Hunger walk nets almost $75K for charity

An annual fundraiser benefiting local food pantries brought more than $18,000 in donations to area charities, and raised a total of almost $75,000.

According to participants in the 2008 CROP Walk held in May, organizers from St. Paul’s Lutheran Church received a check in November for $18,723. That figure represents 25 percent of the total amount raised, meaning the weekend event garnered $74,892. Local organizers set $75,000 in donations as the goal for this year’s event.

Proceeds from the event were distributed to area pantries, and the Forest Park Food Pantry, operated by the Howard Mohr Community Center, received a $2,000 check. In all, nine area charities benefited from the effort.

The CROP Walk is organized internationally by the Church World Service and this year’s event marked the 25th anniversary. CROP is an acronym for Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty.

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church is located on Dixon in Forest Park.

Deadlines extended for YMCA

Another deadline in the negotiations to bring a new YMCA to Forest Park has been extended, giving the non-profit recreation group until early February to meet zoning and financing requirements. The change was approved by the Forest Park village council in mid December with the understanding that the delay was beyond the YMCA’s control. According to Mayor Anthony Calderone and village attorney Mike Durkin, a third party in the negotiations, the Altenheim, was not able to finalize paperwork needed by the YMCA. The Altenheim is a senior housing organization which originally sold the bulk of its property to the village government. It maintains a presence adjacent to the proposed YMCA site.

“We’re inside the red zone, but we’re not across the goal line yet,” Durkin said of the process.

The original deadline for the zoning and financing contingencies first lapsed in November. Though the parties agreed that another extension was necessary, there was no indication that the multi-million dollar project is in jeopardy. The YMCA is in the process of purchasing several acres from the village to build a new recreation facility.