Residents to Launch Beverly/Morgan Park Rotary Club 

Residents to Launch Beverly/Morgan Park Rotary Club 

A small group of area residents is working to bring a Rotary Club to Beverly/Morgan Park and an informational meeting has been set for Tues., Nov. 19, 6 p.m., BAPA Community Room 11109 S. Longwood Dr 

The late Paul Harris, founder of Rotary International, lived on Longwood Drive from 1912 until he died in 1947. The house is currently being renovated into a museum by The Paul and Jean Harris Home Foundation.  

Harris and four other men began meeting weekly in 1905 to share business interests and friendship in what became the first Rotary Club. Today Rotary International is a service organization with approximately 1.2 million Rotarians and 35,000 clubs worldwide.  

Rotary’s mission is to unite people to create lasting change in communities and globally. The neighbors who are working to establish the new club are hopeful that a Rotary service club will bring community members together to focus on community projects. Residents and people who do business in the Beverly/Morgan Park area are encouraged to attend the Nov. 19 

The group will continue to meet and explore potential service projects until the club can officially charter. Weekly or biweekly meetings will often have a brief presentation featuring local projects or organizations and discussion of club business. Members will also have the opportunity to network and socialize over a meal. 

People who wish to attend the meeting can RSVP to Mera Johnson, 630-800-9980 or For more information about Rotary International, visit 



Runners Beat Heat for a Great Ridge Run

Despite record high temperatures, more than 2000 runners participated in the 10K, 5K run, 5K walk, 10K-5K Challenge and Youth Mile on Memorial Day morning, and everyone received a finisher’s medal, and the top three winners in each age group in the 10K and 5K run received an additional award. The 5K walk and Youth Mile are not timed.

Leaderboard winners and their finish times are:

10K men –  1st, Eric Hofmann, 35:42; 2nd, Anthony Truman, 35:50; and 3rd, Dave Janet, 36:57.

10K women – 1st Erin Heenan, 36:11; 2nd, Emily Gleason, 40:16; and 3rd, Cecilia Light, 42:24.

10K wheelchair – 1st, Mary Kate Callahan, 34:44

5K man – 1st, Matthew Olech, 16:56; 2nd, Jake Christiansen, 17:04; and 3rd, Kyle Hauser, 17:21.

5K women – 1st, Eleanor Odom, 21:55; 2nd, Jessica Dorgan, 22:54; and 3rd, Kaila Konecki, 23:10.

5K wheelchair – 1st,Mary Kate Callahan, 18:48.

Challenge men – 1st, Anthony Truman, 54:11; 2nd, Dave Janet, 56:23; and 3rd, Kevin Malloy, 1:02:42.

Challenge women – 1st, Callista Stefaniak, 1:16:55; 2nd, Marnie Milakovich, 1:17:00; and 3rd, Molly McInerney, 1:17:22.


Find complete race results at–20/

RPAC Campaigns to Save Ridge Park

By Mary Jo Viero, President, Ridge Park Advisory Committee

Local organizations and residents have been voicing concern about the condition of the Ridge Park fieldhouse for many years. As the leadership of the Chicago Park District determines its budget for FY18 the rehabilitation of Ridge Park should be the top priority. The fieldhouse is an important part of our community, keeping the building in good repair should be expected. However, severe issues plague the facility including a leaky roof and rotting windows; the building is not ADA accessible; lighting is outdated and inefficient; and the kitchen, gymnasium and auditorium all need significant improvements.

Ridge Park draws over 6000 people annually for programming alone and consistently ranks 3rd among all 580 city parks for program participation. That does not include the 30,000+ people each year who gather at the park for community events like the Beverly Breast Cancer Walk, Ridge Run and Memorial Day Parade.  Additionally, Ridge Park is home to the John H. Vanderpoel Art Association Gallery, a multi-million dollar art collection. Unfortunately, this collection is suffering damage from the leaking roof.

After being pushed back several times, the RPAC was told that work on the roof is supposed to begin in mid-October – if true this is great news for our park and community!  We hope that the park gets the new roof it needs – The RPAC was formed to focus on the restoration and continued maintenance of the field house and the grounds, and we are determined to fight for what Ridge Park deserves.  Sadly, as we all know a new roof is only the beginning and we ask that the community join the RPAC in standing up for Ridge Park.

On Sept. 19, 2017 members of the RPAC and the community (both young and old) gathered together at the Chicago Park District budget hearing to advocate for a complete facility restoration to save Ridge Park!  While we recognize and respect the fact that managing a budget for hundreds of public parks in a large and diverse city is no easy task, and we’re grateful for recent improvements to the Ridge Park baseball fields and tennis courts, we believe major improvements are past due at this community treasure.

