Add his name to the list. Joe Ballerine has been named a Riverside Person of the Year for 2017 by the Riverside Township Lions Club. 

Lions Club President Alex Gallegos made the announcement at the May 18 meeting of the Riverside Village Board of Trustees. The annual award is presented to a person who has demonstrated their willingness to serve in many capacities within the village.

Ballerine, who serves as a village trustee, has generously given his time to the village since he and his wife, Donna, moved to Riverside in 1987. The couple has raised two boys, Jordan and Clayton.

A graduate of Riverside-Brookfield High School’s class of 1977 and Western Illinois University in 1981, Ballerine became involved with the Little League and eventually joined the Little League’s board of directors.

He served on the Riverside Parks and Recreation Board for 10 years, and was the board’s chairman. Ballerine is also a member of Riverside Presbyterian Church, where he serves as a deacon and an elder.

When you see Turtle Park on Longcommon Road or Patriots Park on Parkway Road, you can thank Ballerine, who was instrumental in getting the two parks to be welcome additions to the village. 

He also stepped forward when the village was threatening to discontinue the Fourth of July celebration because of budget pressures. Ballerine helped form The Friends of the Fourth, which raised funds to get the celebration through the lean years and still helps the village with the endeavor. Ballerine remains an integral part of the Friends committee. 

Usually on July 4 you can see Ballerine helping to keep the parade moving before joining the village trustees in the parade, all after running the annual 5K race in the morning. This year he will ride in the parade as Riverside’s Person of the Year.

Ballerine says he was “humbled” to have his name is added to a list of notable men and women who have gone above and beyond in service to the village. 

Ballerine will be honored at a dinner to be held either late August or early September. Information will follow.

Congratulations, Joe, you do a great job!