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Take Time for Tots Day

Take Time for Tots Day

We’re gearing up for Take Time for Tots Day on March 12 from 10 am – 12 pm at Sunset Knoll Recreation Center. Join the Lombard Park District and a variety of businesses geared for tots and children up to age eight for arts and crafts, a bounce house, pony rides, information about safety, and other fun activities.

This parent/tot event is sponsored Pioneer Childcare, Rock Star Jumpers, Culver’s of Lombard, Gionario’s Pizza & Pasta, Nick Janet – State Farm, Bob Goldin – State Farm.

Here’s a look at Take Time for Tots Day from 2015.

Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.

– Fred Rogers

Junior Dribblers Basketball League

The Lombard Park District hosts Youth Basketball Leagues for kids grades Kindergarten through High School. Participants learn basketball skills and teamwork, while having fun with friends; new and old. Below is a variety of photos from a recent Junior Dribblers practice and game. These Kindergartners are having a great time. A huge thank you to Venu Bhetanabhotla for taking these wonderful photos and sharing with us.

“Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game.”

– Michael Jordan

Coach of the Year–2015

It takes a village. Oftentimes, you’ll hear this phrase in parenting and life in general. It really does take a village to raise happy, healthy children and that includes coaches as part of the village. The Lombard Park District is able to provide athletic leagues to the community because of our volunteer coaches and their assistants. Each year, we recognize and award a Coach of the Year for each sport and season. We would like to take the opportunity to thank all of our coaches as well as the Coaches of the Year.

Spring Youth Soccer – 2015

Tod Kowallis

How long have you been a coach for the Lombard Park District?
I’ve been a coach for 5 years.

Are you a Lombard resident?
I used to live in Lombard for 14 years but moved to Glen Ellyn in June.

What is your occupation?
I’m a high school and middle school music teacher, now in my 11th year of teaching.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
In my spare time I enjoy golf, outdoor activities, reading history, and especially spending time with my wife and two daughters and three step-daughters.

What is your favorite aspect of coaching?
As a teacher, my favorite aspect of coaching is when the kids start to really understand the important parts of the game, but my personal favorite aspect is how much fun the kids have and how “into it” they are.

Fall Youth Soccer – 2015

Jason Cooper

How long have you been a coach for the Lombard Park District?
Since Spring 2012 (4 years)

Are you a Lombard resident?
Yes. If not which town do you live in? How long have you lived there? We’ve lived in Lombard since 2003 (12 years)

What is your occupation?
I’m a landscape architect with Conservation Design Forum – a Lombard-based civil engineering and landscape architecture firm.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I’m an active member and council leader at First Church of Lombard and enjoy camping and spending time outdoors with my family. I’ve assisted with the Prairie Path cleanup – clearing buckthorn – for the past 5 years as a member of the Village’s Environmental Concerns Committee.

What is your favorite aspect of coaching?
I love tracking the kids progress as they develop and grow. Their enthusiasm for the game is infectious.

Youth Basketball – 2015

Brian King

How long have you been a volunteer coach?
Eleven years.

What do you find most rewarding about coaching?
Witnessing the kids improve from week to week. Both as a team and individual.

Please share your favorite coaching story or a memorable moment you had as a coach.
• I would view each year I coach a memorable moment because you usually get different kids every year and watching them become a team in the 6-7 week season is fun to watch.

What advice would you have for someone who is coaching for the first time?
Be patient. Create your practices to be fun and enjoyable. Always involve every player; win or lose always be positive and encouraging

How long have you been a Lombard resident (if you aren’t a Lombard resident, please tell us why you chose Lombard as the community to share your gift of coaching).
• Yes, for 18 years!

Please add any other information that you’d like for us to know.
I have enjoyed coaching for the park district and will continue to volunteer as a coach.

Girls Softball – 2015

Scott Stratton

How long have you been a volunteer coach?
Four years.

What do you find most rewarding about coaching?
My most rewarding takeaway is the progression that each child makes throughout the year. Not only in their softball skills, but in their attitude, team play and sportsmanship.

Please share your favorite coaching story or a memorable moment you had as a coach.
• My favorite coaching moment came in a Lombard Thunder game last season. In the weeks leading up to the game, we’d been practicing bunting and sliding. Our girls had taken the instruction well, but we’ve yet to ask any of them to execute the skills in a game.

• With a runner on third base, one off our players stepped into the batter’s box. After 4 successive balls by the opposing pitcher, I came into the game to pitch to her. On the first pitch, she squared her body up and laid a perfect bunt down the third base line. As she did this, the runner on 3rd base broke for home, running full speed and sliding just out of reach of the catcher in a thrilling play at the plate.

