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.
Larry Leitner was among the state's elite officials for more than 40 years, officiating high school, college and professional sporting events from 1960 through 2003 and he remains involved in sports by serving on the board of directors for the Pekin Insurance Holiday Tournament, as well as evaluating current officials and moderating IHSA rules clinics.
Among his officiating highlights, Leitner worked more IHSA basketball and football tournament games than any official in the state's history, earning 27 consecutive boys basketball regional assignments. He also worked the IHSA boys basketball state finals in 1973, 1974 and 1976, including the 1976 championship game, and three IHSA football finals, including the first-ever 2A state championship game in 1974. A charter member of the Gateway Conference officiating crew in 1988, Leitner was part of the crew that officiated the 1990 and 1993 NCAA Division I-AA quarterfinals and he served as an associate official for the Big Ten Conference from 1984-88.
Leitner also was called upon to officiate two IESA state championship games, the 1990 National Catholic Basketball finals, three Shriner All-Star football games and the 1980 IBCA All-Star Classic, while also working for two seasons in the Midwest Professional Football League.
Leitner is a member of the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association, Peoria Officials and Bloomington/Normal Officials Halls of Fame.