Governor's Volunteer Service Awards 2013 


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The following are recepients of the 2013 Governor's Volunteer Service Awards.

Southern Illinois Award Recipients

Paige Logan

Paige Logan

Paige Logan, a senior at Altamont High School is the daughter of Mike & Patti Logan of Altamont.

Paige travels to the State Capitol speaking with legislators and educating them on the leadership skills she learned in 4-H. She assisted with getting the P2D2 Program started in Effingham County which is a prescription drug recycling program. As of 4-1-13, Effingham County has successfully collected 1900 lbs. for the P2D2 Program.

Paige wrote a grant to help secure funds for her School Resource Officer Jeff Suckow to bring Rachel’s Challenge to all students in Effingham County. Rachel's Challenge is a series of student empowering programs and strategies that equip students and adults to combat bullying. The programs are based on the writings and life of 17 year-old Rachel Scott who was the first student killed at Columbine High School in 1999.

Paige brought the anti-bullying NO Bull Program to Effingham County & state. The Great American NO BULL Challenge is a global video contest and education program that impacts millions of teens by spreading awareness about anti-bullying and digital responsibility. Paige spoke before her county board and the Effingham County Board members made a proclamation that Effingham County is a NO BULL county. Effingham County was the first county in our nation to make that proclamation! Paige was one of eight selected to be the voice for nearly 8 million youth in America during the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Summit in Washington D.C. 4-H gave her the leadership skills she needed to cope with a difficult time in her life and believes leadership skills can help other youth too. Being a firm believer in these skills, Paige continues to teach at county & state leadership conferences.

Paige serves on the Illinois School Board Student Advisory Council, National Spokesperson for The Great American NO BULL Challenge, Effingham County 4-H Youth Ambassadors, Vice-President of her class, Student Council, IL Youth Leadership Team, and Speaking for Illinois 4-H.

For her service to U of I Extension--Effingham County, Paige received a Youth Service Governor’s Volunteer Service Award on April 18th, 2013.

Corinne Hansen

Corinne Hansen

Corinne Hansen has lived all over the country, first as a corporate brat, then as an Air Force Wife. They are now stationed at Scott Air Force Base, where she lives with her two children and her husband Chuck, who is currently serving in Iraq.

St. Elizabeth Hospital, in Belleville, IL, is a non-profit hospital with an important mission: To reveal & embody Christ's healing love for all people. Volunteers enhance the healing efforts of colleagues in many ways, but Corinne is unlike other volunteers because she has experienced firsthand what many of our Behavioral Health patients are struggling with. Diagnosed with Bi-Polar disorder in 2003, she struggled through 7 years of the disease before treatment at St. Elizabeth helped her become symptom free in 2010. Corinne started volunteering not just to show gratitude to the hospital but also to provide hope for individuals with mental illness by sharing her story in a monthly outpatient recovery support group. She also serves as the Auxiliary Vice President, sits on several committees, helps organize quarterly informational luncheons, decorates bulletin boards, helps with administrative work, sews prayer shawls, and crochets baby hats and eyeglass cases for patients. She also represents the hospital in the community at health fairs and other special events.

For her service to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Corinne received an Adult Service Governor’s Volunteer Service Award on April 18th, 2013.

Kim Strellis

Kim Strellis

Kim Strellis lives in Waterloo, Illinois with her husband Jack. Together they have five sons, one daughter and seven grandchildren. After working for the airlines for 16 years and a layoff, a door of need opened with the Monroe County EMA. Kim volunteered and implemented the CERT(Community Emergency Response Team) program and Citizen Corps Council in Monroe County and served as council chair and CERT coordinator. She created a children's disaster preparedness program, Sam “Ready I Am”, and organized a mascot contest and two area-wide disaster preparedness events. Sam and Kim have given many presentations to adults and children on the importance of being prepared. Kim serves on the STARRS Citizen Preparedness subcommittee that approved providing backpacks with protective gear to children ages 5-8, as part of the Sam “Ready I Am” program. She is also county team leader for food distribution in the event of a disaster.

Kim loves to travel and write and is thankful to God for all the opportunities He has given her to learn and serve. In addition to the EMA, she also currently volunteers with the Red Cross, Waterloo Lions, Violence Prevention, Soaring Spirit Ministries, HCE (Home Community and Education) and the Legal Auxiliary. In Jan. 2013 she helped form an autism support group in Monroe County with the help of the Illinois Center for Autism.

For her service to Monroe County Emergency Management Agency, Kim received a Senior Service Governor’s Volunteer Service Award on April 18th, 2013.

