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BAPA Has One Goal: Improving the Community 

From representing our community’s best interests with city government to planting trees on neighborhood parkways, the Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA) is at work making Beverly/Morgan Park the place where we love to live.  BAPA’s staff are changemakers, connectors and cheerleaders, and everything they do has one goal: Improving the community 

BAPA Means Business 

Building on the organization’s core programs, BAPA has been expanding and updating services, starting with staff.  In November, Anna Fratto became BAPA’s Director of Economic Development, connecting businesses with opportunities that can gain them exposure with target customers 

“Anna has brought terrific energy to BAPA’s business relationships,” said BAPA Executive Director Susan Flood. “Business owners are embracing BAPA membership and event sponsorship, and they’re taking advantage of the opportunities BAPA provides for getting their messages in front of their customers.”  

Fratto’s program area includes the BAPA Card, event and program sponsorshipbusiness membership and communications, and reenergizing business referrals. She brings to BAPA experience as Public Affairs and Community Relations Coordinator for Citgo Petroleum Co., and Executive Director of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.  

 In spring, Gary Jenkins took on the role of BAPA Director of School and Safety Programs“Gary brings to BAPA outstanding insights gained from a long career with Chicago Public Schools and an active role in CAPS initiatives with the 22nd District Police,” Flood said.  Jenkins works on school initiatives that recognize achievement through the BAPA Student Community Service Awards for outstanding public school 7th and 8th graders, strengthening relationships with local schools and identifying school needs as liaison to the BAPA Education CommitteeJenkins works with CAPS officers to support safety and crime prevention programs, and he is expanding BAPA’s Safety Committee. He is currently serving as President of the Vanderpoel Improvement Association.  

In her role as BAPA Executive Director, Flood has been working with staff to expand programs and refresh projects to ensure BAPA’s work responds to current community needs. Flood now attends Chicago City Council meetings, representing Beverly/Morgan Park and staying informed about the work of our city government. She is forging strong relationships with community partners, working together on shared goals, and challenging staff and supporters help make BAPA’s services and successes even better.    

BAPA is known for working hard, but most people may not realize that the staff actually uses a lot of muscle. Beautification activities are designed to keep our community looking its best, and include the neighborhood-wide Clean and Green in April, Openlands tree planting days in spring and fall, and occasionally jumping out of the car to pull some weeds or pick up litter 

Also serving on the BAPA staff are Associate Director and Communications Director Grace Kuikman, Community Organizer Mary Jo Viero, Office Manager Talie Leeb and Accountant Eileen Kenah.  

Progress Through Programs  

All of BAPA’s programs and events unify neighbors, build community pride, and align with the association’s missions. 

BAPA’s reorganized Housing Committee features members who represent Ridge Historical Society, Beverly Givins Castle and Chicago Bungalow Association as well as architects, real estate professionals and planners. Events like the Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour and Open House Chicago support the goals of the committee. The Home Tour showcases our beautiful homes to potential home buyers, and this year launched the BAPA Home Expo to connect homeowners with tradespeople who work on vintage homes.  

Beverly/Morgan Park’s first year on the Chicago Architecture Center’s citywide Open House Chicago architecture tour was a huge hit last fall, bringing several thousand people to visit the Village in the City. The event returns to the neighborhood on Oct. 19 and 20 and will feature several new locations. BAPA is the Open House Chicago community partner, assisting in local site selection, event promotion, and volunteer recruitment and training.   

The Ridge Run and Memorial Day Parade bring thousands of athletes and spectators to the Ridge Historic District to show off rich architecture and the community’s spirited lifestyle. The Bikes and Brews festival, this year expanded to include restaurant row and more brews, brings people together to celebrate with neighbors and enjoy a professional level cycling event.    

