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Fellow Rich Township Residents, I hope everyone is having a great summer. It feels like an extended spring with all of the rain that we’ve been getting. Some of the weather that we have experienced has been severe, inclusive of tornado activity. Many of you have called complimenting the work of both the Township Road District and the Homeland Security and Emergency Management departments. They both did a great job providing services throughout Rich Township during those storm emergencies. For that recognition, we thank you. But kudos should go out to all of the local governments for their performance during the storms. Many units of local government pitched in and provided mutual aid to neighboring towns. This type of cooperation goes on all of the time; either through formal intergovernmental agreements, or just through a sense of aiding a neighbor. In these tough times, this cooperative spirit is not only egalitarian, but vital. We’ve had a lot of activities since the last newsletter. I’m happy to announce that we have acquired a new passenger van for our “Jolly Trolley” bus service that is equipped with four wheelchair lifts. We have awarded the annual Rich Township Scholarships to a group of very talented young residents that you will meet in this edition. Please give attention to the Township Assessor’s report as Assessor Ranieri reports on numerous tax exemptions that may be available for many of you. Finally, don’t forget a very important and enjoyable sum-

mer event right around the corner. Rich Township will be one of the sponsors of Jazz in the Park For Charity 2010, which will be held on August 8th, from 2 to 7 p.m. at Bicentennial Park in Olympia Fields, located at 207th and Governors Highway. The event flyer can be found on the back cover of this newsletter. Come out and sample outstanding local cuisine, participate in a great, eclectic silent auction and enjoy the music of three worldSupervisor renowned jazz artists in a beauAl Riley tiful setting. What’s more, all of the profits from the event will benefit local non-profit organizations tasked with helping others. So, let’s all enjoy the summer, and I look forward to seeing you at the many events that Rich Township and the Southland has to offer. Sincerely,

Al Riley

Al Riley, AICP Rich Township Supervisor

Township awards four scholarships

A Publication

of the

Town

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Rich

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Citizens • Summer 2010

A Message From Supervisor Al Riley

Permit No. 40 Richton Park, IL 60471

U.S. Postage

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Presenting Sabrina Lopez (center) with a Good Citizenship Scholarship are (from left) Highway Commissioner Calvin Jordan, Trustee Elliott Johnson, Township Administrator Tim Bradford, Trustee Nick Doris Arevalo of Park Forest also received a Good Bobis, Supervisor Al Riley, Assessor Carol Ranieri, and Trustee Therese Goodrich. Citizenship Scholarship.

Rich Township awarded Good Citizenship Scholarships to four 2010 high school graduates. Each student received a $500 scholarship and a plaque. The recipients, all residents of the township, were chosen on the basis of student government participation, good citizenship and service to the school. The recipients were Domonique Wells of Rich Central High School, Jasmine Crafts of Rich South High School, Sabrena Lopez of Homewood-Flossmoor High School, and Doris Arevalo of Rich East High School.

Sabrena Lopez will attend the University of Illinois at Champaign, where she plans to major in anthropology and political science. Sabrina is a resident of Homewood. During high school, she was executive vice president of Student Government and raised money for the Spastic Paralysis Foundation and for schools in Africa. Doris Arevalo, a resident of Park Forest, plans to attend the University of Illinois at Champaign. She will major in political science or community health. During high school, Doris was Student Council president, and participated in Peer Mediation,

Snowball and Mathletes. Jasmine Crafts, a resident of Richton Park, will attend Northern Illinois University this fall. “We are all very proud of you and the other scholarship recipients,” said Supervisor Al Riley. “The Township has a lot of very good young people out there and more word needs to go out about the wonderful things they do. I’ve been to a lot of graduation ceremonies and it’s great to see young people achieve and go on to bigger and better things. Please keep in touch with the Township. We support you and we believe in what you’re doing.”

22013 Governors Hwy Richton Park, IL 60471

Rich Township

Free document shredding B-52 Document Shredding & Recycling, a division of Skyline Disposal, Inc., will shred documents for the public on Saturday, August 21, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the Rich Township parking lot, 22013 Governors Highway, Richton Park. Residents can drop off their documents, including bank statements, fi-

nancial records, legal documents, and other personal information, which will be placed in secure bins and then shredded. The event is not for general newspaper recycling. B-52 is a company that specializes in confidentiality. More information is at (708) 7545460.


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R ich Township R eport

Minority Business Expo set for Sept. 25

Minority Business Expo organizer Roy Dillard (left) presented a Distinguished Service Award last year to Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez. Holding the award are Dr. Christian Akiwowo (left) and Marx Jones.

