NeveHarms It seems appropriate that this prestigious award named for Neve Harms, a former Superintendent of Recreation at the Peoria Park District, be awarded this year to co-winner Bonnie W. Noble, President of the Peoria Park District Board of Trustees. As president of the Board, Bonnie's many responsibilities include overseeing a vast array of programs providing sports opportunities to thousands of youth in youth baseball, soccer, ice skating, tennis, and other recreational activities.
Bonnie was first elected by the voters at large as Peoria Park District Trustee in 1973, and has served as the President of the Board of Trustees since 1979. Her unique ability to analyze community needs and to act as a catalyst for the cooperation and joint ventures of community benefactors, public bodies, and residents has resulted in the completion of many noteworthy projects that the park district has undertaken over the past 16 years.
In addition to her many responsibilities with the Park District, Bonnie has been active in numerous Peoria community groups including the Girl Scouts, Peoria City Beautiful, Lakeview Museum, Neighborhood House, United Way, Public Television Channel 47, the Heart Fund, Junior League of Peoria, Women's Civic Federation and the Women's Symphony Guild.
A current member of the National Recreation and Park Association's Board of Trustees, Bonnie has been recognized at the local, state, and national levels for her contributions to and leadership roles in all aspects of the park and recreation field. She has been the recipient of: the 1989 Citation Award from the National Association of State Outdoor Recreation Liason Officers; the National Parks and Recreation Association State-Citizen-Board Member Service Award; the Peoria Jaycees "Outstanding Government Leader of the Year 1987"; the 1987 Allen A. Weissburg Commissioner of the Year Award (the highest award given by the Illinois Association of Park Districts); and the 1985 Y.W.C.A. Community Volunteer Service Award for the Professions (as an elected official).
A graduate of the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), Bonnie holds a bachelor of science degree with majors in recreation and park administration and psychology. She is experienced as a recreation supervisor with various agencies and as a caseworker for the Department of Public Aid. Professionally, Bonnie currently serves as Executive Director for the Heartland Water Resources Council. Bonnie and her husband Kent are the parents of three daughters, Cindy, Kristen and Jamie.
It seems appropriate that this prestigious award named for Neve Harms, a former Superintendent of Recreation at the Peoria Park District, be awarded this year to co-winner Bonnie W. Noble, President of the Peoria Park District Board of Trustees. As president of the Board, Bonnie's many responsibilities include overseeing a vast array of programs providing sports opportunities to thousands of youth in youth baseball, soccer, ice skating, tennis, and other recreational activities.
A two-sport star (baseball and basketball) at both Limestone High School and Illinois Central College, Thome went on to a legendary baseball career as one of the top sluggers in Major League Baseball history. A 13th-round selection by the Cleveland Indians in 1989, Thome made his MLB debut in 1991. After a 22-year career with Indians, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins and Baltimore Orioles, Thome ranks seventh in Major League history with 612 home runs and 24th with 1,699 runs batted in, while boasting a .276 career batting average. He was a five-time All-Star and received Most Valuable Player votes in nine different seasons. Thome helped Cleveland to World Series appearances in both 1995 and 1997 and he hit 17 career postseason home runs. Thome led the American League in slugging in 2002 (.677) and the National League with 47 home runs in 2003 and he received a 1996 Silver Slugger Award. Thome also was the 2006 Americal League Comeback Player of the Year. Recognized for his integrity, sportsmanship and community involvement, Thome received the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award in 2001 and 2004, as well as the 2002 Roberto Clemente Award and the 2004 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award. The Cleveland organization dedicated a statue of Thome outside Progressive Field following his official retirement in 2014.