Buffalo Grove parks leader, volunteer posthumously honored

The annual ceremony to give the Buffalo Grove Rotary Club's Bill Reid Community Service Award is usually a celebratory event.

But this year's presentation took on a more somber tone, as the award was bestowed posthumously on longtime community volunteer Rick Drazner.

Drazner, a Rotarian who served two decades on the Buffalo Grove Park District board, died suddenly in April, just days after being reelected to another term. He was only 58.

Besides the park district, Drazner took on leadership roles with the Rotary Club, Buffalo Grove Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce and Congregation Beth Judea. He also taught religious study courses and volunteered as a camp counselor.

The award was presented to Drazner's family Aug. 6 during the village's National Night Out event.

In an announcement of the award, Rotary Club President-elect Melanie Santostefano noted that Drazner also was known for his sense of humor.

"Rick was always telling jokes (some funny, some a little punny) to make people smile; he was extremely adept at achieving this goal," she wrote.

The award is named after Bill Reid, a longtime village trustee who earned the nickname "Mr. Buffalo Grove" for his involvement in an array of local causes and organizations. It's given to a community member who exemplifies Reid's community spirit. Past winners include Ernie and Joan Karge; Martha and Jeff Weiss; Steve Balinski; Dean Klassman; Al Viehman; Ellyn Ross; Mike Rylko; and DeAnn Glover.

As part of the award, the Buffalo Grove Rotary Club will make a $500 contribution to a charity chosen by Drazner's family, the Special Leisure Services Foundation, to support the Broadway Buddies program.

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