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, contact Jane Kaczmarek at 847-781-3633.
2013 Volunteer of the Year
Joe Bolbot was named Best of Hoffman in January 2013. He has been chosen among all the other Best of Hoffman recipients in 2013 to be our Volunteer of the Year 2013. Joe was chosen because of the joy he brings to so many people in the community. He has been an important volunteer at our Skate with Santa for the past 5 years and at our Great Egg Slide event. Joe has also been the announcer for ice skating’s Basic Skills competition. He and his wife, Adrienne, help with ice show sets for every ice skating event. Their daughter Alyssa skates in our figure skating program. Joe is a shining example of the positive impact that volunteering can have on our families, our communities and our world. Thank you Joe!
September - Shane Bonner
Shane Bonner is a resident of Hoffman Estates and an active player on the Hoffman Knights 21 & Under Travel Baseball team. Shane put together a baseball tournament, which included the Knights, which raised over $2,400 for the Alzheimer's Association. Shane was asked to do a project that would benefit his community for his bar mitzvah. He came up with the idea to host a baseball tournament and chose Alzheimer's as his cause, a disease that his Grandmother is struggling with today. Shane then contacted our Athletic Manager, Kyle Thomas, for a little help.
Kyle provided Shane with the fields, a grounds crew to get the field ready and some contact information for umpires, trophies, concession stands and area businesses. The rest was all Shane. He went out and solicited donations from local businesses, secured his own umpire crew, contacted our concession vendor, and found 3 other teams to compete in the tournament. Teams from South Elgin all the way to Chicago played in the tournament. He handled the registration, ordered trophies and put together the rules for the tournament. The money raised from the registration fees and donations from local businesses have been donated to the Alzheimer's Association to further the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer's Association. By the way, the Hoffman Estates Knights team finished in second place. Shane batted 9 for 13 and had 1 Home Run, 3 Triples, 2 Doubles, and 3 Singles. All of the teams expressed an interest in doing this again next year! We need more people like Shane (and Kyle Thomas) who give so much of themselves so others can live happier lives.
Kyle provided Shane with the fields, a grounds crew to get the field ready and some contact information for umpires, trophies, concession stands and area businesses. The rest was all Shane. He went out and solicited donations from local businesses, secured his own umpire crew, contacted our concession vendor, and found 3 other teams to compete in the tournament. Teams from South Elgin all the way to Chicago played in the tournament.
He handled the registration, ordered trophies and put together the rules for the tournament. The money raised from the registration fees and donations from local businesses have been donated to the Alzheimer's Association to further the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer's Association.
By the way, the Hoffman Estates Knights team finished in second place. Shane batted 9 for 13 and had 1 Home Run, 3 Triples, 2 Doubles, and 3 Singles. All of the teams expressed an interest in doing this again next year! We need more people like Shane (and Kyle Thomas) who give so much of themselves so others can live happier lives.
August - Lillian Clinton
Lillian Clinton has been selected to receive the Park District's Best of Hoffman award for her selfless dedication to the Park District as well as the Friends of HE Parks Foundation. Lillian is recognized for volunteering her time for numerous Foundation events over the past several years and for volunteering her time at numerous Park District events over the past several years. She also has helped out in the Senior Center with programming and workshops. Because of the all the time she has spent volunteering, countless people in the community have benefited tremendously.
July - Hoffman United Hurricanes Girls’ Soccer Team
The Hurricanes were formed in 2008 as a U9 team and have been together ever since. The upcoming fall season will be their 6th year together. They still have quite a few girls from the original team and the player turnover has been very low over the years. They currently play in the Illinois Women’s Soccer League in the AB Division, which is the 3rd highest level to compete in this age group.
They were crowned the U13 Girls division champions at the 2014 Lakers Classic soccer tournament in Lake Geneva in May. Competing against travel soccer teams from Illinois & Wisconsin, the Hurricanes went undefeated in 4 games to accumulate the most points to secure the title. Congratulations ladies!
June, The Fong Family
Gary and Katy Fong and their two children Hannah and Logan participates in many programs at the Park District. Logan is a member of one of the Mite hockey teams and Hannah dances for the HE Stars Dance Company. This year and last year, the whole family volunteered for the Easter Egg Hunt, spreading eggs, working the prize table and even driving other volunteer kids from park to park.
At this year’s spring dance recital, Gary was the announcer for all three of the TC dance shows. Katy stood at the door and took tickets for all shows. She is also the volunteer fundraising chairwoman for the HE Stars Dance Company and has organized several different fundraisers just this year so the girls could to go to competition. She searched out a new florist to come and sell flowers at the recital and also agreed to give proceeds to the company for future competitions.
