Hall Of Fame: 2008 Inductees

    • The award for Individual Achievement is something we as a department hold very sacred.  We rely on so many people to make things work.  In many cases we can put programs together but the actual implementation of the program is done by others.  And how the job gets done by others can sometimes make or break a program.  In the case of Al Nykamp, he has displayed all of the qualities necessary to the job right.  He has commitment, integrity, knowledge, and a passion for doing things the right and proper way.  His involvement with our programs in many ways gave us additional credibility.  That is how respected he is by us as a department and the players he comes in contact with.  More on that in a moment.  Al Nykamp started at Holland Township in 1984 with the Water/Sewer department.  Al’s involvement as a softball umpire in 1985 and as a volleyball official in 1990.  It didn’t stop there.  He has also helped with the Lake Mac Tri, helped with signups, and spent many an hour working with new Recreation Director back in 1991 helping him get acclimated and offering advice on how to better our programs.  Al Nykamp was and still is a wealth of knowledge.  He brings both a staff and family perspective to whatever he does, and on the field and on the court, he’s all class.  Al Nykamp has made a significant impact on our department and to Holland Township in general.   


    • When the Community Partnership award was established it was done so because from Day one, Wally Hasty stressed the importance of working with people and/or other entities to make things work, better.  We certainly did that in honoring West Ottawa Public Schools and Park Township in years past.  But this year was different and just as special.  The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Dept. is more than just local enforcement.  Tonight, we recognize an entity that has and continues to do so much for Parks & Recreation that some of may not realize and when you do you’ll understand why they are so deserving of this honor..  In 1975, the Sheriff’s dept., Holland Township, and Park Township began a collaboration starting with the E-unit.  Over the years that relationship blossomed into so much more.  For example, the DARE program helped get officers into the schools to interact with students, Weed and Seed was established to help students learn from their mistakes and become productive members of society, the Safe Kids Coalition program providing items, information, and inspections for child seat safety.  And how about the Hunters Safety, Boating Safety, and ORV/ATV Safety courses they now provide for us.  These are just a few examples of the kind of attempts they make to better our community other than just law enforcement. But in my opinion, their involvement with the Lake Mac Tri is not only appreciated, it is vital to it’s success.  To have them as a community partner is an honor and an asset for us.   From humble beginnings with the E-Unit to the positive community-oriented relationship of this day, we are will forever be grateful to the Ottawa County Sheriff’s dept for the enforcement of the law and the education they provide and instill in this community. 


    • For obvious reasons, the Wally Hasty Community Service award is very special.  Community Service and Wally Hasty are one and the same.  He did his job with flair, with style, and with class.  When we decided to have a community service award, it needed to have his name attached to it.  Wally was not someone that looked for recognition.  In everything he did, he humbly passed on accolades and deserved credit to those around him.  That’s what a community leader does, including Mr. Nick Weeber.  Nick Weeber is an individual that has left a pretty strong mark on this community.  He has given his heart and soul to the residents of Holland’s north side and continues to be the type of leader that many of us still strive to be.  Between Nick and Wally Hasty, they made something pretty special out of pretty much nothing and helped pave the way for the amazing park facilities and recreation programs that Holland & Park Township offer to this day.  In 1969 Nick Weeber was asked to start a pilot playground program featuring sports, arts, & crafts.  Nick & Wally worked well together.  Costs were shared, duties were split, and collaborations with West Ottawa Schools were in place.  The pilot program grew and added additional schools were involved.  Almost 40 years later that partnership that with the two townships and West Ottawa that Nick helped create is as strong as ever, and the opportunities for residents of Holland’s north side are plentiful.  Think about this…Nick and Wally created programs, they strived for the best with these programs, didn’t settle for minimal results, they listened to ideas from people and made some of them a reality, and basically set up the foundation for what we have today.  Nick became involved with sports as a coach and official.  Why? It kept him involved and he just likes doing it.  Eventually, Nick attained his masters and became the middle school athletic director.  With each township administrating programs and with West Ottawa’s facilities being some of the best in the state, Nick continued to cultivate that relationship with his support and efforts towards recreation.  He knew that the better we all worked together, the better off our community would be and the potential options for programming would be endless.  He was right!  His vision, leadership, and support are still the reasons why the three entities remain so positively intertwined.  When asked Nick why Recreation is important to person’s life, he said...”it’s an opportunity to experience different things, it builds community, it’s healthy, and new relationships can be established.  Very well put.  This award bears Wally Hasty’s name and stands for so many things, including leadership and vision.  I think Wally would be very proud knowing that this year’s Wally Hasty Community Service award goes to a true visionary and community leader. 


    • This Business Leadership award recognizes the positive impact that a local business provides to this community and beyond.  We’ve honored a select few that have certainly done so, but for this year we honor a business that provides a unique and viable service, but for our purposes features a willingness to sponsor and participate in local programming.  Dr Kirk Steketee started his practice in 1976.  Did you know that Dr. Kirk’s first office was more of a home/office combo?  He still has patients who remember the ‘garage/office” when they needed care.  In 1980 they moved into a new office building that they still occupy to this day.  Dr. Kirk has lived and worked all these years less than a mile from where he was raised as a child.  He has traveled most of this country and many places outside of this country and there is no place he would rather be.  Thirty two years later the office features three doctors of chiropractic care, 16,000 patient files on record and the continued desire to impact the health and well being of the community with chiropractic care and a more natural approach to health and wellness.  Life Center began sponsoring teams because it supported healthy activities, and it was fun.  It was easy getting teams together and it was the start of thirty plus years of fun and friendships.  The teams that were sponsored, the games that were played and the friendships made became a part of their lives.   As it turned out, the friendships that grew over those years are still the most rewarding of all.  Life Center’s relationship with West Ottawa Public Schools began in the late 1970's when it was discovered that Dr. Kirk was seeing older patients that were injured in high school sports.  These patients could recall specific incidences of injury during high school and because time had passed their injuries were more difficult to treat and in some cases were permanent.  It was then that Life Center decided to treat any athlete from West Ottawa H.S. free of charge.  It didn't matter what insurance they had or if their family could afford the care.....it was free.  Since then, they have cared for hundreds of young athletes and have positively impacted their performance and health.  We have had the privilege of caring for some of the area’s top performers who went on to college sports programs and scholarships.  Yet were it not for the support of people such as Roger Borr, Ron Allen, Norm Bredeweg, Karl Von Ins and other West Ottawa coaches and administrators for having an open mind and a willingness to help young people realize their full potential to make such a recommendation regarding chiropractic care.  Since then, this effort has included all area high schools and their programs although Dr. Kirk’s affinities remain with West Ottawa his alma matter.  Talk about giving back to one’s community.  This is truly what this award is supposed to represent.