Winner of Consecutive  APEX Awards for Publication Excellence
Dear Neighbors,

All around us at this time of the year, we are embraced by the sights and sounds of the holidays. There are twinkling lights, festive wreaths, and t he beautifully adorned holiday tree that now glows in Oz Park. For most, the holiday season brings family traditions, delicious meals and treasured time with loved ones. Smiles are on our faces. Our ears ring with laughter. Joy fills our hearts. As we look forward to the promise of the year ahead, i t is, indeed, the season to be jolly. 

For others, however, the holidays are the most painful  time of the year. Some because they are alone. Others because they grieve a recent loss. And, illness darkens the door of some in our midst. Certainly, each of us knows someone who is struggling. 

As our celebration of the holiday season rounds the bend towards the new year, let us be mindful that, through unexpected acts of kindness-even small ones, there is still time for you to be a light in the heart of someone less fortunate. 

Happy Holidays From the Heart,

Kenneth Dotson, LCA President  

P. S. Feel free to call or email at any time to learn more about LCA or if you have neighborhood concerns.  |  773.531.5515  |
A New Holiday Tradition is Born in Lincoln Park
Hundreds Attend the Inaugural Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony in Oz Park
The Crowd Sings Jingle Bells
The Crowd Sings Jingle Bells
Oz Park's First Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony was an overwhelming success, as hundreds of people from throughout Lincoln Park gathered to celebrate the beginning of the season. Produced and hosted by Lincoln Central Association and the  Oz Park Advisory Council  as a gift to the neighborhood, the ceremony took place at 5:00 PM on Saturday, December 2nd, at the large evergreen tree just south of the Tin Man in Oz Park. 

Brief remarks by LCA President Kenneth Dotson, OPAC President Judy Johanson, 43rd Ward Alderman Michele Smith,  and 5th District Congressman Mike Quigley opened the lighting ceremony followed by carols sung by choristers from Lincoln Park High School Johanson then led  the  crowd in clicking their heels and counting "1-2-3" as suddenly the tree became ablaze with lights. The ceremony ended with everyone joining in singi ng a chorus of "Jingle Bells."

"It was an honor to be a part of the first-ever Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony in Oz Park," said Alderman Smith. "A huge thank you to Lincoln Central Association and the Oz Park Advisory Council for uniting the neighborhood at this celebration a nd for establishing such an meaningful  new tradition for our community. I look forward to seeing the tree lit for years to come"  

Early arrivers to the tree lighting ceremony were able to visit with Santa Claus, a guest of the  Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce at their Winter Warm-Up event on Lincoln Avenue. which was headquartered at the Tin Man. Winter Warm-Up also featured carols sung by performers from the Old Town School of Folk Music. LCA and OPAC are grateful to the Chamber of Commerce for locating and timing their event to benefit the tree lighting.

Based on the success of the ceremony and strong neighborhood feedback, LCA and OPAC plan to make the tree lighting celebration an annual gift from the two organizations to the neighborhood.
Special note: The holiday tree in Oz Park was vandalized on the evening of Saturday, December 23rd. If you have any information on the person or persons who committed this unacceptable act of vandalism, please let us know  and w e will notify the appropriate authorities. Your support in this regard is appreciated. As a neighborhood, we must diligently work together to stop crime and vandalism. LCA is in constant communication with the Alderman's office on this topic. Please contact us at any time with your concerns. 
LCA Members Nada Riley and Emerald City Theatre Honored as the 2017 Neighborhood Champions of Lincoln Park

Emerald City co-founder Karen Cardarelli accepting award
Each year at the Best of Lincoln Park Awards, the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce honors one Lincoln Park non-profit organization, business or cause  that has made a positive impact within the community and one Lincoln Park resident who has made a positive impact within the community, as Lincoln Park's  Neighborhood Champions. This year's Best of Lincoln Park Awards was held on November 13th at  Victory Gardens Theatre, an LCA member.

