*Illinois Paddling Council Announces “Lifetime Achievement Award*
*Sigrid Pilgrim Recognized for Leadership*
*November 18, 2011* *FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*
On Saturday, November 19th, the Illinois Paddling Council (IPC) will present Evanston resident Sigrid Pilgrim with its “Lifetime Achievement Award”. “Sig” has been a lifelong advocate for paddling instruction and safety, a state and national paddling community leader, and one of the founders of the current incarnation of the Illinois Paddling Council. Sig Pilgrim was present at the rebirth of the Illinois Paddling Council as an advocacy organization on Oct.1, 1995 at the statewide "Gathering at the Confluence" near Channahon. She held the follow-up meeting a month or so later in the basement of her Evanston home. That meeting formally established the IPC as the statewide advocacy Council it is today.
In the mid 1990's Sig served three years on the board of American Canoe Association. From 1995 to 1998 she edited and published “Pole and Paddle”, the ACA’s Midwest Division newsletter. The national organization recognized Sig’s work with its “Outstanding ACA Division Volunteer Award” in 1997 and its “Presidents Award for Outstanding Service to ACA on a National Level” in 2004.
Sig was instrumental in producing the 1997 Safety on the Water Conference at the College of DuPage. She was an active member of Chicago Whitewater Association and for fourteen years organized and taught the club’s Evanston pool sessions. She was certified as a kayak instructor and organized and participated in the first Adaptive Paddling workshop in the Chicago area for people with disabilities.
Sig's untiring energy and unparalleled event production skills spearheaded the creation and success of “Paddling in the Park” for twelve years. The regional paddlesports festival was held in Palatine and featured local retailers, clubs and low cost paddling skills instruction.
For more than 15 years, Sig’s service as a board member, and her marketing talents, have helped the IPC promote the growth and membership of the Illinois Paddling Council, and its efforts to promote safety, access, communication, competition and conservation. Sig’s lengthy record of leadership in paddling clubs and state and national advocacy organizations, her promotion of paddling safety, and service as an instructor and river conservationist is truly inspiring. The Illinois Paddling Council is pleased to recognize Sigrid Pilgrim's decades of service with its “Lifetime Achievement Award”.