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   

To schedule a mammogram, go to 

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.” 


O’Brews & Views & YOU! 

Join BAPA to raise a pint on the Open Outcry rooftop, cheering our community and watching the South Side Irish Parade, Sun., Mar 17 

The 21 and over party begins at 10:30 a.m. and features eats, beats, brews and an exclusive birds-eye view of the South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade from the new rooftop seating area at the brewpub, 10934 S. Western. The ticket price includes a delicious spread of Irish favorite foods, two complimentary drinks plus drink specials, Irish coffee bar, live Irish music by Bohola, Irish dancers, and a wrist band that gives revelers the option to roam and then return to the rooftop.  

Call your clan and make a date to enjoy the festive South Side Irish atmosphere. Wondering about the weather? Don’t be! All rooftop guests are invited to drop in downstairs at Open Outcry if parade day is chilly or damp.  

Tickets are $75 for BAPA members or $85 for non-members and available at Sorry, no children. Proceeds will benefit BAPA’s work in Beverly/Morgan Park. Many thanks to Compass – Jeni Nelson Real Estate, O’Brews and Views Sponsor. 



Alexa, Did You Just Say ‘Visit the Village in the City?’  

BAPA and the Morgan Park Beverly Hills Business Association have partnered on a year-long campaign to promote The Village in the City, Beverly/Morgan Park. Geared to encouraging people to visit for the neighborhood’s wide variety of events and entertainments, audio spots will stream on the digital formats of WXRT, WBBM, SCORE and B96. Spots will change frequently, but messaging will focus on Beverly/Morgan Park as a great place to visit, live, play, shop and open a business. All spots will direct listeners to learn more at March spots will promote Irish culture events including the South Side Irish Parade and Liz Carroll concert at the Beverly Arts Center. Tune in to any of the participating stations on your streaming devices to hear the spots.  



Get in Step for the Ridge Run. BAPA and Running Excels offer Walk to Run Training that can take you from the couch to the finish line for the Ridge Run 5K on Memorial Day. Weekly training sessions begin Sat., Apr. 6. Details and sign-up  or call 773-233-3100.  


March to Remember 

The Beverly/Morgan Park Memorial Day Parade is one of the oldest neighborhood parades in Chicago, and its purpose is to remember the men and woman who fought and died for our freedom. Be a part of the event that brings our community together to honor our United States Armed Forces. For an application or information, contact Grace Kuikman, 773-233-3100 or 


42nd Annual Ridge Run is May 27 

Registration is underway for BAPA’s 42nd Annual Ridge Run on Memorial Day, Mon., May 27. Choose from the 10K run, 5K run/walk, 10K/5K Ridge Run Challenge or 1 mile youth run to challenge your athletic skills or just have fun. Sign up is easy online at Register by May 1 to guarantee getting your Ridge Run t-shirt.  

The Ridge Run is one of the best days to be in Beverly/Morgan Park! Whether you’re running or walking in the races, marching in the Memorial Day Parade, or lining the route cheering on the racers and the parade, don’t miss the fun! Join in the fun at Ridge Park too! Food, beverages and family activities continue until 1 p.m.  

For more information about the Ridge Run or Memorial Day Parade, call 773-233-3100 or email 


Help Us Honor Our Veterans 

Ald. Matt O’Shea, State Sen. Bill Cunningham, State Rep.Fran Hurley, BAPA and the Mount Greenwood Community and Business Association, will host the 19th Ward Veterans Day Breakfast in November to honor all those who have served or are currently serving our country. The organizations request that 19th Ward veterans or their families contact Margie Olsen, 773-238-8776 and provide the veteran’s name, address, phone, email and branch served. Information can also be submitted at www.the19thward.comHelp us honor the men and women who have given so much for our country.  


Home Tour Doors Will Be Opening Soon! BAPA’s Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour will be held Sun., May 19, 12 to 5 p.m. One of Chicagoland’s longest running Home Tours, the event will bring visitors into private homes and an historic church and feature a variety of tastings and experiences.  


Irish Culture and Pride in the Neighborhood

Irish culture and pride are exhibited throughout the month of March in Beverly/Morgan Park. Here are some of the cultural activities being planned. 

South Side Irish Parade Steps Off on St. Pat’s Day 

The South Side Irish Parade will march down Western Ave. from 103rd St. to 115th St. on St. Patrick’s Day, Sun., Mar. 17 stepping off at 12 p.m. This year’s Grand Marshal is Honor Flight Chicago, an organization recognizing senior war veterans from World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War era, and flies them to Washington, D.C. to tour the memorials. The Special Honoree this year is Choose Kind, a movement dedicated to raising awareness about Apert syndrome and promoting kindness throughout the city. 