Emerald City Theatre was honored as the 2017 Neighborhood Champion for Lincoln Park representing the non-profit, or business, or cause category. This year, through their One Fund program, Emerald City Theatre, an LCA member and sponsor, and its supporters are providing an opportunity for 60,000 Chicago Public School 2nd and 3rd students to receive a free live stream performance of Magic Tree House: Showtime and Shakespeare and a free Magic Tree House book
(Parents and grandparents alike, please take note that Emerald City will be participating in LCA's new Values program.) 

Nada Riley, also an LCA member, was the recipient of the 2017 resident Neighborhood Champion Award,  continued
Best Place to Dine in Lincoln Park; 
Offers New Benefit to LCA Members

Vasquez, Lawler and Schilf
LCA member and sponsor, Geja's Cafe (340 W. Armitage Avenue), was named the Best Place to Dine  at the annual Best of Lincoln Park Awards , hosted by the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce.  Master of Ceremonies, Patti Vasquez of WGN Radio, presented the award to Geja's owner, Jeff Lawler, at the November 13th awards ceremony.

Lawler and Geja's Cafe are well known to LCA as a result of their participation at all of LCA's annual events, both as a sponsor and a food and/or beverage provider.

We now pleased to announce that Geja's Cafe will be a participating merchant in LCA's new Values From the Heart program. To commemorate Geja's 1971 move to Lincoln Park, all LCA members in good standing will be eligible to receive $19.71 off of every Premier Dinner on each visit to the restaurant. Learn more about this offer and the Values From the Heart program.
Now Offering Discount of 21% to LCA Members

J9 welcomes LCA members
LCA member
J9 Wine Bar (1961 N. Halsted Street) hosted a "members only" educational wine tasting reception on the evening of November 9. The free reception, which featured Burgundy wines paired with delicious hors d'oeuvres, was exclusively open to LCA members.

The reception helped introduce J9 as the initial participant in LCA's new Values From the Heart program . LCA members current on their dues as evidenced by the presentation of a valid membership card can now receive an on-going 21% discount at J9 Wine Bar. Additional member-only events at J9 will be announced in the near future.
Tuesday, January 23, 2017 | 6:00 - 9:00 PM

Join the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce for Savor Lincoln Park 2018, a one-of-a-kind celebration of food and the Lincoln Park community. Sample cuisine from some of Lincoln Park's finest restaurants, and toast your friends and neighbors. The event will be held at iO Theatre (1501 N. Kingsbury).

Tickets for Savor Lincoln Park are on sale now. Listed below are ticket prices:
  • Early Bird Tickets available through Tuesday, January 2 - $30
  • Tickets available through Monday, January 22 - $40
  • Groups of 5 or more - $34
  • Day of Event Tickets (if available) - $50

A complete list of participating locations and details about food and beverage choices will be available in the coming weeks. Get your tickets to Savor Lincoln Park now.

Thursday, December 28th   26th       
LCA Monthly Board Meeting
LCA Board meetings are normally held the fourth Thursday of each month at 
6:30 PM in the back room of the Marquee Lounge (Halsted & Armitage). Board meetings are open to the public. 

Tuesday, January 9th
LCA Zoning Committee Mtg.
Zoning Committee meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month at 6:00 PM in the back room of the Marquee Lounge (Halsted & Armitage). Zoning Committee meetings are open to the public. 

Tuesday, January 23rd
Savor Lincoln Park 2018

Wednesday, January 24th
LCA Annual Meeting & Neighborhood Reception

Tuesday, February 13th
LCA Zoning Committee Mtg.
Zoning Committee meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month at 6:00 PM in the back room of the Marquee Lounge (Halsted & Armitage). Zoning Committee meetings are open to the public. 

Thursday, February 22nd  
LCA Monthly Board Meeting
LCA Board meetings are normally held the fourth Thursday of each month at 
6:30 PM in the back room of the Marquee Lounge (Halsted & Armitage). Board meetings are open to the public. 

Saturday, June 2nd
5th Annual Spring Zing
Join us for an afternoon of family friendly fun at LCA's 5th Annual Spring Zing from  1:00 to 3:00 PM  at Lincoln Central Park (corner  Lincoln  & Dickens). Stay tuned for additional details

Sunday, June 24
4th Annual Summer Sipper
The 4th Annual Summer Sipper will return to our beautiful, award-winning Fire Station Park & Gardens on Sunday, June 24th from 5:00 to 7:00 PM.   Summer Sipper is a free neighborhood reception style event event featuring  dishes from local restaurants and dishes prepared by neighbors using herbs grown in the garden.

