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The Evergreens

The Evergreens Social Club will meet at noon Wednesday, March 6 at the Community Center, 97th Street and Homan Avenue. Bring a lunch.

S.E.R.V.E.

S.E.R.V.E. (Special Education Resource Group Valuing Everyone) will meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21 at Central Junior High School, 94th Street and Sawyer Avenue in Evergreen Park. The documentary film "Bully" will be shown.

Sassy Back

The "Bringin' Sassy Back" spa and vendor night, presented by the Women of Hannah Circle, will be from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22. For more information call (773) 779-4030 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Fish & Sports Show

The Fraternal Order of Police Evergreen Park Lodge No. 27 will hold a Fish & Sports Show from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday, March 15 at 115 Bourbon Street in Merrionette Park. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Purchase tickets at the front desk of the Evergreen Park Police Department, 9420 Kedzie Ave.

Dash for Cash

Most Holy Redeemer Church will hold a "Dash for Mega Cash" raffle drawing Saturday, March 16 at its annual St. Patrick's Day Party. Grand prize is $50,000, second prize is $10,000.

Tickets can be purchased after weekend masses from the school or rectory office. For more information call 422-8280.

History of the World

By Mark Andrews

Feb. 21: ON THIS DATE in 1916, the World War I Battle of Verdun began in France; it resulted in 1 million casualties. In 1947, Edwin H. Land demonstrated his Polaroid Land camera, which could produce a black-and-white photograph in 60 seconds.

Feb. 22: ON THIS DATE in 1732, the first president of the United States, George Washington, was born at his parents' plantation in the Virginia Colony. In 1924, Calvin Coolidge delivered the first presidential radio broadcast from the White House.

Feb. 23: ON THIS DATE in 1836, the siege of the Alamo began in San Antonio, Texas. In 1954, the first mass inoculation of children with the Salk polio vaccine began in Pittsburgh.

Feb. 24: ON THIS DATE in 1868, the House of Representatives impeached President Andrew Johnson after his attempt to dismiss Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton; Johnson was later acquitted by the Senate. Feb. 25: ON THIS DATE in 1964, boxer Cassius Clay, a 7-to-1 underdog, beat Sonny Liston on a technical knockout in the seventh round to win the world heavyweight championship.

Feb. 26: ON THIS DATE in 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte escaped from the Island of Elba to begin his second conquest of France. In 1993, a bomb built by Islamic extremists exploded in the parking garage of New York's World Trade Center, killing six people and injuring more than 1,000.

Feb. 27: ON THIS DATE in 1922, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed the right of women to vote. In 1933, Germany's parliament building, the Reichstag, was gutted by fire. The Nazis, blaming the communists, used the fire as justification for suspending civil liberties.

( Mark Andrews can be reached via e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .)

Travel Troubleshooter

By Christopher Elliott

I rented a damaged car; why should I have to pay?

Q: I'm having a problem with Dollar Rent A Car. When I picked up my car at Southwest Florida International Airport, they did not inspect the car with me, but told me to just go "pick one out."

The car had some minor paint damage on the rear bumper, but a sticker was attached indicating that the damage was previously identified, so I didn't give it any further thought. Prior to leaving for the airport on my return trip, I walked around the car to make sure that there was no damage to the vehicle. There was none.

When I returned the car to Dollar at the airport, the guy didn't bother to inspect the car, so I pointed out the sticker and damage on the rear bumper, and he said, "Yeah that's previous damage."

More than two weeks later, I received a letter from Dollar asking for $239 for unspecified damages - no pictures, no description of the damage, just a demand letter. I tried to reach them by phone, but their subrogation department is closed over the weekend.

I am furious about the way this was handled by Dollar. The complete absence of inspections with the customer is not good business practice - but then, maybe they're not interested in good business practice. I'm sure they get a lot of suckers to pay up just to avoid the hassle involved in pursuing the matter. Any suggestions you have would be appreciated. - William Hicks, Carpentersville, Ill.

A: Wow, that's two Dollar cases in two weeks. Are we going for a record here? This one was mishandled from start to finish.

Let's start with Dollar. Sending a damaged car back out into the fleet, as you noted and as an employee verified, was an awful idea. Dollar should have fixed the car and then returned it to the lot to be rented again. The sticker was an interesting idea, but stickers have a way of coming unstuck and car rental companies are not the best at keeping repair records, as any reader of this column knows.

Let's start with Dollar. Sending a damaged car back out into the fleet, as you noted and as an employee verified, was an awful idea. Dollar should have fixed the car and then returned it to the lot to be rented again. The sticker was an interesting idea, but stickers have a way of coming unstuck and car rental companies are not the best at keeping repair records, as any reader of this column knows.

