing at your favorite shops.  

The Fall Fest offers a wide itinerary of activities: Live music by Bridget Cavanaugh and Garrett Degnan, arts & crafts and cookie decorating for kids, and a live animal show. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Football fanatic? Televisions inside the bar area will be tuned to live college games. 

This event is sponsored by 19th Ward Ald. Matt O’Shea, Sen. Bill Cunningham, Rep. Fran Hurley, Barraco’s, Beverly Area Planning Association, 95th Street Business Association, Christ the King Parish, 22nd District Police, Beverly Improvement Association, Beverly Ridge Homeowners Association and Smith Village. 

Village Viewpoint

By Susan Flood, BAPA Executive Director 

It’s August and once again, I’m helping my kids move.  This got me thinking.  What makes a place home?  What makes Beverly/Morgan Park feel like home even if you’ve moved away? What do you love about Beverly/Morgan Park?  BAPA wants to know.  It’s BAPA’s job to know.  We challenge ourselves to always be asking, watching, and listening so we are able connect people with the same passions to act collectively.  

BAPA has a history of providing services and responding to problems. That’s an important resource for any community.  But what if instead of providing the answers, we focused on the questions? What are the gifts and assets that make our community so distinctive? Some things we’ve noticed: 

We have residents who are connected 

Recently, the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic brought an outpouring of rain but more remarkably it also brought out and outpouring of support from over 2000 people who came out to the event and over 130 volunteers who helped and over 30 community partners who stood alongside BAPA and the cyclists. How remarkable it was that people were more driven to be together than they were to be dry and comfortable.   

We have history 

We celebrate our community’s history by maintaining the homes and buildings that make it so distinctive, so that we reveal the story about what our community was, how it became what it is today, and in turn can help us and our children understand who we are.   

We have diversity 

The diversity of our community is outstanding. In an age where diversity and race can be a touchy subject, it is comforting to see different cultures on virtually every block and refreshing that not everybody looks the same. 

We give back 

Our neighborhood helps families in times of trouble. We support a large number of non-profits, entrepreneurs and small businesses. We stand behind each other through the ups and downs. 

We care about Art 

Through our support of the Beverly Arts Center, the Vanderpoel Art Museum and the Beverly Area Arts Alliance to the many artists who call Beverly Home we have so much to offer.  Our own Gary and Denise Gardner are the force behind the amazing Charles White Retrospective on display at the Art Institute.   

We have Rainbow Cone 

Seriously, right? 

So tell us, what do YOU love about Beverly Morgan Park?  All answers are important to BAPA.  Join the conversation by emailing me at sflood@bapa.org.  You never know, you might connect for action you never thought possible.   

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.  

The LAB Designs Nutrition and Fitness with Busy Moms in Mind

By Kristin Boza 

Live and Believe is a fresh nutrition and fitness concept that opened last month on 95th St. The LAB Nutrition, 2025 W. 95th St., and The LAB Fitness, a couple doors down at 2019 W. 95th St., offer “Smoothies with Soul” and flexible fitness classes. The family-owned business is determined to make it easy for busy women to take care of their overall health and well-being. 

Owned by Morgan Martin and her father, Mike Martin, the family’s mission is to help people transform mentally, physically and spiritually while helping them live a life they love. “We want people to believe that anything they see for themselves is possible. We want to bring a healthy and positive environment to the Beverly area,” Morgan Martin said.  

At The LAB Fitness, participants engage in a comprehensive fitness, nutrition and spiritual plan. “Through workouts, nutrition and a private online community, [our clients] will focus on wellness of the mind, body, and soul,” she said. “Portions of our class fees go to the Marcus Martin Foundation where we give college scholarships, free youth football camps and fitness for the community.” 

The LAB Nutrition will assist the fitness aspect of the company by encouraging customers to choose healthy foods. “We specialize in serving smoothies with soul; we want to provide healthy alternatives, like protein snacks, energy teas, good vibes, good music and, of course, our soul smoothies,” she said.  

