Tag: Laura Lange

Registration Starts for Village-Wide Cleanup | Maywood Commission Seeking Members, Volunteers

Kyle FitzGerald Village Wide

Participants at last year’s Village Pride-Village Wide event. | File

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

Organizers of the third annual Village Pride-Village Wide cleanup event, held each spring in Maywood, are looking for sponsors and volunteers ahead of this year’s event, which is set for April 22, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The event will kickoff at the Reuse Depot, 50 W. Madison St. in Maywood.

“We’re all hands on deck,” said Maywood Environmental and Beautification Commission member Loretta Brown during a Feb. 15 Legal, License and Ordinance Committee (LLOC) meeting.

“We want everybody in the village to participate. The is an opportunity to bring pride to our village. That’s what the goal is,” she said.

Brown recalled one of the commission’s original motives for creating the event three years ago. Since then, it’s evolved into the largest mass cleanup of its kind that’s held in the village.

“We started out just wanting to spruce up the village because people were saying that it was dirty,” she said. “When we talked to people, they had no pride in the village. Our first-year goal was to pick up paper and trash and to spruce the village up a bit. Since then, we’ve [shifted to] wanting to do projects that last for more than just [a day]. We want to do a few long-term projects that last through the whole season.”

Last year, the event, which is sponsored by an array of entities, including Proviso Partners for Health, attracted over 300 participants and a range of sponsors.

“We’re hoping to get just as many, or more, sponsors this year because our goals are bigger and broader,” Brown said. “We’ll need as much support as we can get.”

Brown said that community members are welcome to organize volunteer teams from within their church congregations, workplaces, schools, homes and other vital institutions. Brown said she and her fellow organizers are looking for people to clean up trash, plant flowers, paint and do work on other community projects.

She also advocated for community stakeholders making long-term investments of time, money and resources into different areas of the community.

For instance, Brown said, Maywood’s Quinn Community Center will clean up a park across the street from Lexington Elementary School. But Quinn will do cleaning year-round as well since the community organization recently adopted the park.

“We’ve identified four parks in particular that will be spruced up that day, but we want people to adopt those parks beyond just that day so that the parks can stay clean,” she said.

The event organizers are also asking that participants pre-register for the event by filling out a one-minute survey here. Please respond by April 15th. 

For more info on Village Pride-Village Wide, contact Loretta Brown at ljbrown243@yahoo.com or Mary D’Anza at mdanza@luc.edu.

Maywood Environmental and Beautification Commission seeking volunteers, possible members

The Maywood Environmental and Beautification Commission — the voluntary body that is responsible for advising the Maywood Board of Trustees on matters related to the local environment and the village’s general physical appearance — is looking for community members with particular skill-sets who may be interested in either serving as commission members or volunteering on projects and/or committees.

During a Feb. 15 LLOC meeting, Laura Lange, the commissioner’s chairwoman, said that the 7-member commissioner currently has four active members. In order to have a quorum, all four of those active members must be present. This month, Lange said, the commission didn’t meet because two members were out sick.

“[The lack of active members] has really cost us in terms of momentum and energy with which to accomplish some of the goals we’re tasked with,” Lange said, adding that the commission is looking for people with knowledge and expertise in a variety of areas, such as marketing, building science, renewable energy and waste management.

Lange said that the commission is also seeking community members who may want to volunteer on committees or projects; rather than serve on the committee itself.

“Someone who joins a committee or helps support a project is thinking more along the lines of how are we going to do this particular task,” she said, adding that committee and project volunteers would be responsible for helping to implement certain individual projects or initiatives, such as the annual Village Pride-Village Wide cleanup event and planting community gardens. VFP

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Village Pride, Village Wide Grows On Last Year’s Success

Kyle FitzGerald Village Wide.jpg

More than 200 people took part in the annual Village Pride, Village Wide cleanup event on Saturday. | Photo: Kyle FitzGerald/Facebook 

Monday, April 25, 2016 || By Michael Romain || Updated: 6:51 p.m.

On Saturday, more than 200 people converged on the grounds adjacent to ReUse Depot, 50 Madison St., in Maywood to soak in the sights and sounds of the Proviso East Marching Band and Rev. Elliot Wimbush’s musical odes to the late pop icon Prince.

It was all prelude to the second annual Village Pride, Village Wide festivities, sponsored by the Village of Maywood and the village’s Environmental Beautification Commission. After about an hour of mulling in place, participants — armed with garbage bags, rakes, brooms, gloves and other tools — broke off in teams throughout the village to target specific areas.

Turnout for the April 23 cleanup was twice as large as last year, some of the event’s organizers noted.

“This year, we’re more organized and we’ve got a better turnout of people,” said Kyle FitzGerald, ReUse Depot’s owner. “It’s great. I think it’s starting to catch on.”

