FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department has been awarded two 2020 IPRA Awards of Excellence during an Indiana Park and Recreation Association (IPRA) event on Thursday.
The IIPRA Awards of Excellence recognize those throughout Indiana that embody vision, dedication and excellence in parks and recreation. The awards highlight efforts that transcend everyday standards to make a difference and improve the quality of life in our Indiana communities, the department said. Projects must have been completed between Aug. 1, 2019 and Dec. 31, 2020 to be eligible.
The department’s Confluence Kitchen program received the Inclusive Program Award. The program was developed by the riverfront programming team to bring the community together to celebrate the many cultures within Fort Wayne, the department said.
In January 2020, Confluence Kitchen featured the culture of Japan and included sushi made by local Japanese chefs, origami making demonstrations and language instruction. The department said each table had copies of traditional Japanese recipes so that attendees could learn to cook them at home. The fall 2020 event featured the culture of Germany and included pretzel twisting, German beers, polka music and German folk dancing.
Confluence Kitchen received the Inclusion Program of Excellence Award, which praises an organization or agency for their achievements pertaining to a program or project that increases awareness and benefits of parks and recreation.
“One of our most important goals is to create inclusive opportunities for everyone in Fort Wayne to enjoy our parks and our programs as a community. Events like Confluence Kitchen really draw people together to have fun, but also to learn more about each other and the diversity of Fort Wayne,” said Steve McDaniel, Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Director.
Community Center Manager Patti Davis received the IPRA Outstanding Professional Award for 2020, which is presented to an individual for their exceptional impact on the field of parks and recreation. Davis was recognized for her work at the Community Center to provide a variety of affordable and engaging programs and activities, along with her dedication to furthering the mission of parks and recreation departments both in Fort Wayne and throughout the state.
“Patti is always someone who is ready to lend a hand when our department needs to get something done,” McDaniel said. “She is one of our most committed employees and someone our community has come to know and love for her passion for recreation and education.”