Kennedy High School senior Emily Pruim shows the letter notifying her of her designation as a Mary Wheeler Scholar by the West Suburban Teachers Union Local 571. Mary Wheeler was a teacher at Proviso High School from 1924-65 and served as Local 571 president, as well as president of the Illinois Federation of Teachers. --Photo courtesy of Grace Pruim

Kennedy High School senior Emily Pruim shows the letter notifying her of her designation as a Mary Wheeler Scholar by the West Suburban Teachers Union Local 571. Mary Wheeler was a teacher at Proviso High School from 1924-65 and served as Local 571 president, as well as president of the Illinois Federation of Teachers. --Photo courtesy of Grace Pruim

Emily Pruim, a scholar with a bright future

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By Joan Hadac

Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge

(708) 496-0265 • joan.hadac@gmail.com

Spring is the season when, among other things, we celebrate the young people of Clearing and Garfield Ridge, their achievements and their future plans.

It’s a wonderful and refreshing part of my duties to report this kind of good news.

This week, I share some good news about Emily Pruim, a Kennedy High School senior who recently was named a Mary Wheeler Scholar by the West Suburban Teachers Union Local 571.

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Kennedy High School senior Emily Pruim shows the letter notifying her of her designation as a Mary Wheeler Scholar by the West Suburban Teachers Union Local 571. Mary Wheeler was a teacher at Proviso High School from 1924-65 and served as Local 571 president, as well as president of the Illinois Federation of Teachers. –Photo courtesy of Grace Pruim

She is one of just six Chicago-area students earning the designation this year. Union officials praised her for “the highest academic standards and involvement in school and community service.”

A 2018 graduate of Dore School, Emily is one of the top students at Kennedy, academically and otherwise. She is a member of the National Honor Society chapter at the school, and she has been named an Illinois State Scholar.

If her name sounds familiar, it should. Emily has appeared in the pages of the Clear-Ridge Reporter & NewsHound before, especially as a member of several excellent Kennedy Crusaders swimming and water polo teams.

That’s no surprise. Emily was a water baby since she was about six months old, and she was a competitive swimmer since her grade school days. Even now, she works part-time as a lifeguard at a pool in the suburbs.

With that background, you won’t be surprised to hear that last Sunday, Emily announced to her family and friends that she plans to pursue a career in marine biology at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Fla.

Congratulations, Emily! I’m sure your mom and dad, Grace and Joe Pruim, are as proud of you and they can be.

Neighbors rally ‘round the Caulfields

You may recall that in the Jan. 5 edition of the Clear-Ridge Reporter & NewsHound, there was a front-page photo of a burned out home near 51st and Merrimac. It was the Caulfield home, and while all three family members made it out of the fire (which happened on Christmas Eve, of all days), the inside was gutted.

Days after the fire, the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch swung into action and organized a fundraiser to aid the family—illustrating once again why Clearing and Garfield Ridge are two of the best neighborhoods you’ll find anywhere, city or suburbs.

Well, a few months later, it is my privilege to share words of thanks from Tom, Joyce and Katie Caulfield:

“Grateful, amazed, appreciative…Just some words to express our feelings to all who shared words of encouragement, offered prayers or sent a donation to help us rebuild our home. Friends, neighbors, the GRNW, and strangers have touched us with their concern, good wishes and generosity.  Losing a home to a fire can be a challenge, but it has shown us the extraordinary kindness of so many. We will always keep you in our thoughts and prayers.  We promise to pay it forward.  We are so grateful. Thank you!”

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Joan Hadac

Mark your calendar

  • Looking to buy unique rummage items at bargain prices?

Head over to the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch’s Sell-A-Bration, set for 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 14 in the west parking lot of Kennedy High School, near 56th and Narragansett.

The Sell-A-Bration will feature literally dozens of people from the area who have cleaned out their closets, attics, basements and garages to sell items of all kinds: clothing, housewares, sporting goods, works of art, craft knick-knacks, appliances, collectibles, you name it.

There also will be a “trash to treasure” table offering various rummage items donated to the GRNW by folks from the neighborhood. Proceeds from that table and space rentals at the event will help fund the GRNW’s various neighborhood improvement initiatives.

Space rentals are still just $20 for a 10 x 10 space. You provide your own table, chairs, display racks etc.–whatever you need, within reason, to sell you rummage items (or other items if you are a small-business vendor). To reserve your space, please call Arlene at (773) 229-1993.

With the pandemic tapering off, the GRNW is bringing back its popular food stand at Sell-A-Bration. Featured are barbecue pork chops right off the grill, as well as other food items and beverages.

A tip of the cap to the GRNW volunteers who, year after year starting in 2014, have given their time, talent and energy to make this a fun–and profitable for the sellers–community event. See you there?

  • A game called “A Day at the Races” is coming to the Garfield Ridge Satellite Senior Center, 5674-B S. Archer (immediately west of Laramie), at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 11.

In the game, senior citizens line up on a starting line with a picture of a horse with a number. Center staffers roll some dice and it tells them which horse moves and how many squares they move.

Center manager Julie Slawniak tells me the game is “lots of fun, and we will also have refreshments: non-alcoholic mint juleps and a treat. We will also hold a raffle that day. Seniors can come in on the day of the event and just take part in the races.”

For details, call the center at (312) 745-4255.

  • 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. Happy Cinco de Mayo!

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