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Hawthorne WorksThe Hawthorne Works complex was built at the beginning of the 20th century, and was opened in 1905. The facility consisted of several buildings and contained a private railroad,   The Hawthorne Works produced a large output of telephone equipment. In addition, Western Electric produced a wide variety of consumer products and electrical equipment, such as refrigerators and electric fans. The works employed up to 45,000 employees at the height of operations.  After divisiture the plant closed in 1983.

Crossroads Chapter 135

The Hawthorne Works produced a large output of telephone equipment. In addition, Western Electric produced a wide variety of consumer products and electrical equipment, such as refrigerators and electric fans. The works employed up to 45,000 employees at the height of operations. Workers regularly used bicycles for transit within the plant.

The Hawthorne Works was in operation until 1983, when it was closed as a result of the divestiture of AT&T and the breakup of the Bell System. It was purchased in the mid-1980s by the late Donald L. Shoemaker and replaced with a shopping center. One of the original towers remained at the corner of 22nd Street and Cicero Ave.

Web Site Updates for West Suburban Pioneer Club IL, 


Girls in the Game Summer Camp 

Since 1995, Girls in the Game Summer Camp has supported 45,000 girls in forming healthy habits, building self-confidence and developing skills that will benefit them now and in the future.  Last year, they served 3,800 girls ages 7 to 18, primarily girls of color from low-income backgrounds.  Girls in the Game Leadership Summer Camp brings girls across Chicago together to experience new sports and learn about healthy lifestyles.  They state that “our partnership with Telecom Pioneers guarantees that more girls make healthy choices now, and grow into happy, healthy and strong young women”.  Our Club’s involvement in this program is a $2,500 yearly donation.

Please note that a more detailed article about this project is attached.  

Project Leader:  Fred Salomon     Email:      Phone:  630-853-5042 (cell)

Girls in the Game Juvenile Temporary Detention Center

At the Cook County (Chicago) JTDC, Girls in the Game provides programs to all girls while they reside in the Detention facility to help them transition back into society.  They learn skills in various sports, fitness activities and health topics ranging from body image and smart eating to stress and proper coping mechanisms.  Some of their goals are to increase positive social connection, leadership skills, greater use of non-violent conflict resolution and valuation of self-worth.  During FY18 they served 53 girls.  Our Club’s involvement in this program is a $1,500 yearly donation.  Please note that a more detailed article about this project is attached.     

Project Leader:  Fred Salomon     Email:      Phone:  630-853-5042  (cell)

Therapy Oriented Tricycle (TOT) Project

New Outlook Pioneers, Crossroads Chapter 135 has been making  TOT Trikes since 1986.  The trikes are assembled by an all-volunteer project team and are provided free if they are picked up in our TOT workshop in Naperville, IL.  Also, we will ship the trikes anywhere in the U.S., with shipping charges being paid by the individual or group requesting them.  We have been donating about 60 trikes per year.  The trikes are donated to children mainly through Physical Therapy clinics, hospitals, schools and Easter Seals locations.  The trikes are fully assembled when picked up at our workshop, or shipped unassembled in two boxes; 1 containing the trike and 1 containing the add-on components.  The TOT is a modified safe tricycle designed for children with special needs (ages 2½ to 7 years) to help improve their strength and enhance their physical therapies while allowing them the thrill of playing and interacting with other children.  The TOT’s are designed for children who have weak leg muscles but are unable to keep their feet on the pedals.  Our annual budget for this project ranges from $4,000 to $12,000 depending on when we have to purchase the 3 trike models and add-on-components.      

Please note:  We previously made a Hand Operated Tricycle (HOT), but that project was phased out about 17 years ago.    

The pedal-powered TOT Trike is available in three sizes:

                10 inch  for ages  1½ to 2½

                12   “     for ages  2½ to 5

                16   “     for ages  5 to 7

Add-on Components:

                Metal Back-Brace with Foam Back Support and Seat Belts

                Foot Holders on Pedals with Velcro Straps

We thank the many individuals and organizations who have made donations to support this project.

If additional information is needed it may be obtained from:

                Gordon & Connie Hankins

                440 River Bluff Circle            (TOT Workshop location)

                Naperville, IL 60540

                                Phone:  630-355-7211  (home)

                                               630-841-4542  (cell)



Please note that there is a detailed article about the TOT on the New Outlook Pioneers website entitled: “Therapy Oriented Tricycle helps physically challenged kids get active”.  

Project Leader:  Connie Hankins     Email:      Phone:  630-841-4542  (cell)

Aurora School Support

For the Aurora (IL) School Support Project we purchase school supplies for needy students at the start of the School year and then purchase holiday gifts in November and December for the students.  Our yearly budget for this Project is $500.

Project Leader: Francine Blackmond  Email: Phone: 630-264-1560 h 630-788-6043 cell

Heartland Alliance Chicago

For the Heartland Alliance Project we purchase Back-to-School Supplies and holiday clothing and gifts for families identified as needy.  Our yearly budget for this Project is $1,000.

Project Leader:  Fred Salomon     Email:      Phone:  630-853-5042 (cell)

Talking Books Project

The Talking Books Project for our Club involves receiving damaged or non-working talking books from the National Library Service (NLS), analyzing them for defects, making necessary repairs, testing them and shipping them back to the NLS for distribution to eligible users.

