Chicago Ridge resident pays more than lip service to patriotism
BY STEVE METSCH firstname.lastname@example.org July 11, 2013 2:22PM
Edward Moody has turned what started out as a one-time event into an annual tradition in Chicago Ridge.
Just before the Fourth of July each year, he buys about 2,400 small American flags. Then, with the help of friends, those flags are placed in the parkway in front of each residence in Chicago Ridge.
It’s hard to drive down a street in the village and not feel patriotic, village Clerk George Schleyer said.
“What a great feeling to walk out to the end of my driveway and look down my block at the flags lining the sidewalk. It certainly gives one a sense of community,” Schleyer said.
Moody did that in 2010, planning it as a one-time thing, but had so much fun and felt it did so much good that he’s made it an annual event. The recently elected Worth Township highway commissioner pays for this with his own money.
With each flag, a placard is placed on the doorstep that can be placed in windows. One side has a flag and the words “Thank you, veterans.” The other side has information on that year’s special focus.
On the 2010 placard, Moody urged people to call a 1-800 number and register for the U.S. Census. He knew accurate head counts could bring more and much-needed federal funding to Chicago Ridge.
“You just had to answer seven questions. One person was equal to $19,000. One-hundred people, that’s $1.9 million over 10 years. It was an incredible investment for the $2,000 I spent on the flags,” he said.
In 2011, the placard promoted a 1-800 number to call for information about elder abuse.
In 2012 and again this year, the placard offered information on how to help paralyzed veterans.
“It’s a nice way to thank the veterans in our community,” he said.
He said it wasn’t a ploy to win over potential voters for his 2013 campaign to be township highway commissioner.
“No. The township is huge, and I only do (this in) Chicago Ridge. I really believe being a good community member is just as important as being an elected official,” he said.
Fourteen residents helped him place the flags around town on June 29, starting at 6 a.m. and finishing at 3:30 p.m.
Although he has spent about $8,000 over the past four years on the flags, he has no plans to stop any time soon.
Moody works at the Cook County courthouse in Bridgeview, where he oversees the jury program for the office of Chief Judge Tim Evans. Moody and his wife are raising a 14-year-old nephew who graduated the eighth grade this year.
Next year, Moody will be planting flags around Chicago Ridge for a fifth straight year.
“I’m not going to put up flags for no reason. It always has to involve a charity of some sort,” Moody said.
Next year’s charity has yet to be determined.