Rich Township and Bloom Township will co-host the 2010 Minority Business Expo on Saturday, September 25, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at Prairie State College in Chicago Heights. The Expo is free and open to the public. The purpose of the Expo is to bring exposure to the many small minority businesses that seldom get an opportunity to showcase their business to the broader public. The Expo also encourages inventors, youth programs and small business startups. The Minority Business Expo Chicago Heights Mayor is designed to help strengthen America’s economy. Alex Lopez will be honThe Awards Ceremony starts at 3 p.m. Those to be ored at the 2010 Expo. honored are Chicago Heights Mayor Alex Lopez, Dr. Blondean Davis, superintendent of School District 162, Rich Township Trustee Therese Goodrich, and Spencer Leak Sr. of Leak & Sons Funeral Chapels. So please mark your calendars for September 25. To reserve a booth, or for more information, call Roy Dillard at (708) 748-6722 or (708) 261-5708. The deadline for booth registration is September 15.

New Jolly Trolley serves more disabled

(From left) Rich Township Supervisor Al Riley, Township Trustees Therese Goodrich and Nick Bobis, Park Forest Trustee Georgia O’Neill, Township Trustee Elliott Johnson, Park Forest Trustees Mae Brandon, Bonita Dillard, Kenneth Kramer, Robert McCray, Gary Kopycinski and Park Forest Mayor John Ostenburg.

Park Forest has a new Jolly Trolley bus with four wheelchair lifts for disabled residents. Rich Township Supervisor Al Riley recently showed the new bus to Park Forest board members in front of the Village Hall. The new Pace bus replaces an older model with only two wheelchair lifts. Two Jolly Trolley buses operate in Park Forest on Monday through Friday. Rich Township operates the bus service, which is available to all Park Forest residents, regardless of age. The Township acquires the buses through Pace. An average of 1,700

riders per month use the bus service “This is intergovernmental collaboration at its best,” Riley said. “Rich Township has kept the transit service tradition of the Park Forest Jolly Trolley alive, while operating the latest buses with lifts for the disabled. Rich Township has always had an excellent relationship with Pace. This makes our acquisition of safe, modern buses and equipment easier than it might be for other jurisdictions.” For more information about the Jolly Trolley or to reserve a trip, call (708) 748-4433.

Summer 2010

Jazz in the Park for Charity on August 8 Nationally renowned jazz musicians Nick Colionne, Bethany Pickens and Corey Wilkes will headline this year’s Jazz in the Park for Charity at 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 8, at Bicentennial Park in Olympia Fields. Organized by a regional committee chaired by Supervisor Al Riley, the event benefits area notfor-profit organizations. In addition to live jazz performances, the afternoon will feature food from fine local restaurants and a silent auction. Tickets are $50 per person. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit jazzintheparkforcharity.com.

Nick Colionne

Bethany Pickets

“It’s my pleasure to host Jazz in the Park for Charity, which attracts over 1,000 attendees annually,” Supervisor Riley said. “This is an excellent opportunity to help local not-for-profit organizations, while showcasing the beauty, culture and hospitality of Chicago’s southern suburbs.” Not-for-profit organizations benefiting from this year’s event include: Grand Prairie Services Foundation; Jassac Charitable Foundation; Joseph Elizabeth Seaton Franklin Foundation; The Link & Option Center; The South Suburban Chicago Chapter of the Links, Inc.; Theta Mu Lambda Charitable Foundation; and Trinity Services, Inc. Originally founded by arts patrons Martin and Lois Anthonisen, who hosted the event in their backyard for years, Jazz in the Park has grown into an event that attracts jazz fans from across the south suburbs. In 2008, Supervisor Riley assumed the position of chairman for Jazz in the Park for Charity, which has established itself as one of the signature sum-

Corey Wilkes

mer events in Chicagoland. More information is with John V. Moore (708) 205-2036 or jvmoore@gestaltonline.com The featured artists of Jazz in the Park Nick Colionne blasted onto the national contemporary jazz scene in 2003 and his career has been in ecstatic overdrive ever since. His breakthrough single, “High Flyin’,” hit #2 on the Radio & Records airplay chart. In 2007 he was named “International Instrumental Artist of the Year” at the Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards. This year Nick has been honored by the American Smooth Jazz Awards with two nominations for “Guitarist of the Year” and “Entertainer of the Year.” Bethany Pickens began her keyboard training under the watchful tutelage of her father, world class jazz pianist Willie Pickens, followed by more classical training at the American Conservatory of Music. She has performed at various jazz and music festivals such as, The Chicago Jazz Festival, Jacksonville Jazz Festival and Ibiza Jazz Festival in Spain. Bethany has performed duo concerts with her father at Symphony Center, Ravinia, The International Association of Jazz Educators, and the Steinway Society. Corey Wilkes, a young lion with a roar being heard in several music genres, began playing trumpet at the age of 10, honed his talent at the Berklee College of Music and landed in the heart of the Chicago jazz club scene in 2002. His soulful notes can be heard gracing a variety of projects including DJ sets by Logic, Osunlade and Josh Deep; tracks on Hidden Beach’s unwrapped Vol. 4, as well Kahil El Zabar’s Ascension Loft Series.