Other BAPA events support commercial areas. The 3rd Annual Sip and Shop will be held Thurs., Sept. 26, and feature shopping and sampling from 6 to 9 p.m., followed by an after party from 9 to 11 p.m. Co-sponsored by BAPA, Morgan Park Beverly Hills Business Association and 19th Ward Office, the event takes place in the 99th Street and 103rd Street businesses located around the Metra stations. In December, BAPA will host the 4th annual Holiday Cookie Crawl inviting people into local businesses to claim cookies and share holiday cheer.  

On Friday, Nov. 8, BAPA will co-sponsor the 19th Ward Veterans Breakfast to recognize local men and women who have served or currently serve in U.S. armed forces.  

Get the Message 

“BAPA has the biggest megaphone in the community,” Flood“Our communications cover all platforms. 

The Villager is delivered to 16,000 mailboxes every month, covering the people, institutions and businesses that make us all Love Where We Live. BAPA’s weekly e-newsletters go to more than 8,000 inboxes and on alternate weeks provide updates on local news through the Neighborhood Notes and upcoming events through the new Nightlife & Entertainment. BAPA’s online Community Calendar is the go-to place for events information, and robust postings on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram keep people connected.  In partnership with the Morgan Park Beverly Hills Business Association, BAPA is engaged in a digital radio campaign to promote the Village in the City as a great place to life, shop, dine and visit. Ads drive listeners to villageinthecity.org for visitor information 

You Can Be a Changemaker Too! 

A 501 (c) 3 not for profit organization, BAPA relies on the support of neighborhood residents and businesses to fund its work in the community. BAPA is not politically affiliated and represents the best interests of everyone Beverly/Morgan Park. Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Look for the membership envelope in this issue of The Villager or join/renew online at www.bapa.org 

BAPA’s office is located at 1987 W. 111th StFor more information on programs, events, memberships and donations, call 773-233-3100 or visit www.bapa.org 

 

BAPA Welcomes New Neighbors, Invites All Neighbors to Get Involved  

By Mary Jo Viero 
BAPA Community Organizer 

Are you new to the neighborhood?  

Moving to a new community can be overwhelming.  Trying to meet people and learn about everything the neighborhood has to offer takes time and is not always easy.  BAPA is making this process easier by hosting a new neighbor meet and greet on Tues., Oct. 1.   

If you moved into your Beverly/Morgan Park home after January 2018, BAPA wants help you connect with new friends and neighbors, local businesses and resources, and organizations, including your civic association. Homeowners will receive reusable welcome bags filed with giveways and coupons from local businesses and helpful information about the neighborhood.  

Little Company of Mary Hospital is sponsoring this event.  

Everyone Can Get Involved  

BAPA’s servethe area from 87th 119th streets, California to Beverly avenues. In order to communicate effectively and address the different needs of each section of the community, BAPA’s service area is broken down into several smaller sections called civic associations.  These groups are vital to our overall community because they give a voice to the specific needs of particular areas 

Every resident of Beverly/Morgan Park is encouraged to be involved in their civic association. Each association has its own personality, priorities and challenges which contribute to the spirit of the neighborhood. BAPA’s goal is to help each of the civic associations to be strong and active so that we can work together on larger projects that are important to the whole community 

Active civic associations help build relationships with neighbors, strengthen communication and create a unified voiceWorking on projects together provides a sense of pride and satisfaction right where we live.  Most associations have a family friendly focus, offering activities like bike rides, movie nights and Easter egg hunts. Many associations participate in tree plantings and the annual Clean and Green, working to beautify their area’s park or public space.  

Problemsolving also fosters active participation.  In the past, associations have addressed issues such as traffic, noise, and problem homes or businesses.  

The more you get involved, the more you will Love Where You Live.  

Neighbors who want more information about the new neighbor meet and greet or becoming active in their civic association can contact me at  mjviero@bapa.org or 773-233-3100. I look forward to hearing from you. Together we are stronger.  