The smoothies have fun names, like Blueberry Muffin or Apple Pie, but they’re actually really healthy. “All of our smoothies are under 220 calories with about 20 grams of protein and 24 vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients,” Martin said. “The smoothies are intended to be a meal replacement, not used as a typical protein drink after a workout.”  

LAB Nutrition also offers energy teas; the Beverly Brew is one of the most popular options and includes a B12 energy shot to help boost metabolism. “We sell a lot of tea during the day, all of which we make fresh onsite. The energy teas are a great pick-me-up to get through the day,” Martin said. 

“So many people often don’t have time to work out. Working in this area with so many moms who work 9 to 5, time is difficult to find. I’ve found that if you can improve your nutrition, working out five days a week isn’t necessary,” Martin said. “We wanted to bring in an accessible fitness program that fits into busy lifestyles.” 

The LAB Nutrition is open Mon. through Thurs., 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Fri., 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sat., 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and they are closed on Sundays. The LAB Fitness schedule runs Mon. through Thurs., and three Saturdays a month.  

BreakFit Circuit Training is at 5 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays; Cardio Drumming is offered on Mondays at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; HITT The Floor is on Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. or 7:30 p.m.; Candlelight Yoga is offered on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.; Dance Cardio takes place on Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and finally, Circuit Training is Saturdays at 9 a.m. First time attendees pay a drop-in fee of $5; otherwise, the classes are $10 for drop-in, or purchased in a monthly package. 

Beginning on Jul. 15, The LAB Fitness offers a 90-day transformation program complete with online workouts, a grocery list, access to a private online page, mindset activities and a professional photo shoot and celebration after completion. To find out more, visit Facebook.com/LiveAndBelieveWellness. 

Taxpayer Advocates Help Homeowners Save on Property Taxes

As the City of Chicago is rolling out its triennial reassessment this year, local property tax appeal firm Taxpayer Advocate Group (“TAG”), is celebrating its 10 year anniversary of helping Cook County homeowners pay the lowest possible tax bill.   

Born out of the financial crisis, TAG was founded at a quaint Irish pub by mortgage bankers Jason Terrell, TAG’s president and Certified Illinois Assessing Officer, and his West Point grad co-founder. As self-funded entrepreneurs, “It’s been fun to experience our progression,” Terrell said. “When we started the company we were using static files and excel spreadsheets; now it’s all cloud computing technology allowing us to identify saving opportunities instantaneously.”  

Xpress Tax Appeals is innovative software that TAG developed to challenge the County’s assessment of a residential property and to streamline the Cook County tax appeal process. Terrell explained that the County taxes your property by first assessing its value.  That base value, along with the state equalizer and tax rate, is used to calculate property taxes.  Due to the large volume of real estate parcels in Cook County, the Assessor’s Office calculates a property’s assessed value by using a mass appraisal method.   

“This model often allows for unequal treatment of property.” Terrell said. “TAG appeals your taxes by identifying the County’s inequitable assessment of your property and then by filing a property tax appeal.  By filing an appeal, a homeowner is requesting a more just and fair assessed value. Lowering the assessed value means homeowners will effectively save on their property taxes.” 

On July 27, Beverly/Morgan Park residents and other Lake Township homeowners are expected to receive their reassessment notices. 

“Unfortunately, if these reassessments are like the 2018 North Side reassessments that have already been sent to property owners in Lakeview and Rogers Park, you can expect to see a large hike in your assessment. Some properties have seen increases up to 40%,” Terrell said.  July 27 marks the beginning of a 30-day window in which residents of Lake Township will be able to file an appeal. 

The strongest argument a homeowner can make in the appeal process is “lack of uniformity” – an argument that the property is being over-assessed as compared to properties with similar characteristics (i.e. neighborhood, construction type, age, etc.).   

Although it’s most advantageous to appeal in the reassessment year, homeowners have the right to appeal their property taxes every year, as newly sold comparable properties or other changes in a neighborhood could provide another opportunity for a successful reduction.    

The tax appeal process is complex and fraught with paperwork and deadlines. TAG is committed to giving homeowners peace of mind by meeting the challenges posed by the County and by ensuring that assessed values remain as low as possible.  In addition, there are no upfront fees for the service and there is no charge if the appeal is unsuccessful. 

