City parks director honored by panel

Award recognizes Schroers for his social service efforts

October 25, 2001|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

As director of Westminster's Department of Recreation and Parks, Ron Schroers has much more experience giving trophies than receiving them.

So when the Community Services Council presented its first Sylvia Canon Humanitarian Award to Schroers at its monthly meeting yesterday, he spoke his thanks softly and quickly shifted the spotlight to others.

He thanked God for giving him strength, his wife for understanding his long hours on the job, the city for its leadership, and the council for its spirit of voluntarism.

"When I look around this room, I see all volunteers who give of their time," said Schroers, a 36-year-old father of four.

Westminster Mayor Kevin Dayhoff called the group gathered at a Main Street restaurant "a who's who of who really cares about our community."

Schroers, who routinely devotes extra hours to programs that benefit the city's youths and families, was the ideal recipient of the award, Dayhoff said.

Schroers said it was humbling to be considered in the same league as Sylvia Canon, who retired this year after 40 years in social service, 13 of which were as director of Human Services Programs.

"It is a real honor for me to be thought of in Sylvia's category," he said. "I have only been doing this for seven years. She did it all her life."

Mary Jane Benstein, Community Services Council president, said the group instituted the award to honor Canon and those who follow her example.

"Everyone knew Sylvia as a wonderful worker," said Benstein. "This is a great way to honor people who work every day for others and don't get that pat on the back."

A committee of five chose Schroers from among six nominees.

Dayhoff said Schroers is "my right hand and adviser" and a man who continually thinks of others.

Schroers tirelessly provides innovative and creative programs in a city that is always increasing its demand for recreation, Dayhoff said.

"He doesn't see problems. He is the can-do guy who just says `Let's do it,'" Dayhoff said. "I constantly lean on Ron and bounce things off him. There are many days that I see him working at 7 a.m. and still there at 11 p.m."

Now, Schroers has a trophy to call his own and displays the etched-glass globe on his desk.

"It is really the city that has allowed rec and parks to grow and provide services to the community," he said. "I am proud to work here. I love my job."

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