2014 Stars

2014_Community_Star_Jessica_Altman Jessica  Altman, Maine South junior and recipient of this year’s Youth Award, has provided foster care to nearly 50 abandoned dogs and puppies in the past three years through PAWS Chicago. She is also a founding member of the Park Ridge Friends of the Parks (PRFP) Youth Advisory Board, for which she helped develop and implement PRFP’s signature annual fundraiser, Pedal for the Parks Used Bike & Trike Sale.
2014_Community_Star_Scott_Chovanec Scott Chovanec is the award-winning chair of Maine East High School’s Health and PE Department and a nationally recognized presenter and trainer who brings business best practices into public and non-profit institutions’ operations.  He is also involved in fostering optimal health in local youth, including District 207 Student Health Clinic with Advocate Medical Group and Lutheran General Hospital.

Dr. Perry Fisher, President Emeritus of Park Ridge Cultural Arts Council (PRCAC) has led efforts since 1997 in support of the Park Ridge Civic Orchestra (PRCO), Brickton Art Center, Kalo Foundation/Iannelli Studios, the library mural restoration and other arts and art education efforts to expand and enrich Park Ridge’s cultural life.

2014_Community_Star_Julie_Genualdi Julie Genualdi, a member of the Park Ridge Police Department, is active in numerous charitable organizations including Maine-Niles Association for Special Recreation (M-NASR). Since 2011, she has grown the Department’s and community’s support for Special Olympics on a local level from a few thousand dollars to nearly $20,000 in 2014. She also has recruited Maine South high school students and athletes to this effort and has created bridges between the police and local youth.


Kim Lifton has been a longtime Park Ridge Boy Scouts Troop 50 den leader and merit badge counselor and is a creative, devoted 25-year volunteer in every role for Washington School Playmakers fundraising show, most recently as assistant director. She is also zealous in work for the homeless, including personal outreach on Chicago streets as well as participation in organized charity events.


Robert Szkwarek, Longtime federation chief of Park Ridge Indian Scouts and Indian Princesses (PRISIP) and a 15-year Park Ridge Soccer coach, has mentored and helped numerous Park Ridge children. He has also led the Holiday Lights Coalition to decorate Uptown since it became an all-volunteer effort six years ago and led the installation of the ceremonial fire pit with seating at the Park Ridge Park District’s Wildwood Nature Center, among many other projects.

  Whole Foods Market is honored as a Community Star for its outreach efforts that have helped numerous local charities, schools, service organizations and community groups in the short time it has been in Park Ridge. The company runs several formal donation programs including 5% Days and Feed 4 More, as well as numerous in-kind donations to a wide range of service events and its own free events for kids to promote healthful eating.
2014_Lifetime_Achievement_Honoree_Jack_Owens John (Jack) Owens was selected to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a 50-year member and longtime leader of Park Ridge Kiwanis who has also contributed his pro bono legal expertise to worthy projects and referenda, including the recent acquisition of the Park Ridge Youth Campus, now Prospect Park.


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