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Oak Forest Names Grand Marshals of Fleadh Parade

Find out who will lead the March 8 parade along Cicero Avenue.

The Oak Forest-Crestwood Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Oak Forest announced Thursday that Lifetime Chamber Directors Shirley Cozzo and Laverne Schultz will serve as grand marshals of the Oak Forest Fleadh family parade on Saturday, March 8. The parade steps off at 11 a.m. at 157th Street and Cicero Avenue.  

“We thought it was extremely fitting to select our Lifetime Directors as the grand marshals of this year’s parade as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Oak Forest Chamber,” said Chamber Executive Director Kimberly Malecky-Iles. “Shirley and Laverne were instrumental in making the Chamber what it is today—a successful and viable organization.”  

As grand marshals, Cozzo and Schultz will lead approximately 80 parade units, including pipe and drum bands, civic and community groups, schools and churches, and local businesses along Cicero Avenue. The Oak Forest Fleadh celebrates Irish culture and tradition as well as the people and businesses of Oak Forest. Throughout their tenure, Cozzo and Schultz had a tremendous impact not only on the Chamber of Commerce but on the Oak Forest community as well.

For instance, from 1988 to 1990, Cozzo worked with local businesses to create the state of Illinois’ only Business Crime Prevention Program, which resulted in the organization receiving the Illinois Crime Prevention Organization of the Year Award and Cozzo receiving the Crime Prevention Citizen of the Year Award from the Illinois Crime Prevention Association and the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.

In addition, Cozzo worked with local businesses to support the Oak Forest Fire Department’s Opticom Program, which allows fire personnel to activate traffic lights as they respond to emergencies, and the Police Department’s Alerts Program, which includes in-squad computers so that officers can access pertinent information during traffic stops. When Schultz joined Cozzo as a director, the duo worked tirelessly to ensure the continuation of the organization’s annual Community Awareness Fair—earning the coveted Illinois State Hometown Award for their efforts.

Cozzo and Schultz also created the Chamber’s banner and signage program, welcoming visitors to Oak Forest. In addition to her work with the Chamber, Schultz authored the History of Oak Forest, a book commemorating the City of Oak Forest’s 100th Anniversary in 1992. 

To learn more about the Oak Forest Fleadh, please visit www.oak-forest.org, call 708-687-4600 or e-mail oakforestfleadh@oak-forest.org. Registration is open for the Oak Forest Fleadh 5K. 

—Story by City of Oak Forest
Colleen McAbee February 07, 2014 at 09:44 AM
And are they going to chant "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 Schlimeil! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!" as they lead the parade down the street? Sorry. Couldn't resist.
Mike Fangman February 08, 2014 at 12:16 AM
^lol

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