Friday, April 26, 2013
Charitable efforts conceived and run by teens are happening in Orland Park, Palos Hills, Tinley Park, Frankfort, Mokena and New Lenox on Saturday for Global Youth Service Day.
Teens across the south suburbs will be taking part in an array of charitable service efforts Saturday. Staff at The Bridge Teen Center in Orland Park decided to put a challenge to local teens not just to participate in service projects, but also to design and oversee them too. With 27 projects happening within 50 miles of Chicago, including 11 in the south suburbs, Global Youth Service Day will go into action Saturday. “I’m really excited for such a collaborative effort,” said Jenn Jones, program associate at The Bridge. “It’s really been interesting to see them decide how to take charge, cut aspects, or add them, and craft their focus onto a main point, a main goal they want to achieve. They are very organized. We hope this will be the …
Sunday, April 7, 2013
Take a look through Orland Park Patch's Greatest People section, including stories about people who give much of themselves for others. These features will reaffirm your faith in your neighbors and fellow people.
Friday, April 5, 2013
Gary A. Blummer, 1949-2013, a longtime Orland Park resident, volunteer and historian, is remembered for his efforts and care for others.
Friday, April 5
ORLAND PARK, IL – Gary Blummer will be remembered for his uncanny knowledge of Orland Park history, his quiet demeanor and his willingness to help. Blummer, age 63, died from complications of pulmonary fibrosis at Palos Community Hospital on April 2. A longtime resident, Blummer moved to Orland Park as a child when he was four years old and lived in his childhood home in the original Orland Hills subdivision for 59 years. He was one of five children born to Pat and Marvin Blummer. “I met Gary in 1974, shortly after I moved to Orland Park in ‘72,” said retired Orland Park Police Officer Tim McCarthy, owner of Paddy B’s Restaurant in Orland Park. “When Gary moved here in 1953, Orland Park was a dust spot in south Cook County,” McCarthy …
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Orland Fire Battalion Chief Nick Cinquepalmi and 17-year-old Jake Pechukas worked together to help a 32-year-old man who had a heart attack on a basketball court Sunday.
Swift teamwork between an Orland Fire Protection District battalion chief and an Orland Park Sportsplex staff member helped save the life of a 32-year-old Orland Hills man who had a heart attack Sunday. Orland Fire Battalion Chief Nick Cinquepalmi stopped by the Sportsplex around 4:30 p.m. Sunday to watch his son play basketball with the Orland Youth Association, according to a release from the fire district. Around then, two men quickly approached Cinquepalmi, who was in uniform and on call at the time, asking for his help, Cinquepalmi said. “I was expecting a broken ankle, but this young man was clearly going into cardiac arrest,” Cinquepalmi said. “He was down on the ground, unconscious.” With an ambulance on the way, Cinquepalmi …
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
A Cook County sheriff’s deputy put a call out for people to raise $250 and he’d match $500 for a donation to the local food pantry. A handful of Orland Township teens raised double the money requested.
Terrence Camodeca thought he would add a twist to a yearly donation he makes to the Orland Township Food Pantry. “The news of the world is usually bad, so we need to create some good news for a change,” said the Orland Park resident, who uses his overtime pay working as a Cook County sheriff’s deputy for the contribution. Camodeca put out a call that if young people in the area got together and raised $250, he would pay $500 of his own money in addition to their raised funds, all going to the food pantry. “The idea is to help them achieve bigger goals through motivation,” he said. “Two generations working together for a common goal for all of us is very important.” SouthtownStar columnist Phil Kadner wrote about Camodeca’s offer, and 12 …
Friday, February 1, 2013
Sandburg students Jennifer Coners and Viktoria Rekasius combine their passions for dancing, working with children and helping people in need into a dance class for kids. A canned food donation is all that’s needed for entry.
Update: The Youth Helping Youth Dance Class is back for another season, running Tuesdays 4 p.m.-5 p.m. at the Orland Township Administrative Offices, 14807 Ravinia Ave. in Orland Park. Children ages 5-11 are welcome. They should come dressed for physical activity and wear gym shoes. Instructors ask that one can of food be donated for class admission. Editor's note: This story has been selected for Huffington Post's Greatest Person of the Day. See this story and others on the Greateast Person page. Viktoria Rekasius takes three quick steps ahead of a group of kids watching, and then leaps into the air, landing lightly and with balance back on her feet. With the forward momentum, Rekasius jumps twice more before turning around and facing the…
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Joe Rizza Ford led the push on a Facebook contest, through the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, to win big for the local non-profit.
Gerry Olmsted was a little skeptical at first. The Orland Park resident and co-founder of Erin’s AAIM For Change was pleasantly surprised to find out that in December they had won a contest through Facebook put on by the Chicago Automobile Trade Association. Car dealerships from around the Chicago area chose a charity they would represent in the contest, and people could vote for their pick on the association’s Facebook page once a day. Joe Rizza Ford in Orland Park opted to represent Erin’s AAIM in the contest, and after a about a month of voting between November and December, the two rose to the top. Erin’s AAIM was presented with a $3,500 check from the association on Jan. 14. “We’re older, but we have a lot of younger people on our …
Together We Cope will be expanding in the near future, after a supporter donated 3,100 square feet of space. Together We Cope could move into the new space as early as March.
It's a far cry from the garage in which Together We Cope started 31 years ago. The Tinley Park-based nonprofit recently received a generous gift and soon will expand into an additional 3,100 square feet of space, donated by Tinley Park CPA Ray Busch. The new space, located at 17728 Oak Park Avenue, includes office space, a small kitchen area and a large central room that the organization hopes to utilize as administrative offices and client meeting space. Busch chose Together We Cope, he said, because he knew the organization would actually use the space, instead of selling it. The organization's role in the community was also a factor in his decision. “They're doing something worthwhile,” Busch said. “They're feeding the hungry and …
Friday, January 11, 2013
Sandburg girls basketball standout Rachel Ruzevich has made herself right at home in the land of giants during her senior year. Her unselfish move has helped the Eagles bounce back from a slow start.
Honor roll student. High basketball IQ. One doesn’t necessarily go with the other. Sandburg’s Rachel Ruzevich is one of those rare individuals who scores all A’s on and off the court. She first learned to play the game from her father, Joe. He coached her from the time she started playing organized basketball through eighth grade. Ruzevich has turned back to those early lessons to help her play out of position during her senior year at Sandburg. She is the 5-foot-8 guard who has sacrificed personal glory for the good of the Eagles’ team. She is also the girl with a plan of action in place that likely will set her up for a lifetime of success. Ruzevich, Southland Patch’s Athlete of the Month for December, will study to become an …
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Orland School District 135 answered the call to help ease Sandy Hook Elementary School students’ transition to a different building for the second half of the school year by making snowflakes.
The Connecticut Parent Teachers Association did not anticipate the huge response. In order to help Sandy Hook Elementary School students’ transition to a new school after the devastating attack, the Connecticut CTA put out a request for anyone willing to make handmade paper snowflakes, to turn the students’ new location into a “winter wonderland.” The massive response that followed, with tens of thousands of snowflakes coming from across the United States and as far as Hong Kong, led the Connecticut PTA to respectfully ask the donations to stop. “At this time, we have enough beautiful snowflakes to blanket the community of Newtown.” But Orland School District 135’s Parents For Education decided to move forward and spend a couple hours …