Jon’s Way Youth Group will be hosting a Family Fun Fair on Sunday, March 27, at Freedom Activity Center, 6252 W. Birmingham Ave., Chicago Ridge. (Supplied photo)

Jon’s Way Youth Group will be hosting a Family Fun Fair on Sunday, March 27, at Freedom Activity Center, 6252 W. Birmingham Ave., Chicago Ridge. (Supplied photo)

Jon’s Way to hold Family Fun Fair in Chicago Ridge

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By Kelly White

A Chicago Ridge youth group is finding creative ways to keep the community involved.

Jon’s Way Youth Group will be hosting a Family Fun Fair on Sunday, March 27, at Freedom Activity Center, 6252 W. Birmingham Ave., Chicago Ridge.

“With this event the teens get to show their leadership skills to the community and be an example for the younger kids,” Karrie Grabinski, president of Jon’s Way, said. “This is exactly what they asked to be able to do from the very beginning of Jon’s Way.”

Grabinski, a Chicago Ridge resident, and her husband, Roger, started up Jon’s Way after their son, Jon, tragically lost his life in a car accident on March 5, 2016, at the young age of 17, along with 18-year-old, Salvatore Melant, of Chicago.

The non-profit organization consists of more than 30 teens, serves as an outlet where teens can volunteer in the community, meet other teens and spend their free time in healthy and productive ways. The Family Fun Fair is a perfect example of that.

“There are so many reasons we are excited for this event,” Grabinski said. “This is truly a family event. Most of our events move so quickly and there is no time to meet with parents. This event gives parents more opportunities for their children and families to see what Jon’s Way is all about. This also shows the public how talented our teens are, and we are very excited about what this will bring to the younger generation.”

The Family Fun Fair follows Jon’s Way Mission as an organization to bring the community together in an effort to provide a safe, enjoyable supportive environment for our younger generation and many more to come. The mission statement was created by the teens. This is what matters to them most and what Jon’s Way will always focus on, Grabinski said.

“It’s going to be so much fun volunteering for the community and making sure all the kids have lots of fun at the Family Fun Fair,” Roman Bruno-Rivera, 12, of Chicago Ridge, said.

When the children arrive at the event, they will play games created by the teens – the winner receives a prize, if they lose, they receive candy. There will be carnival games, memory games, shape match games, and guessing games.

There are also many different prizes, including donated stuffed animals and temporary tattoos. Children will also receive a gift bag from Penny Lane Schools and play a game to win prizes with the Chicago Ridge Public Library.

The cost to attend is $5 per person, with all funds going to benefit the youth group.

“Jon’s Way relies mostly on monetary donations and donations of supplies for our events, which is a wide range of everyday items in almost any condition,” Grabinski said. “We do things this way because we never want to turn a teen away who can’t afford to be a part of the program. So, all donations are very important to the teens.”

The Family Fun Fair was just one of the group’s many fundraising ideas.

“We have many of the younger kids asking to be involved in Jon’s Way events that they are too young for,” Grabinski said. “We thought we would give the younger kids a day of fun with their families. This helps us in meeting parents to get our information out for recruiting. We also want to bring as much information to parents as possible about the different activities and organizations that kids have available to them right here in Chicago Ridge.”

Other organizations that will be at the event are Penny Lane Schools, the Chicago Ridge Park District, the Chicago Ridge Library, Chicago Ridge Boy Scouts, and information from the Worth Township Youth Commission.

“All of these organizations are essential for the families of Chicago Ridge,” Grabinski said. “We are very happy they are joining us in this event and all the others they have joined in the past.”

Teens involved in the event said they couldn’t be happier to be brining the Family Fun Fair to local children in the community.

“The Family Fun Fair will be fun because kids won’t have to be in the house and this gives them the chance to hang out with friends,” Shamir Murrell, 15, of Chicago Ridge, said.

1 Comment

  1. Ellen L. MacAlester on March 23, 2022 at 6:52 am

    I am so excited to hear how this wonderful group continues to grow and help the community. As one who personally knew and loved and continue to love the one who inspired this, I know there is an angel smiling in heaven. Keep going guys!



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