Please join us, there is strength in numbers! Demand that the Ridge Park Fieldhouse is treated like the treasure it is.

For information on how you can help, email Mary Jo Viero,

Know Your Neighbors: Paula Robinson

By Kristin Boza

Paula Robinson is dedicated to progressing the economic development of her community through her work with the Morgan Park Civic League. Community activism is in her blood; Robinson’s grandmother, Annabelle Robinson, was also an active participant in the Morgan Park Civic League, which has been working to improve and enhance Morgan Park since 1937.

Robinson’s community involvement isn’t limited to Morgan Park. She, and the rest of the Civic League, recognizes the impact each south side neighborhood has on one another. Community groups in West Pullman, Beverly, Bronzeville and others all collaborate to stimulate economic development and address housing and transportation issues throughout the south side.

“It’s not so much that we need to develop a lot of things here; we have a lot to offer,” Robinson said. “We focus on highlighting what we have, making connections and giving people reasons to go. Once they get the invitation to come and experience something, then it opens up a whole other level of what you can do and how you engage with people. If people don’t even know what you’ve got, then it’s not so much that we have to get a lot of new things, but we just need to figure out how to engage the community.”

Promoting the Major Taylor Trail is a big push of Robinson’s — not only to get people to use it, but to encourage companies to open businesses along the trail that runs from the Dan Ryan Woods to Whistler Woods. “On the northwest side of the city, we’ve seen the success of the 606 Trail and what it’s done to bring communities and neighborhoods together. The bike trail is a community asset and spurs more development.”

Outdoor recreation is a great way to connect communities, according to Robinson. “It’s beneficial for the whole well-being, wellness and health of a community as a whole,” she said. The Civic League is also looking for ways to partner with local artists to install art along the path. “With the tie-in with art and culture, these trails can not only be about recreation, but provide a cultural benefit to the community as well,” she said.

Besides the Major Taylor Trail, Robinson and the Morgan Park Civic League always aim to determine how to create action and excitement around things that already exist. The annual Roots Festival, a farmer’s market, and economic development along 111th Street are other focuses for the group. Robinson hopes to get a visitor’s center up and running on 111th Street to alert people going to the Pullman National Monument about other things to do in the area — including grabbing a steak sandwich at the famed Home of the Hoagy, 1316 W. 111th St., and enjoying a cup of coffee at the Old Morgan Park Coffee Shop at 111th and Loomis.

“We have a lot of wonderful history for people to see, a beautiful bike trail and other amenities that are interesting to visitors and residents alike,” Robinson said. “Morgan Park is an older community, and we have to identify new housing and new opportunities to attract younger people who will want to keep our community sustainable.”

To find out more or to get involved, visit the Morgan Park Civic League on Facebook.

Village Viewpoint: Working Together for a Great Community

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Well, I was hopeful that after the contentious presidential election my Facebook newsfeed would go back to focusing on cute pictures of kids and fuzzy animals and that the traditionally cold weather would compel crime to let up, allowing the Chicago Police Department time to regroup and address the growing crime rate on the south and west sides of our City. No such luck.

I, like you, have been especially concerned about incidents that took place in our neighborhood from shots fired on New Year’s Day to hateful graffiti found on residential and church property. These crimes are unacceptable. We at BAPA condemn these acts of violence and hatred that happened in our neighborhood. We are proud to be part of an integrated, family-oriented community, and we believe that we can find a way to come together as a community and curtail this unacceptable behavior.

Over the last several weeks, members of the BAPA staff and Board of Directors, civic leaders, the alderman’s office and the 22nd District Police have been discussing the safety of our community and how, in the current climate in Chicago, Beverly/Morgan Park can remain safe.  WARNING: It requires your participation!

We need you to engage in keeping our community strong and safe by doing these simple things: don’t be a bystander and don’t be afraid to call the police – they are ready and willing to be here on our streets protecting us!

BAPA has been working with you – our community — to preserve and improve the Beverly/Morgan Park neighborhood for more than 70 years. Our mission is to sustain and enhance our safe, culturally diverse community. We do that with proactive, effective programs that unify residents, institutions and businesses around the common cause of nurturing Chicago’s best neighborhood.

Thank you for all you do to support BAPA and our neighborhood!

All the best,


Get Involved! Neighborhood Association News

Whether your time is limited or you’re looking for regular volunteer opportunities, you can find way to make a difference in our community! Local associations invite Beverly/Morgan Park residents to get involved.

Beverly Woods Homeowners Association Looking to Regroup

For the last year and a half, Lydia Barnes has worked hard to get the Beverly Woods Homeowners Association (BWHA) up and running again. She is looking for help to organize in her neighborhood and address the unique issues the Beverly Woods area faces. The north/south boundaries for the BWHA are from 115th to 119th streets, and from Western west to Rockwell Avenue.

