Message from the President

Ken Walchak

Ken Walchak, RP/WRHS President

Fellow Members:

As we head into the fall, I want to give you a mid-year update of our Society activities. Since our annual meeting in March, the Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society has presented a strong program to members and the public. In the last few months, I hope you’ve had the opportunity to enjoy some of these successful events:

  • Your House Has a History”, with Grace DuMelle on April 18th
  • “Indian Boundary Park Centennial Celebration” on May 21st
  • “Legal Limits: A Historic Bar Crawl”, with Matthew Amyx, Ellen Bushong , and Julia Lacher on May 21st and a repeat performance on July 31st
  • Clark Street: Then and Now Part II”, with Glenna Eaves on June 11th
  • “Every Building Tells a Story,” a hands-on workshop with Grace DuMelle on June 25th
  • Culinary Tour of Devon Avenue in West Ridge with Collen Sen on August 21st

The strong attendance and positive feedback of these events leads us into an exciting fall season.

In addition to these programs, the Society continues to publish The Historian, develop our History Wiki, and build a photo library for research of the Rogers Park/West Ridge history.

This year we have made great strides in the effort to reduce our expenses, but we still expect a deficit this year, although a much smaller one than in the past. An important challenge for the rest of the year is to step up our fundraising efforts.

In April, the Society launched a campaign to attract corporate and business sponsors to join the ranks of S&C Electric Co. and Clark-Devon Hardware in supporting our activities. Join me in welcoming four new sponsors to the Society.

  • Illinois State Senator, 7th District, Heather Steans (Silver)
  • Dave Frederickson Insurance Co (Bronze)
  • Winnemac Properties (Bronze)
  • Frank Maguire at Baird & Warner (Bronze)

As with any grass roots organization “it takes a village” to nurture our fundraising efforts, and we need your help to grow our sponsors base and our membership.

You can help by reaching out to local businesses, whether it be asking for support on the behalf of the Society, providing a formal introduction for us, or identifying a principal owner we can approach. You can help us identify your friends, neighbors, community leaders and former residents who may be in a position to make a donation. If you know a family with Rogers Park roots who may be looking to do good for the community, talk to them. If you are uncomfortable directly asking for a contribution, no worries. Call our office administrator Stephanie Barto, or one of our Board members, and we will be happy to ask on your behalf.

And, most importantly, consider giving a donation yourself, right now, to help us finish off the year financially strong. It will help us do even more to tell the fascinating stories of Rogers Park and West Ridge for many years to come.

Go to and donate today.






Ken Walchak
President, RP/WRHS