Riveredge Hospital will host a New Year’s luncheon on Jan. 21 as a way to say “thanks” to Forest Park’s police and fire departments and to Mayor Anthony Calderone. 

“Whenever we try to express our gratitude to the police department or the fire department they always say, ‘We’re just doing our job,'” said Chief Executive Officer Carey Carlock. In the past, Riveredge personnel brought token gifts to the fire and police department like coffee cups and a card.

This year, Carlock said it was time for “some good old-fashioned gratitude.”

Carlock said Forest Park police and fire departments have been “fabulous” at helping patients at the hospital.

“[Local police departments] have done a lot of work to build sensitivity and compassion when dealing with a person in crisis,” Carlock said.  

The hospital commissioned three tile-art mosaics for the village from Oak Park tile artist Jennifer Riegler McNulty, who created mosaics with 100-150 tiles that include photographs of Forest Park scenes like the pool and The Park, as well as businesses like Brown Cow Ice Cream and the St. Patrick’s Day parade.

“It’s kind of like Forest Park at a glance,” Carlock said.

McNulty creates three-dimensional tile mosaics that either compose a larger image out of tiles, or use each tile as a photograph or image. Her work is on display at Loyola University Medical Center and the statehouse in Springfield.

Riveredge presented one mosaic to Mayor Anthony Calderone around Christmas time and will present two more to Police Chief James Ryan and Fire Chief Steve Glinke at the luncheon. 

The hospital also invited local businesses, by way of the Chamber of Commerce, to thank fire and police personnel. 

“We are the host, we are the conduit for other organizations and businesses to say thanks.”

“We’re so grateful for [first responders] being so responsive throughout the year,” Carlock added.  

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...

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