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Egofske: Happy New Year, from the Lemont Park District

Community voice

What a fantastic year 2013 has been! Even though it seemed to zip by, so many great events and special moments occurred.

In February, the Lemont Dolphins Swim Team hosted the 2012-13 Conference Championship at The Lemont Park District CORE Fitness & Aquatics Complex. Swimmers ranging between the ages of 6 to 18 participated in this conference. Six teams, including over 300 swimmers, plus hundreds of guests and spectators flocked to The CORE for this exciting event. We were so pleased the Dolphins placed second after just moving up from a lower division. It was a great day!

During the winter months, the Lemont Park District conducted a comprehensive community needs assessment facilitated by our research partner – the University of St. Francis Solutions Resource Center. As part of the process, the public was invited to share their comments and suggestions on parks and recreation services and facilities through two different opportunities – focus group meetings and a community-wide survey. We received so much positive feedback, along with some great constructive suggestions. The exercise was a success and the results are a valued asset as we move forward implementing the strategic plan.

Centennial Aquatic Center really heated up this summer with the two pool heaters that were installed in May. With great diligence and determination, the project was completed just in time for opening day.

Another highlight of this past year was the completion of the new and improved entranceway at Centennial Campus. Funded primarily by a $400,000 “Safe Routes to School” federal grant administered through the Illinois Department of Transportation in cooperation with the village of Lemont, this project makes for a safer campus. The new main thoroughfare improves overall driving conditions and solves a flooding issue that used to occur after heavy rains. In addition to the traffic calming, the paved sidewalks and the reconfiguration of the outdoor walking path increase safety measures for pedestrians.

Over 300 guests, including Virginia Reed’s two daughters, gathered in August as we paid tribute to the past and celebrated a bright new future at the re-dedication of the new Virginia Reed Park.

At the Lemont Park Foundation Golf Outing in September, we were fortunate to raise over $9,000 through the generosity of our community businesses, residents, CORE members and district vendors. This event helps support the foundation’s Helping Hand Award initiative that funds programming for families in need.

There are so many other noteworthy events I wish I could mention. However, it is just not possible. On a final note, I will say that we are truly grateful for the support of this wonderful community. District annual special events held throughout the year continue to be enjoyed by thousands. Whether you attend H20 Egg-Venture in the spring, our annual Independence Day Extravaganza in July, Fall Fest or Breakfast with Santa, the Lemont Park District continues to be about making memories that last.

I wish you and your families a spectacular holiday season and a very safe and fun-filled 2014.

Louise Egofske is the executive director of the Lemont Park District.

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