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Decorate to Celebrate the 4th!

While we won’t have our usual parade and picnic this year, we can still observe Independence Day with a spectacular red-white-and blue spirit by adding patriotic decorations to our homes. The SCA will award recognition ribbons for outstanding residential displays, and the top three entries will be awarded a prize. Kids – decorate your bikes, wagons or scooters and send photos; prizes will be awarded the top 20 entries. All prizes will be purchased locally to support our merchants.

Send photos in by Friday, July 3 to and include your name and address. Include “Decorate to Celebrate the 4th” in the subject field. We are looking forward to seeing some holiday spirit in Sauganash!

Annual Meeting Recap

The Association met Tuesday, May 19th at 7 pm via Zoom with about 55 participants. We heard from local leaders and held the election of board members for the 2020-21 year. 

Alderman Nugent reported staff is working remotely and the ward is 100% operational. The ward has distributed over 20,000 masks to ward schools for lunch distribution, retirement homes and others. The ward is participating in Neighbors Helping Neighbors, a program that pairs up volunteers with people who need help with things like getting groceries and prescriptions. If you have a need or would like to volunteer call the ward office, 773-736-5594.

We were reminded to fill out the census. Every person counted in the census will bring $14,000 of federal money back to Illinois annually for the next 10 years. If everyone does not get counted, Illinois will lose out on funds we earned and need.

Congressman Quigley’s office is also up and operating remotely and can help with veterans benefits, unemployment, repatriation and other issues; call 773-267-5926. A lot of legislation has been happening to deal with the pandemic including the CARES ACT which provides funds to hospitals and health care providers and the HEROES ACT supporting local government. Rep. Quigley also spoke about what is required to open back up, mainly testing, treatment, and tracing and decried the lack of help on the federal level. He also said we need cooperation of other countries when dealing with a world-wide problem which includes the WHO.

Sauganash School Principal Christine Munns welcomed us to her dining room and gave updates on ongoing distance learning, planned smaller classroom sizes for next year and student progress on Battle of the Books. An exceptionally large number of graduating students will be attending Northside College Prep as well as Taft. The staff misses working closely with students but were thrilled to see many at a safe distance during a car parade through the neighborhood. The school is a distribution site for school lunches and will continue through the summer. She encourages any who plan to attend to register early.

Taft High School Principal Mark Grishaber reported that the new freshman academy is a huge success academically and every freshman had bus service to the campus. He finds there is a greater engagement by students on rainy days. Taft was recognized by US News and World Reports as a “best” high school. Taft is also a food distribution site and gives out 12-1500 lunches each week, please spread the word. Principal Grishaber would love to be able to have a drive-through graduation – please support this with the city and the district. Taft is planning 7 Friday night football games next year and all are invited.

John Campos, community organizer for the 17th District Police invites all residents to zoom beat meetings. Email them for an invite: The next meeting is 5/27 at 6:30 pm. Recent crime includes theft—mainly retail but also catalytic converters, assault, battery, motor vehicle and criminal damage. Visit the 17 th District for community alerts, contact info and much more.

Dennis Hammer and Jennifer Herren of the Edgebrook Sauganash Chamber of Commerce announced the Small Business Lottery with over $7,000 worth of gift cards donated by local businesses to be split between 2 winners. Tickets are only $10+ service fee. Help out local small businesses and find out who is participating here. The Chamber is also promoting the Mary Lou Quinn Scholarship Fund – any HS senior with a 60646 zip code going into a healthcare field is eligible for the $1000 scholarship. The deadline has been extended to June 15th. Send an e-mail to to request an application. Dennis also reported that Swedish Covenant Hospital will be doing free Covid-19 testing; call Swedish or complete an online survey to see if you qualify.

We had hoped to get coronavirus information from Dr. Linn, but he was unable to join us.

SCA president Michelle Whatley reported that we were lucky enough to avoid snow plowing this year, as no accumulation reached 4” and we have 1 more year of a 2 year contract with American Snow Removal locking in pricing. American is more expensive than firms we have used in the past but gets very high marks from other clients.

