The second annual Museum Gala will be held on Thursday Nov. 21 at the Carleton Hotel, kicking off at 6:30.
A highlight of the evening will be the presentation of the second annual Heart of Our Villages Award to Sherlynn Reid and Chatka Ruggiero, who have made Oak Park and River Forest better places to live and work with their volunteerism, activism and community spirit.
Ruggiero grew up in Oak Park and graduated from Oak Park River Forest High School and has lived for decades in River Forest with her husband Tony. She has been an active community volunteer and philanthropist supporting a wide number of causes and organizations including the Animal Care League, the Infant Welfare Clinic, and The Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest. She owns the Oak Park Arts Center, located in a former Christian Science Church and once the home to the Hemingway Museum. She was co-founder of the Oak Park Building and Owners’ Association.
Sherlynn Reid moved to Oak Park in 1968 with her husband Henry and three young daughters and immediately became a leading community volunteer and activist. She joined the League of Woman Voters and the Nineteenth Century Club, rising to become president of both organizations. She soon took a job in the Village of Oak Park Community Relations Department, helping to implement the community’s commitment to Fair Housing. She rose to become the department’s director and earned a reputation as a woman with a fierce determination to make the village a place where all people are welcomed and valued.
The Historical Society, which was founded in 1968 and located in Pleasant Home from 1970-2016, raised more than $1 million to transform a vacant and dilapidated former firehouse at 129 Lake St. in Oak Park to create Oak Park and River Forest Museum in 2017. The museum was named “Small Museum of the Year” in October 2018 by the Illinois Association of Museums.
Proceeds from the Gala fund operating costs and future exhibits at Oak Park River Forest Museum, and the event includes cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. Tickets are $125. Click here to purchase tickets on our website or call the museum 708-848-6755.