Mark your calendar for summer fun

By Joan Hadac

Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge

(708) 496-0265 • [email protected]

While the calendar says summer ends on Wednesday, Sept. 22, it seems summer is over when kids step in the classroom on the first day of school. When I was a schoolgirl, that meant the Tuesday after Labor Day. Now, kids who attend Catholic schools start school a couple of weeks before that. Public school students start after Labor Day.

After looking at the calendar I realized summer is zooming by. We are already in the middle of August. I hope all of you have enjoyed your summer so far. The highlight for me so far was a visit by my daughter and her family. It was so wonderful to see my daughter, son-in-law and grandsons after two years.

Plenty to do in the dog days of summer

There are still several summer events to look forward to. I want to remind you to please visit the Garfield Ridge Chamber of Commerce from 3 to 7 p.m. every Wednesday during the summer. They have a variety of fresh food items and goodies on sale. Please support our Garfield Ridge Chamber and the vendors at the farmers market. It’s a wonderful place to buy the best of the best and a great asset to our community.

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Joan Hadac

The Rhine VFW Post 2729 wants to let everyone know that bricks honoring veterans may still be bought online at at $30 per brick. The post will pay half of the cost for post members. (You’ll need a receipt to show them.) The deadline to order is Wednesday, Aug. 25. These bricks will be put in the Veterans’ Monument in the Triangle at Archer, Narragansett and 55th Street. A dedication is tentatively set for Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11.

Save the date! The Rhine VFW Auxiliary Penny Social is back and will be held Sunday, Sept. 12 at the post, 5858 S. Archer. Admission is $2. After marking the date, look around the house to see if you have any treasures you want to part with. They can’t be chipped, broken, dirty or not working. Stuffed animals will not be accepted. You can bring your items to the post the week before or on the setup day which will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11. Donations must be brought to the post by 1 a.m. Saturday. If you are donating to the raffle table, those items must be new. For more information, contact the co-chairs Diane Pencak and Fran Kruse at the post, (773) 284-9025.

The Post also hosts bingo on Thursdays. Doors open at 4:30 p.m., and the games start at 6:45 p.m. Players are welcome to bring their own food.

The Post’s recently renovated hall is available for rent. Capacity is 200. Call (773) 284-9025 for details.

Valley Forge Park, 7001 W. 59th St., is hosting a free walking club from 11 to 11:45 a.m. each Monday and Friday for adults 18 and older. There are 13 remaining openings in the club. Walking is the simplest way to incorporate fitness into your daily routing. Now you can enjoy the social aspect of walking while exercising. The walking club usually uses the lawn south of the fieldhouse, but will move indoors to the gym during bad weather. It will also include some mat work and stretching at the end of the session. For more information, call (773) 229-0812.

A ward that works in the City That Works

Finally, file this under Credit Where Credit is Due.

My husband and I have lived in Garfield Ridge since 1993, and he is the type of man who prides himself on being (and he says this with tongue in cheek) a neighborhood “pain in the arse.” If there’s something in the neighborhood that needs fixing (everything from potholes to burned out streetlights to graffiti), he calls it in to 311, usually immediately.

When we first moved here, he’d also call the alderman’s office to alert them, but gave up doing that—years ago–because he said the vibe he’d get from the staffers there was “indifferent at best to hostile at worst,” he tells me. “Those answering the phones had a tone of voice that should have said, ‘How may I help you?’ but instead had a ‘What do you want?’ tone.”

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23rd Ward Ald. Silvana Tabares.

Fast forward to 2018, when Silvana Tabares was appointed (and later elected) 23rd Ward alderman.

In just a few short years, she has turned around the corporate culture of the ward office. Call the office these days, and you are connected with staffers who are pleasant, professional and helpful. Most important, they follow through, again and again. Even a graffiti concern my husband called in a week ago, was addressed in just 24 hours.

So thank you, Ald. Silvana Tabares. Here’s to you and your crew. Credit where credit is due.