The Champaign Park District was recently named the recipient of three awards from the Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD). The “Best of the Best Awards” aim to recognize community organizations or members that, through unique partnerships, enhance parks and recreation within the community. The three awards won were: Illinois Parks’ Top Journalist Award (Chambanamoms.com), Best Friend of Illinois Parks – Mid-Sized Business (Amdocs), and the Helen Doria Arts in the Park Award (Champaign Park District).
The Champaign Park District nominated the previously-named organizations and community members because of their contribution in executing the District’s mission statement of “enhancing our community’s quality of life through positive experiences in parks, recreation, and cultural arts.”
Chambanamoms.com was nominated for Top Journalist Award for their frequent coverage of Champaign Park District events and programming. The continuing cycle of support from Chambanamoms.com has brought the Champaign Park District more engaged users than ever before. Through utilizing numerous methods of communication, they have shared the same message that the District tries to share on a daily basis – they care about the Champaign-Urbana community.
Also nominated was Amdocs for Best Friend of Illinois Parks. In 2010, Amdocs, donated over $50,000 to the Champaign Park District for the construction of two shelters in Mattis Park immediately behind their Champaign office. After constructing the shelters, a balance of $14,400 remained. Instead of reabsorbing the surplus, Amdocs generously agreed to donate the remaining funds to benefit the Champaign Park District’s Youth Scholarship Program. Donations to this program from organizations like Amdocs are essential to ensuring all children have an equal opportunity to play and take part in recreational programs.
The Arts in the Park Award is named in memory of Helen Doria, who dedicated her career to creating a space for the arts in Chicago’s parks. This award recognizes three agencies within the state annually that support the arts and partner with artists and arts organizations to enhance the quality of life in their communities. The Champaign Park District is being recognized for their efforts in advocating for the arts through programming at the Virginia Theatre, a booming Youth Theatre Program, and public art in the parks through the partnership of the Public Art League.
“We are fortunate to have such strong support from the community when it comes to arts programming,” said Joe DeLuce, Champaign Park District Executive Director. “Without the drive of our staff and community partners, none of this would be possible.”
The District is proud to partner with local organizations to help increase the arts impact, while also helping the partner organization function at a higher level, and strives to seek such opportunities. Additionally, the Champaign Park District offers over 700 cultural arts programs and a year-round cultural arts facility, Springer Cultural Center.
The Champaign Park District is delighted that the Illinois Association of Park Districts recognized the importance of these partnerships and arts programming. More information on the “Best of the Best Awards” can be found at iapd.com.