Tag Archives: Mike Acosta

Maple Park Police first in Special Olympics fundraising

by Mary Parrilli
MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Police Department in early February was awarded with the Flame of Hope Trophy at its annual Special Olympics Kickoff event. The Police Department received the trophy because it raised more money for the Special Olympics than any other agency for in Illinois last year, with a grand total of $63,000. And since 2011, the Police Department has raised over $120,000 for the Special Olympics.

The kickoff event was held in Bloomington, Ill. on Feb. 7. Maple Park Police Chief Mike Acosta and other community members attended the opening to represent Maple Park and personally accept the Flame of Hope Trophy.

“(The money was raised by) visiting community events and selling Special Olympics merchandise and raffle tickets,” Acosta said. “Some of those community events included Elburn Days, Fun Fest, community breakfasts and various other type of craft and gun shows.”

Maple Park’s interest in the Special Olympics stems from community member Colleen MacRunnels, who worked for the state of Illinois Department of Corrections in St. Charles. MacRunnels began to raise money for the Special Olympics in 2007.

“After retiring, (Colleen) wanted to continue to promote Special Olympics,” Acosta said. “She and I and the village president, Kathleen Curtis, met in 2011, and the Maple Park Police began its partnership with Special Olympics of Illinois.”

The trophy is currently on display at the Maple Park Village Offices, but in the coming weeks will begin to travel around for display in local businesses. The Police Department wants the trophy to be showcased throughout the town to show its gratitude to community members for their donations. So keep an eye out for the Flame of Hope Trophy as it makes its way around town.

“Once you get involved and see the difference (you can) make in someone’s life, you are hooked,” Acosta said.

Maple Park Police awarded Flame of Hope

NORMAL, ILL.—The Maple Park Police Department was recently awarded the Flame of Hope Trophy at the annual Special Olympics’ kickoff event in Normal, Ill.

The Maple Park Police Department raised more than any other agency in Illinois. Jim and Colleeen MacRunnels of Elburn coordinate the fundraising activities for Maple Park.

The Police Department will have its name in the No. 1 position on this year’s Special Olympics shirt, as the department raised more than $63,000 in 2013. Maple Park has raised over $120,000 for the Special Olympics since 2011.

The Flame of Hope trophy is displayed in the village of Maple Park Village Office. The trophy will soon go on display at the Maple Park Pub, Bootleggers Pizza, Grill and Bar, Casey’s General Store, Honest Automotive and other community businesses that sponsored the Police Department’s fundraiser events.

“It is with great pride that I accepted this trophy on behalf of the MacRunnels and the other volunteers, the community of Maple Park and especially for our local Special Olympians who play a big role in our fund raising,” said Maple Park Police Chief Mike Acosta.

Road improvements and police service main Maple Park priorities for 2014

MAPLE PARK—Village President Kathy Curtis recently said that the village in 2014 will continue to build on the momentum it gained last year, with the emphasis on road improvements and police service.

High on the list for 2014 is the continuation of street maintenance within the village. Additional sections of Willow and Pearl streets will be paved in the coming year—part of the ongoing initiative to improve the village’s infrastructure.

The Village Board in 2014 will review the fee structure for development, in anticipation of new growth. Curtis said she has seen empty lots being purchased around the village, and the expectation is that building will soon begin again in Maple Park.

The Maple Park Police Department will continue to increase the hours of its police force, as it has done each of the last four years. Curtis said Chief Mike Acosta’s goal is to continue to increase police presence in the village until it is a full 24-7 on-duty department.

“We have a bright future,” Curtis said of the village.

MPPD eyes top spot in Special Olympics fundraising competition

MAPLE PARK—Maple Park Police Chief Mike Acosta wants to bring home a huge honor to the village: the Flame of Hope trophy.

If the Maple Park Police Department raises the most money for Special Olympics Illinois this year, Acosta plans on showing off the tall award—an item he guesses is between four and five feet in height.

“It would be displayed. Proudly displayed,” Acosta said. “It would have to go around the village like the (Stanley) Cup.”

He said he pictures the trophy traveling from Casey’s General Store to the Maple Park Fire Department to Village Hall.

Acosta’s dream of parading the Flame of Hope trophy around Maple Park is a realistic one, as the Police Department has had a lot of success raising money for fundraisers to benefit Special Olympics Illinois. As of July 28, a Facebook post announced $47,724.50 had been raised by the department.

Totals have changed since the post.

According to Colleen MacRunnels, co-coordinator of MPPD Law Enforcement Torch Run, $900 had been added as of last Friday. This brought the total to $48,624.50.

Acosta said the MPPD is already tops in terms of money raised this year, and that the department is competing with 325 other Illinois police departments to raise money for Special Olympics.