We used Clarke last year for both spraying and larval control, which is reportedly more effective and less toxic than spraying. We typically spray before Independence Day. We will check with the city to see if they are providing catch basin treatment this year and assess our needs for this season.

Because of the need for social distancing, we are sad to share that we are cancelling the 4th of July parade and picnic this summer. The Board is brainstorming ideas for alternate options; please share your ideas with us!

June marks the start of our membership year. Look for our membership mailing.

We give a monthly update to the Alderman on potholes and other road issues. If you see one, report it to the Alderman’s office. You can also keep us updated on any issues.

We are planning our annual 5K for October but not sure how it will be affected by coronavirus. We couldn’t hold our usual check presentations this year so checks will get mailed to the schools. Our holiday dinner was well attended and our next one is set for Dec. 4, 2020 at Colletti’s. We also held our 1st annual Mardi Gras celebration on Fat Tuesday which was a hit despite the blustery, snowy weather and plan on repeating it in 2021.

Comments and questions from attendees:

Please do not add speed bumps to our community (there is a new one on Keating south of Peterson) – Recommendation to check with Alderman about her policy
Response: The board was not consulted about the addition of speed bumps; we can look into that

Will the SCA be treating the standing water around the trail?
Response: We are working with Clark to discuss a quote

Will the 5k be a run or virtual?
Response: We have not made any decisions at this time

Is the testing at Swedish include antibody testing?
Response: Unknown

Will schools open for in-person teaching in the fall?
Response: We have not been given directives yet
We have put a lot of efforts towards e-learning

Fat Tuesday at Alarmist

Despite the blustery weather, neighbors of all ages turned up for pizza, drinks and Mardi Gras fun at the Alarmist Taproom on Fat Tuesday. There was also plenty of beads, Paczki and Kings Cake to go around. Many thanks to the Mardi Gras team for pulling this off.

39th Ward Participatory Budgeting Voting 2020

The results are in. All projects were submitted by 39th Ward residents, carefully vetted and and voted on by 39th Ward residents. The winning selections are the Pollinator Learning Garden, Green Space at Volta Elementary, Sidewalk Repair at Eugene Field Park, Peterson Elementary and the Underpass at Lowell and Granville under the Skokie/Valley Line Trail.  More info is available at participatory-budgeting.

If you have questions, please contact the Ward Office at or at 773.736.5594.

Holiday Spirit

Thank you to all of our Sauganash residents who brightened up the neighborhood with their festive holiday decorations. You helped “make the season bright” in our community. A few SCA elves awarded ribbons to homes of some of the more elaborate displays before they ran out but we appreciate all of them. See more photos of on our Facebook page.

Annual Holiday Party for Members

See photos on our Facebook page

The Bob Perkaus Memorial 5K

The weather was fine and we had a great turnout with over 200 participants.  This years winners: Men: Jeremy Rielley 16:20, Vincenzo Vaccarella 18:06, Mark Rose 20:45; Women: Shannon Stumm 24:10, Miriam Cope 24:17, Katey Perkins 24:18, Teens, Male: Sean Kelly 20:15, Daniel Jirgal 21:33, Andrew Wojcik 22:35, TeensFemale: Halley Fitzgerald 22:47, Mary Barr 25:21, Elizabeth Ziemer 25:25. Grammer School, Boys: Liam Newton 20:47, Joe Keane 21:02, Xavier Klatt 21:06,Grammer School Girls: Connolly Nugent 23:16, Moira Divane 25:07, Marycait Mackie 25:57. See more photos on our Facebook page.

