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January 31, 2007

Gov. Blagojevich announces $100,000 grant to help Citizen Corps Councils prepare communities for emergencies
More than 60 local Citizen Corps Councils in Springfield this week for statewide workshop

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a $100,000 grant to help local Citizen Corps Councils throughout the state better prepare their communities for disasters. Funds for the grant come from fees paid for special “America Remembers” vehicle license plates, which pay tribute to the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

“We’re very fortunate to have so many volunteers across the state who are willing to give their time and effort to help their communities prepare for emergencies,” said Gov. Blagojevich. “After the federal government cut funding for Citizen Corps Councils by 25 percent this year, we decided we needed to step up to make sure they have the resources they need to keep their communities safe.”

For every “America Remembers” license plate purchased or renewed, $25 is donated to the September 11th Fund. The fund was created to support public safety initiatives related to acts of terrorism or other disasters in Illinois. The $100,000 grant announced today will be used by the Illinois Terrorism Task Force’s (ITTF) Illinois Citizen Corps Council to provide grants to local Citizen Corps Councils to support their training, community preparedness and public information efforts.

The Illinois Citizen Corps Council will conduct a grant application process this spring for grant funds that become available on July 1. Funds will be divided equally between all local councils requesting the grants. To be eligible, local Citizen Corps Councils must be registered with the State by January 31, 2007.

The grant was announced today in Springfield at a statewide workshop for local Citizen Corps Councils. Citizen Corps Councils are community-based organizations with a mission of making their areas better prepared for disasters. Representatives from more than 60 local Citizen Corps Councils throughout Illinois are attending the two-day conference sponsored each year by the ITTF’s Illinois Citizen Corps Council.

The national Citizen Corps initiative was developed in the wake of September 11, 2001 to bring volunteers and first responder organizations together to help communities better prepare for, and respond to, all types of emergencies. The Citizen Corps program began in 2002, and today there are nearly 2,100 local Citizen Corps Councils across the United States, serving nearly three-fourths of the U.S. population. Illinois has more than 90 Citizen Corps Councils throughout the state, and the number of councils continues to grow steadily each year. The Illinois Citizen Corps Council, an ITTF committee, provides support for Citizen Corps Councils in Illinois through training and education.

While Citizen Corps volunteers are trained to assist during emergencies in their communities, that training had a much more far-reaching impact in 2004 when nearly 170 volunteers from Citizen Corps Councils in Illinois took part in recovery efforts following several hurricanes in the southeast of the U.S. Illinois sent the third largest state contingent of volunteers for this nationwide effort.

The Citizen Corps conference today offers participants the opportunity to hear from State and federal officials about developments in the Citizen Corps program, learn response techniques and hear from other Citizen Corps Councils about their program successes.

The following Citizen Corps Councils attended the workshop in Springfield on Tuesday:

Adams County
Arlington Heights
Buffalo Grove
Clay County
Des Plaines
Douglas County
DuPage County
Effingham County
Fayette County
Fremont Township
Fox Lake
Hanover Park
Hawthorn Woods
Highland Park
Jefferson County
Judson College
Kankakee County
Lake County
Lake in the Hills
LaSalle County
Lawrence County
Long Grove
Macon County
Macoupin County
Madison County
Marion County
Milton Township
Northwest Henry County
Prairie City
Quad Cities Area
Sangamon County
Tinley Park
West Chicago
Will County
Wood Dale
Woodford County


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