Monday, May 24, 2010

More stories about the Cole Park fellowship

UPDATE: The Alderman alerted us in the comments that the times for the wake and funeral was changed over at the Chgo Breaking News link below so the updates are reflected in the quote. Hopefully the schedule of events will be verified.

Well first this is first. Funeral arrangments have been made for the late Officer Thomas Wortham who was murdered across the streets from Cole Park last week:
Visitation is scheduled from 3 to 8 p.m. Thursday at  Leak & Sons Funeral Home, 7838 S. Cottage Grove Ave. A wake is scheduled Friday at noon 10 Trinity United Church of Christ, 421 W. 95th St., with the funeral expected to begin at 1 p.m 11:30 a.m..  Burial will follow at Lincoln Cemetery in southwest suburban Alsip.
Next CBS2 has a report from yesterday's fellowship at Cole Park. This event was planned not long after the shootings in Cole Park during the month of April. The first warm day was when this was to take place. Unfortunately it took place without Wortham who was President of the Cole Park Advisory Council. The video report is accessible below.
Click picture to watch video

Here's more from the Chicago Tribune. They seem to discuss what I'm sure many believe may be the root of the violence occurring in this community:
Many longtime residents of Chatham, one of Chicago's best-known black middle-class neighborhoods, have grown concerned over the increasing crime they attribute to Chicago Housing Authority residents moving to the area. According to the agency, 118 families have used vouchers to relocate from public housing to Chatham. That is less than 1 percent of the neighborhood's households.

Lewis Jordan, the CHA's chief executive officer, said complaints that former public housing residents are responsible for an increase in crime in Chatham are unsupported by the facts.

Kassandra Scott-Ward, 59, was 8 years old when her family moved into their Chatham home. Back then, children knew where their teachers lived and neighbors raised chickens or horses and grew fruit trees in their yards.

Now, "these people have moved into a community without having a sense of community," Scott-Ward said.

Jordan said the distribution of former residents of CHA high-rises has not been concentrated in any particular area, but throughout the city.
Finally Mark Brown has a column:
People are already looking for ways to honor slain Chicago Police Officer Thomas Wortham IV, some even suggesting that Cole Park, where he served as president of the advisory council, be renamed for him instead of legendary singer Nat King Cole.

I would respectfully endorse an alternative suggestion, also involving the park, that seems more in keeping with the selfless life of service that Wortham led as a soldier, police officer and community leader.

In the weeks before his death, Wortham was working to secure the park and allow for the reopening of the basketball courts that had been shut down last month after a pair of shooting incidents.

Let's get that accomplished for him, immediately, even if it means starting out with a full-time police presence.

Returning that previously peaceful park to the people of Chatham should be our top priority, as it was to Wortham, both for the immediate benefit of the neighborhood's residents and for the symbolic impact of the broader community taking a stand that his death is not acceptable.
Finally a foundation offers the police officer's family with a check:
The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation on Saturday presented the family of slain officer Thomas Wortham IV with a check for $50,000.

Funded entirely through donations, the foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to honoring the lives and memories of fallen officers. Among its goals are providing support and financial assistance to families of officers killed or catastrophically injured in the line of duty.
That article was short, but it should be noted that the check was presented to Wortham's family by the foundation's executive director and former Police Superintendent Phil Cline.


  1. UPDATE: I just saw an update on the Trib? that says the services have moved up to 10 for the Wake and 11 for the Funeral. I will verify this tomorrow and if there is a change, I'll post another Update.

  2. What is the best way to express condolences from out of town? I'm guessing there will be plenty of flowers. Is there a fund for Cole Park? Or just send a donation directly to the family?

    -Out of town relative of a Chicago Police Officer


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