Food pantry donors receive thanks
The Forest Park Food Pantry gratefully acknowledges the following organizations, businesses and individuals for their very generous donations of money, food, gifts and/or time to our Holiday Basket Program:

Elizabeth Axtell; Father Frank, St. Bernardine Church; Ann Stauffer, Mrs. Villari and the CCD classes, St. Bernardine School; Rich Bertucci; Deanna Bracken; Rich Brhel; Mr. and Mrs. Al Bucholtz; Chicago Bulk Mail Center, Forest Park Branch; 2006 Crop Walk, Sylvia and Gy Menninga; Disabled American Veterans, Verdun Chapter 33; Mike Dizonno; The Dobbeck Family; George Drucker; Jannie A. Earl; Field Stevenson School; First United Church of Christ, Reverend Cliff DiMascio and Congregation; Focus Development, Bart Lupa and Mike Talarico; Forest Park American Legion Post 414; Forest Park Chamber of Commerce, Laurie Kokenes; Forest Park Community Education; Forest Park Fire Fighters Association Local 2753; Forest Park Starbucks Staff; Forest Park VFW Post 7181; Flanagan Family; Dave Formanski; Garfield School, Jennifer Uhlmann; Betty Gilchrist; Carol Good; Laura Hogan; Bernadette Homberger; Bill Hosty; Kathy Jankun; Suzanne Jasper; The Jenkins Family; Jerry Gleason Chevrolet, Andy Bellavia and Matt Murphy; Mike Kolias; Theresa Kowalski; Joanne & Cliff Leber; Donna and Lloyd Lehman; Rita Marcantonio and family; John Malone; Rob McAdam; McGaffers on Roosevelt Road, Pat Malone and Rich Pulfus; Middle School Builder’s Club; Frank Micelli; Mohr Oil Company, Mike Mohr; Jim Papa; Proviso Math and Science Academy, Peer Mediation Group; Reich & Becker Agency, Inc., Donna Gray; Schauer Ace Hardware, Wayne Schauer; Charles Schwartz; Frieda Schwenke; Linda Shrader; St. Peters Lutheran Church, Loretta Woeltje; Amy and Dave Rita; River Forest Park District; River Forest United Methodist Church; Robert Ritchey; Nona Rutter; Charlotte Sisson; Two Fish Art Glass, Cecilia Hardacker and Tonya Hart; United Methodist Women, River Forest United Methodist Church; Don M. Williams and all who donated anonymously.

Also, a special thank you to Bob Kutak and the Public Works Department, and Chief Steve Glinke and the fire department. We appreciate all the assistance we receive during the holidays and throughout the year. Thanks again and a very happy and healthy New Year to everyone.

Beverly Thompson
Community Center Director



Benefit event change
The committee for “An Awareness of Anthony” would like to thank the business owners and patrons who generously helped out during our “pub crawl” on Dec. 22, 2006.

The benefit party for Anthony Giglio has had a venue change. It will now be held on Saturday Feb. 10, 2007 at Molly Malone’s Irish Pub between 2 and 6 p.m. Tickets are $20 each and include all you can eat and drink. Everyone is invited to this benefit party.

If someone would like to make a donation, it can be sent to: An Awareness for Anthony, c/o first Security Trust and Savings Bank, 7315 W. Grand Ave., Elmwood Park, Ill., 60707.

Jim Murray
Forest Park

Editor’s note: Jim Murray is a columnist for the Review

Priority is public health
I applaud the Forest Park Review editors and columnists for their support of the Cook County smoking ban – and also urge the village council to join in the ban.

This is, first and foremost, a public health issue – economics should be secondary (though there has yet to be proof that the smoking bans have hurt business in cities that have adopted them).

Those of us who regularly frequent smoke-free establishments in Oak Park and elsewhere (and the very few in Forest Park that have a ban) would be thrilled to bring our business to Forest Park businesses who join in the ban. There are many of us who have children, as well as family members with asthma and other illnesses who cannot tolerate a smoke-filled atmosphere. We have no choice but to go elsewhere. Second-hand smoke is also harmful to the employees of these establishments. Commissioner Hosty, who is supposed to be overseeing health and safety in this community, should keep this in mind. He and the council have a greater responsibility to protect the well-being and health of village residents, including those who are too young to speak for themselves. To that end, I am circulating a petition to urge the council to join the smoking ban. If you would like to sign, please contact me at (708) 250-5606. If a compromise is being considered, remember that you are compromising the health of non-smokers and workers in those establishments.

Martha Irvine
Forest Park

Helpful neighbors
I just want to say a big thank you to the people of Forest Park who helped my husband and I find our dog on New Years Day! She made a run for it and we couldn’t keep up. People were wonderful and helpful. We found her soon afterwards and she was completely fine. Thanks again to the two teens playing ball who pointed us in the right direction – you are the best!

Chad and Libby Hill
Forest Park

Interesting vs. interested

Recently I picked up a paperback that I have reviewed on previous occasions. Many of you are familiar with the popular leadership book, “Good to Great,” by Jim Collins, released a few years ago. Shortly after publishing, the author released a monograph focused on the social sector that is the subject of my attention yet again. It is an interesting phenomenon with familiarity breeding oversight. Within the first 60 words under “Author’s Note,” I have most recently discovered a powerful message for Proviso Township High Schools.

“It occurs to me, Jim, that you spend too much time trying to be interesting. Why don’t you invest more time in being interested?”

At the Nov. 20, 2006, board meeting, the results of an Educational Quality Assessment (EQA), executive summary, were presented. The EQA was a snapshot of the district’s stated vision, mission and objectives, and the alignment of policies, procedures and programs to such, as well as, most importantly, documented results for the last several years. As stated on numerous occasions, the purpose of the EQA was to objectively quantify and qualify the district’s current position. Though I acknowledge and appreciate the expressed concern of a biased comparative grouping, 89 school districts representing the seven-county Chicagoland area, District 209 results for the past several years have not been desirable, regardless of comparison.

Now what? Is there a benefit to students, staff or community to place blame, or consideration of when was our performance better than bad? Though I respect the feelings of bitterness and discontent due to politics and patronage, will a cynical attitude benefit our students, staff or community?

In the 19th Century the greatest tightrope walker in the world was a man named Charles Blondin. On June 30, 1859, he became the first man to walk on a tightrope across Niagara Falls. Over 25,000 people gathered to watch him walk 1,100 feet suspended on a tiny rope 160 feet above the raging waters. He worked without a net or safety harness of any kind. The slightest slip would prove fatal. In the days that followed he would walk across the falls many times. On one occasion he asked the cheering crowd if they thought he could push a man across sitting in a wheelbarrow. A mighty roar of approval rose from the crowd. Spying a man cheering loudly, he asked, “Sir, do you think I could safely carry you across in this wheelbarrow?”

“Yes, of course.”

“Get in,” Blondin replied with a smile.

There exists a fine line distinguishing belief from commitment. What will you accept for our students and community?

Stanley S. Fields, Ph.D.
District 209 Superintendent