We would like to thank our sponsors for their contributions: O’Tech Corporation • Precision Plating Company, Queen of All Saints Basilica, Stefani Prime • Brennan Investment Group-Bob Vanecko, Kelly Construction and Design, Ltd., Debbie Perkaus, Relevant Radio 950 AM, Smith-Corcoran Funeral Home, Swedish Covenant Health • Alderman Samantha Nugent, Chicagoland Custom Closets, City Volkswagen of Chicago, Edgebrook Ace Hardware, First Resource Marketing, Inc., Healy Scanlon Law Firm, John D’Amico, State Representative, Kelly Leggett – Keller Williams Realty, Perkaus & Farley, Polish National Alliance, Richard E. Zulkey and Associates Law Offices, Sauganash Montessori School, Team Perkaus, Wintrust Bank • Edens Fast Food, Happy Foods, L. Woods Tap & Pine Lodge, Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, Phyter Food, Sauganash Wellness Center, Tarpey’s Pharmacy and Whole Foods.

What a wonderful 4th of July Celebration!

Be sure to check out all the photos on our Facebook pageWe are very grateful for all the volunteers, participants and an incredible Chicago neighborhood with plenty of community spirit! Special thanks to our parade and podium VIPs:
Mayor Lori Lightfoot!!!
• Congressman Mike Quigley • State Representative John D’Amico • Alderman Samantha Nugent • QAS Father Simon
• SCC interim Pastor Joe Snedden
• QAS Boy Scout Troop 626 for Flag Raising Honors
• Paul Scavone for leading the National Anthem and God Bless America
• Resident Jeff Kirchner for managing the sound equipment
• Long-time SCA Board Member Mike Kelly for building and maintaining the podium
• 2019 Parade Marshall, long-time resident and past SCA President Bob Fitzgerald.
Much appreciation for our sponsors: Whole Foods, 15th District State Representative John D’Amico, Swedish Covenant Health, Chicagoland Smile Group and Happy Foods.
• and, of course, the work of SPCA President Don Morton
• And the extremely hard-working SCA President Michelle Whatley for coordinating the entire day from permits to parade to picnic to cleanup!
• Resident and SCA Board Member Karen Hand-Harper—Podium MC and video assistance from resident Mark Harper.
• Thanks to resident and Board Member Mo DeRose and her family for the antique fire truck that is always a favorite.
• We appreciate the Chicago Police and Fire Department for their great showing and for all the help in making the event a success!
• Gratitude to all the parade participants for their fancy cars and decorated bikes and to resident and Board Member Carmen Finch for coordinating parade prizes.
• Former Sauganash resident Phil Kritzman is always requested for his expert photography of the parade and picnic with an assist from SCA Communications Chairman Sue Witkowski.
• We couldn’t do it without the help of Sauganash Park Supervisor Kara Donaldson and her staff.
• Resident and parade coordinator Dick Parizek.
• Games coordinator Elaine Fitzgerald along with Jim and Lorraine Murphy
• Ray Knoll for coordinating with Happy Foods every year
• Entertainment by DJ Jammin’ Joe Venetico and the Barking Cat Band.
• And resident and former SCA President Dave Seglin for his support.
• The SPCA for providing hotdogs.
• The SCA for providing beer! And Board Member Steve Kehoe and his crew as our beer BARistas!
And all the Board Members of both organizations who work so hard to keep this robust event one of the hallmark perks of living in the Sauganash neighborhood and being a member of your community association! 

Sauganash Parade Marshal

This year, for the first time, we are pleased to announce that our parade will be led by an honorary parade marshal and that we have chosen long-time Sauganash resident Robert ‘Bob’ Fitzgerald to serve in this role. A Sauganash resident since 1970, Bob has contributed immeasurable time and effort to the community. In addition to serving as a past President of the Sauganash Community Association Board of Directors, Bob was instrumental in getting a building addition and other new park improvements for Sauganash Park many years ago.

Prior to moving to Sauganash, Bob served in the U.S. Army from 1956 to 1958 and was stationed in South Korea.  He, and his wife Paula, raised their three sons, Rob, Brian and Jim in the community. As a father, Bob was also extremely active in promoting activities for youth in the community. He worked with Fred Stummer to introduce AYSO soccer to this area, he teamed up with John Berge to bring the Cub Scouts to Queen of All Saints school, and he served as an assistant coach for Edgebrook Sauganash little league baseball.

