January 9th was a wonderful evening of celebrating the good of Forest Park. The Kiwanis Club of Forest Park gathers yearly to honor the memory of longtime village attorney and awards dinner namesake Ed O’Shea. This year we honored recently retired ‘Talk of the Town’ columnist Jackie Schulz.

I want to thank Francesca’s for their great job hosting and donating part of their profits back to Kiwanis so we can invest it in the great partners we have like: Little League, the food pantry, Youth Soccer, the Proviso Scholarship fund, and Cub & Boy Scouts. 

It was also great to see the many folks who came out to honor Forest Park, from reps from the park district like Larry Piekarz, past recipients Dave Novak &  Dorothy Gillian, Village Commissioners Dan Novak and Joe Byrnes (also a past recipient), and of course the O’Shea family and a host of proud Forest Parkers.

In a small town like Forest Park, when you write the weekly synopsis of life in our town, you become part of the fabric of that community. Your contributions aren’t measured in dollars and cents but in smiles and warm thoughts. As that author, You are the daily historian, the weekly diary keeper… it’s a magical role and Jackie embraced it wonderfully.

I’m sure we all have our story in reading Jackie’s column … finding out that kid neighbor you used to live next to and watched grow up is now getting married! Maybe having a baby? Maybe an update on someone who has fallen ill… or just news about an upcoming event in town that deserved an extra mention. Important notes to a community.

Whether it’s bringing us together through her column, knowing all was when seeing her out walking her pups or her countless hours at senior events – Jackie is Forest Park and it was a great pleasure to present her with this year’s Kiwanis Service to Community Award.

Chris Harris

Forest Park