Hike, Picnic, Climb, Play at Dan Ryan Woods  

Dan Ryan Woods has been a popular location for family gatherings and a place to connect to nature for generations. More than $3.5 million has been invested in new amenities at the site in the past six years  

“There is a lot of history here. For more than 100 years, Dan Ryan Woods has been a forest preserve. Our administration has worked with many partners on a Master Plan to reimagine Dan Ryan Woods and write a new chapter,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said. The 267-acre Dan Ryan Woods is among nearly 70,000 acres of the Forest Preserves Cook County.  

Since 2013, Dan Ryan Woods, a signature Gateway Site for the Forest Preserves of Cook County, has renovated and reopened the historic Dan Ryan Pavilion to the public as a venue for indoor special events; transformed a former maintenance building into the new Dan Ryan Visitors Center where local residents can purchase picnic permits; repaired limestone aqueducts south of 87th Street that were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s; and added walking paths and new signs to tell the history of this special place and to help visitors more easily find their way around.  

The most recent additions are popular new exercise stairs near the sledding hill and a multi-faceted nature play area, where children of all ages can make thunder or make music, climb the netting, lounge in a leaning hammock, or look out over the landscape in the Treehouse. Young people in the Forest Preserves’ Youth Outdoor Ambassadors program have developed new nature play programming for kids based in adventure, creativity and citizen science.  

Dan Ryan Woods includes open woodlands and native grasses and wildflowers, and is one Cook County’s popular forest preserves. 

 

Nightlife & Entertainment

BACinema: Chicagoland Shorts, Weds., Sept. 4, 7:30 p.m. The Chicagoland Shorts Film anthology comes to the Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St., this month with an all new collection of short films spanning genres and worlds to celebrate the diversity of the Chicagoland experience.  $6/ $5 BAC members, www.beverlyartcenter.org  

Up in Smoke: Sat., Sept. 7 & Sun. Sept. 8. Live music, BBQ and more at Americano’s 1st annual Up in Smoke BBQ festival. Swing by the Americano’s parking lot, 11060 S. Western, for tacos, margaritas, cervezas and performances from local rock bands.  The fest promises to bring a scorching good! $10 for both days. Info: Americano’s Facebook page.  

Friday Night Lites at Cork & Kerry. Every Fri., Sept 6- Oct. 25, 6-9 p.m. Don’t miss the game of the week! The Cork & Kerry will be hosting Friday Night Football watching parties as they cheer on all their favorite local high school teams. $12 buckets of light beer and free pizza at halftime for all those watching.  Family Friendly. Info: @CorkandKerryChicago on Facebook. 

Beverly POV Documentary Screening: Thurs., Sept. 12, 1:30 p.m.  Beverly Branch Library, 1962 W. 95th St., hosts a screening of “306 Hollywood” from filmmakers Elan and Jonathan Bogarin. The film follows the magical-realist excavation of their late grandmother’s home and the things left behind. Free.  

Great Moments in Vinyl: Paul Simon’s Graceland. Fri., Sept. 13, 8 p.m. Join the Beverly Arts Center and Great Moments in Vinyl as they bring the music of Paul Simon to the stage. The evening will feature songs from Simon’s early career in the opening set, and then all the tracks off Graceland” accompanied by a chorus of voices designed to capture the vibrant sounds of Ladysmith Black Mambazo.  $30/ $27 BAC members, www.beverlyartcenter.org. 

BACinema: Eleven P.M. Weds., Sept. 18, 7:30 p.m. A medley of “sentimentality, spirituality and the supernatural,” and a rare surviving work from pioneering African American independent filmmaker Richard Maurice, this 1928 silent film survives as a surreal melodrama and a love letter to 1920’s Detroit. Co-presented with South Side Projections, this screening at the Beverly Arts Center will feature live musical accompaniment from organist Jay Warren. $6/ $5 BAC members, www.beverlyartcenter.org. 

BAC: World Music Festival. Thurs., Sept. 19, 7 p.m. The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events brings this free music festival to the Beverly Arts Center with performances by the Yandong Grand Singers, a choir from China’s Guizhou province, and Lankum, a contemporary folk quartet from Dublin, Ireland.  Free.  Info: 773-445-3838,  www.beverlyartcenter.org.  

