Village Viewpoint – January 2023 

By Mary Jo Viero 
BAPA Executive Director 

Happy New Year!  I hope you all enjoyed your holidays and that, like me, you are excited for a new year to begin. This year marks the 4th year in my role as BAPA Executive Director.  Four years. I feel like a senior in high school!  

When I started in this position, I definitely felt like a freshman.  I was so nervous and wasn’t sure what to expect. Then right out of the gate, Covid rocked our world.  None of us knew how it was going to play out, but at BAPA, we kept going, working hard every day to get through pandemic as an organization while helping our community.  Freshman year is always the toughest.  

Each year at BAPA has been like my school experience. I have had lots of new challenges and many learning opportunities. I have made mistakes and I have made new friends. And I have had a lot of fun along the way.  After surviving three years of ups and downs, all of us at BAPA are all feeling stronger and more confident. Now it’s 2023 — year number four — and I am looking forward to what’s ahead, just like I was during senior year.  

One thing I am very excited about is BAPA’s Big Night!  We have lots of fun planned for January 21.  I hope you will be able to join me as we toast to BAPA’s 75 years of serving Beverly/Morgan Park.  

The BAPA staff is working on new events and programs, and providing many ways for our neighbors to get involved in the community.  If you are new to the neighborhood and maybe feeling like a freshman right now, I urge you to reach out to me at BAPA. We want to welcome you and help you get acclimated so you can enjoy all the wonderful things our community has to offer. In no time you’ll be feeling like a senior!  

Cheers to you and your family for a happy and healthy new year.  

Mary Jo  


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