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Article posted: 2/6/2013 12:58 PM

Palatine Park District honors community's volunteers

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The Palatine Park District honored its 20 volunteers of the year, along with two Honor Roll appointees and its former executive director, earlier this month at the annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon.

The Honor Roll recognizes volunteers who have made significant contributions through substantial years of service, including service in a leadership role.

This year's Honor Roll appointees are Bob Mathieson, for his service to the Palatine Hills Golf Association, and Tim Storm, for his work with Palatine Youth Baseball.

Mathieson, a Palatine resident for more than 35 years and an avid golfer at Palatine Hills since 1976, has spearheaded the GEM (Golf Enjoyed More) program, chaired the committee that designed and implemented the Palatine Hills shrubbery logo between the 10th tee box and the 18th hole, initiated a relationship with the Arnold Palmer Prostate Cancer charity organization and raised more than $4,000 for the charity.

Storm started volunteering for the Palatine Park District as a board member and coach of Palatine Boys Baseball in 1986. He became the VP of Baseball in 1988, and the President of PBB in 1989. He was instrumental in the merger between Palatine South Little League and Palatine Boys Baseball, which resulted in the formation of Palatine Youth Baseball. Under his presidency, PYB also started providing softball.

In 1993, while still on the PYBS board, Storm also began to coach for Palatine Baseball Association. He was one of the first board members involved with both PYBS and PBA at the same time. He remained involved with both organizations until 2003 when he was hospitalized for a full year due to illness.

In 2005, he returned to baseball, resuming coaching duties for PBA in 2005 and joining the PBA board as VP of affiliate affairs in 2006. Since then he has also been the VP of PBA Travel.

He is currently a member of the Palatine Travelers Travel Committee, helping merge PYBS and PBA into one cohesive program under the direction of the two baseball boards.

As new additions to the Honor Roll, Mathieson and Storm will have their names added to the Honor Roll plaque hanging in the Community Center lobby. They also will receive an Honor Roll pin and award and a yearly invitation to the Volunteer of the Year Luncheon as guests of the park district.

Each year organizations affiliated with the park district nominate a volunteer of the year from their group. This year's volunteers of the year included: Rob Fisk, Boy Scouts; Jan Blaheta, Music on Stage; Shawna Brauer, Palatine Celtic Soccer; Rich Falbo, Palatine Baseball Association; Matt Roberts, Palatine Celtic Cup; Gustavo Correa, Palatine Opportunity Center; and Nora Gile, Palatine Children's Chorus.

Other honorees were: Allan Schmidt, Palatine Amateur Football Association; Doug Plager, Palatine Tiger Sharks Swim Team; Mary Szuch, Palatine Township Senior Citizens Council; Brian Harrison, Palatine Emergency Management Agency; Kristi Schmidt, PAFA Spirit; Deborah Wienold, Palatine Stables; Chris Bechtold, Palatine Youth Baseball/Softball; Kevin "Roaming Buffalo" Geraghty, Algonquin Longhouse; Dana Pinderski, Palatine Gymnastics Club; John Cygnar, Rolling Meadows Renegades Youth Hockey; Louis Vassmer, Prairie Woods Audubon Society; Margaret Plank, Palatine Historical Society; and John Helpap, Palatine Hills Golf Association.

In addition to honoring the volunteers, former Executive Director Ron Gbur also was recognized at the luncheon. In appreciation of his years of service, the district has named the Ron Gbur Sports Fields at Hamilton Reservoir in his honor.

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