Month: May 2017

Big Events Around Town | June 1 – June 8

Garden work

Barbara Cole, Maywood Youth Mentoring executive director, with MYM participants as they clean the organization’s peace garden at 17th Ave. and Madison in Maywood during an event last year. | File

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 || By Community Editor || @maywoodnews

17th & Madison Peace Garden Spruce-Up || Saturday, June 3 || 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. || MYM Peace Garden, corner of 17th & Madison, Maywood

Spring is the air! Maywood Youth Mentoring will be sprucing up its 17th & Madison Peace Garden this weekend. The effort is designed to keep our streets and community beautiful. We’ll be planting flowers, pulling weeds, spreading soil and mulch, painting cinder blocks, assembling compost bins, and more!

For more info, contact Barbara Cole, (708) 344-3577 or (224) 229-2900.

Rep. Welch Job Fair XVI

Attendees at one of Rep. Welch’s annual job fairs. | File

Rep. Welch’s Annual Job Fair || Saturday, June 3 || 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. || Proviso Math & Science Academy, 8601 W. Roosevelt Rd., Forest Park

Join Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch for an opportunity to connect with local employers. Job-seekers can network with hiring managers, submit their resumes and get information  about resources for the unemployed and underemployed.

For more info, contact Rep. Welch’s constituent service office at (708) 450-1000 or

Broadview Community Town Hall || Saturday, June 3 || 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. || Beverly Center, 3031 S. 25th Ave., Broadview

New Broadview Mayor Katrina Thompson and Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin (1st) will co-host a community town hall with special invited guest Congressman Danny K. Davis (7th). Breakfast will be served at 9 a.m. sharp.

To attend this event, please RSVP to or call (312) 603-4566.

Bellwood Meet the Mayor || Saturday, June 3 || 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. || Community Room of Bellwood Village Hall, 3200 Washington Blvd., Bellwood

Share your ideas, observations and feedback with new Bellwood Mayor Andre Harvey about how to continue the momentum that is moving the village forward! Light refreshments will be served.

Marian L. Thomas Book Signing and Discussion || Saturday, June 3 || 3 p.m. || AfriWare Books, 1701 S. 1st Ave., Suite 503 (Eisenhower Tower) 

Please join award-winning author and playwright Marian L. Thomas for a discussion of her new contemporary fiction book, “I Believe in Butterflies,” and what it takes to be published in today’s literary market. VFP

To submit a Big Event, email information to 

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Bits & Pieces: Check Out This Cool Promo Video About ReUse Depot in Maywood

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

Maywood videographer Mike Dawson recently created this neat promotional video about ReUse Depot, one of the largest reusable building material retailers in the Chicago metro area. The massive retailer is located at 50 W. Madison in Maywood — next door to Village Hall.

The store occupies the former site of the old Maywood Armory, where the 33rd Infantry Division of the Illinois National Guard was once based. After America entered WWII, the 33rd infantry division would be merged into Company “B” of the 192nd Tank Batallion, which would go on to face the infamous Bataan Death March.

Since moving into the village more than two years ago, ReUse has quickly become a staple institution, hosting renowned artists and a prominent local garden on its premises.

The roughly 13-minute video, which you can view above, is a nice synopsis of the retailer’s mission (and just how fortunate Maywood is to have landed the business). VFP

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Memorial Park District Seeking Commissioner Applications Until June 30

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017 || By Community Editor || @maywoodnews

The Memorial Park District, which represents all of Bellwood and Stone Park, and parts of Berkley, Hillside, Northlake and Melrose Park, is seeking candidates interested in filling a vacancy on its 5-person board.

Interested individuals can email letters of interests and/or resumes to or mail them to Mari Harrell, Memorial Park executive director, at 3101 Washington Blvd. in Bellwood.

The deadline for submissions is June 30, 2017. For more information, email or call (708) 547-3907.

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A Maywood School Lays Out the Red Carpet for Men, Fathers

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A father and son bond during a Men’s Day event at Garfield Elementary School in Maywood earlier this month. | Photos by Shanel Romain/VFP

1-40Wednesday, May 31, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

There’s something of a micro-revelation happening at Garfield Elementary School, 1514 S. 9th Ave., in Maywood, and it’s led by two men, Vincent Fields and Vernel Brown.

The two men, both fathers of students at the schools, comprise virtually the only male presence on Garfield’s PTO, but what they lack in numbers they make up for in energy and ambition.

Fields and Brown, the PTO’s vice president and president, respectively, are determined to get more men involved in the school’s affairs and the lives of its students.

Last April, they organized a Men’s Day at the school. The event involved at least two dozen male community members — from police officers and firemen to village trustees — greeting students on the playground as they streamed into the building to start the school day (there were also women in attendance).