• While the score of the game didn’t require a bunt situation, the two girls applied what they learned, executed a perfect suicide squeeze, without realizing the gravity of the play. But what makes it the most memorable were the smiles and excitement that the players, parents and coaches felt in that special moment.

What advice would you have for someone who is coaching for the first time?
• No matter what hard skills you possess (throwing, hitting, catching) coaching isn’t about being a former All Star or teaching your players to be a future one. It’s about a genuine concern for making the most of their time in a fun, safe way.

• By structuring your practices and games, focusing on fun and development, and encouraging sportsmanship and teamwork, you’ll be building a foundation that all players of all skill levels will enjoy.

How long have you been a Lombard resident (if you aren’t a Lombard resident, please tell us why you chose Lombard as the community to share your gift of coaching).
• I am Lombard native, having played in the Lombard Boys Baseball league as a teenager. I returned to the community in 2012 and plan on being here for years to come.

Please add any other information that you’d like for us to know.
First and foremost, I’d like to thank the parents. Without their support, there’s no possible way we would have the fun seasons and successes we’ve enjoyed. I’d also like to thank my daughter Alex, a senior at Glenbard East, for all of her time and effort in being an assistant coach of the Lombard Thunder for the last 3 years.

Movies & Concerts in Lilacia Park

Gather your family and friends for a free evening under the stars in Lilacia Park on Wednesdays. Pack a picnic, blanket, and chairs. (No alcohol or dogs permitted.)

June 24 at 8:30 pm: Muppets Most Wanted (PG)

July 8 at 7:00 pm: Mr Myers (Concert)
Mr. Myers will bring tropical sounds of calypso and ska, the rhythms of reggae, and a little rock-n-roll with some favorite classic tunes to create their own special style of music – Caribbean Rock. Mr. Myers’ unique combination of musical styles will be sure to entertain anyone young and old.

July 15 at 8:30 pm: Paddington (PG)

July 22 at 8:30 pm: Box Trolls (PG)

July 29 at 8:30 pm: Big Hero 6 (PG)

August 5 at 6:30 pm: Soda (Concert)
From The Zac Brown Band to Cee Lo Green, from Darius Rucker to LMFAO, this band can do its ll. Three lead singers, each with distinctive styles, work to bring authenticity to all your favorite songs, and the possibilities are endless. From class rock, 80’s, new wave, reggae, and alternative, the list goes on. Get a little taste of Soda and you’ll discover why the readers of Nightlife magazine voted Soda “one of the top 5 cover bands in Chicago.”


The Importance of Swim Lessons

Written for the Lombard Spectator Community Voice section

The Importance of Swim Lessons

Paradise Bay Water Park has opened its gates for the season. The five pools are full of water, the slides are waxed, and the chairs and umbrellas are up. Staff is trained and fully ready to provide a summer of swimming, relaxation, sunshine and memories. Swimming is a skill that is taught to children much like riding a bike, often by a parent, sometimes by an older sibling or friend. While early exploration of swimming is important in skill development and providing an environment for the child to become comfortable in and near water, there are some things they will most likely only learn in lessons. There are always associated risks with swimming pools, water parks, and any body of water, however, swim lessons provide education and foster a safe environment to learn to swim and help minimize the risk. Not only do lessons help keep children and adults safe, they provide so much more.

Lessons build confidence and calm fears. Starting as early as the Parent & Tot level, students practice water adjustment, blowing bubbles, kicking, water entry, and pool safety. Each level thereafter becomes more and more involved. In level 7, participants learn to become a competitive swimmer and perfect strokes. Having the knowledge early on helps lessen the fears associated with water. Lessons tend to build confidence because participants graduate to a new level when all skills in the previous level have been mastered.

Lessons keep kids active. They provide instruction and then participants are able to practice their skills at the pool throughout the summer. Swimming is a great exercise, it’s fun, and becomes a hobby or even competitive sport for many.

Lessons teach lifesaving skills. All participants learn pool safety. As early as level three, participants start to learn lifesaving skills such as rescue breathing, basic first aid, and backboard-assisted rescues. These skills can save a life when at a place such as a backyard pool, lake or pond where lifeguards are not on duty.

Learn to swim this summer and keep perfecting those skills! Swimming and lessons are a great way to stay healthy, feel safe and confident near the water, and have a fun summer at the pool.

Paradise Bay Water Park is participating in the “World’s Largest Swim Lesson on June 18 from 10-11 a.m. World Waterpark Association sponsors this free event as aquatic facilities all over the world participate to break a Guinness World Record.

Regular swim lessons begin on June 8 with morning and evening options available at Paradise Bay Water Park, 437 St. Charles Road, Lombard. For additional information, visit