Dear fellow Hazel Crest residents, neighbors and friends:
As we move from the summer to fall, my family and I would like to personally thank the residents of Hazel Crest for the support in my re-election as Mayor. The residents also re-elected Village Trustee Kevin Moore and elected a new Village Clerk, Isaac Wiseman, and two new Village Trustees, Marlon Rias (former Village Clerk) and Java Rogers. Trustees Kevin Moore, Sandra Slayton, Ben Ramsey and Mary Grant and I, welcome our new Village Board members and look forward to the work we will do.
If you have not visited the Hazel Crest Village Hall lately, come by and look at our new landscaping. The old bushes and grass are gone, replaced by a new fresh look. Kudos to our Public Works Department and Karl Persons who led the design of the new landscaping at the Village Hall. Also, I would like to acknowledge the six teens who provided much of the hands-on work, along with Karl and Public Works staff, to make the beautiful transformation of the Village Hall landscape.
The Village Board of Trustees, Village Clerk, and I extend special thanks to 38th Legislative District State Representative Al Riley. He sponsored a youth education initiative program that paid for the six Hazel Crest teens to do community work within the Village.
This year the Village expanded our summer youth programs. In addition to the six teenagers sponsored through the education initiative by State Representative Al Riley, we have hired teenagers for summer work with the Public Works Department and in the Village Hall.
Our Village President’s Summer Bridge Program, for youth in 7th, 8th, and 9th grades, which focused on English, Math, and Science, and designed to assist students in making successful transitions into junior high and high school was a great success again this year. We also initiated a Youth Intern Policing Program. The paid internship for Hazel Crest college students who are interested in pursuing careers in law enforcement provided an outstanding learning experience and was headed by Hazel Crest Police Chief Mitchel Davis.
On June 3, 2017 the Hazel Crest Fire Department held its 33rd Annual Pancake Breakfast. This year’s event was great and all funds collected from the Pancake Breakfast will be used to purchase specialty equipment for the Fire Department. Fire Chief Charles Jackson provided tours of the Fire Department Hazel Crest residents and guest.
Hazel Crest celebrated the 4th of July with the Hazel Crest Village Board and the Village of Hazel Crest Park District partnering to provide the fireworks show for our residents. This was the first time in more than 20 years that the Village of Hazel Crest has had fireworks on the actual 4th of July Holiday. Hundreds of residents, families and friends from neighboring communities came out to watch the fireworks display. The Village Board of Trustees, Village Clerk and I would like to thank the Village of Hazel Crest Park District Commissioners and Board President for their cooperation and partnership in celebrating the birthday of our nation’s democracy.
Also in July IN Usports provided a free Football Camp for Hazel Crest youth. Former NFL running back and owner of Fresh Start Sports & Mentoring Founder, Kenny Rogers was the special guest for the camp.
We kick off August of this year celebrating for the second year, National Night Out Against Crime. Again this year National Night Out was hosted at the Hazel Crest Fire Department. The Village Police Department and Community Relations Commission provide free hot dogs and hamburgers to residents. Along with face painting, a bouncy house and bike raffle. The coordination of the Police Department, Fire Department and Community Relations Commission was awesome. Thank you for working to make all of our residents Hazel Crest Proud!
The 2017 Hazelnut Festival was expanded to three days this year. August 4, 5 & 6. On Friday, August 4, we kicked off the festival with a carnival from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm which also remained open throughout the 3 day event. Saturday, August 5, at 8:00 am, the Hazel Crest Police Department, sponsored a 5K Run/Walk/Bike Ride Against Violence. The 5K Run/Walk/Bike event was followed at noon by the Hazelnut Parade. This year’s parade was well attended and featured the Hillcrest Marching Band, Specialty Cars, Hazel Crest Tumbling for Success, Advocate South Suburban Hospital, and many other outstanding groups and elected officials, First Lady Diane Alsberry served as this year’s Grand Marshall. Later Saturday at 4:00 pm, we had our first King and Queen Chicken Wing Cook Off. This year’s 1st place winner was Shaun Patterson 2nd place went to Mike Thompson and 3rd place went to Tamika Howard. I would like to thank all who participated. I would also like to thank our Judges for the Chicken Wing Cook Off and they were, Appellate Judge Nathaniel Howse, 6th Municipal District, Judge Fredrick Bates, and 2nd Subcircuit, Judge Travis Richardson, Candidate for Judge William Laws, and Richtownship Committeeman and Water Reclamation District Commissioner Tim Bradford.
This year’s musical entertainment featured the Delfonics and Intruders Review, both Classic Soul groups who rocked the park with everyone singing along. But, before the Classic Soul performance, Hazel Crest Inspectional Service employee Richard Sawyer performed with his Band, “Yourz Truly” and Hazel Crest Planning and Zoning Commissioner Chair Victor Dobbins performed with his band, “Vintage”. This year’s Hazelnut Festival ended Sunday August 6, with comedian Ron Baker hosting and Hazel Crest’s very own Cable Director Felice Kimbrew and Hazel Crest Police Officer Keith Willougby & his band “Counter Culture” performing. Both performances where awesome and we hope to hear from them again very soon.
We have had a very active and exciting summer. Now let get ready for the Fall and the new school year for our young residents. We have even more activities and events planned for all of our residents. All of the activities are listed in this Now You Know.
Finally, thank you all for your continued support, I will continue to work to make all of our residents’ Hazel Crest Proud!
Vernard L. Alsberry Jr.
Mayor Village of Hazel Crest