Annual Meeting

"Fact & fiction about affordable housing in Hyde Park"


Linda Thisted

Board member of the Coalition for Equitable Community Development and the chair of its Affordable Housing Advocacy committee

She has lived in Hyde Park for 40 years or so, and is very active, knowledgeable and a good speaker.    We are fortunate that she agreed to be the speaker.


6 p.m., June 15th

Augustana Lutheran Church (55th and Woodlawn Ave) beginning with hearty snacks at 6:00 and socializing.


10th Taste of Hyde Park
Successful Fundraiser helping two families with homes

By Rev. Alexander Sharpe, President

     Who in this world does not need a helping hand?  Two families are moving beyond homelessness toward a new life because all who contributed to the success of the annual fundraiser for the Hyde Park Transitional Housing Program (HPTHP) held at St. Paul the Redeemer Church on Saturday evening, April 18.

      The event was a celebration for HPTHP as well.  This marked the 10th anniversary of “Taste of Hyde Park”, which each year draws upon the generosity of Hyde Park’s expanding culinary scene.   Key corporate sponsors this year included: The Hyde Park Bank (a Wintrust Community Bank), Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, and The United Church of Hyde Park.   We are grateful for their support.

      Gerald Gripshover organized the event this year.  The taste would have been impossible without his help.  He replaced Alan Lindrup, who has stepped down as HPTHP’s Fundraiser but continued key guidance this year. 

      The group also acknowledged the years of service of Marlene Vellinga, who died this past year after 13 years of service.   Valerie Lilley has succeeded Marlene on the board and handled all communications for this year’s Taste.

      “Never has the work of HPTHP been more critically needed,” commented Rev. Alexander Sharp, who emceed the event. “Budget cuts at the state and city are having a devastating impact on housing and social services.”  

      Laura Matthews, board member and case manager, stressed that HPTHP, is continually seeking new mentors to work with the HPTHP clients.  She introduced a former mentor, who spoke of his satisfaction in this work. 

     HPTHP depends entirely on a volunteer board for events like the Taste.  Of special help this year were Gwen Anderson providing decorations, Ginni Cook handling the kitchen volunteers and food management, Joanne Michalski handling registration, Rahsaan Morris serving drinks, Toni Lynch and Akisha Russell working on food pickup, and former board member Allan Lindrup coordinating the food solicitation.  Other board members, including vice president Stephanie Landers, Al Klinger, and Laura Matthews who gathered silent auction gifts.  There were also many friends of HPTHP who volunteered their time to make the event a success.

      Willie Pickens, Hyde Park’s gift to the world of music, was a key presence again this year and provided the music.

       A special highlight was the auctioning of the quilt “African Dancing Women” created by the Lakeside Quilting Guide under the leadership of Michele Makinen.

      Following the event, the board offered special thanks to St. Paul the Redeemer Church, and their custodian, Lucas.


2014 Taste of Hyde Park
Cool jazz and hot food, for a great cause!

The 9th Annual Taste of Hyde Park was a great success and we can't wait for 2015 when we'll celebrate the 10th annual Taste of Hyde Park, with excellent, delicious food some of Hyde Park's best restaurants, a silent auction, fine wines and desserts, and live music by acclaimed pianist Willie Pickens.

A special thanks to the sponsors of this year's Taste of Hyde Park:
Rockefeller Chapel
Hyde Park Bank 
United Church of Hyde Park.

Please visit these great neighborhood restaurants and thank them for donating to the Taste of Hyde Park:

Bar Louie 5550 South Shore Dr. 

Cedars 1206 E 53rd St.

Cholie’s Pizza (773) 684-8688 1601 E 53rd St.

DeRice 918 E 47th St.

Hyde Park Café (773) 499-6381 1520 E. 57th St

Hyde Park Produce 1226 East 53rd Street

Kimbark Beverage 1214 E 53rd St

Maravillas 5506 South Lake Park

The Medici 1327 E 57th St.

Rajun Cajun 1459 E. 53rd St.

Salonica 1440 East 57th St.

Seven Ten Lanes 1055 E 55th St.

Siam (773) 324-9296 1639 E 55th St.

The Sit Down 1312 E 53rd St.

Snail 1649 E 55th St.

Uncle Joe’s Jerk Chicken  773-241-5550 1461 E. Hyde Park Blvd