Honor Flight Chicago’s mission is to honor, thank and inspire.The nonprofit organization began flying World War II veterans to their memorial in 2008 before adding veterans of the Korean War era in 2016. This year, Honor Flight Chicago is expanding to Vietnam era veterans.  

Choose Kind helps to raise understanding and awareness about Apert syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects the development of the skull, hands and feet. Children born with the condition suffer from a range of physical and cognitive impairments and face numerous surgeries over their lifetimes.  

When Choose Kind founders Kerry and Chris Lynch learned their daughter, Mary Cate, had been born with Apert syndrome, they pledged to use her diagnosis to make a difference. To date, Mary Cate and her mom Kerry have traveled to 125 schools, teaching thousands of students about what it’s like to look different and encouraging them to Choose Kind. 

 “The entire focus of the South Side Irish Parade is on family, community and Irish heritage and we could not think of two more deserving organizations to represent this year’s parade,” said Greg Kovak, co-chair of the South Side Irish Parade Committee.  

Parade attendees will enjoy watching as military vehicles honoring veterans will come down Western, as well as the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery Memorial Squad, whose mission is to provide military honors for veterans being interred at the cemetery in Elwood, Ill.  

More than 15 bagpipe and marching bands will be providing music, and Irish dance schools will entertain with the traditional dancing. As always, keep an eye out for the original baby buggy parade float from the first South Side Irish Parade in 1979, as well as Paddy’s Irish Whiskey Barrel Bus and numerous floats and groups from local parishes, families, and community organizations. 


Parade Boosts Business 

Parade Committee co-chair Jim Smith leads the safety and security efforts, including coordinating between a privately hired security firm and the Chicago Police Department to ensure the day runs smoothly. Smith said that aside from the tradition and celebration associated with the parade, local businesses also benefit as neighbors prepare for their house parties and celebrate along the Western Avenue 

Many residents plan parties, buy groceries and corned beef, beverages and decorations. Local businesses selling these wares benefit greatly from the additional sales,” Smith said. “Other parade goers spend time at local restaurants and bars, celebrating the day and bringing additional revenue opportunities to local businesses on parade day and through the parade weekend.” 

Businesses also have the opportunity to promote their companies through the parade sponsorships, including purchasing a street pole banners. Smith even hears from local realtors who say that they get many phone calls from visitors inquiring about the homes in the area. “Beverly/Morgan Park and Mount Greenwood residents open up their hearts and homes, often sprucing up prior to the big day that attracts thousands of visitors to our beautiful neighborhood,” Smith said. 

“The parade is the largest St. Patrick’s Day parade outside of Ireland. The annual march down Western brings together families, friends and neighbors for a celebration of the Irish heritage and culture,” Smith said. “It’s really an important event for the neighborhood, and we want to keep it strong. We are inclusive, and we want everyone in our neighborhood — regardless of Irish heritage — to come out and enjoy it.” 


South Side Irish Parade Film Fest 

BACinema and the South Side Irish Parade Committee co-host the 4th Annual South Side Irish Parade Film Fest, Sat., Mar. 2, Beverly Arts Center (BAC), 2407 W. 111th St. There will be two screenings. The children’s matinee features the Oscar-nominated animated feature “Song of the Sea” at 3 p.m. The movie is about young siblings who set out to free the fairies and save the spirit world. “Black 47,” a riveting revenge thriller set during one of the darkest chapters in Irish history, will be screened at 7 p.m.  

The Film Fest includes a reception with traditional Irish music with Pat Finnegan on the flute and Brendan Bulger on the fiddle, and a post movie party with dancing and music by A Week Back. Admission to the matinee is $6; admission to the evening screening and events is $18. Get details and tickets at 773-445-3838 or 

Liz Carroll Performs Early St. Patrick’s Day Concert  

Fresh off the release of their new album, “Half Day Road,” fiddler and composer Liz Carroll performs with Jake Charron in their only Chicago appearance during this year’s St. Patrick’s Day season on Sat., Mar. 9, 8 p.m., Beverly Arts Center.   

Rooted in the Irish tradition of music and recognized across America and Ireland for her talent in and influence on that genre, Carroll will play traditional and original Irish music with award-winning guitarist Jake Charron. Also performing are renowned guitarist Dáithí Sproule and the Cross Keys School of Irish Dance. 

