Garfield Ridge resident Stephanie Smock. --Supplied photo
A young mom who really needs our help
By Joan Hadac
Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge
(708) 496-0265 • [email protected]
Again and again over the 29 years I’ve lived in Garfield Ridge, I’ve seen examples of the neighborhood pulling together to help its own, especially in time of great need.
As a news reporter and columnist in these pages and online, it has been my privilege to help spread the word about and muster support for folks in need—and then later report the good news of neighbors helping neighbors.
This week, I’m writing about Stephanie Smock, a young mom in Garfield Ridge who could really use a hand from all of us.
Stephanie grew up in the neighborhood. She attended Byrne School and then went on to Kennedy High School, where she graduated in 2006.
In recent years, she has worked at Triano’s Pizza, where she has been said to be an exemplary employee.
She has long been known as someone who is “very outgoing, fun-loving and sweet,” according to her classmate and friend, Mary Spalla.
As Mary tells it, Stephanie was working at Triano’s to support her 18-month-old son, Cody; her mom, Rita (who has diabetes and severe rheumatoid arthritis); and her older brother, Kenny, who has severe diabetes with heart complications and can’t work.
Stephanie was the sole breadwinner for her family, especially since her father passed away in 2018.
Quite a load for a young mom to carry, right?
But things went from bad to worse in January, when Stephanie was involved in a car crash, which “caused Stephanie to suffer an embolism/stroke, resulting in complete loss of feeling on the right side of her body,” Mary reports. “As a result, she needs constant care and help with every aspect of daily living. Stephanie can no longer work and it is unknown if she will ever regain the use of her right side.”
Over the past few months, Stephanie has made some progress. Her memory has improved, and she is walking a bit.
But her road to recovery is still long and uncertain.
She needs help.
If you will, please visit gofund.me/b6ef4d3a. When I wrote this, the effort to help Stephanie was nearly $2,000 short of its $5,000 goal. If we all pull together, we can close that gap fairly quickly.
So let’s do it. And thanks to Mary Spalla for organizing the fundraiser and to Megan Heurich for alerting me to the situation in the first place.
More news of note
- Belated happy birthday wishes to Father Al Adamich, said to be the Archrdiocese’s oldest priest. Father Al recently turned 100 years old. He was an associate pastor at St. Symphorosa in 1970-71. There’s a nice article about him posted at chicagocatholic.com. My thanks to my colleague, Kathy Headley (the Chicago Lawn/Marquette Manor correspondent for the Greater Southwest News-Herald), for alerting me to Father Al’s celebration.
- Cub Scout Pack 3475 and the St. Daniel the Prophet Holy Name Society are preparing a tasty treat for you at their pancake breakfast set for 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, June 5 in the St. Daniel School Hall, 5337 S. Natoma. Adults eat for $7; kids 12 and younger for $6. This Sunday, grab your family or a group of friends, eat a delicious breakfast and support these two wonderful organizations.
- There is a lot of excitement coming to St. Daniel the Prophet Parish in mid-June when their Summerfest returns Thursday, June 16 through Sunday, June 19 on parish grounds. So mark your calendar for these dates and prepare to have a great time. This is a wonderful way to welcome in summer. I’ll give you more details about the event next week.
- Congratulations to all members of the class of 2022. Whether you’re graduating grade school, high school, trade school or college, you deserve a tip of the cap for working hard and getting the job done. Cheers to you!
- Summer begins on Tuesday, June 21, according to the calendar. Of course, this is Chicago, so you never know. I know my highlight of the season will come in early August when the grandkids come in for a week to enjoy the place where their mother grew up. I hope you have some special plans as well this summer. Take care and have a great week.
