Friday, January 6, 2012


Frank Frigo & Bernard D. Headley II of Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest present a Champion Grant of $1,000 to Sean Harden for Goodcity NFP.

Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest selected Goodcity NFP as recipient of a Champion Grant. The purpose of the Champion Grant is to assist organizations in providing community outreach programs for low or moderate income individuals.
    The mission of Goodcity is to identify and support high-potential community-based programs that promote self-sufficiency and a sense of purpose in lives of individuals in under-resourced communities. Goodcity seeks to propel these social entrepreneurs to achieve maximum impact through training, mentoring, and milestone-based funding. Programs supported by Goodcity focus on employment, workforce development and retention, education, opportunities for area youth, and increasing the utilization of available benefits and government services. Goodcity primarily serves the Austin community, but also supports neighborhood programs throughout Chicago, including North Lawndale, East Garfield Park, Englewood, and Bronzeville.
    A grant in the amount of $1,000 was presented to Dr. Ileen Kelly, Director of Development for Goodcity, and Sean Harden, Chief Operating Officer for Goodcity, on December 29, by Bernard D. Headley II, Community Lending Specialist, and Frank Frigo, Marketing Officer for Community Bank.



    Louise Roberts VanDyke, a tireless worker for others throughout her life, died December 29 at age 87.
    She was born March 16, 1924, in Chicago, the fifth child of Bessie Louise Coles and John Coles, Sr. Louise received her formal education in the Chicago Public Schools, graduating from McKinley High School. She later continued her education by completing business college.
    Louise married Samuel A. VanDyke, a childhood friend, in 1949. Louise began her career with the Federal government, working for FHA & HUD. Later, she shifted her career path, working in the Chicago Public Schools at Nathan Goldblatt School and as a member of the original staff of Whitney M. Young Magnet School, one of Chicago’s premier schools.
    Louise was baptized at Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica on September 14, 1969, but her history of involvement with the church and its community dates back to 1960. She worked actively with Our Lady of Sorrows Parent Teacher Association, the Council of Catholic Women, the Order of Secular Servants of Mary, the Dignity Breakfast Program, Prime Time Connection Seniors, and The First Saturday Crew. In addition to being a Lector, Minister of Care, and Eucharist Minister, she proudly served as Sergeant-at-Arms and Mother of the Court for The Knights and Ladies of St. Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary.
    Her community involvement with organizations such as the Friends of Columbus Park Food Pantry, where she volunteered for three years, fueled her passion for giving.
    Louise is preceded in death by her husband of more than 50 years; her beloved parents; and cherished siblings, John Coles, Jr., Thomas Coles, Ida McGuire, Earskin Coles, Leslie Coles, and Charles Coles.
    Louise touched a multitude of lives. Her warm smile and gracious heart will forever be remembered by her beloved sons, Kenneth VanDyke and Brian M. VanDyke; her daughter Renee L. White (John); grandsons William E. White, Fredrick J. White (Denise), and Kyle VanDyke; her great-grandchildren Lauren White, Elliott White, and Keyati White. In addition to her niece, Melanie Coles, she leaves her nephews, Alan and Joseph (Barbara); her sister-in-law, Virginia; and a host of beloved cousins, grand-nieces, grand-nephews, and a host of cherished friends.
    Funeral services for Louise VanDyle are being held Saturday, January 7, at Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica, 3121 West Jackson Boulevard. The wake is at 10:00 AM, followed by the funeral at 11:00. She is being buried in Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside.


Derekniqua Brown, Derek’s daughter, takes on her father and shows boxing isn’t just for the boys. (Photo by Isaac Jones)
 Derek Brown knows too much about fighting and the temptations of Chicago’s West Side streets. That is precisely why he launched a youth boxing program and called it Boxing Out Negativity. His purpose is to build self-confidence, pride, and respect for peaceful conflict resolution in the boys and girls participating in his program.
    Brown’s boxing program has bounced around North Lawndale. He hopes it has found a permanent home in the basement of the former Blessed Sacrament Church, 3600 West Cermak Road. Father Larry Dowling of St. Agatha Church helped him find this location, hooking him up with the Blessed Sacrament Youth Center and Marilyn Gooch, its Executive Director.

Jearyne Brown, 15, spars with Boxing Out Negativity Director Derek Brown at Blessed Sacrament Youth Center, 3600 West Cermak Road. (Photo by Isaac Jones)   
 Currently, there are about 20 members of the program between the ages of 6 and 15. It was a noisy and active scene when we visited Blessed Sacrament recently. Happy kids were working on homework assignments while others played games and the core of young boxers were practicing their moves. Underscoring the importance of Boxing Out Negativity was a report we heard on the radio of five people shot on a West Side street just minutes earlier.
    Brown’s associate, Martin Murff, works with 16-22 year olds on Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays from 2:30-6:00 PM. On Thursdays, they travel to 9th & Madison in Maywood from 3:00 to 6:00 PM. Fridays the action shifts to The Rec in Melrose Park at 23rd & Cortez.

Derek Brown, Jr., known as Baby B, practices his boxing moves with his father at Boxing Out Negativity. (Photo by Isaac Jones) 
Brown says his boxers pay for their training in homework. He and his colleagues keep track of grades, school attendance, and behavior of participants in Boxing Out Negativity because the goal is to teach the positive attributes of the sport, promote physical fitness, and develop self-confidence – not aggressiveness and violence – in the young boxers.
    Young people interested in learning to box should call Derek Brown at 773/310-1743. He is also seeking sponsors willing to donate to the program and defray the costs for equipment, travel, and boxing exhibitions. Interested persons and companies should call him, too, at 773/310-1743.


Each month, students from St. Paul Lutheran School, 846 North Menard Avenue in Chicago, travel to Berkeley Nursing Home, 6909 West North Avenue in Oak Park, to spend time with the residents. They begin by warming up their audience with a few songs. After a Scripture reading and prayer by the Pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Reverend Andrew Schermbeck, the students converse with the residents. “You can tell the residents are delighted to receive visitors and their spirits are lifted by visiting with our students,” Reverend Schermbeck observes. “It’s also a good experience for our students and an opportunity to put their faith into action.” “I like going to Berkeley to visit with the residents,” says Mark Dowsey, an 8th grader. “Some of them don’t have family coming to visit, so maybe us coming makes an impact on the people.” Another 8th grader, Jessica Garner adds, “I enjoy singing at the nursing home because I love seeing the faces of the people as we sing. I like having conversations with the elderly people there because they tell us about what it was like when they were my age. They are so warm and friendly, I wish I could stay longer.” St. Paul Lutheran School has been having its students go to Berkeley for several years. All the students in kindergarten through grade 8 have a chance to go each year. “The visits are good for both our students and the residents of Berkeley,” says Principal Glen Kuck. “Our students learn a lot about living life by talking to older people. It helps them realize how blessed they are. Both the staff and residents of Berkeley have been very hospitable to us and I think it’s been helpful for the residents to connect with younger people, as well.” St Paul Lutheran School offers a faith-based educational experience for students in pre-school through 8th grade. For information on course offerings, extracurricular and sports activities, enrollment requirements, tuition rates and financial assistance available, and to visit the school, call Glen Kuck at 773/378-6644.