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Best of Glen Ellyn – Archive


  • 2019

    Part-Time Staff

    Date: January 15, 2019
    The Glen Ellyn Park District Board of Commissioners recognized Dan Tripp and Ken McEwen for their outstanding service and dedication to the Glen Ellyn Park District. Both Dan and Ken have been working for the Glen Ellyn Park District for over 9 years in many different capacities with a variety of responsibilities.


    Glen Ellyn Chamber of Commerce

    Date: February 19, 2019
    The Glen Ellyn Park District and the Board of Commissioners recognized Dawn Smith, Steve Thompson and the Glen Ellyn Chamber of Commerce for their continued partnership with the Park District on the Chocolate, Cheese, and Wine Tasting and gratefully accepted the $4,000 check to aid the many children and families from the community who benefit from the Park District scholarship program.


    Dan Minkus

    Date: February 26, 2019
    For over 20 years, Dan has been an integral part of the Glen Ellyn soccer community. Dan began as volunteer parent coach in the House League Soccer program, then became a volunteer coordinator on the House League Soccer committee, a volunteer for numerous soccer clinics and instructional programs, and became certified as a soccer referee. Dan continues his roles as a volunteer for the Glen Ellyn Lakers travel soccer program and the Glen Ellyn Lakers Fall Classic soccer tournament.


    Lakers Trainers

    Date: March 19, 2019
    The Glen Ellyn Park District Board of Commissioners recognized Ruben Stivan and the Future Pros Training staff for their hard work, dedication, loyalty and longevity providing training, leadership, mentoring and skill development for the Lakers Futbol Club and the Glen Ellyn Park District. Over the past 20 years, Future Pros has been instrumental in the establishment and expansion of the sport of youth soccer within the Glen Ellyn community while also influential in the athletic and social development of 1000’s of youth soccer players that have worn the Laker colors.


    Chris Wilson

    Date: April 16, 2019
    The Glen Ellyn Park District recognized Chris Wilson for her service, commitment and efforts as a Park District Commissioner. Chris has served for the past four years as a Park District Commissioner


    Past Park Board Commissioners

    Date: May 21, 2019
    As part of the Glen Ellyn Park District’s 100-Year Anniversary Celebration, the District extended invitations to all previous Commissioners to attend a Board meeting. At the May 21 meeting, we were proud and honored to acknowledge four past Park Board Commissioners who served the community for the latter portion of the 100 years. In attendance were Bill Dallman who served for twelve years from 1999 to 2011; Ron Aubrey who served for nine years from 2004 to 2013; Melissa Creech who served for eight years from 2009 to 2017; and Jay Kinzler who also served for eight years from 2009 to 2017.


    Craig Turner

    Date: July 16, 2019
    The Glen Ellyn Park District recognized Craig Turner for his volunteer efforts and dedication to the Glen Ellyn Park District. Craig constantly goes above and beyond the expectations of his leadership role for the Bulldogs Lacrosse program as well as contributing to other programs within the District.


    Glen Ellyn Public Library

    Date: September 17, 2019
    The Glen Ellyn Park District Board of Commissioners recognized the Glen Ellyn Public Library, the Glen Ellyn Library Foundation and the Friends of the Library for their generous $2,000 donation to the Glen Ellyn Park District Scholarship program.


    Former Commissioners Tom Lawson, Carrie Burrows, and Bill Taylor

    Date: September 17, 2019
    The Glen Ellyn Park District was extremely proud and honored to acknowledge three past Park Board Commissioners as part of the District’s 100-Year Anniversary Celebration: Tom Lawson who served for six (6) years from 1971 to 1977; Carrie Burrows who served for six (6) years from 1993-1999; and Bill Taylor who served for four (4) years from 2005-2009. During their tenure, the Park District experienced significant growth and changes – improving the quality of life within Glen Ellyn by providing resources and opportunities for residents to recreate and socialize.


    Denis Kania

    Date: November 12, 2019
    The Board of Commissioners recognized Denis Kania who,  for the past 10 years, has been contributing and volunteering behind the scenes of the Glen Ellyn Park District’s environmental efforts. Over that time, he has selflessly expended hundreds of hours of his personal time and energy, has offered invaluable advice and guidance, while facilitating the donation of thousands of dollars of plant material. The Glen Ellyn Park District’s natural sites and outreach efforts would not be where they are today without his dedication, service, passion and efforts!


