Page 11 - VPD Fall 2019 Program Guide
P. 11

VPD Briefs
Leonard P. Gassmann
VPD Commissioner/Board Secretary 2003-2019
Dear Commissioners,
It has been a great honor to serve the people of the Veterans Park District for the past 18 years. I have had the pleasure to serve with a group of dedi- cated people and been involved with some wonderful charitable causes through my association with the district.
As a Veteran, I embraced the
name of our Park District and
the reason for our existence. To
honor the memories and sacri-
 ces made by our brave Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Coast Guard and Marine Corps Veterans in the communities where they lived and that they loved. I hope we continue to honor their memories and to strive to emulate their service to others.
I also must tell you how proud I was to be involved with the transfor- mation of our Park District over the last 18 years. We started with an old dilapidated building at Grant Park and through the vision of the late Commissioner Ron Glick and the help of a great many people wound up with the  ne facility that now serves as our headquarters and is a recreational mecca for baseball, football, basketball, soccer and a multitude of other activities. Over the years we also rebuilt Bulger Hall and replaced a non-functional Leo Pool with the magni - cent Leoni Complex.
We also embarked on a neighborhood park friendly program that put beautiful, functional and necessary small green spaces,  owers, tot lots, and comfort zones into the neighborhoods. This program brought about Olsen, Phosphalla, Mannheim, Montoya, Latoria and the new Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park. All in all I believe we accomplished much and I was thrilled to be a part of it.
Finally, my pride in the expansion of and the success of our special rec program is boundless. We committed to improve it and increased our resources to aid in that endeavor. It has paid off immensely. Kathy Thomas and our clients make our program very special and the envy of many other park districts.
So, as Bob Hope said, ”Thanks for the memories”, thank you also for the parting gifts and thank you for allowing me to be a part of such a wonderful organization.
Sincerely,
Orlando Velasquez – New VPD Commissioner
Elected Veterans Park District Commissioner Orlando Velasquez was sworn in at the May 20, 2019 Veterans Park District Board Meeting. Commissioner Velasquez, serving a six-year term, is
a resident of the Village of Melrose Park. He has been actively involved in community sports organizations for most of his life and currently serves as an usher for Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. Additionally, Commissioner Velasquez serves as a Commissioner for Proviso Township Mental Health Commission. A former Veterans Park District employee, Commissioner Velasquez is very familiar with the district’s parks, programs and special events. Commissioner Velasquez is enthusiastic about serving the residents of Veterans Park District and is proud to be elected to Veterans Park District Board of Commissioners.
Denise Knox
Veterans Park District Former Board President and Commis- sioner, Denise Knox sadly passed away on June 16, 2019.
President Knox was elected in April 2003 and served on the Vet- erans Park District Board until her retirement in September 2017.
President Knox will be remem- bered for her passion and dedica- tion to offering quality recreational programs and events.
She was extremely proud of the park districts grounds and facilities, often commenting on how beautiful and well maintained they are. President Knox was a true friend to Veterans Park District and will be greatly missed.
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