It appears the magic of Disney may be with the owner of a Worth boutique.
As the new year turned and young ladies across the southwest suburbs start thinking about prom, dress merchants began promoting in earnest their latest fashions. Ann Crockett, the owner of That Girl, 11359 Harlem Ave., held a fashion show last Saturday at Chateau Del Mar in Hickory Hills to debut Disney's Forever Enchanted dress line. Ever after, girls have been coming into the boutique "non-stop" to find the perfect prom dress, Crocket said.
"We have had a couple of hundred people in the store today," she said Tuesday. "They're all in here now. It's packed. It's crazy in here."
Crockett, who has been holding fashion shows for 42 years and was once a prom dress model, said the fashion show was "unbelievable."
"We had 500 people show up," Crockett said. "It was moms and their daughters, and a lot of dads, too."
Area high school students posed as models for the afternoon that displayed 180 dresses. Some were from the Forever Enchanted collection, and others were from the Xcite prom collection featuring cut-outs, sequins, and printed and rainbow dresses.
"There were quite a few dresses everyone liked," Crockett said. "Everyone liked the mermaid dresses, especially those in champagne and gold."
The Forever Enchanted collection feature seven designs inspired by "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves." The Red Delicious collection are gowns inspired by the poisoned apple the Evil Queen gives Snow White, others are reminiscent of the famous mirror, or the flowers near the dwarves' cottage.
Prices range from $310 for a long, strapless pale yellow gown with a silver star made of crystals, to $738 for black-and-purple textured ball gown with a black ribbon around the waist and silver and purple sequins at the top of the dress. Crockett has sold about 30 Disney dresses since the show.
"These dresses are flying off of the shelves," Crockett said. "I would definitely do it again. I'd do it in a heartbeat."
Worth village officials and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning are
working together on a six-month study to determine what types of developments
would most benefit residents.
Worth Trustee Colleen McElroy, chairman of the Village Board's economic
development committee, said the focus of the study is to find an attainable
development plan for the village's business district.
"We need a good, workable guide," McElroy said. "The business plan we have
for the town is a little bit unattainable. It suggests moving the Village Hall
to a non-business location because the location is perfect for business, but
that would cost way too much money. It did give some good recommendations, like
making the community more walkable. We are going to focus on the hub where Metra
is, the area around Village Hall [the 11000 block of Depot Avenue]."
The six-month study will conclude with a priorities report, which will help
Worth officials determine on what projects to focus. The planning agency might
suggest ways the village could create mixed-use housing near the Metra station,
with stores on the first floor and living space on upper floors, or putting
affordable senior housing in town, McElroy said. Possibilities include making
public transit more readily available or creating a transit-oriented
The agency will look at Worth's previous long-range plan developed in 2005;
interview the mayor, trustees and village staff; create a report; and help Worth
decide on a follow-up project.
"We want to draw people in, and have them want to live here because they can
use our public transportation," McElroy said.
The village has qualified for participation in CMAP's local technical
assistance program, which will have agency staff analyze the needs of the
community, said CMAP principal planner Erin Aleman. The program is provided at
no cost to the village. The study will include a budget analysis, reviews of
project ideas and the possibility of bringing on a town planner to hunt for
businesses that want to come to Worth, McElroy said.
"Typically, we will create a comprehensive plan for the village," Aleman
said. "We don't do any direct development. We look at land use and transit
access and housing recommendations. Potentially, this could be a transit
oriented development plan."
The local technical assistance program is funded by the Department of Housing
and Urban Development through the sustainable communities initiative. The
program began in 2010, and CMAP received $4.2 million to provide direct
assistance to communities.
"After six months, we will come up with recommendations for the village,"
Aleman said. "That could focus on the business corridor or a transit oriented
development, or maybe something else will come out after six months. We don't
really know what the worth plan is going to look like."
CMAP is working on similar studies in Palos Park and Palos Heights, and plans
to hold public meetings after the study is completed to get residents' input on
what they would like to see in Worth. The study will help guide the village into
the next step of development, Aleman said.
"The plans we develop are guides or blueprints for redevelopments," she said.
"We set the stage for planning."
Last year's incarnation of the area's largest summer festival, despite being
a financial failure for only the third time in its history, raised more than
$27,000 for local nonprofit organizations.
Chicago Ridge's annual RidgeFest, which last summer was titled "RidgeFest:
Reloaded" and featured headlining acts Brett Michaels and James Durbin,
distributed $27,268 to groups including the Glenn Maker American Legion Post
1160, the Chicago Ridge Athletic Association, the Our Lady of the Ridge Men's
Club, and Chicago Ridge Boy Scout Troop 665.
