Mount Prospect honors pair of longtime community volunteers
Mount Prospect prides itself on its volunteers, who in many cases have devoted decades to community service.
Two notable examples are Thomas Pekras, who served 38 years on the village's finance commission, and Jill Friedrichs, a 28-year veteran of the special events commission.
Both were honored recently by the village board in a ceremony that included two former mayors, Carolyn Krause, who originally appointed Pekras, and Gerald "Skip" Farley, who first appointed Friedrichs.
Pekras, who moved to Mount Prospect 58 years ago with his wife of 60 years, brought extensive experience to the commission, including service as director of the special audits department with the Illinois Comptroller's office.
Farley praised Pekras' service, saying, "Tom helped to present to the board of trustees a fiscally sound and balanced budget if at all possible for 38 years."
"We are enriched when someone such as Thomas is able to give his knowledge, his expertise, his devotion and his time to the service of this village," Krause added.
Farley lauded Friedrichs, the voice of the 4th of July parade, by saying, "You were just the person needed then and now, given your knowledge of so many people in Mount Prospect."
He also noted Friedrichs' involvement in the village's annual Shining Star Awards.
As he handed her a commemorative plaque, Mayor Paul Hoefert noted Friedrichs' "youthful appearance."
"I started out on the commission when I was three," she quipped.
Hoefert reminded the audience of her other volunteer efforts on behalf of the fire department, the Lions Club, and the village's historical society.
"This village would not operate without volunteers like you," he said.
Friedrichs said it had been a privilege to work with many wonderful people on village activities.
"You know, we were the party commission, but it takes a lot of work to put a party on," she said. "I have just been honored to be part of this village."