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Golfers Tee Up for South Side Irish Parade  

 

The South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade will hold its annual golf outing Mon., Sept. 21, with added public safety measures in place. The “Halfway to Parade Day” golf outing will be held at Ridge Country Club and proceeds support the 2021 South Side Irish Parade set for Sun., Mar. 14. 

“This year’s golf outing will be smaller than years past as we value the safety of our communities above all else,” said Don Larisey, South Side Irish Parade Committee member. “We will abide by all State of Illinois Phase 4 restrictions while continuing to monitor the situation and make changes as necessary. The golf outing is crucial in helping us raise funds for the South Side Irish Parade, a longstanding tradition we hope will return to Western Avenue in March of 2021.” 

To comply with social distancing guidelines, this year’s “Halfway to Parade Day” celebration will offer a limited number of tee times at either 8 a.m. or 1 p.m. Golfers will be required to wear masks during check-in and whenever social distancing is not possible. Masks and hand sanitizer will be available to all golfers, and the post-golf lunch will follow for registered golfers. Golf outing tickets include golf, beverages, and lunch for $200 per person.  

Due to the limited availability of this year’s golf outing and the absence of a post-event celebration, sponsorship is especially vital to raising the necessary funds to operate the 2021 South Side Irish Parade.  

“We greatly appreciate the neighborhood and business support of the Parade and look forward to being able to celebrate our Irish heritage, faith and families,” shares Tim McSweeney, co-chair of the South Side Irish Parade.  

For purchase tickets and information, visit southsideirishparade.org and the parade’s Facebook page. For information on “Halfway to Parade Day” sponsorship opportunities, contact Don Larisey, 773-960-7312.  

Local Catholic Schools to Lead South Side Irish Parade  

“Thankful for Catholic Elementary School Teachers,” representing 16 area schools, is Grand Marshal of the South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Leading the parade in the Grand Marshal unit on Sun., Mar. 15 will be principals, teachers and staff from Beverly/Morgan Park parishes, Christ the King School, St. Barnabas School, St. Cajetan School, St. John Fisher School and St. Walter. Other area schools marching as Grand Marshal are Most Holy Redeemer, Queen of Martyrs, St. Bede the Venerable, St. Benedict, St. Catherine of Alexandria, St. Christina, St. Ethelreda, St. Gerald, St. Germaine, St. Linus and St. Margaret of Scotland.  

The South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee, co-chaired this year by Jim Smith and Tim McSweeney, selected the Grand Marshal because they are thankful for all the hardworking individuals who dedicate their lives to educating Chicago’s Catholic school children.  

“The South Side Irish Parade was founded on the themes of faith, family, community and Irish heritage and local Catholic elementary school teachers go that extra mile every day evoking the themes and inspiring our students,” Jim Smith said. 

Serving as the 2020 Parade Honoree is the Tom Hopkins Foundation. The foundation was created by the children of the late Tom Hopkins, or “Papa Hops,” to assist families affected by cancer and to support youth athletics. The foundation keeps Hopkins’ spirit alive by hosting the Papa Hops softball tournament at Kennedy Park every summer. Over the past five years, the foundation has raised thousands of dollars to support local families affected by cancer as well as to support athletic departments and youth athletics at ten Catholic elementary schools 

The South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade steps off from 103rd and Western Avenue at noon on Sun., Mar. 15, marching south to 115th Street.  Preceding the Parade at 11:30 a.m. is the Emerald Isle Mile race sponsored by Running Excels. Run details and sign-up are available at runningexcels.com.  

The parade will be a celebration of Irish heritage, featuring bands, floats, dancers, 2020 South Side Irish Parade Queen Bailey O’Connell, families, dignitaries, vehicles and fire trucks. Also expected to appear are a few leprechauns, St. Patricks and Irish wolfhounds.  

The event is family friendly, and has a strictly enforced zero tolerance for alcohol policy along the parade route.  Pubs and restaurants along Western will be open for business and invite parade-goers to stop in and celebrate responsibly.  

Steeped in family tradition and neighborhood pride, the South Side Irish Parade was started in 1979 by best friends, Beverly/Morgan Park residents George Hendry and Pat CoakleySitting around Hendry’s kitchen table, the friends fondly remembered their experiences at the original South Side Irish Parade on 79th Street. That parade moved downtown in 1960.  

