By William S. Bike
Editor’s note: At press time, future events listed in Around the Neighborhood still were scheduled, but changes are happening on a daily basis due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Check websites or call before going out in case events have been postponed or cancelled.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Illinois Chapter will hold a volunteer gathering on Saturday, April 18, in Oak Park, IL, and a research connection event on Thursday, April 30, in Chicago. Call (312) 890-2377.
BENTON HOUSE INFO
At Benton House, 3052 S. Gratten Ave., find out about public benefits such as supplemental nutrition assistance and citizenship application help. Food pantry hours are noon to 2 p.m. Fridays. Enjoy movies most Mondays at 7 p.m., senior exercise Mondays and Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m., yoga on Tuesdays at 8 p.m., and open basketball games Wednesdays at 8 p.m. Call (773) 927-6420 or email email@example.com.
The Boulevard of Chicago at 3456 W. Franklin Blvd. provides medical respite care and housing services for homeless adults discharged from area hospitals. Call (773) 533-6013 or log on to www.blvd.org.
PASSPORT TO TASTE
Career Transitions Center’s Passport to Taste annual event as of press time is scheduled to be held Thursday, May 7, 6 to 9 p.m. at 625 W. Adams. St. Enjoy award presentations, wine, beer, food, and a silent auction. Tickets are $100 each. Call (312) 906-9908 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
NURSE CONSORTIUM NEWS
The Chicago Bilingual Nurse Consortium helps foreign-educated nurses attain licensure in Illinois.
National Council Licensure Examination predictor tests are available to demonstrate probability of passing the nursing exam.
The organization’s website at www.chicagobilingualnurse.org also lists jobs available for nurses. For more information, call (773) 838-1870.
City of Chicago emergency rental assistance is available for people suffering financial hardship due to a loss of job, home fire, or illness. Call 311 or use a search engine to find City of Chicago Family & Support Services online.
The Chicago Department of Family and Support Services reports that Community Services Block Grant Scholarships are available for those enrolled or planning to enroll in college or vocational training. Contact Jenny Schuler at email@example.com or (312) 746-7291.
CINCO DE MAYO
Chicago Latino Network will host a Cinco de Mayo celebration Tuesday, May 5, at 6 p.m. at Roof on the Wit, 201 N. State St., 27th floor. Tickets are $25 each. See www.digitallatinos.com.
Community Organizing and Family Issues, 2245 S. Michigan Ave., (312) 226-5141, organizes and trains parents to win improvements in schools and communities and in how to create organizations and programs. See cofionline.org.
DE LA SALLE NEWS
De La Salle Institute celebrated its 50th annual Honors Geometry Bridge Contest, in which students competed by building bridges to see which had the greatest strength and durability. Frank Galvan placed first, as his bridge held 270 pounds; Alexa Acevedo placed second with a bridge withstanding 255 pounds of pressure, and Judith Hernandez garnered third place with a bridge that sustained 235 pounds. Galvan’s 270 pounds also earned him second place in the student category over the contest’s five decades. Acevedo’s 255 pounds ties her for third place in the student all-time category, with Hernandez sharing fifth place at 235 pounds.
Students participated in the Model United Nations Conference at the Hyatt-Regency Chicago, sponsored by the University of Chicago. Representing De La Salle were Michael Baker, Matthew Dixon, Branden Goeden, Byron Hidalgo, Desmond Jones, Ivan Martinez, Christian Meyer, Mateo Strainis, and Jonathan Valenzuela.
De La Salle recently received two plaudits from the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association for excellence in boys’ basketball. De La Salle won honors for reaching the 1,500-victory plateau, having won 1,751 games since the 1920-21 season, and the association lauded De La Salle head coach Tom White for winning his 400th career game in a 73-63 victory over Payton on Nov. 27.
Six students participated in the 2020 Chicago Archdiocesan Math Competition sponsored by the Math Teachers Association of Chicago and Vicinity at Loyola University. Alexandra Brist, Christopher Considine, Victor DeAvila, Kayla Roman-Flores, Drayona Rollins, and Zheng (Jack) Sun represented De La Salle.
Roman-Flores won the 2020 National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Aspirations in Computing Award. NCWIT honors young women in high school who are active and interested in computing and technology.
The Illinois Student Assistance Commission named 11 Class of 2020 members Illinois State Scholars: Matthew Boehm; Alexandra Brist (West Loop); Christopher Considine; Matthew Dixon; Michael Gallagher (Near West Side); Isaiah Hernandez (Near West Side); Nina Penny; Marc Rhymes; Alanna Saucedo (McKinley Park); John Stewart (Bridgeport); and Joshua Thornto.
De La Salle named Dominic Freddura head coach for lacrosse.
