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About Us

Friends of Lake Bluff Parks was formed in November 2005 as part of a long-term strategy to ensure funding for capital projects and improvements of the Lake Bluff Park District.

The vision of the Park District Board was to create a citizen-based not-for-profit foundation as a permanent means of raising money. As public funding decreased and operating expenses continue to increase, the need for a fundraising group for the Park District became more and more apparent.

Friends of Lake Bluff Parks is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit entity, and donations are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. This enables corporations and individuals alike to make tax-deductible donations toward upgrades and improvements throughout the Park District's facilities and parks.

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Our Mission

To provide long-term funding for parks, programs and facilities through philanthropy and collaboration with individuals, families, community groups and partner organizations

Our Board of Trustees

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Jon Hirsch, President

My family originally moved to Lake Bluff in 1977 and I grew up here until 1996.  Then I moved back with my family in 2005.

I grew up going to the pool and the beach and my kids have done everything from Preschool to summer camp to bike and sailing camps.  For a small town, we are so fortunate to have one of the best Park Districts in the state of Illinois.  My family loves to be outside and our Park District provides so many opportunities to engage with the community, outside and be active!  Getting involved with the Friends seemed like the great way for me to contribute to help continue to keep Lake Bluff the wonderful place it is to live and raise a family.

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Brett Warning, Treasurer

I have lived in Lake Bluff since 2018.

 

I am passionate about Lake Bluff Parks and the Friends of the Parks because I have always enjoyed parks and believe they are important assets to any community.  I particularly love Lake Bluff's excellent parks that are plentiful given the size of our Village, and our wonderful Sunrise Beach, where my dogs love to walk and explore on several occasions each week.

 

Other than hoping to help maintain and improve our Parks through the Friends of the Parks, I attend to my profession as an attorney with a Chicago law firm, enjoy my dogs including walking them around town, try to stay fit including running in town, keep up with current affairs, and enjoy time with family and friends as often as possible.

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Katie Pavlik, Vice President

My family and I moved to Lake Bluff in 2016.

 

When we were looking for a new home to raise our children, the Lake Bluff parks were what made us fall in love with the Village.  They are so beautiful, and there is something for everyone to enjoy.

 

When I'm not volunteering with the Friends, I'm spending time with my three boys and knitting.

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Kevin Fitzgerald, Secretary

We moved to Lake Bluff in 2016--the day the Cavs won the NBA Championship (sorry--I'm originally from Cleveland)!

 

I think a town's parks and its recreational activities are reflections of its community.  They're the places where families and friends get together and where kids learn life-shaping lessons.  Lake Bluff has the most ideal community of any place I've ever lived and I want to help ensure that that endures and gets even stronger for my kids.

 

When I'm not volunteering with the Friends, I love to spend time with my wife (Katie) and two daughters (Margot and Maeve), whether that's coaching Margot's basketball, ferrying both to one of their many activities, or enjoying Bluffinia on the Village Green.  Beyond that, I love to play golf and just enjoy all that Lake Bluff has to offer.

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John Bealer, Park District Liaison

I was hired as the Executive Director of the Lake Bluff Park District in September of 2020 and joined the Friends of Lake Bluff Parks Foundation as a Trustee. 

 

I’ve worked in the field of Parks and Recreation for over 30 years and have found the Lake Bluff community to be very welcoming and supportive.  The Friends of Lake Bluff Parks foundation raise funds to help the Park District in providing leisure opportunities for our residents while enhancing the quality of life for those who reside within the Park District boundaries. 

 

Their support has made it possible to complete projects such as the new preschool and West Park playgrounds for the children, pickleball courts, enhancements at Sunrise Park and a preschool scholarship.  I have enjoyed working with a dedicated group of residents (Trustees) who volunteer their time for their community!

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Alex Aldridge

Hello.  My name is Alex Aldridge and I have been a Lake Bluff resident for 4 years. 

