Pride. According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, it is a sense of one’s own value; a pleasure or satisfaction taken in an achievement, possession or association.

According to the Chamber of Commerce, the Village of Forest Park and Forest Park Main Street Redevelopment Association, pride is a sense of satisfaction derived from Forest Park; an emotion demonstrated through investing in each person’s properties and in the community as a whole.

Today, these organizations are looking for a few good individuals, who best demonstrate a sense of pride in Forest Park, to receive the 11th annual PRIDE Awards.

“Initially Main Street came up with the idea and invited the Chamber and village to participate,” said Laurie Kokenes, Chamber executive director. “The purpose is to acknowledge and recognize individuals who have shown pride in Forest Park and in their properties by making a significant investment.”

The award is a plaque that can be displayed on properties.

“Over the years they really mean something to (the winners),” Kokenes said. “You could almost say some people work towards it. They want one.”

So far the groups have given out approximately 45 residential awards and 59 business awards, as well as two special awards to the park district and to the schools.

Past recipients include Two Fish Art Glass, Forest Park Commissioner Theresa Steinbach, Police Officers Lucius and Cheryl Baker and McAdam Landscaping.

Each year, three to seven awards are given in each category.

The awards are given based on the economic impact of the property to the surrounding area, the amount of the individual’s investment, the aesthetic impact of the investment, the innovation and tax effect of the changes, among others.

Once all nominees are in, the awards committee take score sheets and begin the painstaking”yet fun”process of walking through town, looking at the properties and giving each nominee a score.

“We meet together, tally those scores and take top scores,” Kokenes said. “We don’t limit the number of awards but we do take top scores and have some discussion and choose winners.”

This year’s committee comprises Art Jones and Tony Aiello, from Main Street; Judy Trage and Laurie Kokenes, from the Chamber; and two representatives from the village.

Residents can pick up nomination forms at Forest Park Main Street, 7344 W. Madison St., the Chamber Office, 7344 W. Madison St., or village hall, 517 DesPlaines Ave.

Submissions will be accepted by mail, drop-off, or fax at any of those three organizations.

Pick up or submit nominations for the 11th Annual PRIDE Awards at the following locations:

Art Jones
Forest Park Main Street
7344 W. Madison St.
Forest Park, IL 60130
Tel: (708) 771-4777
Fax: (708) 771-8131

Laurie Kokenes
Forest Park Chamber of Commerce
7344 W. Madison St.
Forest Park, IL 60130
Tel: (708) 366-2543
Fax: (708) 366-3373

Mike Sturino
Village of Forest Park
517 DesPlaines Ave.
Forest Park, IL 60130
Tel: (708) 366-2323
Fax: (708) 366-6505