Each month the Hoffman Estates Park District staff and commissioners review the district's volunteers and participants, searching for men, women and children who best exemplify the interests of the park district. These people are then recognized as the Best of Hoffman at a Park Board meeting and presented with a Board proclamation. We are lucky and honored to be affiliated with these individuals. If you would like to nominate someone for this award, download a nomination form and fax it back to 847-885-7523.
2012 Volunteer of the Year
Georgeanna Mehr was named Best of Hoffman in September 2012. She has been chosen among all the other Best of Hoffman recipients in 2012 to be our Volunteer of the Year 2012.
This month's Best of Hoffman awards to 3 Hoffman Teens who won medals at the Karate World Champion-ships in Liverpool England! Ann Hsieh, Eric Krol and Jason Krol won gold and silver medals representing the United States at the World Shotokan Karate Championships in September. Ann and the Krol brothers, black belts who train at our park district, competed in the tournament alongside 453 international athletes from 28 countries to fight for the World Championship Title.
Ann brought home a bronze medal for team USA in Cadet Ladies Team Kumite. Eric took third place in Cadet Men's Individual Kata and both Eric and Jason competed in Cadet Mixed Team Kata to bring home a silver medal for Team USA. The USA team finished overall in 5th place with three Gold medals, three Silver medals and six Bronze medals.
In October, Ann, Eric and Jason also competed in the American Shotokan Karate Championships at Harper College in Palatine. Eric took 1st place in Kata and Kumite; Jason took 3rd place in Kata and 2nd in Kumite; and Ann took 1st place in Kumite.
October’s Best of Hoffman is a member of the HOFFMAN ESTATES KNIGHTS TRAVEL BASEBALL, Austin Lee. The Knights had an exceptional first year. They won more games in their first year than any team has done in the Mid-Suburban Baseball League. Most teams in their first year were trying to get past five innings and not have the 10 run rule come into effect. Coaches from around the league were impressed with the composure and talent the Knights had for a first year team. The Knights were 3rd most in runs scored. Austin had the longest hitting streak for games with 7.
The Knights have started year two. With the additional players the Knights have added, expectations are high. Several out of state road trips are planned and the Knights have eyes set on the championship of the MSBL. The Park District was very proud to hear of the Knights’ accomplishments. On behalf of the Hoffman Estates Park District, we congratulate Austin Lee and the Knights Baseball Team on a fantastic year.
August's Best of Hoffman is the Hoffman Estates Knights Travel Baseball Team, with special recognition given to Nic LiPitri and Jayden Morris. The Knights had an exceptional first year. They won more games in their first year than any team has done in the Mid-Suburban Baseball League.
Most teams in their first year were trying to get past five innings and not have the 10 run rule come into effect. Coaches from around the league were impressed with the composure and talent the Knights had for a first year team. The Knights were 3rd most in runs scored.
Chris Toolsie led the team in batting the first half. Matt Hargrave and Nate Gazda had more plays at second and short stop than anyone. Their fielding percentage was over 88 percent with more than 150 attempts. Nate Gazda was one of six players out of 130 to hit a homerun and circle the bases. RJ Nowicki pitched more innings than anyone and was one of the top strikeout pitchers in the league with 56 in 49 innings. Tim Mitchell led with the most at bats and had one of the top on base percentages. Ryan Gurgul played three positions every game helping the Knights fill the holes and being a workhorse on the mound pitching the max innings several times. Hayden Dusharm caught more innings and turned around and pitched the same day more than anyone on the team. Hayden along with Nate Gazda were named MVP’S of the Glenview tournament game which the Knights were three runs away from advancing to the Championship round. Austin Lee had the longest hitting streak for games with 7. Nic LiPetri had the highest batting average on the Knights for the year. Way to go Nic. Tyler Allen pitched our first game to a victory and the start to the Knight success! Jayden Morris caught more games at the catcher position on the team and still was one of our top hitters. Jayden ways named one of the MVPs of the Glenview Tournament.
The Knights have started year two. With the additional players the Knights have added, expectations are high. Several out of state road trips are planned and the Knights have eyes set on the championship of the MSBL.
