During the Halloween season, a group of residents known as the Friends of the VIP in North Riverside came together to celebrate the holiday and at the same time make it a worthwhile cause for some very needy families in our village. 

The efforts for this were spearheaded by Kathy Ranieri, a lifelong resident and along with her and several members of various organizations in the village, along with community residents and village trustees Jason Bianco, Vera Wilt, Joe Mengoni and Matt Decosola, a group was formed to have a neighborhood celebration to which children, adults and families could come and enjoy a haunted house, a DJ, raffles, food, drinks, spooky movies and more. 

This was an effort to raise money to provide Thanksgiving dinners for families in the village who may not otherwise have. The Friends of the VIP came together, named the event “Costumes for a Cause” and within three weeks had an overwhelming support from generous donors such as Turano Bakery, Rizza Ford, Scheck Industries, the Krochmal family along with the VIP Party of North Riverside and other local area businesses and residents to help with this event. 

Though the evening was cold and rainy, the support of so many that came out was heartwarming. The group was able to provide well over their goal by raising enough money to feed 45 families a warm holiday meal. 

There is no greater benefit than helping others in your community and no better feeling when you see the consistent support from our resident trustees along with the organizations in town, namely our newest organization, HONR, who also worked to bring in several volunteers that worked so tirelessly for the good of the community. 

To quote Jason Bianco a village trustee, “I’ve never been so filled with pride on Thanksgiving knowing how many families were able to take time out and relax and enjoy the holiday with their loved ones with one less worry for one day.” 

So please, take a lesson from our little village with the big heart and make this a wonderful, blessed holiday season in your community as well.

P.J. Folz

Friends of the VIP

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