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Article posted: 4/12/2013 5:38 PM

Naperville Park District to rename driving range

By Justin Kmitch

The former Naperville Park District executive director responsible for the creation of Naperbrook Golf Course will have the course's driving range named after him.

District officials will honor Glen Ekey during a brief ceremony to dedicate the Glen Ekey Driving Range at 11 a.m. May 18 at Naperbrook Golf Course. And Ekey will be there, driver in hand.

"I carry that with me all the time," he said Friday from his winter home in Surprise, Ariz. "If I can't hit with it, I can always just lean on it."

Ekey served as executive director from 1981 to 1996 and is credited with guiding the district through its largest growth period.

"Glen was a visionary leader during his tenure with the Naperville Park District. He was able to acquire a vast amount of open space that our citizens enjoy today and will continue to utilize in the future," Executive Director Ray McGury said. "Glen also was the catalyst for acquiring and developing the land that now is the Naperbrook Golf Course."

Under Ekey, the district grew from an estimated 55 parks on 769 acres in 1981 to 111 parks and 2,300 acres by the time he retired. The district now consists of more than 2,500 acres that contain 140 parks and two golf courses.

Ekey, however, said he was "humbly embarrassed" by the recognition he believes should be spread among the staff and park board from his era.

"We were just doing our jobs," he said. "It's a great honor to single me out, but there are a lot of deserving people to share this with. The development is exciting to see 20 years later but it really took a real good team to make it all happen."

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