Ron Amato serves on the Americanism Committee for our club, the committee charged with coordinating recognition of first responders who go beyond the call of duty. In the fall, we honor a Firefighter of the Year. And this time of year, we pay tribute to a police officer. During our recent meeting, we honored the Exchange Club of Naperville 2018 Police Officer of the Year, Commander Ken Parcel.

“Commander Parcel, who retired from the Naperville Police Department in June after 29 years of service, is the 16th Naperville police officer to be honored by the club,” Amato said. “Commander Parcel was nominated by his colleagues Sergeants Fisher, Mannino, Pastrick and Schindlbeck, who praised the retiring Commander’s compassion, patience, leadership skills and dedication to the community.”

Amato added that the nominating officers noted Commander Parcel’s devotion to the community, including children and families, through his involvement in KidsMatter, The Education Center, Naperville School Districts 203 and 204, and his unwavering commitment to the Reading Buddy program. Commander Parcel also is a longtime Board Trustee of KidsMatter who previously served as president. He was instrumental in organizing the annual Skaters’ Picnic which takes place each year in conjunction with the Last Fling at the Centennial Beach Skate Park.

The Exchange Club always seeks new members who embrace our mission to make communities better places to live through programs of service in Americanism, Community Service, Youth Activities, and the Exchange Club’s national program –The Prevention of Child Abuse.

Individuals interested in attending future meetings can email to check availability of reservations. Prospective members are welcome to visit the first time for no charge.

Finally, 2018 Ribfest runs July 4-7 at Knoch Park. Naperville’s first responders again will be on hand in support of making this event safe and welcoming to all. We appreciate them!