"We are well around the $1 million mark since 1989 that we have given back to
the community," said Chicago Ridge village Clerk Chuck Tokar. "Without all of
the volunteers and different organizations that participated, the fest would not
have been as successful as it was."
Other recipients of RidgeFest funds included the Chicago Ridge Cubs Scouts,
the Chicago Ridge Friendship Club, the Chicago Ridge Park District, the Chicago
Ridge Public Library, the Knights of Columbus, Chicago Ridge Village Seniors,
the Chicago Ridge Girl Scouts, the Chicago Ridge Brownies, Southwest Ball Hockey
and the St. Vincent DePaul Society.
Last year marked the third time in 23 years Chicago Ridge has lost money on
the fest. An estimated 26,000 people attended the four-day festival, but village
officials anticipated a better turnout. Last year was also the first time the
village offered online ticket sales.
"We really thought that selling tickets online would increase ticket sales,
and we would sell a lot more," Tokar said. "Unfortunately, the bigger bands did
not bring in larger crowds."
Securing contracts with Michaels, front-man and lead singer of the rock band
Poison, and Durbin, a former "American Idol contestant," prompted the village to
raise ticket prices for "RidgeFest: Reloaded" but did not draw the crowds
officials thought they would.
Trustees on Tuesday suggested the possibility of bringing back bands such as
Infinity and Ted Nugent for upcoming fests instead of acts that would demand
more money. They also talked about lowering ticket prices for the 2013 fest,
with the hope the reduced cost would lead to better attendance than the past
three years. The village still plans to sell tickets online.
Liquor licenses would allow delis, etc., to apply for gambling permits
By Laura Bollin
The Oak Lawn Village Board is considering granting liquor licenses to delis,
cafes and other such businesses in order to make those establishments eligible
for video gambling permits.
The board on Tuesday discussed the possibility of what members called "video
gaming cafes." The concept is possible because any business that holds a liquor
license can apply for a video gambling license that permits it to have as many
as five gaming machines such as video poker and slots.
Trustees are divided on the issue: some argued it would bring new revenue
into the village, while others are concerned it would lead to neighborhoods
overrun with video gaming establishments, and possibly gambling addictions. Oak
Lawn garners 5 cents per every dollar wagered and lost on gaming machines in the
Trustee Cynthia Trautsch is worried more and more businesses would apply for
"Way back when the Illinois department of whatever decided to approve
gambling, we had many, many bar owners come and beg us to please allow video
gaming, because it was an opportunity t to make a couple extra bucks," Trautsch
said. "Now we are becoming inundated with cafes and bistros that want to have
not only food but gambling.
"I think we as a board need to decide, do we cap these at a certain amount?
Do we look at a different type of license for them? For example, if over 51
percent of their income isn't food, they have a different classification?"
Trustee Carol Quinlan agreed that a different classification is a good idea,
but believes video gaming could be a source of revenue for the village.
Restaurants and cafes that offer video gaming could help "dilapidated" areas
town, Quinlan said. "The problem is, for instance, at 103rd and Central, it is
so blighted over there, Quinlan said. "In feedback from residents, when I've
asked how do you feel about it, they say, 'I would rather see businesses coming
in and generating money for Oak Lawn than how it looks right now.'"
Quinlan has reviewed at a report from the Illinois Gaming Board that showed
the amounts of money video gaming machines in Oak Law earned in October,
November and December, she said. One establishment collected $335 in gaming
revenues in October, more than $1,000 in November and in excess of $2,000 in
December, she said.
"There are 21 [businesses] right now that [have applied for] licenses,"
Quinlan said. "Twentyone places at $2,000, we're talking about over $500,000 for
the village every year."
Villa Park resident Kathy Gilroy, who spoke during the public comment portion
of the meeting, and Trustee Tom Phelan cautioned against gambling addiction.
"The more accessible gambling is, the more likely those who try it will
become addicted to it," Gilroy said. "At a 1-percent addiction rate, which 570
Oak Lawn neighbors are you willing to sacrifice on the altar of profit? Slots
could arrive in Oak Lawn grocery stores and gas stations. The state could
increase their stake and hurt local businesses."
Phelan is worried about the amount of money people may spend on video gaming.
"For every dollar wagered and lost, we get five cents," Phelan said. "God
forbid we ever get $500,000, that means $10 million was lost in Oak Lawn. I have
firsthand experience, I managed a bar in Champaign. People call you and say, 'If
you let this person play again I'm gonna sue you.' That's not a joke, people do
"I don't want this to be wildly successful. I think we should allow it for
current establishments and people can be reasonable