The Senior Citizens Center of Oak Park-River Forest will honor Wednesday Journal columnist Ken Trainor and longtime volunteers Bob and Janet Haisman with their annual Ulyssean Award at the 15th annual dinner on Friday, Sept. 28.
Trainor’s long career as a community journalist includes 28 years with Wednesday Journal Inc. and approximately 1,600 columns penned in the Forest Park Review, Chicago Parent magazine, and Wednesday Journal, as well as newspapers in Ft. Collins, Colorado and Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. In selecting Trainor for the award, the Senior Center cited his ability to “observe, record, analyze and educate” in a wide range of areas. He has been named “best columnist” by the Illinois Press Association four times.
An Oak Park native and graduate of Ascension Elementary School, his community involvement includes Project Unity, a group dedicated to increased interracial understanding and interaction, and Gun Responsibility Advocates, which works to reduce gun violence by supporting common-sense gun regulation and promoting greater responsibility among gun rights supporters.
For five years, Janet Haisman administered the local Holiday Food and Gift Basket program which collected donations and distributed them to hundreds of local families in need. Bob is on the board of the Food Pantry, headquartered at First United Church of Oak Park. A retired high school social studies teacher, he served in the local chapter of the Illinois Education Association and as statewide president of the IEA for six years, representing 130,000 members. Currently, he has been very active with the Democratic Party of Oak Park.
Both are leaders in First United’s “Faith in Action” organization, tackling issues such as gun violence, education, refugee settlement and efforts to reach across Austin Boulevard.
The award is named after Ulysses, legendary hero of Homer’s “Odyssey,” whose spirit was captured by the poet Tennyson, when he wrote, “‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world.”
The dinner will be held at Brookdale Plaza, 1111 Ontario St., on Sept. 28. For reservations and more information, call 708-848-5251.