Summer 2010

R ich Township R eport

3

From the Assessor’s Office Notices & Reminders Homeowners Exemption

Township Assessor Carol Ranieri

The 2009 Homeowners Exemption Booklet was mailed out in March this year. New homeowners who purchased before January 1, 2009 are eligable for the exemption on the 2nd installment 2009 tax bill (payable in 2010). Seniors who did not file their renewal forms by the deadline and new homeowners should have received this booklet. Homeowners under the age of 65, who have previously had the Homeowners Exemption should receive their exemption automatically.

Reminder: 1st Installment Tax Bills Were Due March 2, 2010.

If you have not already paid this installment please do so as soon as possible. A penalty of 1.5 % per month will accrue on all unpaid balances.

HOME IMPROVEMENT EXEMPTION

The Home Improvement Exemption allows you to increase the value of your home with up to $75,000 worth of improvements without increasing your property taxes for at least four years. The exemption is available to owners of single-family homes, condominiums, cooperatives and apartment buildings containing six units of less. This exemption is automatically generated when a building permit is applied for and it is not necessay to apply for this exemption. This exemption does not appear as a deduction on your property tax bill but does have a direct impact on the assessed value of your property.

SENIOR CITIZEN EXEMPTION

The Senior Citizen Exemption provides tax relief by reducing the equalized valuation of your residence. To qualify for the 2009 tax year, you must meet the following requirements: ✔✔ be born prior to or in the year 1944 ✔✔ own the property during 2009 (if a property owner takes residence after January 1, he or she may receive a prorated exemption based on the month the property was purchased) ✔✔ use the property as your principal place of residence

If you qualify for this exemption you will automatically receive the Homeowner Exemption. Please Note: If you received the Senior Exemption on your tax bill last year, and did not sell your home in 2009, you do not need to reapply for the Senior Exemption this year.

SENIOR FREEZE EXEMPTION

The Senior Freeze Exemption allows you to apply for a freeze of the equalized assessed value (EAV) of your property for the year preceding the year in which you first qualify and apply for this exemption. To qualify for the Senior Citizen Freeze Exemption for the tax year 2009, you must meet the following requirements:

DISABLED PERSONS’ EXEMPTION

This exemption provides an annual $2,000 reduction in the equalized assessed value (EAV) of your property. To qualify you must be disabled during the assessment year, own or have a legal or equitable interest in the property, occupy the property as your principal residence on January 1, 2009 and be liable for payment of the property taxes. A property owner can prove disability by: ✔✔ Receiving Social Security disability benefits; ✔✔ Having an Illiniois Disability Identification Card showing a Class 2 disability; ✔✔ Meeting the disability standards of the Social Security Administration.

DISABLED VETERAN’S STANDARD HOMEOWNERS EXEMPTION

If you are a veteran with a service connected disability as certifiied by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, you are eligible for this annual exemption. A disability of at least 75 per cent is eligible for a $5,000 exemption in equalized assessed value (EAV). A disablility of at least 50 per cent, but less than 75 per cent, is eligible for a $2,500 reduction is EAV. To qualify you must be: ✔✔ an Illinois resident who has served as a member of the U.S Armed Forces on a member of the U.S Armed Forces on active duty or on active dury in the state of Illinois, Illinois National Guard, or U.S. Reserve Forces and has been honorably discharged ✔✔ have at least a 50% service-connected disability certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs ✔✔ own and occupy the property as the primary residence on January 1, 2009 ✔✔ have a total EAV of less than $250,000 for the primary residence, excluding the EAV of property used for commercial purposes or rented for more than six months

A surviving spouse of the qualified veteran may claim this exemption as long as the spouse does not remarry. If the surviving spouse sells the residence, the exemption may be transferred to his or her new primary residence.

NOTARY REMINDER

The Senior Assessment Freeze application needs to be notarized and your 2008 total household income is needed to complete this form. Total household income includes the incomes of everyone living in the residence--not just the senior citizen.

HOW TO CONTACT US

The Rich Township Assessor’s office can be reached at (708) 7486722, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesday 9 a.m to 7 p.m.