Thursday, September 13th
5th Annual Evening in the Garden
Enjoy a neighborhood reception from 6 to 8:00 PM in our beautiful, award-winning Fire Station Park & Gardens. Hors' d'oeuvres and beverages will be served. Stay tuned for additional details.

Saturday, October 27th
11th Annual Howler at Bauler   
The 11th annual Howler at Bauler will be held at Bauler Park on Saturday, October 27th from 3:00 to 5 PM.

Each year at the Annual Meeting of Lincoln Central Association an election is held to fill seats on the organization's Board of Directors which are open due to term expiration, or otherwise.  The procedures for the election of Board members are outlined in the association's bylaws.

Earlier this year, a Nominating Committee was formed to nominate individuals to serve on LCA's  Board of Directors for the 2018-2019 term. Pursuant to  LCA bylaws, the Committee is comprised of two sitting LCA Board members (Kathy Jordan and Anne Moore), and three general members (Judy Johanson, Mimi Duginger and Jerry Quandt).

The Nominating Committee is now searching for a slate of dedicated candidates to recommend to the membership  for election at the Annual Meeting. The election procedures will be as set forth in the By-laws .

In order to serve on the Board, a candidate must have been an   LCA member in good standing for at least 60 days prior to the election, reside within the Association's geographic boundaries and commit to serving on at least one of the organization's committees. 

Current committees include: Planning & Zoning, Parks & Beautification, Communications & Membership, Events (sub-committee of Communications & Membership), Community Affairs and Governance.  

LCA Board meetings are generally held at 6:30 PM on the fourth Thursday of each month. Board members are expected to attend 10 meetings a year either in person or by phone.
If you are interested in serving on LCA's Board of Directors, please send a brief statement outlining why you would like to serve, the committee(s) you are interested in serving on and a bio (see  current board member bios on the website as examples). Alternatively, you may recommend another qualified LCA member as a candidate and submit the required information on their behalf or request that they do so.

At present, there is one vacant seat on LCA's Board. The status of other Board member terms, as of the 2018 Annual Meeting, will be as follows:

Serving 2017-2019 Term

Kenneth Dotson
Kathy Jordan 
Anne Moore 
Alex Hlavacek

Terms  Expiring With Remaining Eligibility

Bob Segal 
David Free
Sally Drucker
Robert Rixer
Nancy Morris
Paul Shea
Betsy Costello (Retiring from Board)

 Term Expiring and Term Limited

James Borkman
Announcement Set for January

Special Note:
 If you use Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo mail or other another webmail program, and in some cases on Android devices, you will either need to click on the "Having trouble viewing this email? Click here" link at the very top of the email, or the "message clipped" link at the bottom left of the page. Otherwise you will not see the full email and some of the links will not work. In some instances when using Outlook, only the link at the very top will be available.
Wednesday, January 24 | 6:30pm | Location TDB

LCA's Annual Meeting and Board Election will be held on Wednesday, January 24th, at 6:30 PM and will be immediately followed by a neighborhood reception. The location will be announced in early January. Applications are now being accepted to fill open seats on LCA's Board.  Read more about the Annual Meeting and Board Election.

The Grazianos Put Their Hearts Into the Neighborhood
by Kathy Jordan
Lincoln Central Park
Go to the s
outhwest corner of the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Dickens (also known as Richard "Dickie" Harris Way) and Cleveland Streets. There you'll find the Lincoln Central Park. And if you stop by, you may see two people working in the gardens. Their names are Deirdre and Tom Graziano, both long-time LCA members
Since they moved to their home on Mohawk in 1969, not a year has gone  by when the two have not been involved in the neighborhood. 

First it was the Dickens Street Fair, which was held on from 1964-94. Deirdre made programs for the kids part of that fair, and Tom brought a band he managed at Oak Forest High School to perform. "It wasn't polished, but it was a fun operation," he said. 

