As part of its 50th year-long celebration, the Hoffman Estates Park District Board of Commissioners designated Joseph L. Fabbrini as a "Park Pioneer" at its regular board meeting on Tuesday, March 25. The Park Pioneer award recognizes individuals and organizations who have made major contributions to the park district over the years.
Joseph and Kathleen Fabbrini and their four children lived on Harvard Avenue in the Highlands subdivision of Hoffman Estates during the 60s and 70s. Joseph Fabbrini was a member of the village park board and on the park district steering committee that took the referendum to vote forming the Park District in 1964.
Fabbrini was among the first residents elected to the Board of Commissioners. The commissioners took office on May 22, 1964. He served on the Park Board as a commissioner and as the Park District's first director through 1967.
During that time, Fabbrini established the Summer Playground program called "Tot Lot". His vision was to make this program accessible to children in all areas of the community, and so conducted the program at six local school playgrounds. The Tot Lot program later evolved into the park district's Summer Camp program.
Fabbrini also advocated for lighted parks so that residents could experience as much recreation as possible at the parks.
"He believed, as we do today, that it was the obligation of the park district to reach all residents and encouraged programming for adults, children and for the whole family," said Park District Executive Director Dean Bostrom. Accepting the award on behalf of his late father was Jim Fabbrini.
"Thank you to Joseph Fabbrini and the Fabbrini Family, we present this certificate to Jim Fabbrini in appreciation for your father's devotion to parks and recreation in Hoffman Estates," said Bostrom.
For more information on the history of the park district, visit heparks.org.