Gala to mark Chicago Ridge centennial
BY STEVE METSCH firstname.lastname@example.org April 4, 2014 7:06PM
Denise Ridley (left) and Judy King display one of the 20 gift baskets that will be raffled off Saturday at Chicago Ridge's Centennial Gala at Glendora House. Tickets are still available. | Steve Metsch~Sun-Time Media
Updated: May 8, 2014 9:47AM
The countdown is on for the biggest party of Chicago Ridge’s first century.
The village is hosting a Centennial Gala on Saturday night at the Glendora House, 10225 S. Harlem Ave., Chicago Ridge.
“We are very excited. We were hoping to sell around 300 tickets, and we’ve surpassed that,” said Denise Ridley, who chairs the Centennial Gala committee.
Judy King, secretary to Mayor Chuck Tokar, is helping with the planning. She said the gala “will be a great time for the residents to come together and celebrate.
“It’s a get-together and will bring us on to the next 100 years. It’s funny, as we work on this I’m really learning the history of the town. There are a lot of people interested in our history,” King said.
Longtime resident Ed Maurer Jr., for example, recently released a book about the village’s 100 years. The January book-signing event at the public library drew a large turnout of residents and others.
The gala’s master of ceremonies will be NBC 5 meteorologist Andy Avalos. He will be the auctioneer for a live auction of items such as Chicago pro sports memorabilia.
There also will be about 20 baskets of various goodies raffled off, and a silent auction, too.
Funds raised from the raffles and auctions will be used to help pay for a centennial tree that will be planted April 25 in Freedom Park, “but the main thing the money will help us with is the centennial weekend in September, and help pay for entrants in the parade,” Tokar said.
“The more we can raise, the less money comes out of our village coffers,” he said.
The gala begins with a social hour and cash bar from 6 to 7 p.m. After an invocation by the Rev. Wayne Svida, pastor of Our Lady of the Ridge Catholic Church, and a champagne toast by Tokar, dinner will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
The menu, prepared by chef Tomas Psaltakis, includes a mixed green salad, herb roasted pork loin with roasted apple walnut brandy sauce, cavatappi pasta in a Grey Goose vodka sauce, chicken Vesuvio, roasted vegetables, loaded mashed potatoes and a dessert buffet with a chocolate fountain, fresh fruit, assorted cakes, bananas foster and cherries jubilee.
There will be dancing to music played by City Lights Orchestra from 9 p.m. to midnight.
“They play everything from Motown to the Beatles to current music. They’re great,” Ridley said.
Tickets are $40 per person, $35 each for seniors age 65 and older, and can be bought by visiting the village’s website (chicagoridge.org) and at the village hall. There’s a break for a table of 10, which costs $360.
Ticket sales were stagnant a few weeks ago, at about 150, but soared after a recent village newsletter and an automated call that sent reminders to phones villagewide, Tokar said.
“The truth is, if somebody shows up at the door, we’re not going to turn them away. It should be a great night. We have a tremendous band,” Tokar said.
The gala is a kickoff to a yearlong celebration that includes a fire hydrant-painting contest in June and July, and a full weekend of events in September, including an ice cream social Sept. 5 at the village hall and a centennial parade Sept. 7.