Raised on Chicago’s South Side (Visitation parish), Liz Carroll has spent a lifetime embraced by the culture of Irish music and dance. Playing and composing since she was a little girl, Carroll astounded the music world by winning the senior All-Ireland Fiddle Championship when she was just 18 years old. Since then, she has been performing around the world.  

Recognized as one of world’s great Irish fiddlers, Carroll was honored with a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts for contributions to Irish music in America (1994). In 2010 she became the first Irish-American musician nominated for a Grammy, and the following year became the first American-born composer honored with the Cumadóir TG4, Ireland’s most significant traditional music prize.  

A touring and recording musician, pianist and guitarist, Charron performs and collaborates with award-winning musicians around the world. He plays and records traditional Canadian-Celtic music with The East Pointers, winners of three PEI Music Awards (2015). This past year, Jake was also nominated for a Canadian Folk Music award for his duo album with Shane Cook called “Head to Head.”  

Carroll and Charron’s first full-length collaborative album, “Half Day Road,” parallels the energy and drive the musicians’ live performances. Rooted firmly in the Irish traditional style, the music is composed and interpreted by two uniquely North American artists shaped by Irish musical tradition and how to work as contemporary artists within a traditional form. 

Dáithí Sproule is one of Irish music’s most respected guitar accompanists. His song, “The Death of Queen Jane,” was featured in the 2013 Coen brothers film, “Inside Llewyn Davis.” 

Cross Keys School of Irish Dance has been providing students with top quality instruction in competitive Irish dance for more than 30 years. Their students compete, place and win at regional, national and international competitions. 

Tickets are $25 and available at 773-445-3838 or 


Féile at Barney Callaghan’s Pub  

For the first time ever, Barney Callaghan’s Pub, 10618 S. Western, will host Féile (pronounced FAY-la; Irish for ‘Fest’), a two-day Irish cultural event on Sat., Mar. 9 and Sun., Mar. 10.  

Pub owners Bernard and Mary Callaghan are spearheading the event, along with Quin Cunningham, a local musician. “There’s so much to offer when it comes to Irish entertainment and culture. We will have workshops, music, Irish dancers, and an Irish language class,” said Mary Callaghan. “We hope this is a destination event that brings people from outside of Beverly to see how cool our neighborhood is and what we have to offer. There are great things happening here, and we hope the Féile contributes to that. 

Attendees have a lot of activities to choose from, and non-drinkers will find plenty to do (although there are no kid-friendly activities . . . it is a bar, after all). The parking lot adjacent to the pub will be tented, allowing patrons to spread out and enjoy the music and entertainment. Over the course of the two-day fest, listen to Kieran Byrne, CPD Pipes and Drums, Far Too Close, Dirty Wellies, Shane Farrell, Eimaer Arkins, Kevin Buckley, Larkin & Moran Bros., Chicago Reel, Larry Nugent, and Spitzer Space Telescope.  

Enjoy Irish dancing performances by Dennehy School of Irish Dance and Cross Keys School of Irish Dance. Learn something new with workshops teaching the fiddle, banjo, Celtic guitar or Celtic calligraphy. The full-immersion Irish language class, known as a Gaeltacht, is normally hosted by Barney Callaghan’s every Thurs. night, but will have a pop-up workshop at the Féile. 

Don’t forget to feast! Calabria’s food truck will be parked outside, offering Irish dishes like shepherd’s pie, corned beef sandwiches and soda bread. 

Admission is $20 on Sat. and $10 on Sun., or buy a two-day pass for $25; workshops are an additional $10 for each session 


Americanos Brings a Fresh Twist to Neighborhood Diners 

By Talie Leeb 

Whether it’s a date for Taco Tuesday or an any-day-of the week craving for empanadas, Beverly/Morgan Park residents can visit Americanos, 11060 S. Western Ave., for the flavors of authentic traditional Mexican American cuisine. 

Americanos offers a delicious connection to a rich history of Mexican American culture and cuisine, using “ingredients and flavors that are very authentic, traditional Mexican American, but with a new, modern twist” said owner, A.J. Castillo 

Castillo, a lifetime South Side resident and St. Rita alum, returned to the neighborhood to open the restaurant last year, bringing what he describes as “a new flair” to the culinary scene.  

When diners come to Americanos they can begin their meal with an order of chips and guacamole  standard Mexican restaurant fare. From there the menu choices expand to include entrées that feature selections such as grilled shrimp served with rice and tequila-guajillo salsa to the popular a la carte taco bar that enables people to selection from tacos filled with steak, chicken and pork as well as fried sweet potato and chorizo, each topped with a unique salsa crafted to celebrate and elevate the tried and true classic dish. 

