Juneteenth party volunteers

On behalf of several Forest Park families, area residents, and elected officials, a heart-felt thank you is extended to the volunteers and sponsors who helped make the second annual Juneteenth Family Pool Party a resounding success. Our volunteer community touched over 300 Proviso-area children and their families.

First, I would like to thank Mayor Calderone, the staff at the Howard Mohr Community Center, and the Forest Park Youth Commission for lending support. Youth Commission Chair Mary-Win Connor and Eric Connor were involved in every step of the planning and execution of the celebration. A thank you is also extended to the following volunteers who contributed in several ways: Mary Rueda, Michelle Vaughn, Sheila Johnson, and Akin Famoyugen. Lastly, in mentioning volunteer efforts, I would like to thank Rachell and Eric Entler for their support.

Our sponsors included River Edge Hospital, Mesirow Financial, and Lynn-Marcel Academy of Fine-Arts. Pizza and donuts were donated by Amato’s Pizza and our local Dunkin Donuts on Madison Street. Village Commissioner Marty Tellalian and Forest Park residents Steve and Gloria Backman generously contributed financial support. Park District Executive Director Larry Piekarz extended every courtesy, and the young people who staff the pool were gracious hosts. Park District Board President Cathy McDermott was on hand to show support as were commissioners Sam Alonzo and Roy Sansone.

Forest Park entertained elected officials including State Rep. Karen Yarbrough, Mayor Henderson Yarbrough, and officials representing the Triton College trustee board, Proviso Mental Health Council, and District 200. Guests from several Chicago neighborhoods, Will County, Oak Park, and River Forest have expressed their appreciation for the event and for Forest Park’s hospitality.

Rory Hoskins
Forest Park Commissioner

My hour of need

I am grateful to so many for the outpouring of love, support, respect and generosity since my son’s untimely death. I want to thank all of John’s friends and co-workers at the community center and the park district; the staff and administration from the Forest Park schools – Steve, Jeanette, and Robert’s co-workers and friends; Mayor Calderone, the village of Forest Park and its maintenance staff; Proviso East staff and students, District 209 board members; St. Joe’s high school staff and students; my dear Eagles extended family (Berwyn Aerie 2125), and many neighbors and friends from Forest Park and beyond who came to comfort my family.

Special thanks and kudos to all of the young adults and teens, not only for helping to lift my spirits at this sad time, but for the exemplary manner in which you conducted yourselves at the wake and memorial service for John. The compliments from Kevin Harnett of the Zimmerman-Harnett Funeral Home as well as those from the staff at Hursen’s Funeral Home made me feel so proud of all of you guys and gals; so glad you were a part of John’s life!

The rallying and response of the Forest Park community, in a time of such grief and sorrow, is a testament to why I have lived here for 43 years. It’s a great place to raise your kids. This town is a family and I am very proud and grateful to be a part of it. Thank you all.

Robert E. Ollech
Forest Park

Not all were quiet

Sharon Daly’s letter to the editor in the June 17 edition of the Review is entitled “Silent body.” In her letter, Sharon stated that the village council rejected her request for a curb cut and additional parking “without comment.” She identified the position of each council member and claims that everyone was “without comment.” Specifically, she stated that I “seconded the denial and ignored the legal argument, without comment.” She further stated that I did acknowledge that she was a good neighbor “or something.”

In fact, I did comment on Sharon Daly’s request and stated the following:

“Mayor, I think it is worthy of at least some discussion here because the petitioner has gone through an effort to come before us a number of different times. It is a very well kept piece of property. It is a nice piece of property but I am not in favor of allowing the expansion of parking at this location. I do think that it would be bad precedent. I don’t think it is something that we have approved in the past. So I am going to be voting no against it in all recognition of the effort that the petitioner has gone through and the way in which she keeps her property, which is very nice. It’s not a reflection on that at all.”

Sharon ends her letter stating that the “real issue is a council culture that feels no need to justify or even explain its decision to the citizens that they serve.” I have explained my position to Sharon in numerous conversations and briefly commented on her request at the council meeting. Obviously, we simply do not agree. Her statement that I was “without comment” and characterizing my comments as “or something” are inaccurate and unfair.

Marty Tellalian
Forest Park Commissioner