News Release - April 23, 2014 


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Governor Quinn 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 will present 23 Illinoisans and 4 businesses with the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award during a special reception at the Executive Mansion on April 28, 2014. The award recognizes volunteers and volunteer programs that 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.”

The Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards focus on five areas: Economic Opportunity, Education, Environmental Conservation, Disaster Preparedness/Response, Health, and Veterans’ Affairs. 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 in each region. This year marks the second time that the Business Volunteer Engagement Awards will be presented in each region.

“Volunteerism is what makes life worth living, and I am proud to say that Illinois has a vast number of people that are working each day to improve all of our lives,” said Brandon Bodor, 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 40 member, bi-partisan, board appointed by the Governor and administered by the Illinois Department of Human Services. Its mission is to improve Illinois communities by enhancing traditional volunteer activities and supporting national service programs, including the Illinois AmeriCorps program. For more information, please visit

The following is a list of the 2014 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award recipients. Recipient biographies can be found on Serve Illinois’ website at

Southern Illinois Award Recipients

  • Adult: Brent Miller - Ullin
    • For service to: Century High School
  • AmeriCorps Member: Claudia Blackman - Carterville
    • For service to: American Red Cross
  • Senior: John Flora, Sr. – Carterville
    • For service to: Thrift Store
  • Senior Corps Member: Geanette Wilson - Sparta
    • For service to: IMPACK, Inc.
  • Youth: Nicole Doornink – Glen Carbon
    • For service to: ASAP Coalition

East Central Illinois Award Recipients

  • Adult: Jeff Carns - Champaign
    • For service to: Daily Bread Soup Kitchen
  • AmeriCorps Member: Rebecca Moss – Peoria
    • For service to: Knox County Health Department
  • Business: Mr. John’s School of Cosmetology, Esthetics and Nails – Decatur
    • For service to: Ronald McDonald House of Charities of Central Illinois
  • Senior: Jami Hemmenway - Eureka
    • For service to: Eureka Christian Church
  • Senior Corps Member: Jack Sunderlik - Springfield
    • For service to: Dubois and McClernand Elementary Schools
  • Youth: Rebecca Wiggins - Decatur
    • For service to: United States Armed Forces

West Central Illinois Award Recipients

  • Adult: Kassie Courson - Macomb
    • For service to: McDonough County VIBE
  • Business: Diversified Services, Inc. - Jacksonville
    • For service to: Jacksonville Community
  • Senior: Alex Cole - Jacksonville
    • For service to: North Morgan Water Coop
  • Senior Corps Member: Vi Heinz - Washington
    • For service to: Peoria Friendship House of Christian Service
  • Youth: Hailea Hadsall - Macomb
    • For service to: The First Tee of Western Illinois University

Northwest Illinois Award Recipients

  • Adult: Jeff Metheny - Rockford
    • For service to: Vietnam Veterans of America Post 984
  • AmeriCorps Member: Ronald Happach - Sheffield
    • For service to: LVI Jumpstart
  • Business: Wal-Mart Distribution Center #7024
    • For service to: Whiteside and Lee Counties
  • Senior Corps Member: Laurie Tyler – Rock Island
    • For service to: RSVP of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois
  • Youth: Jenni Eastman - Kewanee
    • For service to: Sunshine Community Services Center

Northeast Illinois Award Recipients

  • Adult: Clayton Muhammad - Aurora
    • For service to: Boys-II Men
  • AmeriCorps Member: Da-Eun (Shira) Choi - Evanston
    • For service to: Heartland Health Outreach
  • Business: Fifth Third Bank Chicago - Chicago
    • For service to: Chicagoland
  • Senior: Patrick Hayes - Woodstock
    • For service to: Elgin Area Chamber
  • Senior Corps Member: Sharon Black - Joliet
    • For service to: Catholic Charities
  • Youth: Bradley Wilinski - Gurnee
    • For Service to: Tourette Syndrome Association of Illinois

» Read About the Winners

» More Information on the Governor's Volunteer Service Awards

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