✔✔ be born prior to or in the year 1944 ✔✔ have a total household income of $55,000 or less for income tax year 2008 ✔✔ have owned the property or had a legal equitable or leasehold interest in the property on January 1, 2008 and 2009

RETURNING VETERAN’S EXEMPTION

If you returned from active duty in an armed conflict you are eligible to receive a $5,000 reduction in the equalized assessed value of your property for the taxable year in which you return. To qualify you must be: ✔✔ an Illinois resident who has served as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, Illinois National Guard or U.S. Reserve Forces ✔✔ be returning from active duty in a armed conflict involving the armed forces of the United States ✔✔ owned or had a legal or equitable interest in the property and used it as a principal place of residence on January 1, 2009 and ✔✔ be liable for the payment of property taxes

Contact Us!

Dee Marnell (right), assistant to the Assessor, helps Mamie Hamer of Richton Park with a property tax issue at the Rich Township Office.

www.richtownship.org 708.748.6722

22013 Governors Highway Richton Park, IL 60471


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Summer 2010

Public counts on Township Services

Annual Town Hall Meeting

The following statistics report how many citizens have used Rich Township services from January through June 2010. Township buses transported 32,801 riders from January through June 2010. The Food Pantry provided food for 4,298 families, or a total of 13,538 people from January through June 2010. The Rich Township Assessor’s Office provided tax assistance to about 2,650 people and had over 2,150 phone calls from January through June 2010. Boy Scouts Antonio Smith and Luke Hering, members of Park Forest Boy Scout Troop 185, post colors before the Township’s annual meeting.

Agnes Kenney

Rich Township Supervisor Al Riley dedicated the Township’s 160th annual Town Hall Meeting on April 13 to Park Forest resident Agnes Kenney of Park Forest, who

died in March. “She was a very popular regular at the Shirley J. Green Senior Center and she was so full of light and happiness when I would see her at the center,” Riley said. “I feel strongly we should name something in her honor and give her recognition.” Supervisor Riley did just that, in his capacity as State Representative. He presented an Illinois House Resolution honoring Agnes Kenney to Mrs. Kenney’s sister during a special ceremony at the Shirley J. Green Senior Center. At the Town Hall meeting, Riley also thanked Food Pantry Supervisor Vicki Sline for successfully meeting the increasing need for pantry services during the economic downtown. “There was always a lot of need, but during the last few years, it has been a tremendous amount of need,” Riley said. “Vicki with her staff and pantry volunteers have

admirably met the huge challenges stemming from the general economic situation.” Riley said the Transportation Department will soon be equipped with scheduling software and a GPS system with the assistance of a $194,000 grant from the RTA. The enhanced system will enable Rich Township to better schedule and coordinate ridership, and to eventually link up with neighboring townships to transport passengers between townships and to hospitals and medical facilities all across the Chicagoland area. “Rich Township will serve as the model that other townships will follow in the near future,” Riley said. “Our success could revolutionize paratransit service in the south suburbs.” Rich Township Trustee Therese Goodrich, a longtime resident of Park Forest, thanked Township staff members for their dedication. “When I go to regional and state meetings and mention Rich Township’s name, they perk up and say, ‘You’re the township that does so many things.’ ” Park Forest Boy Scout Troop 185, led by Scout Master Greg Robertson, posted the colors before the annual meeting. The Boy Scouts were Michael Williams, 15, Luke Hering, 14, and Antonio Smith, 14.

Apply for Passports at the Township Passports are required for all travel outside the continental limits of the United States. The Rich Township Clerk’s Office is a Passport Acceptance Facility and is currently processing passport applications. All the forms necessary to apply for a passport are available at the Township Office, 22013 Governors Hwy., Richton Park. Recently, processing fees were increased by the U.S. Department of State. The total processing fee is now $135 for individuals 16 years of age or older, and $105 for children under the age of 16. The fees and requirements are exactly the same at all passport acceptance facilities.

Processing takes approximately 4-6 weeks from the date of application. An applicant must bring in proof of citizenship, such as a certified copy of a birth certificate; two headshot photos against a white background; and identification, such as a driver’s license or state identification. The U.S. Department of State now requires everyone, including children, to appear in person at the passport facility. Passports are processed 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; and 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Call Deputy Clerk Debbie Pascarella at (708) 748-6722 for more information.

The Rich Township Clerk’s Office provided the following services for the first half of the year ( January through June of 2010):

❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱

Registered 27 individuals to vote. Processed 88 passport applications. Assisted 94 people in obtaining permanent disabled parking placards. Issued 23 temporary disabled parking placards. Provided free Notary Public service. Issued 652 Cook County vehicle stickers to residents of unincorporated Cook County.