“We need an association. When things happen in your neighborhood, there needs to be forms of communication and a place where you can voice your complaints as a neighborhood,” she said. “You need to get the support of your city government as a neighborhood, not as an individual, since it’s more effective to have the clout of an association behind you.”

For example, Barnes would like to see the street lights updated, since the current ones are old and some are rusted and falling over. Beverly Woods is solidly residential, without any parks, and it bounded on Western by a variety of businesses, including restaurants and bars. “We have unique problems,” Barnes said.

Barnes runs a Facebook page for association residents which can be found by searching for BWHA. On it, she posts local news and events that would be of interest to her neighbors.

Last summer, Barnes teamed up with neighbor Lynn Sloyan to organize a food drive. They went door to door, leaving a grocery bag at each house. “County Fair provided bags and BAPA helped us to make fliers. We attached the fliers to the bags and had the Boy Scout troop collect the food on a Saturday morning. It was very successful and benefitted the Maple/Morgan Park Food Pantry and a food bank in Roseland,” she said.

Thanks to the success of the food drive, Barnes feels that the neighborhood is encouraged to participate, but she does need help organizing events and addressing neighborhood concerns. If anyone in the Beverly Woods neighborhood would like to help lead the charge, contact Lydia Barnes through BWHA’s Facebook page or email her directly at

BRHA Block Buddies

Neighbors who live between Western and the Metra tracks from 95th to 103rd Streets and are interested in taking on a leadership role for your block within the larger community are invited to become a Beverly Ridge Homeowners Association (BRHA) Block Buddy. BRHA’s next meeting is Mon., Feb. 13, 7:30 p.m., Ridge Park, 9625 S. Longwood Dr. For info, email

WBCA Meeting

The West Beverly Civic Association (WBCA) will meet Wed., Feb. 8, 7 p.m., at Barney Callaghans, 10618 S. Western. Attendance is welcome for people who reside between 99th and 107th Streets, Western to California.

SWMPCA Meeting

Southwest Morgan Park Civic Association (SWMPCA) will hold its’s quarterly meeting, Tue., Feb. 7, 7 p.m. St. Walter’s Parish, Peterson Hall, 11722 S. Oakley Ave. Neighbors who live between Western and the Metra tracks, from 111th to 119th Streets are encouraged to attend and here the area news and association updates.

VIA General Meeting

The Vanderpoel Improvement Association (VIA) general membership meeting will be held Sat., Feb. 25, 9:30 a.m., Beverly Library, 95th & Damen. All neighbors residing between 95th and 99th Streets, Wood to Charles Streets (both sides) are welcome to attend. Refreshments will be served.

RPAC Meeting

The Ridge Park Advisory Council (RPAC) will meet Tues., Feb. 28, 7 p.m., Ridge Park fieldhouse, 9625 S. Longwood Dr. Election of officers is on the agenda along with discussions of upcoming programs and projects. Meetings will be held on the 4th Tuesday, every other month. RPAC members will be partnering with members of Vanderpoel Improvement Association, Beverly Ridge Homeowners Association and BAPA on an Earth Day Clean & Green in April, designating Ridge Park, the 95th Street Metra Station and the 99th Street Metra Station for clean-ups. The RPAC is a group of concerned citizens assisting the Chicago Park District and staff of the Ridge Park Field House and Cultural Center in sustaining and advocating for improvements to the historic fieldhouse built in 1913, the park grounds and park programs. For information, contact Mary Jo Viero, or 773-233-3100.


Neighborhood Notes

See and Ski the Dan Ryan Woods. The Beverly Improvement Association (BIA), Cook County Forest Preserve District and 19th Ward Ald. Matt O’Shea invite neighborhood residents to enjoy cross country skiing and snow-shoeing in the Dan Ryan Woods on Sunday afternoons in the winter when there is sufficient snow. Skiers meet at 1 p.m., Beverly Bike and Ski, 9121 S. Western Ave., where owner Paul Weise will serve hot chocolate. Cross-country skis, boots, and poles are available to rent from Beverly Bike and Ski for $15 for the day and $25 for the weekend. Snowshoes are available for the same rental fee. There is no charge to participate in this event — you own the woods and they are yours to use.

