Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas Gifts, Santa Claus, Christmas Donors, Chicagoland MotorcycleToys for Tots, Business of the Week, Manny Martinez, Rotary Club, Community Meetings

          CHRISTMAS PRESENTS: Santa Claus will be making a stop at the Little Village Community Council, 3610 W. 26th St., this Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. He will be GIVING toys to the children, ages 3 to 13, of Little Village. Parents must accompany their child in order for the child to receive a present. Photographs with Santa will be permitted, please bring your camera.
          APPRECIATION AND THANKS goes out to our Christmas present donors: Dean Sher, El Milagro Tortilleria, Toys for Tots Motorcycle Clubs, Uno Uno Uno Mexican Grill, Little Village Rotary Club and Attorney Martin Castro. The motto of the Toys for Tots Chicagoland Motorcycle Clubs is “Every child deserves a toy at Christmas time.”
          EVERY YEAR, on the first Sunday of December, the Chicagoland Motorcycle clubs sponsor a colorful Christmas parade. The parade starts at the Dan Ryan Woods, 87th St. & Western Ave., goes north and ends at the Lane Tech High School parking lot, Western
Meet the Chicagoland Toys for Tots Motorcycle Parade Board of Directors
Front Row, Left to Right: Parade Coordinator Joy Black, Treasurer Sandy Scheel, President Lester Fortier, Vice President Tom Dertz, Secretary Petty Estes. Standing, Left to Right: Sergeant at Arms Mike Miglieri, Product Coordinator Ray Miller, Northside Coordinator Maynard Marsh, By-Laws/Historian Joe Ziman.
and Belmont Ave. More than 20,000 motorcyclists dress-up their motorcycles with Christmas decorations and carry toys to the drop off point, the Lane Tech parking lot. At the parking lot the United States Marine Corps receives many of the toys. The motorcycle clubs donates toys to several non-profit organizations; every year the parade is a huge success. “It doesn’t matter how many bikers were in the parade. It's the thousands toys we collect for the kids,” said Robert “Cooch” Kuczera.
          SANTA’s HELPERS: a.k.a. the Cristo Rey Jesuit High School students helped wrap all the Christmas presents at the Little Village Council all day Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013.
Manuel Martinez
BUSINESS OF THE WEEK: Manuel Martinez, 50, is the owner and Funeral Director of Martinez Funeral, 2534 S. Pulaski Road, formerly Marik Funeral Home, in Little Village. Manny, called by his friends, has been a funeral director for twenty-five years and bought the funeral home in 2009. “I grew up in Little Village, attended Robert Burns Elementary School and attended Farragut High School for one year,” said Manny. He attended Christian School in Hammond, Ind. and graduated in 1981. Manny received an Associates of Science from Daley College and attended the Chicago Fire Dept. Paramedic Academy through the City Colleges of Chicago. He enrolled at Chicago State University and took classes in business and attended the Worshem College for Mortuary Science in DesPlaines, IL, graduating in 1989.  He has been a funeral director since 1989.
          MANNY WAS BORN in Rancho El Charco, GTO (Guanajuato, officially Free and Sovereign State of Guanajuato, is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico) is a small town with no running water or electricity in Guanajuato, Mexico. “At the age of 7, I heard and understood the concept of the American dream and I wanted it. I goal was to reach the American dream by graduating from High School, college, and one day own my own business,” said Manny. 
          AT THE YOUNG age of 10 years old, Manny was delivering the Little Village Community Reporter newspaper for a penny a paper. “I would get 200 papers and received $2.00, said Manny.  By 12-years-old Manny delivered the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper for $15 a week and saved the money he earned. To pay his way through college and for paramedic classes with the Chicago Fire Dept. for 2 ½ years, he did factory work.
           MANNY SAID, “I think I got my drive from my grandfather who was an outgoing, charismatic person who loved to socialize and worked hard. He would load up his three donkeys with vegetables [onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, and cabbage] and sell them, going from one village to the next. “For my grandfather, during those years there were no roads, he could only get around on foot or by donkey,” said Manny.   

      MANNY IS A MEMBER of the newly organized Little Village Rotary Club who held its’ Charter Night in July, 2013. The Rotary Club sponsors a garage sale, donated 5,000 dictionaries to children in the local schools, and hosted a Career Day with speakers who spoke with students at the UIC College Prep High School. The Rotary Club’s motto is “Service Above Self”
Rosa Ibarra
          THE ROTARY Club meets every second and fourth Wednesday of the month at 2nd Federal Savings, 26th & Pulaski Rd. [conference room] at 8:30 a.m. Rosa Ibarra is the President of the Little Village Rotary Club. Manny also works with the “Gift of Hope” to raise awareness for more Hispanics to become organ donors. For more information, call Manny Martinez at 773/521-3972.

    ATTEND LITTLE VILLAGE COMMUNITY                                                  MEETINGS
                                                CALL 773/522-2552