Americanos also offers a full bar, stocked with over 30 varieties of tequila as well as other spirits, wine and beer. They also serve a variety of margaritas including their signature Jalapeno Strawberry Margarita, and wide selection of other mixed drinks.  

Americanos recently became a BAPA Business Member and is offering a BAPA Card discount to other members.  

In just a year Castillo has worked to create a destination dining experience for the neighborhood and he said he can’t wait to get more involved. 

“It makes it fun when you get people who become regulars, and with joining BAPA we’re looking forward to being a part of the community.”  

The crew at Americanos is looking forward to its first Southside Irish Parade on Mar. 17 and will be open for hungry and thirsty parade goers.  

Head on over to Americanos Tues.-Thurs., 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sun., 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.  The full bar features specialty house cocktails and margaritas. For BAPA members, show your BAPA card and get a discount on tacos with purchase of a margarita pitcher (offer not valid on Tuesdays). 773-941-6787, 


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 or call 773-233-3100 for information and applications.


BAPA Board Profile: Maureen Gainer Reilly

By Kristin Boza

Meet Maureen Gainer Reilly, BAPA board president. Gainer Reilly has served on the board for three years, the past two as president. Her role at BAPA is to work to promote the Beverly/Morgan Park community to residents throughout the city, while also connecting neighbors and acting as an advisor to BAPA staff.

Gainer Reilly spent the early part of her career in a variety of non-profit and social service organizations. In 2003, she started her own consulting firm, GO Consulting, which provides services in Project Management and Process Improvement. “My work enables me to assist BAPA and its small but mighty staff as they work to constantly improve the organization,” she said.

A native Beverly/Morgan Park resident and part of a family that routinely supported BAPA, she, like many, moved away from the area for a while. However, again like many in the neighborhood, she knew she would make her way back once she started her family. “I am part of BAPA because my hope is that my children will be drawn back to live a couple blocks from us after they have traveled the world. I share my time with BAPA because I also hope that people from all over the city will be drawn here, bringing their ideas, energy, and fresh perspective,” Gainer Reilly said. “People are drawn here because we have incredible talent in this neighborhood in so many groups, alliances, and businesses that are collaborating to bring art, culture, beauty, and amenities to our streets.”

The excitement and commitment to the cause of creating a vibrant and whole community is what drives Gainer Reilly. “BAPA events that connect neighbors and build community feed the programs that support our schools, preserve our historic homes, beautify our streets, and keep our neighborhood vibrant,” she said. “The Richard Driehaus Charitable Trust is known to support only organizations that have a track record of success, strong leadership, and efficient management. The response to our recent Dreihaus campaign was overwhelming! People believe in the mission and the show of financial support is humbling and motivating to our staff and Board of Directors.”

Connect with BAPA in 2019; come to an event, read about neighbors in The Villager, volunteer, call the office for a quality trade referral, plant a tree with us, and help us make you Love Where You Live.


Thank You Neighbors

Once again, our generous Beverly/Morgan Park neighbors have come through to support BAPA and our community. Donations reached, then exceeded, the $25,000 challenge for a matching grant from the Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust.

“The tremendous response from our community is so gratifying,” said BAPA Executive Director Susan Flood. “Our mail box and inbox were filled with not just donations, but messages wishing BAPA success and thanking us for our work.”

Originally offered as a Giving Tuesday challenge, the grant deadline was extended to Dec. 31. “So many neighbors stepped up to the challenge right away in November, but the early deadline caught us a little short,” Flood explained. “The extension brought about a great response! The Driehaus Trust will double the value of contributions from our community and greatly enhance BAPA’s 2019 programs.”

This generous matching grant from the Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust enables BAPA to expand its grassroots work in the community. In 2019, BAPA will be taking a special focus on protecting and promoting our historic neighborhood, beautifying important community spaces, attracting new, exciting business investments, strengthening local schools, creating initiatives to welcome new homeowners to the community, refreshing our mission-based special events to become even better at serving our community, but also in attracting new visitors to experience our Village in the City, and developing strategies to help our neighbors age safely and happily in the homes they love.

BAPA relies on financial support from neighbors who understand our mission to keep Beverly/Morgan Park strong and beautiful. When our neighbors support BAPA with such generosity, it affirms the important role BAPA plays in our community.

BAPA leaders and staff look forward to 2019 and exciting new opportunities to serve our neighbors.

Everyone who supported BAPA with membership donations in 2018 will be recognized in the February issue of The Villager. All donations are greatly appreciated!


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