Grand Slam Homer at SOAR's 7th Inning Stretch

The crowd was large and lively, everyone seemingly as ageless as the guest of honor, Chicago icon Dutchie Caray, celebrating her 85th birthday with more than 300 friends, family members and Streeterville neighbors at the Chicago Sports Museum at Water Tower Place. The August 6 event, SOAR's "Streeterville 7th Inning Stretch," was co-sponsored by the Museum and Harry Caray's 7th Inning Stretch--both located on the 7th Floor of Water Tower Place. Thanks to Grant DePorter, CEO of Harry Caray's Restaurant Group, and his partners, the entire evening was a festive tribute to Dutchie, the widow of one of the most memorable figures in Chicago sports history.


Everyone's vim, vigor and vitality were enhanced by the plentiful and delicious buffet and passed cuisine prepared and passed by Joe Rosetti, Executive Chef at Harry Caray's 7th Inning Stretch, and his staff. The plentiful bar, which included wine and soft drinks, featured a punch especially formulated for the party-goers. Choosing from among the wide variety of luscious Eli's Cheesecake flavors was difficult and many dessert lovers opted for a sampling of two or more.


Water Tower Place and five of its generous tenants contributed gifts to the evening's raffle. They included Water Tower Place: $100 gift card;  Harry Caray's 7th Inning Stretch (Level 7): $100 gift certificate; CHICO'S (Level 3): $25 gift card plus a jewelry set (Retail value = $100); SEE Eyewear (Level 2): $350 gift certificate; The Art of Dr. Seuss Gallery (Level 2 ): Limited edition Dr. Seuss print, "If Santa Could Do It, The So Could The Grinch," (Retail value = $225); and Campus Colors (Level 7): $100 Gift Card.


There were six lucky winners for the raffle prizes but no one went home empty-handed. Everyone received an incredible Water Tower Place goodie bag containing special offers, products and information from the six raffle participants.


Aglow from the start of the party to past its announced end time, Dutchie was constantly in motion, thrilled to greet old friends and meet new ones. When SOAR President Gail Spreen, Grant DePorter and Katie Lindsay, marketing manager of Water Tower Place, accompanied her at the Museum's recreation of "Harry Caray's Broadcast Booth"--they called up the family of a friend of hers, the late and beloved balladeer, Jimmy Damon, to lead in singing "Happy Birthday." Dutchie's eyes teared up when she spotted her old friends, Marc and Maureen Schulman, and her birthday cake, custom baked by the Schulman family's Eli's Cheesecake. Then the crowd spontaneously sang the Caray Anthem, otherwise known as "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." NBC5's anchors signed off their 10 o'clock newscast with a sentiment communicated all evening, "Happy Birthday, Dutchie. We love you!"



Left photo, left to right, Maureen Schulman, Marc Schulman, Dutchie Caray, Grant DePorter. Right photo, left to right, Katie Lindsay, Gail Spreen, Dutchie Caray, Grant DePorter.


To view more photos in our Gallery CLICK Here. 


Nominating Committee Now Accepting Applications for SOAR Board of Directors

Streeterville residents who are interested in being considered as a candidate to serve as a director of SOAR's Board of Directors are invited to submit an application to the nominating committee. Applicants must be SOAR members in good standing.

SOAR Board members gain interesting and important insights into how all stakeholders work together to "keep Streeterville a neighborhood." To turn these insights into policy requires participation by residents from every corner of the community (Chicago River to East Lake Shore Drive/Oak Street, and from Rush Street to Lake Michigan) who offer complementary skills and experience.

Interested Streeterville residents are asked to complete an online application and submit copy of a current resume or curriculum vitae.  

SOAR Board members are elected for one (1) or two (2) year terms at SOAR's annual meeting.



Streeterville Neighborhood Plan Draft Presented to Community At Large

On June 4, 2014, a Community Meeting was held to present an updated Streeterville Neighborhood Plan (SNP) hosted by the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers.  The Plan was presented by the SOAR Streeterville Neighborhood Plan Task Force with representatives from Chicago’s Department of Transportation and Planning Department (CDOT) who provided additional perspective and insight.

The Streeterville Plan is an update to the breakthrough strategic plan launched in 2005.   Gail Spreen, President of SOAR emphasized that the SNP was in a draft stage and encouraged the 100 plus attendees to share their comments and ideas about the Plan during the meeting and also provide additional commentary and insights by going online to the Streeterville Neighborhood Plan feedback page.   

Download a preview of the SNP draft plan.


SOAR Welcomes Karen Maisa as Executive Director

The Board of Directors of SOAR, the Streeterville Organization of Active Residents, announced the appointment of Karen Maisa to the position of Executive Director of SOAR, effective immediately.


"Karen is the perfect choice for this leadership position at SOAR as we build upon our past successes and move to the next level of growth through a number of exciting initiatives for the community," said Gail Spreen, president of SOAR. "Her experience in strategic partnerships, event planning, brand and loyalty marketing will allow us to develop a more comprehensive fundraising and sponsorship program, improve membership development and identify areas of opportunity to broaden awareness of the SOAR brand and its mission of improving and enhancing the quality of life and community in Streeterville."


A 13-year resident of Streeterville, Maisa has held several senior level marketing positions including 10 years as Marketing Director for Chicago magazine and prior to coming to Chicago, served as Vice President of Marketing for Time Warner Cable in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


Additionally she has been active in the community through her volunteer work with Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Children's Memorial Hospital, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. She has been on the board of several organizations including PAWS Chicago, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin, and the Girl Scouts of America. A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, she holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Cardinal Stritch University.  


Karen will be working out of our office on Pearson Street and can be reached at 312.280.2596 x1 or by email



SOAR Board of Directors Unanimously Opposed to Sprinkler Mandates

The Board of Directors of SOAR, the Streeterville Organization of Active Residents, voted unanimously to support a Resolution to oppose any legislation that would mandate the installation of sprinklers in buildings completed before 1975. You may read the Resolution by clicking here. The action is a result of hearing residents and management company representatives we've met with, as well as our own prudent and deliberative process for taking positions.

Over the years, special interests in Illinois have lobbied to the Illinois House of Representatives in efforts to mandate the installation of sprinklers in all buildings built before 1975, the year sprinklers were made mandatory for all new and rehabbed construction. In Streeterville alone, thousands of homeowners would face mounting bills for mandated sprinkler installation. Time and again, the Illinois House has responsibly voted against the mandate, citing exorbitant costs and local regulations that already provide for rigorous emergency safety measures.

Alderman Brendan Reilly (Ward 42) informed his constituents that State Representative Sara Feigenholtz (12th District) introduced legislation that would prohibit a mandating bill coming before the House without prior review by the General Assembly and by a special task force. Along with Alderman Reilly, we encourage passage of this bill in order to create barriers to prevent special interests from continually bringing mandates before the Legislature without review.

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