Kristi was born and raised in Hoopeston where her and her husband have raised their two boys, Sam, and Sean. She received her bachelor’s degree in Anatomy from the University of Illinois and came back to Hoopeston to be a massage therapist. After 20 years of that career, she decided to make a change, studied occupational therapy at Parkland Community College and began to work for Vermilion Association for Special Education (VASE) in Vermilion County schools.
In 2021, Kristi was hired to manage the Hoopeston Pool and with the support of the group “Save the Hoopeston Pool”, she was tasked with improving the image, attendance, and finances of the pool. “Once the city was convinced to keep the pool open, the group changed its name to ‘Hoopeston Aquatics Coalition’ (HAC) to better express our purpose.” Kristi serves as president of the group. They are now raising money for pool improvements.
Kristi was able to rally local businesses such as AMBUCS, Hoopeston Rotary, The Pump, and other individuals, to help purchase an ADA approved staircase so that people of all abilities can easily enter the pool. They have revived private and group lessons, started water exercise classes, offered evening parties and special hours for teens, adults, women, and family hours. They have hosted community days offering a buy one, get one entry for people of different communities in Vermilion County. Last summer, they were able to reopen the concession stand after several years and have big plans for next summer. “I hope to get a volleyball league going, and we would love to find someone to resurrect the swim team!”
Last October, HAC introduced the inaugural “Boo at the Pool”. Along with the Hoopeston Women’s Club and members of the high school marching band, they transformed the pool into a maze and haunted scenes that over 800 people enjoyed.
Kristi has previously served on the board of Keep Vermilion County Beautiful and started a Hoopeston group called Trash Walkers who met weekly to pick up litter. She loves where she lives and says, “I love living in a town with access to grocery, seven restaurants, a pharmacy, banks, gasoline, swimming pool, mini golf, bowling alley, barber, chiropractor, doctors’ offices, all within ¼ miles from my house, and my backyard being in the country with corn or soybeans every summer” about Hoopeston. “I love living in a community where strangers collect clothes and goods for a family who lost their home to a fire or where someone passes on a couple of $100 bills because they hear someone is having a rough holiday season or where people send boxes and boxes of food and supplies to a food cupboard or animal shelter.”
We thank you, Kristi, for all you do throughout Vermilion County and for all the love you pour into the Hoopeston community.