Building a Monument to First Responders

A perfect day for a ball drop! Thank you!


The Oak Lawn Chamber of Commerce could not have picked a more perfect day for their annual golf outing! As golfers trickled back from the course, a yellow helicopter landed just off the practice green.

Rotarian Bill Goetz met the helicopter and began discussing the logistics of the ball drop. The pilot quickly determined there would be three separate passes over the hole due to the amount of balls.

A crowd of the public as well as Chamber golfers began to excitedly gather. The wind was fairly strong from the north and the pilot asked everyone to safely stay back.

As he lifted off for the first pass, I looked around at a sea of cameras in the crowd. Everyone was excited. As the helicopter appeared through a grove of trees, the crowd got quiet. He hovered about 40 feet above the green and the yellow and black checkered flag and opened the bag and let the balls fall. With a gasp from the crowd, hundreds landed randomly around the green.

The second and third pass were equally exciting. The pilot shook each bag and checked that each ball was dropped. The green was completely littered with balls.

Once the pilot was safely on the ground again the measuring committee went to work, carefully measuring each ball. Because not all tickets were sold, but all balls were dropped, they measured the closest 25 balls. If a winning ball did not have a ticket sold, the next in line would be the winner. The measuring committee consisted of Chamber President Christie Hernandez, Rotarian Ray May, and Rotarian Hal Wiltshire.

Once the measuring was completed, the winning numbers were matched with the stubs and were printed on a poster. The Club waited until dinner was done being served and revealed the winners below:

1) $5000 – Mike Riordan

2) $2500 – Brian Riordan

3) $1000 – Dan Perrino

4) $250 – Mike Riordan

5) $250 – Tracy Matchinski

6) $250 – John Byrne

7) $250 – Terry Wasik

8  ) $250 – HLS/KME

9) $250 – Kristen Bonk

10) $250 – Noreen Salmon

The Oak Lawn Rotary Club would like to thank everyone who bought a ticket for supporting the Monument. We are on track to get it dedicated by 9/11/11. We hope everyone who bought balls or who has an interest will be there for the dedication. The entire community should feel ownership in the monument. While we have only a few prize winners, the whole community wins with this beautiful and historic sculpture being placed in the heart of Oak Lawn. Thank you!

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