TAG is no stranger to the Beverly/Morgan Park area. Operations manager Justin Sipich grew up playing baseball at Kennedy Park and lived on 107th Street where his family still resides. Sipich, along with TAG property tax analyst, Alex Coston, graduated from Morgan Park Academy. Because of their affinity for the community and its residents, TAG is a BAPA business member and a sponsor of BAPA’s 16th annual Bikes & Brews Cycling Classic on July 20.   

TAG looks forward to helping community residents achieve the lowest possible property tax.  Visit www.XpressTaxAppeals.com/BAPA by Aug. 31, 2018 for a 20% discount on their services. 

Music, Art, Food and Brews at Summer Swelter #5

Embrace the dog days of summer at Horse Thief Hollow’s 5th annual summer party, Sat., July 21, noon to 10 p.m., 10426 S. Western Ave. A day of live music, art and dance promises fun while benefitting a great cause — the proceeds from this year’s event will benefit the Beverly Area Arts Alliance, which seeks to identify opportunities and incubate ideas to advance Beverly/Morgan Park as a hub of culture and creativity.  

“It’s the fifth anniversary of the art alliance and our business,” said Lizzy Benner, Horse Thief Hollow Manager. “We thought this would be a great opportunity to give back to all they do for this community.” 

The local brewery and restaurant currently partners with the Beverly Arts Alliance to feature Local Art on Tap, an exhibit of paintings, sculpture, and other works by area artists that is updated quarterly. The exhibit, Rollicking Rampage, will feature works by Matthew Coglianese, Kevin Demski, Ben Schlitz, Christine Connor, Jeannie Higgins and Kristen Dobbins. Be sure to check it out!   

A Kiddies Swelter will take place from noon to 3 p.m. This will feature crafts and a group project that will be unveiled at the Beverly Art Walk this fall by Ellen King of Mrs. King’s Art Camp; face painting by Cathy Sorich of Marvelous Faces; and children’s music. An artisan craft fair will take place from 12 to 4 p.m., and artist Ben Schlitz will produce a chainsaw sculpture during the event that will be auctioned off at a later date with proceeds benefiting the Alliance.  

Live music will begin at 5:30 p.m. with The Pack Drumline and Dance Crew, which will be followed by a performance by H.a.R.D, featuring Jasmine Gill from 7 to 10 p.m. Molloy and Associates, local real estate agency, is sponsoring the party’s music scene, and artist Brendan Mack will be doing a live painting performance to the groves of H.a.R.D 

And of course, food and brews from Horse Thief Hollow will be served to hungry and thirsty partygoers. Because would it even be a party without them? 

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, lisa.mulcrone@chicagoparkdistrict.com. To volunteer at a Special Olympics event, contact Eileen Guinane, eileen.guinane@chicagoparkdistrict.com. 

 

Events

BAPA Viewing Party for St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Raise a Parade Pint to the Rooftop. Go above the crowd for eats, beats, brews and an exclusive birds-eye view of the South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  Join us for BAPA’s private party on the Open Outcry Rooftop, Sunday, March 17th from 10:30 AM – 2:30 PM.

Tickets include rooftop viewing of the South Side Irish Parade, food, live Irish music by Bohola, drink specials and 2 free drinks.

 

Grand Marshal Les Turner ALS Foundation leads the South Side Irish Parade.

Please note this is a 21 and over event.

The leprechauns are coming rain or shine.  All sales final.

Limited tickets available (maximum 4 tickets per party)

 

Tickets: $75/BAPA members or $85/non-members.

 

You Are My Neighbor: Book Club

Pop book clubs will meet to discuss Fr. Boyle’s “Tattoos on the Heart,” which was named one of the Best Books of 2010 by Publishers Weekly and received the PEN Center USA 2011 Creative Nonfiction Award. Discussions are open to all.

The firs one will be held at the BAPA Community Room, 11109 S. Longwood Dr., led by Rev. Ben Heimach-Snipes, pastor of Morgan Park Presbyterian Church, Wed., Feb. 27, 10 a.m

Copies of the book as well as study guide for personal book clubs are available at Bookies, 10324 S. Western.