Highland Park, News

News Briefs: Highland Park seeks award nominations, Wilmette Park survey is out, Northfield Mariano’s honored, New Trier rugby gets new coach

Through March 3, the City of Highland Park is accepting nominations for its community awards program, according to a press release from the City.

Nominate a local individual or group for the Arts Award, Environmental Award, Humanitarian Award, and Character Counts Pillars Award via the City’s website.

The Highland Park City Council, with help from city advisory groups, will select the award winners in three categories, while the Character Counts Pillar Awards will be reviewed by the Character Counts Steering Committee — a joint endeavor of the City, the Park District of Highland Park, North Shore School District 112 and Highland Park High School — according to the release.

Winners will be announced during a ceremony at 7 p.m. on April 27 at Highland Park High School.

A description of the award is available on the City website and shared below:

Arts Award: The Arts Award recognizes outstanding achievement in, or contributions to, the visual, performing, literary, and digital arts in Highland Park. Nominations will be reviewed by the Cultural Arts Advisory Group.

Environmental Award: The Environmental Award recognizes individuals and businesses who have made substantial contributions to improve the environment or who have pursued significant and impactful projects to enhance sustainability in Highland Park. Nominations will be reviewed by the Sustainability Advisory Group.

Humanitarian Award: The Humanitarian Award is presented to an outstanding Highland Park individual who has rendered significant, sustained service to the Highland Park community. Nominations will be reviewed by the Human Relations Advisory Group.

Character Counts Pillar Awards: The Character Counts Pillar Awards recognize community members of all ages who have demonstrated the Six Pillars of Character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.

Wilmette Park District’s Parks and Play survey now available

Wilmette residents can give their feedback on park district’s plans ideas through Project Parks and Play.

A community survey was mailed to district homes the week of Jan. 30 and is also available online via a private website address mailed to district residents.

“The survey is an in-depth and statistically valid effort to gather community feedback as part of the Project Parks and Play initiative,”Park District Executive Director Steve Wilson said in a press release. “We are committed to serving the needs of our community and want to hear viewpoints from all our residents – regardless of age, gender, ability and whether or not they use Park District parks, facilities or programs.”

The release says that near the end of 2022 residents provided feedback via open houses, focus groups and the project’s website, and more than 400 comments were provided on the Project Parks and Play website alone.

“So far the feedback we have received has been tremendous,” said Mike Murdock, president of the Wilmette Park Board. “The board is so grateful for the time and thoughtful input folks have shared with us.”

Project Parks and Play reportedly is expected to be a 12- to 18-month process.

Northfield Mariano’s recognized for food donations

The Mariano’s location in Northfield recently was honored for its performance in a companywide Zero Waste competition.

The store donated more than 5,300 proud of food in the second quarter of 2022, which reportedly translates to 4,421 meals that went back to the Northfield community.

For the effort, the store won a $2,000 grant for its selected food charity, the Northern Illinois Food Bank.

The Northfield location was the top store of 44 in its division in the contest.

“This accomplishment truly reflects the Northfield team’s dedication to giving back to their local community in support of food insecurity and reducing food waste,” according to a press release.

The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Zero Hero Awards recognize associates and store teams each quarter that are leading the way in our Roundup and Food Rescue programs. Through Roundup, our cashiers ask shoppers if they’d like to round up their purchase at the register and donate to Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation, providing grants to organizations that help us reach our goal to eliminate hunger in Chicago area communities and across the country.

New coach for New Trier rugby

The New Trier rugby club, which is not officially affiliated with the high school, recently named Paddy Ryan its new head coach

Ryan is a Chicago native who was raised in Ireland and recently returned to Chicagoland to play for the Chicago Hounds, an expansion rugby team in Major League Rugby that will debut in 2023.

“We are incredibly excited to have Paddy lead us in further developing  rugby on the North Shore of Chicago,” said Christo Kruger, president of New Trier rugby. “The club has a long history in the  North Shore dating back to 2004 and we can’t wait to take the sport and skills of our athletes to the next level.”

New Trier rugby was the state’s runnerup a season ago and has goals of a state title in 2023, according to a press release from the club.

In addition to regular season and playoff matches, the club has also competed in tournament tours including in Ireland in the recent past, with plans to return in 2024.  

“I’m so happy to be back in Chicago,” Ryan said in the release. “We will be working hard on the pitch and in recruiting athletes from across the North Shore and beyond to join us in making 2023 a special year.” 

High school students across the North Shore are eligible to play for New Trier Rugby. While many athletes on the team attend New Trier High School, the roster includes student-athletes from Loyola Academy and Highland Park, Glenbrook North, Glenbrook South, Stevenson and Libertyville high school.

For more information, visit the New Trier rugby website.  

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This article was developed using publicly available information, such as press releases, municipal records and social media posts.

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