    Eileen Mullin-Gasteier

    Date: December 3, 2019
    The Glen Ellyn Board of Commissioners recognized Eileen Mullin-Gasteier for her outstanding efforts to plan, organize and stage the inaugural Fall Fête, Whiskey, Wine and Whimsy event held on Saturday, November 2, 2019. The Park District is very grateful to Eileen for understanding our vision, and achieving both the financial and scholarship awareness goals of the event. Her passion, enthusiasm, authenticity and engagement created an amazing evening.


  • 2018

    Glen Ellyn Gators

    Date: February 20, 2018
    The Glen Ellyn Park District Board of Commissioners recognized the following volunteers who served selflessly for over five years on the Glen Ellyn Gator Parent Committee: Paula Barnett, Gina Walch, Kim Welsh, Tina Hutchinson, Dave Short, Dominick Ficarella, Rob Pieper, and Sarah Mical. The leadership, dedication, commitment and enthusiasm of these individuals for the sport of swimming is one of the biggest reasons for the continued success and growth of the program.

    Brendan Cavanagh

    Date: March 3, 2018
    In coordination with his foundation, Charlie’s Corner, Brendan collaborated with the Glen Ellyn Park District to introduce a new event in 2017: Glow in the Park Lantern Walk. A benefit for Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, the event raised over $8,000 which was donated to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Lurie Children’s.

    Glen Ellyn Chamber of Commerce

    Date: March 13, 2018
    The Glen Ellyn Park District Board of Commissioners recognized Dawn Smith, Steve Thompson, and the Glen Ellyn Chamber of Commerce for their continued partnership in organizing and staging the 3rd annual Chocolate, Cheese and Wine event. The Chocolate, Cheese and Wine event is a combined fundraiser for the Glen Ellyn Chamber of Commerce and the Glen Ellyn Park District. Funds received from the event are split among the two agencies each year. In 2018, due to its successful turn out of participants and numerous sponsors, the event raised $2,000 for the Park District with the funds earmarked for the scholarship program which enable residents in need to receive financial assistance for Park District programs and activities.

    Park District Support Staff

    Date: April 17, 2018
    The Glen Ellyn Park District Board of Commissioners recognized the hard work, long time service and dedication of the following front desk staff: Maureen Ray, Shanda Cotter, and Rebecca Karales. With over 20 years of service working at the three recreation centers, Ackerman Sports and Fitness, Main Street and Spring Avenue, these loyal front office staff employees are critical to the everyday operations of the centers.

    Earth Day Volunteers

    Date: May 15, 2018
    The Park District Board of Commissioners acknowledged John Bower, Gail & Amber Bode, Kathy Cornell (Board Liaison), Adam Kreuzer, Carrie O’Halloran and Diane Padilla for their dedication and tremendous help in making Earth Day 2018 such a success!

    Ackerman SFC Staff and Participants

    Date: July 17, 2018
    The Glen Ellyn Park District Board of Commissioners recognized the following individuals who assisted in a life saving event at the Ackerman Sports and Fitness Center including staff members: Myron Yocum, Stacey Lim, and Pete Heinrich, as well as Bola Akinlawon and Maurice Velasco who were part of the soccer group where the incident occurred. Through the quick and selfless actions of staff and participants, the victim’s life was saved. The Park District is extremely proud of the staff who acted immediately with competence, calmness and decisiveness.

    Golden Guard Award Recipients

    Date: September 4, 2018
    The Park District Board recognized Adam Baldocchi and Kathleen Taback (not pictured) for the great honor of receiving the Golden Guard Award from Ellis & Associates. Ellis & Associates is an international aquatic safety and risk management firm dedicated to the prevention and elimination of drowning and other catastrophic aquatic events. This coveted achievement is reserved for those individuals observed performing their normal job duties while exhibiting behaviors that surpass the expectations of all safety standards in the areas such as swimmer surveillance, professionalism and vigilance. Only about 1% of the thousands of aquatic personnel evaluated at Ellis & Associates client facilities receive this honor annually!

    Deborah Cernich

    Date: November 8, 2018
    The Park District Board recognized Deborah Cernich for her dedication and volunteerism to the Golden Eagles Cheerleading program on Tuesday. Debby currently serves as the Golden Eagles Cheerleading Fundraising Committee Chair and as head coach of the Junior High cheer squad.


  • 2017

    Gymnastics Instructors

    Date: January 5, 2017
    The Glen Ellyn Park District Board of Commissioners recognized Nicki Tazelaar, Beth Rosch, Nick Maruyama, Donna Murphy, Maggie Wilhite, Lauren Rayer, and Sarah DeStefano for their hard work, commitment and dedication to the Park District Gymnastics program. The Gymnastics Program runs approximately 25 classes each session for children ages 18 months to 14 years old. Class enrollment has been on the rise since 2014 with an average of 240 kids enrolled per session. The program has grown in popularity over the last few years, due in large part to the fantastic and dedicated coaching staff.

