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Gaffino named North Auroran of the Year

NORTH AURORA – Whether it is organizing the village’s North Aurora Days or serving as a coach for the North Aurora Baseball Association, North Aurora village Trustee Mark Gaffino likes giving back to the community.

For his efforts, the North Aurora Lions Club on Tuesday presented Gaffino with the 2012 North Auroran of the Year award during the club’s annual awards dinner. Gaffino was surprised and humbled by the honor.

“It’s easy to be involved when you have a great town like North Aurora,” the 52-year-old said. “I just view it as an opportunity to serve.”

He is in the fourth year as chairman of the North Aurora Days Committee. Gaffino’s volunteer activities also extend to the North Aurora Lions Club.

He has been a member of the Lions Club for 13 years and serves as the club’s treasurer.

Fellow Lions Club member and North Aurora Village President Dale Berman recommended Gaffino receive the award.

“He certainly deserved it,” Berman said. “He is totally dedicated to the community, whether as a village trustee or his activities on the Lions Club. He does everything and is everywhere.”

Gaffino’s volunteering efforts began when he was 12 and helped the Jaycees with a village cleanup.

“I am proud to do my part,” Gaffino said. “I believe in giving back.”

North Aurora police officer Mark Shillair also received the 2012 Police Officer of the Year award.

Shillair was nominated for his actions during an Aug. 4 incident in which a 33-year-old man threatened to jump off a bridge. Shillair pulled the man off of the wall and onto the ground before he could jump.

In addition, Dan Coady was given the North Aurora Firefighter of the Year award.

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