ROBERT E. BROOKS, SR. top

Bob and Ernestine Brooks moved to Park Forest in 1968 with their two children. As founding partner of Brooks, Faucett and Robertson, LLP, with offices in Downtown Park Forest, Bob has spent many years serving the accounting profession. He earned the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Illinois CPA Society. A 25-year+ member of Faith United Protestant Church, he is currently its treasurer and has served in many capacities, including being a PADS volunteer for 13 years. Bob has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra for more than 12 years, five as treasurer. He helped guide the orchestra from the days when its annual budget was $75,000 to its present success, with a budget nearly ten times greater. A charter member of the Dr. Charles E. Gavin Foundation, Bob has also served on the Board of the United Way/Crusade of Mercy. However, he is most proud of his 21 years of work with the village's Police and Fire Commission. As chairman from 1981 through 1998, he helped establish recruitment and promotion procedures that led to the hiring and promotion of many minority and female police officers and firefighters. These policies have allowed both departments to fill their leadership vacancies from within the ranks for 10 years or more.

NORMA JEAN CRUTE COLLINS top-1

In 1969, because of the rising drug problem in the area and a lack of recognition of it by the adult population, Norma Collins researched, organized, founded and directed a drug awareness education program. Entitled "Education of Drug and Narcotic Abuse," seminars featured films, Chicago's Gateway Foundation members and other speakers; they were presented to schools and area organizations. This program proved the need for a listening post for young people to talk confidentially and be heard in a non-judgmental manner, so the South Suburban Hotline was born in 1971, with Norma as its founder and director. According to her, these programs ran so well for 10 years because of the wonderful volunteer participation. However, Norma was the catalyst-the one who started things and followed through. As a busy wife and a mother of three boys who came to the village in 1954, Norma still had time to volunteer in the Park Forest Woman's Club, P.E.O, both Faith and Good Shepherd churches, various PTAs, and at the local mental health centers. Her energy, enthusiasm and kindness in all she did have left their mark on many young people--now grown up and living good, productive lives!

JUDY LOHR top-3

Judy Lohr's greatest contributions to Park Forest are her strong belief in this community, her willingness to do what she feels is necessary to support and keep it viable, and her giving of herself to its residents. She has served on the Bicentennial Commission, Home Rule and 9-1-1 ad hoc committees; she was chair of the Youth and the Traffic Safety commissions, president of the Non-Partisan committee, and she is president-elect of the League of Women Voters. A 1961 graduate of Rich East High School, she was a founding member of the school's alumni association and currently serves as its president. Judy was active in the planning of the school's very successful 50th anniversary homecoming in 2003, and she chaired School District #227's portion of it. But she is probably best known for her nearly 28 years of service on that district's Board of Education. During her tenure, she was president of two special education cooperatives, wrote the oath of office, chaired a superintendent search committee and was unofficial board historian. Judy continues to make an impact on the village in which she has lived for nearly 50 years.

ROBERT G. MAEYAMA top-4

The son of George and Jo Maeyama, Bob grew up in the village and worked his way through the ranks of the Park Forest Police Department from rookie patrolman to Chief of Police. He continually strove to improve internal communication in the department and with citizens; he strongly believed in providing the best training, equipment and technology for his staff; he set the tone for a highly professional, open atmosphere in which to work. When he retired as Director of Police in 2004, he left a legacy of competence, accessibility and service as he dedicated his life's work to ensure that Park Forest remains a safe and welcoming community. Youth-oriented, innovative and pro-active are three adjectives used to describe the programs Bob instituted during his 37-year tenure with the department. Many of them were "ahead of the curve" and received national, state and countywide recognition. Bob is justifiably proud of three of them: Police, citizens and schools worked together to initiate a zero tolerance approach toward early gang activity; the success of this effort was emulated by other suburbs and resulted in EDGE. The Callback program gave feedback to citizens who had called police or received services from them to relate the outcome of department action. And PAAC, where over 120 young people participate each year in a variety of activities and athletic events led by police and college-bound positive role models, helped the village earn its second Governor's Hometown Award.

JERRY MATHEWS top-5

Like many an early pioneer of Park Forest, Jerry began volunteering as soon as he arrived with his wife and three daughters in 1953. Starting with the Non-Partisan committee to learn about the governance of his new town, he continued as a member of the Kiwanis Club, the boards of School Districts #163 and #227, the Board of Trustees and eventually he became Village President. Along the way, Jerry made time for every open house, concert, school play and conference as his daughters progressed through school. He even taught religious education. When his first wife died, Jerry's life of service sustained him; and now, happily remarried, he is still making contributions. Jerry has been one of the site managers of PADS at Faith United Protestant Church for the past ten years. Along with others, he organizes and supervises hundreds of volunteers needed to feed and shelter 40 to 50 homeless people every Saturday night from October to April. He remembers two highlights of his civic career: As District #163 board president during the tumultuous 1970s, Jerry presided over many town meetings where voluntary integration of our schools was discussed and eventually implemented. When Marshall Fields decided to leave our newly renovated downtown Centre in 1987, he was Village President. Along with volunteer efforts, Jerry's communication with business and state leaders resulted in Fields signing a 10-year lease and earned Park Forest a Governors Hometown Award.

PATRICIA M. MOORE top-6

Another child of Park Forest who blossomed into a great talent is Pat Moore, an award-winning artist whose paintings grace many homes and public buildings. She began taking art lessons at the Park Forest Art Center as a youth and has given lessons there as an adult. In her many hours of service to the facility, now named the Tall Grass Arts Center, Pat has been gallery director and director of its expanded art school. In the latter role, Pat arranged to move the school downtown and increased its scope so that as many as 30 classes were offered. She has also arranged for professional art work to adorn downtown windows as part of a holiday art sale for the last 12 years. However, it is her work with children, her gift for teaching--not only providing these youngsters with skills, but offering them the freedom to create--that is so special. Pat was selected as one of the "Best Muses for Children" in the 2004 "Best of Chicago" issue of Chicago magazine. To quote the magazine, she "has fanned the creative spark in thousands of south suburban kids." A true supporter of Park Forest, Pat stayed in town to open her studio at 274 Main Street. Come to Downtown and check it out!

All Hall of Fame Members Present at that ceremony.

 

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