splash

Lead story image

Bob Sirott imagines a future in which the Cubs win the World Series — and transform Chicago

It’s been exactly one week since hell froze over and the Cubs capped their magical, miracle 2015 season with a stunning World Series championship. When Cy Young and Comeback Player of the Year candidate Edwin Jackson bested Masahiro Tanaka and the Yankees 1-0 in a …

Chicago break dancer Lady Champ on overcoming the impossible

thumbnail

It is possible to do the impossible, and I am living proof. I am sharing my story in hopes of motivating each and every Chicagoan to take steps this year to achieving his or her goal, whatever it is. Combine determination, perseverance and faith in …

Architect John Syvertsen on improving lives through design

thumbnail

Throughout my 35-year career as an architect, I’ve attended dozens of ribbon-cuttings and grand-opening celebrations. But it wasn’t until I was designing a new elevator in 2007 that I realized the power that design has to change people’s lives. The organization I was working with …

Playwright Brooke Allen on processing the loss of her brother by penning a play

thumbnail

I often find that the most difficult times in my life have also been the times when it’s easiest to be a writer. As a playwright, letting the words flow through the filter of a character I’ve created helps me gain some perspective on the …

John Groden on how Camp Kesem helped him see his way out of the darkness

thumbnail

Normally, when someone introduces themselves, they talk about their achievements. To that end, my name is John Groden. I am a history major at the University of Notre Dame. I am an Eagle Scout, and a swimming and water polo Academic All-American. However, I also …

Mark George, President and CEO of the Music Institute of Chicago, on the importance of apprenticeship

thumbnail

When I was a young pianist, I was surprised to find my playing improved after I turned pages for my teacher in a series of concerts. What I learned was mostly intangible, but momentous nonetheless. The notion of apprenticeship is sometimes obscured by our contemporary …

MS advocate Justine Fedak pulls back the curtain on disability blindness

thumbnail

Why do people without disabilities or mobility issues sit in seats designated for those that need them? This is something I’m forced to confront regularly. I travel by air often, and because of my multiple sclerosis, it’s actually not that easy for me. First, you …

Drew Kelley’s winning entry from Gilda’s Club Chicago’s Teen Essay Contest

thumbnail

I’m not a young man with a lot of words. I guess sometimes life makes it hard to find words. I had no words when my older brother, Will, first went to the hospital with my parents. I had no words when I found out …

Shakhari Edwards, the 2014 Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago Youth of the Year, on how the organization changed her life

thumbnail

The following is a speech given by Shakhari Edwards, the winner of the 2014 Youth of the Year Competition, at the March 4 Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago gala. My Boys and Girls Club, Daniel A. Cotter Club, has positively impacted the person I …

Carrie Meghie on her commitment to help families with babies in the NICU

thumbnail

On 11/11/11 at 11:11 p.m., my son Jackson was born nine weeks premature. Jackson was truly as special as his birthday. He spent all but 48 hours of his short life in the NICU, but those 10 months were the happiest of my life. Every …

Vermilion restaurateur Rohini Dey on doing business in New York City versus Chicago

thumbnail

After spending 15 cumulative years in what I’ve called the most harrowing industry in two demanding dining cities (Chicago and New York City), here’s a behind-the-scenes comparison on the joys and glamour of operating in both towns. Obviously expenses make entering the New York City …

Rory Dominick on how her son’s health struggles inspired her to help families like her own

thumbnail

I’ve never won any prizes in a raffle, trips to exotic locations or even a radio contest. I definitely never have used the term “lucky” to describe my life, especially if you’d asked me seven years ago. In 2006, my son Cameron was born two …

Nina Mariano explains why she’s greening for the good of Chicago

thumbnail

My love affair with food, fashion and flowers has been at the core of my existence for as long as I can remember. When I met my husband, Bob, he was struck by how well I ate, dressed and decorated my home with flowers while …

Cheryl Jefferson on how Chicagoans can help stop ritualistic violence

thumbnail

For 1001 blissful nights beginning in 2011, I studied belly dance at Chicago’s Jasmin Jahal School of Dance. With each class, I grew in self-confidence and reveled in my femininity, a far cry from my shy, lonely childhood spent in leg braces. But the genie …

Linda MacLennan on preserving a 100-year-old theater’s legacy

thumbnail

I call it “The Little Theatre That Could.” But for 100 years, it’s been called simply “The Wilmette Theatre.” For a century, The Wilmette has defied depressions and recessions, the ravages of the elements, the conversion from silent black-and-white films to Technicolor talkies, the perceived …

Margery Teller on how her daughter inspired her to fight for a cure for diabetes

thumbnail

My daughter Rachel was diagnosed with diabetes at 18 months old. Since neither my husband nor I had a family history of the disease, you can imagine the shock and confusion I felt as a parent. Rachel had been an extremely healthy toddler, but when …