Hopkinsville is the top Parks and Recreation Division in the state for the second time in three years. But it wasn’t the only area entity to earn commonwealth-wide recognition Wednesday night during the 65th Kentucky Recreation and Parks Society (KRPS) Awards Dinner at Lake Barkley State Resort Park.
In addition to Hopkinsville Parks and Recreation being named the Class II Best Department during the annual ceremony, Christian County Judge Executive Steve Tribble was named Outstanding Public Official, while WHOP Radio was bestowed with the Communication Award.
The KRPS Best Department Award went to Hopkinsville Parks and Recreation, which also claimed the honor in 2016. Each year, KRPS recognizes a recreation department or agency (federal, state, local, university, private, or church) that has demonstrated outstanding contributions in leisure services and shown innovative programs and demonstrated outstanding achievement in one or more areas in all facets of parks and recreation programs.
Hopkinsville Parks and Recreation Superintendent Tab Brockman, who co-emceed Wednesday’s ceremony and banquet, asked the crowd if he “was allowed to smile” before reading the name of his own department as the winner.
“I have the best team in the world — a group of individuals who come together to work tirelessly for this community,” Brockman said. “We always say that Parks and Rec works so the Hopkinsville and Christian County community can play. That happens because we take pride in our jobs and making a difference in the lives of our residents.”
Genuinely surprised by his award, Tribble stood to pick up his award in front of Hopkinsville Mayor Carter Hendricks and a handful of Christian County Fiscal Court magistrates, who made the trip to witness the presentation. Hopkinsville-Christian County Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Brooke Jung was also in attendance, after kicking off the awards ceremony by leading the 150-person crowd in the singing of “My Old Kentucky Home.”
The long-time Christian County Judge Executive Tribble is frequently involved with countless programs within the Hopkinsville Parks and Recreation’s efforts. He was selected for Wednesday’s honor after exhibiting leadership skills, communicating parks and recreation benefits, setting the direction for innovative ideas and advocating for the KRPS mission of advancing parks, recreation and environmental conservation efforts that enhance the quality of life for all people.
“Judge Tribble has a true heart for Parks and Recreation. With 23 years in office, he has regularly demonstrated that appreciation for recreation, leisure and the impacts they make on Christian County,” Brockman shared. “Whether it’s seeking grant funding for a spray park in the small community of Gracey, partnering with the City for funding a new $5.6 million Sportsplex, or continuing to provide annual county funding in the City budget for the Parks and Recreation Department, Judge Tribble garners support for parks through his steady leadership.”
WHOP Program Director Jeff Sisk and General Sales Manager Traci Mason were on hand to accept the radio station’s Communication Award — an honor given each year to a newspaper, magazine, radio, or television station that provides outstanding articles, programs and coverage in the field of parks and recreation.
Among the multiple partnerships between WHOP and Hopkinsville Parks and Recreation include Summer Salute Festival, Moves in the Park summer series (which drew 240 people per showing this past summer) and the annual Easter Egg Hunt, which all draw thousands of participants in Hoptown.
“Our department is blessed to have so many supporters, sponsors and partners, and WHOP plays that role on such a prominent level,” Brockman said. “Mike Chadwell and his team at the radio station are critical to our operation, especially when it comes to going above and beyond to inform citizens of all the parks and recreation opportunities in our community. This award is beyond deserved for WHOP.”
The awards ceremony and dinner officially kicked off the Fall 2018 KRPS Conference, which runs through Friday. For more information on the Society, visit kyrps.org.