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Zombie Flash Mob Hits Streets to Introduce Social Service Agency

By Patty Wetli | October 29, 2012 2:12pm | Updated on November 19, 2012 2:38pm

LINCOLN SQUARE — Zombies invaded Giddings Plaza over the weekend with a message for the living.

The Albany Park Community Center social service agency organized a Halloween flash mob to announce its expansion into Lincoln Square, where it administers a Head Start program formerly run by Jane Addams Hull House.

"I'd never seen a flash mob," said Gisele Hennings, the APCC official who coordinated the event. She worked with the participants "on and off for about a week" as they practiced their dance routine, which kicked off with Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and closed with Psy's "Gangnam Style."

The performance drew attention to APCC's growing presence in Lincoln Square. In addition to the Head Start program, the agency is moving its administrative offices to new digs at 1945 W. Wilson Ave., along with workforce, small business development and counseling services.

"There is plenty of need here," said Andy Nordstrom, APCC's chief development officer. Though Lincoln Square boasts its share of million-dollar homes, he noted that plenty of families residing within a two-mile radius qualify for Head Start, which could be a family of four living on $45,000 or less per year.

Despite its "flash"-y debut, APCC counts itself most successful when its efforts are invisible to the surrounding neighborhood — the kids it deters from gangs, the people it helps find employment.

"Most of the things we do, people don't see," Nordstrom said.