Kenneth Hood Award

kennethhoodimageThe Village of Arlington Heights Senior Citizens Commission is seeking nominations for the ninth annual Kenneth Hood Senior Service Award. Although nominations are accepted at any time, the deadline for submission is June 1st.


The Dr. Kenneth Hood Award recognizes individuals and/or organizations who have carried forward the torch of service on behalf of today’s senior citizen population. Candidates must have exhibited some or all of the following:

  • A significant history of volunteer service to the senior community.
  • Developed, provided or conducted programs or services that enhance the quality of life for older adults.
  • Embraced or nurtured activities that affect in a positive way the lives of the senior citizen population.
  • Candidates must volunteer in the Village of Arlington Heights.
View Photos and Bios of Past Winners

About Dr. Kenneth Hood

Dr. Kenneth Hood

This is a once in a lifetime honor for the members of the Arlington Heights Senior Commission when we recognize, acknowledge and memorialize our very own, Dr. Kenneth Hood. He diligently and with passion served as a committed advocate for a better life for his fellow senior citizens here in Arlington Heights. The subtlety and humor along with the mover and shaker approach paid off for the Village’s seniors.

His leadership skills set an example for many to follow, starting with his service to the community early in his civic career. Dr. Kenneth Hood and some others decided to put together a Little League Baseball program for the youth of the Village. Shortly thereafter, he and some others decided a new Cub Pack was needed in the Village, Cub Pack 130, which still exists. Ken was President of the Little League program and took an active part in the scouting as well.

He began his advocacies with the Village’s young and finished with the Village’s more mature residents. Following his retirement, Ken’s Senior Advocacy included delivering Meals on Wheels. He served as a member of the Senior Center Advisory Council, and later as its President. He was one of the founding members of Arlington Heights Senior Center, Inc. This board serves as the fund-raising arm for the Senior Center itself and the agencies within. Inc, as it is commonly referred to, has provided in excess of $350,000 for the betterment of the Senior Center and the agencies within.

You will note as you walk through the building the many plaques on the walls indicating Inc’s generosity. Ken Hood was President of Inc. for many years. He was appointed to and served on the Village Senior Citizens Commission for more than twenty years, and chaired the Commission for several of them. He sat on the Senior Center planning and designing committee and offered the Village, the architect and builder, helpful input. A Senior Advisor before and during the construction of this magnificent facility, he was recognized by the Area Agency on Aging for the Sid Granet “Be All You Can Be” award and the Arlington Heights “Hearts of Gold”, receiving the “Young at Heart” award. Upon receiving the Hearts of Gold award his comment included two wishes: To remain healthy enough to care for his wife Lois, and to celebrate his 100th birthday. Both wishes were granted.

His final year of life included “flipping the switch” for the 2006 Holiday decorations at North Park and serving as honorary chairperson of the Senior Centers National Accreditation Committee. The completed accreditation binder was mailed on December 13. Ken passed away two days later. Ken wrote two books, one humorous and informative. The other book was a moving and emotional tribute to his wife Lois, with an emphasis on her and their heart-rending struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease.

At Ken’s 100th birthday celebration, he addressed his peers, friends and family. He advocated carrying the “torch of service” on behalf of today’s senior population. He indicated his time was almost up. It was time to pass the torch.

From Ken’s final words came the Senior Commissions inspiration to create a lasting memorial tribute to our fellow Commissioner and good friend. A Dr. Kenneth Hood “Torch of Service Award”. A plaque with his likeness was installed in the Senior Center Lobby. The Torch of Service award recipients name will be announced on Dr. Kenneth Hood’s birthday, July 31, each and every year. The award will be handed out each fall.