I recently had the opportunity to help unveil the new permanent art installation created by the youth of our community at Golf Mill for the Niles Teen Center. This is a cause near and dear to me. It is amazing what after school children’s programs can do to help keep our kids off the street at what I refer to as the “witching hours.” I teach a Township-wide free gang prevention seminar that I developed seven years ago and this is one of our main themes;that parents need to know where there kids are but equally important, to enlist the community to develop programs and places where kids can hang out and want to hang out. Niles has done an admirable job in both these respects! Particularly in this project. Much as we don’t like to admit it, sometimes gang graffiti has encroached into the northwest suburbs and is frequently referred to by experts in the field of crime prevention and gang violence as the calling card of the gang. What is so great about this Niles project was having these kids channel artistic and creative skills into an art project. The many participating youth were asked to each make a “tile” with a theme of pride in their community and then the tiles were made into a huge collage for permanent display.
On Thursday, March 7th, I had the pleasure of representing the Maine Township Trustees at the Republican Womens Forum held in the packed South Park Field House in Park Ridge. The room for the local candidates forum was overflowing with residents as they listened to candidates talk about several topics. One being the great free programs offered by the township that were approved and or run by trustees. In addition, it was pointed out that we are one of the few governments that have reduced the property tax levy by 25%. We also have the most popular Coast-to-Coast Prescription Discount program, which can save the township residents up to 75% off their drug cost. Among other programs, The Gang Awareness Seminar program was brought up, which I developed seven years ago and reaches out to all facets of the community. National Night Out Against Crime and Neighborhood Watch, both of which are chaired by Trustee Moylan-Krey and run by Trustees Morask, Kazmiercak, and Gialamas, also highlights local safety issues.
Laura’s successful work in the gang crimes field was recently featured in Township Perspective, published by the Township Officials of Illinois. Distributed to thousands of Illinois residents, the article focused on her acclaimed anti-gang seminar. Laura developed this seminar seven years ago in conjunction with the Maine Township Board, and the Maine Stay Youth and Family Services. Click here for image gallery.
Laura brought together a panel of community residents and local officials for an open forum where residents could discuss concerns and learn tips to keep their families safe from the pervasive spread of gangs. The panel included local police chiefs, representatives from the state’s attorneys office, local school administrators and social workers. Read full article…
The Niles Bugle Newspaper’s Year in Review featured the Gang Awareness Seminar as one of the highlights of the year 2012. The article, titled: New Law Helps in Gang Prosecution, covers Laura’s development of the panel that allowed both parents and law enforcement officials to discuss how to keep gangs out of their communities.
In the Park Ridge Herald-Advocate on Thursday, December 20th, 2012 the Gang Awareness Seminar spearheaded by Laura was prominently featured in Natasha Wasinski’s full page article entitled “Maine Township Panel Looks at Changes in Suburban Gang Activity” featuring Laura’s recent Gang Seminar panel held on October 17th at Maine Township and sponsored by the Maine Township Mainestay Youth and Family Services Department. As a three-term Maine Township Trustee and former Cook County Prosecutor in the Gang Unit, Laura developed this seminar six years ago in an effort to promote and heighten community awareness of potential gang crime activity in our township areas. Thursday’s article featured Park Ridge Chief of Police Frank Kaminski, and Niles Police Chief Dean Strzelecki.
The Park Ridge Chamber of Commerce has selected Laura for a Community Star Award! The Community Star Award is given by the Chamber of Commerce to recognize outstanding members of the Park Ridge community. Laura is being recognized for her work with the Gang Awareness Seminar which took place on October 17, 2012. The Park Ridge Chamber’s Annual Community Star Recognition Dinner will be held on January 19, 2013. Laura is a proud member of the Park Ridge Chamber of Commerce, an eleven-year Maine Township trustee, and a local resident. She is both honored and humbled by the recognition from her colleagues. The event should prove to be a popular one as recently written about in the Journal and Topics Newspaper Online in the article entitled, “Park Ridge Ceremony Outgrows Country Club Setting“.
On Wednesday, October 17th, 2012, Laura hosted a highly successful gang awareness seminar. Laura and a group of panelists held a question and answer session in addition to providing an in-depth look at gang issues in the Maine Township area. Click below to learn more.
Laura Morask is a proud contributor to the Park Ridge Police Department’s 8th Annual National Night Out program. The mission of National Night Out is to distribute crime-prevention and related information to the public in a fun atmosphere. National Night Out participants strive to raise crime and drug prevention awareness and send a message that the community and police are working together to decrease crime.
Laura has appeared numerous times on WGN’s Morning News program to discuss her Community Gang Awareness Seminar. The seminar has been held for the past six years in Maine Township.