Rich Township Senior Center statistics A total of 28,872 participated in senior services and activities from January to June 2010. The breakdown is as follows:

❱❱ In-Home service Clients: 371 served ❱❱ Case Management Contacts: 1,247 contacts ❱❱ Home-delivered Meals: 2,471 meals delivered Participation in the following senior activities was as follows:

❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱

Movie: 207 Flexercise classes: 2,370 Cards: 130 Needlework class: 206 Art class: 147 Jewelry class: 50 Health Screenings: 117 Monthly trip: 515 Podiatrist: 581 Blood pressure: 586 AARP Safe Driving class: 69 Rules of the Road: 26 Line Dancing: 532

❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱

Senior Chorus: 102 Bowling: 182 Walking Club: 65 Yoga: 143

Special Senior Programs:

❱❱ Income Tax Assistance (Feb.-April) 1,520

❱❱ S enior Fair (5/14) 275 ❱❱ Holy Land Presentation (4/30) 50

❱❱ Circuit Breaker (April) 75 ❱❱ Vegas Party (4/23) 70

Golf outing funds medical scholarships The Dr. Charles E. Gavin Memorial Foundation is hosting its 38th annual Medical Scholarship Fund Raising Golf Outing on Friday, July 30 at Balmoral Woods Country Club. The Dr. Charles E. Gavin cost is $125 per golfer, which includes golf, cart, lunch, dinner prizes, and more. You can also send a tax-deductible contribution to the Dr. Charles Gavin Foundation, P.O. Box 368, Park Forest, IL 60466. The annual golf outing is the major fund raising activity of the Gavin Foundation. All proceeds provide college scholarships to promising young medical students in our communities.

The foundation also serves Rich Township communities with charitable, educational, cultural and social endeavors that support and promote all people. Dr. Charles Gavin grew up and lived in Chicago Heights until his untimely death in 1971 at 44 years of age. He provided medical care to all people, regardless of their socio-economic status, race or creed. Countless south suburban residents were touched by his humanitarian spirit. Thirty-nine years after his death, Dr. Gavin’s compassion and generosity live on through the memorial foundation. The annual fundraiser is one of the oldest and longest running golf outings in the south suburbs. For more information, call Dan Graham, golf chairperson, at (708) 748-3594.


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R ich Township R eport

Rich South honors Riley, Vicki Sline Rich Township Supervisor Al Riley and Vicki Sline, director of the Pantry of Rich Township, both received “Shooting Star” awards from the Rich South High School STARS Council. The award honors community supporters who take time out of their lives to support activities and programs at Rich South. The awards were presented during a banquet at the school in May. The STARS Council said the two “show they care about the school, the students and the community through their efforts.” Supervisor Riley serves on many civic and charitable foundations, including the executive boards of the Boy Scouts of America-Calumet Council, Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, Jazz in the Park for Charity, Unity Coalition of the South Suburbs and the UIC College of Urban Planning Alumni Association. He is also a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Theta Mu Lambda Chapter. Riley credits his decision to pursue a life of public service to his father, Sam Riley, who was a union steward with UAW Local 6 and a leader in the Chicago civil rights movement early in his career. Professionally, Riley is an urban planner and statistician. He has served as a chief planner and director in county government, and director of Biostatistical and Computer Services for the Illinois Cancer Council, and has served in other executive positions in the private sector. Riley also taught urban studies and public health planning at the University of Illinois at Chicago and was an adjunct professor of Public Administration and Statistics at Governors State University. He has written in the diverse areas of cancer clinical trials, housing, labor economics, educational research and health planning, and has presented papers or seminars in those fields. Vicki Sline, in her position as director of the Food Pantry, has touched the lives of many people. The STARS Council said of Vicki: “Families that find themselves

Supervisor Al Riley and Food Pantry Director Vicki Sline

down on their luck can always find help to put food on the table at the Pantry. Many senior citizens that would go without meals are able to stretch their incomes with the help of the Pantry. At Christmastime, that help includes gifts for children who otherwise might not receive one. All these kind and charitable acts are orchestrated and directed by a very kind and selfless woman—Vicki Sline.” Mrs. Sline coordinates with Rich Township schools for annual fall and winter food drives to benefit the Pantry. Rich South also does a toy drive to help with gifts for needy families served by the Pantry. “Vicki is organized and patient as she works with the school sponsors,” the STARS Council said. “This opportunity for our students to serve their community is so important to all our schools.” The National Honor Society students make the food drive one of their most important projects each school year. “The STARS Council has received assistance from Mrs. Sline and the Pantry in helping distribute information to families and senior citizens about our free community events. Her service to both the schools and the community and the good she does through all her work is immeasurable. We want to thank Vicki for all she does to help the STARS Council, the school and the families of the community.”