We currently have three people working on the project, two Life Members and a volunteer from a local American Legion Post, who go into the Workshop once a week to make the repairs, test the books and prepare them for shipping.  During the past year they have transitioned from repairing the analog Talking Books, that have been phased out by the NLS, to repairing the new digital Talking Books; and have been averaging around 40 repaired units per month.   There is a minimal budget for the project since the testing equipment, etc., is provided by the NLS.  For many years they have contracted with charitable institutions such as Telecom Pioneers to repair the units on a volunteer basis at no cost to the NLS.  Note:  The Talking Books are not available to the public from Telecom Pioneers.  They are easily accessed online from the NLS or phone 1-888-NLS-READ.          

Project Leader:  Larry Klausner       Email:       Phone:  630-835-7332

The Hobby Group

The Hobby group has had multiple projects over the years such as sewing various items like lap robes, bibs, hats, blankets, etc., that are donated to local hospitals; and making teddy bears that were donated to hospitals, firefighters and police for distribution to traumatized children.  Currently they are sewing Easter Bags that are then filled with candy, etc., by a local LUNA WOC project group and delivered to an Indian Reservation in Arizona.  A minimal budget is required for some sewing materials and occasional repairs to sewing machines.      

Project Leaders:  Elsie Bitterman and Helen Ehlers       Contact:  Club President  Mike Demyanovich

Email:          Phone:  630-505-0784

Food Drive

Several Pioneer Club members attend a monthly luncheon with a group of around 70 Bell Labs retirees where many bring cans, jars and boxes of non-perishable food that is donated to two local Food Pantries.  This project is in support of the Telecom Pioneers  “Dish-it-Up” campaign and YTD through October, 2018, we had donated 450 containers of food.  Additionally, during 2018 our West Suburban Pioneer Club donated a check for $1,000 to the Northern Illinois Food Bank to help the NIFB provide holiday meals to children, seniors and families in our community.    

Project Leaders:  Various, rotating.          Contact:  Club President Mike Demyanovich

Email:          Phone:  630-505-0784

Columbus J.D. Burlie Club

Twin Valley Hospital

The John D Burlie club is one of the largest and most frequent providers of special event activities to the Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare Hospital.  We show up in their documentation of events and they honor us annually for our activities in their volunteer recognition. The John D. Burlie Club has worked with Twin Valley for over 40 years, providing a seasonal party for the residents 3 times each year. We roast corn in July, prepare hotdogs in September, and provide snacks at the December party.  Most of the residents are “locked in” the facility, so these events are well attended as a change from day to day activities.  There is also a DJ in the gymnasium with us where they dance, play games, and enjoy a change in pace to their lives.

Each party has 115+ residents of the Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare Hospital for psychiatric patients.

Wooden Toy Cars

In Gary Bogart’s garage, we manufacture toy wooden cars, trucks, tractors, and helicopters, which are provided to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the Ohio School for the Blind, and Christmas toy drives at the Salvation Army, St. Vincent Children’s Center, and the Columbus Fire Department.  Most are distributed before Christmas, but wooden cars are also provided to the Blind School for students to paint and race at their end of the school year party in May.

The Columbus Dispatch completed an article on Gary Bogart and his efforts with supplying toy wooden cars, trucks, etc. to those at the Blind School in 2018.  One of the projects there is to decorate cars in the classroom at the end of the school year where they race them at an afternoon event that we attend.  

Helping Hands

This is the largest Columbus area resource for providing at no cost medical supplies and is used by local hospitals when releasing patients, senior living facilities, and others that need equipment for a limited period of time. Project was initiated by the club back in 1989 to provide medical equipment to those in need.  Peace United Methodist Church now provides the leadership, storage, and distribution of equipment.  

When the Columbus manufacturing plant closed in the late 1990s, we no longer had the ability to store equipment.  Throughout the years, we actively handled most of the functions, but have aged-out of the day to day operations of the center.

Ohio Special Olympics

We spent money on popcorn, oil, bags, etc., as well as the equipment rental of two popcorn machines.  One of our Burlie Club members has a relative who works at the popcorn rental and supply company, so we received a discount, which allowed us to reduce our expenses for this project.

We serve about 800 athletes, chaperones, and family members during the annual event at Ohio State University for track and field events every June.

Ohio State School for the Blind

Every April, we take elementary students from the Ohio State School for the Blind to the Shriners Circus in Columbus where they are provided a full show by the circus and are provided with a box lunch.  We also provide an intercom system that gives additional information about the events in progress so they can enjoy the circus with their limited vision.  The students receive a radio and headset for them to better follow what is happening in the three ring circus.

We escort approximately 50 students by bus to the event, and chaperone them at the fairgrounds during the event, helping them climb to their seats at the venue, and escort them, as needed to restrooms, etc.  Each student has a Pioneer to help them throughout the event.

The extra intercom system is maintained by our group.  We also have an announcer to provide “extra action” during the circus itself.

Food Bank Support

At our monthly luncheons/meetings, we bring food and unperishable supplies to provide to the food banks in the Columbus area where our members volunteer.  We also have a jar for monetary donations which are used to purchase food based on the preferences of the food banks we help supply.

Contact Us

Crossroads Chapter 135

Chapter President: Gordon Hankins

440 River Bluff Cir.

Naperville, IL  6054

Club Prsiedent: Columbus Jerry Dunbar

8864 Wesleyan Church Rd SW,

Pataskala, OH  553280


Club president: West Suburban Mike Demaynovich

4 S 671 Old Naperville Rd,

Naperville, IL  60563

Pioneer Headquarters

5680 Greenwood Plaza Blvd, Suite 500

Greenwood Village, CO 80111

T: 800.872.5995 F: 888.477.3351