Cork & Kerry Comedy Showcase. Thurs., Sept 19, 8 p.m. The Cork and All That Good Stuff Comedy are bringing local jokes to a local audience with their South Side comedy showcase! Kick back with cold beers, white claws and great laughs. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., seating is first come first served. Free. Info: @allthatgoodstuffshow on Facebook. 

BAC Stand Up Comedy Night. Fri., Sept. 27, 8 p.m. Chicago comedy stars take the stage at the Beverly Arts Center for a night full of hilarity. Join WGN’s Steve Cochran, host of Chicago’s #1 morning radio talk show, John DaCosse, as seen on NBC and Comedy Central, and host Tim Benker as they captivate with comedy for one night only. $30/$27 BAC members, www.beverlyartcenter.org 

Midnight Circus In the Park. Sat., Sept. 28 & Sun., Sept. 29, 2 and 5 p.m. The Midnight Circus returns to Ridge Park, 9625 S. Longwood, with a wildly eclectic ensemble of acrobats and eccentrics that will defy gravity, tickle the funny bone and tug at the heartstrings. Presented as a part of the City of Chicago’s Year of Chicago Theatre. $25, www.midnightcircus.net. 

Documentary Film: The Area. Sat., Sept 28, 7:30 p.m. PullmanArts presents their 2nd annual documentary film screening at the Beverly Arts Center with “The Area,” the five-year odyssey of a South Side Chicago neighborhood where more than 400 African-American families are being displaced by a multi-billiondollar freight company. Screening followed by a Q&A with filmmakers Deborah Payne and Brian Ashby. $6/$5 BAC members, www.beverlyartcenter.org. 

BoundaryDavid Heo Opening Reception. Sat., Sept. 28, 6-9 p.m. Boundary Art Space, 2334 W. 111th Pl., hosts the opening reception for Chicago painter David Heo’s installation “Leviathan,” which explores the complexity of Asian-American identity within American culture and the misunderstood human interactions that one experiences during the night. Exhibit runs through Oct. 26. www.boundarychicago.space. 

You Can Be a Tree Planter!  

By Grace Kuikman 

Myth: You have to be big and strong to plant trees. 

Reality: Just about anyone can help.  

The first time I helped out at an Openlands TreePlanters day, I didn’t know what to expect. As suggested, I dressed in work clothes, wore sturdy shoes and brought my gardening gloves. I arrived at the gathering place to find an array of volunteers, school kids to seniors, in all sizes and shapes.  

Everyone was welcomed with coffee and doughnuts, given planting instructions by the Openlands Forestry Crew and certified TreeKeepersdivided into small groups, armed with shovels, wheelbarrows and buckets, then assigned to experienced group leaders and sent to our planting destinations.  

Small trees, their root balls tied up in burlap, were positioned on the parkway where they were to be planted. Volunteers helped with a variety of tasks, from digging up and removing grass to measuring the correct diameter and depth of the holes, to taking turns digging. Everyone gave their two cents on important issues like whether the hole should be an inch or two deeper or the tree trunk was straight, and once everyone was satisfied, the holes were filled, the dirt tamped down and the mulch spread.  

Homeowners were given a set of simple instructions: Give the new tree plenty of water and a little TLC while its getting established 

We all went home feeling great about what we accomplished, and that sense of satisfaction does not go away: every time I drive through the neighborhood or look out my front window, I see trees that I helped to plant. It feels good to know that my investment of a few hours a couple times a year is helping to make our neighborhood healthier and more beautiful.  

You can feel good too! 

On Sat., Sept. 21, 8:30 a.m. to noon, BAPA will be hosting the fall Openlands TreePlanter day, planting trees on parkways between 95th and 101st streets on Damen, Seeley and Winchester. This planting will put the total of trees acquired through BAPA grants in the last three years past 150  More than 20 volunteers are needed, and students can earn service hours.  