Today, Bob and Paula are the proud grandparents of six grandsons and one granddaughter. Please join us in celebrating our honorary parade marshal, Bob Fitzgerald, and look for him in our 4th of July Parade!

Mosquito Abatement

See our services page for information on our mosquito control efforts and how you can help.

Open Meeting Update

Captain Jeff Hoffmann, 17th District Police, suggests residents get security cameras.

The SCA annual open membership meeting was held on Tuesday evening, May 21 at Sauganash Elementary School. SES Principal Christine Munns welcomed the membership and President David Zulkey presided.

CPD Captain Hoffman reported that there were 0 robberies, 0 shootings and 2 burglaries in our area. Some points he made:
• Don’t leave your purse or your briefcase in the backseat of your car.  Get the Ring or another camera system. When someone is a part of a crime, we immediately canvas the area and look for cameras.
• Pay attention and be aware of your surroundings.
• Current trends: Lots of wheel theft with Toyotas. Jeep batteries are being stolen.  We are catching package thefts because residents have the Ring or other security cameras.
• There is a patrol car 24/7 on this beat.
• After the carjacking at QAS there was a significant interest in the community policing.
• Always call us with your concerns: 312-742-4410. Most of Sauganash is in the 017 District, beat 17-11. If you are west of Cicero, you are in the 16th district.

Newly inducted 39th Ward Alderman Samantha Nugent gave her contact information: office -4404 W Lawrence, phone number – 773-736-5594, and website – She is looking forward to working with her constituents.

Mary Ann Levar represented Congressman Quigley and reported that he serves on many committees. His website is Republican deputy Committeeman Barry Bebart reported that the GOP is working on getting more candidates on the ballot. Their website is Liam Kelly, president of the 39th Ward Democrats, invited all to attend their “welcome” events because the focus of the organization is bringing Democrats together. Visit for more details.

The always entertaining Taft H.S. Principal Mark Grishabar reminded us that the new Freshman Campus will open in August 2019. Bussing will be offered to the Freshman Academy from the varsity campus and back. Taft is a Level 1 school and is listed on the Great American High Schools list.

Representatives from F.A.I.R. gave an update on O’Hare noise that included a reminder that the new runway opens soon.They presented the “air-noise button” which is a new electronic way to file a noise complaint. The cost is $5 a month and the button automatically sends a complaint to the 311 centers. Email to learn more.

Emily Glasburg describes how we can stop mosquito larvae from maturing into biting adults.

Entomologist Emily Glasberg from Clarke Pest Control presented a slideshow describing the new mosquito abatement program the SCA will use. An eco-friendly larvicide will be put in catch basins and in the ditches along both sides of the bike path. Spraying will be on an as-needed basis. Residents were encouraged to get rid of standing water where mosquitoes breed.

The next SCA sponsored event is the 4th of July Parade and Picnic. Consider signing up to volunteer. Membership renewal mailers will arrive soon.

The 2019-2020 Board of Directors was voted into office. Visit our Board of Director page for the new board. Three additional applicants will be considered in the next few weeks.

Aldermanic Candidate Forum March 27

The SCA is joining several civic associations from the 39th Ward to cohost an Aldermanic candidate forum with Samantha Nugent and Robert Murphy  on Wednesday, March 27, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Peterson School, 5501 N. Christiana.  The run-off election is April 2nd and will also include elections for mayor and city treasurer. Ted Cox from One Illinois will moderate. Please use the main entrance at Christiana and Catalpa. Ward residents can submit questions for the candidates in advance at

CAPS Meeting with Commander Pontecore Jr.

