By Dan Haley
They packed the place Thursday night at The Children's Clinic over on Lake Street. There were two reasons for the first open house in seven years at the medical clinic sponsored by the OPRF Infant Welfare Society. The first was to show off the newly renovated space. The second was to start replenishing the funds the group had just spent on the spruce up.
Success on both counts.
More than 140 people turned out including new Oak Park Village President Anan Abu-Taleb and his wife Margie and newly elected River Forest President Cathy Aducci. Oak Park Trustee Ray Johnson was also on hand. They saw a brand new reception area which replaced what one long-time member described as the previous "fortress" of a welcoming area. Also added were a new nurses' station and a new bathroom for patients – this was a really big deal to the people who work at the clinic which sees more than 3,000 young patients each year.
The Children's Clinic, 320 Lake St., offers medical, dental and behavioral health services to young people who otherwise could not afford the care. The clinic is sponsored by the Infant Welfare Society which is now three years shy of marking a century of good work in Oak Park and environs.
The renovations were funded to the tune of $35,000 by the Mary Anderson Nursing Fund and Westlake Health Foundation. On Thursday the goal was to partially refill the till. Just over $10,000 was pledged during the four-hour event and with Mary and Dick Anderson and Peggy and Steve Diamond having agreed to match what was raised that night and in the coming weeks, the clinic's total take was $20,790.