Fresh produce available for low-income families The Greater Chicago Food Depository offers a Fresh Produce Day for low-income residents on the first Wednesday of every month, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., in the transportation garage of Rich Township, 22013 Governors Hwy., Richton Park. Please note that doors do not open until 9:30 am. All south suburban residents in need are eligible to pick up a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. The next Fresh Produce Days are August 4, September 1, and October 6. Call Pantry Director Vicki Sline at (708) 748-6722 for more information.

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Sertoma Centre offers free seminars

Sertoma Centre is proud to announce the proposed addition of a new Community Counseling Centre to its list of programs available to residents of the Rich Township area. The Community Counseling Centre, as planned, will provide individual and family therapy services, educational workshops and mental health seminars. To assist us in better fulfilling the needs of the community, we are asking you to pick up one of our questionnaires, fill it out and return it to our office. The full questionnaire is available on line at www.sertomacentre.org or by stopping in the Rich Township office, 22013 Governor’s Highway, Richton Park, or Sertoma Centre’s Good as New Thrift Store, 4331 West Lincoln Highway, Matteson, or the Sertoma Centre office at the east end of that building. Among the possible future programs we will be offering are Parenting Classes, Conflict Management, Stress/Anxiety Relief, Family and Marriage Counseling, Coping with Divorce and Caring for the Elderly. We recognize that there are issues related to the workplace as well as unemployment, mental health concerns, and every form of addictive behavior. All of these concerns are

possible upcoming workshops. Your response to the questionnaire will help us determine which workshops and seminars the community is interested in. As an incentive for completing the questionnaire, you and the other members of your family (age 21 and over) are invited to register for a free seminar to be held here at our Matteson site on August 11 at 5 p.m. This seminar will be a threehour workshop for adults who wish to learn simple steps to personal enrichment. Registration is limited to the first 30 residents who respond so we encourage you to do so immediately. For more information, call Carmel Browne at 708-748-1951 ext. 417. Or stop in to complete the questionnaire and register for the August 11th seminar at the Sertoma Centre location noted above. To email a request for the questionnaire, go to: counselingcentre@sertomacentre. org. You can then fax it to 708-7481962 or drop it off at the Matteson building.

Free basic computer classes

Disabled parking placards expiring in 2010

Rich Township is offering free basic computer skills classes for adults every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Leonard Robinson Family Services Center, located at 22013 Governors Highway, Richton Park. Participants will learn Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, internet skills, resume building skills, and more. Classes are open only to residents of Rich Township. More information is with Mark Mason or Joe Moran at (708) 748-6722.

Permanent disabled parking placards expire at the end of your birth month in 2010. The Secretary of State’s office will send you a new medical form to be completed by your physician for renewal. It will be sent to you about four to six weeks prior to your renewal date. If you have moved since receiving your permanent placard, you may obtain the form from the Rich Township Office, but not until four to six weeks before your renewal date. For more information, call Debbie Pascarella at (708) 748-6722.

Senior Notices AARP Safe Driving Program The AAP Safe Driving Class is scheduled for Tuesday, September 7, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a break for lunch. You must attend the entire session in order to become certified. The classes are under the direction of AARP and are designed to update participants on driving rules. The course can qualify seniors for a discount on the liability portion of their car insurance. The discount is good for three years. (You must contact your insurer.) The fee for the class is $12 for AARP members and $14 for non-members. Payment is by check only, and must be brought to class along with your AARP

membership card. Checks should be made out to AARP and dated September 7, 2010. Call the Senior Center at (708) 748-5454 to make your reservation.

Free vision screening The Park Forest Health Department will provide a vision screening on Thursday, August 26, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Shirley J. Green Senior Center, 297 Liberty Drive, Park Forest. The screenings will be administered by the Illinois Society for Prevention of Blindness, Chicago Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired, and the Vision Mission Group. This screening is offered free of charge. No appointment is necessary.