Openlands TreePlanters grants provide new trees in Chicago neighborhoods and near south suburbs. Mary Jo Viero, BAPA Community Organizer, works with area residents to submit grant applications and oversee planting days. Interested in learning more? Contact Viero, 773-233-3100 or  mjviero@bapa.org 

Founded in 1963, Openlands protects natural open spaces in northeastern Illinois to ensure cleaner air and water, protect natural habitats and wildlife, and help balance and enrich people’s lives. Learn more at openlands.org.  

We’re BAPA Members. Are You? 

BAPA’s work could not be accomplished without the support of our resident and business members. The following people shared some of their thoughts about why making their annual membership donation is an important part of what they do for the community, and for their own quality of life as Beverly/Morgan Park neighbors. You can learn more about becoming a BAPA member on our website https://bapa.org/support-bapa/ or by calling our office, 773-233-3100.  

 

Karen Truitt 

Marquette Bank  

BAPA’s work is good for the neighborhood! BAPA supports the community in countless ways and is a unifying friendly organization that has been instrumental in defining Beverly/Morgan Park as it has evolved over the years. As a business member, Marquette Bank has benefited from the visibility and exposure at Ridge Run & Memorial Day Parade, Bikes & Brews Fest, Family Fun Nights and more. BAPA has been particularly helpful in amplifying our presence as a business by providing social media, and newspaper and online exposure, as well as use of the BAPA community room for our Business After Hours events. 

 

 

Jessica Bell
Bell Advocate LLC 

“Discovering that I could join BAPA as a business member was heaven sent. My primary office is in the West Loop, but as a servicer of many elderly individuals, I quickly saw the benefits of being able to use BAPA’s business center for meetings that were more convenient for my clients. Being a business member also opens up avenues for networking and advertising in my own community on a much more personal scale.” 

 

Ed & Chris Slattery 

Strong neighborhoods don’t just happen.  We give to BAPA and support its events to keep our neighborhood strong and expand our own community of support. We love The Villager and information on areas that need attention as well as news on successes.  BAPA’s events bring neighbors together and help newcomers feel like they’re part of the Village in the City.  Knowing that BAPA that has been working for decades to ensure that our community stays stable, safe and diverse is important to us.  

 

 

Peggy & Ken Gilbertsen 

We used to drive through the neighborhood when we were dating thinking “one day this would be a great place to live.”  It was true then and it is today – 35 years later.  Like BAPA, we saw and felt the sense of community here. BAPA works hard to maintain and strengthen that spirit through activities and programs designed to expand the quality of life we all enjoy. It’s important to remember that our friends and neighbors at BAPA are only able to accomplish this through our personal involvement and financial support. 

 

Howard & Kathryn Ludwig 

BAPA plays an important role in our vibrant community. When people see folks invested in their communities, they feel more comfortable getting involved too. BAPA’s events stand as a showcase of what we can do together. BAPA works for all of us – serving as a glue that holds all of us together by our mutual interest in maintaining the success of our neighborhood. We live in a very special part of the world. Beverly/Morgan Park stands out because of how we all come together to celebrate good times and support each other when times are tough.  

 

Megan & Morgan McGarry 

We are lifelong neighborhood residents, and now reside here with our four children. This community is unlike any other. The people who live here support and love one another. BAPA is such a strong part of our community, which is why we support it. They put on so many wonderful events for people of all ages. BAPA makes it easy to love where you live.  As small business owners, we feel like it is important to support BAPA’s mission  BAPA is constantly promoting local businesses through their social media posts, The Villager and their events. Beverly/Morgan Park has so much to offer and BAPA helps to showcase what a truly amazing area we live in.  