Hendry and Coakley wanted to create something for their children. With the help of their wives, they gathered 17 children from nearby blocks and on a rainy St. Patrick’s Day, Sat., Mar. 17, set them to march – kids only  around the 10900 blocks of Washtenaw and Talman in the first South Side Irish St. Pat’s Parade. One boy was dressed as St. Patrick, one girl was named parade queen, boy scouts carried the American flag and other pushed the “float” – a baby buggy decorated with shamrocks and the 26 county flags of Ireland.  

The theme of the parade was “Bring Back St. Pat,” and neighbors stood on their porches, waving at the marchers.  

The following year the gathering moved to the side streets around Kennedy Park, with 300 participants – including a bag piper! — marching, pulling wagons, riding bikes and walking dogs.  

On Mar. 15, 1981, the parade marched down Western Avenue for the first time. The rest is local history, and you can read more on the parade website, southsideirishparade.com.  

Annual Events Kick Off South Side Irish Parade 

Pre-Parade Fundraiser 

The South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade will hold a pre-parade fundraiser on Sat., Feb. 22, 6 to 11 p.m., 115 Bourbon Street, 3359 W. 115th St.  The event will feature raffle prizes, a silent auction, selection of the South Side Irish Parade Queen, live Irish music and more.  

Tickets are $40 at the door and include dinner buffet, draft beer and wine. The Larken and Moran Brothers and the Avondale Ramblers will provide live music in the 115 Bourbon Street Performance Hall. The fundraiser will also feature a quieter setting with Irish traditional music featuring Pat Finnegan and Friends. 

“We are excited to kick off the St. Patrick’s Day festivities with the pre-parade fundraiser, an event that is crucial in raising money to keep our tradition alive and marching down Western Avenue,” said Jim Smith, co-chair of the South Side Irish Parade Committee. “If you’re unable to make it out to the fundraiser, we encourage families and businesses to consider purchasing a street pole banner as another way to support the parade.” 

Parade Film Festival 

The 5th annual South Side Irish Parade  Irish Film Festival is set for Sat., Mar. 7, just one week before the largest neighborhood-based St. Patrick’s Day Parade outside of Ireland. The Film Festival takes place at the Beverly Arts Center (BAC), 2407 W 111th St., and highlights Irish culture and heritage through two full-length feature films, live music, a pre-feature reception and a post-film party.  

At 3 p.m., the family-friendly event will kick off with a children’s matinee of “The Secret of Kells.” The Oscar-nominated animated film is an enchanting and magical quest involving a young boy’s creative fervor, Celtic spirituality and bravery. 

Before the feature film, a reception including traditional Irish music will take place at 6 p.m. Carol Reed’s 1947 British and Irish film noir “Odd Man Out” will be screened at 7 p.m.. Set in Northern Ireland’s Belfast during a time of political unrest, the film follows an Irish nationalist leader on the run from police after a failed robbery.   

Post film, attendees will enjoy a live musical performance by local band, A Week Back (Chuck and John) along with a full-service bar and dancing.  Info and tickets: 773-445-3838 or www.beverlyartcenter.org.  

South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade 

The 2020 South Side Irish Parade will be held Sun., Mar. 15, stepping off at noon.  

The parade is operated by the South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Heritage Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.  More than 100 volunteers work year-round to ensure this family-friendly celebration continues for future generations. 

The parade is supported by major sponsors including the official Irish Whiskey of the South Side Irish Parade, Paddy’s Irish Whiskey, Lakeshore Beverage, The Beverly Review, Raising Cane’s, IUOE Local 399, IUOE Local 150, Chicago White Sox, Flood Brothers, ComEd, County Fair Foods and South Side Irish Imports. 

For more information on the parade and the fundraiser visit southsideirishparade.org. To purchase a customized parade route street pole banner contact Jim McKeever, jg.mckeever@att.net. 

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 www.beverlyartscenter.com 

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 www.beverlyartcenter.org 

 

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 

 

Raise a Pint on the Rooftop

Go above the crowd for eats, beats, brews and an exclusive birds-eye view of the South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade at O’Brews and Views, BAPA’s rooftop parade viewing  party, Sun., Mar. 17, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Open Outcry Brewing Co., 10934 S. Western.

Join us for live Irish music by Bohola, food, 2 complimentary drinks plus drink specials, and the best views along the parade route. 21 and over only. Tickets $75 for BAPA members or $85 for non-members and available starting Feb. 1 at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/south-side-irish-parade-rooftop-viewing-party-tickets-54925972061

COMPASS – Jeni Nelson Real Estate is our sponsor.