Evelyn Martinez

Evelyn Martinez

Evelyn Martinez is an AmeriCorps member working as a Literacy Specialist in the Jump Start Program at IYC-Harrisburg. She began volunteering with the program in late 2011 as a one-on-one tutor. Evelyn joined AmeriCorps as a minimum time member, and has recently become a full-time AmeriCorps member for the 2012-13 year. Her position includes creating lesson plans, tutoring students one-on-one, and helping them to achieve their academic goals. Although she is full-time at IYC- Harrisburg during the week, her entire weekend is devoted to caring for elders in need in the community.

Evelyn began her career in the office of the Illinois Secretary of State in Springfield. Later, she became an elementary school teacher and taught at Faith Tabernacle School in Rockford, IL for 12 years. After retiring from teaching, she continued to work part-time as a home health aide. She holds an Associate of Arts Degree in Elementary Education from Rock Valley Community College.

For her service to Illinois Youth Center, Evelyn received an AmeriCorps Service Governor’s Volunteer Service Award on April 18, 2013

Howard Hagler

Howard Hagler

Howard was born in Rock Springs, Wyoming in 1943, but grew up in Neosho, Missouri. He served in the Army’s First Infantry Division out of Fort Riley, Kansas from 1960- 1963. He then came to settle in Belleville, IL to be closer to family where he raised 6 children. Howard worked for the Midwest Rubber Co. and then at Roesch Inc., both in Belleville. He later found more of his true calling in construction with his own drywall business.

Once retired, he sought out ways to occupy his time by giving back to his community. In May of 2008, through the advice from a friend, he looked into becoming a volunteer. No stranger to serving his country, Howard Hagler now serves his community as a volunteer in the Senior Companion Program. Howard spends his days helping seniors with daily activities: such as fixing lunch, medication reminders or driving them to doctor appointments. Three times a week Howard assists Robert who is a veteran himself. Howard sees to it that Robert gets to the local VA hospital for his doctor appointments and often they can be found at the senior center playing cards and sharing war stories. In the past 5 years Howard has contributed over 3700 volunteer hours of service with the Senior Companion Program.

For his service to Southwestern Illinois College Senior Companion Program, Howard received a Senior Corps Service Governor’s Volunteer Service Award on April 18, 2013.

Old National Bank

Old National Bank

Old National's banking center suffered extensive damage after the Harrisburg tornado in February of 2012, but that did not keep their team of volunteers from moving into action to help the community through service ranging from hands-on cleanup efforts to issuing permits so that contractors could quickly enter those areas hardest hit.

Herb Klickner, Market President, has been instrumental in leading the relief efforts. He serves on a memorial committee comprised of community leaders who have been raising funds to purchase a special monument to honor the victims who lost their lives. In addition to funding, Old National has donated the land for the memorial. A special milestone was celebrated on December 18, 2012, when a groundbreaking ceremony for the memorial was held.

Old National’s Southern Illinois volunteers have a strong commitment to community service. In 2012, 112 volunteers gave over 9,400 hours of service in activities ranging from mentoring school children to providing leadership on non-profit boards in addition to disaster relief efforts. This equates to a 95% volunteer participation rate for the region which is significant when compared to national volunteer benchmarks. While it is their hope that we do not need to respond to another natural disaster, their associates are ready and willing to do so if needed.

For their service to Old National Bank’s Southern Illinois Region, Old National Bank received a Business Service Governor’s Volunteer Service Award on April 18th, 2013.

East Central Illinois Award Recipients

Amy Hagen

Amy Hagen

Amy K. Hagen is currently the President of US Bank, N.A. in Taylorville and in her 23 year career in financial services, has served in countless volunteer capacities for various non-profit organizations throughout Central Illinois. Her decade-long involvement with the Central Illinois Foodbank, Inc., based in Springfield and serving 21 counties, includes food collection and product distribution, awareness building, fund raising and board governance. In the midst of her tenure as board president in the Autumn of 2010, Amy took on the responsibility of starting and promoting the mobile food pantry concept in Christian County. Since that time, Amy has volunteered or served as the mobile pantry team leader in ten of the twelve pantries. Amy’s leadership and dedication to this cause results in quarterly distributions to an ever- increasing number of needy families. Since September 2010, there have been 150,000 pounds of food distributed by over 300 volunteers to over 1,500 households, including over 5,000 individuals, comprised of 1,800 children and 500 senior citizens. Amy has inspired volunteers of all ages, most recently seeing a large following of the student population from Taylorville High School, which has served as a host location of the last two mobile pantries. Amy is married to Keith Waterman and resides in Taylorville.

For her service to Central Illinois Food Bank, Amy received an Adult Service Governor’s Volunteer Service Award on April 18th, 2013.

