Mary Bilek (left) is “an asset” to Bridgeview, said Village Trustee Pat Higginson. (Photos by Steve Metsch) 

Mary Bilek (left) is “an asset” to Bridgeview, said Village Trustee Pat Higginson. (Photos by Steve Metsch) 

Bridgeview resident organizes event to help the police department

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dvn 10 12 mancha praises bilek

Bridgeview Police Chief Ricardo Mancha thanks Mary Bilek for her fundraising event.

By Steve Metsch 

Bridgeview Police Chief Ricardo Mancha took time at the latest village board meeting to thank resident Mary Bilek.

Bilek, 47, put together a special dinner on Oct. 1 at Nikos, 7600 S. Harlem Ave., to support the police department.

The event raised $2,100 for the police department. Gift baskets were raffled off. About 115 people attended, she said.

“It was a really nice event. It was very well-attended, very well-received,” Mancha said.

“Mary’s here and I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you very much. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed and are appreciated,” the chief said.

The audience broke into applause.

Mayor Steve Landek asked Trustee Pat Higginson to speak about Bilek’s fundraising efforts.

“Not only is she a wonderful person and a good friend, she loves Bridgeview,” Higginson said.

“Loves the fire department. Loves the police department. It was spectacular. A good time was had by everyone,” Higginson said.

“We are so lucky to have Mary Bilek in our community. She’s an asset. She does what nobody else would even attempt to do,” the trustee said.

Bilek seemed a bit overwhelmed by all the attention.

“If I knew there were going to do this, I wouldn’t have come,” she said.

“I do it because I love my community. I love my police and fire departments,” said Bilek, who has relatives on the Chicago Police Department.

Bilek has lived in Bridgeview since she was 16 years old.

“I love these guys,” she said.

Bilek declined to say what her out-of-pocket expenses were.

“It’s not important, not important,” she said.

Bilek works in home health care, taking care of the elderly.

In other business, for the first time ever, a village trustee attended a board meeting remotely.

Trustee Kalid Baste, who was out of town, called in to attend via the phone line.

“We appreciate you being our test case,” Landek said.

The call-in went smoothly.

Landek read a letter from Ronald McDonald Charities thanking Higginson and late Trustee Mary Sutton for their assistance.

The two had gathered seven pounds of aluminum tabs from cans and sent them to the Ronald McDonald Charities. Sales of aluminum tabs go to support the charity.

After the meeting, Trustee Claudette Stuzik, 79, said she husband Rich, 82, who heads the building department, would mark their 60th wedding anniversary on Oct. 5.

A large celebration with family and friends was planned for Oct. 8, she said.

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