New council to recruit members at local events
by BRIAN NADIG
The newly formed Gladstone Park Advisory Council will be promoting its goals and recruiting members at two upcoming community events.
Council representatives will be at a free outdoor showing of the animated movie "Despicable Me 3" which starts at dusk Tuesday, Sept. 4, at Gladstone Park, 5421 N. Menard Ave., and at the Gladstone Park Chamber of Commerce’s "Throwback Music Festival" during the weekend of Sept. 7 through 9 at Milwaukee and Elston avenues.
The council is looking to improve the north end of the triangular-shaped park with a butterfly garden, a decorative bench and a lending library box, where residents can borrow a book or donate one. The garden would be located just outside the decorative fence which surrounds most of the park.
The council also plans to hold fund-raisers for the park in an effort to supplement the park’s general budget to allow for additional programming. The Chicago Park District often waives permit fees for events sponsored by a local advisory council.
At the council’s Aug. 15 meeting, members elected the following slate of officers: president Bob Simpson, vice president Sarah Aguirre, treasurer Vicki Aviles and secretary Renata Leonard.
Council members also set membership dues at $15.
Simpson said that residents who do not pay the dues can still participate in council activities and that donations of items needed for the park can count toward the dues. "It doesn’t mean you’ll be excluded … if you don’t pay," he said.
The council also will serve as an advocate for the Forest Glen Playlot Park, 5069 W. Berwyn Ave., which has the same supervisor, Samantha Jayne, as Gladstone Park, according to Simpson.
The council is partnering with the Friends of the Parks, which will serve the council with a fiscal sponsorship.
The sponsorship can speed up fund-raising efforts because it allows organizations to start collecting funds prior to attaining tax-exempt status and a federal employer identification number. In addition, having a fiscal sponsor can help groups to be eligible for a grant.
The council’s next meeting will he held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19, at the park’s fieldhouse. The council is planning to have babysitting services available at the fieldhouse during its meetings, and the council has set up a Facebook page with information about its upcoming meetings and events.