By Susan Flood, BAPA Executive Director
Like any good Chicagoan I am absolutely thrilled when summertime rolls around. I often find myself wondering if those who live in warm climates ever experience the day after day euphoria we feel when we open our front doors on summer days.
At BAPA, summer comes with some kind of event to produce almost weekly: Home Tour, Ridge Run and Memorial Day Parade, weekly Family Fun Nights and Tech Tuesdays. Coming up next is the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic.
While these events keep the BAPA staff on our toes for a few months, they are not possible without the time, energy and commitment of our neighborhood partners. The process is a lot like leading an orchestra for a performance piece with BAPA as the conductor. The music happens when everybody comes together with their talent and hard work, sitting alongside friends and neighbors, pursuing the common goal of offering sheer enjoyment to all who come out to join us.
Our local restaurants come out of their kitchens to offer their best in picnic style foods, beverages and treats. The Alderman’s staff and the police from our 22nd District help in too many ways to count. The Ridge Run wouldn’t be possible without Chicago Park District’s Ridge Park and the big-hearted hard-working Park District staff.
We showcase our neighbors who have talent (and there are so many) to entertain us with music, art or children’s activities. Our local businesses sponsor the events so we can afford to put them on, and join us onsite to meet residents and talk about what they have to offer.
This year our 16th Beverly Hills Cycling Classic and Bikes and Brews Festival will be possible thanks to St. Barnabas parish joining us as a new festival partner following the closing last year of Beacon Therapeutic School. The new St. Barnabas location makes the event more exciting than ever, with a challenging new race course and sprawling festival grounds in the St. Barnabas parking lot. I can practically hear the music now!
And of course, all of you are important partners.
Neighbors jump in to volunteer for tasks like selling tickets, pouring drinks, serving as course marshals or helping set up tables or tents.
Watching everyone coming together takes us all to a new height of connection. Like individual instruments, we can all make music as a solo, but when we’re all working together the result is an experience that transforms the day. As a team, we create memories, make new friends and accomplish something wonderful. And it’s all in our own backyard.
I can tell you, from where BAPA stands as conductor, our community orchestra is nothing short of extraordinary.