MILTON, Ga. — Scott Stachowski, president of the Hopewell Youth Association and vice-chairman of the Milton Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, was named Parks Volunteer of the Year at a surprise ceremony in April during HYA’s spring tournament kick-off.
As the 10-year baseball coach and travel team coordinator, Stachowski also received the Cregge Beard Service Award, given to the volunteer who exemplifies the nonprofit organization’s values of commitment, leadership and sportsmanship.
Both awards were a surprise to Stachowski when he was greeted at Bell Memorial Park by his family. It was an especially proud moment for the declared “park rat” who watched his father serve as parks director at a city and county level in his hometown of West Elmira, N.Y.
“Over the many years, my family has tolerated and supported me when I said I have to run over to the park and a 30-minute trip becomes an hour or more, because I’m there talking to our families and seeing the kids playing baseball,” Stachowski said. “I am still surprised that everyone pulled this surprise over on me, and I’m grateful and appreciative of the recognition.”
Parks and Recreation Director Jim Cregge said Stachowski was an easy choice for the volunteer award because Stachowski runs the 700-member organization.
“Most people have no idea how much work it takes to produce a baseball season at Bell Memorial Park,” Cregge said. “Even in the off-season, there are planning and preparation activities.”
Stachowski still has work ahead of him as he agreed to serve as baseball representative in the stakeholders meetings for the expansion of Bell Memorial Park.
“When I got involved with HYA, it wasn’t to win any awards,” Stachowski said. “I did it out of a sense of community service and being able to give back to my community.”