How Do These Chicago Real Estate Pros Spend Thanksgiving?
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We're looking forward to the Thanksgiving break as much as you. One of our traditions is heading out to any of the Park District's outdoor ice rinks for a brisk round of skating after the turkey coma wears off. We asked Chicago real estate professionals what their Thanksgiving celebrations entail. Here's what they had to say.
Fifield Cos heads Steve and Randy Fifield kicked off this year’s Thanksgiving celebration with a bang, supporting Lurie Children’s Hospital, an organization near and dear to their hearts, at the annual holiday fundraisers Winter Wishes and Children Celebrate Children. Both events are hosted by the hospital’s Founder’s Board, of which Randy is a member. The Fifield family festivities continue with a traditional Thanksgiving meal with their children, serving up Randy’s mother’s turkey recipe, sage, onion and raisin stuffing, yams with marshmallows, cranberry sauce and homemade desserts. But the fun doesn’t stop there—the Fifield Thanksgiving traditions continue through the weekend with a family trip to see The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II, a weekend gathering of extended family for ham and early holiday gifts, and a football-filled Sunday.
Alter Group VP Harvey Alter (pictured with his family) hosts Thanksgiving dinner for 30 people every year at his Glenview home. Harvey’s wife, Amy Klein-Alter, is a chef by trade and prepares a full dinner ranging from a turkey to 300 pigs in blankets. Harvey says Amy slices the turkey so well you could glue the bird back together and it would look as if it came fresh out of the oven. The Alters also watch the Thanksgiving parades and football before heading to a nearby park for a game of two-hand touch football. Everyone plays; the oldest player is 80 and the youngest will be four this year.
Evergreen Real Estate Services president Stephen Rappin starts the big day out with his son, running a 5k turkey trot before enjoying a fully indulgent afternoon of football, drinks and the greatest meal of the year. This year Steve and his family are heading to his folks’ Gold Coast home for a full family get-together with kids, siblings, aunts, uncles and grandparents. Adding to the fun is finding what random guests are joining them for the night, ranging from the doorman's family, to playwrights, actors and family friends they haven't seen in years. This formula seems to keep everyone on their best behavior and always makes for an extra-special holiday. The kids decorate all of the place settings and then make the adults put on traditional pilgrim bonnets and hats for the meal. The family fun continues as they all head off to Michigan for a weekend of leftovers, football and campfires.
For the last 17 years, Englewood Construction president Bill Di Santo (pictured, right, with Englewood director of operations Chuck Taylor) kicks off Thanksgiving with a special company lunch the day before the holiday. The meal used to be a traditional Thanksgiving feast until Bill decided his team probably didn’t want to eat turkey two days in a row. He now channels his Italian heritage and serves an Italian-based menu from one of several local Lemont restaurants.
Heritage Harbor Ottawa director of sales and marketing Tammy Barry comes from a family of 14 children, so family time is definitely something she knows a lot about. She says Thanksgiving is one of her family’s favorite times to get together, and last year, 78 people packed into her mom’s house in East Dubuque, IL. Tammy adds that she expects an even louder Thanksgiving this year because her family is evenly divided between Chicago Bears fans and Green Bay Packers fans. Another special Thanksgiving tradition for Tammy is starting off the day by returning to her alma mater, Wahlert High School, to run its annual Turkey Trot with her nieces and nephews. (Pictured is Tammy with two of her nieces after completing last year’s race.)