Oak Park Trustee Dan Moroney’s tweet last week thanking the Park District of Oak Park for the Cubs tickets and featuring a photo of Moroney and his daughter standing in front of the Ron Santo statue, piqued our interest here at Wednesday Journal.
Particularly because of the recent friction between the Oak Park Board of Trustees — particularly Mayor Anan Abu-Taleb — and the park board over the latter’s opposition to the proposed high-rise development by Albion Residential at Lake and Forest.
Reached by phone, Moroney said he was teasing the park district because of its inability to find enough participants for its Active Adult outing to Wrigley Field to see the Cubs play the San Diego Padres.
The tickets were made available to Moroney and other volunteer coaches — Moroney coaches his daughter’s basketball team — because the block of tickets were not all purchased. Moroney told Wednesday Journal he “would love an audit of the park district’s programming,” noting that, “They keep on adding this crazy programming that there’s not really any demand for.”
Park spokesperson Diane Stanke said in an email response to questions that the district’s Active Adult Trip Program schedules dozens of trips a year and in the spring and winter averaged 18 and 19 seniors per trip, respectively.
She said the park district purchased 26 of the Cubs tickets but only sold 11.
“We considered using the tickets for a Teen Camp trip but decided against it since the campers would return well past the end of the camp day,” according to Stanke. “To ensure the tickets were used in a positive way, the district offered them on a first-come, first-served basis, to park district volunteer sports coaches, who generously donate their time and talent to make our sports leagues a success.
“Instead of the tickets going unused, this was a great way to thank volunteers who were available for all their efforts. Rarely would we ever have extra tickets like this to distribute. In fact, we don’t remember the last time we did, and in this case they served as an appreciation for volunteers.”