The Austin Green Team held its annual Christmas Party last Saturday at Jimmy’s Place, an Italian restaurant in west suburban Forest Park. According to Mary Peery, the Green Team’s president, “As this year ends, we look forward to a bigger and better year in 2009 and hope more Austin residents will join us.

“We continue to celebrate our Austin residents each year at our Victory Garden, located at Laramie and Washington Boulevard. I would like for everyone to visit our garden because this is where we honor our community activists-who have passed on-with honorary bricks that have their names engraved on them.

“We are grateful for our continued relationship with Openlands Organization, a group that is dedicated to saving land in Chicago and supports Austin Green Team efforts. Also, we are most proud of our young ‘sprouts,’ who we hope will carry on our legacy in years to come.

“Myself personally, I’m so happy to have my husband, children, grandchildren and all the wonderful Green Team members. We really are a family and care about each other and this means so very much to me.”

Vice President George Lawson also talked about his hopes for the Green Team for 2009:

“We started to get some young people interested in gardening and churches involved with us. I hope this coming year we see the growth of more individuals being involved in planting. The young people look promising in helping the seniors continue to beautify our community-that is my main hope.”

Mrs. Peery gave some of the officers gifts-George Lawson was given his favorite cigars; Irma Ferba was given earrings with matching pendant; Juline McClinton and LaKesha Kneeland were given a tote bag; and because it was also Mrs. Peery’s birthday, everyone sang “Happy Birthday,” and she was given a gift certificate, and the restaurant gave her a big bowl of ice cream.

Austin Green Team

President Mary Peery

Vice presiden

t George Lawson


Juline McClinton


Irma Ferba

Director of children activities

Lakesha Kneeland

Activities coordinator

Vera Watson


Dorothy White


J.B. Carr, Marlone Chenault, Willie Ferba, Mattie Holmes, Donna Kanapes, Bessie Lucky, Rose McNutt, Bennie Meeks, Ellen Newcomer, Joe Peery, Vivian Reed, Julie Samuels,
Cora Williams.