The Palatine Park District recently honored its volunteers at the 13th annual Volunteer of the Year Luncheon at Cotillion Banquets in Palatine with guest speaker Harvey Foster.
The park district recognized Gene Dorsch and the late Rose Buchanan as distinguished volunteers through the Palatine Park District Honor Roll. Volunteers are added to the Honor Roll, which is awarded through resolution by the board of commissioners, to those who have had significant years of service and demonstrated an outstanding contribution to their organization.
Gene Dorsch was active in the Palatine Rural Park District and on its board before it merged with the Palatine Park District in 1976. Gene served as an ally of the Palatine Park District and helped make this merger possible. He also managed a team with Palatine Boys Baseball (PBB) in 1974, and eventually became the baseball board president. He recruited key individuals from managers and coaches to serve on the PBB board. With his help, PBB, now Palatine Youth Baseball/Softball (PYB/S), become a model organization, and eventually became a charter affiliate of the Palatine Park District. Dorsch also served as president of the Palatine Hills Golf Association and is the only former PBB board president to ever sink a hole-in-one at the Palatine Hills Golf Course.
Rose Buchanan was involved with the Prairie Woods Audubon Society since its formation in 1973, and remained an active supporter until her passing in 2009. Formerly a docent for the Field Museum, her research involved prairie plants and how they were used for food and medicine by Native Americans. Rose helped the 7½ acres of pristine prairie to become a protected prairie, registered in the Cook County Natural Areas Inventory. Over 100 species of native plants grow there, many among the rarest in Illinois. When the prairie was saved, the decision was made to turn it over to the park district. They needed $35,000 to take over the property and preserve it. Buchanan headed the fundraising efforts and as an avid quilter donated a queen-size quilt that alone raised over $1,000. Buchanan held every board position of the society, and was the Prairie's representative to the Sierra Club and National Audubon Society. She was also a volunteer with the Palatine Historical Society as was her husband.
In addition to recognizing Honor Roll inductees at the event on Feb. 4, the Palatine Park District recognized its Volunteers of the Year. The following volunteers were recognized for their years of service in their organization: Courtney Renwick, one year of service, Palatine Opportunity Center; Christine Van Duys, three years of service, PAFA Cheer & Flags; Dutch Schultz, three years of service, The Polar Express; Thom Lange, three years of service, The Polar Express; Katherine Conick, five years of service, Theatre Nebula; Doug Myslinski, five years of service, Palatine Amateur Football Association; Chris Popovich, five years of service, Palatine Children's Chorus; Brier Nelson, five years of service, Palatine Tiger Shark Swim Team; Keith Hoover, six years of service, Palatine Township Senior Citizens Council; Stacy Plichta, six years of service, Palatine Gymnastics Club; John Hogan, seven years of service, Palatine Baseball Association; Marty Josten, nine years of service, Palatine Youth Baseball/Softball; Pat Noonan, nine years of service, Rolling Meadows Renegades Youth Hockey; Terry Ruff, 10 years of service, Palatine Celtic Soccer; Scott Buchta, 10 years of service, Algonquin Longhouse, Inc. NFP; Bill LaSchiava, 14 years of service, Palatine Panthers Wrestling Club; Jean Gallo, 15 years of service, Palatine Stable; Tim McCabe, 17 years of service, Algonquin Longhouse, Inc. NFP; Nancy Lloyd, 20 years of service, Prairie Woods Audubon Society; Dave Hammer, 20 years of service, Palatine Historical Society; Lee and Kathy Weir, 20 years of service, Palatine Celtic Cup; and Larry Niemczyk, 25 years of service, Palatine Hills Golf Association.
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