Garbage Collection Changes. The Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation has changed to garbage collection to Monday for the following routes: 87th to 95th Streets, Charles Street to Western Avenue; 95th to 99th Streets, Charles Street to Western Avenue; 99th Street to 100th Place, Charles Street to Longwood Drive; and 100th Place to 103rd Street, Prospect Avenue to Longwood Drive. For households that receive curbside collection, the bi-weekly recycling pick-up will also change to Mondays. If your recycling is picked up in the alley, your collection day may change or fluctuate so leave your blue cart in the alley at all times to ensure collection. Questions: 19th Ward Office, (773)238-8766 or

LCMH President/CEO Appointed to Hospital Association Board. Dennis Reilly, President and CEO of Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers in Evergreen Park, has been appointed to the Illinois Health and Hospital Association 2017 Board of Trustees. The Board is the policymaking body for the association, which represents more than 200 hospitals and nearly 50 health systems across Illinois. Reilly held several positions with LCMH over the course of his 40+ years of service. In 1996, he was appointed the hospital’s Chief Operating Officer, a role in which he served until his promotion to President and CEO of Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers in 2001. Reilly has served on the Board of the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council for 12 years, including two years as Board chairperson.

Beware of Scams. Residents of the 22nd District should be aware of possible ruse burglary and home repair scams. Offenders typically ring the victim’s doorbell, offering to perform home repairs or saying they are from a utility company, and claiming that they need to enter the house. Once inside, the offender will attempt to divert the homeowner’s attention so that another offender can enter the residence to steal money, jewelry and others small items. Practice these safety tips: Do not open the door for or let unfamiliar people into your home unless you have requested a service. Contact your utility company to confirm technicians are scheduled to work in your neighborhood. Ask to see identification from anyone claiming to represent a city agency or utility company. Write down vehicle information and suspect description for any suspicious people. Call 911 to report suspicious activity.

SCDC Winter Activities and Meetings. Southwest Chicago Diversity Collaborative (SCDC) will partner with Southsiders For Peace on a potluck dinner and screening/discussion of “13th,” about the history of the 13th amendment, which outlawed slavery but also established a pattern of mass incarceration of African-Americans and other people of color which still influences the justice system in the present day, Sat., Feb. 4, 7:30 p.m. Beverly Unitarian Church, 10244 S. Longwood Dr. On Fri., Feb. 24, the SCDC adult book club will discuss “The South Side” by Natalie Y. Moore, time and location TBA. Copies of the book are at The Bookie’s, 2419 W. 103rd St. (mention SCDC when purchasing). SCDC will partner with Beverly Unitarian Church and the Addie Wyatt Center for Nonviolence Training to present an afternoon of education and discussion on Martin Luther King’s approach to nonviolent conflict reconciliation on Sat., Mar. 11. SCDC meets regularly on the first Wednesday of every month, 7:30 p.m., BAPA Community Room; next meeting Mar. 1. Info:

St. Barnabas Parish Honors First Responders. Recognizing the critical roles first responders play in our community and society, St. Barnabas Parish will honor firefighters, police officers and paramedics/EMTs at a special Mass Sun., Feb. 5, 10 a.m., at the church, 10134 S. Longwood Dr. Chicago Police Department Chaplain, Fr. Dan Brandt will celebrate the mass, which is an opportunity for parishioners and community members to thank first responders and pray for their health and safety. First responders from municipal, county, state and federal public safety departments are invited to participate in uniform and to participate in the gathering procession. Info: Kitty Ryan, 773-779-1166 x. 226 or

Save Time on Appointments. Little Company of Mary Hospital makes it easy to schedule sports physicals online at the Care Stations on 95th Street in Oak Lawn. Click to go directly to Schedule ONLINE

SWMPCA Meeting. The Southwest Morgan Park Civic Association (SWMPCA) will hold its quarterly general meeting Tues., Feb. 7, 7 p.m., Peterson Hal, St. Walter Church, 117th and Oakley. All residents of the area bounded by 119th and 111th Streets, Western to Metra tracks are invited to attend and get involved.

Ridge Beverly Baseball & Girls Softball Sign-Up. Registration is open for Ridge Beverly Baseball & Girls Softball for ages 4 to 13. Season runs April through June. Cost ranges from $115 to $150 per player based on league level (family discounts). Register by Feb. 28 Questions

Be a Vanderpoel Gallery Docent. The Vanderpoel Art Association invites area residents to become volunteer art gallery docents. The gallery is located at Ridge Park, 9625 S. Longwood Dr., and is open Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1 to 4 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Info: Irene Testa, 773-840-3098.

Mindful Stress Management. “Stress Management and Mindfulness,” a workshop on how mindfulness can improve our relationships and sense of well-being led by psychotherapist Patricia Harthun, will be held Sat., Feb. 11, 3 to 5 p.m. Beverly Therapists, 10725 S. Western, 2nd floor. The workshop will offer the opportunity to practice mindfulness techniques and suggestions for how to incorporate them into real life.  $10, payable at time of registration through Info: 773-310-3488.