“We’re hoping to raise at least $50,000 or more and to be number one in the state, to bring that kind of recognition to the village of Maple Park,” Acosta said.

The Police Department’s fundraiser events have included “Pulling for Special Olympics,” “Cop on Top” and “Wheel of Meat Extravaganza.”

Acosta points to the success coming from donations and the biggest fundraiser moneymaker being the “Pulling for Special Olympics” shoot. Acosta said that event brought the department $39,000 and has doubled in attendance every year since it started.

“I see males, females, children,” Acosta said. “They’re all shooting, and safely shooting clay pigeons and stuff.”

Some raffles at the fundraiser included gun giveaways.

MPPD Police Officer Tom Holland said that it would be a great feeling if the MPPD was number one.

“But at the same time, we’re all shooting for the same goal,” Holland said. “So, it really doesn’t matter how much everyone contributes. It’s just that we all are pitching in.”

Dusty Dickens, 28, of Sugar Grove, is a Special Olympics athlete. He has earned 145 medals—80 of them gold, and has participated in district and state competitions. His sports include powerlifting, golf, basketball, softball and volleyball.

Dickens calls the fundraising efforts of the MPPD “awesome.” And he also can point out exactly what Special Olympics means to him.

“It means to be with a team, to do my best,” Dickens said, “And I think that’s it.”

MP Police Dept. awarded for Special Olympics fundraising

Photo: Maple Park Police Chief Mike Acosta makes a new friend during the Special Olympics Kick-off event on Feb. 1. The Maple Park Police Department raised $40,078.81 for the Special Olympics—the fifth-highest total in Illinois—and received a Law Enforcement Torch Run Gold Award for the effort.
Courtesy Photo

by Dave Woehrle
MAPLE PARK—Maple Park Police Chief Mike Acosta on Feb. 5 presented the Village Board with the Police Department’s Law Enforcement Torch Run Gold Award.

The MP Police Department received the award for raising $40,000 for Special Olympics of Illinois in 2012. The amount ranked fifth state-wide among 281 other police departments.

This was the Police Department’s third year of participation in Special Olympic fundraising.

“That’s a lot of effort on behalf of the police and the community at large. It’s good to know we’re a part of this,” Village President Kathy Curtis said.

Over 20 donations were given from local businesses located in Maple Park, Geneva, St. Charles, Elburn, Carol Stream and Aurora. Cabela’s and Monnett Prescision Grinding pitched in as co-sponsors for the Police Department’s skeet shooting event last May.

The winter games were held from Jan. 31 to Feb. 1, 2012. The 2012 Illinois games were held June 15-17 at Illinois State University in Normal, Ill.

Acosta is already looking forward to new fundraising efforts for 2013, with the hope of raising $50,000.

“It’s going to be a lot of hard work. We’ll be putting on the same events but trying to get more participants this time around,” he said. “What’s great about giving for this cause is knowing the participants do not pay a dime to participate in any event or coaching. It’s a cause we’re proud of.”

MP considers potential career exploration program with PD

by David Maas
MAPLE PARK—Maple Park Police Chief Mike Acosta on Aug. 7 brought in a representative of the Learning for Life’s Exploring career exploration program to the Maple Park Village Board meeting to discuss the posibility of setting up a program with the village’s Police Department.

“Exploring is a career education program for young men and women who are 14 to 20,” said Michael Uchmanowicz of the Three Fires Council.

These programs are delivered in conjunction with various departments, in this case, Maple Park’s Police Department.

“The point of this program is to provide real-world career experiences and develop other skills necessarry for success,” Uchmanowicz said.

Those include life skills, character development and leadership experience.

“We think it would be a good idea to have a program in Maple Park,” Uchmanowicz said. “We have programs set up in Sycamore and Oswego, but nothing in between.”

After the presentation, the board voiced its excitement with the proposed program.

“This sounds like a great idea,” trustee Terry Borg said. “I’m proud of the (police) chief for doing this. It’s another good way to get involved with our local youth.”

The next step for the program is to get the charter set up with the department, or the village, and proceed from there.

“This sounds like a great idea,” Village President Kathy Curtis said. “We’ll need to market it and see if we have interest.”

Nearly No. 1

Wheel of Meat and More event
Saturday, July 14
3:30 to 8 p.m.
Maple Park Pub and Grill
221 Main St., Maple Park

MP Police Department continues fundraising for Special Olympics with meat raffle
by David Maas
MAPLE PARK—To say that the Maple Park Police Department’s Special Olympics fundraising this year has been a success might be an understatement.

According to Maple Park Police Chief Mike Acosta, the department is currently No. 2 in the state in fundraising for the Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics.

