With a committee of six, the first measurable snowstorm of the year and less than four weeks before Christmas, the Friends of the VIP still managed to have one of their most successful fundraisers to date. 

Last year this same group of residents held a Halloween party and were able to provide 45 families with a full Thanksgiving dinner. This year the same group, along with the help of the management and staff at Miller’s Ale House, a barrage of raffle prizes including a large screen TV and the countless donations from the residents, raised over $5,000 (with donations still coming in as of this date).

This will help in assisting over 100 families in North Riverside enjoy a Christmas dinner along with a night at the movies, with families receiving theater tickets. The fun did not stop there as even the local area businesses participated in the festivities as a group of about 30 people had their very own Ho-Ho-Ho Holiday Stroll and traveled to each of the businesses and enjoyed spirits and food.

Our VIP group of government leaders not only make North Riverside one of the best communities to live in the western suburbs, but they also are champions for such causes as this. 

So on behalf of the Friends of the VIP and as a resident of the community, I wish to thank Kathy Ranieri, Terri Sarro, Fernando Flores, Jason Bianco, Joe Mengoni and Debbie Czjaka for their countless hours of work and the kindness of over 120 residents that came out in support of the event and donated this holiday season in helping these families have the merriest of Christmases.

We may be a small community but our hearts are huge.

P.J. Folz

North Riverside

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