Ward 2 Aldermanic Forum: More than 200 Hear Candidates' Positions and Promises

On January 22, over 200 residents and other Streeterville stakeholders gathered at the Drake Hotel for the SOAR Ward 2 Aldermanic Forum moderated by Bob Reed, director of investigations and programs for the Better Government Association (BGA). In what Reed called a "friendly discussion," the six candidates were asked for their positions on crime, traffic congestion, parks, development and even dogs. All six candidates attended the forum, including Bita Buenrostro, Brian Hopkins, Steve Niketopoulos, Alyx Pattison, Stacey Pfingsten and Cornell Wilson. All six candidates cited many SOAR activities as models for other communities in Ward 2. In particular, the SOAR Streeterville Neighborhood Plan was commended for documenting a vision for the community and SOAR's Streeterville Neighborhood Walks program was singled out for an "eyes on the street" way to help combat crime and enhance safety and security.


Pictured in the photo at left, from left: Bob Reed, Bita Buenrostro, Alyx Pattison, Brian Hopkins, Stacey Pfingsten and Cornell Wilson. At right, Gail Spreen and Mario Hollemans, SOAR vice president and event co-chair, joined the candidates on stage. For other photos go to the SOAR Gallery.


SOAR was extremely grateful to the hospitality extended by Damien McArdle, General Manager of the Drake Hotel, who hosted the forum in the glorious and spectacular Gold Coast Ballroom.



Keep Streeterville A Neighborhood: Contribute to SOAR's Annual Appeal

As 2014 is quickly coming to a close, SOAR thanks you for your support and loyalty to SOAR as your community organization.   Without you and your continuous support, SOAR would not be able to keep Streeterville and the surrounding community a neighborhood for all to enjoy.

As you make your 2014 year-end contributions, please consider supporting SOAR's annual appeal. Your monetary support and volunteer hours are truly appreciated. In this holiday season, we at SOAR are ever thankful for you, our most cherished resource!  We are excited about 2015 as we will be celebrating our 40th Anniversary!  We will also be taking over the Farmers Market at the MCA Plaza in 2015 which will be a large undertaking as we wanted to ensure the Farmers Market would continue as it is so popular with the community!  Many exciting upcoming initiatives and opportunities but we need everyone’s help.
Donations can be made by mail or by clicking here.  SOAR is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Your contribution is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.


Northwestern University Medical Research Center Update

SOAR attended the community meeting on September 30 when representatives from Northwestern University and the architectural firm, Perkins + Will, presented an overview of the building's proposed final design and answered questions about the project. Since the design was first presented in November 2013, the University has considered input from SOAR and other community stakeholders and worked closely with Alderman Reilly to address concerns. The Real Estate Committee will schedule a separate meeting with representatives, consider next steps and communicate with Alderman Reilly. View the Design Presentation.

SOAR Streeterville Walks: Hear All About Our New Sponsor!

Hearing Professionals of Illinois, recently located at 680 N. Lake Shore, Suite 1207, has signed on as founding sponsor of the twice-weekly SOAR Streeterville Walks. Dr. Robert Meyers, one of the physicians and partners of the practice, is a Streeterville resident and SOAR member. Hearing Professionals of Illinois is an audiology practice that has been providing comprehensive hearing health care for over 40 years to adults and children. In affiliation with Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists of Illinois, they are excited to be serving the downtown community at their new location in Streeterville.Welcoming them as new SOAR sponsors, Executive Director Karen Maisa said, "They represent a perfect fit for the Streeterville Walks team, which is, in fact, the 'eyes and ears' of our neighborhood." Learn more about Hearing Professionals of Illinois.


More than a hundred people are now involved in the hour-long Streeterville Walks, which begin at 7:00pm every Monday and Thursday (weather permitting) at the meeting point: Fairbanks between Erie and Huron. Weather alerts, routes and other instant alerts are now posted on Facebook. You must first have a free Facebook account to receive and post comments. To sign up for Facebook.To become a Facebook Friend search for SOAR Streeterville Walks or click here to link to the group page


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.