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1) ChiGivesBack: Conducting its fifth annual toy drive. In previous years the organization has collected more than 10,000 toys for kids in low-income or homeless situations. chigivesback.com

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One of the best things about doing work on the “giving back” theme for our November issue of Chicago Star is the reaffirmation of how many great organizations with wonderful helpful causes there are in the Chicago area.

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With our theme this month of service and charity in the City of Chicago we turn to our favorite sports teams to dream up some money-raising ideas.

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If you are a fan of our beloved Chicago Bulls basketball team, you have some work to do before the opening game on Oct. 20. There are a lot of new faces to get to know this year.

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One of the great luxuries of the summer season is getting engrossed in a good book—one that you really delve into—and getting to that particular time of day when your schedule allows for just you and the written page to become one.

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Struggling to stay awake in the pews? Maybe church hopping is for you. This month, I gently, and quite delicately, delve into the topic of religion and I will go so far as to suggest attending a variety of churches (socially distanced of course) to hear different sermons, rather than going t…

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This month I went on a mission to check out Soldier Field and my beloved Chicago Bears football team.  More specifically, what was it like to be around the stadium on a game day when no fans were allowed to attend?

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As this issue comes out in early November, we will be right smack in the middle of election mania—sure to be a volatile, if not hostile, period of time (I hope I am wrong).

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Were the streets of Chicago quiet during the summer because there were no street performers? Or were there no street performers because the streets were so quiet?

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The Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago and Chicago Catholic Charities have long been known as city locations providing meals to those most in need. That need has increased exponentially during the pandemic, and both organizations have stepped up to provide much-needed extra assistance. Bu…

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With most summer camps closed, children’s playgrounds still locked, and many of the normal recreational programs delayed or cancelled, people of all ages have been making the best of it using the open green grass of our beautiful neighborhood parks.

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By Jon Cohn It is a bizarre and unsettling time. Our lives in the New Eastside and Streeterville neighborhoods have been turned, if not upside down, at least swished around like fruit in a smoothie blender on high speed. Through it all, though, we have learned some different terms and ideas …

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By Jon Cohn, April 1, 2020   I am a coach, so competition is always running through my mind even during these difficult times. I started to think of the items that are the most necessary while I am hunkered down at home. I started playing a game. I thought of all the essentials. I started wi…

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by Jon Cohn It’s all about the brackets in March.  Bracketology, to be precise. No, it’s not about shopping  hints from the fix-it folks at your local hardware store. And these brackets will definitely not  be sold on the Home Shop- ping Network.  The brackets that come to the  forefront thi…

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by Jon Cohn If you are a hard-core golfer stuck in the throes of long Chicago winters, there is no need to worry. It’s not necessary to plan trips to warm exotic locations to play your favorite game. You can put the plane ticket away, cancel hotel reservations and killer greens fees and tell…

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The challenge is on, and it won’t be easy.  The problem? This month features  Restaurant Week.  One of Chicago’s most celebrated winter events is about to  kick off and it will provide the greatest of challenges to those  still  fighting to keep those resolutions of eating a little less and …

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By Jon Cohn I recently checked out the Maggie Daley Park kids playground. Oh, to be young again! The playground of my day was a couple of chain swings, maybe a teeter-totter (remember those things?) and a really COOL  jungle gym.  Fast forward some 50 years and welcome to today’s state-of-th…

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by Jon Cohn If this month’s topic was a gymnastic event, the judges would give it a degree of difficulty rating in the high 9s.  Figuring out the best way to talk politics with friends or family members during the holidays may be a near herculean task. It’s like a female gymnast fighting des…

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By Jon Cohn I recently checked out the Maggie Daley Park kids playground. Oh, to be young again! The playground of my day was a couple of chain swings, maybe a teeter-totter (remember those things?) and a really COOL  jungle gym.  Fast forward some 50 years and welcome to today’s state-of-th…

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(Published Aug. 31, 2019) By Jon Cohn In an unofficial tabulation of informal voting done by this column—with apologies to runner-ups May, November and December—the month of September has won Best in Show as the overall most enjoyable month of the year. If you are reading this column in the …