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15th Annual Officer David White Scholarship Awarded to Ava Bezaire

The 2021 Officer David White Scholarship was awarded to Ava Bezaire, daughter of Naperville Fire Lieutenant Benjamin Bezaire. The recognition took place at the Naperville Park District board of commissioners meeting held at Fort Hill Activity Center on Thursday, June 24 at 6:30 p.m. Park District Police Chief Steve Schindlbeck explained the background of the scholarship and recognized Ava who attended with her family.

  The $2,000 scholarship honors the compassionate public service demonstrated by Naperville Park Police Officer David White, whose actions helped save a young man’s life in 2006. The scholarship is funded by an anonymous donor, who has provided $2,000 annually for the scholarship since 2007. The scholarship is open to an individual age 25 and under who either is a son or daughter of an active duty Naperville police officer, park police officer, or firefighter or someone who is serving in one of these roles themselves.  Naperville Police Explorers and Naperville Fire Explorers also are eligible.

In the donor’s words, “The purpose of the scholarship is to inspire our next generation of public servants to care enough to exert the extra effort, to take a second look.” 

A panel of five judges selected Ava Bezaire as the 2021 scholarship recipient by evaluating the scholarship applications that were submitted. The scholarship panel included the following community leaders:

  • Bob Ross, Chief Human Resources Officer, Naperville Community Unit School District 203
  • Brad Wilson, Director of Recreation and Facilities, Naperville Park District
  • Kamala Martinez, Past President and CEO, KidsMatter
  • Marcie Schatz, Deputy City Manager, City of Naperville
  • Mike Reilly, Past President, Naperville Park District Board of Commissioners

 

Chief Schindlbeck noted that Ava was selected for her volunteer service and leadership and for her understanding of the importance of public service to the well-being of the whole community.


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On Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011 Naperville Park District officials heard the good news for which they have been waiting for many months: the District has achieved national accreditation through the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA).

The decision was announced at the NRPA national conference in Atlanta following a formal hearing before the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA).

Naperville is only the second park district in Illinois to earn this distinction and the 104th nationally accredited agency in the nation; there are more than 10,000 recreation agencies in the United States. The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies accredits a handful of park agencies each year that have completed a multi-step process involving a self-review by the agency, a site visit, and an evaluation and formal report by the Commission.

“We are extremely proud to bring this honor to Naperville,” said Park District Executive Director Ray McGury. “It’s an affirmation of our high standards and also an encouragement to continue bringing high quality recreation and parks experiences to our community.”

The Park District’s accreditation process began approximately one year ago and included an extensive self-evaluation by staff and a 5-day visit from CAPRA reviewers this past July. Maintaining the accreditation requires annual reports and 5- and 10-year reviews.

Park District staff members noted that the CAPRA process has helped them see the big picture, focus on long term goals and plans, review plans more regularly, organize documents so that they are accessible and useable, and collaborate more effectively with other departments and outside organizations.

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Our Mission
We provide recreation and park experiences that promote healthy lives, healthy minds and a healthy community.
 
Our Vision
To be a national leader in parks and recreation providing and promoting high quality experiences and facilities at a great value to our community.
 
Core Values
Health and Wellness, Environmental Education, Stewardship and Sustainability, Community Enrichment, Public Safety, Accessibility, Personal Growth and Enrichment.
© 2021 Naperville Park District