Newport, Norman and Godbey Earn University of Illinois' Top Honors

The Leisure Studies Department of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign recently presented its top honors.

Connie Newport

Connie Newport, director of parks and recreation for the Park District of Highland Park, received the 1999 Joseph J. Bannon Award, presented annually to a practitioner who has displayed innovation in community service and support of the field of parks and recreation at both state and national levels.

Webbs Norman

Webbs Norman, director of the Rockford Park District, received the 1999 Charles K. Brightbill Practitioner Award given in honor of Brightbill who was one of the leading philosophers in the recreation field and a department head at the university. Norman has worked extensively in strengthening the Department of Leisure Studies at Illinois. He currently serves on the Alumni Advisory Board and was instrumental in the survival of the department at the time when its elimination was a possibility. His license plate reads "CKBAVS," the initials of Charles K. Brightbill and Alien V. Sapora.

Dr. Geoffrey Godbey

Dr. Geoffrey Godbey, professor in the Recreation and Management Program at The Penn State University, was the recipient of the 1999 Alien V. Sapora Research Award, presented for excellence in research that makes a significant contribution to the knowledge base of the park, recreation, and leisure profession.

McKinney Named SIUC Alumnus of the Year

Dr. William R. Mckinney

Dr. William R. McKinney, chair of the Department of Leisure Services at the University of Illinois received Southern Illinois University at Carbondale's (SIUC) Outstanding Alumnus of the Year Award at its Annual Alumni and Friends Awards Banquet. The award was presented to him by the 1998 Alumnus of the Year, Greg Meyer, director of the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District. McKinney received his bachelor of science degree from SIUC in 1971.

Rep. Andrea Moore Receives Environmental Leadership Award


Thomas E. Donnelley II, chairman of the friends of Ryerson Woods presented State Representative Andrea S. Moore (R-61) with an Award for Distinguished Leadership in the World of Nature at the 16th annual Smith Symposium and Nature weekend held last May at the Ryerson Conservation Area near Deerfield. Moore, a lifelong Lake County resident, served on the Lake County Forest Preserve board of commissioners from 1984 to 1992 and as board president from 1990 through 1992. During that time, Moore acted as liaison between the forest preserve board and the Friends of Ryerson Woods and was instrumental in preparing a strategic plan for Ryerson Woods. Since becoming a state representative, Moore has remained actively involved at Ryerson Woods. In 1998, she was recognized as Legislator of the Year by the Illinois Association of Park Districts and has provided leadership on a variety of open space and nature preservation issues on the state level. Last session she sponsored legislation for the Open Land Trust Act which ultimately was signed into law by Governor Ryan, providing additional funding for acquiring open space for recreation and conservation purposes throughout Illinois.

Elmhurst Wins National Communications Award

The Elmhurst Park District was a winner of the 1999 Communicator Awards in the Print Media Competition. The Elmhurst Park District brochure won the Award of Distinction for design and brochure cover. The Communicator Awards is a national awards organization that recognizes outstanding work in the communications field. The Award of Distinction is given to projects that exceed industry standards in communicating a message or idea. Entries are judged by industry professionals who look for companies and individuals whose talent exceeds a high standard of excellence and whose work serves as a benchmark for the industry. There were 2,220 entries from 49 states and Canada.

SSPRPA Recognizes Leaders in Southwest Chicago

The South Suburban Park and Recreation Professional Association (SSPRPA) in May recognized a number of parks and recreation leaders in the south / southwest Chicago metropolitan area.

Park Board Member of the Year honors for 1999 went to David Garvey of the Lemont Park District. Serving on the Lemont board of commissioners since 1985, Garvey's strong dedication and work to involve the community in park district projects were emphasized in the nomination from his agency.

State Representative Kevin McCarthy was selected as me Legislator of the Year. McCarthy, from the 37th Representative District in the south Cook County area, was recognized for his strong support of parks, recreation, and conservation issues throughout Illinois.

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Kimberly Riddering was named the Professional of the Year. Riddering serves as the director of parks and recreation for the Village of Richton Park, and is currently the Secretary for SSPRPA.

Employee of the Year went to Margaret Resnick, deputy director for the Bolingbrook Park District. This is Resnick's second honor of the year, having received the 1999 Illinois Park and Recreations Young Professional Award.