    The Park District is fortunate to have these truly extraordinary and devoted coaches. Without them, the program would certainly not be what it is today.

    Ackerman SFC Staff

    Date: February 21, 2017
    The Park District recognized the hard work and outstanding dedication of the following employees from Ackerman Sports & Fitness Center at the February 21st meeting: Joan Bry, Beatriz Clark, Cheryl Conley, Stan Emmert, Pete Heinrich, Carlos Hernandez, Karen Johnson, Jen Karlson, Ken Karlson, Jessica Lang, Matt Larmore, Patti Lawler, Brett Love, Gerry Smith, Janet Vargas, Scott Watkins and Myron Yocum.

    Don St. Clair

    Date: March 4, 2017
    Don St. Clair was named the Glen Ellyn Park District Volunteer of the Year at the annual Glen Ellyn Community Awards Breakfast on Saturday, March 4, 2017. As an original member of the Park District’s Citizens’ Finance Committee, Don’s efforts over the past six years have provided guidance and direction for the Park Board of Commissioners, helping develop a financial template which has resulted in saving the community countless dollars while maximizing financial resources. Don’s efforts include work on a long-term capital asset replacement program for the District, comparative analyses of other park districts, and financial analyses of projects such as the indoor aquatic study, platform tennis courts, Newton Park synthetic turf project, and the Lake Ellyn Park and Boathouse improvements.

    Glenbard West Bass Fishing Club

    Date: May 2, 2017
    The Glenbard West Bass Fishing Club donated $500 toward restocking the fish population at Lake Ellyn as well as assisted in releasing the fish on Saturday, April 22, 2017. The club was recognized by the Park Board of Commissioners for their efforts to improve the overall fishing experience for the community. The established club at the High School is comprised of nine students and their advisor, Neil Eckman.

    Rotary Club of Glen Ellyn

    Date: June 6, 2017
    Park Board Commissioners and Staff recognized the Rotary Club of Glen Ellyn for their generous $10,000 contribution to the beautification project at Prairie Path Park.

    Jon Ciero

    Date: August 15, 2017
    The Glen Ellyn Park District Board of Commissioners recognized Jon Ciero for his volunteer efforts and dedication to the Glen Ellyn Park District. Jon, a longtime Park District resident and volunteer, has been involved with the baseball and softball programs for a number of years.

    Brendan Cavanagh

    Date: October 17, 2017
    The Glen Ellyn Park District Board of Commissioners recognized Brendan Cavanagh for his efforts in collaborating with the Park District to offer a new community event for 2017 in coordination with his foundation, Charlie’s Corner, benefiting Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

    The “Glow in the Park Lantern Walk” was hugely successful with an estimated 2,000 people in attendance and approximately 500 lanterns sold. Families and friends enjoyed making paper lanterns at the event, entertainment and attractions, before concluding the evening by walking collectively as a group around the perimeter of Lake Ellyn with all the lit and decorated lanterns.

    Debra Shakin

    Date: November 14, 2017
    The Glen Ellyn Park District Board of Commissioners recognized Debra Shakin for her hard work and dedication with the Adventure Time Before and After School Program. Mrs. Shakin has been the site director for the Adventure Time Program since its inception in 1999. Working with the Park District, Mrs. Shakin was influential in the creation and development of the program, and instrumental for the success over for the past 18 years.

    Mike Graham

    Date: December 12, 2017
    The Glen Ellyn Park District Board of Commissioners recognized Mike Graham and the Glen Ellyn Platform Tennis Club for their efforts to selflessly and generously raise and contribute funds to improve a public asset that not only benefits the club and its members but also the public and overall community. Over the past several years, Mike has committed hundreds of hours serving and administrating the Glen Ellyn Platform Tennis Club in their yearly operation, leading the efforts to advocate for additional courts and successfully raising $100,000 for the implementation of the expansion plan he helped developed.


  • 2016

    Bill Cleaver

    Date: February 16, 2016
    A longtime resident of Glen Ellyn, Bill has volunteered countless hours over the years working with Park District staff, coaches, players and parents to provide a quality soccer experience for the residents of Glen Ellyn and surrounding communities through the Lakers Futbol Club. Bill has served in many capacities, most recently as the co-chairman of the Lakers Executive Committee, charged with overseeing the entire organization including the boys and girls travel teams and the annual Lakers Fall Classic Soccer Tournament. Working closely with Park District staff, he has helped manage and coordinate hundreds of soccer volunteers as well as interacting closely with the professional training staff.