Comings & Goings: Jason’s Deli closes in Oak Lawn
Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Jason’s Deli, which had been open in Oak Lawn for more than 10 years, closed its doors for the last time on May 31. According to employees, the Beaumont, Texas-based restaurant at 6260 W. 95th St. closed because the lease was up and the company decided not to renew. Messages…
Baseball and Softball Wrap | Benet tops Richards in extras to punch ticket to state
Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Richards came close to setting up an all-South Suburban Conference matchup in the IHSA Class 3A state semifinals. But the Bulldogs could not take advantage of an early two-run lead and dropped a 5-2 decision in eight innings to Benet at the Benedictine Supersectional, played June 5 in…
Baseball | Randall Nauden walk-off lifts Brother Rice over Lincoln-Way East
Spread the loveBy Steve Millar Correspondent With a trip to state hanging in the balance, Lincoln-Way East chose to intentionally walk Brother Rice’s Amir Gray and take their chances with junior catcher Randall Nauden. Nauden responded by ripping a walk-off single down the right-field line with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning…
Baseball | St. Laurence gets 30th win, but falls to Nazareth in sectional final
Spread the loveBy Steve Millar Correspondent St. Laurence got a big boost early from a reliable source in its sectional semifinal against Oak Forest. Senior outfielder Luke Stulga ripped his eighth home run of the season, a two-run shot that sailed over the left-field wall in the first inning. The Vikings never looked back from…
Softball | Marist returns to state with 3-0 win over Lockport
Spread the loveBy Randy Whalen Correspondent Isabel Cunnea has ties to Lockport. Her mom, Jeanine Ondrus Cunnea, is a 1988 Porters graduate. After homering against her mom’s alma mater in the IHSA Class 4A Marist Sepersectional, Cunnea also has ties to the RedHawks record book. Cunnea creamed her 22nd home run of the season, one…
Girls Soccer State Finals | De La Salle takes fourth in fist state finals appearance
Spread the loveBy Steve Millar Correspondent Taking the field at the state finals for the first time in program history, De La Salle junior midfielder Imani Coleman did her best to soak in the feeling. “It was a big moment,” Coleman said of that moment on June 2. “We didn’t really know what it was…
Area Sports Roundup | Lyons boys volleyball takes second; D230 United finishes fourth in girls lacrosse
Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff Writer There is no argument which conference is Illinois’ most dominant when it comes to boys volleyball. The West Suburban Conference took the top three spots in the IHSA state tournament in Hoffman Estates, with Lyons smack dab in the middle with a second-place finish. Glenbard West won it…
Pro Sports Report | Louisville blanks Red Stars
Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff Writer It worked once. But not a second time. The tightrope can only stretch so far. The offensively struggling Chicago Red Stars may have been able to buck the odds when they were severely outshot in an NWSL game win over Orlando on May 27, but that approach was…
College Notebook | Worth’s Walinski finishes strong for Huskies
Spread the loveBy Mike Walsh Correspondent Kelly Walinski concluded her college years in perfect fashion. On the softball diamond, the Northern Illinois senior shortstop was named to the 2023 All-Mid-American Conference First Team. In the classroom, she was chosen to the Academic All-MAC Team for the third time in her stint in DeKalb. The Worth…
On the witness stand, ex-legislator finally acknowledges he wore wire for FBI
By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois [email protected] CHICAGO – Former state Sen. Terry Link, a nearly 24-year veteran of the Illinois Capitol, publicly acknowledged for the first time this week that he’d worn a wire to secretly record a fellow lawmaker in 2019. Link, a Vernon Hills Democrat, has spent years denying news media reports…
Pritzker puts final stamp on $50.4 billion state spending plan
By ANDREW ADAMS & JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] CHICAGO – Gov. JB Pritzker signed the state’s operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year on Wednesday, marking the first spending plan of his second term as governor. The $50.4 billion spending plan anticipates about $50.6 billion in revenues for the fiscal year that begins…
New law limits venue for constitutional lawsuits to Sangamon, Cook counties
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – People who file lawsuits in state courts challenging the constitutionality of a state law, administrative rule or executive order will now have to file those cases in either Sangamon or Cook counties. Gov. JB Pritzker on Tuesday signed House Bill 3062, which applies only to cases…
As trial begins, politically connected businessman claims feds set him up to bribe legislator
By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois [email protected] CHICAGO – Nearly four years after his name first surfaced in connection with a bribe arrangement between two sitting lawmakers, politically connected businessman James Weiss is finally having his day in court. Weiss, who is married to former state Rep. Toni Berrios, D-Chicago – the daughter of longtime…
Pritzker set to consider signing more than 500 bills in the next three months
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois lawmakers passed 566 bills through both chambers of the General Assembly in the recently concluded legislative session – all but one of them in May. It sets the table for an approximate three-month bill-signing season for Gov. JB Pritzker. That’s because the state’s constitution gives…
Capitol Cast: End of Session Review
Capitol News Illinois · End of Session Review The Capitol News Illinois team breaks down the highlights of the just-completed 2023 spring session.
Cannabis regulatory reform bill fails to advance in spring legislative session
By NIKA SCHOONOVER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A proposed cannabis reform bill won’t get further consideration until at least the General Assembly’s fall veto session after stakeholders failed to come to an agreement during the spring session’s final stretch. Rep. La Shawn Ford, a Chicago Democrat and the bill’s sponsor, told Capitol News…
Top Democrats announce budget ‘deal,’ but details are scant as last-minute negotiations continue
By JERRY NOWICKI, HANNAH MEISEL & PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] UPDATE: The budget was filed as a 3,409-page amendment to Senate Bill 250 late Wednesday evening. This story has been updated to reflect the latest developments as of Wednesday night. SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker and Democratic leaders announced Wednesday they’ve agreed…
Legislature approves bill to tighten restrictions on red-light camera industry
By ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD — Lawmakers in Springfield have unanimously approved a measure that would place new restrictions on the red-light and speed camera industry’s involvement in state and local elections and government. House Bill 3903 would ban automatic traffic enforcement companies or their officers from donating to candidates for public…
State board of education looking for new providers in preschool ‘deserts’
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Even though Gov. JB Pritzker has yet to sign the budget bill lawmakers just passed, the Illinois State Board of Education is seeking applicants for some of the new money contained in that bill. ISBE is looking for new providers to offer preschool programs in areas…