The 1999 Student Scholarship recipient is Yvette Turcott, a student at Moraine Valley Community College. She received a $500 award to continue her education in the leisure services field.

Two recently retired SSPRPA members were also recognized. Career Achievement awards went to Jim Sharp, former director of parks and recreation for the Matteson Parks and Recreation Department, and Max Woods, former park district manager for the Lockport Township Park District. During their careers in parks and recreation, each served as an SSPRPA President. SSPRPA is a regional affiliate of the Illinois Park and Recreation Association, with over 275 members from 55 agencies. Formed in 1974, the association is currently celebrating 25 years of enhancing the quality of leisure services in the south suburban Chicago metropolitan area.

Leblein Receives NRPA Professional Citation

Veteran park and recreation professional, Judith Leblein, of Water Technology, Inc., received the Michael B. Berman Professional Citation Award from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) MidAtlantic Regional Council. Among the attributes cited for the award were her lengthy tenure with born the New Jersey Recreation and Park Association and NRPA, as well as her inexhaustible efforts pursuant to establishing legislative standards for quality child care and child safety. Leblein is past president of the NJRPA and former chairman of the Mid Atlantic Council NRPA. While with Water Technology, Inc., Leblein has consulted on more than 15 projects in various stages of completion, including master planning, design, consensus building, employee orientation and training, and the execution of opening day procedures, promotions and media relations. Leblein is professionally registered as a Certified Leisure Professional with the NRPA; and she holds a State of New Jersey Administrator's Certificate. Her professional memberships include the New Jersey Recreation and ParkAssociadon, NRPA and the World WaterparkAssociation.

Special Olympic Athletes Compete for Team U.S.A.

51 Special Olympics athletes from Illinois competed as part of Team U.SA. in the Special Olympics Summer World Games June 26-July 4 in Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It's the largest multi-sport event in the world in 1999 with over 7,000 athletes from 150 countries. World Games athletes from Illinois who train and compete through parks and recreation programs include: Sean Clancy/aqusitics-NISRA; Joe Kirkwood/marathon-WDSRA; Mark Talley/power lifting-SRARL, Zion; John Fajdich/tennis-Chicago Park District; Suzanne Wall/gymnastics-Chicago Park District; Mary Juiris/gymnastics- NWSRA; Elizabeth Moran/women's volleyball team- Orland Park Recreation and Parks Department; Marilyn McCabe/women's soccer team-NWSRA; Christine Maxwell/gymnastics-TVWSTM; Stacy Kenefick/women's volleyball team-NWSRA; Mike Froman/half marathon-Bloomington Parks and Recreation(SOAR program); Rick Monroe/golf-HISRA; Darin Piercy/powerlifting- Bloomington Parks and Recreation(SOAR Program); Susan LeVeque/Women's volleyball team-River Valley SRA; Amanda Grimm-Decatur Park District.

Keister Retires from Winnebago County Forest Preserve

Mark Keister

Mark Keister, director of the Winnebago County Forest Preserve District for the past 14 years, retired on April 16, 1999. He was employed by the district for the last 23 years. During his tenure as director, land acquisition was a primary objective of the district with approximately 6,000 acres purchased or donated to the forest preserve. To implement the environmental education aspect of the district's mission, Keister nurtured the development of four environmental education centers within the forest preserve system. He also worked to cultivate ongoing cooperative relationships with nonprofit organizations which provide historical and conservation programs at forest preserve sites such as Macktown Living History Education Center and Rockton Historical Society. Other notable achievements include construction of a new district headquarters building in 1989, and the creation of public advisory groups neighborhood input

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trict, the Natural Land Institute, the Pecatonica Prairie Path Commission and other community agencies. Keisters commitment to native species preservation is apparent in the district's leading role in native plant conservation and prairie restoration in the county.

Cindy Jerden

Cindy Jerden is the recreation program supervisor for the City of McHenry Parks and Recreation Department. She is a graduate of Western Illinois University with a bachelor of science degree in Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration. She was previously employed with the McHenry County Conservation District where she served as an Outdoor Education program leader, Natural Resource Management intern and an administrative assistant.

Yana Fisher

Yana Fisher has been named community outreach coordinator for the Maine-Niles Association of Special Recreation (M-NASR). A psychology major at Northeastern Illinois University, Fisher has been employed as a program leader at M-NASR and will take up her new duties immediately. She will receive and implement individual referrals for M-NASR programs and is responsible for a volunteer program which includes recruitment, training, supervision, and evaluation. Her goal is to match suitable, quality programs for people with disabilities to those who need them.

