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Carol Stream Park District celebrates 50th anniversary

Published: Thursday, July 31, 2014 4:04 p.m. CDT
Caption
(Photo provided by the Carol Stream Park District)
On May 25, 1964, the Carol Stream Park District Board of Commissioners holds its first meeting. Those present included board Treasurer Gerald Walter (seated, from left), President Fred Mitchell, Secretary Bob Simkus, Commissioner George Kostopoulos and the Park District director (standing, from left), staff member Chuck Siegler, board Vice President Wilbur Kent and Park District Attorney Tony Peccarelli.
Caption
(Photo provided by the Carol Stream Park District)
Santa Claus visits children in 1969 at Memorial Park in Carol Stream.
Caption
(Photo provided by the Carol Stream Park District)
The Carol Stream Park District hosts Teen Night in 1972.

CAROL STREAM – Fun-filled events in honor of Carol Stream Park District’s 50th anniversary continue this month with a Find 50 fact scavenger hunt.

For the hunt, which runs through Sept. 30, participants will need to locate a trivia fact outside of 50 Park District locations, including parks and facilities. Each person will need to get a scorecard from Fountain View Recreation Center, 910 N. Gary Ave., or Simkus Recreation Center, 849 W. Lies Road.

The scorecard contains a question about each location. Participants need to visit each site listed on the card, find the trivia fact and record the answer on their card. The trivia facts are located on the back of signs at the various locations.

“This way you have to actually get out of your car and find it,” said Carolyn Mondlock, marketing communications coordinator for the Carol Stream Park District. “We’re hoping to have 100 to 150 families participate.”

Mondlock said the district will give out 50th anniversary T-shirts and place the names of participants on posters in the recreation centers when the hunt ends in September.

Carol Stream Park District has been celebrating its 50th anniversary with a variety of activities and games since March 21, its official anniversary date, and will continue to host these activities all year long.

The plan for the district’s formation came after a protest meeting in October 1963, during which the Carol Stream Village Board objected to the village of Glendale Heights’ proposal to annex Carol Stream Industrial Park into its own proposed park district, according to Carol Stream Park District documents.

After the proposal was dismissed by County Judge William Guild, the Carol Stream board petitioned to establish its own park district.

On March 21, 1964, voters approved the creation of the district by 266 to 30 votes. The first Park District Board of Commissioners included Fred Mitchell, George Kostopoulos, Wilbur Kent, Robert Simkus, and Gerald Walter, according to documents.

The village of Carol Stream, founded in 1959, also celebrated its own 50th anniversary in 2009.

Village Manager Joe Breinig said the Park District’s anniversary covers a significant portion of the village’s history. The district has grown as a community and improves the quality of life in the village by providing services for youth, adults and seniors, Breinig said.

“I can remember when there wasn’t a park district,” said Breinig, who has lived in Carol Stream for 53 years. “The recreation center is first class. The district has the recognition and awards to prove it.”

When the village manager was a kid growing up in Carol Stream, the ball field at the Park District was a piece of land with sand put down on the infield, he said. The district now has fields with turf and lighting.

Carol Stream Park District recently was nominated for a gold medal award by the National Recreation and Parks Association to recognize its achievements, Mondlock said.

The district adopted the “Out is In” theme from the association to guide its park activities in July, which is National Parks and Recreation month.

“We’re all a team at park districts," Mondlock said. "We do this to improve things for people, give them nice programs and fun things to do."

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Get started

Scorecards for the Find 50 fact scavenger hunt are available at the following sites:

• Carol Stream Park District website, www.csparks.org• Fountain View Recreation Center, 910 N. Gary Ave.• Simkus Recreation Center, 849 W. Lies Road.

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