There was a Lemon Head martini fountain that was the talk of the evening, and fine dining provided by the town’s finest eating establishments, not to mention the open bar, compliments of Famous Liquors. But the evening wasn’t all fun and games, as serious businesses needed attending to at this year’s annual meeting of Forest Park’s Main Street organization.

“We welcomed several new businesses to town and as we end this fiscal year, we are pleased to see coming to fruition the Madison Commons project,” said Main Street President Robert Senechalle, Jr., as he reviewed the year’s successes on May 4, at McAdam Landscaping.

“Main Street met with the Oak Park YMCA and took a positive stance supporting the development of a new YMCA,” he said. “We concluded the new YMCA would have significant positive implications on the quality of life for residents.”

Senechalle added that, in the last year, Main Street has worked hard to support other Forest Park organizations, such as M2 and the Chamber of Commerce and reviewed the sales tax referendum.

“The board voted unanimously to support the referendum; the referendum did pass and we received assurance from the village board that the moneys not spent would be earmarked for parking,” Senechalle said.

As for the future, he added, Main Street will “be working actively on the BID and will push for increased parking. It is a top priority and we are prepared to do our part,” he said.

“We will look for ways to grow our membership, including the residential members, and continue to strive to be a good partner, while remaining true to our mission as an independent voice,” Senechalle said.

In addition, Senechalle, along with the organization’s treasurer, Joe Locke, unveiled a new program which will begin next year in Forest Park.

The program is run through the Northern Illinois University School of Business and will bring talented students, both graduates and undergraduates, into Forest Park, where they will work towards branding and marketing the community as a great place to shop and dine.

“Joe took the lead and involved the merchant’s association, the Chamber and the village,” Senechalle said.

Locke also took the lead in revamping the organization’s web site and in producing the evening’s silent auction. He also worked as a liaison between Main Street and the Madison merchants group and has served on the village’s zoning board.

For his work and his commitment to Main Street, Locke received an outstanding service award that evening.

Also presented that evening, were the organization’s Pride Awards, given to residents and businesses who, through their investments, have demonstrated pride in the community and a commitment to improving Forest Park.

“It is a great idea for any town,” said Village Administrator Michael Sturino, who presented the awards. “It gets the competition going and builds some teamwork.”

Main Street Salutes Awards:
• Ferrara Pan Candy Company
Outstanding Service Award:
• Joseph J. Locke
PRIDE Awards:
Residential Awards:
• 1103 Lathrop Ave., Forest Park Development LLC
• 1101 Lathrop Ave., Carol Brown and Amanda Walker
• 1032 Elgin Ave., Tanya and James Melich
• 7432 Warren St., Cherryfield Construction
• 7659 Wilcox St., Dennis and Kris Carey
• 509 Thomas Ave., Glen and Bridget Garlish
• 7637 Wilcox St., Brad and Kim Zandstra
Commercial Awards:
• Caffe DeLuca, 7427 Madison St.
• Focus Development/Taxman Corp., Madison Commons
• 7802  Building Corp./Todd and Holland Tea Merchants, 7311 Madison St.
• Brown Cow Ice Cream Parlor, 7314 Madison St.
• MacDaddy on Madison, 7508 Madison St.
• Painted Board Studio, 7418 Madison St.
• Giving Tree Learning Center, 7510 Randolph St.
Special Awards:
• Park District of Forest Park, for improvements made in the last year
• Madison Merchants Association (M2), Pride and Spirit Award
Also recognized…
The members of the sustaining membership program
Millenium Donors: $10,000
• Ferrara Pan Candy Company
• Forest Park National Bank and Trust Co.
Platinum Donors: $3,000
• Forest Park Review
Gold Donors: $1,000
• Paulson’s Paint
• Reich & Becker
• Orthosport
• Caffé DeLuca
• Farmington Foods
Silver Donors: $500
• Doc Ryan’s
• David King & Assoc.
• Joseph J. Locke & Co. Ltd.
• Law Offices of Robert Senechalle
• Spotless Car Wash
• Alcheri Properties, Inc.
Bronze Donors: $300
• Famous Liquors
• Pilgrim Realty
• Gloor Realty