OPA Blog

Pro Musica Youth Chorus Gets Added to OPA's Charity Contest!

OakParkApartments.com loves finding out about new charities in our community and we were glad when Pro Musica Youth Chorus introduced themselves to us via our facebook site.  They asked if they could officially be added to our charity contest list.  We were impressed by the many write-in nominations they had already received so we put them on the ballot!

Pro Musica Youth Chorus: provides exceptional music opportunities for the youth in Oak Park and neighboring communities and has been doing so for over 20 years.  Their kids sing locally, nationally, and internationally.  They have sung with the Joffrey Ballet, the Symphony of OP & RF, and at Carnegie Hall.  The support they receive helps provide scholarships for those members who need financial assistance.

Good luck Pro Musica Youth Chorus!

For those who would like to find out more about this organization, here is their link:


And The Top 5 Charities Are……

The top 5 charities in alphabetical order,  not # of votes (those we’re not telling) are: Animal Care League, Farther Foundation, Hepzibah Children’s Association, L’Arche Chicago and the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry.  Over 1,800 votes have been cast in just one week – this contest is still anyone’s game so keep spreading the word to your organization’s supporters to go to OakParkApartments.com and VOTE!

The Top 5 @ 5!

OakParkApartments.com will let folks know the 5 charities that are in the lead later today – no particular order.  There have been thousands who have voted in just the first week already!  It’s anybody’s game – so keep the word going and the votes coming in!

OakParkApartments.com Charity Contest Gets More Press!

Brothers Bob (left) and Bill Planek, owners of OakParkApartments.com, stand in front of one of their three-story walk-up apartment rentals in Oak Park. They’re donating $2,025 each month for six months starting in April to the local charity that gets the most votes on their website in celebration of their 25 years in business.  The first months winner will be announced May 1st!  Make sure you vote!

Go to the Oak Leaves link below for the full story!


Find out what charities are in the top 5 tomorrow – here and on Facebook!


25th Anniversary Contest – Find Out About the Featured Charities: Part III

More charities and their missions.  Voting goes live tomorrow!  

Voting rules:

-Each charity can only win once.
-One vote is allowed per person per month.
-Voting for the first charity begins April 1 and will close April 30.
-The first award winner will be announced May 1.

Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry works together as a community to reduce hunger locally through direct hunger relief services, hunger awareness education and advocacy to influence anti-hunger policy.

Opportunity Knocks has been committed to ensuring that all young people with developmental disabilities within the Oak Park, River Forest and Forest Park communities are recognized as active and valuable members of their community. With that, it has been our goal to successfully create and foster strong relationships within the community.

Parenthesis seeks to strengthen family bonds and facilitate the development of parents and young children by affirming the parent/child relationship, improving parenting skills, and alleviating family isolation by provide a place where parents can come together for mutual support,  affirm and strengthen the parent child relationship, link families to other community resources,  & encourage the full development of children.

Rotary Club of Oak Park & River Forest supports a wide variety of special community projects ranging from child care, youth services, adult counseling programs to cultural projects. The club has supported international projects to improve healthcare and nutrition in developing countries throughout the world. If you have a desire to learn, if you want to help others, if you want to make new friends and establish new business and professional relationships – Rotary is for you.

Seven Generations Ahead promotea ecologically sustainable and healthy communities. SGA advocates for pro-active community solutions to global environmental issues, and works with municipal, business, and community decision-makers to promote green community development, clean, renewable energy, eco-effective products, zero waste strategies, green building design, and fresh, local, and sustainable food raised using healthy practices.

The Children’s Clinic is a community supported health care organization that provides medical, dental and social services for children whose families are unable to afford the cost of private health care. Sponsored by the Oak Park River Forest Infant Welfare Society and through partnerships with other community organizations, The Children’s Clinic supports the physical and social well being of children.

Wonder Works Children’s Museum is 6,400 square feet of fun, a place of creative play for kids birth to age eight. Located in Oak Park, Illinois at 6445 West North Avenue, the children’s museum helps kids, their parents and caregivers unleash their imaginations through art, performance, design, building and more.

