LETTERS: Examples Of Established Success

Thursday, March 14, 2019 || LETTERS || OPINION || @maywoodnews

I am on the ballot for re-election to the Maywood Park District Board for a 6 year term. I have been on the Maywood Park District board since 2013, and we as a board have had our share of ups and downs and we have finally achieved the goals that our Maywood residents have asked us for examples. Here they are:

  • Hiring a qualified, experienced executive director in Lonette Hall. In 2016, the Maywood Park District board invested and reached out to the Illinois Association of Park Districts to conduct an executive director search to give us qualified candidates that met our strict criteria, including having more than 25 years of park and recreation management experience.
  • Overhauling Maywood Park District finances. Maywood Park District has a transparent accounting system in place and we receive accurate financial reporting at our monthly meetings.
  • Rehabbing existing facilities:
  • Maywood Park District was awarded a 2017 Oslad Grant  This grant was utilized for the outside and rear grounds of the “Rec” building at 921 S. 9th Ave.
    • Rehabbing the inside of the “Rec.” The 921 S. 9th Ave. gym, bathrooms, and kitchen. In 2018, the Maywood Park District booked and effortlessly executed three large weddings at our facilities and our park district event rentals have greatly increased.
    • In 2014, the Maywood Park District was awarded the $1.6 million Parc Grant. State Legislators, former governor Pat Quinn, state Sen. Kimberly Lighford and state Rep. Chris Welch lobbied for our Maywood Park District to receive that funding, which resulted in the Dec. 1, 2018 grand opening of the Lightford Recreational center. (Tours are available Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    • The 100th KABOOM Playground build. Maywood Park District partnered with Dr. Pepper Kuerig and was awarded the Kaboom grant at Winfield Scott Park.
    • New Playground installed at 1015 S. 10th Ave., the former vacant tot lot that had been vacant for over 30 years.
  • Opening the Park District to our Maywood Community. For years, the Park District’s doors were closed and no one knew what was going on at the park district or what programs were being offered. Now our doors are open and we have active programming available for our residents.
  • Establishing Landmark Historical Status to our historical property. The “Gunzert House,” located at 216 S. 10th Ave. (within the restricted covenant area of Maywood, which was restricted to people of cover). This is also the site of the DePaul University Urban Archeological Field School excavations, from 2013 to 2015. This facility will be a museum under the jurisdiction of the Maywood Park District.
  • Established successful partnerships with the following agencies:
    • School District 89 for the Annual Gingerbread House Challenge. 
    • School District 209 for the 2017 Christmas Holiday Windows Art Exhibit. The former DreamWorks animator Jason Porah’s book Rejected Princesses. Maywood Park District collaborated with Proviso Match & Science Academy art classes. Jason Porath gave permission for the students to use his artwork and attend the unveiling ceremony. Jason Porath also designed all of the certificates for our students that participated. The Maywood Park District gave the high school students over 250 community service hours for this project.
    • Cook County Forest Preserves on the canoeing program at Maywood Grove and outdoor summer recreational opportunities.
    • Special Recreation Services. The Summer 2019 Maywood Park District will have a summer camp for individuals with disabilities and recreational programs.
    • Proviso Partners for Health to provide healthy produce, cooking demonstrations and health awareness every Monday.
  • Maywood Park District featured in a commercial filmed by Facebook. The Maywood Park District partnered with Tone Duncan’s Body Science, of Wilmette, and his Operation Desert Smoothie program. Facebook fundraisers app filmed a commercial on the grounds of our Maywood Park District property and this video has been viewed by over 2.5 million people.\

This was all phase one. As current board president of the Maywood Park District, Maywood community, I am seeking your support on Election Day, April 2. There are three seats up for the five-member board of the Maywood Park District.

I am supporting Alisa Buchmeier and Kenneth Watkins to continue the vision that our Maywood community has stated over the many years of a multi-cultural, multi-generational and active park district that provides programs and recreational opportunities for all of our residents.

Phase two

  • Receiving the remaining parks, recreational facilities and funding from the Village of Maywood per the 2007 referendum.
  • Building a multi-sports complex.
  • Restoring the original Veterans Memorial Park, located at 10th and Washington “Connor Heise” Park & updating the park grounds. Bronze plaque currently housed at the West Town Museum of Cultural History.
  • Establishing picnic groves for our Maywood community and their families.
  • Illinois Prairie path project. V

— Dawn Williams-Rone, Maywood Park District commissioner

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