 

Kathy & Tom Gibbons  

BAPA watches out for all aspects of the community. Over the years, it has been instrumental in making Beverly/Morgan Park a strong, successful, vibrant, diverse neighborhood by focusing on housing, schools, public safety and businesses. The organization has worked with our elected officials to instill confidence and pride on our residents. We live in one of the best neighborhoods in Chicago. BAPA’s work requires money. Finances come from homeowners and business owners, and it behooves all of us to give what we can to support the fine work of this proven apolitical organization.  Raising a family and owning a business in Beverly/Morgan Park for most of our lifetime has been a privilege.  

 

Allie Bowles & Graham Elliot 

BAPA is a crucial part of the community. We witness the community growing and diversifying with new exciting businesses opening. We see neighbors supporting one another and creating even stronger bonds. Our family purchased a house in 2010 and never looked back. Our neighborhood is the perfect balance of small community feel but with a calendar of fun, family activities, art/music/culture events, businesses, shops and restaurants. It’s the best of both worlds. BAPA’s support helps all of these activities and businesses to continue to thrive and grow our community. We are proud members of BAPA and the Beverly/Morgan Park neighborhood.  

Crashes, Stories and Scars: Conine Ready to Ride in Beverly Hills Cycling Classic

By Grace Kuikman

When the riders in the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic line up for the Masters’ race on Fri., July 19, Beverly/Morgan Park neighbor Dr. Brandon Conine will be making his debut in criterium racing. How does Conine manage to switch gears from his demanding job as an Emergency Room physician at Metro South Hospital and busy family man and father of two to a demanding training schedule for an elite cycling event that draws rides from around the globe?

It seems like he’s as adaptable as he is hardworking.

Conine and his wife, Maura Conine, owner of Capsule Chicago clothing store on Walden Parkway, have two sons, Liam, 5, who just finished kindergarten at St. Barnabas and will start 1st grade at Sutherland in the fall, and Jude, 3, who will be enrolling in preschool in the fall.

The whole family bikes, just for fun and to get to neighborhood destinations like Maura’s store and out to dinner. But Brandon has taken riding to a higher level – that level is known as Cat 3.

Race categories are set by USA Cycling determine the events for which competitors qualify. The lower the category the higher the qualification. The Beverly Hills Cycling Classic stages Cat 1, 2, 3 races — the highest levels.

Conine started out riding for enjoyable exercise toward the end medical school. “The Tour de France or something like it must have been going on because I thought I’d like to give [cycling] a try.”

When he moved to Ohio for a four-year residency in Emergency Room Medicine at the University of Cincinnati, Conine found friends to bike with and started on his way to becoming an avid rider. He and Maura, who grew up in Beverly/Morgan Park, moved to Chicago four years ago. Following the move, Conine changed his focus from cycling as a sociable form of exercise to training for and competing in races.  He has competed in more than 100 racing events. “It’s a lot of fun if you’re doing it well,” he said with a smile.

Motivated by the change in the race course for BAPA’s Beverly Hills Cycling Classic last year that now brings the racers zooming past his house, Conine decided to work hard to meet one of his goals: to qualify as a Cat 3 rider and participate in the Classic.

The Beverly Hills Cycling Classic is the first of ten days of racing in the Prairie State Cycling Series Intelligentsia Cup. Conine not only qualified as Cat 3 rider for the local race, he qualified to compete in the omnium — all ten days of the race series.

Criterium road races like the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic are lapped races done on closed circuits that range from one to two miles – the local race is 1.54 kilometers, slightly under a mile. Conine will be racing in the Masters’ race, starting at 5:45 p.m. and lasting 40 minutes. At times, he will be riding at 30 to 35 mph on straightaways, and even faster going down the hill.

He expects a crowd of family, neighbors and friends to be cheering him on from his front yard.

In order to be ready to compete on July 19, Conine has been training about 10 to 12 hours a week since March, fitting in his riding around his work and home schedules. He has been practicing on the local route, up and down the hills, and making the sharp turns that will be required in the race which could attract more than 100 professional and elite amateur riders.

