Wednesday
Jul292015

Message from the President: Beautification Means More Than Beauty

Gail Spreen 

SOAR's Beautification Awards, now in its 34th season, is the first of its kind in Streeterville--and a model for similar Chicago community beautification programs. The awards program was established to encourage buildings in our neighborhood to upgrade their landscaping to make Streeterville the most beautiful neighborhood in Chicago. I realize that this is an ambitious goal and not one that every Chicago neighborhood can achieve--either because of community priorities or economics. In fact, I admire residents who, despite significant challenges, manage to plant flowers along their streets and even vegetable gardens in empty spaces. But as one journalist recently put it, "The future of Streeterville is the future of Chicago." As a destination community, Streeterville is "Chicago's Neighborhood." When residents and other stakeholders put funds and energy to work in beautifying our landscapes, we are putting out a beautiful "welcome sign" for visitors here--and also for investors in the community.

 

Now the nominations for 2015 are over and the nominees are ready for voting. Cast your ballot HERE.

 

Winners in Residential, Commercial and Institutional categories will be presented at the Annual Meeting, which will be announced shortly.

Monday
Jun152015

Alderman Brendan Reilly Covers the Waterfronts (Lake Michigan and Riverwalk) and Much More at SOAR Annual Town Hall Meeting

Saying, "I hear you loud and clear," Alderman Brendan Reilly (Ward 42) fielded dozens of questions about traffic, safety, development, infrastructure, parks, bicyclists, riverfront signage and dog poop from nearly 200 neighbors at SOAR's annual Town Hall, held June 10 at Loews Chicago Hotel. He was joined by Police Commander George Devereux (18th District); Marilynn Gardner, president and CEO, and Brian Murphy, COO of Navy Pier addressed traffic issues at that site. In an hour's presentation, more issues were covered than space allows here; we've been told that DNAInfo Chicago plans to cover the event in several issues and you can find them here. To receive Alderman Reilly's weekly e-newsletter visit the 42nd Ward website. Alderman Reilly recently was named Vice Mayor of Chicago by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

 

SOAR is grateful to General Manager Christian Hansen and the staff at Loews Chicago Hotel, for hosting this Town Hall meeting and reception.

 


Left Photo: Alderman Brendan Reilly, Commander George Devereux
Right Photo: Mario W. Hollemans, Gail Spreen, Christian Hansen, Seth Blumenthal

CLICK HERE TO READ THE PROCEEDINGS

Monday
May182015

SOAR Farmers Market: 22 Weeks, Shine or Rain

The SOAR Farmers Market will continue through Tuesday, October 27. Debby Gershbein, chair said, "Our goal is to connect local farmers and producers to Streeterville, providing a diverse range of high quality fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, baked goods, cheese, flowers, prepared foods and ready-to-eat food for people on the go. On Opening Day, the Market will present locally-produced products from small family farms in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin, including Nichols Farm and Orchard, Ellis Family Farms, Lanes End Farms, Lehman Orchard, North Wichert Gardens, Sheeringa Farms, Lyons Fruit Farm, Noffke Family Farms, Smits Farm, Stamper Cheese, LaProvence Bakery, Breadman, Provo Bakery, River Valley Farms, GottaBCrepes, Gayle's Best Ever Grilled Cheese, Karl's Kraft Soup.

"We thank our generous sponsors for helping us launch the SOAR Farmers Market. Thank you..... Related Midwest, Northwestern Medicine, Northwestern University and The Clare. We also are very grateful to the folks at the MCA who generously share their Plaza with us." SOAR volunteer coordinator Diane Kaiser has job descriptions, time shifts and other details to tailor assignments to your interests and schedules. Contact Diane by email.

Visit the new SOAR Farmers Market website.

Wednesday
Apr292015

SOAR Cares: Streeterville Spring CleanUp

When we care for the community, we're caring for the future. And the future--in the form of the Next Generation--came out to participate in SOAR's Clean Up Day on Saturday, April 18. Children today have a heightened awareness of being responsible stewards of the environment. We like to think that children helped drive parents and grandparents to the special event, which attracted a record number of participants on a record-setting beautiful day. We joined community partners Alderman Bob Fioretti and his family/staff (Ward 2), the Seneca and Lake Shore Park Advisory Council and our own Lake Shore Park Garden Club to organize and implement this annual citywide celebration of community. Special thanks to Do-Rite Donuts for figuratively transporting volunteers and to Chicago Trolley for literally transporting volunteers and tools all around the neighborhood (and gathering dozens of filled garbage bags to be picked up by the City), to SOAR Board members and staff, and to my staff at Streeterville Properties. We are proud to put a spring shine on Streeterville! Gail Spreen

Click here to view Photo Gallery.

    

Friday
Mar062015

MidWinter Social: Cold Night, Warm Event

SOAR members and friends were bowled over, well fed and proclaimed "That's Italian!" as they triumphed in the  bocce courts at Pinstripes on March 4. The team at the new upscale dining and entertainment center on Illinois Street couldn't have been warmer on another cold night in Streeterville. Thanks to founder-CEO Dale Schwartz and the entire Pinstripes team for hosting this "Midwinter Social"--or, as President Gail Spreen preferred to think about it, this "End-of-Winter Social!"

Below, and on the SOAR Gallery, are visual mementos of the occasion.