Michael Murray

Michael Murray

Michael Murray is an Illinois native and a 1966 graduate of Charleston High School in Charleston, Illinois. Mike attained his bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University in political science and English. During his four years at Iowa State he was a letterman on the Cyclone basketball team achieving Academic All-America honors in 1968. Mike received his law degree from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri.

During Mike’s entire adult life he has been heavily involved in community and civic affairs, including extensive volunteer service in each of the communities in which he has lived.

Upon moving to Charleston in 1996, Mike immediately became active in the Charleston community. While maintaining an active professional life with the Carle Clinic and Hospital, and now, in semi retirement, with Eastern Illinois University, he has served in numerous volunteer roles including: multiple terms as president and treasurer of the Immanuel Lutheran Church, vice president of the Mattoon Area Family YMCA, board member of the Coles County Council on Aging, and president of the Coles Community Health Program (the founding organization of the Coles County Community Health Center ,now known as the Mattoon Medical Center). Mike was named Charleston Citizen of the Year in 2011.

Mike is also a small business owner in Charleston and currently owns and manages M & L Properties, Village Point Properties LLC, and MLM Properties LLC providing college housing for approximately 130 Eastern Illinois University students.

For his service to Coles County Council on Aging, Michael received a Senior Service Governor’s Volunteer Service Award on April 18th, 2013.

Ruth Hieronymos

Ruth Hieronymos

Ruth Ann is a cancer survivor and was the honored Cancer Survivor for the Logan County Relay for Life in 2012. She has been Captain of the Northern Lites Team for 15 years. She was Library clerk at the Atlanta Elementary School for 26 years and Crossing Guard for 30 years.

Ruth Ann is a member of the Eminence Christian Church, rural Atlanta, and served on the Steering Committee for Atlanta’s 150th Celebration, has been Grand Marshall for Atlanta’s Fall Festival Parade, a Reach to Recovery volunteer for breast cancer, and participates in the nationwide Tell-A-Friend Cancer Program.

She has been a Foster Grandparent for almost eight years at Washington-Monroe Elementary School in Lincoln, Illinois, in the two 2nd grades. Ruth Ann believes there wouldn’t be so much violence in Illinois schools if there were more Foster Grandparent programs in the state.

For her service to Community Action Partnership of Central Illinois Foster Grandparent Program, Ruth received a Senior Corps Service Governor’s Volunteer Service Award on April 18th, 2013.

Illinois National Bank

Illinois National Bank

Over the course of seven weeks, 12 INB employees dedicated their time and knowledge to teaching girls in kindergarten, 1st , and 2nd grades at Matheny-Withrow Elementary School and Pleasant Hill about topics like budgeting, debt, and goal-setting on behalf of the Girl Scouts.

Mark Donovan, vice president of commercial lending for INB said, “we knew it was important to go beyond just teaching children what money is, but also how to use it responsibly, the implications of saving versus spending, and that goal-setting with money is just as important as in other aspects of life. We are grateful for the opportunity to teach the future generation about the importance of financial literacy because the earlier they learn about these topics, the earlier they can apply this knowledge to develop successful financial habits and goals.”

This is the first year for the program, which was presented at both Matheny-Withrow and Pleasant Hill elementary schools. The Girl Scouts of Central Illinois is extremely appreciative of the support from INB to further their mission.

Illinois National Bank, selected as the 2009 Outstanding Philanthropic Corporation by the Capitol Area Association of Fundraising Professionals, is based in Springfield, and operates a total of 11 branches in central Illinois. A locally-owned bank, INB provides a full range of traditional banking services to individuals and businesses, including commercial and retail banking, trust and brokerage, cash management, Internet banking and remittance processing.

For their service to Girl Scouts of Central Illinois District 186, Illinois National Bank received a Business Service Governor’s Volunteer Service Award on April 18th, 2013.

West Central Illinois Award Recipients

Sophia Marcolla

Sophia Marcolla

Sophia Marcolla is a 7th grader at St. Peter’s Catholic School in Quincy, Illinois. She is the daughter of Richard and Lora Marcolla, and the younger sister of Hannah. She is a member of the Gem City Tumbling Team, a guard for the Aces Basketball Team, and a member of a local vocal group. At St Peter she is a straight A student, she writes for the school newspaper and was recently chosen for Operation Snowball, a group which promotes a drug free lifestyle. She is a Girl Scout and Volunteers for the Quincy Humane Society.

In January of 2012, Sophia created “Picks for Pups”, as a result of a school campaign called, “Go make a Difference”. Her whole family gets involved as they create one of a kind Guitar Pick shaped necklaces from recycled gift cards with funds benefiting the animals at the Quincy Humane Society. She began selling them before school, and later branched out to a few area pet events in addition to being available at the Quincy Humane Society. Each necklace sells for only $2 each and is a great way to show your support to all those animals out there that need a helping hand. To date Sophie has raised over $1000.