Maywood police officers, firemen and elected officials were among the many male figures who came out for the second annual Men’s Day on May 9. 

“Every morning, we see a multitude of women dropping off their kids. Now, I know there are a lot of kids who come from single-parent families, but there are men in their lives,” said Fields during last year’s event.


“I’ve learned from working with kids that when you have a male presence, especially first thing in the morning, kids have a different attitude throughout the day,” said Brown, the director of Atmosphere of Tumbling (a local performing arts organization for young people), during last year’s Men’s Day.

During an interview last year, Marsha Alexander, Garfield’s principal, said that she told Fields and Brown that she and her staff would benefit from a stronger male presence.

“So they took that and ran with it,” Alexander said.


District 89 Supt. David Negron, left, with Garfield Principal Marsha Alexander during Men’s Day on May 9. 

And this year, they’ve gained momentum.

They organized a second annual Men’s Day on May 9. And just several days earlier, on May 5, they hosted a Father Daughter Dance in the school’s gymnasium.

“This is Garfield’s first Father Daughter ball,” said Alexander during the event earlier this month. “Since last year, we’ve wanted to try to get more parents, especially men, involved in our school community and what better way to get them to do so than to celebrate their little girls.”

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Lee Brown with his daughter, Leeshatin Brown, during the Father Daughter dance on May 5.

“I love it! I wish we didn’t have to leave,” said Garfield student Leeshatin Brown, who giddily danced with her father, Lee Brown.

“This is most important for the kids,” said Rev. Marvin E. Wiley, pastor of Rock of Ages Baptist Church in Maywood, whose daughter works at Garfield. “Bringing the kids together, especially for the fathers and male figures in their lives, and letting them see their kids in this atmosphere, is so important.”

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Joel Robinson was at the May 5 dance with his two granddaughters. “I’m always going to support my grand babies,” he said. “Any time, any day, I’m right there. They ain’t got to ask but once.”

Fields said that he and Brown came up with the concept, which the rest of the PTO got behind. More than 170 people attended the ball.

“This is to show that we can do better than what we see out there in the world right now,” Fields said. “We want to show our kids that the men in their lives are here to support them.”

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Vincent Fields, left, vice president of the Garfield PTO, and Vernel Brown, the PTO’s president, during the May 5 dance. 

Ashford James, an instructional aid at Garfield who danced with his daughter, Aamina, praised the the event as a model of community collaboration.

“This is exactly what our community needs,” James said. “We need more fathers involved and more people coming together as a community.” 

If Brown and Fields have their way, there will be a lot more of that in the future. VFP

Shanel Romain contributed to this report. 


Vernel Brown, Supt. Negron, Vincent Fields and Maywood Police Chief Valdmir Talley during the May 9 Men’s Day event at Garfield. 

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Construction Trades Training Center to Open in Bellwood this October

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The future site of a new training center for apprentices of the Cement Masons Local 502 and the Plasterers Local 5, which is scheduled to for completion in October. | Michael Romain/VFP 

Bellwood Training Center_3Tuesday, May 30, 2017 || By Local News Curator || @maywoodnews 

A new training center for apprentices of the Cement Masons Local 502 and the Plasterers Local 5 is going up at the corner of 25th Ave. and Madison St. in Bellwood. The 20,000-sq. ft. facility is scheduled to be complete by October, according to a report published last month in the Construction Industry Service Corporation‘s newsletter.

“We are very excited about moving into this new facility,” Pat LaCassa, the president of Local 502, told CISCO. “We need to continue to attract young men and women into these trades and having state of the art classrooms and dedicated areas for instruction of the craft is vital.”

Larry Picardi, Local 502’s secretary-treasurer said that the local has never had its own training center. The new facility, which is going up next door to the Cement Masons Union Hall, will provide union members with a campus-like environment, Picardi told CISCO.

The union has been utilizing training facilities in Alsip for the past two years, he said.

Bellwood training center

An architectural rendering of the new facility. | Forza Design


“The new Apprenticeship Training Center will also contain 10,000 sf of space dedicated to the instruction of pouring, finishing and removing concrete, as well as areas where work on floors, curbs, stairs and other aspects of the trade will occur.” CISCO reported.

“On the Plasterers side, additional space will be constructed where apprentices will be instructed on the latest techniques; with an emphasis on critical life-safety applications, and current fire-proofing methods.”

According to the CISCO report, 93 cement masons and 18 plasterers are currently enrolled in the apprenticeship program.

Read the full CISCO article hereVFP

Photo above right: From left: Bellwood Mayor Andre Harvey; Pat LaCassa, President and Business Manager of Cement Masons Local 502; Former Bellwood Mayor Frank Pasquale; Larry Picardi, Secretary-Treasurer of Cement Masons Local 502; Tom Abruzzo, Vice President of Forza Construction; and Anthony Abruzzo, President of Forza Design & Consulting Inc.

