Maciulis: Brockett, Hoster celebrations on tap
May 17, 2012 8:36PM
On Aug. 23, 2009, Mark Brockett was struck by two cars and killed at this underpass in Joliet. The third annual “Keep Going for Mark Brockett!” will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Cemeno’s Restaurant in Joliet. The cost is $30 and includes dinner
Updated: June 29, 2012 9:39AM
After you fish or hunt for a while, or enjoy the competitiveness of sports, you realize it’s the chase, the game, that counts. Never the score.
Two guys who inspired me over the years will be honored this weekend. They are proof that heroes rarely seek the limelight and, even when they get it, rarely listen to the applause without deflecting the honor to someone else.
Those of you who listen to local sports on WJOL-AM (1340) will remember Mark Brockett.
His passion for sports broadcasting was as deep as his commitment to youngsters. Brockett provided color and background for many years on WJOL’s coverage of local high school athletics. He worked at Lemont High School and coached the boys volleyball team.
On Aug. 23, 2009, Brockett was walking home just before 5 a.m. through a dark underpass. He was hit by a car, thrown into the path of another and hit again. He was pronounced dead on the scene.
At the time, Mark’s mother, Kathy Brockett, had been retired for five years from Wilmington Public Schools. She and Mark’s brother Neal (now a special education teacher in Joliet) turned their personal loss into a crusade that sought to illuminate underpasses throughout greater Joliet.
Using Mark’s favorite saying — “Keep going!” — the Brocketts set up a scholarship fund in his name. They host an annual celebration of his life, focusing on the many ways he touched his friends, family and co-workers — including me.
I taught with Mark for a few years. It took a short time to realize he was special, that his love for high school sports and for education was sincere and intense, and that he raised the bar for students who had the good fortune to work with him.
The third annual “Keep Going for Mark Brockett!” will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Cemeno’s Restaurant on Essington Road in Joliet. The cost is $30 and includes dinner and beverage.
According to the family website, “Dinner and/or lottery ticket donations will continue to support an annual $2,500 scholarship for a Joliet Central student to attend the University of Illinois at Springfield, as well a $1,000 scholarship for a Lemont High School varsity volleyball player to attend the college of his choice. We are happy to announce there will be lights installed under the viaduct at the site of Mark’s accident beginning this May with a completion date of August 2012. Your continued encouragement and support helped make this happen!”
For more information, visit www.keepgoingformark.com.
The other inspiration is Lloyd Hoster Jr., a frequent guest on our Saturday morning Outdoor Notebook Radio Show on WJOL. Many years ago, Hoster read a column in which I described southern Wisconsin’s Lake Koshkonong and he ventured out one weekend to fish it.
It was love at first bite, and soon Lloyd and his two young sons were fixtures at the lake’s campground where they purchased a trailer.
The office drawers at Hoster’s Auto Body, a fixture in downtown Lemont where Lloyd worked with his dad, soon were brimming with photos of the Hosters fishing, boating and enjoying their neighbors at the campground.
Over the years, Hoster’s secret passion for cooking seeped out. He was the master chef behind tailgate parties before Lemont football games and at his incredible campground cookouts, which drew hundreds of his campground neighbors to the weekend-long affairs.
Hoster parlayed his passion for the outdoors and for cooking into meat raffle fundraisers for the food pantries in the township, the most recent of which was held at Lemont’s Stonehouse Pub and poured some $1,500 dollars into the pantries at a time when their cupboards were thin.
Who knows how many families his generosity helped over the years?
Hoster was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer a few weeks ago. Hoster’s Auto Body closed some years ago and he has been without health insurance. So, many of the people he helped over the years will gather from 2 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Stonehouse Pub, 103 Stephen St.
He was shocked when he saw a poster advertising the fundraiser at an auto parts store.
“I did a double take,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it.”
There will be entertainment and raffles, with proceeds going to the Lloyd Hoster Jr. Fund.
It’s the quiet guys who have helped build the quality of life we enjoy. The guys with huge hearts and a passion for helping others. That’s all I know about life, that every day is a mirror and what you’ve done for others will be reflected tenfold when it’s your turn.