The speed at which these steely-nerved competitors are riding is stunning when you’re standing on the sidelines feeling the breeze as they go by in a blur of brightly colored jerseys. Isn’t that scary? Conine says no. “It’s scarier to go slower than faster,” he said, explaining that the faster the cyclists are going, the better the momentum keeps the bikes straight and upright. In his racing experience, Conine has crossed handlebars with another speeding bike and managed to get free without consequence. “Of course, there have been plenty of crashes, stories and scars to get this far,” he said.

Conine has competed in road racing, cyclocross (including the races at Dan Ryan Woods) and a little mountain biking. His competition history includes a 110 mile race at 10,000 feet elevation in Colorado and a 105 mile race on all gravel roads in the middle of Kansas.

Competing in the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic is a thrilling new challenge. “The best part of this ride is that it’s fun to do something you’re not sure you can do,” he said. “I’m really excited. I’ve worked a long time on this.”

Village Viewpoint – March 2019 

By Susan Flood, BAPA Executive Director 

Its that time again in our Village in the City!  Time to pull the bulky sweaters out of mothballs, take inventory of whether you own anything green, and start sprucing up the house for the company.  

St. Patrick’s Day is our chance to continue a tradition that has our community has enjoyed for decades, the South Side Irish Parade. A day when neighbors doors open in hospitality and families venture out together, strollers leading the way, to connect with friends, neighbors and guests along Western Avenue. 

It’s true, the story includes the fact that not everyone has been happy on parade day.  There was a time when the parade got too much attention from visitors who came in organized droves and created an atmosphere of outofcontrol public misbehavior.  The parade committee responded by cancelling the parade to break the spell and doing the hard work necessary to put together a plan to return our familyfriendly day to us.   

The task of producing parade that truly works for our community requires time, money and effort.  For parade volunteers, our local police department, our bars on Western Avenue and our civic leadership, it’s a time for all hands on deck. I feel lucky that there are people who are so dedicated to my neighborhood.  I think it’s rare. 

The first time I saw the parade was also the first time I saw Beverly/Morgan Park, now my home for nearly three decades.  I share this experience with more transplanted residents than I can count.  What I saw at that first visit to Beverly/Morgan Park is what I still see today:  A neighborhood that feels like a small town, where you walk down streets with doors opened in hospitality and where you’re greeted by name over and over. Let’s face it, who doesn’t love it when everyone knows your name?   Not everybody is Irish, but for one day, the neighborhood adopts the warmth and persistent hospitality that the Irish are known for.   

Parade day is a chance to show off our Village in the City for what truly makes us special.  It’s really about so much more than Irish last names.  It’s our respect for history and dedication to honoring it, our highly educated and diverse population of residents, the hardworking small business owners and our thriving arts community.  On parade day let’s show ‘em who we are.  My friend Bill Gainer said it best when the parade was on hiatus and asked if he thought it would come back.  “I sure hope so Suze, who doesn’t love a parade?”  

 

Patient to Join Thousands this Mother’s Day in the Fight Against Breast Cancer  

Lori Smith grew up on Chicago’s West Side, attending Notre Dame School for Girls and Jones Commercial High School. In 1973, she married Jim Smith, a South Sider and they started their family. The only real “battle” they had was Chicago Cubs or Chicago White Sox, until 16 years ago when Lori was diagnosed with Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS).  

DCIS, considered the earliest form of breast cancer, is noninvasive, meaning it hasn’t spread out of the milk duct. This diagnosis was just three weeks after her mom received the same diagnosis. Smith was treated with a lumpectomy and endocrine therapy at Little Company of Mary Hospital (LCMH).    

DCIS has an excellent prognosis with appropriate treatment, however, having a history of breast cancer increases the risk of a new cancer in the future, including an invasive carcinoma.   

In June 2018, Smith went in for her annual mammogram. The initial images were “all clear,” but next day, Dr. Jilma Patrickfellowship-trained breast surgeon at LCMH, called Smith to schedule a biopsy because the full images of the biopsy showed atypical cells. In July, Dr. Patrick performed a lumpectomy that revealed an invasive papillary carcinoma. Smith had another surgery in August that showed no additional cancer cells.  

