At the annual joint conference of the Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA) and the Illinois Association of Park Districts in January, SEASPAR and our participants were recognized with three awards.
Inspirational Participant Award
The Therapeutic Recreation Section (ITRS) of the IPRA recognized SEASPAR participant Jason Catalano with its annual Inspirational Participant Award at the conference on January 19.
Jason, a resident of Clarendon Hills, began participating in SEASPAR programs at a very young age after being diagnosed with a significant seizure disorder. Now 41 years old, Jason has been involved with SEASPAR through nearly all of our recreational programs: Special Olympics sports, weekly programs, special events, social clubs, the EAGLES adult day program, and the SEASPAR/Kiwanis Aktion Club, which is a community service organization that performs service projects and conducts fundraisers to help others.
All throughout his participation at SEASPAR, Jason has fought the seizure disorder that often led to injuries, as well as repeated visits to doctors to adjust his medications and treatments. Ten years ago, Jason took a medical risk with the hope of living a better life by undergoing an aggressive brain surgery. A few more procedures followed, including a second brain surgery.
SEASPAR Executive Director Susan Friend presented the award to Jason at the ITRS event, telling the audience, “No matter what, his positive energy through high times and low times is an amazing feat, and a testament to the strong and wonderful man that he is.”
Also at the ITRS event on January 19, SEASPAR was honored with the organization’s Program Award for our Adapted Music Lessons.
This innovative program for people with physical disabilities utilizes specialized sensory instruments to enable participants with limited mobility to make music. The program is offered year-round at our Wonders Multi-Sensory Room at the Lisle Park District.
Agency Showcase Award: Social Media Campaign
Each year, the IPRA presents the Agency Showcase Competition, the premier communications and marketing competition for park and recreation agencies in Illinois. SEASPAR won first place in the competition’s Social Media Campaign category and was presented with the award at the IPRA annual meeting on January 20.
The recognition was specifically for our Holiday Spectacular 2016 video series, which celebrated our performers and promoted our programs that teach the skills demonstrated at the talent showcase. The videos reached more than 31,000 people on Facebook alone, and this success is a testament to our participants’ incredible abilities that people want to enjoy and share. View the video series on Facebook or YouTube. (No membership is required to view the videos on either website.)