Mount Prospect mayor looks back on centennial celebration
Mayor Arlene Juracek looks back on village's successful celebration
Mount Prospect's Centennial Celebration turned out to be one for the history books, embraced by the community from beginning to end. Thanks go out to many who provided opportunities to honor our founders, highlight our successes and prepare the way for the future.
We began in 2012 when the ordinance establishing the Centennial Commission was enacted under then-mayor Irvana Wilks. One of my first duties as mayor was to assemble an age-diverse group of community leaders from among our various organizations with a demonstrated capability for creativity, community engagement and successful event execution.
Co-chairs Jean Murphy (Historical Society board member) and Leo Floros (retired trustee and unofficial Toast of the Town) had the advantage of also participating on our 75th Anniversary Committee, as did former Mayor "Skip" Farley and his wife, Janice, former school board member and trustee Michaele Skowron, and Linda Hoefert (Special Events Commission liaison).
They were joined by Sharon Anderson (Mount Prospect Park District retired program director), Alex Bertolucci (village staff), Elaine Hundrieser and Dale Henricksen of Randhurst Village, Jessica Thunberg and Patrick Mogge (Northwest Suburban High School District 214), Christy Watychowicz (Mount Prospect Downtown Merchants) and John Zulaski (Mount Prospect Public Library).
Reflecting on the events of the past year, they succeeded in their mission. Complemented by the efforts of our Special Events Commission, the Mount Prospect Historical Society, the Mount Prospect Public Library, village staff (especially Public Works), the park districts that serve the village, event sponsors from our business community, and the schools, from the primary grades to Harper College, our celebration provided a memorable array of activities.
The Centennial Commission also recognized its fiscal responsibility to the village's taxpayers. They succeeded in their sponsorship and fundraising efforts to cover the out of pocket costs of the celebration, honoring the fiscal conservatism of our founders.
Why celebrate events like our centennial? It helps establish an important sense of "place" or "home," to connect us to each other and to our identity. Our village vision, to represent "the best of suburban communities -- thriving, proud, diverse and connected -- having a rich heritage, strong values and a timeless yet contemporary atmosphere" is manifest in our approach.
And that sense of "home" is nowhere better demonstrated than by the support of members of each of our founding visionary families. Descendants of the Egglestons, Moehlings, Willes, Meyns and Busses figured prominently in our events and financial support.
We are fortunate that, as we welcome newcomers to the village, we can claim the long-term affection of those who have been here before us.
I invite you to visit Centennial Green at Village Hall to learn more about the contributions of our early "movers and shakers."
As we close out our centennial year, Mount Prospect provides ample evidence that we are well-positioned for the future. Our neighborhoods are vibrant with the voices of young families who come for our excellent schools, our sense of community and a belief that "where friendliness is a way of life" is more than a hollow slogan.
Complemented by a diverse and committed business sector and our other public sector partners, Mount Prospect is truly a place to celebrate. Happy 100th birthday!