Hall Of Fame: 2005 Inductees

    • We honor an individual whose contribution, dedication, and memory is still a part of this community to this day.  It is truly inspiring to reminisce about this man’s accomplishments and influence on this community, but it is also bittersweet since he is no longer with us.  We honor the late Mr. Wally Hasty for his commitment, his heart, and his passion for making this community a better place.  From 1940-1965 Wally worked for the Holland Furnace Company.  From 1965-1971 Wally worked as a sales rep and was a partner with Superior Sports Store.  But it was January of 1972 when Wally’s true calling came about.  He was hired by Holland Township to be the first ever Parks & Recreation Director, but in truth, he was hired to be THE department, period.  His job was to create, guide, and firmly establish a Parks & Recreation Department for Holland Township.  When he started in 1972, Holland Township was breaking ground on its first park, Beechwood Park.  When he retired 20 years later, Helder Park was in the process of being built.  That’s over 300+ plus acres of park land that he had a hand in developing in 20 years time.  In 1973 he helped organize program review meetings with Park Township and West Ottawa Public Schools and helped foster a solid working relationship amongst all three entities that exists to this day.  Thanks to Wally Hasty, the “team” approach is the foundation for each entity’s success in recreational programming to this day.  He also spent time with other communities in helping them establish or strengthen their respective Parks & Recreation departments including Grand Haven, Byron Township, Allendale, and Zeeland.  He was also a co-founder of the Lake Macatawa Triathlon in 1986.  Wally was THE Parks & Recreation Director for 20 years at Holland Township.  He was not one to brag nor was he interested in being recognized for his efforts.  He was a humble man but he was very proud of what he accomplished…as he should have been.  He was the very definition of a “people person.”  Everyone knew Wally.  Everyone respected him.  Everyone loved him.  Wally Hasty was and still is the heart and soul of the Holland Township Parks & Recreation Department.  From now on the Community Service award will be named in his honor.  Mr. Wally Hasty is the first recipient of the Community Service award…and rightfully so.
    • This award carries with it the assumption that the honoree shares the same characteristics as the individual it is named for.  The honoree that receives this award must possess the passion and commitment for making this community a better place, just as Wally Hasty did.  We honor an individual that more than qualifies to receive this recognition.  Vonnie Boetsma is a very worthy and deserving recipient of this first-ever, Wally Hasty Community Service Award.  Several years ago, Vonnie was looking for something to do.  She could have gotten involved in any number of craft-related types of activities, but instead chose to take a first aid class.  Vonnie thought this would be a great way to help people but also be able to help if an emergency arose with her family. Now this was a great idea, but it did have one drawback.  Vonnie really did not like to deal with blood. back   But she mustered up the courage and took a class that featured an instructor by the name of Gene Koopman.  Gene was and is a great friend to Holland Township having served with the Ottawa County Sheriff’s department and as a trustee for Park Township.  Thanks to Gene’s tutelage not only did Vonnie enjoy the first aid class she eventually became an instructor, herself.  Since those days, Vonnie has seen a little bit of everything when it comes to first aid issues.  She worked over the years in various capacities including EMT, surgery, ER Drug testing, and so much more.  She is probably most recognizable through her work with The Red Cross.  She has been and continues to be a part of numerous civic activities but she has also contributed her expertise in working with the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department and the Coast Guard.  She has also taught Red Cross training at Grand Valley State University and for Hope College.  For Holland Township, it is her involvement with our Lake Macatawa Triathlon that we appreciate so very much.  Vonnie served for over twenty years for the Lake Macatawa Triathlon.  Vonnie Boetsma is a lady with heart, compassion, and a giving soul that this community has benefitted from.  We recognize Vonnie Boetsma as the Wally Hasty Community Service Award winner for the 2005 Holland Township Parks & Recreation Hall of Fame.
    • In January of 1971, several community leaders gathered as a Recreation Committee.  Matters to be discussed included the following: work on two park projects including Brookwood Park and a skating rink near Glerum School.  This committee was also in the midst of choosing a committee chair.  Mr. Richard Cartier was elected chairman of this committee at that time.  In March of 1971 Mr. Cartier sent a recommendation to the Holland Township Board requesting support for three projects including Brookwood Park, the current Beechwood Park, as well as development of what would eventually become Quincy Park.  In April of 1971 Richard helped revamp ball diamonds at West Ottawa Schools for use by the school during the school year and then used by Holland Township during the summer months.  Mr. Cartier was assigned the task of scheduling these fields for play.  It was October of 1971 when the recreation committee met with West Ottawa Public Schools to enhance the programs being offered and to exchange ideas for more development of more programs.  This helped lay the foundation to the great relationship that exists today between Holland Township & West Ottawa.  In January of 1972, Mr. Cartier helped make a wise decision in choosing Wally Hasty as the first ever Recreation Director for Holland Charter Township.  In April of 1973, after some restructuring of committees within Holland Township, Mr. Cartier was appointed to the Executive Committee for Recreation and even served as committee secretary for several years.  But it was 1991 when Mr. Cartier extended his civic leadership skills to the residents of Holland Charter Township serving as a trustee from 1991-1992 and 1996-2004.  He was also a member of the Holland Township Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals, and several other Board committees.  To say he was instrumental in the development of parks and recreation would be an understatement.  Thanks to his efforts, Mr. Cartier has helped Holland Township accumulate and develop over 315 acres of park land and supported the administration of a comprehensive and diverse recreation program.  In a conversation with a longtime supporter of Holland Township it was said that Richard Cartier was effective and successful in helping Holland Township establish a strong Parks & Recreation department.  In the early days Richard had a gift for bridging any gaps between the original recreation committee and the Township Board.  He was the stabilizing factor in its development.  For his efforts, his vision, his influence and commitment to the Parks & Recreation Department of Holland Charter Township, we honor Mr. Richard Cartier with the Civic Leadership Award for the 2005 Holland Township Parks & Recreation Hall of Fame.
