North side chamber of commerce raising funds with community-inspired puzzles

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Piece by piece, Ravenswood community members are working to keep their chamber of commerce afloat.

"We are committed to helping the Ravenswood business community thrive and supporting our vibrant, local economy," said Jessica Licklider, Project Manager of the Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce.

Like many chambers of commerce in the city, GRCC has had to cancel all in-person activities because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a normal year, events like the Taste of Ravenswood and the Ravenswood ArtWalk help raise funds for the non-profit organization.

"We are definitely feeling the pressure," Licklider said. "With events being canceled, we were trying to figure out different ways that we could fundraise."

That fundraising solution? Puzzles.

Each puzzle is created by a local artist, showcasing something unique about the Ravenswood community.

"I just really wanted to honor the neighborhood so I created this bird's eye view map by hand," said Phil Thompson, owner and founder of Cape Horn Illustration.

Places like Malt Row and the now gone, Shelley's Freeze, are also now in puzzle-form.

"It's got lots of bright signage and hand-painted signs," artist Emily Rapport said. "It's kind of a classic Chicago fast food joint."

All of the money raised is going right back to the Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce - in turn, helping the small businesses in the neighborhood.

"People want to be part of a community so this is just a nice way to engage people and show them that we're all still connected," Rapport said.

"This is a neighborhood that has thriving local businesses," Thompson added. "We should support them and really take some pride in where we live."
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