Vinnie Quinn, a genuine Clearing original and a true White Sox fan. --Supplied photo

Vinnie Quinn, a genuine Clearing original and a true White Sox fan. --Supplied photo

The mayor needs your help

By Joan Hadac

Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge

(708) 496-0265 • [email protected]

No, not that mayor.

I’m talking about Vinnie Quinn, described by some as the Mayor of 63rd Street.

If ever you’ve eaten at Café 63 (and if not, for heaven’s sake, why not?), you have tasted Vinnie’s culinary creations. Vinnie has worked as a chef at Café 63, 6411 W. 63rd St., basically since it opened in 2015.

Vinnie is a classic neighborhood guy. Grew up in the Lawler Park area, attended St. Symphorosa School and then St. Rita High School. Studied the culinary arts at the old Washburne Trade School and then worked for years as a chef at a number of places, including the Hyatt downtown.

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Vinnie Quinn, a genuine Clearing original and a true White Sox fan. –Supplied photo

Once owned his own diner—Vinnie Quinn’s, on the northeast corner of 63rd Place and Central (where Tony’s Kitchen stands today).

A wonderful man, by all accounts.

But since November 2021, Vinnie has been battling cancer of the neck and head. He has fought it gamely; and as it has been for so many folks, it’s been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs for him.

He has been off work since January and has gone through chemotherapy and radiation treatments–although his faithful fiancé, Kathy Nelson, reports he is “much, much better” these days and that he’s eating better than he had. In fact, he celebrated his 58th birthday on Monday.

Hoping you keep Vinnie in your thoughts and prayers, as I am.

But to go beyond thoughts and prayers and towards practical action, I hope you’ll join me and others as we show our support at a Victory for Vinnie Quinn fundraiser set for 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Friday, May 13 at the Rhine VFW Post 2729, 5857 S. Archer.

Admission is just $25 at the door. Plenty of food and beverages will be available, including a cash bar. There will be live music, prize raffles, a money wheel, split the pot and more.

Funds raised will help defray Vinnie’s medical expenses, as well as benefit the Head and Neck Cancer Society.

Businesses sponsoring the event are Café 63, All Exterior Contractors, First Rate Realty and Mike Riordan State Farm Agency.

So please stop by, cash in hand, and have a great time. And shake Vinnie’s hand and wish him well.

My thanks to Donna Andrews of Café 63 for sharing this news with me.

So much for spring

I write this column on a cloudy, wet day with a predicted high of 51 degrees. But by the time you read it, the forecast calls for a sunny, dry day with a high of 81.

So much for spring, right?

Reminds me of a line I’m told author John Powers once wrote in The Last Catholic in America—something about spring in Chicago lasting just a few days, as we go from the bitter cold of winter to the blazing heat of summer in the blink of an eye.

Anyway, my older daughter and her young family—in town briefly for a family member’s funeral—came and went. Believe me, this grandma soaked up as many hugs and kisses as she could from her four little grandsons, the oldest of whom just made his First Holy Communion back home in another state. For a couple of days, it was springtime in my heart.

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Joan Hadac

They should be back in August for a week, so Grandma will bide her time and make her plans for summer fun.

Mark your calendar

  • Speaking of summer fun, wristbands are now on sale for the St. Daniel the Prophet Summerfest. Just $60 gets you unlimited rides for all four days of this parish carnival.

To purchase yours online, visit givecentral.org/Summerfestwristbands. Pay with credit/debit card. Online orders must be placed by Tuesday, June 14. Wristband voucher pickup will be in Brennan Hall from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 15.

This is an easy way to save $10 on each wristband, because they will cost $70 each if you buy them at Summerfest itself.

If you have questions, email Maria Molinaro-Whalen at [email protected]

Summerfest runs June 16-19 on parish grounds, 54th and Natoma, and serves as an important fundraiser for both the church and school.

  • Bingo is played at 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays and 9:30 a.m. Fridays at the Garfield Ridge Satellite Senior Center, 5674-B S. Archer (immediately west of Laramie). Cards are just 50 cents each, and 10 games are played, according to Center manager Julie Slawniak.

For details, call the center at (312) 745-4255. The full May schedule for the Center is posted at southwestregionalpublishing.com/clear-ridge-reporter.

  • The next combined meetings of CAPS Beat 811 and the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 17 at Byrne School, 5329 S. Oak Park. If the weather is inclement, the planned outdoor meeting will be held indoors. The purpose is to identify chronic problems and issues that affect the community—and then take action to make the neighborhood safer. My thanks to CAPS Beat 811 co-facilitator Marilyn Koperniak for sharing this timely and useful information.

Well, that’s it for this week. Enjoy the sunshine!

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