Ed Solan, Community Bank Earn Honors from Regional Housing Center

Awards to be given during event honoring organization's 40th anniversary this Friday.

The head of the area's affordable housing program and a bank noted for its community service will receive major awards Friday during the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Oak Park Regional Housing Center.

Ed Solan, who has led the Oak Park Residence Corp. for 12 years, will get the Roberta Raymond Founder’s Award for Commitment to Diversity.

The Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest will be honored with the Community Philanthropy Award.

The festivities will be from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Oct. 5 at Unity Temple, 875 Lake St. 

The Raymond Award is presented annually to a recipient who has shown a commitment to diversity and integration in Oak Park over a long period of time.

In addition to his leadership of the Residence Corporation, Solan has served as board president of the United Way of Oak Park River Forest and Forest Park and the Pleasant Home Foundation.

During his tenure, Solan has been instrumental in promoting integrated and diverse housing throughout the Residence Corporation’s building portfolio. The Residence Corporation has been a stellar example of how to market affirmatively and provide high-quality housing options in the community, said Rob Breymaier, the housing center's executive director.

"The Housing Center has long considered the Residence Corporation an important ally in the strategy to promote a diverse and integrated community in Oak Park," Breymaier said.

Solan said he was truly honored to be the recipient of this award named for Roberta Raymond, who founded the housing center in 1972 to promote and sustain an integrated Oak Park.

"One of the reasons Linda and I chose to move to Oak Park was its commitment to diversity.  I’ve been fortunate to have been able to contribute to this goal,” he said.

During its 16 year history, Community Bank has played a vital role in the community since its establishment in 1996. The institution has been a strong supporter of the Housing Center and its mission to achieve meaningful and lasting diversity in Oak Park.

Through financial support, financial services, program partnerships, and volunteer time Community Bank has collaborated with the Housing Center to promote equal opportunity throughout all of western Cook County, Breymaier said.

In addition, Community Bank has provided support to other worthy non-profits in the community through grants and support of shared services. The bank has frequently faciliated financial literacy events and offered the Champion Grant, which encourages growth and support in economically challenged communities. 

Notably, bank staff and directors have volunteered countless hours of time to local community organizations in committee and board leadership positions.

“We are honored to have been recognized by the Oak Park Regional Housing Center for our philanthropic efforts.   As a community bank we have a great opportunity to make a positive impact on local nonprofit organizations and the people they serve.  We will always reach out to these organizations and work them to in order to strengthen our community,” said Walter Healy, Community Bank's president.

All attendees will receive an advanced copy of the 2013 edition of The Oak Parker.

Entertainment will be provided by the Promusica Youth Chorus, Spoken Word from Oak Park and River Forest High School and the Art of Diversity of students from District 97.

Raffle tickets will be sold for $10 each; prizes include a $500 gift card from the Apple Store.

Tickets to the celebration are $75 and can be purchased online at oprhc.org or by phone by calling Tina Levy, the center's associate director at 708-848-7150, ext. 117.

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