Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Inspiration through Recognition: Highlighting Hard Work Begins a Circle of Enthusiasm

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Inspiration through Recognition: Highlighting Hard Work Begins a Circle of Enthusiasm

Article excerpt

Recognizing members for outstanding contributions to the field is one of the most important things an association does. Noting significant achievement sets a standard for many others to live up to and can thereby raise the level of practice within the whole field.

Recently, this concept was reinforced for me when I had the privilege of being present for the awards luncheon at the New England Training Institute in Boston.

Cheri Hall, recreation director for the tiny town of Burrillville, R.I., knew ahead of time that she had been selected for the Joseph Trapasso Programmers Award.

In front of an audience that included her children and mother, Hall paid homage to Joe Trapasso, who won the NRPA Professional of the Year award in 1991. She said she remembered thinking that she would never come close to accomplishing what Trapasso did. Nevertheless, his example gave her the resolve to make a difference in her community and "to be all I could be to as many people as possible."

Hall explained that this kind of award "does not come from the accomplishments of one person," but rather from the collective accomplishments of the businesses that contribute to the department, to the numerous volunteers who constantly step up to the plate, to the boards and committees in her community, and to her fellow staff members.

Also important to her success, she said, was her family support, noting that her children and parents were the "inspiration for many of the programs implemented in her town. …

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