EGA Beginnings

The formation of the Edgewater Glen Association was the first initative of the Edgewater Community Council to form a block club / neighborhood association.  The Lakewood Balmoral Residents Council was already a few years old, and the East Andersonville Residents Council was in its infancy. The organizer was LeRoy Blommaert who had just been elected to the ECC board of directors.  The vehicle was the ECC committee on Neighborhood Organizations (CONO).  Fortunately, a written report was issued in April 1972 that relates the efforts made and results obtained.  As a result, we have the best documentation for the beginnings of EGA than any other Edgewater neighborhood association, with the possible exception of LBRC. The following are excepts from that report:

"Beginnings:  Two committee meetings were held, the first on January 25, the second on February 8, 1972.  At these meetings it was decided to concentrate on the area  north of Bryn Mawr, to initially undertake the organizing of one area at a time, and to select as the first target the area that offered the greatest promise of intial success.  All agreed this area was the area bounded by Broadway, Clark, Elmdale, and Granville because of the predominance of single family residences and the high number of ECC members residing within its boundaries (approximately 125).  The boundaries were later defined as Broadway, Clark, Norwood (both sides of the street) and Granville (both sides of the street).

Planning For the First Meeting in the First Target Area: Shortly after the second meeting a date, time, and place were selected for a meeting in the area where area residents would be invited to hear a presentation on the merits of the neighborhood organization concept. Publicity for that meeting, which was scheduled for Thursday, March 23, 1972 at the Granville Ave Methodist Church, comsisted of the following: (1) a letter to some 125 ECC members in the area along with a list of these same members; (2) Follow-up telephone calls to these members and a recording of the results on specially devised personal contact forms; (3) a flyer distribution to all residents in the area; (4) a reminder letter to ECC members shortly before the meeting; (5) a random telephone campaign to non-ECC members on the 1500 blocks of Granville and Hood (These blocks were selected because they were weak in terms of ECC members); (6) the posting of the flyers on what few trees remain in the area…

The acknowledgments at the end of the report show the extent of the publicity effort: Paul A. Parenteau, for his presentation and general support; Marge Britton, for drafting the flyer that was distributed in the area and for her presentation and general support; Mrs. Richard Westly, Eleanor Gusinde, Nancy Donnolly, Bunny Specht, Marion Volini, Mrs. Charles Feit, Mrs. William Boyd, Sue Klotzke, and Mrs. Gerald Slusser for making follow-up telephone calls to ECC members; Frank Zeman for making home visits on his own initiative; the boy scouts of Troop 1924, Michael Schroeter, Kevin Walsh, Mark Wilmes, Donald Muss, Art Gregg, James Fritching, James Schields, Russell Budzileni, who delivered flyers in the area; Mr. James Budzileni, scout leader who arranged for the scouts to do this; Sue Klotzke for making random telephone calls and for her help in putting up posters on a very cold nasty night; Pastor Harold Dude of the Granville Ave. Methodist Church for the use of his church hall and his presence at the meeting; Mary Ellyn O’Donnell for her secretarial services and personal interest; the LBRC for the donation of copies of the March newsletter and membership brochure; Rev. Ken Miller for his presentation and for his personal interest in and support of the effort."

The First Meeting: The registration showed 68 persons in attendance, of which 47 were from the first target area.  The response to the presentations made by Ken Miller, Paul Parenteau, Marge Britton, and LeRoy Blommaert was favorable and 15 persons signed up to serve on a steering committee to undertake the actual task of forming a neighborhood organization for the area. An additional five persons were recruited to serve on the committee later.  Copies of the LBRC March newsletter and membership brochure were distributed courtesy of the LBRC and the proceedings were taped for future use." (The tape appears to have been lost.)"

That steering committee led to establishing the Edgewater Glen Association.  The Glen derives from the intersection of two streets at the center of the neighborhood: Glenwood and Glenlake.  It followed the model adopted by the neighbors further south in naming their neighborhood and organization Lakewood Balmoral, except that it used only the first four letters of both streets.  It is not known who first suggested the name.

Among the members of the steering committee were Mary Donlan and Patricia Waters. Syril Schoss was also one of the persons involved in the initial organizing efforts.

A membership form for the still unnamed organization was found among ECC documents; it was dated July 1972.  The first newsletter was dated October 1973.

–prepared by LeRoy Blommaert, February 2014; updated December 29, 2020