Check out this year’s Forest Park Community Guide!

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Corinna and Loretta Jantz are the proud, happy owners of their very own home. This after renting all their lives here in Forest Park. Fellow employees at Schauer’s Hardware, Jennifer Josetti, Gladys Gulla, Ruth Sinnott, Kylee Nilsson, Jennifer Garrity, Paul Nelson and Bob Farrow are happy for them, too. But cats, Molly and Lucy are ecstatic since they have flights of stairs to run up and down now.

Special congratulations to Laura Lanzarotte, recent award winner and cum laude graduate of Dominican University. Like Heather Byrnes some years ago, Laura majored in dress and costume design. Her award-winning garment is now on permanent display at the Dreihaus Museum (nee the Nickerson Mansion), 40 E. Erie in Chicago. This is a new Chicago museum created in an 1879 mansion that features ornate items representative of Chicago’s “Gilded Age.” The museum is running a Servants’ Tour until Sept. 14 for those of us who want to know what goes on downstairs in the servants’ quarters at Downton Abbey.

Laura spent last summer in Paris learning special Japanese dyeing techniques. Laura is now working on a new line at Macy’s. Her younger brother, Mike, also has leanings toward a creative life. After his graduation, he is thinking of culinary arts, possibly at Kendall College.

Speaking of college, I’ll never tire of reporting that Christine Huebner has once again made the honor roll list at North Central College in Naperville.

Our Madison Street businesses really care about special-needs children! Five restaurants and watering holes accepted the Fun in the Sun Day Camp Challenge from West Suburban Special Recreation Assn. to raise money to send kids with special needs to WSSRA’s six-week summer camp program. Molly Malone’s, The Golden Steer, Jimmy’s Place Shortstop Lounge and Shanahan’s all raised funds during the month of June. Patrons were asked to throw in an extra dollar when purchasing a meal or beverage. The first-place winner was Jimmy’s Place, which raised $1,345 (30 percent more than last year).

But the WSSRA children are the real winners, said Executive Director Marianne Birko. “This visibility is priceless. Local residents are quite generous,” she said. “This economy is terribly stressful, yet good folks continue to donate to charities. It is awesome.”

Belated happy birthday greetings to Pete Collis at Pete’s Automotive. Pete keeps all our cars moving, long after their prime. I once had a minivan he kept alive for 245,000 miles! And pity those poor guys and all the workers who are working tirelessly in all this intolerable heat.

Happy birthday this week to Kevin Thompson, Julian Appilado, Cathy Collins, Claudia Mandile, Mike Espinosa, Kathy Huebner, Eric Neubeiser, Joan Bigos, Lauri Falbo, Brett McNeill, Troy Robert Molar, Hope Simon, Brent Marler, Debbie Wall, Heather Byrnes, Jim Payette, Cecilia Rossi, Dan Venske, Lena Giuliani, Karen Stuart, Kelly Rice Molnar, Debbie Espinoza, Kelly Crawford and Ethel Draper.

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 of Chicago in a great neighborhood when it was a great time to be young.