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Calumet Park hosts neighborhood breakfast

Almost 100 community members in the Calumet Park area gathered Saturday morning in fellowship at Pat’s Garden. 

“The community breakfast has been part of the revitalization of Calumet Park for a long time,” said Elia Baltes, Calumet Park Neighborhood Association board member. “It’s kind of our way to get the residents to come out and meet each other.” 

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic all community events had been put on hold, so this past weekend was the first time the community was able to host an event. IHOP in partnership with the LaGrange Servant Scholars and CAFI, Inc. partnered together to make pancakes Saturday morning for anyone in the community. Baltes said many residents got their pancakes to go but some stayed to mingle and enjoy the warm weather outside in the garden. 

Many locals spoke of the garden and the one-year anniversary of the death Patricia Underwood, who was killed by a stray bullet in her store, Pat’s Corner Store, on Feb. 14, 2020. 

“Our goal was just to get everyone together as a community,” Baltes said. “IHOP has always been a great community partner, and they provided all the pancake mix and syrup for the event.” 

Baltes said the Calumet Park Neighborhood Association has been focused on uplifting the community to decrease the crime in that area. 

“We want to create a better community, so we could have more homeowners in the future,” Baltes said. 

“We want to also teach landlords and renters on how to create a better community for them. This pancake breakfast is one that we felt would really be instrumental in bringing the community together.” 

Baltes said she was excited about the turnout at the event.  

“It was a great opportunity for the community, not only to talk with us but also meeting each other more,” Baltes said. “People made more friendships, which is important because you may live there but sometimes unless you create times and events for them, they may not have an opportunity to actually get to know each other.” 

Baltes noted that neighbors knowing neighbors helps with the revitalization of the area. 

“It’s a better community if they get to know each other, and they take care of each other and they know what’s going on,” Baltes said. “I think that they take care of their community better, and they take care of their properties better.”