The De La Salle Mock Trial Team recently competed against 30 other high schools at an event held by the Northwest Suburban Bar Association. De La Salle student Jonathan Valenzuela won Outstanding Attorney against a field of nearly 100 students. Joining Valenzuela on the team were Peter Brennan, Isabella Brogan, Samantha Brost, Mackenzie Capers, Chelsea Guardiola, Judith Hernandez, Ivan Martinez, and Nadiya Muhammad.
De La Salle is located at 3434 S. Michigan Ave. Call (312) 842-7355.
First Defense Legal Aid, 5100 W. Harrison St., provides representation to people in custody, informs people of their rights, and organizes volunteers to help.
For more information, call (773) 434-4162.
First Trinity Chicago Lutheran Church Community Center welcomes donations of clothing, shoes, and hygiene items. Volunteers accept donations on Tuesdays from 5 to 7 p.m. and Fridays from 10 a.m. to noon. The church is located at 643 W. 31st St. Call (312) 842-7390.
Friends of Printers Row Park will host a cleanup on Saturday, April 18, from 9 a.m. to noon. The park is at 634 S. Dearborn St. Call (312) 742-3918.
GWTP JOB TRAINING
Greater West Town Partnership, 500 N. Sacramento Blvd., offers job placement and training programs in wood products manufacturing and shipping and receiving. Call (312) 563-9570.
HOLY FAMILY-NOTRE DAME NEWS
While Masses are suspended due to coronavirus (COVID-19) through the Easter season, Holy Family/Notre Dame Parish will offer Sunday Masses on the parish Facebook page at 10 a.m. The house chapel at the parish office, 1335 W. Harrison St., will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for personal prayer. You may park in the lot at 1334 W. Flournoy St. and enter the chapel off Harrison Street. Office hours are suspended. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Honor Flight Chicago,a not-for-profit organization,flies veterans of the U.S. armed services to Washington, DC, at no charge for a day of recognition and sightseeing. For information on signing up a veteran for a flight, or to make a donation, log on to www.honorflightchicago.org.
HR HotSeat Chicagois a free monthly online meetup of more than 1,600 human resources practitioners, service providers, students, and Chicago-area professionals in job transition who come together to expand networks and solve problems. Visit www.HRHotSeat.com or email email@example.com for a calendar of upcoming events.
GIVE BLOOD CHALLENGE
The Illinois Coalition of Community Blood Centers is launching the “#GiveBloodChallenge” to encourage people to take a brief trip to donate blood and then post a photo on social media (or at least post your appointment time) and tag ten friends to do the same. Contact Vitalant at www.vitalant.org or (877) 258-4835 to schedule a donation time (can be done online) and post a photo on social media with the hashtag #GiveBloodChallenge. For more information, log on to www.illlinoisbloodcenters.com.
COLLEGE OF COMPUTING
Illinois Institute of Technology has created a College of Computing to educate students in data and computation. The new college will open June 1, ahead of the fall 2020 semester. It will house Illinois Tech’s computer science, data science, artificial intelligence, applied mathematics, cybersecurity, information technology, and management programs. Illinois Tech is at 10 W. 35th St. Call (312) 567-3000.
Internet Essentials makes it possible for people receiving public assistance to qualify for low-cost internet service. Log on to internetessentials.com.
LADIES OF VIRTUE
Ladies of Virtue,1245 S. Michigan Ave., (877) 565-7121, provides mentoring and leadership and empowering experiences, including help with school applications, for girls ages nine through 18 from underserved communities. Log on to lovchicago.org.
Latino Union of Chicago collaborates with low-income workers to improve their social and economic conditions through employment opportunities. Log on to latinounion.org or call (312) 491-9044. For those looking to hire workers, call (773) 588-2641.
The Lawyers Committee for Better Housing provides eligible renters with supportive services and free legal aid. The LCBH also offers Rennie the Chatbot at rentervention.com to help with people’s housing problems. The LCBH is located at 33 N. LaSalle St. Call (312) 347-7600 or log on to www.lcbh.org.
Former 11th Ward Alderman James Balcer on March 8 gathered with other Vietnam era veterans at the Vietnam War Memorial at State Street and Wacker Drive to commemorate the 55th anniversary of U.S. Marines landing in Danang, South Vietnam. Balcer gave a keynote speech, joined by about ten Vietnam and other veterans. The group also visited the wall at the memorial, which lists the 2,995 Illinois military personnel killed in the Vietnam War as well as Vietnam War prisoners of war and Medal of Honor winners from Illinois.