The Friends of the Oak Park Conservatory mission is to promote interest in the Oak Park Conservatory, offer educational and recreational opportunities and support projects that benefit the Oak Park Conservatory.

Pleasant Home Foundation: When you make a gift to the Foundation or become a member of Pleasant Home, you help support educational opportunities for children and adults, the historic preservation of a national landmark and Prairie School architectural treasure, and the important role of Pleasant Home in the fabric of Oak Park community life and Chicago architectural history.

Unity Temple Restoration Foundation (UTRF) primary goals are to complete a comprehensive restoration and preservation of the building, promote architectural awareness and education through the use of the space, and introduce a worldwide public to the significance of this one of a kind masterpiece of modern architecture.

Help us celebrate 25 years of being in business in Oak Park by voting for your favorite charity – Oak Park Apartments wants to give back!

25th Anniversary Contest – Find Out About the Featured Charities: Part II

Here are some more mission statements from the featured charities that OakParkApartments.com’s anniversary contest is promoting.  All of the charities are truly a vital part of our community and are organizations that Oak Park Apartments and its’ owners have been committed to throughout their 25 years in business.

Hephzibah Children’s Association: Hephzibah is Oak Park’s oldest charity—founded in 1897 when Mary Wessels opened her home to children from a nearby orphanage that had been destroyed by fire. Responding to a need in the community, Mary continued to welcome youngsters into her home and made it her mission to “care for society’s most vulnerable children.”

Today, Hephzibah’s services are many and they are continually developing new innovative programs while staying true to their mission and meeting the needs of the community.

Historical Society of Oak Park & River Forest: To bring together people who are interested in Oak Park and River Forest, to study and provide means and facilities for the study of the history of Oak Park and River Forest, to acquire, collect, preserve and display materials and literature relevant to the history of the Oak Park and River Forest areas, to assist in the designation and preservation of buildings, monuments, and other sites significant to the history of the area, to publish and disseminate materials and information relative to the history of the area,  and to operate an archive, library and museum for future generations.

L’Arche Chicago: L’Arche is an international federation of intentional communities in which people with and without intellectual disabilities live, work, play and pray together, creating home. Core members – persons with disabilities – make up the heart of our communities. Those who live and share life with them are called assistants. Each L’Arche community is unique and autonomous but internationally federated. We all share a common vision of the basic dignity of each human person and the centrality of mutual relationship between God and each person and between persons of all races, religions, cultures and abilities. We seek to create home and provide meaningful work for all our community members and to witness to a way of life where everyone is recognized as being of equal and infinite value.

Literacy Volunteers Western Cook County: LVWCC is a not-for-profit agency that provides free tutoring services and literacy programs to adults in western Chicago and suburban Cook County through its network of trained volunteers. Established in 1986, LVWCC currently serves approximately 200 students per year.

Oak Leyden Developmental Services: Helping people with developmental disabilities meet life’s challenges and reach their highest potential. To accomplish this mission, Oak-Leyden has developed seven core values and will consistently: Recognize the dignity of each individual, support personal choices whenever possible and safe, promote the inclusion of each individual served within the larger community, facilitate and encourage family involvement and participation in support of the individual served, strive to discover new and innovative programs to enhance the lives of people with disabilities, provide individually-designed programs that empower individuals served, use resources in a manner that provides the maximum benefit for individuals served.

Oak Park Area Arts Council: Believes art is intrinsic to the quality of life in the community, the Oak Park Area Arts Council celebrates, supports and promotes artists and arts organizations in Oak Park, River Forest and Forest Park. By raising funds for the arts, and advocating for policies that promote the arts, they enhance the social, economic, and cultural foundations of the its’ communities.

25th Anniversary Contest – Find Out About the Featured Charities: Part I


OakParkApartments.com’s 25th anniversary charity contest goes live April 1st. Below are the mission statements of 5 of the Charities on the list. Tomorrow and Wednesday we will feature more of the charities that will be a part of the contest. Remember, just because your charity may not be on our list you are still able to vote for another charity of your choice – just write it in when you vote!

Animal Care League: Nonprofit organization serving Oak Park. Finding homes for stray and abandoned cats and dogs and providing humane education programs.