South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade

The 40th Annual South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade will step off at noon on Sun., Mar. 11, marching down Western Avenue from 103rd Street to 115th Street. The South Side Irish Parade has grown into the largest community-based St. Patrick’s Day Parade outside of Ireland.

This year’s parade will feature 100 entries including bagpipe and marching bands and Irish dance schools.

Special Olympics Chicago will serve as Grand Marshal. Special Olympics Chicago is one of the largest programs in the country offering training and competition for more than 7,500 athletes in 22 sports throughout the year. The organization provides opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendships with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

Amyloidosis Support Groups and the Martin McGarry family will be the 2018 Parade Honoree. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to the support, education and empowerment of Amyloidosis patients, caregivers and former caregivers. Beverly/Morgan Park resident Martin McGarry recently lost a lengthy battle with Amyloidosis. His spirit and dedication to his community will be honored during the parade.

The 2018 South Side Irish Parade Queen is Colleen Krahn of Mount Greenwood. She is an alumna of Queen of Martyrs School, Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School and St. Ambrose University, and currently works as a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines.

Krahn was one of nine candidates who took part in the selection process held during the South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Pre-Parade fundraising party in February. She will be prominently featured in the South Side Irish Parade and will also ride in the downtown Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Krahn will also receive sponsorship from the South Side Irish Parade Committee to compete in the Chicago Rose of Tralee Selection in April at Ridge Country Club.

The Emerald Isle Mile presented by Running Excels will take place prior to the parade. The run begins at 11:30 a.m. at 104th and Western Avenue and runs the parade route ending at 112th Street. For information and registration, visit the store at 10328 S. Western or the website at www.runningexcels.com.

The parade is operated by the South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Heritage Foundation, a nonprofit organization, where more than 100 volunteers work year round to ensure this family-friendly celebration continues for future generations. The South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee is dedicated to ensuring a safe, family-friendly celebration of Irish heritage and culture. The volunteer committee works with the City of Chicago, local community organizations, schools and neighbors to present a family-friendly annual march down Western Avenue.

Events that lead up to the parade include the South Side Irish Parade Film Fest Sat., Mar. 3 at the Beverly Art Center, 2407 W. 111th St.  The fest will feature an afternoon matinee, an evening feature film and film shorts, plus receptions. Visit www.beverlyartcenter.org for tickets.

The parade’s organizing committee will honor their Grand Marshall by making a march of their own, into frigid Lake Michigan for the Special Olympics Chicago’s annual Polar Plunge on Sun., Mar. 4 at North Avenue Beach. To join the “South Side Irish Pats On Parade” team.

For more information on the parade or parade events, visit southsideirishparade.org.

Know Your Neighbors: McGarry Family

By Kristin Boza

When Marty McGarry passed away after a long fight with Familial Amyloidosis in January, the whole community felt the loss. Proud Irishman and supporter of the South Side Irish Parade, McGarry and his family were named as the special honoree of this year’s parade. The family includes his wife Kathleen, and their children Theresa (Jim) Lakawitch, Morgan (Meghan) McGarry, Molly (Michael) McAlinden and Nora (Jim) Winters.

“Being this year’s honoree is incredibly humbling. My dad felt truly honored to be able to spread awareness of his disease through this parade, which he loved attending each year,” Theresa Lakawitch said. “It means that the hard work my parents fought for the last six years hasn’t gone unnoticed. We will continue to follow that path and work to find answers to end this disease.”

Marty McGarry was intent on spreading awareness of his disease that not only affected him, but many members of the extended family throughout the U.S., Ireland and England. “It makes us proud to know how much awareness he has single-handedly brought to Amyloidosis, because of the incredible person he was. He had touched so many lives and the generosity of those who love him will help to benefit the future of this disease, and hopefully end it altogether,” Theresa said. “We have to advocate for ourselves and for those who aren’t able to themselves.”

The clan plans to walk or ride a trolley down Western Avenue, and will be joined by numerous family members, even a cousin from London who is travelling to Chicago for the event. After the parade, they’ll head back to the McGarry house and spend the rest of the day in the Irish bar in their basement, per years of tradition.

The McGarry children carry on their father’s legacy of helping others through their advocacy and their chosen professions. Theresa is a CPS bilingual teacher; Morgan is a Chicago firefighter and took over for his dad at McGarry’s Boxing Club; Molly is a retired hairstylist and part owner of Beverly Barre; and Nora is a hair colorist. Mom Kathleen is a retired early childhood educator with CPS.

Fond memories of Marty are sure to be shared in abundance on Parade Day. Theresa says that they all treasure his stories and memories of Ireland, and his dedication to the kids through coaching their soccer teams and travelling with him back to Ireland to visit family.

