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Special Olympics parents push for another star on Chicago flag

Supreme Court Justice Anne M. Burke joins Amelia Hernandez and Frank Olivio — athletes who competed in the first Special Olympics —at the March 2 groundbreaking ceremony at Soldier Field for a monument to commemorate the first Special Olympics. | James Foster/For the Sun-Times

The fifth star.

It’s a groundswell. Parents of Special Olympics athletes, proud the games were birthed in Chicago, are now pivoting to a campaign to add a fifth star to the Chicago flag.

“It’s time,” said a Sneed reader seconding the suggestion of Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke, who gave birth to the Special Olympics at Soldier Field 50 years ago.

“Please do it right,” said a Sneed reader.

“Make it stand out. Since it will be a ‘living, breathing star,’ make it a golden one and make it larger than the other four.” — MS


Emailed another:

“What great news to know that Anne Burke is finally recognized for all of her important work. And the star addition is a wonderful idea! A must. Thank you.”— AG

“The fifth star on the Chicago flag where Special Olympics was birthed in 1968 would be a living memorial,” said City Club of Chicago exec Jay Doherty, whose daughter, Rosalie, 12, “is a proud gold medal winner in the softball throw as a Special Olympics athlete.

“Basically one in every four families have some type of intellectual differences, and our plan is centered around good, old-fashioned grassroots support.

“The Chicago Park District has over 5,000 Special Olympics athletes — that’s more than the MLB, NFL and NHL combined, which has just a little over 3,000,” he added.

“Let’s remind the world of this contribution to equity and dignity by adding a star to this great city’s flag!” said Connie Cusack McIntosh, sister of Michael J. Cusack, 1968 and lifelong Special Olympics athlete.

“My son John has been involved in Special Olympics for 32 years,” wrote Bee Fajdich. “It saved John’s life from the very beginning when his father passed away. He fell in love with the park programs and blossomed not only socially, but mentally.”

Stay tuned.

Pew news . . .

Cardinal Blase Cupich comes prepared.

Consider two Sundays ago, when the cardinal said the 9 a.m. mass at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Melrose Park and brought along his Croatian soccer jersey.

Cupich, of Croatian descent, told the mostly Italian congregation he was doing special prayers for Croatia to win the World Cup and would be wearing the soccer jersey after mass while eating good Italian food.

Sneedless to say, the food was a winner. Croatia was not.

Holy cow!

Anne Burke will be on the pitcher’s mound at Wrigley Field on Sunday.

• Batter up: Burke will wrap up the 50th anniversary celebration of Special Olympics by throwing out the first pitch at the Cubs game Sunday.

• The lineup: She will be joined by Special Olympics Chicago athletes Ethan Salgado and Jelani Allen.

• $$$: Watch for the Cubbies to cough up big cash at a check presentation to Special Olympics programs.

The J-Lo show . . .

Uber fit singer Jennifer Lopez and her ESPN commentator beau Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez spotted having dinner on steak at Gibsons on Rush on Thursday night. Only J-Lo’s was grass fed, don’t chaknow.

Sneedlings . . .

Former Bears coach Dave Wannstedt and stand-up comedian Bryan Callen also spotted at Gibsons.. . . Cubbie pitcher Justin Wilson hit RPM Italian. . . . Country music star/ Cubs fan Brett Eldredge brunching at Bub City . . . . Toyoko’s Wagyumafia (Chef Hisato Hamada) spotted at RPM Steak last Thursday before popping up at Windy City Smokeout on Friday and Sushi-san Saturday night. . . . DJ Diplo and pop star Dua Lipa at Aba eatery recently. . . . Ditto for 2018 NBA champ/MVP Kevin Durant and Scottie Pippen’s wife, Larsa, who is Kim Kardashian’s BFF . . . Saturday’s birthdays: Romeo Santos, 37; Sara Sampaio, 27, and Diane Guerrero, 32. . . . Sunday’s birthdays: Selena Gomez, 26; Ezekiel Elliott, 23; and David Spade, 54