Friday, November 2nd, 2007
By William Kincaid
Park steward receives Citizen of Year honors in Rockford
  ROCKFORD - Sandy Schaffner was honored as the Citizen of the Year by the Rockford Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday night during the organization's 34th annual banquet in the Parkway High School Commons.
Robert Thompson, last year's Citizen of the Year, portrayed Schaffner as the premier steward of Shane's Park and a woman thoroughly engaged with her community.
"Probably the biggest reason that we are honoring Sandy this evening is her untiring devotion to Shane's Park, where she has served many years as president of the park board of trustees," Thompson told a gathering of residents, village officials and elected officials.
"On a completely volunteer basis, she books every event into the Rockford Community Building, the shelterhouse and the smaller Shane's Hall," Thompson continued. "She is involved with every project from building buildings to planting flowers to managing the calendar of events to changing toilet paper."
Thompson also pointed out that because of Schaffner, thousands of people are greeted with a cordial welcome each year and depart with an accurate representation of the residents of Rockford.
"The cultural, recreational and economic benefits of Sandy's efforts to Rockford at Shane's Park are immeasurable," Thompson concluded. "Anthony Shane would be proud to have his name associated with such a facility, thanks to this year's Rockford Citizen of the Year - Sandy Schaffner."
Schaffner, a Rockford native who graduated from Parkway High School in 1964 and later from the International Business College, Fort Wayne, Ind., is married to Francis and has three children and four grandchildren. She is currently employed at Barry's Family Market, but has also worked in the past for Reynolds & Reynolds, Ernie's Restaurant and Laurels of Shane Hill.
At the conclusion of the banquet, Schaffner was presented with various proclamations by State Representative Jim Zehringer; Mercer County Commissioners Bob Nuding and John Bruns; and Mercer County Probate and Domestic Relations Court Judge Mary Pat Zitter.
According to Thompson, Schaffner has also served in the following capacities:
• Rockford Carnegie Library Trustee board member and president
• Friends of the Library member and president
• Rockford American Legion Auxiliary president
• Leota Braun Charitable Foundation board member and events chairperson
• Parkway Band Boosters worker
• Hospice worker
• Former conductor of the annual Christmas toy drive at Parkway Schools
• Organizer of the annual Easter Egg hunt at Shane's Park
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