Collaboration for Early Childhood Care and Education: At the Collaboration for Early Childhood Care
& Education, we provide the resources and
connections vital to every child’s opportunity for
success in learning and in life. Work with us to
create a bright future for our community.

Community Chest of Oak Park and River Forest: From educational achievement to healthcare access to affordable housing to financial stability to crisis support United Way continues to find the best solutions to meet our community’s greatest needs.

Farther Foundation: Farther Foundation partners with schools and community organizations to identify students who demonstrate commitment to success through academic achievement, participation in support programs and a willingness to take a bold step beyond the familiar. We provide opportunities for students to travel worldwide and interact with individuals who have diverse backgrounds and experiences. They participate in programs which enable them to become immersed in new cultures and experiences, learn and develop skills, provide service, cultivate leadership potential and attain personal growth.

Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust: Their mission is to engage, educate and inspire the public through architecture, design and the legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright, and to preserve the Trust’s historic sites and collections.

Vote for the charity of your choice…. coming soon!

OakParkApartments.com is celebrating its 25th anniversary by donating $2,025 to one charity each month in the Oak Park area for six months.  The vote for the first month will begin April 1st and ends April 30th…. tell you friends and get ready to vote for your favorite charity!

  • Animal Care League
  • Collaboration for Early Childhood Care and Education
  • Community Chest of Oak Park and River Forest
  • Farther Foundation
  • Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust
  • Hephzibah Children’s Association
  • Historical Society of Oak Park & River Forest
  • L’Arche Chicago
  • Literacy Volunteers Western Cook County
  • Oak Leyden Developmental Services
  • Oak Park Area Arts Council
  • Oak Park Food Pantry
  • Opportunity Knocks
  • Parenthesis Parent Child Center
  • Rotary Club of Oak Park River Forest
  • Seven Generations Ahead
  • The Children’s Clinic
  • Wonder Works Children’s Museum

Oak Park Apartments Celebrates 25th Anniversary by Donating to Oak Park Charities

Vote for your favorite charity in Oak Park each month; the charity with the most votes each month will receive a $2,025 donation

Oak Park Apartments, which rents more than 1,000 Chicago suburban apartments in the Oak Park area, announced today it will celebrate its 25th Anniversary by donating $2,025 to one charity each month in the Oak Park area for six months. Visitors to the Oak Park Apartments web site can vote for their favorite local charity. The competition opens April 1 with the first charity winner announced early May.

For 25 years, Oak Park Apartments has breathed life into old buildings and made the Oak Park area a destination for younger residents. “We grew up here and we have always worked to provide great space for people to live and a strong community to be part of. Oak Park is home for us, and we want everyone who rents from us to feel the same way,” says Oak Park Apartments’ Owner Bill Planek. “With our charity giveaway, we want to give those residents and the rest of the community a voice to decide what charities we support.”

The list of charities includes social service agencies, cultural institutions, and more, including Hephzibah Children’s Association, Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust, Wonder Works Children’s Museum and the Oak Park Food Pantry. Once a charity has won, it will not be eligible to win a second time. Visitors of Oak Park Apartments web site will also have the opportunity to write in charities they would like to support when voting opens on Friday, April 1.

“These charities are a big part of what makes Oak Park and Forest Park such successful communities,” says Co-owner Bob Planek. “Throughout our 25 years, we have grown substantially and feel that we should do our part in supporting these organizations.”

Oak Park Apartments is the largest renter of apartments in Oak Park and Forest Park and also manages many local condominium associations. Twenty years ago Oak Park Apartments began using compact fluorescent light bulbs and since then has continued to “green” its properties. Working with the Center for Neighborhood Technology, a leader in creating more livable and sustainable communities, Oak Park Apartments also performs energy audits on its buildings and has reduced energy and water consumption by 20 percent in just four years. Oak Park Apartments also runs 18 Chicago Avenue, an indoor sports facility, which is home to various sports teams from the community and is open to business. For more information on Oak Park Apartments or to vote for your favorite charity, visit www.oakparkapartments.com beginning April 1.