The 2000 Hall of Fame Inductees are:
- Hazel Jones , 82, Vandalia
- Tony Perry , 69, Kankakee
- F. Stan Jorstad , 78, St. Charles
- Sheryl Anne Howard Clayton, Ph.D. , 71, Washington Park
- Charles John "Jack" Kaiser , 72, St. Charles
Labor Force - Hazel Jones
Ms. Jones, the honoree in the Labor Force Category, has dedicated her life to influencing her community both economically and socially. She has actively participated in the Vandalia labor force for more than 65 years. She and her late husband, Don, operated the Don Jones Studio, portrait and commercial photography for five decades, photographing generations of families and gaining not only lifelong patrons but lifelong friends. With innate business sense and vision, they expanded to sell jewelry, gifts and even gourmet and health foods, which eventually became a separate business named the Sunshine House Health Food Store. Upon her husband's death, Jones and her daughter co-founded and produced a regional magazine geared to seniors named "The Senior News." Most recently, she has become a radio talk show co-host on Vandalia's WPMB radio station. She continues to dedicate her time to service organizations and church work. Her nomination states, "Hazel Jones remains a vital aspect in Vandalia's workforce and is a shining example of dedication, ingenuity and integrity."
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Community Service - Tony Perry
Mr. Perry, honoree in the Community Service Category, is described as having a "personal and professional resume that is highlighted with charitable, ingenious, straightforward, provocative, and fearless accomplishments." He is the guiding force behind Christmas in April, which continues to draw volunteers to improve the homes of low income elderly and disabled people in the Kankakee area. He fought to revive the economy of Kankakee County, beginning in 1982 when manufacturing was on the downturn. He initiated the Area Jobs Development Association, the first cooperative venture between the county's major city and two adjoining villages, resulting in new employment and job retention. Sickened by neighborhoods plagued by gangs, drugs, absentee and negligent landlords, and poorly maintained properties, Perry, a real estate agent, applied to the Illinois Housing Development Authority and received $1.8 million in HOME funding and tax credits, purchased seven apartment buildings and rehabilitated them. He created Hillcrest Association of Responsible People, which has in turn spurred a Neighborhood Watch Program, an annual "Make a Difference Day," an East Side Job Fair and more. Among the many groups and projects Perry has initiated is "Illinois Ambassadors," a not-for-profit group of business people who promote economic development throughout the state of Illinois.
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Performance and Graphic Arts - F. Stan Jorstad
Mr. Jorstad, honoree in the Performance/Graphic Arts Category, has spent a lifetime photographing America’s national parks. Strongly influenced by Ansel Adams, his mentor and friend, Jorstad reveals through his work deep feelings about his subject and leaves the viewer in awe. His work is exhibited all over the world. His recent and highly acclaimed book, “These Rare Lands: Images of America’s National Parks,” accompanied by words by former U.S. poet laureate Mark Strand and includes an introduction by Robert Redford. Redford wrote, “At once we are embraced by Stan’s own deep feelings about his subjects, and awed by the grand perfection of our natural world in a state untouched. As much as these places are national treasures, so is Stan Jorstad and his work.” Jorstad has traveled over 100,000 miles and hiked through all 54 national parks carrying heavy photo equipment to bring nature’s beauty to all.
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Education - Sheryl Anne Howard Clayton, Ph.D.
Sheryl Anne Howard Clayton, Ph.D., of Washington Park is a retired educator in the East St. Louis Public Schools, but she will never quit teaching. “She is better than anyone else when it comes to being interested in people as to their best educational welfare and helping them to achieve at doing their best,” her nomination states. A letter from a college student states, “I can honestly say if it were not for her in my life, I do not know what I would have done…She broadened my horizons and showed me that there was more to the world than just books. She exposed me to plays, musicals, African-American history and did her best to soften the blows of life and to protect me from all who wanted harm to befall me…What she has done for me is only a minuscule contribution to what she has done for our community.” Dr. Clayton’s influence is not limited to young people; currently, she teaches adults to read. Dr. Clayton has also improved the quality of life for many seniors by taking them on tours to places with which they would otherwise not be familiar. She was the first African-American woman to serve as Librarian in the city of East St. Louis and continues to be active with libraries. She is also a foster parent.
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Education - Charles John "Jack" Kaiser
Charles John “Jack” Kaiser, age 72 upon his death, of St. Charles, was a teacher and coach at Oak Park River Forest High School for 48 years. He never had a sick day in his entire career. He coached generations of players and is considered a legend in high school baseball. Kaiser holds the record for the most wins by a coach in Illinois and the third most in the nation with 892. He guided Oak Park River Forest High School to the state championship in 1981 and won more state-tournament games than any other coach. He was a great mentor, telling students “always leave a place better than you found it.” He built a reputation for doing things “the right way” both on and off the field and used hard work, discipline, enthusiasm and humor to teach. In February 2000, the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association named him “Coach of the Century.” In the last weeks of his life, players asked Assistant Coach Dick Trout what they could do for Coach Kaiser. “Each one wrote him a letter telling them how much he influenced their lives and that meant a lot to him,” Trout said. “They can honor the man with the proper attitude not only on the field but in the locker room, classroom and at home.”
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For more information on the Senior Illinois Hall of Fame, contact the Illinois Department on Aging Senior HelpLine.