Gurnee Park District News

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Volunteers Awarded for Their Community Service.


Gurnee Park District's fitness facilities, special events, and youth athletic programs would not be the same without support of community volunteers. This year, Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA) with Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD) honored one intergovernmental partnership and four volunteers that donate their time and talent to serve the Gurnee community. 

Congratulations to the 2019 IPRA/IAPD Community Award Winners; Warren Township High School's Transition Program, Jim Rand, Eric Oberstar, Julia Paukert, and West Knobbe.

Warren Township High School Transition Program | Intergovernmental Partner

Over the years, Warren Township High School's Transition Program has been an integral part to the success of FitNation. Warren Students with special needs gain valuable work experience in a real life setting. These volunteers help with many of the critical tasks that maintain and run Gurnee Park District fitness facilities each day.

"When May comes around, you notice that they're home for the summer," shared Pat Bodame, CPRP Fitness Facility Manager. "The program is near and dear to my heart, as a Warren Alum and seeing these students give back has been pleasure," he continued.

Many Transition Program alum are currently employed at Gurnee Park District as well as other community locations. FitNation and Gurnee Park District thanks all volunteers of Warren High School's Transition Program as well as their moderators for their continued time and dedication.

Jim Rand | Youth Athletic Coach

Youth athletic leagues would not be possible without the support of youth coaches who continue to donate their time and talent.
Soccer coach Jim Rand dedicates his time to support, coach and teach Gurnee Park District athletes. 

"From coaching his own children in the program, to coming back to give back, even after his children have moved on has been nothing short of amazing," shared Chris Marzano, CPRP Youth Athletics Supervisor.

Jim has the right mentality, works great with athletes and is a great example of what a coach should be. Gurnee Park District is truly fortunate to have Coach Jim continue to dedicate his time to the youth soccer program.

Eric Oberstar | Special Events

Gurnee Park District can always count on Eric to the first person to volunteer for a special event. Since 2014, the Gurnee community might know him better as Toy Story's Woody at the community Trick or Treat Path or having fun chaperoning Parents Night Out and Neighborhood Nights.

"We are so fortunate to have had the opportunity to share Eric's wit, and warm, welcoming demeanor with the community." shared Beckie Korzyniewski, CPRP Special Events Manager.

Gurnee Park District thanks Eric for his dedication the past four years and wishes him the best of luck as he continues on to attend the Milwaukee School of Engineering in the fall. 

Julia Paukert | Special Events

In addition to involvement at her high school as the President of Warren's Future Business Leaders of America, Julia takes the time to volunteer at a variety of Gurnee Park District events. From Frosty Fest to Parents Night Out and dressing up as a Ninja Turtle or Cinderella, Julia always shows enthusiasm and dedication. 

"She has been a pleasure to work with and truly is a role model for young and old," expressed Jamie Richards, Recreation Coordinator. 

Gurnee Park District thanks Julia for her dedication and wishes her the best of luck at Bradley University in the fall.

West Knobbe | Special Events

From FitNation Fitness Attendant to full-time Elementary School Teacher, West continues to make time to give back to his community. As a variety of characters at Trick or Treat Path and Prince Charming at Enchanted Evening, West knows how to make the Gurnee Park District event experience a memorable one.

"The first time I met West, I knew he was a special young man," shared Beckie Korzyniewski, CPRP Manager of Recreation. "From that day forward he has continued to share his fun, uplifting personality with the Gurnee Park District family and community," she continued.

West's continued time and dedication is truly appreciated. 


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Monday, June 1 2020

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