News - Joliet and Will County

Joliet Boys & Girls Club recognizes employee’s 50 years of service

Longtime staffer receives Senate recognition

Frank Bati, of the George Werden Buck Boys & Girls Club, prepares to blow out the candles of his cake Monday as he is celebrated for 50 years of service to the Joliet organization.

JOLIET – A longtime staff member of the George Werden Buck Boys & Girls Club received a special surprise Monday for his decades of service to Joliet youths.

Waiting for Frank Bati inside the club Monday were other staff and the Board of Directors, ready to congratulate him for 50 years of dedicated service to an organization that serves youth with educational and recreational programs.

Also awaiting him was recognition from the Illinois Senate, thanks to state Sen. Pat McGuire, D-Joliet.

The celebration caught Bati by surprise.

“Thanks everybody. Can I stop blushing now?” he said, laughing, after shaking hands and hugging many who attended, including his wife, Jackie Bati.

Kahlil Diab, the club’s executive director, said Frank has been involved with everything at the club over the years, including maintenance, programming and the pool. Frank serves as the club’s youth coordinator, according to the organization’s website.

“He’s still here. He’s not going anywhere,” Diab said.

Frank’s time at the club stretches back to 1967, when it was just the Boys Club. He was one of the original members of the Boys Club before then. The club extended its membership to girls in 1976 in an effort to reach out to more youths.

“This is probably the best organization in Joliet as far as I’m concerned. The kids love it here, they love us and we’re here for the kids,” Frank said to his colleagues.

Jackie said Frank loves working with the kids at the club and he’s met a lot of people through it. She said he likes being at the Boys & Girls Club and is very devoted to it.

“I think it’s kept him young being around the kids. This is like his second home,” she said.

Frank said the club has been a part of his life. When many of the children who go the club grow up, they come back and talk about the good it’s done for them, he said.

“I’ve never got tired of being here,” he said.

While Frank was treated to cake for the occasion, he also was given recognition from the state Senate. McGuire read him the recognition, which acknowledged his 50 years of dedication and service, commending him for his commitment to serve as a mentor to youths.

“Which makes him an outstanding role model for all the citizens of Illinois,” McGuire said.

Felix Sarver

Felix Sarver

Felix Sarver covers crime and courts for The Herald-News