City News 06/23/2017

The City of Chicago Heights will host its annual Fireworks Show on Monday, July 3rd.  Each year, we focus our efforts on enhancing the experience for families and visitors joining us for this spectacular fireworks display.

This year, the City will cordon off the area surrounding Bloom’s north field to create four entrance areas to admit families and visitors who wish to view the display from the field.   The field is being designated as a family-friendly viewing zone and each entrance to the field “Family Zone” will be staffed by City personnel. The Family Zone is restricted to adult guests and minors who must be accompanied by an adult. Please click on the photo below to see the site map.

The north field Family Zone will be the site for entertainers and food vendors in advance of the fireworks at dusk. We look forward to a wonderful community celebration as part of our award-winning fireworks display!

City of Chicago Heights Torch Runners 2017!!!
From Top Left, clockwise: Volunteers run with the Flame of Hope past City Hall; Mayor Gonzalez and city employees cheer on the volunteers; Police Department employees Alana Pilotto, Elisa Serrato, and Janice Wilken show their support; Olympian Jillian Angell leads the way; City Hall employees cheer the runners; CHPD Special Olympics of Illinois coordinator Ryan Fitzgibbons with Olympian Jillian Angell; Center: Post run group picture
Chicago Heights Torch Run

Torch Runs Through Chicago Heights

The Special Olympics of Illinois was off to a running start on Wednesday, June 7th with the Law Enforcement Torch Run in Chicago Heights.
Dozens of law enforcement officials and athletes came out to run for the event that helps raise money for Special Olympics Illinois.
More than 1,000 people across the state carried the Flame of Hope while running, cycling, and rollerblading over 1,500 miles, through hundreds of communities before it was ultimately delivered to Bloomington-Normal for the Opening Ceremony of the Special Olympics.
“It’s a great cause and something we can all  do to support residents and athletes. I just really enjoy doing it,” said volunteer Jasen Zurisk. 
Since beginning three decades ago the Law Enforcement Torch Run has since grown into the largest fundraising vehicle for Special Olympics Illinois, raising nearly $43 million over 31 years, while increasing awareness of Special Olympics Illinois athletes and their accomplishments. The Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run raised more than $4 million in 2016.

"The Special Olympics is as much about celebrating community as it is about celebrating ability," stated Mayor David A. Gonzalez. "When our volunteers give a little bit of time out of their lives, it adds so much to someone else's, and in this case, our Special Olympic athletes."

Mayor David A. Gonzalez and dozens of City Hall, Fire Department, and Police Department employees cheered on the volunteers as they transported the Flame of Hope past City Hall. 

Click here to see slideshow and more!!!

Detective Ryan Fitzgibbons & Special Olympian Jillian Angell
Detective Ryan Fitzgibbons & Special Olympian Jillian Angell

The Officer and the Olympian

Detective Ryan Fitzgibbons,  an eight-year law enforcement officer with the City of Chicago Heights Police Department, is a dedicated volunteer and fundraising coordinator for Special Olympics Illinois.
Detective Fitzgibbons first became involved with Special Olympics of Illinois around 2009.  She was recruited to participate in the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics at Manteno Lake and since then has been hooked! During this time, she met some of the Special Olympic athletes and found herself beginning to "feed off their energy." One of those athletes is local champion, Jillian Angell.
Jillian Angell is not just a multi-gold medal winning Special Olympic athlete, she has also become a close friend and source of inspiration for Detective Fitzgibbons. “Jillian has a light and a drive that doesn’t just inspire you, it pulls you in next to her,” said Det. Fitzgibbons.  

Det. Fitzgibbons

“Her dedication makes you want to help her push forward.”

Since taking over as coordinator of the Chicago Heights Police Department Special Olympics of Illinois activities, Detective Fitzgibbons has averaged $12,000.00 yearly in fundraising donations to the charity.  She began 2017 coordinating the Polar Plunge event at Manteno Lake during the coldest part of the year. In the spring, Det. Fitzgibbons coordinated the Cop on Rooftop Fundraiser and as summer approached, she led the way in the Torch Run. 
“Detective Fitzgibbons puts an incredible amount of effort and energy into these events to raise funds for Special Olympics,” stated Chicago Heights Chief of Police Thomas Rogers. “Whenever you see an exemplary officer responsible for so much within the department and they take on coordinating events for charity, we all show up in support.”

Mayor Gonzalez after being dunked multiple times
Mayor Gonzalez after being dunked multiple times

Dunkin' the Mayor

This year’s Cop on Rooftop event was no different. Even in the unseasonably cool temperatures, residents and Olympians showed up in support of the officers sitting on the chilly rooftop of the new Halsted Street Dunkin’ Donuts. Some took a shot at dropping Mayor Gonzalez into the frosty waters of the dunk tank. Four of those brave supporters were successful.
“When you show up to one of Det. Fitzgibbons events,” continued Mayor David A. Gonzalez,” you don’t just see police officers. You see firefighters, city staff, aldermen, and supporters from other local agencies participating alongside her or cheering from the side lines. When encouraging service becomes an expectation, we can build a better future.”  

Cop on Top Collage
Visiting Rotarians in Counsel Chambers
Chief of Staff Karen Zerante and City Clerk Rotarian Lori Wilcox with Visiting International Rotarians
Chief of Staff Karen Zerante and City Clerk Rotarian Lori Wilcox with Visiting International Rotarians

City of Chicago Heights Hosts Rotary International District 9140 Nigeria

The Rotary Friendship Exchange Program provides a means through which Rotarians in one part of the world can experience life in another country or culture. Its goal is to advance international understanding and goodwill through person-to-person connections across national boundaries. This month, over 25 members of Nigeria's Rotary D 9140 visited Chicago Heights City Hall through the Rotary Friendship Exchange. During the week spent in Chicago, the Rotarians visited the Chicago Gospel Fest and toured the DuSable Museum of African American History. They also visited Chicago's City Hall and spent a day meeting with Rotarians that share their vocations or classifications.

These international visits are meant to broaden perspectives and build relationships that may translate into service opportunities, occupational opportunities, or grant partnerships. They also help to further  Rotary's goals of understanding and peace through developing friendships.

For more information on Rotary Friendship Exchange, visit the Rotary's Website here. 

City of Chicago Heights Park District Bike Rodeo Saturday June 24 2017
Bouncy House

Party vs. Amusement Park

Trampolines and other large play devices are great fun for big groups and can often be a major attraction at neighborhood events. Remember, if residents or businesses decide to charge money for the use of such devices, they are classified as "open air amusement parks," which requires a City of Chicago Heights license and must comply with additional regulations. 

Above ground pool

Where to Put that New Swimming Pool

A brand new swimming pool can be one of the most exciting additions that signals summer fun! When buying and setting up an outdoor private pool in Chicago Heights, the pool should be at a distance of more than ten feet from any side or rear property line or building line. Your pool should be inspected annually to ensure it is safe, secure and ready for your summer enjoyment!

Skyline Pool is Open!
The Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting has been awarded to City of Chicago Heights by Government Finance Officers Association

City of Chicago Heights Earns Prestigious Award in Financial Reporting

The Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting has been awarded to City of Chicago Heights by Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for its comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR). Click the image to the left to read the full press release.

News Around Town

Visit our Summertime Activities page or our Outdoor Activities page  for information on upcoming and ongoing events!

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