Brian Glure

Brian Glure has joined the staff of the Morton Grove Park District as a recreation supervisor. A recent graduate of Western Illinois University in Recreation Administration, he will be responsible for Athletic Programming and Summer Day Camps for the district. Glure has programming experience with the Chicago Park District and the City of Macomb.

Nathan A. Schaumleffel

Nathan A. Schaumleffel was named special facilities manager for the Belleville Parks and Recreation Department. His duties include managing and recreation programming for the Nichols Community Center and the Belleville Swimming Pool. Schaumleffel received his bachelor of science degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in August of 1998. He is a member of IPRA, SIPRA, and was recently certified by the National Swimming Pool Foundation as a Certified Pool Operator (CPO).

These business leaders are friends of the Joliet Park District

Andrew Barber and Clarence Oberwortmann

Joliet residents Andrew Barber and Clarence Oberwortmann break ground for the Joliet Park District's new horticultural center.

Andrew B. Barber and the late Clarence D. Oberwortmann, life-long business partners and friends, created a charitable remainder annuity trust, providing $1.5 million for the design and construction of the Joliet Park District's horticultural center that now bears their names. The center features exhibits and programs so children and adults can learn about the native plants and biology of the region. These Joliet natives believed in giving back to their community, in both dollars and service.

Tell us about your friends.

People from all walks of life are making a difference in parks and recreation. These "friends" make monetary contributions, give their time to clean-up parks and forest preserves, teach classes or coach sports teams. Friends of Illinois Parks is a new nonprofit organization that strives to involve more citizens statewide as friends in these ways and others, such as legislative advocacy.

Tells us about friends of your park district or forest preserve and we'll publicize them in this space. Send a photo and caption to Friends of Illinois Parks, 211 E. Monroe Street, Springfield, IL 62701. To learn more about Friends of Illinois Parks, call toll-free 1-877-523-4558.


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Michael Perkins

Michael Perkins was hired as the new athletic supervisor for the City of McHenry Parks & Recreation Department. Mike is a 1989 graduate of Central Michigan University with a bachelor of arts degree in Parks and Recreation Administration and has earned a master of science degree in Managerial Leadership from National Louis University in 1998. Prior to coming to McHenry, Mike has held similar positions at the Bensenville, Waukegan and Mundelein park districts.

Debby Rice was appointed the executive director of the Parkways Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding participation in and awareness of Chicago's parks through fund-raising and other support efforts that enhance Chicago Park District programs and facilities. Rice will serve as chief executive officer of the foundation and is responsible for all planning and fund-raising of the organization. To this end, Rice will work with the Parkways Foundation board of directors and Chicago Park District leadership to develop Parkways policy and plan and executive major gift campaigns. A long-time member of the National Society of Fund Raising Executives, Rice has worked in the development field for over 15 years. She previously served as manager of development for the American Association of Endodontist Foundation (AAE) where she raised over $8 million for their endowment campaign in less than three years. She earned a bachelor of arts in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago and currently lives in Chicago on the near north side.

John Hecker

John Hecker was hired as the executive director of the Quincy Park District. With more than 20 years of experience in parks and recreation, Hecker most recently served as director of the Community Park District of LaGrange Park. Prior to that, he served as director of parks and recreation for Chicago Ridge, Havana and Hollis park districts. He is a certified leisure professional, member of IPRA, NRPA and the Belissimo Golf Tour. Hecker holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Western Illinois University in Recreation and Park Administration.

Ellen O'Hare

Ellen O'Hare has been named marketing manager for the Naperville Park District. She will develop, implement and evaluate all marketing activities and strategies, including media relations, advertising, promotions and public relations. She is the former director of communications at the Aurora Area Convention & Tourism Council, where she wrote and produced award-winning consumer publications and marketing campaigns. O'Hare is a graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in public policy studies.

Bridget Yokes has been hired by West Suburban Special Recreation Association (WSSRA) as a full-time recreation specialist. Yakes comes to the Association from Elmhurst College. She has over eight years experience working with individuals with disabilities. Yakes has been a part-time recreation supervisor for SWWRA and was a day camp site supervisor in 1998. Recently, she has completed student teaching in early childhood special education.