Several SCA board members attended the January CAPS meeting along with a number of other residents and Alderman Laurino. We met newly installed Commander Pontecore Jr., who told the crowd that the CPD is trying to get more officers assigned to our area, and explained that even when a call goes out, there still is at least one car covering our beat. They are also enhancing technology to make their officers more effective. The new technological upgrades includes more cameras which are better than the old Pod cameras and can be controlled live. Even though it’s more reactionary than proactive, it will help. They are also upgrading the nerve center with a new system. 

The commander reminded us not to leave our cars running unattended or to leave keys in the car. He mentioned the Ring video security system is a good deterrent. An audience member asked about linking up homeowners systems to the police system and the Commander said a database of people willing to share their footage to assist in investigations would be helpful. As of now, police have to walk the area to see who has videos when a crime happens. 

If you have a security camera and you are willing to provide footage to the police, you can sign up on our video cam database. Include your name, address, e-mail and phone number with “Video Cam Database” in the subject line and email to We will provide this information to our local police. Your information will otherwise remain confidential. The next CAPS meeting is Feb. 27, 2019 (4th Wed.) at 7:30 pm Mayfair Church 5025 N Pulaski.

Chicago Communities Mayoral Forum

Tuesday, February 5th, 7pm at Roosevelt HS, 3436 West Wilson Ave. Doors open with a candidate meet-and-greet at 6:00 pm. Free parking in the school lot at Leland & St. Louis. Moderator: Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune. To see participating candidates and more information, visit: Organized by the North River Commission.

See photos from our Holiday Party here

Two Men Arrested in Carjacking

It is reported that 2 men have been arrested in the Dec. 3rd carjacking at Queen of All Saints School. The vehicle has been recovered. The police have pledged to increase their presence in the neighborhood for 10 days following the incident. The SCA board is working on ideas to improve community safety. In the meantime, as always, report any suspicious activity to 911. Direct general questions and concerns to 311. You can also call the 17th district at 312-742-4410 or the 16th district (for concerns west of Cicero) at 312-742-4480. Please also see tips from the 17th district.

Bob Perkaus Memorial 5K

The Bob Perkaus Memorial 5K was held Sunday, October 14 at 9:00 a.m. at Sauganash Park, 5861 N. Kostner. Everyone was invited to run or walk this fun and worthwhile community event! Proceeds not only benefit a scholarship fund at Loyola Academy in Bob’s name, but also Sauganash Park, Sauganash School, and Queen of All Saints School. 

Sauganash Celebrates 2018 Independence Day

Sauganash was bursting with celebrations on July 4th, starting with the annual parade. Dick Parizek organized a line up of floats, fire trucks, vintage cars and festively decorated bikes and wagons. They were joined by members of Girl Scout Troops 25684 and 25685 and Boy Scout Troop 626 and Cub Scout Pack 3942. Paul Scavone sang the Star Spangled Banner and America the Beautiful as Boy Scout Troop 626 raised the flag at the closing ceremony. Myron Erickson, Pastor at Sauganash Community Church, Father Simon Braganza from Queen of All Saints, David Zulkey, SCA President and Don Morton, SPCA President all addressed the crowd. Thanks to Jeff Kirchner for managing the sound system. Many thanks to our Chicago Police and Fire Departments for their participation and help.

Immediately following, Jammin’ Joe Venetico and Barking Cat provided top-notch entertainment at the picnic. Community volunteers served up hot dogs, snow cones, popcorn, refreshments and monitored the jumping jack and obstacle course. Elaine Fitzgerald and Lorraine Murphy ran the ever popular kids games. Michelle Whatley, 4th Chair, and her hardworking crew of SCA board members made sure things went smoothly. 

We would like to thank our donors: Whole Foods and State Representative John D’Amico; thanks also to Happy Foods for great discounts and free holiday delivery and to Rayco Printing for the membership sign up cards. The picnic, sponsored by the Sauganash (SCA) and the Sauganash Park (SPCA) Community Associations, is funded by and open to our members.  Visit our Face Book page for more great photos by Phil Kritzman.