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April 12, 2010

Serve Illinois Honors Illinoisans for Exemplary Community Service
Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards Highlight Volunteerism

SPRINGFIELD – Chief of Staff to Governor Pat Quinn, Jerry Stermer and the Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service today presented 13 Illinoisans with the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award.  The award recognizes volunteers who have made a difference in Illinois and highlights the importance of volunteerism and community service. 

“Thousands of volunteers across Illinois donate their time and talents each day to build stronger communities and help their neighbors,” said Stermer. “On behalf of Governor Quinn, we are recognizing these individuals for their initiative, creativity and energy that have made a positive change and have set an example for others to follow.” 

The Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards focus on five areas: Economic Opportunity, Education, Environmental Conservation, Health and Veterans’ Affairs.

“All citizens have an opportunity to recognize their ability and help strengthen their communities through voluntary service,” said Ted Gibbs, Executive Director of Serve Illinois. “Through Serve Illinois, we hope to expand volunteerism throughout rural, suburban and urban Illinois, and involve people of all backgrounds, cultures and ages.”

Individual awards were presented in three age categories: youth age 18 and under, adult age 19-54, and retiree/senior age 55 and older. Awards were presented in each of the Commission’s five service regions across the state: Northeast, Northwest, East Central, West Central and Southern Illinois.

A panel of judges from across the state selected the award recipients. The awards were presented during a luncheon held at the Executive Mansion in Springfield.
The Serve Illinois Commission is a 25-member, bi-partisan board appointed by the Governor and administered by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS). Its mission is to improve Illinois communities by enhancing traditional volunteer activities and supporting national service programs, including the Illinois AmeriCorps program.

To learn more about the Serve Illinois Commission and volunteerism in Illinois, visit www.Serve.Illinois.gov.
The 2010 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award recipients are:

Southern Illinois Award Recipients
Joshua Greene, Bluford, IL – Youth
Volunteer Service in Education
• Nominated for work with the Junior Master Gardner program through University of Illinois Extension.
Dale Fowler, Harrisburg, IL – Adult
Volunteer Service in Education
• Nominated for instituting the “Coats for Kids” program through United Way and the Saline County Schools.
Jo Poshard, Murphysboro, IL – Senior
Volunteer Service in Health
• Nominated for founding, with her husband, the Poshard Foundation for Abused Children and continued volunteer work since its inception.

East Central Illinois Award Recipients
Nicholas Jordan, Bloomington, IL  – Youth
Volunteer Service in Environmental Conservation
• Nominated for organizing Central Catholic High School to benefit St. Jude’s Ranch for Children.
Grant Michael Reed, Champaign, IL – Adult
Volunteer Service in Health
• Nominated for founding the Illini Medical Screening Society.
Mike Clagg, Altamont, IL – Senior
Volunteer Service in Environmental Conservation
• Nominated for work at the Ballard Nature Center.

West Central Illinois Award Recipients
Cristina Campos, Galesburg, IL – Adult
Volunteer Service in Education
• Nominated for work as a volunteer literacy tutor at Carl Sandburg College Literacy Coalition.
Jack Larson, Galesburg, IL – Senior
Volunteer Service in Education
• Nominated for extensive service to the Galesburg community, notably through “Project Santa” (shoe and gift distribution with the Galesburg Community Foundation and local Elks lodge) and support of the School District #205’s band program.

Northwest Illinois Award Recipients
Brad Foreman, Rapids City, IL – Adult
Volunteer Service in Education
• Nominated for service at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mississippi Valley
Janis Haugen, East Moline, IL – Senior
Volunteer Service in Economic Opportunity
• Nominated for service at The Arc of Rock Island County

Northeast Illinois Award Recipients
Katelyn Mucci, Streamwood, IL – Youth
Volunteer Service in Education
• Nominated for volunteering for a variety of community and youth outreach programs through Hanover Township Youth & Family Services.
Matthew Cross, Chicago, IL – Adult
Volunteer Service in Economic Opportunity
• Nominated for volunteering at the Safer Foundation.
Sandy DeChant, Chicago, IL – Senior
Volunteer Service in Environmental Conservation
• Nominated for after-school environmental service club through the Chicago Conservation Corps at Pulaski Elementary Fine Arts Academy.


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