GURNEE, IL – The Village of Gurnee has named Kaiser’s Pizza & Pub (1801 N Route 21) and Six Flags Great America (1 Great America Parkway) as the 2020 Best of Gurnee Award Recipients.
Created in 2016 as a way to recognize businesses that go above and beyond to support their customers and the community, nominations are accepted year-round for businesses that exemplify the absolute Best of Gurnee. Nominations are accepted in two categories - “Bringing Me Home” and “Pay It Forward”. A Selection Committee comprised of Village Board; Economic Development Committee; and Gurnee Chamber of Commerce representatives chooses recipients for these awards presented by the Mayor at the end of each calendar year.
The Bringing Me Home award is intended to recognize a business that fosters community pride by infusing excellence into its business operations with evidence of long-term, sustained commitment to its customers and the community.
The Pay It Forward award acknowledges a business that is recognizing needs within its community and is meeting them head on.
After a review of the recommendations, the Best of Gurnee Selection Committee felt that the nominations for Kaiser’s Pizza & Pub and Six Flags Great America were perfect candidates for the awards.
KAISER’S PIZZA & PUB , recipient of the 2020 Bringing Me Home Award, was nominated by many of its loyal customers who described the “family” atmosphere at the restaurant. Throughout the pandemic, Kaiser’s Pizza & Pub has continuously created a hometown feeling for its customers to keep a sense of normalcy and community alive in these hard times. To comply with public health guidelines while maintaining this atmosphere, they created a new outdoor dining and live entertainment space, with loyal patrons pitching in to help construct the tables to get it up and running. The unwavering generosity of the owners came through in many of the nominations as well. Kaiser’s Pizza & Pub has long supported the Warren Township High school Varsity Football program, hosting the teams Friday night pregame meal; supported the Gurnee Fire Department’s blood drives and other community events; and delivered pizzas to our dedicated residents volunteering to sandbag during the flooding events of recent years.
“Kaiser’s Pizza & Pub has truly exemplified the best of Gurnee,” said Mayor Kristina Kovarik.
SIX FLAGS GREAT AMERICA, recipient of the 2020 Pay It Forward Award, is a business partner without which Gurnee would not be the thriving community it is and which – throughout our long shared history – continues to step up its game, leading in its industry, and generously sharing its success with the larger community.
Even in a year when operations were significantly limited, Six Flags Great America continued to provide for neighbors in need. The Park hosted six Mobile Food Pantries for the Northern Illinois Food Bank, opening up its parking lots May-December for residents with food insecurity to pick up groceries at these pop-up markets. Dozens of staff rolled up their sleeves and loaded bags of groceries into trunks at these events which served thousands of northern Illinois residents in need. In addition to hosting the many food drives, proceeds from retail sales events (‘Giving Thursdays’ for the Northern Illinois Food Bank” and ‘Round Up for Special Olympics’) supported these worthy organizations at a critical time. In a year when this business faced its own significant challenges, it exhibited compassion, generosity, and true community partnership - making it an outstanding winner for the second time of the Best of Gurnee Award.
The next round of Best of Gurnee awards will be presented in Fall 2021. Nominations are accepted year-round, and all previous nominations are considered. To nominate a business for a Best of Gurnee award, fill out the application at www.gurnee.il.us/bestofgurnee