Palatine Park District Hosts Volunteer of the Year Award Luncheon

Twenty volunteers of the year, two honor roll appointees, and former executive director Ron Gbur were recognized at this annual Palatine Park District volunteer event.

On February 2, 2013, Palatine Park District hosted the annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon at Cotillion Banquets in Palatine. Over 200 people were in attendance at this event, honoring twenty volunteers of the year, two honor roll appointees, and one former executive director. An introduction was given by Volunteer of the Year/Honor Roll committee member Dennis Hanson, and the guest speaker this year was Robert C. Widlowski. In addition to honoring the volunteers named below, former Executive Director Ron Gbur was also recognized at the luncheon. In appreciation of his years of service to PPD, Ron was recognized through the naming of the Ron Gbur Sports Fields at Hamilton Reservoir.

Organizations affiliated with Palatine Park District are invited each year to nominate a volunteer of the year for their group. This year’s volunteers of the year were:  Rob Fisk-Boy Scouts, Jan Blaheta-Music on Stage, Shawna Brauer-Palatine Celtic Soccer, Rich Falbo-Palatine Baseball Association, Matt Roberts-Palatine Celtic Cup, Gustavo Correa-Palatine Opportunity Center, Nora Gile-Palatine Children’s Chorus, Allan Schmidt-Palatine Amateur Football Association, Doug Plager-Palatine Tiger Sharks Swim Team, Mary Szuch-Palatine Township Senior Citizens Council, Brian Harrison-Palatine Emergency Management Agency, Kristi Schmidt-PAFA Spirit, Deborah Wienold-Palatine Stables, Chris Bechtold-Palatine Youth Baseball/Softball, Kevin “Roaming Buffalo” Geraghty-Algonquin Longhouse, Dana Pinderski-Palatine Gymnastics Club, John Cygnar-Rolling Meadows Renegades Youth Hockey, Louis Vassmer-Prairie Woods Audubon Society, Margaret Plank-Palatine Historical Society, and John Helpap-Palatine Hills Golf Association.

In addition to honoring volunteers each year, the Palatine Park District also recognizes distinguished volunteers through the Palatine Park District Honor Roll. To be considered for Honor Roll, a volunteer must have made a significant contribution to your program and the Palatine Park District through substantial years of service and service in a leadership role. The Volunteer of the Year/Honor Roll committee annually reviews all past and current volunteers and provides their recommendations to the Palatine Park District Board of Commissioners for consideration. Two outstanding individuals were appointed to the Honor Roll at this year’s awards luncheon. Those that are appointed to the Honor Roll, through resolution by the Board of Commissioners, will have their names added to the Honor Roll plaque hanging in the Community Center lobby. They will also receive an honor roll pin and award and a yearly invitation to the Volunteer of the Year Luncheon as guests of the park district.

Honor Roll appointee Bob Mathieson, a Palatine resident for over 35 years and an avid golfer at Palatine Hills since 1976, was honored for his service to the Palatine Hills Golf Association. Bob’s involvement has included spearheading the GEM (Golf Enjoyed More) program, chairing the committee that designed and implemented the Palatine Hills shrubbery logo between the 10th tee box and the 18th hole, initiating a relationship with the Arnold Palmer Prostate Cancer charity organization and raising over $4,000 for the charity, helping to grow the PHGA, and spreading the ideals of sportsmanship and camaraderie within the organization.

Honor Roll appointee Tim Storm started volunteering for the Palatine Park District as a board member and coach of Palatine Boys Baseball in 1986. He became the VP of Baseball in 1988, and the President of PBB in 1989. He was instrumental in the merger between Palatine South Little League and Palatine Boys Baseball, which resulted in the formation of Palatine Youth Baseball. Under his presidency, PYB also started providing softball. In 1993, while still on the PYBS board, Tim also began to coach for Palatine Baseball Association. He was one of the first board members involved with both PYBS and PBA at the same time.  Tim remained involved with both organizations until 2003 when he was hospitalized for a full year due to illness. In 2005, he returned to baseball, resuming coaching duties for PBA in 2005, and joining the PBA board as VP of affiliate affairs in 2006. Since then he has also been the VP of PBA Travel. He is currently a member of the Palatine Travelers Travel Committee helping merge PYBS and PBA into one cohesive program under the direction of the two baseball boards.

Palatine Park District is pleased to honor all of these individuals for their service to their organizations, the Palatine Park District, and the community of Palatine. Please visit our YouTube channel for a video of photographs from the event. 

The mission of Palatine Park District is to provide a variety of safe, enjoyable and affordable parks and recreation facilities and activities that will enhance the quality of life by promoting good health and well-being for all residents and visitors of the Palatine Park District. 

Local Voices contributor Joan Scovic is the Marketing & Sponsorship Coordinator for Palatine Park District.

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