Sheri Keyes joined the South Suburban Special Recreation Association as a recreation specialist. Previously, she was a recreation therapist and Ropes Challenge coordinator at Sunburst Youth Homes in Neillsville, Wis. Sheri graduated with a bachelor's degree in Therapeutic Recreation from the University of Wisconsin at LaCrosse. She also achieved the status of a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS).

Tanya Garret-Prowico was named integration coordinator for the West Suburban Special Recreation Association (WSSRA), responsible for assisting persons with disabilities as they participate in WSSRA partner district programs. Prawica will also recruit, hire, and train support staff. She will also oversee the disability awareness training WSSRA provides to the partners of the associations cooperative. Prawica is a graduate of Northeastern University's undergraduate and graduate programs in early childhood special education.

Stacie Cerullo was recently hired by the South East Association for Special Recreation (SEASPAR) as a recreation specialist. Cerullo recently completed an internship with the association. She graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a bachelor of science degree in Recreation Administration and an emphasis in Therapeutic Recreation. Among her new responsibilities are coordinating senior activities and major special events, and developing and conducting a variety of programs for children and adults.

Kristin A. Collard

Kristin A. Collard is serving a summer internship with the Illinois Association of Park Districts to fulfill a requirement for a bachelors degree in Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration from Western Illinois University (WIU). With a minor in Business Management, Collard will use her event planning skills to coordinate Park District Conservation Day at the Illinois State Fair and other association functions. Collard returns to WIU this fall to begin a masters program in Recreation.

Lisa M. Kulck was hired by the St. Charles Park District as teen program supervisor. She graduated with a bachelor's degree from Indiana University in 1998. Her professional affiliations include Kids First, St. Charles Youth Commission and IPRA.

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Governor Sees Grandson Play in IPRA/Bulls Tourney

Governor Sees Gradson Play in IPRA/Bulls Tourney

Governor Ryan watches his grandson compete in the final round of the IPRA/Chicago Bulls recreation basketball tournament for boys and girls. Each year kids from fifth through eighth grades participate in local competitions with winners advancing to the finals played in a special exhibition match at the United Center before a Chicago Bulls home game or during halftime. The Governor's grandson participates in the program through the Bolingbrook Park District. Their team competed against the Bartlett and Romeoville park districts. The Governor was joined by the First Lady and the mayor of Bolingbrook.

Play Ball in Schaumburg!

Play Ball In Schaumburg

May 28, 1999, marked the inaugural game of the Schaumburg Flyers, affiliated with the Northern League Independent Baseball The Flyers play in a brand new stadium owned by the Schaumburg Park District and the Village of Schaumburg through a unique partnership. Located at the Elgin O'Hare Expressway and Irving Park roads in Schaumburg, III., the 7,027-seaf stadium features the same dimensions as Wrigley Field including the green manual scoreboard. Go team! For more information, see

IAPD Meets with Gov. Ryan on Tax Caps and Grants

IPAD Meets with Gov. Ryan

On May 14, IAPD leadership met with Gov. Ryan regarding key association issues including increased funding for OSLAD and Bike Path grant programs and restoring bonding authority to the 17 park districts that were inadvertency excluded from SB 368 (legislation sought by IAPD in 1995 to ease the damaging effects of the tax cap). Representatives from five such districts attended the meeting. Pictured left to right: Ronald Dodd, Joliet Park District; John Comerio, IAPD development director; Greg Petry, Waukegan Park District; Mike Fugiel, Lombard Park District; Peter Murphy, IAPD general counsel; Governor George H. Ryan; IAPD president Oscar Dahl, Northbrook Park District; Ted Flickinger, IAPD executive director; Richard Grodsky, Elmhurst Park District; Connie Newport, Winnetka Park District.

First Lady Ryan Plants a Tree for "2,000 Trees"

First Lady Ryan Plants a Tree

First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan hosted a tree-planting ceremony on Arbor Day, Friday, April 30. An American Beech free was planted on the lawn of the Governor's Mansion as part of the "2,000 Trees by Year 2000" program, sponsored by Friends of Illinois Parks and IAPD through a partnership with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Pictured left to right: Stanley Budzinksi, Peoria Park District and IAPD board member; Renee Cipriano, executive assistant to Gov. Ryan; John Comerio, IAPD development director; Stuart Pequignol, chief. Division of Forest Resources, Illinois Department of Natural Resources; First Lady Ryan; IAPD executive director Ted Flickinger; IAPD president and Northbrook Park District commissioner Oscar Dahl.

