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Dekker: Jaycees starting new chapter in Tinley Park

Illinois Jaycees past president Kathy Crick (left) works along side Tinley Park Chamber Commerce executive director Karen Wegryzn new Tinley

Illinois Jaycees past president Kathy Crick (left) works along side Tinley Park Chamber of Commerce executive director Karen Wegryzn on the new Tinley Park Jaycees project. | Julie Dekker for Sun-Times Media

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Updated: November 28, 2013 6:10AM



One of the things that Tinley Park is known for is the many events and activities that are held for the community. Residents and visitors can enjoy concerts, markets, parades, cruise nights and art events year round.

Whether the village or one of its many local organizations hosts them, these events have a couple of things in common — plenty of man hours and volunteers. Anyone involved in these events knows that they don’t just happen by themselves.

The village is also known for its high level of volunteerism. We are fortunate in our community to have many citizens who care about the quality of life here.

One of the biggest challenges to any organization is to pass on that sense of community responsibility to the next generation. I was excited this summer to hear that the Region 3 Illinois Jaycees, the Woodridge Jaycees and the Tinley Park Chamber of Commerce were working together to charter a new chapter of Jaycees in Tinley Park.

The U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce, or Jaycees, is an organization for active people ages 21 to 40 who are interested in improving the quality of life in their community. The Jaycees give young people the opportunity to serve while developing leadership and professional skills, meeting new people, finding new challenges and making a difference in their community.

An initial, informative meeting on establishing a Tinley Park Jaycees chapter was held Aug. 28. It was well attended and very encouraging, according to Kathy Crick, longtime Jaycee and past president of the Illinois Jaycees. Crick is a physical education teacher at Hilda Walker Intermediate School in Tinley Park, and is actively working to start up a Tinley Park Jaycees chapter again.

The village’s first Jaycee chapter was formed in 1963 and by 1970 had more than 100 members. It was responsible for starting many projects and events that are still a part of the village today — the haunted house, Easter egg hunt, the community Christmas tree and the fall festival.

Many Jaycees went on to hold a public leadership role in our community such as mayor, trustee, park commissioner or school board member.

That Jaycee group disbanded in the 1980s, but its members’ commitment to our town didn’t, and neither did the need for people to step up and keep our community thriving.

If you are interested in making a positive contribution to the village, doing more with your time and more with your life, the Jaycees could be your vehicle to success.

For information on joining the new Jaycees chapter, email Kathy Crick at kcricker14@sbcglobal.net or call (708) 254-1892.

Trim-A-Tree sponsors

It might seem a little early for Christmas, but the Tinley Park Chamber Of Commerce is holding its Trim-A-Tree sponsorship opportunity for the 2013 holiday season.

The 30 live Christmas trees will be donated by Home Depot and are available for sponsorship by community groups, organizations and businesses.

Your personalized tree will be prominently labeled and displayed in the downtown area from Nov. 23 through Jan. 7, giving your group or business great exposure while adding to the festive spirit in Tinley Park.

For information on the Trim-A-Tree program, call the chamber of commerce office at (708) 532-5700.



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