The McKinley Park Civic Association recently presented the William H.G. Toms Community Service Award to Steve Demitro and the Educator of the Year award to Nathanael Greene Elementary School teacher Michelle McKeown. Other winning teachers were Marty Basco of Evergreen Academy Middle School, Mark Darnall of Thomas Kelly College Prep, Patrick Hunter of Horizon Science Academy-McKinley Park, Cindy Mlynarski of Burroughs Elementary School, Br. Christopher Oddo of De La Salle Institute, Miguel Patino of Blessed Sacrament Parish, and Sara Urban of Namaste Charter School. The association also recognized winning student essayists Layla Cruz, Zoe Martinez, Rosie Moreno, Giselle Rios, and Gavin Torres. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (312) 560-1115.
Mercy Home for Boys & Girls seeks adults to be mentors for youngsters. Learn more at MercyHome.org/ChicagoGazette.
LETTERS OF INTENT
Six Mount Carmel High School students signed letters of intent to play sports at various colleges and universities: football players Michael Foggie, Valparaiso University; Jalen Grant, Bowling Green State University; Aaron Lopez, Augustana College; Lance Swain, Quincy University; and Jason Thompson, Carthage College; and wrestler Alex Lelezas, Campbell University. The school is located at 6410 S. Dante Ave. Call (773) 359-0497.
Merit School of Music will honor Richard Colburn of the Negaunee Foundation and the Civitas Ensemble at its 41st annual benefit gala at Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, 120 E. Delaware Pl., on Tuesday, May 5. The gala starts with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and student-led concert program at 7 p.m. Tickets are $500 each. Log on to meritmusic.org/gala.
Mujeres Latinas en Accion empowers Latinas through service and advocacy. Their domestic violence crisis hotline is (312) 738-5358 and their rape crisis hotline is (888) 293-2080. Mujeres is located at 2124 W. 21st Pl. Call (773) 890-7676.
The National Immigrant Justice Center, 224 S. Michigan Ave., provides comprehensive legal services to low-income immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. It will continue to do intakes over the phone during the coronavirus crisis. Call (312) 660-1370 or log on to www.immigrantjustice.com.
SAINT IGNATIUS NEWS
Saint Ignatius College Prep reunions are set for Saturday, April 18, for the 1995, 2000, 2005, and 2010 classes.
The school is located at 1076 W. Roosevelt Rd. Call (312) 421-5900.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii offers virtual meditations as well as virtual novena prayers Wednesday through Thursday, April 1 through 9. Log on to www.ourladyofpompeii.org/news/virtual-meditation/. The church is at 1224 W. Lexington St. Call (312) 421-3757.
Public Narrative,600 S. Michigan Ave., offers courses in various locations on topics including social media, communication plans, podcasting, search engine optimization, and analytics. Call (312) 369-6400.
Rush Generations, a health and aging program, offers classes, screenings, support groups, and other programs for older adults and caregivers. On the third Thursday of every month, including April 17, Rush’s Diabetes Support and Education Group meets to share healthful habits, establish longterm health goals, and learn about nutrition and lifestyle changes that can help participants live with diabetes. A licensed physical therapist will offer Balance Screening on Tuesday, April 21, plus tips to improve balance and reduce fear of falling. Rush’s Take Charge of Your Diabetes Workshop meets for six Wednesdays, beginning April 22, to help participants build skills and gain confidence in managing diabetes and leading an active, fulfilling life. All programs take place on the Rush University Medical Center campus on the Near West Side. For more information or to register for an event, call (800) 757-0202.
CRIME VICTIM ASSISTANCE
Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s Crime Victims Services Bureau helps those dealing with the effects of crime. Call (800) 228-3368.
State Representative Lamont J. Robinson (D-5th) wants to hear what residents think are the most important issues in the community. Contact him at (773) 924-4614 or at his office at 5048 S. Indiana Ave.
The toll-free TURN Trauma Counseling Helpline,(833) TURN123, operates from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. TURN stands for The Urban Resilience Network, and the helpline assists those experiencing trauma caused by exposure to violence. The organization also provides trained ambassadors to visit community events and schools to educate about trauma.
If your business has experienced substantial economic injury due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the U.S. Small Business Association is authorized to issue assistance through a small business economic injury disaster loan program. This program can provide low interest loans of up to $2 million to businesses and private non-profits. See https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.
The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools will host Summer Lab, Monday, June 22, through Friday, July 31, featuring a day camp, theatre training, summer school, sports, dance, and recreation. Log on to SummerLab.org.
Vitalant,the Chicago area’s largest blood center, is facing an emergency need for blood and platelets. To donate, visit vitalant.org or call (877) 258-4825.
The Women’s Treatment Center offers free assistance with online applications for enrollment into the Illinois Ryan White Part B Program for HIV+ women. Call (312) 850-0050, x4994. The center is at 140 N. Ashland Ave. Log on to www.womenstreatmentcenter.org.