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Palos Heights Ald. Jack Clifford hands out money raised by people and organizations for three charities Tuesday night. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Heights Ald. Jack Clifford hands out money raised by people and organizations for three charities Tuesday night. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Final meeting of the year brings good cheer to charities in Palos Heights

By Jeff Vorva

It was the meeting before Christmas and Froggy was missing.

But the generosity wasn’t.

The final Palos Heights City Council meeting of the year usually finds Ald. Jack Clifford donning a Santa Claus hat and giving out money raised by some of the organizations he belongs to, including the Palos Lions Club.

In recent years, he used a puppet named Froggy to help dole out the good stuff, but Froggy stayed home and Clifford went solo Tuesday night, giving away money to worthwhile organizations.

Clifford gave out several checks and toys to the Treasure Chest, a pediatric oncology foundation based in Orland Park.

“There are foundations in 21 states,” founder Colleen Kisel told the council. “We provide toys, gifts and gift cards to little ones every time they walk through the door of a treatment center.

“But as anyone who has run a business knows, you can’t keep the lights on without help or without funding. And we don’t have help from the government or anybody but people like yourself.”

Checks were also presented to the Sertoma Center in Alsip, which is celebrating its 50th year, and American Legion Post 1139 out of East Hazel Crest, which serves the Manteno Veterans’ Home.

Clifford said that he didn’t act alone when it came to the generosity.

“It wasn’t just me,” he said. “It’s a group thing. It’s friendship. It’s a shoulder to lean on. I’m lucky to have friends who are supportive of causes I come up with.

“Remember, without friends you can’t get something like this done.”

Closed on Fridays

Mayor Bob Straz announced that City Hall will be closed the final two Fridays of the year – Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

Signal study

The council approved a payment to Strand Engineering for $7,500 for a study to determine if there needs to be a traffic signal at Route 83 and Oak Park Avenue.

That location is near Chicago Christian High School.

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