February at Bethany Union Church. Bethany Union Church, 1750 W. 103rd St., welcomes the community to participate in events and programs this month. Boy Scout Troop 607 and Cub Scout Pack 3607 will participate in Boy Scout Sunday at the worship service, Feb. 12, 10:30 a.m.; the Sip N Stitch craft class project for Sat., Feb. 18, 12 to 2 p.m., is From the Heart and registration is at; and Lent will be ushered in with a Mardi Gras celebration following the 10:30 a.m. worship service, Sun., Feb. 26 –  call the church to make a reservation, 773-779-0123. Ongoing classes: Praise & Sweat Zumba, Mondays, 6:30 p.m.,; and voice, piano and hand bell classes, Mon. through Fri.,

New Church Hosts Meet & Greet. Imago Dei, a new church forming in Beverly/Morgan Park, will host a meet and greet Sun., Feb. 12, 3 to 5 p.m., in the atrium at Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. Anyone interested in learning more about the integrated, multi-ethnic church is invited to attend, enjoy refreshments and meet the launch team. Imago Dei hopes to experience God in a meaningful way, learn the relevance of the bible, and serve the community. Info/RSVP: 773-609-3135 or

Register Now for Platinum Adventures Events. Beverly Bank & Trust Platinum Adventures will host several fun and interesting activities: Chicago Maritime Museum & National Hellenic Museum, Thurs., Feb. 16, departing 10 a.m. from Ridge Academy, 103rd and Artesian; Dueling Pianos at Starved Rock Lodge, Utica, Ill., Mon., Feb. 20, departing at 10 a.m. from Ridge Academy; actor Terry Lynch portrays White House Press Secretary Pierre Salinger in a performance on the 1,000 days of President John F. Kennedy, Wed., Feb. 22, 2 p.m., Oak Lawn Bank & Trust, 5300 W. 95th St.; an evening of Irish music, Sat., Mar. 4, 7 p.m., Dorothy Menker Theater, Moraine Valley Community College, 9000 W. College Pkwy.; and a visit to the Irish American Heritage Center, Wed., Mar. 8, departing at 10 a.m. from Ridge Academy. For details, fees and registration, contact Margie O’Connell, 773-239-2265 or

Renaissance Academy Presents ‘Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.’ The Renaissance Academy presents the Farrell Forum presentation, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” Thurs., Feb. 16, 11 a.m., Butler Reception Room, Saint Xavier University, 3700 W. 103rd St.  Admission is free and open to the public. Join bestselling author and speaker Rochelle Pennington to learn about the largest shipwreck on the Great Lakes. The Edmund Fitzgerald disappeared in Lake Superior on Nov. 10, 1975, when wind gusts peaked at nearly 100 miles per hour and waves reached the height of three-story buildings. Audience members will experience the story from the launch of the ship to its final radio broadcast and from the shipwreck’s discovery to the raising of artifacts from its watery grave.

South Side Irish Run to the Pub. Run to the Pub – a training group that couples running with visiting area pubs – kicks off a six-week training for local St. Patrick’s Day races, Thurs., Feb, 16 at Cullinan’s Stadium Club. The group will meet at a different Irish Pub each Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Following the run everyone will receive a free beer and a long sleeve tech T-shirt at end of series. Bars include Clancy’s Pub, Oak Lawn; Blarney Stone, Oak Forest; Durbins, Tinley Park; BJ McMahons, Oak Lawn and Irish Patriot, Orland Park. Info/registration:

American English in Concert. American English will recreate the phenomenon of The Beatles from the early years through the psychedelic era Fri., Feb. 17, 8 p.m., BaffesTheater, Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. $25 ($23 BAC members). 773-445-3838 or

Winter Farmers Market. The Green Sanctuary Group at Beverly Unitarian Church will host its annual Winter Farmers Market Sat., Feb. 18, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the church, 10244 S. Longwood Dr. The market will feature local, organically grown vegetables, herbs, mushrooms and apples, as well as soup mixes, cheese, veggie burgers, cheesecake, frozen yogurt, ice cream and baked goods. Local singer Anna Stange will perform. The event is sponsored by Faith in Place and helps small, local farmers extend their income beyond the growing season. For information or to volunteer, contact Fran Sowa, 708-229-0390,, or visit

Mercy Circle hosts Open House.  Mercy Circle, 3659 West 99th St., will host an open house and tours Sun., Feb. 19, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event provides a chance for prospective residents and their families to meet Mercy Circle staff and learn about the advantages of the newest retirement community in the neighborhood. Refreshments will be served and complimentary parking is available by entering the lot from 99th Street.

