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April 6, 2011

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

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Pat Quinn and the Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service today presented 25 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.

“Every day in Illinois, thousands of volunteers donate their time and talents to help others and to build stronger communities,” said Governor Quinn. “We honor these individuals that have made positive change in our state and set an example for others to follow with their initiative, creativity and energy.”

Individual awards in each of the commission’s five service regions (Northeast, Northwest, East Central, West Central and Southern Illinois) are presented in three categories: youth ages 18 and under, adult ages 19-54 and seniors ages 55 and older. Additionally, National Service Awards were presented to one Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve Member in each region.

The Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards focus on five areas: Economic Opportunity, Education, Environmental Conservation, Disaster Preparedness/Response, 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.”
The Serve Illinois Commission is a 35-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.

A list of the 2011 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award recipients is attached. To learn more about the winners and Serve Illinois Commission and volunteerism in Illinois, visit Serve.Illinois.gov.

Below are the 2011 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award Recipients, honored at the Executive Mansion on April 6, 2011.  Each recipient’s bio will be released at www.Serve.Illinois.gov the day of the event.

Southern Illinois Award Recipients
Youth: Mallory Dawn Hammell - Crossville, IL
For service to: University of Illinois Extension Service, White County 4-H
Adult: Amy Simpson - Carterville, IL
For service to: Gum Drops
Senior: Carl DauBach - Fults, IL
For service to: Conserving Lands in Farm, Forest, Talus, or Prairie (CLIFFTOP)
AmeriCorps Member: Ben Taylor - Belleville, IL
For service to: Belleville AmeriCorps
Senior Corps Member: Jean Domingez - Mt. Vernon, IL
For service to: One Hope United Foster Grandparent Program

East Central Illinois Award Recipients
Youth: Abigail Westendorf - Effingham, IL
For service to: University of Illinois Extension Effingham County 4-H Program
Adult: Derrick Stapleton - Springfield, IL
For service to: Springfield Urban League/Frontiers International Springfield Club
Senior: Bobby Hall - Springfield, IL
For service to: Central Counties Health Centers, Inc
Learn and Serve Member: William Nesbitt - Catlin, IL
For service to: City of Catlin (through Catlin High School)
AmeriCorps Member: Ed Gaskill - Effingham, IL
For service to: Effingham City/County Committee on Aging
Senior Corps Member: Beverly Bazemore - Springfield, IL
For service to: One Hope United Foster Grandparent Program

West Central Illinois Award Recipients
Adult: Robin Forney - Brimfield, IL
For service to: University of Illinois Extension 4-H Program
Senior: Billy Stlegemeier - Staunton, IL
For service to: Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 1241
AmeriCorps Member: Isaac Pizzo - Gillespie, IL
For service to: Macoupin County Public Health Department
Senior Corps Member: Dr. John Fendrich - Peoria, IL
For service to: RSVP of Peoria and Tazewell Counties

Northwest Illinois Award Recipients
Adult: Ezekiel D. Hartman - Lanark, IL
For service to: Freeport Community Foundation - Youth Advisory Council (YAC)
Senior: Edward Leach - Rockford, IL
For service to: Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity
AmeriCorps Member: Patricia Crowell - Rockford, IL
For service to: Winnebago County Health Department and Kennedy Middle School
Senior Corps Member: Ed Mitchell - Moline, IL
For service to: RSVP of Eastern Iowa & Western Illinois, and Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging

Northeast Illinois Award Recipients
Youth: Andrew Katcha - Kenilworth, IL
For service to: The Joseph Sears School
Adult: Virginia Neuckranz - Winnetka, IL
For service to: Erika's Lighthouse: A Beacon of Hope for Adolescent Depression
Senior: Thomas Neuckranz - Winnetka, IL
For service to: Erika's Lighthouse: A Beacon of Hope for Adolescent Depression
Learn and Serve Member: Tyler Maly - Gages Lake, IL
For service to: Clyd Lash Academy
AmeriCorps Member: Joy Martin - McHenry, IL
For service to: Home of the Sparrow
Senior Corps Member: Paul Gantz - McHenry, IL
For service to: Senior Services Associates, Inc


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