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Homewood 7th-graders premiere their ‘Hunger Games’ movie

The Homewood-Flossmoor Park District is a finalist for the 2016 National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. Gold Medal Awards will be presented this fall by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA).

Homewood-Flossmoor Park District is a finalist in the Class V category for agencies serving communities with a population of less than 30,000. Agencies are judged on their ability to address the needs of community residents through the collective energies of citizens, staff and elected officials. The H-F Park District will be competing with three other finalists in its class for grand honors this year.

“We are so honored to receive this national recognition,” said Park District Executive Director Debbie Kopas. “The work we do would not be possible without our park district commissioners, leadership and staff all working together towards the common goal of providing this great community with diverse programming along with quality parks and facilities.

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“Being selected as a finalist acknowledges our ongoing commitment to being a leader in our field not only locally, but also on a national level.”

Founded in 1965, the Gold Medal Awards program honors communities in the U.S. that demonstrate excellence in parks and recreation through long-range planning, resource management, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, program development, professional development and agency recognition. Applications are separated into seven classes, with five classes based on population, one class for armed forces recreation and one class for state park systems awarded on odd numbered years.

A panel of five park and recreation professionals reviews and judges all application materials. Judges are chosen for their considerable experience and knowledge in parks and recreation on both the local and national levels.

This year’s finalists will compete for Grand Plaque Award honors this summer, and the six Grand Plaque recipients will be announced at the 2016 NRPA Annual Conference Oct. 5 to 8 in St. Louis.

Musco Lighting LLC has sponsored the Gold Medal Awards program for more than 10 years.

More information on the Gold Medal Awards is available at www.nrpa.org/goldmedal or www.aapra.org.

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