Wednesday, August 24, 2022

A Good Woman From the Neighborhood Needs a Boost. Will You Please Help?

By Joan Hadac
Editor and Publisher
Southwest Chicago Post

If you attended Kennedy High School in the early 1980s (especially if you were class of ’85), you may recall Christina Sarelli as a classmate--possibly from the Crusaders volleyball team or from the Drama Club.
Chris (Sarelli) Thompson

Her sister, Angelina (Sarelli) Malone, describes Chris as “one of the most kind, thoughtful, friendly, faithful people you will ever meet…she has spent her life spreading cheer and lending a hand to many. She has put others before herself throughout her life, and she is a simple person, requiring only love from family and friends.”

Well, years later, Chris (Sarelli) Thompson is a mom and even a grandma. She works as a professional photographer with her sister's business, Photography by Angel.

But in recent months, as Angelina wrote, “Chris was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma and is currently going through chemotherapy. After chemotherapy she will need to have surgery, radiation and hormonal therapy. She has a great team of doctors, a very faithful, caring husband and a large support group of family and friends who love her very much.

“Unfortunately, all the love in the world will not be able to replace the lost wages that are needed, to not only pay for day to day living expenses, but also help cover all of the medical expenses that insurance simply will not cover.”

But a GoFundMe goal of $10,000 is only a third of the way there.

Chris is going through some agony right now; and trooper that she is, a recent comment from her only hints at that: “I'm in a storm in my life right now; but from every storm comes new growth, and I will be back stronger and better than ever.”

Chris is a good woman from the neighborhood. She needs our help. Will you please join me in making a donation today? Visit and please give generously.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

St. Faustina to Begin Fall RCIA Schedule

By Joan Hadac
Editor and Publisher
Southwest Chicago Post

Just learned that St. Faustina Kowalska Parish will begin its fall RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) schedule soon.

Details below. My thanks to Monica Wodke for sharing this information.

RCIA is the Catholic Church's way of initiating new members. It is a learning and loving process in which conversion of heart brings one to Jesus Christ. 

RCIA is an opportunity for:

• An adult who has never been baptized.

• An adult who was baptized in another denomination or faith tradition.

• An adult who is baptized Catholic but would like to complete the Sacraments of Initiation (receive the Eucharist/celebrate their First Holy Communion, Celebrate Confirmation).

On Sunday, September 25, St. Faustina Kowalska Parish will begin the RCIA process with a period of inquiry and questioning - there is no formal commitment at this time. In a supportive group setting, we will learn about the teachings of the Catholic Faith, share stories and journey together toward greater intimacy with our God through the reception of the Sacraments. 

For more information, please contact the parish office at (773)767-2411 or Monica, the RCIA Coordinator at 773-814-6116 or via email at

September Activities Announced at Garfield Ridge Branch Library

By Joan Hadac
Editor and Publisher
Southwest Chicago Post

Just learned of a few programs coming in September to the Garfield Ridge Branch Library, 6348 S. Archer. For details, phone the library at (312) 747-6094. My thanks to Children's Library Associate Patti Tyznik for sharing this information.

Homeschool Neighbors: Thursday, September 8, 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. 

Join us for an informative discussion for new homeschooling families and experienced homeschooling families who need advice on teaching at home. We will have parents speaking on how they got started homeschooling and what co-ops are.  Learn about the library's resources; getting your kids a library card to use online databases, request materials, etc; programming events and more. The library is a great tool for homeschooling families.  Refreshments will be provided as well as an activity for kids. 

• Chess! Wednesdays in September from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. (For children ages 5-13 years).

Children will be taught how to play the game of chess. More experienced players can play matches against other opponents as well as help beginners navigate the game. Checkers will also be available.

• Time for Tots Story Time Mondays at 10:30 a.m. for children ages 18-36 months. September 12 to October 31.

We'll read stories, learn the ABCs, sing songs and make a craft to take home. Early arrivals can color, build puzzles & play. (No class on October 10.)

• Stories & Songs Story Time Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. for children ages 2-5 years. September 14-October 26.

We'll learn songs, make new friends and have fun reading stories together. Great way to meet new parents from the neighborhood! Early arrivals can build puzzles. Play time follows story time.

• Monthly Graphic Novel Book Club Tuesday, September 20 at 4:00 p.m. Ages 8-12 years.

This month's title is Cub by Cynthia Copeland. Copies available for check-out.

• Adult Spanish Book Club The first Thursday of the month. September 1 at 5:30 p.m. is the next discussion.

We will be discussing Kristin Hannah's Cuatro Vientos in Spanish. (Las niƱas puedan acompanarte al programa.)

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Big Back-to-School Bookbag Blowout Coming to 57th and Narragansett

 Big Party Planned by Business Leaders

By Tim Hadac
Managing Editor
Southwest Chicago Post

The generosity of local business owners will be in full bloom
this month, as boys and girls from Clearing, Garfield Ridge and other neighborhoods will be treated to one last summer party before children go back to school.

Several thousand children, their parents and grandparents are expected to gather in the west parking lot at Kennedy High School, 56th and Narragansett, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20.

The first 1,500 children in attendance will receive a new book bag and school supplies. All children will be treated to free food and beverages--all while supplies last. There also will be music, a bouncy house, pony rides, as well as visits by costumed characters, the Batmobile, a vintage firetruck and more.

The back-to-school celebration—launched back in 2018--is the brainchild of Geno Randazzo, owner of All Exterior Contractors

Signing on as a platinum co-sponsor is the Belt Railway Company of Chicago. Other co-sponsors include the Garfield Ridge Chamber of CommerceMidway StorageFirst Rate RealtyMike Riordan State Farm Agency,  Amigo Pest Control and several other local businesses and elected officials.

New bookbags, big smiles.
“We support our community’s children, as well as their parents and grandparents,” Randazzo said. “That’s what building better and stronger neighborhoods is all about. And really, why not have one final day of fun before school starts?”

Best known for its residential roofing work, All Exterior Contractors provides a range of home repair and improvement services, inside and out. In both 2018 and 2021 it was named a Garfield Ridge Chamber of Commerce Business of the Month and has built a reputation for supporting local veterans posts, civic and neighborhood watch groups, Scout troops, Little Leagues, churches, schools, senior citizen groups and more. 

Local business owners who want to help co-sponsor the event are encouraged to visit