“He loved to be out and about in the neighborhood and would love running into people. He had a charming personality and a great sense of humor, he would light up a room with his smile or a joke,” Theresa said. “Nora always says she was fascinated by how he ‘knew a little about a lot’; he was very humble and wise.”

Special Olympics Chicago to Lead 2018 South Side Irish Parade

Special Olympics Chicago to Lead 2018 South Side Irish Parade Special Olympics Chicago will celebrate its 50th year of offering athletic training and competition to children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

Amyloidosis Support Groups and the Martin McGarry Family are the 2018 Parade Honoree. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to the support, education and empowerment of Amyloidosis patients, caregivers and former caregivers.

”It’s been a long standing tradition for the South Side Irish Parade to honor nonprofit organizations that work hard to help others in our neighborhood and this year we are especially proud to honor Amyloidosis Support Groups, the McGarry Family and Special Olympics Chicago,” said Ed Haggerty, co-chair of the South Side Irish Parade Committee. “In fact, the first Special Olympics Games were held right here in Chicago in 1968 at Soldier Field and we are excited to toast their 50 years of serving athletes in our community.”

Special Olympics Chicago is one of the largest programs in the country offering training and competition for more than 7,500 athletes in 22 sports throughout the year. The organization provides opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendships with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community. Special Olympic programming is available in over 122 Chicago Public Schools throughout the city and in 23 Chicago Park District locations.

“We are honored to be selected as the Grand Marshal of the South Side Irish Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and look forward to sharing the experience with many of our local athletes, their families and our supporters from the Southside and throughout Chicagoland,” said Kevin Magnuson, president of Special Children’s Charities and Special Olympics Chicago.

Special Olympics Chicago’s largest fundraiser, the annual Polar Plunge, will return to North Avenue Beach on Mar. 4. To show their support, the South Side Irish Parade will jump in with a special Parade Polar Plunge team.

Parade Honoree, Amyloidosis Support Groups, provides information and resources on research and treatment of Amyloidosis to individuals and families suffering from the disease. Amyloidosis is a rare disease that affects the heart, kidneys, nervous system, gastrointestinal tract and other organs. Beverly/Morgan Park resident and former Golden Gloves Boxing title winner Martin McGarry is battling Amyloidosis and has lost several close family members to the disease. He resorted to seeking medical treatment as far away as Germany before more local medical centers and doctors became familiar with the disease. McGarry hopes to help more patients and families find medical resources with access to treatment plans early on in the disease cycle to support stronger outcomes. Learn more about Amyloidosis support groups at amyloidosissupport.org or 866-404-7539.

The South Side Irish Parade will kick off the festivities with a pre-parade fundraiser Sat., Feb. 3, 115 Bourbon Street, 3359 W. 115th St. The event features raffle prizes, a silent auction, the South Side Irish Parade Queen Selection, live Irish music and much more.

The parade is operated by the South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Heritage Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. More than 100 volunteers work year-round to ensure this family-friendly celebration continues for future generations. Visit southsideirishparade.org for more information.

 

 

Sunshine, Spectators and Smiles: Another Memorable South Side Irish Parade

The South Side Irish Parade made its annual march down Western Avenue on March 12. Families, friends and neighbors lined the route to take part in the largest neighborhood-based St. Patrick’s Day Parade outside of Ireland.

This year’s parade featured over 100 entries including pipe bands, marching bands, Irish dancers, festive floats and 2017 South Side Irish Parade Queen Shannon Zofkie. Zofkie moves on as the South Side Irish Rose in the Chicago Rose of Tralee Selection set for April 8 at Ridge Country Club.

“We were delighted with the great day seeing so many families along the parade route enjoying this year’s festive parade entries,” said Jeannie Kovak, co-chairman of the South Side Irish Parade Committee. “We were honored to work with the Les Turner ALS Foundation and Christmas Without Cancer, both organizations are inspiring examples of helping others in the community and beyond.”

The parade was led by Grand Marshal, Les Turner ALS Foundation, Chicago’s leader in research, patient care and education about Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) for 40 years. Marching with the Grand Marshal were Meg Rooney and her family who have worked closely with Les Turner ALS Foundation to increase awareness about ALS and raise money to find a cure. Meg’s husband, John Rooney, succumbed to ALS in June 2016.

Christmas Without Cancer, a non profit organization that identifies Chicagoland families in need and provides gifts and basic necessities to families stricken with cancer, was the Parade’s Special Honoree.