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Rev. Tyrone Crider, Maywood Native and ‘Pastor of Pastors,’ Dies at 58

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Maywood native Rev. Tyrone Crider, who died Friday at 58. | Family photo

Monday, May 29, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

Rev. Tyrone Crider, a prominent South Side pastor and social justice activist who fought alongside some of Chicago’s most notable cultural icons — from Harold Washington to Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. — died from cancer on May 26 at a hospital in Chicago. He was 58.

Crider was once the national executive director for Operation PUSH, the national nonprofit founded by Jackson in 1971. Crider also rallied votes for Jackson (when he ran for president) and Mayor Harold Washington, according to Crider’s Chicago Sun-Times obituary.

Crider was a Maywood native, born into one of the village’s most distinguished families. His grandmother, Kentucky native Quinella Watson Hathaway, moved with her family to Maywood in the early 1900s.

Since the Watsons were among the first black families to live in the village, Hathaway was the only black student in her elementary and high school graduating classes. She was the first black female graduate of Proviso East High School and one of the first black students to enroll at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Quinella’s husband, Walther Hathaway, was Maywood’s first trustee, according to an online historical database at the University of Kentucky, which references a 1999 Maywood Herald article.

The Hathaways gave birth to one son and six daughters, one of whom, Bernice Hathaway, would marry Lilton Tyrone Crider, and give birth to Tyrone, who seemed to embody two qualities that were abundant in both the Hathaway tribe and in Maywood more generally: faith and athleticism.

Crider’s aunt, Bettye Rivers, was the mother of former NBA player and current Los Angeles Clippers coach Glenn “Doc” Rivers, who is the nephew of former NBA player and Maywood native Jim Brewer.

In a CBS 2 news report, Jackson remembered Crider as “a brilliant speaker” who had “the it-factor,” “the stuff,” but who was also a great athlete in his own right.

“He was very close to Doc Rivers. He (Crider) was a great basketball player,” Jackson said. “I would never tell him that to his face. We would always laugh about it. He was a great athlete.”

Crider distinguished himself on the basketball court for Walther Lutheran in Melrose Park before heading off to study at Morehouse College in Atlanta, where he was influenced by the social gospel of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

In addition to his activism, Crider was what Rev. Chris Harris called “a pastor’s to pastors,” the Sun-Times reports. Harris, who described himself as Crider’s “spiritual son,” said that the Maywood native was “a man of integrity” who “made everybody feel extremely important.”

Addressing a 2014 controversy, which involved Crider resigning from the board of the Regional Transportation Authority due to allegations that he’d steered investments to a bank where he had a debt, Jackson said that the late preacher’s legacy would span beyond those headlines.

“His memory will be as an activist and a leader involved in helping resolve violence conflicts,” Jackson told CBS. “His preaching, his speaking on college campuses, inspiring youth, his voter registration, his feeding hungry people.

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“Tyrone Crider never stopped serving. He’ll live as long as we remember them. We will never forget.”

Word of Crider’s passing even prompted Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to release a statement, perhaps a testament to the Maywood native’s enduring influence.

“I was very saddened to learn of the passing of The Reverend Tyrone Crider, Sr,” stated Emanuel. “He was a preaching giant, a civil rights trailblazer, and someone who cared deeply about Chicago, our state, and our nation.”

In addition to his prolific preaching and activism, Crider was also a publisher, of the Chicago Gospel Tribune (a monthly magazine), and a pastor, who founded the New Hope Community Baptist Church in Chicago 1991 before becoming the pastor at Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago. Crider pastored Mount Calvary for 14 years until his death.

Crider is survived by his wife of 23 years, Regina Crider, and their five children. According to the Sun-Times, a “two-hour viewing has been scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, 1259 W. 11th St. in Chicago.”

Crider’s home-going celebration will take place on Saturday, June 3, at House of Hope, 752 E. 114th St. in Chicago. The wake will start at 10 a.m. while the service will start at 11 a.m. A repast will take place after the service at Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church. VFP

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Breaking: Possible Multiple Alarm Fire on 1000 Block of South 14th Ave. in Maywood

Fire pic I.jpgSunday, May 28, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || Photos provided 

An apparent multiple-alarm fire reportedly broke out on Sunday afternoon on the 1000 block of South 14th Ave. in Maywood, according to witnesses.

Witnesses said that they saw fire departments from Maywood, Bellwood, River Forest and Hillside on the scene. It isn’t known when, precisely, the fire started but by 6 p.m., it appeared that the fire was extinguished, according to witnesses.

So far, it isn’t known whether or not anyone was injured. Emergency officials couldn’t be immediately contacted for comment.

More as this story develops. VFP

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