Social service cuts would be devastating

In the midst of economic crisis, private agencies are tirelessly holding together what is left of our safety net. At Sarah’s Inn, your local domestic violence agency, crisis line calls are up 40 percent. Walk-ins are up 260 percent. And the violence is the worst that advocates have ever seen. At the same time, private donors are pledging less, and now our state – vested with a responsibility to the public interest – is considering a budget that would cut services by 50 percent.

If this budget passes, the impact on the most vulnerable, and at the time of their greatest need, will be devastating.

Sarah’s Inn would be cut 17 percent under the doomsday budget, and let me tell you, there is no fluff to cut. Advocates spend 91 percent of their time in direct service, and the 24-hour crisis line is run on nights, weekends, and holidays by unpaid volunteers. If this budget passes – the bare bones of it is that 1,252 women currently living in fear of violence will not receive the services that they and their families desperately need. Now multiply this by hundreds of thousands as virtually every social service agency in the state considers whether it can keep its doors open.

This budget conversation is not about minor tax increases or old scores – at the end of the day, the budget demonstrates our values. What is our responsibility to our neighbors? And what will happen in a state without a safety net? If we land in doomsday, I fear we will find out.

Leigh Ann Hughes
Board president, Sarah’s Inn
Oak Park

St. Peter’s party

St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church wishes to thank everyone who helped to make our 110th anniversary a success; whether you came for the church service and/or the luncheon, thank you. Special thanks to Kiwanis for the use of the bud vases, Kay’s Bakery for the delicious cake, Jimmy’s Place for the wonderful food and great service, the Historical Preservation Commission for the framed picture of the first Sunday school and assisting us in becoming the first historical preservation site in Forest Park. Also to Josh Adams and Jackie Schulz for the great articles that they wrote.

Judy Jilek
President, St. Peter’s Church Council

Church celebration

St. Bernardine Parish would like to thank all of our parishioners, neighbors and friends who celebrated St. Bernardine Day with us this past Saturday. A gorgeous, sunny day was the perfect backdrop for our annual celebration of our patron saint, St. Bernardine. We would also like to thank all those who volunteered their time and energy to plan the event and all who volunteered their time on Saturday to make this such a wonderful party. We are grateful to the village of Forest Park and the Park District of Forest Park for their help. A special thank you to Sally Cody for her great ideas, Chief Ryan and the police department for the Segway and motorcycle demonstration, the fire department for the fire truck tours, John Doss for equipment and support, and Larry Piekarz and crew for all the supplies and equipment. Most of all, thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, to each and every one of our parishioners, friends and neighbors who came out on Saturday to support our event and to support St. Bernardine Parish and school. All proceeds benefit the school directly and we are very thankful for everyone’s support.

Fr. Pat Tucker
Pastor, St. Bernardine

Evening of dance

The Forest Park Middle School class of 2009 enjoyed an “Evening of Elegance” on Tuesday, June 2. The beautiful evening was a result of months of planning and the generosity of many local donors. We thank first and foremost, McAdam Landscaping for donating, setting up and picking up the beautiful background for the photo stage. We also thank the following donors for their generosity: Lenore LaCoca State Farm Insurance, Ferrara Pan, McGaffer Joe’s, Subway, Jimmy John’s, Shannahan’s, Starship Subs, Ed’s Way, Ultra Foods, the Middle School Boosters and the Park District of Forest Park. The dance would not have been possible without all of the above. Thank you again for your support of this wonderful annual event for Forest Park graduates.

Patty Marino
Eighth Grade Dance Committee

Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor should include the author’s first and last name, town of residence and phone number for authorization purposes only. The Review will not publish phone numbers. All letters are subject to editing for space and content purposes and typically will be printed in the order they are received. While the Review does not impose a word limit, we encourage comments be held to 300 words.

Letters to the editor can be received by e-mail at, or by mail to Forest Park Review, 141 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park, Ill., 60302.