Acosta, at the Village Board meeting on July 3, gave an update on the police department’s Special Olympics fundraising, stating that it has already raised $30,000 this year.

The department’s next fundraiser is the Wheel of Meat and More event on Saturday, July 14, 3:30 to 8 p.m. at the Maple Park Pub and Grill, 221 Main St. in Maple Park.

“We’re going to be raffling off a lot of prizes, including a special White Sox raffle,” Acosta said.

The Police Department will also raffle off various meats, sports jerseys, gift certificates and more.

“The White Sox raffle includes four box seats, parking and stadium club passes, a Konerko jersey, hat and a case of hot dogs,” Acosta said. “Tickets for that raffle are $10.”

Tickets for the raffle are being sold at the Maple Park Civic Center, and the winner will be drawn at the Wheel of Meat event.

While looking forward to the upcoming Wheel of Meat and More event, the department will continue to raise money for the Special Olympics throughout the year.

“I’m very happy about this,” Acosta said, “We’re doing really great things for a good cause.”

Police Department offers thanks for dedication

by David Maas
MAPLE PARK—Maple Park Police Chief Mike Acosta on Tuesday presented six village residents with plaques to thank them for their dedication to various department-sponsored events.

“We would like to give a very special thanks to our Special Olympics fundraising organizers,” Acosta said. “Without their dedication to the department and Special Olympics, we would not have reached our goal.”

Acosta then presented plaques of thanks to Colleen and Jim MacRunnels, and George Malfatti. Not in attendance but also receiving plaques were Danna Kellett and John Threlkeld.

“According to the Illinois Special Olympics Torch Run News, we are the third highest current fundraiser,” Acosta said. “For something we have never done before, that is great news.”

The Maple Park Police Department raised over $20,000 for Special Olympics, behind only the Tinley Park Police Department and the Illinois State Police.

Also thanked was Officer Andy Rissman.

“Officer Rissman has been very dedicated to the department,” Acosta said. “And we’d like to thank him for all the hard work he put into making the Maple Park Bike Rodeo and Safety Program happen.

“We’re looking forward to next year already,” Acosta said. “We already have some plans to help us raise even more money for the Illinois Special Olympics, as well as more events for the village’s kids to enjoy.”

MP police raise funds for Special Olympics

by David Maas
Maple Park—While being the Maple Park Police Chief is a full time job, Mike Acosta still finds time to help raise thousands of dollars for the Special Olympics.

“In the month of May, the Police Department held two fundraisers for the Special Olympics,” Acosta said.

On May 20, Acosta spent six hours on the roof of a Dunkin Donuts in Elgin, for the “Cop on Top” fundraiser, which raised over $1,400 for the athletes. On May 22, with the help of the St. Charles Sportsmen’s Club, they held “Pulling For Special Olympics,” in which 164 clay shooters helped raise more than $13,000.

“I would like to thank Honest Auto, Casey’s General Stores, Vacation Land RV, and The Foster & Buick Law Group for their sponsorship,” Acosta said.

With another event coming up July 9, the Police Department is close to meeting its original $15,000 goal.

“The Wheel of Meat and More event is to benefit the Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Special Olympics,” Acosta said, “ We will be raffling off turkeys, hams, pork loins, steaks, sports jerseys and much more.”

Acosta also announced that the Maple Park Police Department would be listed on next year’s Special Olympics shirts due to its hard work.

“We hope everyone will come out and support us, and have fun, as we continue to raise money for the Special Olympics,” Acosta said.

Maple Park police partner with Run for Special Olympics

Maple Park—The Maple Park Police Department announced a new partnership with Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics.

Special Olympics is a nonprofit organization providing year-round sports, training and competition to more than 22,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities in Illinois. Through training and competition, Special Olympics athletes enhance their physical fitness, motor skills, self-confidence and social skills.

Special Olympic shirts, hats, door prizes raffle tickets and Harley raffle tickets can be purchased at the Maple Park village office, the Maple Park Library, Big Dawgs, H. D. Rockers and the Maple Park Pub and Grill, as well as at various community events.

“This is the first year the Maple Park Police Department has become involved in this great program. We look forward to a long lasting relationship with Special Olympics of Illinois,” said Police Chief Mike Acosta.“We ask that our community also support this great cause.”

MP passes snowmobile ordinance

by David Maas
Maple Park—The village of Maple Park on Tuesday adopted an ordinance that will allow limited use of qualified snowmobiles within village limits.

The ordinance was created after members of the community voiced concerns about the lack of local laws.

“This ordinance has my full approval,” said Police Chief Mike Acosta.

Between the 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., the ordinance allows the use of village roads, excluding County Line Road, for the purpose of exiting and entering the village, from the place of residence to the eventual location of operation, the approved snowmobile trails.

