78 F
Naperville
Monday, August 15, 2022

Marching with distinction

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For certain, tooting a horn about the two individuals who recently were honored with the Naperville Jaycees Charles “Chuck” Bueche Lifetime Achievement Award presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

And so it was on many counts in late April when the Naperville Jaycees 39th Annual Distinguished Service Awards were presented in the Pavilion at Meson Sabika with Zakery Kates serving as Master of Ceremonies.

Every Distinguished Service Award (DSA) special event recognizes local individuals and organizations for their spirit and dedication to Naperville with nominations from community members. The stories of every accomplishment for the greater good by residents who aim to make a difference without striving for recognition are amazing.

The 2017 DSA recipients were Todd Holmberg, Educator; Nabila Qadri, Student Volunteer; Fire Marshall Scott Scheller, Public Employee; 360 Youth Services, Non-Profit Organization since 1971, represented by Katy Leclair; Marquette Properties, Business, represented by Nick Ryan; Dr. Sangita Rangala, Healthcare Professional; and Michael Ochs, Community Leader. One by one, presenters highlighted the honorees’ accomplishments that kept the audience spellbound.

Then Ron Keller and Ann Lord were recognized with the high honor of the Charles “Chuck” Bueche Lifetime Achievement Award, distinguishing the ceremony with historical notes that two Napervillians together have contributed nearly 120 years of musical talent to the Naperville Municipal Band.

Their award was presented by Jaycees President Jim Croat.

Croat said that he was absolutely blown away when a member of the DSA Selection Committee called him saying, “You play the tuba, right?” And then went on to say tuba-playing NMB Director Keller and narrator Lord would receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The “small world” story for Naperville is that Croat has a childhood connection to Keller that started when he was in the third grade and learning to play the tuba. Croat credited Keller for helping him gain the confidence he needed to play well by encouraging him to count.

During their time at the podium, Lord and Keller reminisced about growing up in Naperville three houses from each other. With good humor, Lord repeatedly mentioned that she was eight years older than her neighborhood buddy.

Keller informed this group of Naperville Jaycees that back in the year 2000 their service organization had stepped up to donate $40,000 to the new Naperville Community Concert Center in Central Park. The Jaycees’ donation was the most generous gift of all.

Keller noted that back then he had challenged the community to contribute to the $200,000 fundraising campaign for interior furnishings with the promise that he would write a march for the group that donated the most. And he wrote the “Spirit of the Naperville Jaycees.”


The 39th Annual DSA Committe was led by Miranda Barfuss*. Committee members were Kelly Beyer, Karen Coleman*, Matt Eastman*, James Groat*, Zak Kates, Sue Navalgund, Chad Pedigo*, Daniel Perez*, Greg Siegel*, Danielle Tufano* and Katie Williams. *Presented DSAs to Recipients.

The 2017 sponsors included Awards and Fine Gifts, Meson Sabika, Minuteman Press Naperville, Elements of Water Street, Ron Hume Photography and The Charles D. Bueche Family.

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PN Ombudsman
PN Ombudsman
An ombudsman is Scandinavian in origin dating back to Viking times; and refers to a community representative; usually acting independently on behalf of an organization, body of elected officials, or civic group. Thanks Scandinavia for inventing ombudsman.

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