Hoffman Estates to honor park commissioner Saturday

Updated 12/9/2010 2:05 PM

Saturday marks an emotional day in Hoffman Estates.

The Hoffman Estates Park District will honor Commissioner Scott Triphahn for his countless contributions to the community.


Fittingly, they're renaming the district's ice rink and community center after Triphahn with a ceremony. Gather at 10 a.m. at the facility at 1685 W. Higgins Road. Officials will re-dub that building as the Scott R. Triphahn Community Center and Ice Arena.

I spoke with the 53-year-old Triphahn last week on the phone as he remained in hospice care. The stomach cancer made some of his words difficult to understand, but he patiently spoke with me on the phone and answered my questions as best as he could.

I'll always remember the wonderful enthusiasm he displayed while leading the village's children's memorial commission. The group struggled for years while planning the memorial, which was eventually erected last year outside of village hall.

Triphahn artfully communicated with the highly-opinionated members of the group and helped them come to a consensus. Park district officials told me that's the sort of leadership Triphahn showed when he joined the park district 13 years ago. Back then the board was plagued by conflict and disagreement. Triphahn helped transform the district into one of the top districts in the country, as shown by its Gold Medal Award.

Triphahn showed relief and satisfaction in November 2009 when the children's memorial finally was built. He wasn't afraid of hard work. In fact, when I asked him why the park district was renaming the ice rink he replied: "Because I worked my butt off."

Some new names, like the Willis Tower, don't seem to stick. After talking to many Hoffman Estates leaders, I have a feeling that the Scott R. Triphahn Community Center and Ice Arena will.