Palos women wow ‘em with Harvest in The Heights

 

HarvestEntranceTable946

Photo by Anthony Caciopo

Trudy Walta, a fitness instructor at the Recreation Center, arrives with her husband, Tom, at the check-in table of the Palos Heights Woman’s Club’s Harvest in The Heights fundraiser.

 

The sun was in merciful decline on a day of record-setting temperatures Sept. 23 as the Palos Heights Woman’s Club’s “Harvest in The Heights” fundraiser kicked off at 5 p.m. with all seats on their way to filled under the big, white tent in Meyers Park.

The National Weather Service reported a high of 95 degrees officially in Chicago, edging out a previous high that had stood since 1937. And if the official recorded temperature in Chicago was perhaps a bit more than what was being felt in Palos Heights, well, it probably was impossible to tell. It was just plain hot.

“A warm welcome to everyone, and I do mean warm,” quipped club President Nancy Mitchell as she addressed the attendees.

Totals from the event are now in from the club, and the Harvest fundraiser sizzled about as much as the heat. The goal of funding a contemporary, LED sign outside the Recreation Center at 6601 W. 127th St. has been met, said club officials.

“With the support of the members of the Palos Heights Woman’s Club, the City of Palos Heights and donations from local businesses and organizations (including the Palos Heights Kiwanis and Lions clubs) the Project Committee has successfully raised the funds needed to complete this project in less than three years,” said Project Co-Chair Sherry TerMaat in a statement. “The proceeds from the Harvest fundraiser has helped us to achieve our goal and the financial portion of this project has been completed.”

The initial deposit for the sign has been made and progress is underway to begin fabrication. Installation of the sign is anticipated to be completed by November. Total cost of the project is expected to come in at approximately $37,000. Approximately $8,000 was raised at Harvest in The Heights.

Club records shared with The Regional News show that the LED sign project was recommended to the board and presented to the club at large for its approval in March, 2015. The sign is a gift from the Palos Heights Woman’s Club to the City of Palos Heights Recreation Center.

“This project was selected as the committee felt it would benefit not only the Recreation Center but the entire community and local organizations by promoting upcoming events, important announcements and share community information,” wrote Rose Zubik, who is the project co-chair along with TerMaat.  

Some details of the sign project released by the Palos Heights Woman’s Club include:

  • The Recreation Center staff will control the LED sign digitally through software and would no longer need a staff member to physically update the sign from outside the facility.
  • When compared to static and traditional print advertising and billboards, LED signs are beneficial. Digital signage has the ability to attract more attention effectively, compared to traditional signage. 
  • The design of the sign will be architecturally pleasing and suitable for a residential area.
  • The Recreation Center will be mindful that the sign is located in a residential area when the display is in use.

Michael Leonard, project manager and director of the Parks and Recreation Department, is working closely with the contractor, Quantum Sign, coordinating permit approval and all aspects of the installation from start to finish.

The club announced the Harvest fundraiser sold more than 180 tickets and together with donations and raffles raised about $8,000.

“It’s wonderful, it’s a great cause,” said Dennis Hyker as he dropped raffle tickets into a drum. “These volunteers do it all for this community. If it wasn’t for the volunteers, we wouldn’t have the same community we have.”

As a steady stream of attendees filed past the check-in table before the official start of the event, Trudy Walta was unreserved in her enthusiasm for the event. Walta is a fitness instructor at the Rec Center and she knew the importance of the Harvest event’s outcome.

“I love it,” she said as she waited to obtain her event wristband with her husband, Tom. “I’m hoping we get a nice sign.”

Each table was adorned with floral-filled pumpkin centerpieces from Mitchell’s Flowers. Guests enjoyed various side dishes from Mario’s Catering as well as multiple barbecued meats provided and grilled by Tom McDonough. The 95th Street Band with its multi-piece brass section played well into the evening hours.

President Mitchell praised the committee members for their tireless work in running such a successful event.

“They did a phenomenal job, they worked so hard,” she said. “There’s nothing untouched in putting something like that together. They don’t leave a stone unturned.”

As she reflected on Harvest in The Heights, Mitchell said she felt “Gratitude that the community supports us the way they do.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you for being there to help us get to where we are,” she said.


 

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