Hannah (who broke her foot in January and was unable to dance in the recital) still showed up to every practice, every competition and volunteered her time to help back stage at the recital. She carried flowers for the teachers, helped take tickets at the door and even announced a few of the dances. Thank you to the Fongs!
May, Wolf Pack Coaches
The Wolf Pack Hockey Club started with a handful of young people in our lesson program. It took a couple of years to finally get enough young people from in and out of our starter programs to form three teams and to be accepted in the Northwest House Travel League. That was when five wonderful young men decided to commit to the Wolf Pack program (pictured left to right: Brian Eisele, Dakota Slingerland, Danny Castle, Brad Krauser. Not pictured: Tommy Peterson).
April, Wolf Pack Squirt AA Team
We would like to congratulate the team for their accomplishments during the 2013-2014 season. The team went 15-1 in the NIHL Squirt Gold B division to capture the Presidents Cup and went undefeated in the Wolves Cup Playoffs, bringing home the championship banner.
They are the first team in Wolf Pack history to win both a Presidents Cup and Wolves Cup Championship at the Gold level. The team also went undefeated and won the South Bend Cup earlier in the season. Most players had never played together before this season, but through hard work, discipline, dedicated coaches, parents and players they really came together as a team on and off the ice.
The Park District enjoys when the youth in our community are involved in sports of any kind. Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. We are very proud of the season you’ve had with the Wolf Pack and hope that you remain active for the rest of your lives.
March, Patricia Ramos
Patricia Ramos was named Best of Hoffman for her invaluable service to the the 50+ Club. Patricia began in early 2013 by organizing the 50+ tickler file for trip and speaker ideas, categorizing them by month and discarding any material that was outdated or no longer relevant.
Once that task was done, Pat began helping the 50+ Club by preparing the monthly newsletter for mailing. She would clean up the membership rolls and add any new members in preparation for the mailing, then stuff and label the envelopes.
Her biggest task, and one we will be forever grateful for her completing, came when St. Alexius Medical Center transferred its Golden Circle (senior program) membership to us. There were 548 new names to input into our membership files. She spent many hours, over many days, over many weeks, updating our membership lists to incorporate our new members’ names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses! Rica said they would still be working on it today if she hadn’t taken on this task! Thank you Patricia!
Park Pioneer Award, Joseph Fabbrini
As part of its 50th year-long celebration, the Hoffman Estates Park District Board of Commissioners designated Joseph L. Fabbrini as a “Park Pioneer” at its regular board meeting on Tuesday, March 25. Accepting the award on behalf of his late father was Jim Fabbrini. The Park Pioneer award recognizes individuals and organizations who have made major contributions to the park district over the years.
Joseph Fabbrini was a member of the village park board and on the park district steering committee that took the referendum to vote forming the Park District in 1964. Fabbrini was among the first residents elected to the Board of Commissioners. The commissioners took office on May 22, 1964. He served on the Park Board as a commissioner and as the Park District’s first director through 1967. Read more here.
We would like to recognize the Junior Midget Redhawks Football team which is made up of twenty-one 7th and 8th grade boys. In December they earned their way to the National Pop Warner Super Bowl at the ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida by defeating the Northeast Pride and the Jensen Beach, Florida teams. They took 2nd in the Nation and we are very proud of them! Great job, guys!
On December 1st one of our pre-school teachers sadly and unexpectedly passed away. Two parents, Jennifer Warren and Chrissy Christian, stepped up to assist the family during this very sad time. Jennifer Warren and Chrissy Christian developed a “Helping Hands” group of preschool parents. Using a volunteer website, Jennifer and Chrissy developed a calendar for the preschool parents to sign-up to help the family. They have organized meal donations, snow removal, babysitting, carpooling, fundraising, and family events. It is simply amazing how much these two parents have done since Sabrina’s passing. The preschool has bonded together to support the family in need. The Park DIstrict appreciates all that you have done to ease the burden for a family that has suffered a tremendous loss.
January 2014, Wolf Pack Midget Travel Team
Our Wolf Pack Midget Minor Travel Team (15 and 16 year olds) are January's Best of Hoffman having won the Silver Sticks Tournament in Canada. Silver Sticks is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the whole youth hockey world. It took Coach Eguchi's persistent pressure on the Silver Stick committee to give a relatively unknown Wolf Pack program a chance to compete in this tournament that consists of winning teams from all over Canada and the U.S.
The team traveled all night and drove directly to the rink to play the first game the next morning. These players stuck to strict curfews, eating plans, team prayers and physical conditioning to give them the chance to compete against some massive sized teams, playing six long, grueling games. An amazing accomplishment, by a class act group of players, leaders and parents.