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Summer 2010

Trustee’s church donates clothes to Tabitha House When Rich Township Trustee Nick Bobis learned that the Tabitha House was in need of clothes for struggling families, he picked up the phone and called his parish, Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Palos Hills. The church responded by donating 40 boxes of clothing to Tabitha, located at the First Baptist Church in Park Forest. The pantry provides clothing and some household items to very low-income residents of the south suburbs. Bobis, a Tinley Park resident, learned about the needs of Tabitha House through the township clerk, Bobbie G. King, a longtime supporter of the clothing pantry. “As soon as I mentioned Tabitha House, Nick didn’t hesitate to contact his church for donations,” King said. “Tabitha serves people who are homeless, people whose homes have been destroyed by fire, or women coming out of abuse relationships who are trying to set up a household. These are people with nothing. Nick is such a cheerful giver and volunteers his time before anyone even has to ask.” When Bobis called Pastor Nicholas Jonas requesting a donation

Rich Township Trustee Nick Bobis (left), and Township assistant Bill Artus load a truck with clothing donations from Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, while Father Nicholas Jonas (right) looks on.

for Tabitha, the minister immediately offered clothing that the church collected through what is coincidentally called the Saint Tabitha Needy Outreach Program. “Our program is named after Tabitha, who during the time of the New Testament, would make clothes to give to the poor,” said Father Jonas. “We are following the same spirit. We feel it is our duty to help those in need. For us, it is a

blessing to be able to do this.” “We are following Christ’s command by helping our brothers and sisters in need,” said Bobis, who also serves on the Southern Pines Condominium Association Board and is a member of the Friends of the Tinley Park Public Library. “For Father Jonas and the parishioners at Sts. Constantine and Helen, this is an act of love and service to help those in need. This is what Ortho-

dox Christians do.” St. Tabitha outreach program is part of Project Diakonia, the church’s social service ministry. Project Diakonia also operates a Food Pantry that distributes food to various organizations helping struggling families. In addition, Diakonia brings in and serves warm suppers to guests of PADS emergency shelters, and also provides food for breakfast and a sack lunch. Diakonia collects items for the needs of orphanages in Guatemala and Tijuana, and also works with the Department of Children and Family Services to sponsor kids for Christmas. The organization supports the Crisis Center of South Suburbia, Together We Cope, and Balmoral Nursing Home, among many other local organizations. It established a Hurricane Katrina Fund through the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral of New Orleans. Project Diakonia also supports Chicago Children’s Memorial Hospital Thalassemia Program for children with lifelong blood disorders. More information about Tabitha House in Park Forest is at (708) 748-2566. For more information about Project Daikonia programs, call (708) 974-3400.

Colin Powell Concert Choir entertains seniors

Members of the Colin Powell Middle School Concert Choir sang for senior citizens at Rich Township’s Shirley J. Green Senior Center in Park Forest. Afterward, the students ate lunch and socialized with the seniors. The students were invited by the Community Nutrition Network, located inside the Senior Center.


Summer 2010

R ich Township R eport

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Rich Township partners with health club to combat childhood obesity Diane Alsberry has seen children’s self-esteem skyrocket after losing weight at Kids Health Club, located inside Matteson’s Lincoln Mall. “I had one seven-year-old who was quiet and meek when he came in, but by the time he finished the program and dropped weight, he couldn’t stop talking,” said Alsberry, who owns the club with her husband Vernard Alsberry Jr. “We have a lot of really, really good stories like that—girls dropping dress sizes, kids’ personalities opening up, health issues like diabetes completely reversed.” That’s why Kids Health Club has teamed up with Rich Township and Bremen Township to combat childhood obesity in the south suburbs. The Township-Kids Health Club partnership is a grass-roots response to First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative, designed to eradicate childhood obesity within a generation. Illinois has the 14th highest rate of childhood obesity. Research shows that kids who are overweight often struggle with weight their entire lives, resulting in a shorter lifespan and serious lifelong health issues. Alsberry said the key is to make exercise enjoyable so children will want to continue working out. “We provide them with fun activities,” said Alsberry, who is a physical therapist. “We have an

exercise program that’s interactive. There’s also a trained coaching staff that guides members through a specifically designed exercise program. The workout includes nine weight stations for strengthening and toning, cardiovascular activites like jump rope, cycling, hula-hoop, and trampoline, and interactive video games. “We also have this fun ‘sportswall’ where kids can compete against each other and themselves with colors, lights and games. Every part of the exercise program is fun—that’s why it’s such a good concept. It lets kids have fun and burn off energy.” The club will begin karate classes on August 16, with free demonstrations on Saturday, July 31. The club’s program also includes nutrition classes and lifestyle coaching, and also provides links to other organizined group activities, such as the Pink Panthers Double Dutch Team, and Tri-Masters Sports Initiative Programs, which trains young people to run triathalons. The club also offers after-school programs where kids can come and work out in large groups. “We want to partner with school districts to bring kids in to work out after school,” she said. “We think this is a great way to combat childhood obesity at the community level. Everyone is talking about the problem of child-

Register to vote now!