What is now Lincoln Central Park was then just a vacant lot, "a city
Deirdre Graziano
prairie," said Deidre. "I used it for pony rides for the street fair."
  "The corner had a history," said Tom. It was called the President's Corner because it was the junction of three streets: Cleveland, Lincoln, and Garfield (now Dickens). "There was a President's Hotel there, a single occupancy establishment."

Tom Graziano
"It was a working neighborhood with solid people," said Tom. But then came urban renewal, during which much of the neighborhood was razed to make room for new, low-to-middle income housing.

The empty corner became a small park in 1979-80 as part of the project. Under the auspices of the Chicago Department of Transportation, concrete was laid and other improvements were made. A water fountain attracted children. The park attracted loners and the homeless. "The kids called it the 'bum' park," said Deirdre.  That all changed in 2000, when Lincoln Central Association,  continued
Special Note:
 If you use Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo mail or other another webmail program, and in some cases on Android devices, you will either need to click on the "Having trouble viewing this email? Click here" link at the very top of the email, or the "message clipped" link at the bottom left of the page. Otherwise you will not see the full email and some of the links will not work. In some instances when using Outlook, only the link at the very top will be available.

Membership cards have been mailed to most all LCA members with the remainder to be mailed before the end of the month. If you are an active LCA member and have not received your membership card by January 5, 2018, please let us know.

Annual Benefactor
Brother of LCA Member In Midst of Efforts to Find Answers.

St. Nicholas
St. Nicholas, a fourth century Christian bishop, is thought to have lived in in what is now modern day Turkey. According to legend, he was widely known for his generosity, a trait that centuries later inspired the legend of Father Christmas as a bringer of gifts on Christmas Day. The legend of Santa Claus in America is derived from Father Christmas.

Researchers at Keble College's Advanced Studies Centre at Oxford University have used radio carbon dating technology to test a fourth religious relic-a relatively large bone fragment they now believe to from the pelvis of St. Nicholas.

Father O'Neill
The bone that the Oxford researchers analyzed came from Lyon in France, and is now owned by Father Dennis O'Neill, a Catholic priest in the Chicago area who collects Christian relics. O'Neill is the brother of LCA member, Patty O'Neill Harris. 
Father O'Neill has acquired his collection over many years, mainly from churches and private owners in Europe.

Read more on this story.
10th Annual Howler at Bauler Was A Howl of a Good Time
A cool crowd at Howler
Undeterred by unseasonably brisk weather, neighborhood families turned out again in large numbers for  Howler at Bauler, a neighborhood Halloween tradition hosted by Lincoln Central Association for ten consecutive years. Generous sponsors once again helped support the event.

Danny Orleans
Children of all ages enjoyed games, dancing to music, piles (and piles) of candy and the magic of Danny Orleans, America's premier family magician. Orleans, making his third consecutive appearance at the event, was sponsored by Bridgeview Bank.

Squeals of joy greeted the arrival of Engine 22 from the Armitage Fire House  as children  rushed to climb into the driver's seat or don a fire fighter's hat.

The annual costume parade, always one of the
Lined up for the costume parade
event's most popular activities, was again led by crowd favorite, Wizard Gary Sinclair. 
The Parade featured creative and amusing costumes of many types. 

Face  painters, sponsored this year by Oz Park Family Dental, and a balloon artist were, as usual, popular attractions. This year's Howler at Bauler also featured many all new activities including continued....

At a special meeting of Lincoln Central Association's Board of Directors, held on Wednesday, September 14th, the Board adopted a new mission statement for the organization.

To Inspire People to Join Together  for the Social, Cultural, and Physical  Enrichment of Our Neighborhood.

Though the mission statement is new, the mission itself is not. The revised statement remains faithful to the organization's founding documents.
Neighborhood Champions, continued

marking the second
Kenneth Dotson presenting
Neighborhood Champion award to Nada Riley
consecutive year an LCA member has received the award. (LCA President, Kenneth Dotson, was the 2016 award recipient.) 

A resident of Lincoln Park resident for more than five decades, Nada is a tireless volunteer and advocate for Lincoln Park residents and families. 

In addition to her work at the Park West Co-Op Nursery School, she serves as a community representative on both the Lincoln Elementary and Lincoln Park High School Local School Councils, and is a facilities co-coordinator for the #1School1Community program at Lincoln Park High School. She also serves on the Neighborhood Liaison Committee for the new Lincoln Common development. 