    • Parks & Recreation is more than just programming and facilities.  For many businesses in this community it is an opportunity to sponsor teams and/or programs.  Call it advertising, call it marketing, or simply call it giving back to a community that has supported your business in a variety of ways.  Veldheer’s Tulip Gardens & DeKlomp Wooden Shoe Factory fits this award to a tee.  The family farm has been in existence for 75 years while the actual business has been around for 50 years.  Veldheer’s has been an avid supporter of community events including Camp Geneva, the Conference Grounds, Hope College (especially the annual Dance Marathon), and Habitat For Humanity.  They contribute to numerous auctions and are famous for their unique gifts that many local business leaders present to their out-of-town guests, including a beautiful delft plate presented to Princess Marguerite of the Netherlands in 1997.  But they are most famous for their beautiful fields of tulips and the craftsmanship of their wooden shoes.  Whether one sees them up close or happens to drive by you can’t help but notice the amazing and vibrant colors that are on display.  And if you need wooden shoes in a Barbie doll size to size 17, DeKlomp is where you need to go for them.  The beautiful designs and artistic styles are simply stunning.  Where else but at Veldheer’s & DeKlomp can one experience “Dutch” hospitality at its finest?  Yet, for our department, it’s their gifts to the Lake Macatawa Triathlon that make our event so unique.  The Lake Mac Tri is a challenging event that tests the athletic ability and will of each individual that attempts to complete it.  If you so happen to finish the race in the upper echelons of your age group or even overall, you win a pair of wooden shoes or delft work that you will not find anywhere else.  Our top finishers, year in and year out, marvel at these unique and very special awards.  In fact, many competitors continue to come back because of those awards.  Being an example for small business, contributing to help maintain a thriving community, reminding residents and inspiring visitors about our Dutch heritage, are great reasons as to why Veldheer’s Tulip Gardens & DeKlomp Wooden Shoe Factory are worthy of the Business Leadership Award for the 2005 Holland Township Parks & Recreation Hall of Fame.

    • Throughout the existence of the parks & recreation department we have done our best to take care of our residents needs through programming and park development.  But sometimes it takes effort and name recognition of one of our own community leaders to help enhance and market the programs and facilities we have to offer.  The Individual Award of Excellence is designed to honor a person that has excelled locally, state-wide, and/or nationally in a given sport and/or event, but also helps to bring name recognition to our community through that success with not only his/her athletic achievement, but also by being a positive example in how they give back.  Brian Stauffer is a world-class athlete.  Brian has overall wins in more than 125 multi-sport events.  In 1991 he won the National Champion of Coors Light biathlon series in his age group as well as placing 14th overall.  He finished 3rd in the World Championship Biathlon in 1991 with Team USA.  In 1992 he was 3rd in his age group in the National Championship Triathlon and 4th in the world representing Team USA in World Championship Triathlon, also in 1992.  In 1995, Brian was the Triathlon Federation USA Mideast States Region champion with an overall win at South Bend’s Healthstart Duathlon championship.  He is an 8-time All-American (Triathlon Today) in both the triathlon and biathlon as well as a two time state of Michigan 40km Bicycle Time Trial champion and long-time record holder. He still holds the record for the non-disc wheel and non-aerobar time at 54:09.  He is a Hawaiian Ironman triathlon top 10% finisher and was an Olympic torch bearer for the centennial games.  He has been the co-founder and event director of such events as the Pigeon River Biyak, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital Bike-a-thon, and the Pigeon Creek Biathlon.  Along with Bill Driesenga and Wally Hasty, Brian created the Lake Macatawa Triathlon.  He is the event founder, a multiple winner, and the spirit of its success to this day.  The Lake Macatawa Triathlon has been in existence for 20+ years, but it’s the last few where Brian has really made his biggest contribution.   Brian is the founder and organizer of Ride of Their Lives which organizes individuals that are willing and able to participate in triathlons while partnering with disabled children.  These individuals pull the children in kayaks while swimming, in a bike trailer while biking, and push them in a stroller on the run course.  To watch these individuals compete in this manner with Ride of Their Lives is simply awe-inspiring.  This award honors athletic achievement and Brian more than fulfils that requirement with his achievements and the events he has founded.  But Brian’s commitment in working with disabled children as of late is one of his greater accomplishments.