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IAPD Members Receive OSLAD Grants

At LAPD's 31st Annual Legislative Conference, held May 4-5 in Springfield, 14 agencies received ceremonial grant checks for local park development projects, open space acquisition and trail development. The checks were presented by Brent Manning, director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, which administers the OSLAD and Bicycle Path grant programs. 1. Champaign County Forest Preserve District, $177,500 for Salt Fork Recreation Center.; 2. Chicago Park District, $382,000 for two grants: Navy Pier Bike Path and Woodson School Park Development; 3. Frankfort Park District, $200,000 for Community Park; 4. Freeport Park District, $77,500 for Project Safe Playgrounds; 5. Glen Ellyn Park District, $249,350 for Lightheart Property Acquisition; 6. Kankakee Valley Park District, $82,500 for Washington Park; 7. Lake County Forest Preserve District, $200,000 for the Des Plaines River Trail; 8. Lombard Park District, $18,510 for Broadview Acquisition; 9. Oswegoland Park District, $200,000 for Waubonsie Trail Project; 10. Palatine Park District, $100,000 for Hummingbird Park Development; 11. Plainfield Township Park District, $400,000 for Plainfield Community Park; 12. St. Charles Park District, $91,026.12 for Otter Creek Wetland Park; 13. Westmont Park District, $400,000 for Community Park North; 14. Winnebago County Forest Preserve District, $308,866.11 for Sugar River Greenway Acquisition. 

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IAPD Legislative Conference Is the Ideal Venue for Meeting Legislators

"I attended the IAPD Legislative Session on May 5 and was very inspired by your remarks to get over to the capital and meet our legislators.... I had a chance to chat with Representative Tenhouse... .(who) asked about any worth while projects that were in the works that could use some added Rinding. Immediately after returning to the office I faxed my "wish" list. Today, I received a call from Representative Tenhouse indicating that $180,000 would be directed toward our Linear Trail Project. Thanks for the motivation. I might have just got in the car, headed back to Quincy and waited for both legislators to come back to town after the session closed! (Our residents also thank you. They will see the "benefits")."

- John Hecker, executive director, Quincy Park District, from an e-mail to IAPD executive director Ted Flickinger, June 7, 1999

PHOTO HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE IAPD LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE AND RECEPTION, MAY 4-5. (Picturedleft to right) 1. Suzie Kuruvilla and Chuck Balling (GurneePD), Mike Clark (Bloomingdale PD); 2. Steve Hartman (Skokie PD), Rep. Julie Hamos (D-l8), Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-8), Skokie's Joel Farber; 3. Joliet Park District commissioners; 4. Lori Chesna (SWSRA), Donna McCavley (Oak Lawn PD), Ron Lehman (Channahon PD), Mike Leonard (Palos Hills Parks and Recreation), Bob Pickel (Oregon PD); 5. Dale Berman and John Perkins (Fox Valley PD), Rep. Timothy L. Schmitz (R-42), Ralph Voris (Batavia PD), Bert Grey (Oswegoland PD), Jim Eby (Batavia PD); 6. John Brandenhurst (Schaumburg PD), Rep. Kathleen Wojcik (R-45), Jerry Handlon (Schaumburg PD); 7. Diane McCray (Roselle PD), Tony Stefanic (Carol Stream PD), Sen. Doris C. Karpiel (R-25),Arnie Biondo (Carol Stream PD); 8. Bob Demon (Frankfort PD), Frank Stewart (FPD of Will County), Rep. Renee Kosel (R-38), Michael Pasteris and Lawrence Troutman (FPD of Will County); 9. Rep. William O'Connor (R-43) with Hawthorne PD's Mary Rovella, Mildred Lipinski, Dennis Raleigh and Louis Rovella; 10. Rep. Patricia Reid Lindner (R-65), Penny Randel and Ed Harvey (Northbrook PD), Bert Grey (Oswegoland PD), Tom Richardson (Glenview PD); 11. Rep. Richard Myers (R-95), Rep. David Wirsing (R-70), Mike Doty (Sycamore PD), 12. Nearly 300 attend the 1999 IAPD Legislative Conference. 

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