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Fourth festivities

The annual Oak Park July 4th parade kicks off from Ridgeland and Adams at 10 a.m. and heads up Ridgeland to Whittier School on Augusta.

The fireworks begin shortly after 9 p.m. at OPRF High School's athletic fields. The finale is brought to you by (drum roll, please) Wednesday Journal, of course.

Enjoy.

OPRF Boosters president steps down

Mike Gibbs will step down as president of the OPRF Booster Club this upcoming school year, making a special announcement at last week's District 200 school board meeting. Longtime Booster member Fred Valentini will take over as president.

Though he'll no longer be president-his child graduated in June-Gibbs will remain close to the organization and plans on being involved with the Boosters in the future when his District 97 student enters the high school.

Faculty Senate President Jim Hunter at last week's school board meeting also reminded the Journal and Oak Leaves-in a not so subtle, up-side-the-head swipe against the local newspapers-that the Boosters raise funds for other areas of the high school and not just athletics, which he said should get more coverage.

Agreed. Now, if only those late night, marathon stadium lights hearings didn't get in the way.

By the way, the Oak Park Plan Commission begins deliberating on lights on July 17. Time to start stocking up on the NoDoz.

HGTV wants first-time homebuyers

About to close on your first home?

Wanna shout the story of your plunge into home-ownership from the rooftops?

HGTV will listen to all your jump-for-joy and white-knuckle moments.

Producers from one of the cable network's Sunday night shows, My First Place, are coming to Chicago to find newbie homebuyers to feature on the show's next season.

They're looking for people who are buying their first home within 90 miles of downtown Chicago and who will be closing before the end of September.

To get in the running, go to www.highnoonentertainment.com, click on Casting and then My First Place. Or you can call Theresa Mercado at 303/712-3262.

One tank? That's $60!

Channel 7 has been running a regular feature titled, "One Tank Trip," with Roz Varon, and on June 13, she featured Oak Park. Fortunately, it wouldn't take a full tank to get to Oak Park from the Loop, and you'd probably want to take either the CTA Blue or Green lines instead (and use the shuttle to get around ... while it lasts).

But the show also encourages residents of the deep suburbs to venture this way.

"From the collar counties," Varon said, "Oak Park is at most a 75-mile drive, and once you're there, there's plenty to do."

Such as complain about parking? Sorry, we'll be good.

The June 13 segment, instead, highlighted the Wright Home & Studio and the Hemingway Birthplace and Museum. Pleasant Home is also mentioned, along with the Historical Society. Executive Director Frank Lipo is quoted plugging Tarzan author Edgar Rice Burroughs.

"Your visit to Oak Park is very family-friendly with the Wonder Works Children's Museum," Varon said. "And if you just want some time for a little R&R, you can soak up the beauty of the Oak Park Conservatory."

Correction

A caption in the Pride section of last week's Wednesday Journal misspelled the name of OPALGA member Sophie Kaluziak. We regret the error.

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