Author Discusses New Book About ‘The Castle’.  On Sun., Feb. 19, 2:30 p.m., author Errol Magidson will discuss “Chicago’s Only Castle: The Book,”  a new book about the landmark at 103rd and Longwood Drive known to some as the Irish Castle, and to others as Givins’ Castle.  Magidson, who did the comprehensive documentary on the building and its fascinating “keepers,” will give his program at the Ridge Historical Society (RHS), 10621 S. Seeley, and present new and interesting information uncovered since the film debuted in 2011. The program is free; light refreshments will be served. Info: 773-881-1675 or

League of Women Voters Meeting.  The League of Women Voters of Chicago, Far Southwest Side Group, will meet Wed., Feb. 22, 7 p.m., 1721 W. 104th Place, to discuss, the city of Chicago budget.  The League is a non-partisan organization that provides informal discussion of current political, social and economic issues.  Public welcome.  Info: 312-939-5949, 773-779-4928 or

Squeaky Weal Lecture Topic is Human Trafficking. Human trafficking is today’s tragic form of slavery and a devastating reality for many people around the world. Religious Sisters are among the leaders in efforts to raise awareness, rescue victims, and eliminate this abuse in the world. Sister Jeanne Christensen, RSM, will serve as the keynote speaker to address the topic of ending human trafficking at the Squeaky Weal Lecture series Thurs., Feb. 23, 6:30 to 8 p.m., Warde Academic Center Butler Reception Room, Saint Xavier University, 3700 W. 103rd St. Free and open to the public. Info: 773- 298-3809.

BAPA Discount for Hustle Up the Hancock. The first 50 BAPA members and Ridge Run runners to register for the 20th Anniversary Hustle Up the Hancock will receive an exclusive $25 registration discount. The Respiratory Health Association’s world class stair climb will be held Sun., Feb. 26, raising funds to support clean air and people living with lung diseases. Spots are available for the full climb of 94 stories or the half climb of 52 stories at the John Hancock Center downtown. Use coupon code BAPAHUSTLE for registration

Beer & Food Pairing Dinner. Private Chef Alvin Green will partner with the Blue Island Beer Company, 13357 S. Olde Western Ave., to host a night of great beer, food and music Sat., Feb. 25, beginning at 6 p.m. Each of the five courses in the gourmet meal will be paired with a craft brew, including dessert. Music will be provided by the Molly Rose Combo. $60 per person; limited spots. Must be 21 or older. Reservations:

A Women’s History of HIV/AIDS. In Plain Sight, History Moves’ mobile exhibition created in cooperation with Women;s Interagency HIV Study Chicago (WIHS), opens with a reception Sun., Feb. 26, 2 to 4 p.m. and continues through Apr. 16, Jack Simmerling Gallery, Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. The exhibition shows that women living with HIV have moved from the margins of what was once a deadly epidemic to become survivors and history-makers.

South Side Irish Parade Film Fest 2017. The South Side St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee and tBeverly Arts Center will present the South Side Irish Parade Film Fest 2017, Sat., Mar. 4 at the BAC, 2407 W. 111th St. New this year is a matinee screening. The fest includes a traditional Irish music reception and post party featuring live Irish-American music, dancing, raffles and a cash bar. Info and tickets: 773-445-3838 or

Calling All Veterans! On Sat., July 15, the Chicago Park District, Road Home Project @ Rush University, and Ald. Matt O’Shea will host a Veteran’s Softball Tournament and Family Fest at Beverly Park. They are currently looking for any veterans who might be interested in volunteering to promote this event or recruit players and teams. On Thurs., Mar. 2, 7 p.m., there will be a brief meeting at Cork & Kerry, 10614 S. Western, to discuss the event. All area veterans are invited to attend; lite food and drink will be provided. If you are interested in helping out, but cannot attend this meeting, e-mail


‘Citizens Are Our First Responders’

By Grace Kuikman

Calling 9-1-1 Makes Communities Safer

“Citizens are really the first responders,” said Sherrie Wright, Chicago Police Communications Officer 2, 9-1-1 Training Division (pictured). “Community involvement is key to community safety.”

Wright has ten years of experience as a 9-1-1 dispatcher, the last 2½ as a trainer. She recommend that people trust their instincts and call 9-1-1, even if they’re not sure they should. “This is your every day life,” Wright said, explaining that residents know what’s normal where they live.  “Err on the side of caution.” And don’t assume someone else is calling.

Some examples of suspicious activity that should be called in to 9-1-1 are people lingering on the block, looking into doorways or windows, checking doors on homes or cars.

The Police would rather get a call and find out it’s not a problem than miss the chance to respond to an issue that could escalate or put people or property in harm’s way. The police will use all of the information you provide and respond with the appropriate resources, Wright explained. They want to hear from you.