While within village limits, snowmobiles must be operated under 10 mph, and always stay to the right side of the roadway. As well, snowmobiles must yield the right of way to any person, property or motor vehicle, and stop at every corner before crossing a road.

Police officers may stop and inspect snowmobiles at any time to determine if they are in compliance with the ordinance, as well as the Illinois Snowmobile Registration and Safety Act.

“We have ordinance violation tickets that we will issue for those that break the ordinance,” said Acosta.

Cart ordinance adopted

by David Maas
Maple Park—The village of Maple Park on Tuesday adopted an ordinance concerning the use of qualified golf carts and utility-terrain vehicles on village streets.

“(The ordinance) is consistent with other villages in the area,” Police Chief Mike Acosta said.

The ordinance will allow golf carts, not exceeding 25 mph, and utility-terrain vehicles, not exceeding 15 mph, to use any of the streets and alleys within the boundaries of the village, which have a speed limit of 25 mph. The use of four-wheel all-terrain vehicles is excluded from this ordinance, as well as the use of County Line Road as one of the permitted roadways.

The operators of these vehicles will be required to be at least 18 years of age, have a valid driver’s license, and have proof the vehicle is insured. Drivers will also have to comply with all state and village traffic laws.

Qualified vehicles under this ordinance will be required to have head and tail lights, breaks and break lights, a rear-view mirror, a steering wheel, tires, and an approved “Slow Moving Vehicle” emblem on the rear of the vehicle.

Acosta marks 1st year as chief

by David Maas
MAPLE PARK—This month marks the end of the first year of Maple Park Police Chief Mike Acosta’s service with the Police Department, and at the Dec. 7 Maple Park Village Board meeting, Acosta reported that all of his goals were achieved.

“I believe that the Maple Park Police Department has grown much in the recent year,” Acosta said.

While establishing a community-policing role within the village, the growth was seen both inside the department, as well as in the broader community.

“The Police Department has a new home, including a booking area, and interview room,” Acosta stated, “Digital equipment and fingerprint services were also added.”

This year, the department conducted audits of its evidence and records systems, as well as drafted a new Standard Operating System.

The department has not only started a program called Kops and Kids at the Movies, which is meant to foster a relationship between the police and Maple Park youth, but also have a drop-in center available for them.

“I also look forward to the future,” Acosta said.

For 2011, proposed department goals include continued upgrades of police equipment, fostering community relationships and establishing a community watch program.

“We thank Chief Acosta for all he has done over this past year,” Trustee Nick Moisa said, “We finally have a Police Department we can be proud of.”

New ordinance will address golf cart use in Maple Park

by Lynn Meredith
MAPLE PARK—Tooling around on a golf cart can be fun and a great way to get from one place to another, but it’s not as free-wheeling as you might think. Maple Park is taking steps to develop a golf cart ordinance that would help regulate the vehicles’ use on village streets.

“Yes, they are legal, and residents are using them,” Village President Kathy Curtis said Oct. 5, during the Village Board meeting. “But we need an ordinance to police them better. We need something to use as a guideline.”

Golf cart drivers must have a valid driver’s license and insurance. Illinois does not require the cart to have a license plate. Golf cart drivers are subject to Illinois driving laws.

“They are accountable to all state statutes,” Maple Park Police Chief Mike Acosta said. “They can be charged with drunk driving.”

Curtis said that a local golf cart ordinance will benefit both police officers and residents because the village will have clarified rules to follow.

Trustee Terry Borg noted that a number of senior citizens use golf carts to get around, so the intent of the law is not to do away with the carts.

“The issue is safety, not prohibition,” Borg said.

Trustee Mark Delaney volunteered to draft the ordinance.

The new ordinance will pertain to golf carts only.

Cool treats … on hot days

Nancy Crowe and her Cream King truck visited the Maple Park Kops and Kids at the Movies event July 9 at the Civic Center youth drop-in center. Children were able to select their favorite ice cream treat at no charge, said Police Chief Mike Acosta, who coordinates drop-in center events. The next Kops and Kids at the Movies will take place at 1:30 p.m. Friday, July 30, featuring ‘Peter Pan.’ Courtesy Photo

Read with a cop

Maple Park Police and the Maple Park Library hosted its first ‘Story with the Chief’ on March 1. Police Chief Mike Acosta read the children’s classic ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ in celebration of author Theodor Seuss Geisel, known as Dr. Seuss, whose birthday was March 2. Each child was given a snack and small puppet and had an opportunity to wear a Maple Park Police cap and dress blouse. Children also met Officer Andy Rissman, who helped with the event. Seventeen children and several of their parents attended. Courtesy Photo