Joan Hadac

Joan Hadac

Your chance to thank a police officer

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By Joan Hadac

Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge

(708) 496-0265 • joan.hadac@gmail.com

You may recall Clearing native Robert Swiderski’s inspiring, two-day, 80-mile run across the city in June 2021—running to all Chicago Police Department district stations to help prevent suicide among law enforcement officers.

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Robert Swiderski begins his 2021 run. –File photo

This year, the avid runner plans to start once again from his parents’ home near 64th and Narragansett—but this time walk to all 22 CPD district stations to deliver a single cent to each of the roughly 22,000 CPD officers.

The thought-provoking event is kind of along the lines of “a penny for your thoughts”—to encourage police on the front lines to open up more about the stress they face.

“Conversations matter,” Swiderski said. “Letting officers know they’re not alone also matters.”

In addition to starting off laden with about 120 pounds in pennies, Swiderski plans to deliver a thank-you letter, note or card to every officer.

If you want to be a part of this effort, please write a “Dear Officer” letter, note or card and mail it to Robert Swiderski, P.O. Box 3672, Barrington, IL 60011. But please do it soon. Robert plans to start the walk on Tuesday, Sept. 20. Thank you, Robert!

  • Cardinal Blase Cupich is scheduled to celebrate Mass at the 75th anniversary event of St. Daniel the Prophet Parish. Mass starts at 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 at the church, 54th and Nashville. A reception will follow in Brennan Hall, according to the St. Dan’s bulletin.
  • Thank you to all who read what I wrote last week and then made a GoFundMe donation to help Chris (Sarelli) Thompson, a good woman from the neighborhood, fighting cancer—not to mention a mountain of medical bills. When I first wrote about Chris, the GoFundMe effort had kind of stalled at about $3,700—far short of its $10,000 goal. A week later, the total stands at $6,045. I’m certain most of that came from you. If you have not yet donated but want to, please visit https://gofund.me/cc814aa3 and give generously.
  • If you’re looking for some great bargains, head over to the west parking lot of Kennedy High School, near 57th and Narragansett, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 and attend Sell-a-Bration, the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch’s twice-yearly community rummage sale. Free admission, plus food and beverages will be available for purchase.
  • Ed Tylka and crew at Ridge Funeral Home, 6620 W. Archer, will host their annual cookout for first responders from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 in Ridge’s parking lot. This is a nice gesture from one of Garfield Ridge’s oldest and most respected businesses. It’s a good example for other businesses to follow.
  • Pastor Julio Pena is reminding us that Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church, 5550 S. Merrimac, has an “open door” policy for its congregants, as well as everyone in the community, on a weekly basis beginning Monday, Sept. 26.

The church will be open as a safe haven from 8 a.m. to noon and 2 to 5 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

joanhadac

Joan Hadac

“The idea is to provide a safe place for people to come in and share their resources (talents), mental health relief, find support (unity), encouragement, laughter, learning new things, growth, a spiritual connection, not a religion connection,” Pastor Julio recently said. “This is for adults, elderly, families, men, women, youth all people who desire to find a safe place to gather without judgment.”

  • All are cordially invited to join the Ladies Guild at St. Faustina Kowalska Parish for the season opener of its monthly bunco sessions on Tuesday, Sept. 13, in the St. Pope John Paul II Parish Center, 5201 S. McVicker. Sign-in begins at 6:45 p.m. and the dice roll at 7. Cost to play is $10 with cash prizes awarded at the end of the evening. You can also take a chance on a split-the-pot raffle. Soda, water and coffee, along with light snacks, are available. For more information, contact Andi at (773) 610-5686.
  • Wedding banns have been posted at St. Daniel the Prophet Church for Jeff Blankiewicz and Amanda Milazzo, as well as Eric Olsen and Stacey Seweryn. May God bless your coming nuptials.
  • I’m looking for a friendly person in Clearing or Garfield Ridge willing to write this column on an occasional basis—maybe once a month or even just every now and then. I think it would be a good thing for other voices to be heard through this column. I know there are moms out there (or other folks) who could do it. Pay is near-zero. This is the type of thing you’d do for the fun of it—just as I do. If you’re interested, contact me via email.

Finally, it dawned on me this week that Christine Lee Hanson would have turned 23 this year.

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Christine Lee Hanson, age 2, with her mother, Sue, and father, Peter.

Christine was 2 years old when she rode with her mom and dad, Sue and Peter, on United Airlines Flight 175 out of Boston–scheduled to fly to Los Angeles on September 11, 2001.

She became the youngest victim of the terrorist attacks that day when the passenger jet she and her parents were on slammed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center at more than 500 mph.

So on Sept. 11, 2022, please pause to remember Christine’s name, as well as the names of all other victims—and the heroes who died trying to save them. Visit 911memorial.org to learn more.

See you next week.

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