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Local News

Oak Brook lifeguard named 'Golden Guard'

OAK BROOK – For the second time in just four months, an Oak Brook Park District lifeguard has received the Jeff Ellis & Associates, Inc. Golden Guard Award.

Katie Klemp, 19, was recently named one of the top lifeguards in the nation, an honor that is reserved for one in one thousand guards across the country, according to an Oak Brook Park District press release. 

In March, Darius Melton, 23, was recognized as the Oak Brook Park District’s first ever Golden Guard recipient.

“It’s as if lighting has struck twice here at the Oak Brook Park District,” Oak Brook Park District Executive Director Laure Kosey said. “We couldn’t be more proud to have young staffers so dedicated to safety and excellence.” 

The Ellis & Associates Golden Guard Award is presented to exemplary lifeguards employed at waterparks, city parks, or hotels throughout the United States, the release stated.

The selection process involves a rigorous review that includes undercover video surveillance of individual lifeguards in order to accurately evaluate their professional diligence. Each auditor of Ellis & Associates is only allowed to give a certain number of Golden Guard Awards each season, according to the release.

Klemp is a recent addition to the Oak Brook Park District aquatic team this year.

The 19-year-old college student grew up with a passion for taekwondo, winning the 2012 American Taekwondo Association’s 2-3rd Degree Black Belt State Champion in Combat and Weapons, as well as the 2013 2-3rd degree black belt state champion in combat and the 2014 2-3rd degree black belt state champion in forms and combat, the release stated

The Oak Brook Park District Family Aquatic Center is located at 1450 Forest Gate Road in Oak Brook. For more information, visit

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