The award was given by the California Park and Recreation Society (CPRS) District 8
ATASCADERO — It was announced on Wednesday, Oct. 5, by the City of Atascadero’s Recreation Division that Mark Capozzoli was selected to receive the 2022 Champion of the Community Award by the California Park and Recreation Society (CPRS) District 8. The Colony Park Pickleball Courts were also awarded the Excellence in Design: Facility & Park Planning Award.
“Mark has been volunteering in Atascadero with the multiple youth leagues, programs, and activities for many years. He has logged in many volunteer hours, which include coaching youth sports, being a Boy Scout den leader, a youth soccer referee administrator, a middle school volunteer and dance committee member, and the AHS PTSA president,” said an Atascadero Recreation Team representative. “Mark has volunteered five years as the Little League President, plus well over five years of coaching youth baseball, soccer and basketball. He even stepped in to help with traffic control at a local elementary school when needed and worked with our local Police Department to improve safety for students around the middle school. Mark and his wife are also mentors to new foster families in his free time.
“From our Recreation team’s perspective, Mark has been an amazing asset to the youth in our community as well as our own Recreation team. Having his support over the years and also returning the favor of supporting him and whatever program he is putting his time and energy into has been very rewarding in creating positive, forward momentum for our youth programs in Atascadero.”
Mark and his wife (who teaches fourth grade at Atascadero Middle School) moved to Atascadero in 2008 with their then 5-year-old adopted son. In 2010 they decided they wanted to have more kids, so when the adoption agency called them about a little girl under 3, they were ecstatic. During the call, they were also told that the little girl had a younger brother and sister. The Capozzolis adopted all three siblings, bringing their brood up to four children under 6. It didn’t take long before all four Capozzoli kids got involved in the community by playing sports.
“We got involved in the community and the sports and didn’t even think twice about it [with their oldest son], and then as our other kids came and then they started to get involved,” stated Capozzoli. “Getting involved was another way for my kids to meet their friends and us to meet people. Obviously, right now, I mean, we’ve been here a while, and some of our dearest friends are people that I coached with or refereed with or had practices with.”
The Atascadero Recreation Team went on to say that they were very excited to see the 2022 Champion of the Community CPRS District 8 award go to someone as dedicated as Capozzoli and that the award will also be up for nomination at the state level at the CPRS conference in April 2023.
“It felt great. I mean, that’s not the reason I do what I do, but it felt great because I know it’s betterment for all the kids in the community, which is something that is important to myself and our family,” Capozzoli said.
The Recreation Team went on to add that Capozzoli always puts a focus on supporting the overall good of the youth in the Atascadero community.
“It’s really our village that got us through the two-year adoption program with our kids,” Capozzoli said. “But also, it was our village that kept us busy on the baseball fields, the soccer fields, the basketball courts, and all that stuff. Like I said, it’s always great to be recognized; that’s not why I, or we, do those things. It is nice, but at the end of the day, it’s for the kids.”