Keeping Communities Safe

Calling 9-1-1 is not just about reacting to crime, it’s about keeping safe communities safe and preventing crime. Criminals prefer targeting areas where people aren’t watching and calling police. Nosey neighbors are best neighbors.

9-1-1 calls are important tracking tools that help police uncover crime trends and allocate resources. According to Wright, 9-1-1 calls provide an ongoing history about a location or household where there may be problems. The information provided by callers provide important evidence as well as patterns that may need to be addressed by police or shared with community partners. The more issues reported at a location, the better the argument for assigning a special attention or additional resources.

Your Right to Anonymity

Callers can remain anonymous. “Anonymity is every citizen’s right,” Wright said. People can request to remain anonymous at any time during a 9-1-1 call as long as they are not the victim of the crime or there is no need for them to meet with the police. Requesting anonymity does not delete your contact information, but hides it from the dispatcher and responding police. For certain crimes, police must canvass all neighbors for information or witnesses – if a caller is contacted during a police canvass, it is not a breach of anonymity.

Your 9-1-1 Call

Time is of the essence when you call 9-1-1, and Wright encourages community residents to be prepared when they call. “Have patience with the call taker,” Wright advised. “It seems like a lot of questions are being asked, but they all have a purpose.”

Wright shared the 5 W’s of what 9-1-1 dispatchers will ask to help citizens think about and look for important details if they ever witness a crime or need to report suspicious activity:

WHERE Try to provide a street address (best), block or intersection. Also report where on the property the incident is occurring – garage, back yard, front porch, etc., and any nearby landmarks.

WHAT What is happening determines what kind of resources need to be dispatched. Be as specific as possible: loitering, people attempting to break into a house, robbery in progress, fire etc.

WHO Give as much detail as you can about the suspicious person(s), starting with gender, race, height and weight, clothing, shoes; distinguishing characteristics like tattoos, scars, marks, haircuts or hair color, etc. If there is a vehicle involved, try to identify the make, model, color, license plate number, etc.

If you are the victim, there is a second WHO: Who are you and how can the police locate you?

WHEN If the activity is in progress, say it’s happening right now and response is urgently needed. If it’s over, give the date and time it occurred.

WEAPONS If there are any kinds of weapons being used – even things that aren’t usually weapons, like a brick or bat — let the dispatcher know.

Additional details that can help police include whether there are mental or physical disabilities, or medications involved. “Paint as clear a picture as possible,” Wright said.

Staying involved in the community is a resident’s first line of defense, Wright said. She encourages residents to work with the 22nd District Police, CAPS and organizations like BAPA and with the ward office to maximize communications and drive resources to the area.

Neighborhood Notes

Solicitation Warning. People need to be cautious about door-to-door solicitation. Some solicitors target older neighbors, offering substandard or fraudulent goods and/or services.

January at BAC.  Enjoy art, music, classes and more this month at the Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St.  The 40th Beverly Art Competition & Exhibition continues through Jan. 8 in the Jack Simmerling Gallery, featuring oils, watercolors, photographs, prints and sculpture. BAC Visual Arts Department’s Deck the Halls exhibit runs through Jan. 9 in the Atrium. School of the Arts winter classes for preschoolers through seniors begin the week of Jan. 9; find schedule and enroll online at Showcase your talent in comedy, music and spoken word at Open Mic Mondays, Jan 9 through Apr. 17; free admission, cash bar. Heartsfield performs a concert in the Baffes Theater Sat., Jan. 21, 8 p.m. Info/tickets: 773-445-3838 or

Join the Community Choir. The Beverly Morgan Park Community Choir is recruiting singers for its 2017 season. Rehearsals are held on Sundays 3:15 to 5:15 p.m., Immanuel United Church of Christ, 9815 S. Campbell Ave. Music pick-up is Jan. 8 and rehearsals begin Jan. 15. Singers from Beverly/Morgan Park and surrounding suburbs are cordially invited. Male voices are particularly needed to keep the choral sound balanced. All sheet music is provided. The Choir performs under the musical direction of Lance Loiselle with professional accompaniment by William Crowle. Each year, approximately 60 amateur singers participate. The season will culminate with a concert on Apr. 2. Info: or

Meet Your Neighbors! Share Ideas! Get Involved! BAPA invites Beverly/Morgan Park neighbors to a community wide civic association meeting Wed., Jan 11, 7 p.m., Ridge Park, 9625 S. Longwood Dr. Topics: Current state of the civic associations, and how we can improve associations and work together. Ideas and questions: Mary Jo Viero,  or 773-233-3100.

