PALOS HEIGHTS – Accomplishing dreams on the biggest stages can sometimes mean having rewards in a small corner of a hometown.
That was the situation for Kendall Coyne Schofield on Monday afternoon in the Misty Meadow subdivision of Palos Heights, the city where she grew up. The Team USA hockey member, Olympic gold medalist, and Chicago Blackhawks developmental coach had a park named in her honor in her hometown.
Created over the course of about a year and a half with the city along the foundation she has with her husband Michael, an Orland Park native & Bears offensive lineman, the dedication came on a rare off day for the couple.
“Our schedules don’t always line up, so it’s pretty special to be here,” said Schofield. “Then the turnout has been incredible.”
From city leaders to neighbors, even representatives from both teams the Bears & Blackhawks, many showed up for the opening of the “Kendall Coyne Dream Big Park.”
It’s the name that makes it unique to Coyne since it’s been her mantra since her days in the Chicago area as a youth. The phrase “Dream Big” even hangs over the entrance to the park for those who use it to see every time they walk in.
“Dream big is something that was said to me as a kid and I really believed in it. There’s no dream that’s too big,” said Coyne. “So every time a kid comes to this park, I hope that they walk out knowing that any dream that they have they can accomplish.
“It’s just something I live by. It’s a mantra of ours. So it’s the perfect name for this park.”
The project itself is one of a few things the Schofield Family Foundation has done since its founding by Kendall and Michael in 2019, but this being so close to home make it even more rewarding.
“This is something kinda something we always dreamt of doing. We kinda wanted to leave that lasting impression. Something that’s going to last a long time, hopefully forever,” said Schofield. “This is obviously one of those things that’s going to do that.
“So this is one thing that’s definetly super special for us.”
Larry Hawley of WGN News Now has more on the grand opening of the park in Palos Heights in the video above.