2021 Frank Lloyd Wright Races Go Virtual

After much thought and consideration with PDOP staff and the Oak Park Health Department, it is with great disappointment that we announce the cancellation of our in-person Frank Lloyd Wright Races this year. In light of the continued rise in Oak Park COVID-19 cases and the change in Oak Park’s community transmission range from Substantial to High, which would require every race participant (regardless of vaccination status) to provide a negative COVID test within 48 hours of the race, we cannot safely and logistically provide a high-quality race experience for our community and race participants.

This unfortunate decision was not taken lightly as our staff and participants were preparing for the races with much excitement and enthusiasm. In order keep the tradition going, we will once again host our races virtually as we did in 2020 when the pandemic cancelled many in-person events.

How does a virtual race work? Register for the virtual race here: FLW Virtual Races. The cost to participate is $18 and includes our uniquely designed Frank Lloyd Races, long-sleeved t-shirt. On October 17, or any day before that, run/jog/walk the 5K or 10K route of your choice and enjoy participating in this 45-year-old, Oak Park tradition.

For those who registered for the in-person race, please check your email for details about your registration options.

We hope to see you back in 2022 as we plan to host the FLW Races in person once again. Until then, we wish you continued good health.

Community Service Awards

(left to right) Board Members Kassie Porreca, Chris Wollmuth, CSA Recipients Mary Ellen Murphy, Isabel Romero Calvo, Mary O’Kiersey, Board Members Sandy Lentz, David Wick

Every year the Park District of Oak Park presents Community Service Awards to organizations and individuals in our community who have made a significant impact on parks and recreation in our community, improving the quality of life for all residents. This year’s recipients personify this spirit of commitment and dedication.

Mary O’Kiersey, a volunteer since 2010, Mary helps manage special events for the Oak Park Conservatory along with participating in the Cheney Mansion vegetable volunteer group, Mills Tower Garden Club and a member of the OPRF Garden Club.

Mary Ellen Murphy, a volunteer since 2010, Mary Ellen is the co-chair of the Friends of the Oak Park Conservatory Plant Sale, a University of Illinois Master Gardener and volunteers weekly with the Exploration Station. Mary Ellen is also an active volunteer in the native and perennial beds at Cheney Mansion and volunteer at the Park Ridge Garden Club.

Donna Makow, a volunteer since 2010, Donna is a dedicated weekly volunteer in the Cheney Mansion vegetable garden as well as various events for the Friends of Oak Park Conservatory.

Martha Yount, a volunteer since 2016, Martha volunteers at Cheney Mansion and Oak Park Conservatory and has helped with education programs and special events at the Conservatory in the past.

Kathie Gillies, a volunteer since 2018, Kathie is currently a member of the education committee and in the past, has been a key member in planning special events for the Oak Park Conservatory.

Isabel Romero Calvo, a volunteer since 2019, Isabel can be found working in the gardens of Cheney Mansion or at the Conservatory helping with various projects. Isabel is a native of Granada, Spain but after moving to the South Loop, found the Conservatory and has volunteered ever since.

Ann Courter, a volunteer since 2020, Ann started in the docent-training program abut moved on to become a weekly volunteer at Cheney Mansion when tours were sidelined due to COVID-19. Ann also helps out at the showrooms at the Oak Park Conservatory.

It was an honor to recognize these community leaders at the June Park Board Meeting.