Voter registration for the November 2 Gubernatorial General Election is now in progress. October 5 is the last day to register to vote in that election. Cook County voters may register at the Rich Township Office, 22013 Governors Highway, Richton Park. Two forms of identification are required

to register, one with a current address. Please note that registered voters who have moved, or changed their address or name since the last election must re-register in order to vote in the November election. More information is with Deputy Clerk Debbie Pascarella at (708) 748-6722.

Pantry hosts fashion show fundraiser The Rich Township Food Pantry’s 20th annual Fall Fashion Show fundraiser will take place on Sunday, October 17, starting at 12:30 p.m., at the Tinley Park Holiday Inn Convention Center. This year’s theme is “Fall,” and the show will include stunning fashions for autumn. The fashion show is the Pantry’s major fund-raiser. “All money raised goes directly to help purchase the food that we distribute to more than 800 families every month,” said Pantry Director Vicki Sline. “The recession continues and families are still strained. We need your help to keep our shelves stocked and food on the table for struggling families. You will be helping people in your community— your neighbors. So please save the date.”

Tickets are $35, which includes a delicious sit-down luncheon, a fashion show, and a silent auction with hundreds of quality items, door prizes and raffles. Some of the auction items are: valuable artwork and jewelry, luxurious gift baskets, perfume, children’s toys, rare sports memorabilia, celebrity autographed items, gift certificates to day spas and health clubs, and numerous restaurant/museum/theatre packages. Fashions will be provided by Carson Pirie Scott, JC Penney, Kluger Furs, Leather House, Old Navy and Rainbows. Social hour begins at 12:30 p.m.; lunch is served at 1:30 p.m., directly followed by the fashion show at 2:15 p.m. For tickets, call Pantry Director Vicki Sline or Carol Pivoney at (708) 7486722.

An assistant shows a youngster the proper way to exercise at the Kids Health Club inside Matteson’s Lincoln Mall.

hood obesity but so far, no one is doing much about it. We’re here and able to do something about it. We have the programs in place. We believe that partnering with others can change the lives of our children and make them happier and healthier.” Alsberry said Rich and Bremen townships have taken the lead in fighting childhood obesity at the community level. “The only way to fight this is at the grass-roots level,” Alsberry said. “It’s up to families, our schools and communities to help our children get fit and stay fit.” More information about Kids Health Club programs is at (708) Kids Health Club offers many interactive exer248-7420. cise games for children and teens.

Road District keeps unincorporated areas ‘clean, green and safe’ The spring is a very busy time for the Road District. This is when we get down and dirty about cleaning up unincorporated Rich Township after the brutal winter months. We were able to establish several goals for the department to accomplish in the unincorporated areas. First, we installed culverts throughout various areas of the township to help the flow of water. During the month of April we had our annual SWAP Clean-up Day. We also planted trees on Arbor Day. We were able to provide tree trimming and chipping services to residents from midApril through mid-June. This helps to keep the unincorporated areas “green and clean.” This spring we also worked on our restoration project of asphalt on 192nd Street. Our department will continue to emphasize the importance of preserving our infrastructure investments through preventive maintenance, pavement renewal and water storm management throughout the incorporated areas. We will continue to work closely with the Cook County Highway Department. This partnership provides the

Road District with an ongoing staff of engineers and professionals who offer support, assistance and recommendations on current and future Highway projects. Commissioner This summer, we are Calvin Jordan working on a variety of road district projects, such as improving drainage and flooding issues throughout the unincorporated areas, particularly on 194th Street. In 2011, we will begin our resurfacing plan for the unincorporated areas. Our goal at the Road District is to keep unincorporated Rich Township beautiful, clean and safe. If you have any questions or concerns, or would like to volunteer, please give our office a call. Our office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Our telephone number is (708) 2285050. You can fax us at (708) 228-5058, or email us at highway@richtownship. org.


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R ich Township R eport

Your Rich Township Officials Supervisor Al Riley 748-6722

Clerk Bobbie G. King 748-6722

Assessor Carol Ranieri 748-6722

Highway Commissioner Calvin Jordan 747-3616

Trustee Nick Bobis 748-6722

Trustee Karen Caesar-Smith 748-6722

Trustee Therese H. Goodrich 748-6722

Trustee Elliott H. Johnson 748-6722

Township Administrator Tim Bradford 748-6722

Editor’s Note The Rich Township Report is written, edited and photographed by Mary Paleologos, Public Information Director for the Township. Layout and Design by Cory Ottenwess.

Summer 2010


Rich Township Spring/Summer 2010