The park district was very proud to hear of the Knights’ accomplishments. You are very fortunate to have such dedicated and talented coaches in Coach Rich, Coach Tom and Coach Mike. So, thank you coaches and thank you parents for helping shape the lives of the youth in Hoffman Estates.
On behalf of the Hoffman Estates Park District, we congratulate the Knights Baseball Team on a fantastic year. When you hear your name, please come up and receive your Best of Hoffman medal. We’re also giving each player a complimentary ice skating pass at the Triphahn Center which should cool you off nicely in this very hot weather!
On behalf of the Hoffman Estates Park District and Prairie Stone™ Sports & Wellness Center, we would like to thank GE Commercial Distribution Finance for partnering with us to promote fitness opportunities and create a healthier and more productive work force through the establishment of a comprehensive corporate wellness program. Since its inception in late 2010, the relationship between Prairie Stone™ Sports & Wellness Center and GE-CDF has resulted in many health initiatives that have directly influenced and improved the quality of life for employees.
Through the GE HealthAhead program, the GE-CDF team has demonstrated a solid commitment towards better health by offering a number of wellness programs throughout the last several years such as HealthAhead workshops, the InBody230 pilot program, the GE-CDF Capital Fitness campaign, and smoking cessation programs. By offering this wide variety of wellness options along with membership opportunities at PSS&WC, GE-CDF has been a true leader and advocate of health and wellness within the corporate community of Hoffman Estates.
The HE Stars Dance Company has been around since 2005, under many different names. Their instructors are Janeen Volkman and Cherise Vitellaro. Under their direction, the dance company has started competing in local dance competitions with other park districts and professional dance organizations. They perform in the Winter Dance Showcase, (formerly Celebration of Lights) and at the annual spring dance recital and Party in the Park. Every December they travel to 2 or 3 senior living facilities to perform their holiday dances, sing carols and deliver holiday cards.
In 2013 they held a toy drive for Lutheran General Children’s Hospital. They chose this hospital because one of the dancers, Corina, was diagnosed with Leukemia when she was 4 years old. She was treated at Lutheran General and now has a clean bill of health. Also, Instructor Cherise’s son, has a blood disorder and gets monthly transfusions at the hospital.
On April 20th, the HE Stars Dance Company delivered the toys to sick children and put on a short performance. The HE Stars Dance Company made many children just a little happier that day. We hope that you will continue to spread good cheer and make people happy. By doing so, you will make this a better world to live in.
March’s Best of Hoffman recipients are Bruce and Michelle Dyker. Although their son William primarily played in a different level, Bruce and Michelle Dyker took the lead in overseeing one of the pivotal positions in a hockey program...the first experience with playing games with other programs. This program does not have a regular game schedule and requires very dedicated leaders to source out and arrange jamborees with other programs. This major jamboree had approximately 150 participants.
Not only did they set up and host a phenomenal jamboree with 8 other programs enjoying the festivities, they have designed a platform for the player that is 6 and under to start playing in a team atmosphere but without all the pressures and anxiety that comes with youth sports. The little players have enjoyed great improvement while having a tremendous experience, all planned through hours of extra work by the Dykers and the additional leadership by Coach Rick Carlson.
Sarah Wozniak, Mother of Squirt player Benny and wife of Coach Gene, took it upon herself to create and manage an extremely successful food drive in the name of Wolf Pack, HEPD and Jerry's Warehouse.
For anyone that has the care and heart to organize such a program, they will know that there are always more steps and roadblocks than one would expect. Sarah pursued the plan with excited perseverance that resulted in two mini vans filled with 21 boxes that less fortunate people would have not otherwise had access to.
Besides the first focus of looking after people, Sarah felt it was a great opportunity to engage a number of young people, including Benny, in assisting with the distribution and show them what it’s like to give and care for others.
Although she dedicated hours of her time going from various facilities, moving products, storing them and distributing them, Sarah's great heart has her excited to do the same type of program again even to a greater scale. She says that the pantry cupboards are bare in the summer and she is determined to fill them up with another food drive in a couple of months.