By Joanne Kosey
And the Riverside Township Lions Club Person of the Year is … Peter Boutsikakis from Riverside Foods.
Boutsikakis was chosen by a committee of the Lions Club after reviewing numerous nominations. Those recommending Boutsikakis to be Person of the Year cited his many services to Riverside, schools, community and organizations above and beyond his position as co-owner of Riverside Foods.
His efforts during the early days of the pandemic found him accommodating his customers by expanding deliveries, instituting senior hours and rolling out a curbside pickup service. He also maintained a high standard for his employees and shoppers by following health recommendations.
When told he had been chosen for the honor, Boutsikakis was humbled and felt there were many others deserving of the honor.
In a normal year, the Person of the Year is honored by riding in the July 4 parade and at a dinner in the late summer at the Riverside Golf Club. Due to circumstances created by the pandemic, those plans are on hold, but he will be honored when it is possible. For now, a banner announcing the honor will hang in Guthrie Park, and we also encourage you to go to Riverside Foods and congratulate him in person.
Peter's family has maintained the local grocery store since May of 1981 when his grandfather took over a former Jewel store. Since that time it has remained in the family, and they have maintained a high level of personal service. If there is an item you would like, Peter Boutsikakis will be glad to stock it.
Little known facts about Peter: He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from DePaul University in urban planning and a master's degree in architectural studies. Congratulations, Peter.
The Fourth goes forth: Hope you are ready to welcome Riverside's July 4 "parade" when it comes down your street. The parade route will not be published, so just be ready.
I can tell you it will start at 9 a.m. and will first go over to the Hollywood section of Riverside west of First Avenue and then back to start its trek through the rest of town. Hope they make it to Selborne Road where we'll have a nice new street done in time -- I hope.
Have a safe and happy holiday.