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Future is bright for Angelina “AJ” Juarez

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By Joan Hadac

Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge

(708) 496-0265 • joan.hadac@gmail.com

This week, I have the pleasure of congratulating Angelina “AJ” Juarez, who recent graduated from St. Laurence High School after four years of success.

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Angelina “AJ” Juarez with her mom and dad, Monica and Steve. –Supplied photo

An alumna of Twain School, AJ—among other things—was a four-year starter on the Vikings softball team. This season, the young Black and Gold program had its best year ever, winning an IHSA sectionals crown. As an infielder and a top hitter, AJ played a key role in the Vikes’ success.

The future looks bright. AJ has signed a letter of intent to continue her academic and athletic career at Triton College in suburban River Grove, where she is expected to wear the red and gold and compete for the Trojans.

Congratulations, AJ! I’m sure your mom and dad, Monica and Steve, are as proud of you as they can be.

  • Well, file this under Here’s Why They Put Erasers on Pencils. Last week, I shared the wrong date for the annual Patriot’s Day Parade. The correct date is Thursday, June 30. The parade is expected to step off at 7 p.m. near Archer and Central. Heading
  • The Garfield Ridge Chamber of Commerce has been reminding folks that Aug. 15 is the deadline to purchase commemorative bricks to honor military veterans. Bricks purchased will be installed at the triangle at 55th Street, Archer and Narragansett, in time for Veterans Day. Bricks may be purchased for as little as $30 each. For details on how you can honor the veteran in your life, visit tinyurl.com/GRCCbricks2022.

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    Joan Hadac

  • Speaking of the triangle, I must say a word about the role Geno Randazzo of All Exterior Contractors has played in all this. Three years ago, the center of the triangle looked terrible. Weather (not to mention local vandals) had taken a toll—with dozens of bricks missing from the walkway and the benches broken. Geno—who grew up in the area and is an alumnus of Kennedy High School–had his crews completely refurbish the triangle—all at his own expense. And a couple of months ago, when punks struck again and vandalized the benches and bricks, Geno stepped up and again and made things right. So a big thanks goes to you, Geno.
  • Well, the call went out, and the good people of Clearing and Garfield Ridge responded. The recent “bundle weekend” at Two Holy Martyrs Parish was quite a success. Donna LeCompte tells me that the trailer in their parking lot was filled to overflowing, so much so that they needed a second trailer to hold all donated clothes and household items. The next THM bundle weekend will occur in November. I‘ll keep you posted. In the meantime, a big thanks to Donna and all other members of the St. Vincent de Paul Society chapter. Donations help SVdP with its ongoing charitable works through the Chicago area.
  • Speaking of answering the call, Clearing and Garfield Ridge residents responded in a big way to last Sunday’s fundraiser for Garfield Ridge mom Della Benveniste, who is battling cancer. The event at Fat Daddy’z in Summit was jammed. It was great to see. About $9,800 was raised, If you missed the event but want to make a donation to help Della, please contact me via email.
  • The Garfield Ridge Civic League, with coordination of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, will go on a “Creek Peek” tour of the Sagawau Environmental Learning Center on Saturday, July 2.

Among other things, the tour offers a glimpse at Cook County’s only canyon and dolomite cliffs.

The tour bus is scheduled to depart from CrossRoads Community Church, 5433 S. Austin, at 9:30 a.m. and return at about 12:30 p.m. Bottled water will be provided.

Those on the tour may not wear sandals or open-toe shoes.

Capacity is limited to 25. The GRCL is asking for a donation of $10 per person, cash or check payable to the Garfield Ridge Civic League. Everyone will be required to sign a waiver of liability.

For more information or to make a reservation, call or text GRCL President Henry Pukala at (773) 562-0071.

That’s all for now. Please get out and enjoy everything or neighborhoods have to offer.

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