Kathy Fode, Lawrence's recreation superintendent, has been named Distinguished Professional of the Year by the Kansas Recreation and Park Assn.
Fode, who has worked for the city's parks and recreation department since 1968, was presented the award earlier this week at the association's annual conference in Kansas City, Kan.
"We're delighted she received this award," said Fred DeVictor, director of the city's parks and recreation department.
He said Fode had a long history of developing recreation programs, including starting the city's first "slimnastics" fitness programs.
Annette Deghand, the city's special populations supervisor, nominated Fode for the award, describing her as "a dedicated and popular employee."
Some of Fode's efforts include initiating a senior program and travel club and organizing the city's Fall Arts and Crafts Festival for 18 years.
She has also started cooperative programs for better, more coordinated uses of facilities with Douglas County Senior Services, Lawrence Arts Center, Haskell Indian Nations University, Kansas University and Lawrence public schools.
Fode also served as project manager for the renovation of the East Lawrence Recreation Center and served on the 2 percent for Art Committee for that facility. She also was instrumental for planning and opening the Lawrence Teen Center in 1994.
Fode is responsible for marketing parks and recreation offerings and has been involved in all grand openings of several projects, including the Lawrence Aquatic Center, Prairie Park and the city's Adult Softball Complex.
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