By Joe Boyle
Expectations were not as high for this year’s Worth Polar Plunge as village officials and residents have had to learn to deal with the obstacles presented by COVID-19.
The Worth Police Department organizes the event along with volunteers to benefit Special Olympics and Special Children’s Charities programs. Participants would usually jump in frigid waters at different locations to raise funds for the charities. Worth Police Chief Timothy Denton said the 2021 event would be held virtually with participants taking part at separate locations in the village.
Denton and local officials were not expecting the event to raise as much money as in the past due to the limitations posed by the pandemic.
So, when the event raised over $9,000 this year, Denton and local officials were pleasantly surprised.
“We more than doubled the amount from the previous year,” said Worth Mayor Mary Werner, noting that the plunge in 2020 took place just before the pandemic became a household word.
Denton admitted that the overall effort of residents and volunteers was impressive.
“I just could not believe it,” Denton said.
Werner added during the Worth Village Board meeting on March 16 that the startling showing was due to the fact that it was done locally. Many organizations take part in this event but it was local individuals that made it so successful, she said.
“I want to personally thank Trustee (Brad) Urban and his wife who hosted the event from his house,” Werner said. “One of the reasons we did so well was because it was local. I think in the future, we will do this as a local event.”
The mayor said they will reach out to some of the same organizations that have assisted in the past. But the local effort this year that was a necessity due to the pandemic will remain in the future, Werner said.
Urban said that perhaps the event could have even been more profitable.
“But we had to put limits on how many people we could have in our home due to COVID,” Urban added.
“It was just amazing,” Werner said. “It was unbelievable.”
Repairs are expected to start next month to the bridge on Harlem Avenue near 114th Street. Work is expected to begin on Thursday, April 1, and will continue through the summer, Werner said.
“They will shut down one lane north and one lane south (during construction),” the mayor pointed out.
In other action, bids were received March 11 for the village’s 2021 Sanitary Cleaning and Televising project. Michels Corp. entered the lowest bid of $97,615 and was later chosen to do the work. The engineer’s estimate of cost for the project is $111,275.
Urban provided the public works report and mentioned on June 1 the water rate increase from Chicago will be 1.10% for the village.
Owner Arrius Brown has applied for a business license to run Lavish Lavish Boutique, 6925 W. 111th St., Unit 106. She has run her business online but wants to add a facility for individuals to pick up their purchases. She provides women’s clothing and accessories for female customers who are 18 to 30 years old.
At this time, Brown will be the lone employee.
“I just want to have a place for customers to come to instead of my home,” Brown said. “I just thought it would be more professional that way.”
Latefa Poole would like to open Poole House Cakes at 11312 S. Harlem Ave. She offers a cake decorating business. She added that she does not make the cakes. She will be the lone employee. Bruce Zartler, the building commissioner, said that an inspection by the building department and fire department would be necessary.
Both Lavish Lavish Boutique and Poole House Cakes moved to the consent agenda and received tentative approval by the board. Licenses will be provided contingent upon having passed all inspections and being in compliance with all codes and ordinances.