Saturday Events in the Neighborhood

By at June 9, 2012 | 10:43 am | Print

Sure, you could hike over to Ribfest in Andersonville (Noon to 10PM) or head downtown for the Blues Fest in Grant Park (11AM-9:30PM), though if you’re planning to stay in the neighborhood, here’s what’s on our radar… 

10AM-6PM:  After almost 90 years on Division Street, it’s Miller Lumber’s last summer.  What better way to host a send-off party than to fill the lumber yard with stylish sunglasses from designer Oliver Peoples?

The sale, at 1815 W. Division features deals on sunglasses and eyeglass frame boxes.  Spicebox Canadian Whiskey will provide “all day sampling” in case you need liquid courage as you try to find that perfect pair of lenses.  10% of the proceeds from the sale go directly to Ivory Coast Mothers and Children, a charity for women and children in Africa with Aids founded and run by Patricia Mertz of Wicker Park.  Lastly, there will be live music from Pistols at Dawn, a local band.

11AM-1PM: All-You-Can-Drink Mimosas, Sangria, and Cava at People Lounge (1560 N. Milwaukee) for just $10 with the purchase of any entree.  Featured is “patatas bravas” aka potatoes. Check out the full menu here.

Noon-10PM: Taste of St. Stan’s Carnival (1255 N. Noble).  Rides, games, music, beer. DETAILS HERE. (pictured is a carnival worker from last year’s St. Hedwig Fest).

1-5PM: Did you miss the opening of Drawing Attention 3?  The Tom Robinson Gallery (2416 W. North) is open today for your naked art viewing pleasure.

Speaking of naked, it’s also the “World Naked Bike Ride.”

According to the website, keep an eye out around 11:30Pm tonight when the riders plan to pass by Damen and North.


2-4PM: Free wine tasting at Red & White (1861 N. Milwaukee) featuring four French wines.


Lastly, though not an event in the neighborhood, today is the day that Children’s Memorial Hospital relocates its patients to a new facility.

Following is an article that political activist Joe Lake shared with those on his list. Children’s Memorial worked with his son.

Christopher Lake: Advocate for disabled

1978-2008 | Researcher for lt. gov fought for school, lived on his own

July 31, 2008
Christopher Lake was confined to a wheelchair and his voice silenced by a childhood encephalitis infection, but the virus did not restrict his determination or dampen his spirit.He became an advocate for the disabled and a researcher in Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn’s Chicago office. He was living on his own, going to parties, making friends and doing the things other 29-year-olds want to do.

Mr. Lake died of pneumonia July 26 at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

‘Chris was a constant inspiration to each of us who had the opportunity to work with him,’ said Quinn. ‘His determination and strength of character served as a daily reminder that we all contain within us unlimited possibility. Chris will be dearly missed.’

He was 8 years old when encephalitis left him severely disabled and without speech, according to his sister Melissa Gallagher. After two years, he was enrolled in the Illinois Center for Rehabilitation and Education at 1950 W. Roosevelt, a state-sponsored residential school for the disabled.

He was there from the age of 10 until he was 24, his sister said. In late 2001, the state announced budget cuts, including $5 million to fund the school. Mr. Lake and other students led a campaign to save the facility, appealing to then-Gov. George Ryan to visit personally and see what had been accomplished there. In early 2002, Ryan visited and the school was funded.

‘The kids helped change the governor’s mind,’ his sister said. ‘They would get together and write letters to the governor and rally the support from the superintendent of the school to keep it open.’

Ronald F. Rispoli, the school’s recreation therapist, said that despite his disability, Mr. Lake was a ‘tenacious’ wheelchair basketball player, who used ‘his feet to push backwards and … to defend against an opponent.’

‘He was always trying to help the younger kids,’ Rispoli said. ‘He would help show them around the facility, help them with games, and, of course, play video games with them. After he left … he donated a PlayStation and various games to the center so the other students could benefit from them.’

Mr. Lake’s advocacy work had caught the eye of Quinn, and he took a research job with Quinn’s office, first as a volunteer, then as a paid part-time employee, his sister said.

‘They taught him independent living skills at ICRE,’ she said. ‘He found an apartment and set it up. He has two cats — Taz and Sassy. He could go to the grocery store via his chair. He liked to go to the Best Buy store. He could get his own pharmacy refills at CVS. He wanted to do the things everyone else does even though you have an 800-pound chair.’

He communicated through a laptop computer and picture ‘communication board’ attached to his chair, she said.

‘He could make calls through his computer,” she said. ‘He could e-mail and text message. It was a good tool. He worked two days a week at Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn’s office. He was a research analyst who did anything they needed from pollution to the greening effort.’

His chair had a special feature that would raise him so he could talk ‘eye-to-eye or at bar stool level’ with someone, she said.

‘He had very basic goals,’ his sister said. ‘He wanted to travel, go to more concerts and do the things we do. He wanted to meet someone and get married.’

His other survivors include his father, Joseph Lake; a brother, Kevin, and two nephews and a niece.

A memorial will be held at 1 p.m. on Aug. 16, at the Irish-American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox, Chicago, Il.

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