 

Originally from Libertyville, I grew up riding my bike to Lake Bluff Beach to enjoy the casual atmosphere and summer festivities.  What I love about Lake Bluff parks is that I believe they share the same feeling of the community: inviting, friendly, fun and supportive.

 

My passion is around building things and restoring the beach.  Personally, I enjoy riding bikes, fishing, and traveling with my wife and two kids.

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Anne Jacobs

My family and I have lived in Lake Bluff for over two decades and have enjoyed every part of the park district. From the pool, to preschool & ARC, tennis, basketball, dance and golf and of course the beach. We appreciate the importance of accessible and high quality facilities for the community.  We cherish our childhood memories and more importantly our children cherish their memories as well from walking to the pool or beach. With a wealth of personal experience and enthusiasm for Lake Bluff Park district, I am excited to be a part of the Friends board. Our focus for future growth and development will continue to enrich the lives of residents for generations to come.

 

When I'm not working, I love spending time with my family. Summers at the beach, walking with my dogs, spending time in town and at the farmers market and we love summer concerts in town.

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Ann Rieder

Our family moved to Lake Bluff in 2013 and truly love our beach community! 

 

My girls and I cherish all that Lake Bluff has to offer including golf, sailing, paddle sports and the school of dance.  We also enjoy just a lazy day at the beach or pool.  Our open spaces, parks and fun programming provide such a nice environment for families to meet up and make new friends.

 

As a park district Commissioner, it is my honor to serve as the liaison to the Friends of Lake Bluff Parks Board.  It has been a pleasure to help raise funds for our wonderful parks and beach!

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Kavita Sharma

We moved to Lake Bluff in 2017, our beautiful paradise on earth. I love going on long walks and bike rides with my husband and two daughters especially along the lake and throughout the parks. My girls have utilized all aspects of what this beautiful town has to offer. Whether it is classes at the park district, sports, the ARC program, the pool, or summer camp. We are blessed to have amazing neighbors and friends all over town that we can easily visit or find something fun to participate in together throughout the year. There is never a dull moment and we love every minute of it!
Our town has such a rich heritage, with programs and unique traditions to offer for all ages to enjoy. I want to contribute to preserving these memories for generations to come. 

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Carrie Tracy

My family and I moved to Lake Bluff in 2022. 

 

While I grew up in Highland Park, I spent very little time in Lake Bluff until we moved back to the North Shore from Indianapolis. Lake Bluff's parks and public programs drew us in immediately. Between summer activities (camps, pool, beach, Bluffinia), after school programs, the gym, the paddle center, and the golf course, somebody in my family uses the Park District facilities at least once per day. Lake Bluff is a special place because of these assets and the incredible community we have found here. 

 

When I'm not volunteering for the Friends, I enjoy spending time with my husband (Sean) and kids (Vera and Simon) biking around town, walking our dog (Edith), playing golf, and enjoying all Lake Bluff has to offer.  

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Margaret Vrioni

I have lived in Lake Bluff for over 16 years and have enjoyed the many amenities our village has to offer.  When my kids were young, we utilized the park district preschool and many of their programs for childhood development and enrichment.  As they grew, we enjoyed participating in gymnastics, dance and STEAM classes along with baseball, softball, tennis, golf, swimming at the pool and beach and enjoying the snow hill during the winter.

Now that my kids are older, I wanted to give back to this great community and continue making it even better.  As great as it is to raise children in Lake Bluff, there are still areas where we can make improvements and my goal is to do just that along with your help.

 

My hobbies include reading, traveling, gardening, yoga and scrapbooking when I have time for them and am not watching my kids at their activities.

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Brian Woodruff

I’ve been in Lake Bluff for almost 7 years (can’t believe that…!)

 

I’m passionate about the parks because they are this community’s greatest asset. We have wonderful parks that offer something for all families.

 

I’m a proud father of three young kids and husband to my wife, Emily. My favorite hobbies include: water sports at Sunrise Beach, paddle tennis, and exploring new music. Fun fact: I really enjoy my skateboard!

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