While LCA is thrilled to claim Nada as an LCA member, we cannot do so alone. Nada is currently on the Board of Directors of the Park West Community Association "Nada represents the best in community spirit because she contributes to so many neighborhood events. We are proud to have her on the Park West Community Association Board," said Nancy McAndrew, President of Park West.
Special Note: If you use Gmail, Yahoo mail or other another webmail program, and in some cases on Android devices, you will either need to click on the "Having trouble viewing this email? Click here" link at the very top of the email, or the "message clipped" link at the bottom left of the page. Otherwise you will not see the full email and some of the links will not work. In some instances when using Outlook, only the link at the very top will be available.
Lincoln Central Park, continued

Lincoln Central Park's beautiful fountain
headed at that time by Cynthia Bathurst, and then Alderman, Vi Daley, got together to oversee construction of the Lincoln Central Park, complete with fountain, benches, and areas for planting.

The Graziano's took on the job of turning the empty areas into gardens. They planted seeds, plants donated by neighbors, flowers rescued from other areas. They laid a dry river bed in the garden and recycled limestone from across the street to enhance the area. "We got a ton of stone to go around the fountain, thanks to a buddy who loaned us his truck," said Tom. 

"I'm not a gardener," said Deirdre, "but people would come by and help. Paul Shea and his nephew Russell have been working, and our grandkids work there all the time. Bob Thomas from around the corner paints the benches every year and removes graffiti. Jeff Conrad helped plant hostas and has assisted with other projects around the Park."

"We have a good relationship with CDOT," Deirdre said. "They still give us mulch every year that really helps the soil and the appearance.

"We pride ourselves on being good worker bees," she said, adding, "We experiment every year to make it as perennial as possible, with prairie grass and hostas. We plant bulbs and impatiens to give color. The river stones around the fountain have to be replaced each year, since kids take them to make mounds."

"It's a great city gathering place, and gives a nice opportunity to interact with neighbors," said Tom. "We have young romantics, homeless, seniors, St. Vincent dePaul Day Care, nannies, young mothers. A retired Jesuit priest does his cigar smoking there," he said. 

Deirdre looks at it this way. "People ask for 'no' signs"-- don't do this, don't do that. "I say, this is not a 'no' park. We call it the Peaceable Kingdom."

"The neighborhood owes an immeasurable great debt of gratitude to Tom and Deirdre for their dedication and service," said LCA President Kenneth Dotson. "They have helped in so many ways to make our neighborhood a better place to live. Their work at Lincoln Central Park is only one of many examples."
Howler at Bauler, continuedhowler

a bounce house and Nerf Wars and other activities by Lakeshore Sport & Fitness, story tellers from Emerald City Theatre and more. 

Geja's Cafe, always a favorite at LCA events, provided complimentary chocolate fondue served hot with bread, cake, grapes and strawberries throughout the two-hour event. If you enjoyed these offerings at the event, they are available on Geja's new To Go Menu.) New LCA sponsor,  Tea Gschwender was on hand to warm the crowd with delicious hot teat, including Gummy Bear tea for the kids. Hot chocolate from City Grounds and cider served by LCA volunteers also helped keep the crowd warm. 

LCA would like to thank the event's Platinum sponsors Bridgeview Bank, Geja's Cafe, the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce, Emerald City Theatre, Lakeshore Sport & Fitness, Thomas Ward Insurance and Oz Park Family Dental as well as our Gold sponsors Tea Gschwender, Harris Company Premier Properties and AlphaGraphics.

From the Heart  is an award winning newsletter published monthly by Lincoln Central Association, c o-editors. Kenneth Dotson and Kathy Jordan. Please email any story ideas.

From the Heart  r eceived a 2016 and 2017   Additionally, From the Heart was named a  Constant Contact All-Star in both 2016 and 2017  based on the open  rates and other metrics associated with this  newsletter in comparison to other Constant Contact clients. Visit our archive to catch up on past issues.

Join  LCA  online | Download LCA  membership form | Support your neighborhood parks.