Lydia Grant, freshman at the University of Illinois, will be spending her summer vacation at a hospital in Jos, Nigeria. In a moment … the rest of the story.

Many years ago there was a young accountant who grew weary of his job adding and subtracting people’s money. He wanted to do something for mankind and had always had a desire to do missionary work. So one day he tossed his accountant degree out the window enrolled in medical school and did internships at several local hospitals including the world famous County Hospital. And then he took himself off to Nigeria. His wife gave birth to two boys while they were there. The couple petitioned humanitarian, wealthy friends for money and supplies with which to build and maintain a hospital in that poor, strife ridden country. Little by little the hospital grew. The young doctor, his wife and growing boys received crates of medical equipment (like x-ray machines, plumbing, electrical, etc.) which they had to put together themselves.

The boys grew up and learned to love that part of Nigeria”in fact their first language was Hausa. The hospital flourished, and included a leper colony, and other Nigerians were sent off on the road to health thanks to these dedicated people. One son, Roger, eventually moved to Forest Park with his wife Geri and four children.

Daniel is now pursuing a PhD in chemistry, Anna is living in Burbank with her husband. Philip is doing graduate work in geology at Colorado State, and young Lydia will be working in the very hospital her grandfather built so many years ago. She’ll be living in the same house her father and uncle lived in with her grandparents. And now you know the rest of the story.

The Kiwanis will be serving the annual dinner at the Community Center on April 29 from 5 until 8 p.m. Local Kiwanians and prominent Forest Parkers will act as servers. Again, Chef Gaetano of La Piazza has donated the food. General admission is $8, seniors and students $5. Such a deal!

Belated happy first anniversary to Nicole and Drew Carter on April 23. Last year they were married on the Kiwanis dinner day.

Remember the dinner at Elmcrest on June 2. Half of the raffle ticket proceeds will go to benefit the Chicago Area Abused Woman Coalition. For tickets or to make a donation call Karen Lembke at (773) 593-0927. Everyone is invited to attend. Cost for the dinner, which is also a bowling banquet for some local bowling teams, is $55.

The Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest will perform the Schumann Spring Symphony and Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto on Sunday, April 30 at 4 p.m. The piano soloist is Mikhail Petukov. This will be an afternoon of very exciting music. If you saw the movie “Shine” that’s the piano music that supposedly sent the pianist off to a mental breakdown. I didn’t see the movie, but if you saw all the notes on the page you could understand how it could have happened.

Remember the AARP 55 Alive program at the Community Center on May 4 and 5. Registration required. Call 771-7737. This program is for drivers age 50 and older. Many auto insurance companies offer a discount for drivers who take this course.

A great bargain and great talent are to be found at the Chicago Cultural Center’s presentation of Morning’s At Seven May 3, 5, 6 and 7 at 2 p.m. Tickets are only $7. Call (312) 744-4550 for reservations. It will be performed at the Renaissance Court Theatre at the Randolph Entrance, and is funded in part by Mayor Daley’s Department on Aging. Win O’Reilly is the producer and director. Her shows are always great!

Happy April 28 birthday to Matt Radkiewicz, Pat Doss and Tom Cody and happy anniversary to Mike and Joan Bigos; on the 29th the same to Brandi and Bob Mintz and happy birthday to Angie Ventrella on April 30 Tom Hawkins gets a birthday wish; and now it’s May again. On May 1 happy anniversary to Larry and Pete Geraci and happy birthday to Irene Kelso and Emily Fjeldstad; on the 2nd to Karen Hawkins, Kate Schultz, Alexander Zaverdas, Madison Grace Kaup and Maria Gianelli; May 3 birthday wishes to Phil Blum.

Thanks for taking the time to read this stuff. See you at the symphony!

Jackie is a former Chicago and Elmwood Park schoolteacher with an undying love for music, friendly pets and a host of life's other treasures too numerous to list. She was born on the far southwest side...