But you could have also prevented this. First, why did you select a damaged car? If you're ever given a vehicle in less than immaculate condition, don't accept it. Second, you should have taken numerous photos of the vehicle, and carefully documented the damage. That's pretty easy to do with your cellphone or digital camera.

And finally, you needed to make sure that any pre-existing damage was noted in writing. If for some reason no one is available for an inspection, then at least find a manager and let him or her know about the problem. Don't leave unless the dent is documented on paper. Verbal assurances are useless, as you now know.

Dollar's follow-up with you left something to be desired; waiting a few weeks before hitting you with a claim seemed suspicious. Why not ask you to fill out a damage claim when you're still at the airport? And why not send documentation of the damage and repair, as opposed to just a bill.

I contacted Dollar and it dropped its claim.

( Christopher Elliott is the author of "Scammed: How to Save Your Money and Find Better Service in a World of Schemes, Swindles, and Shady Deals" (Wiley). He's also the ombudsman for National Geographic Traveler magazine and the co-founder of the Consumer Travel Alliance, a nonprofit organization that advocates for travelers. Read more tips on his blog, elliott.org or e-mail him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Christopher Elliott receives a great deal of reader mail, and though he answers them as quickly as possible, your story may not be published for several months because of a backlog of cases.)

A Heart for Mary fundraiser planned to benefit Mary Collopy

Pawsitively Heaven Pet Resort Inc. is organizing a fundraiser to help a part-time employee pay for her recent medical bills.

The benefit will raise money to help Mary Collopy, of Orland Park, pay for her hospital bills, physical therapy sessions and numerous other expenses. She is a certified veterinary technician and certified canine rehabilitation practitioner who works at the Chicago Animal Rehab.

In December 2012, Collopy suffered a heart attack while at work and was rushed to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. During an angiogram procedure, her coronary artery collapsed and she was quickly rushed into the operating room for a triple bypass procedure. After her medical care and rehabilitative treatment, the medical costs and bills continued to build up. She has not been able to work since December and currently does not have health insurance coverage.

Her coworkers and former clients are trying to help Collopy by putting the event together to help raise money for her recovery and get her back to work where she is needed.

"A Heart For Mary" will be held on Friday, March 22, from 7 p.m. to midnight at 115 Bourbon Street on 3359 W. 115th St. in Merrionette Park. Tickets are $25 for ages 13 and up and are available for purchase at Pawsitively Heaven Pet Resort, 10051 Kitty Ave. in Chicago Ridge. Ticket price for children 6 to 12 years old is $10, children 5 years old and under are free.

The price of the ticket includes a food buffet, beer and wine for guests over 21, raffles and silent auctions and musical entertainment. Parents and children of all ages are invited and encouraged to attend this charity event. All minors under the age of 18 will need to be accompanied by an adult 25 years and older. For more information about the event, please contact Judi Schnur, owner of Pawsitively Heaven Pet Resort, Inc. (708) 636-3647, or visit the website at YouCaring.com >search>A Heart For Mary.

Church Corner

The speaker for the Feb. 27 Lenten Series program at Pilgrim Faith United Church of Christ, 9411 S. 51st Ave. in Oak Lawn, will be the Rev. Linda Wygant from Share the Harvest. Wygant will discuss the ways churches can provide fresh produce to be distributed through area food pantries. This second of five Wednesday evenings focused on "Food for All God's Children" will begin with a soup supper at 6:30 p.m., followed by program at 7:15 p.m.

A children's program on "Making the World a Better Place will begin at 7:15 p.m. for children in preschool through eighth grade.

The speaker for the March 6 program will be Laurell Sims from Jackson Park Urban Farm, a model urban farm and community garden that supplies fresh produce for Chicago's south side. Sims will describe the "Living Biological Worm System" that helps people farm in urban soil which is often contaminated or depleted. Program will begin with a soup supper at 6:30 p.m., followed by program at 7:15 p.m.

A children's program on "Making the World a Better Place will also begin at 7:15 p.m. for children in preschool through eighth grade.

For more information call 422- 4200 or visit pilgrimfaith.org.

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A new group that will aid persons who have experienced the loss of a loved one, job, home or marriage will meet from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday March 3 at Pilgrim Faith United Church of Christ, 9411 S. 51st Ave. The group is for anyone who has experienced loss of a loved one, a job, a home or a marriage. Pastor Yvette Eber of Immanuel United Church of Christ in Evergreen Park will co-lead the group along with Pastor Peggy McClanahan of Pilgrim Faith. The public is invited, regardless of faith. For more information contact Mc- Clanahan at 422-4200 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .