Chamber teed off
Chamber members and friends enjoyed a day on the golf course at the Chamber’s 20th annual Wm. R. McKenzie Memorial Golf Outing held June 30 at Carriage Greens in Darien, Ill. Some lucky folks won one (or more!) great raffle prizes…and some won prizes for great strokes on the course. We would like to thank the following hole sponsors for their support: Exclusive hole sponsors: Forest Park National Bank & Trust, Village of Forest Park, Sunrise Electric, Reich & Becker, RMI President Roger Wood and Jim O’Rourke, Burke Beverage, Mohr Oil Company and Spotless Autowash. Hole sponsors: Trage Bros. Appliances & Electronics, Arborwood & Briarwood at Altenheim, Scariano Himes & Petrarca, Forest Park Stucco, Carriage Flower Shop, Hefner Agency, Don Williams Atty., Forest Park Firefighters Local 2753, Thiesse Plumbing, BFI and Storino Romello & Durkin. Thanks also to Reich & Becker for the ditty bags and the West Cook YMCA for the ball markers and tees. A big thank you to all our raffle prize donors and to all those who attended. We appreciate your support.

Forest Park Chamber of Commerce
Forest Park

The fight for rights continues even as Iraq rages
I feel compelled to comment on Tom Holmes’ narrative in the July 6, edition of the Forest Park Review titled, “The gay parade and the president’s speech.”

What started as a promising essay on one family’s experiences concerning the lesbian/gay community and the recently held Pride Parade turned into a convoluted juxtaposition of the war in Iraq and the struggle for the full rights of lesbian and gay people. The comparison of “apples and oranges” could not be more clear.

I certainly must take exception to the comment: “Gays and lesbians have a harder row to hoe in our society than straight people, but they’re not being blown up by suicide bombers.” Huh? I assume “Eric” is well aware there are scores of young gay and lesbian soldiers serving with distinction in Iraq. Unfortunately, they are also among those dying. Of course, if they disclosed their sexual orientation, these brave young American men and women would be unceremoniously kicked out of the armed forces. And yes, “Eric,” they are indeed being blown up alongside of their straight comrades.

They are indeed being killed along with our British allies. As you may not be aware, Britain not only permits but encourages its gay and lesbian citizens to join their armed forces and are serving as equals.

However, to equate the war in Iraq with our fight for social justice is not only nonsensical but dangerous. During World War II perhaps African Americans in the southern states should have dared not fight for their basic civil rights because America was at war. After all, our young troops were being attacked by the Axis powers in Europe and Asia. Of course, African-Americans were not allowed to sit side by side with white people on buses and in restaurants. Of course, marriage between the races was also unlawful. Following “Eric’s” conclusions, the lesbian and gay community should not continue our struggle for a full place at the American table. We should not fight discriminatory laws and odious proposed national and state constitutional amendments, which if adopted, would prostitute our most sacred documents by codifying discrimination against a class of Americans. According to “Eric,” the lesbian and gay community should sit in the back of the bus while the war in Iraq continues”a war in which the press is not permitted to photograph the many body bags (some containing gay and lesbian heroes) coming home to the USA from Iraq.

No, “Eric,” your conclusions are offensive to lesbian and gay America. We will continue to fight for our rights”-even as a questionable war continues to rage.

Alan Amato
Public Policy chairperson
Oak Park Area Lesbian & Gay Association

July 4th happens here with help
On behalf of the Board of Park Commissioners of the Park District of Forest Park, I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank the following individuals and businesses that made financial contributions, donated prizes or gift certificates, or provided in-kind donations for our 38th Annual Fourth of July Celebration:

Allied Waste Services (Browning-Ferris Industries); Beret Ltd.; Joan & Mike Bigos; Curves; Ed’s Way Supermarket; Ento Pest Control; Everett & Associates; Everything But Time, Inc.; Ferrara Pan Candy Co.; Flavour Cooking School; Forest Park Foot Care; Forest Park National Bank; Forest Park Stucco; Gallery, Etc.; Gasse School of Music; Girlicious; Golden Steer Restaurant; H&R Auto, Inc.; Harlem Maenner & Damenchor; Harrison Street CafĂ©; Kangaroo Korner; Kay’s Bakery; Joanne & Cliff Leber; Lee’s Auto Service; Mohr Oil Co.; Molly Malone’s; Panda Studios Dancers; Rocket USA, Inc.; Savant Medical Supply; Sav-er Groceries; Spotless Car Wash; Starship Subs; Thiesse Plumbing; West Suburban Bar Association; Whole Foods; and Wilbert Burial Vaults.

We would also like to thank the following vendors who participated in the event: Brown Cow Ice Cream Parlor, Dekos, Forest Park Eagles Aerie 1344, Forest Park Youth Soccer Assn., Harlem Maenner & Damenchor, and the Kiwanis Club of Forest Park.

Our appreciation is extended, as always, to the Mayor and Village Council of Forest Park and the Police, Fire and Public Works departments for their continued support.

Last, but not least, we wish to thank all of the volunteers who truly make this community celebration possible. Without their help, an event of this size could never take place.

Dave Novak
Director, Park District of Forest Park