Neighborhood Resident Named IEEE Fellow. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) named Colorado State University Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor  and Beverly/Morgan Park resident Stephen Milton one of its 2017 Fellows for his contributions to free-electron lasers. Milton also holds a joint appointment in the Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. With more than 400,000 IEEE members in 160 countries, elevation to the status of Fellow is reserved annually for less than 0.1 percent of its members.

Snow Removal. All home, business and property owners in Chicago are responsible for shoveling snow.  Under the City of Chicago ordinance, snow must shoveled as soon as possible after it falls, 7 days a week, on all of the sidewalks adjacent to your property. Do not shovel the snow into street or any other space where snow impedes traffic of any kind. Search sidewalk snow removal at for more information.

Bringing Jobs to 18th District. Legislation regarding Illinois’ energy future will be a job creator for State Sen. Bill Cunningham’s district. Senate Bill 2814 includes funding to provide training for electricians throughout the state to work on solar and wind turbine projects. One of the training centers is located in Alsip.

Party in Your PJs. Area women are invited to the 7th Annual Pink Pajama Party Fri., Jan. 20, DoubleTree Hotel in Alsip. Proceeds benefit the Pink Pajama Party mini grant program assisting women in need undergoing breast cancer treatment at Comprehensive Breast Health Center at Little Company of Mary Hospital. The party begins with 3 p.m. hotel check-in followed by cocktail hour, dinner, open bar, games, raffles, silent auctions, dancing, and inspiring stories of survivorship. Age 21+only. Info/registration:

Kellogg School Open House. Kate Starr Kellogg Elementary School, 9241 S. Leavitt St., will hold an open house Open House Sat., Jan. 21, 1 to 3 p.m. Guests will tour our school, meet the principal and teachers, ask questions of current students and families, and learn more about school offerings. Kellogg is a Level 1+ neighborhood Chicago Public School offering an International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme, technology lab, library and learning garden. Kellogg families participate in after-school clubs and sports, before- and after-school care, PTA and more. The school accepts students from within neighborhood boundaries, and others can apply to attend through the CPS Options for Knowledge program. Open house info or to schedule a tour: or email Principal Corey Overstreet,

Brother Rice High School Trivia Night.​The Brother Rice Alumni Mothers’ Club will host Trivia Night Sat., Jan 28, 7 p.m. in the school cafeteria, 10001 S. Pulaski. $20 per person, age 21+. Participants can bring their own snacks and pizza will be ordered later in the evening.  Beer, wine, and pop will be available for purchase. Info/tickets:

Holistic Riding Equestrian Therapy (HRET) program, horseback riding lessons open to area students and adults with special needs, resumes Tues., Feb. 7 at the Kopping’s farm in Lemont. The program is designed to improve the quality of life physically, emotionally and socially for special needs children, teens, adults and those struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Group lessons are held Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5 to 6 p.m. Program volunteers age 14 and older are also needed; experience with horses is not required.  For info or to schedule rider intake interview and reserve a spot in the program email




Neighborhood Association Update

By Mary Jo Viero

There was an excellent discussion at BAPA’s civic association meeting in September. Goals for the next few months focus on beautification, continuing to fortify civic and homeowner associations, and efforts of the new park advisory councils.

Beautification efforts include creating a plan for the diverters, roundabouts, and parkway corners of intersections. We hope to have a menu of low maintenance plants that can withstand harsh conditions. Civic association help is needed for this program.

BAPA will continue to lead Weeding Wednesdays this fall and resume them next year. These volunteer-driven sessions focus on public areas. Using funds raised at Bikes and Brews, BAPA is relandscaping the hill on the north side of 107th Street from Seeley Avenue to Longwood Drive.

Park Advisory Councils. The first meeting to form an advisory council at Kennedy Park was held at the end of September. Details and meeting dates will be announced. Representatives from the Ridge Park Advisory Council attended the Chicago Park District budget meeting to request funding for a new roof and windows for the fieldhouse. It was announced that the roof is slated for completion in early 2017. The next Ridge Park Advisory Council meeting will be held Mon., Oct. 3, 7 p.m., Ridge Park.

CERT Team. Michael Alving, a neighborhood resident and FEMA employee explained Community Emergency Response Teams and how they are fully prepared to assist their community when disaster strikes. Residents interested in going through the training program and become certified should contact Mary Jo Viero, or 773-233-3100 ext. 206.

Status of Civic Associations. Several of the community’s civic associations are inactive. BAPA is considering consolidating associations, allowing the active groups to assist their neighbors in civic efforts. Anyone interested in taking an active role in advocating for their area of the neighborhood is encouraged to contact Mary Jo Viero, or 773-233-3100 ext. 206. Another community-wide association meeting will be held in December,