In the lead-up to Saturday’s village wide cleanup, commissioners noted that this year’s event would emphasize long-term beautification projects, in addition to the temporary mass cleanup.

FitzGerald did his part by marshalling a team of volunteers to lay a pallet of bricks in front of the village’s municipal building at 40 Madison St.

“This is always an awesome event,” said Maywood Mayor Edwenna Perkins. “It takes all of the residents to raise a village, to clean a village and to take part in a village. That’s what it’s about. It’s about participating in your government.”

“We’re really excited,” said Laura Lange, the beautification commission’s chairwoman. “We are so pleased with the weather and we couldn’t be more pleased with the people who came out.”

“This is community oriented,” said Village Manager Willie Norfleet, Jr. “The residents are coming out to clean up their own community. That’s a bigger deal than having someone else do this.”

The event’s organizers also noted that this year, Village Pride included much more robust participation from area schools, with several District 89 and 209 principals, students and administrators in attendance.

“I think this is just awesome,” said D209 Board President Theresa Kelly.

The event also attracted faces new to village government, like recently installed youth commissioner Michael Robinson.

“I’ve been in Maywood for a few years,” he said. “I’m just out here trying to show the youth that we can better our town. I want to show them someone who is closer to their age and experiences that we can do better.”

State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch (7th), who was also in attendance, lauded the event’s diversity and its emphasis on the fact that a clean village is the result of daily actions.

“This event is amazing,” he said. “It’s a great initiative. The village has partnered with so many different people. I look forward to coming out every to support it. We need to preach that Village Wide, Village Pride is not just a day, but it’s every day.” VFP

P A I D  A D V E R T I S I N G

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Maywood Fest Could Be Coming Back; Village Wide, Village Pride Plans Underway

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Maywood Clerk Viola Mims, far left, talks with Village Manager Willie Norfleet, Jr., far right, and Anthony Williams, Chamber of Commerce chairman and owner of Meal of the Day Cafe, during last year’s Village Wide Village Pride event. | File

March 30, 2016 || By Michael Romain 

At a March 29 meeting held to discuss the proposed FY 2016-17 budget, members of the Maywood Board of Trustees proposed bringing back Maywood Fest, the once popular annual village-wide event that’s been defunct for the last several years.

There was no discussion about specifics, such as target dates for when the fest would happen; however, the board was in general agreement that the event should be brought back soon.

The possibility of revitalizing the fest was broached during a discussion about the village’s special events commission, which has been inactive for the duration of Mayor Edwenna Perkins’s term. The mayor said she’s had a difficult time recruiting volunteers to sit on the commission.

Several trustees, however, suggested that an ad hoc fest committee could be sufficient for the purpose of planning the event, with each trustee appointing a representative to sit on the planning body.

“I am interested in having [the fest],” said Trustee Antoinette Dorris. “About six years ago, I know it cost us about $24,000 to $30,000, give or take … This is no slight to the turkey giveaway, Bataan Day, the employee party, Safe Summer or the Old Timers Picnic, but I think that, while these are great, they’re not hitting the entire village. We’ve gone three years now and have not had anything.”

Maywood Village Manager Willie Norfleet, Jr., said that village staff could add $20,000 to the budget down the line for the purposes of revitalizing the fest. He then upped that amount to $30,000 at the direction of Dorris. Trustee Michael Rogers, however, noted that the amount could be “a bit much.”

Considering that there was no money allocated for the event in the proposed budget that was presented on March 29, the additional funds for the fest would either have to be written into the proposed budget before the board approves the final version or added later through a budget amendment.

Village Wide, Village Pride Sets Sights Higher This Year

The Environmental Beautification Commission is looking for team captains and sponsors for its annual Village Wide, Village Pride event, which will take place Saturday, April 23, from 9 AM to 12 PM. The group will meet outside of the ReUse Depot, 50 Madison St., and convene there when the cleanup finishes.

Commission member Loretta Brown said that the commission is looking to build on the success of the first event, which attracted hundreds of volunteers that were broken up into groups and sent out across the village with rakes, brooms and garbage bags to cleanup certain litter hotspots.

This year, Brown said, the focus has expanded from merely cleaning up the village to initiating various beautification projects throughout the village that the commission hopes will last for “more than a couple of days.” Those projects could include planting flowers, painting structures and “creating focal points of beauty.”

The commission is calling on local businesses, churches, community agencies and governmental bodies to sponsor the event. Brown and Laura Lange, the commission’s chairperson, noted at a March 9 meeting that they’re looking for funds to purchase banners, yard signs, t-shirts, water, flyers, flower beds and other supplies.

The commissioners said this year, they’d like the event to saturate the town.

“Make a commitment to spruce up your own area,” said Brown. “Businesses want to move into a place where people take pride.”

For more information, contact Brown at ljbrown243@comcast.net or 708-865-8028. VFP

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