Smith didn’t need chemotherapy, but she would have to undergo 16 days of radiation and take an oral endocrine therapy pill for five years. She didn’t let this setback stop her from staying positive and exuding a wonderful energy.   

“I never asked why me? I just said, ‘What do we need to do to fix this?’” Smith said. “I got up every morning for 16 days straight to go to my 8 a.m. radiation appointment with my husband, my rock, by my side.”   

Every day after the 15minute radiation treatment, her husband would take her back to their home in Palos Park. On day 16 when Smith came out of the radiation room, the team of doctors and technicians and her husband were there to celebrate the treatment’s completion.  

Continued self-care, including mammograms, is the next step for Smith. She also plans to do some traveling. Every five years for their anniversary Lori and Jim go on a trip. This past anniversary they celebrated 45 years, but they were unable to travel do to Lori’s health, so Germany and Paris await this loving couple.  

Smith is very appreciative for the LCMH staff, doctors, radiation technicians, her family and especially her rock, Jim. She knows she couldn’t have made it through her diagnosis and treatment without them. Smith will be among the thousands of people who will participate in the 20th Annual Beverly Breast Cancer Walk (BBCW), Mother’s Day, Sun., May 12, starting at 8 a.m., at Ridge Park, 96th and Longwood Drive. 

Over the past 19 years, the BBCW has raised more than $6 million to support LCMH’s award-winning Comprehensive Breast Health Center and impacted the lives of thousands of breast cancer survivors. This generous community support helps to sustain breast health programming, and last year to deepen its impact with the establishment of a BBCW Crisis Fund to assist LCMH breast cancer patients with emergent financial needs within our community.   

Register for the BBCW early to receive a t-shirt with your $30 entry fee; the entry fee for children ages 18 and under is $15; same-day registration is $10 more for adults and $5 more for children 18. Register and find details at www.BeverlyBreastCancerWalk.org.   

To schedule a mammogram, go to www.lcmh.org/onlinescheduling 

BAPA Staff Profile: Meet Gary Jenkins, Education and Safety Program Coordinator 

By Kristin Boza 

Last month, Gary Jenkins joined BAPA’s core team as the new Education and Safety Program Coordinator. In this role, Jenkins will be a resource for local schools and parents, as well as work with the 22nd District Police and 19th Ward Office to promote neighborhood safety initiatives. 

Jenkins has lived with his wife Sharon in the neighborhood for over 15 years and they have been married for nearly 19 years. Sharon is a South Side Chicago native but Jenkins is a New York City native, born in Harlem and raised in the Bronx 

His background as an investigator for CPS and the Inspector General’s office, as well as a community leader has primed him to take on this new role. He is entering his second term as president of the Vanderpoel Improvement Association (VIA), and has served as the CAPS Beat Facilitator for Beat 2213 for the last 10 years. Knowing the ins and outs of the public school system allows him to knowledgeably develop key relationships with local public and private school principals and LSC groups. 

“I have a vast institutional knowledge of CPS, particularly when it comes to how parents, businesses and the community work with CPS,” he said. “With almost 40 years of work experience, I’ve worked with many different people in different environments and learned valuable ways to communicate with a variety of people.” 

BAPA’s initiatives to engage younger families in the Beverly/Morgan Park communities is integral to ensuring steady community support. Jenkins says he is looking forward to working with this population when it comes to questions about area schools and personal safety. 

As he begins his tenure at BAPA, Jenkins will be building relationships to find out what types of support schools need and how BAPA can help. He will also work with the safety committee to ensure it is a viable and long-lasting resource for the community. 

“I’m looking forward to getting out in the neighborhood and introducing myself. My goals are simple: to get out there and do good things,” Jenkins said. “I’ve been working in this community since we moved here and BAPA is a natural fit for me to expand my reach.” 

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