The day began with over 125 runners who participated in the Emerald Isle Mile hosted by Running Excels. The men’s race was won by Joe Lerner with a time of 4:47:2. Rumbi Chidavaenzi was the first female finisher with a time of 6:09:9.

The parade is run by the South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Heritage Foundation, a non-profit organization. More than 60 volunteers work year round to ensure the family-friendly celebration continues for future generations.

The South Side Irish Parade is supported by sponsors including Lakeshore Beverage, CJ Wilson Mazda, AARP, The Beverly Review, South Side Irish Imports, Team Hochberg at PERL Mortgage, IUOE Local 150, AAA Evergreen Park Car Care, Raising Cane’s, County Fair Foods and IUOE Local 399.

No arrests or incidents were reported along the parade route.

“Like” the South Side Irish Parade on Facebook and view photos from the 2017 South Side Irish Parade.

 

South Side Irish Parade Celebrates Irish Heritage

The South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be held Sun., Mar. 12 stepping off from 103rd and Western at noon and marching south to 115th Street. According to organizers, the parade is the largest neighborhood-based St. Patrick’s Day Parade outside of Ireland.

The Les Turner ALS Foundation will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 2017 edition of the parade. The nonprofit organization has been Chicago’s leader in research, patient care and education about Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) for 40 years.

Christmas Without Cancer has been named this year’s Honoree. The nonprofit organization provides gifts and basic necessities to Chicagoland families in need that have been stricken with cancer.

“We are proud to honor the Les Turner ALS Foundation as the Grand Marshal of our parade,” said Jeannie Kovak, South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade co-chair. “The organization brings hope and help to individuals and their families suffering from ALS by providing services such as in-home consultations and equipment loans and supporting the Les Turner Research and Patient Center at Northwestern Medicine. The Foundation serves the vast majority of people with ALS across Chicagoland including many Beverly area families.”

ALS is a rapidly progressive disease that causes muscle weakness, difficulty speaking and swallowing and, generally, complete paralysis. The Les Turner ALS Foundation, one of the nation’s largest, independent ALS organizations, is dedicated to the advance of scientific research, treatment and prevention of ALS, providing people living with ALS clinical care and support services, and increasing ALS awareness and education.

Marching with the Grand Marshal will be Beverly/Morgan Park families affected by ALS, including Meg Rooney and her family who have worked closely with Les Turner ALS Foundation to increase awareness about ALS and raise money to find a cure. Rooney’s husband, John Rooney, succumbed to ALS in June 2016 and John’s mother and aunt also died of the disease.

“Our family is honored to march alongside the Grand Marshal,” Rooney said. “The Les Turner ALS Foundation became an invaluable member of our family as we faced the diagnosis and realities of the disease, always offering practical advice, necessary equipment and services supporting not only to John but our entire family.”

John Rooney was an award-winning reporter with the Chicago Daily Bulletin and the City News Bureau of Chicago.

Since 2003, Christmas Without Cancer has identified families battling cancer, providing them with gift cards for groceries, medications, gas and assistance with rent, mortgage or tuition payments to help bring cheer during the Christmas season. The organization was founded by a nurse at Advocate Christ Medical Center who wanted to do something positive for some of the many families she served. Over the years Christmas Without Cancer has expanded their impact and now offers year-round support to families facing cancer.

The South Side Irish Parade features the South Side Irish Parade Queen and court, bands, dancers, floats, families, leprechauns and more, celebrating faith and families.

Just before the parade, the Emerald Isle Mile one-mile run on the parade route will begin at 11:30 a.m. at 104th and Western Avenue and runs the parade route ending at 112th and Western Avenue. For more information, contact Running Excels, 773-629-8587 or http://www.runningexcels.com/.

South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade merchandise including pint glasses, stemless wine glasses and toasting glasses is available for purchase. Families or businesses looking for a unique way to celebrate their Irish heritage may purchase customized street pole banners that line the parade route and into the neighborhood. Visit southsideirishparade.org for more information Parade apparel is available at South Side Irish Imports, 3446 W. 111th St.

The parade is operated by the South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Heritage Foundation, a non-profit organization. More than 60 volunteers work to ensure this family-friendly celebration continues for future generations.

The event is supported by sponsors including Lakeshore Beverage, CJ Wilson Mazda, AARP, The Beverly Review, South Side Irish Imports, Team Hochberg at PERL Mortgage, IUOE Local 150, AAA Evergreen Park Car Care, Raising Cane’s, County Fair Foods and IUOE Local 399.