    Bill’s passion for the Lakers program is undeniable in the countless hours he has spent coaching and managing, as well as leading the Lakers Executive Committee. With his calm demeanor, logical decision making and determination to focus on what was best for the entire program, Bill has long provided outstanding leadership and direction. His legacy will be that of a strong youth soccer organization in which participants improve not only as soccer players, but also as people.

    Gary Mayo

    Date: March 22, 2016
    The Glen Ellyn Park District Board of Commissioners recognized Gary Mayo for his service as a Park District Commissioner the past five years along with his efforts and overall dedication to the Glen Ellyn community over the last several years.

    While achieving and contributing to many significant accomplishments, Gary’s dedication and his desire to do what was in the best interest of the District was his most lasting achievement. Every decision, every public statement, every vote was made with considerable thought, thorough research and extensive consideration. From approval of the consent agenda to a vote on an annual budget, Gary did so informed, knowledgeable and in the best interest of the Glen Ellyn Park District.

    Glen Ellyn Speedskating Club

    Date: May 17, 2016
    Founded in 1938, the Glen Ellyn Speedskating Club has a proud tradition of introducing skaters from ages four to over 70 years old to the sport of speedskating. The Club is comprised of skaters of all ages, abilities, and interest levels ranging from novice and recreational skaters who enjoy the cardio workout and club environment to skaters who have Olympic and World Team aspirations. The club is the largest speedskating organization in the United States and last year registered the most new members as well as the most skaters under the age of eleven. In recent years, the club has excelled both internationally and at the national level.

    The club’s head coach is Carl Cepuran, a longtime Glen Ellyn resident. Carl has dedicated significant time and effort to the club and the sport of speedskating and was honored in 2016 at the United States Speedskating board meeting as the Volunteer Coach of the Year. Other members of the Glen Ellyn Speedskating Club that reside in Glen Ellyn include Elise Brinich, Isabella Main, Ethan Cepuran, Melissa Koenig and Michael Koenig.

    Mike Formento

    Date: August 16, 2016
    The Glen Ellyn Park District Board of Commissioners recognized Mike Formento, longtime Glen Ellyn community leader and supporter of the Glen Ellyn Park District throughout the past years.

    After eight years of leading the Glen Ellyn Chamber of Commerce as the Executive Director, Mike has stepped down from his position. During his tenure with the Chamber of Commerce, Mike was instrumental in producing many of the events enjoyed by hundreds of families throughout the community along with thousands of people from surrounding areas. Through his tireless efforts and passion for Glen Ellyn, Mike’s hard work provided entertainment for many while promoting and supporting Glen Ellyn’s local businesses.

    Mike, known as “Mr. Glen Ellyn”, has long been involved in the community, including being Village of Glen Ellyn president from 1981 to 1989. Mike also served on the DuPage County Board and the DuPage County Forest Preserve Board for many years.

    Dain Colliander & Ryan Bodzoich

    Date: September 1, 2016
    The Glen Ellyn Park District acknowledged the contributions of two Eagle Scouts who completed their projects this past spring/summer with the Park District. Both gentlemen pursued construction projects that will benefit park users and wildlife found within our community’s natural areas.

    Dain Colliander built twenty two (22) bird houses in total, ten (10) of the structures were designed for wrens and/or chickadees, ten (10) houses for bluebirds and/or tree swallows, and two (2) were large wood duck boxes. Ryan Bodzoich designed, planned and helped construct a park bench and large kiosk located by the main parking lot of Churchill Park near the picnic shelter. Both required considerable time and work and their willingness to work cooperatively with the Glen Ellyn 1 Park District will benefit the community for years to come.

    Dan Minkus

    Date: October 18, 2016
    For over 20 years, Dan has been an integral part of the Glen Ellyn soccer community as a parent-coach in the House League program, a volunteer coordinator on the House League soccer committee, and as a volunteer for numerous soccer clinics and instructional programs. He continues his roles as a volunteer soccer coach to this day and has volunteered as a coordinator in the Columbus Day Classic, now the Lakers Fall Classic Soccer Tournament. Dan has committed countless hours and time to ensure all players have a positive experience regardless of their level of play. The Park District is truly fortunate to have someone like Dan who freely gives of his time, energy and dedication to the programs.

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