Sophia has shown that even a 12 year old can make a difference with her service to her community. She has received honors such as the Breakfast Optimist Club Marty Higgins Memorial Youth Volunteer of the Year Award, the Prudential Spirit of Community Award, a Kohl’s Kids Care Award, and a President’s Volunteer Service Award.

For her service to Quincy Humane Society, Sophia is received a Youth Service Governor’s Volunteer Service Award on April 18th, 2013.

Dan Dietrich

Dan Dietrich

It is with great sadness that this award for volunteer recognition is awarded posthumously due to Dan Dietrich's untimely death in early January 2013.

Dan met a vital need in the Quincy community by volunteering as a literacy tutor for the JWCC Adult Volunteer Literacy Program. He was an active tutor for 26 years. Dan was one of the most dedicated tutors in the JWCC program. His passion of languages and interest in different world cultures made him a perfect fit for this role as an ESL tutor. He spoke fluent Spanish and was a regular participant in the monthly Spanish mass held at St. Francis Catholic Church in Quincy. He traveled the world to learn about different cultures first hand. His teaching and tutoring methods were often based on ways of communicating that he had learned in his travels. His teaching and mentoring reached far outside the JWCC literacy program and not only into the community but the world. He was a natural and enthusiastic teacher who delighted in knowing that he made a difference by helping individuals overcome communication barriers.

For his service to John Wood Community College Adult Volunteer Literacy, Dan received an Adult Service Governor’s Volunteer Service Award on April 18th, 2013.

Dan Thompson

Dan Thompson

Dan Thompson was born in Joliet and attended the Illinois Braille and Sight Saving School, graduating in 1972 after completing an accelerated three year high school program. He married his childhood sweetheart Judie, and they have two adult children. After graduating with honors from SIU/Carbondale, he taught junior and senior high school before becoming the first blind Disability Adjudicator for the State. He began teaching at his alma mater, Illinois School for the Visually Impaired, in 1991, retiring in 2011. He has authored two books, and is currently on the board of his church and of the Jacksonville Area Center for Independent Living (JACIL).

Dan’s volunteer career has crossed several decades. He founded the Care for Kids Foundation for runaways and orphans, has participated in fund raising activities such as a 250 mile walk to raise $10,000 for disaster relief and 17+ days of flag pole sitting. Dan established the ASPIRE (Achieving Success by Providing Individuals with Recycled Equipment) Foundation to refurbish old computers to give away, especially to visually impaired people. Since his retirement he has provided many hours of volunteer instruction in technology to people in the community.

For his service to Jacksonville Area Center for Independent Living, Dan is receiving a Senior Service Governor’s Volunteer Service Award on April 18th, 2013.

Katie Brunk

Katie Brunk

Katie Brunk, born and raised in Virginia, Illinois, is a 2010 graduate of Illinois College. During her college career, Brunk took advantage of opportunities to study abroad in Heidelberg, Germany; served as a volunteer teacher in Tanzania; and completed an internship with Women for Women International while studying in Washington, D.C. After graduation, Brunk taught in Germany for a year as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant. She then served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Lesotho.

Both academically and professionally, Brunk is interested in eliminating poverty and empowering women and girls worldwide. As an AmeriCorps VISTA with Illinois Campus Compact, she currently coordinates The Sonya Project, a reading buddy program at low-income elementary schools in Jacksonville, and works with first generation college students at Illinois College.

For her service to Illinois College, Katie received an AmeriCorps Service Governor’s Volunteer Service Award on April 18th, 2013.

Jim Fisher


Jim lives in Quincy and just recently celebrated a 10 year service milestone with Adams County RSVP. He joined the program in January of 2003 after retiring from his job as a truck driver. For the last nine years, every Tuesday and Wednesday, Jim has transported disabled veterans from Quincy and the surrounding area to Iowa City, Iowa for medical care at the Veterans Administration Hospital & Clinic. His experience as a professional driver and his commitment to volunteer service has helped fill a growing need in our community. Jim considers it an honor to drive these Veterans to Iowa City each week because he considers each of these individuals heroes. He never tires of hearing their stories because he knows they have put their lives on the line for the United States and our freedom.

For his service to Adams County RSVP, Jim is receiving a Senior Corps Service Governor’s Volunteer Service Award on April 18th, 2013.

Hy-Vee, Harrison


Hy-Vee on Harrison Supermarket in Quincy and its employees have met a vital need in their community by supporting the RSVP Carry-out Caravan program for the last 25 years.

Carry-out Caravan is a weekly grocery shopping & delivery service. The service was started by Adams County RSVP to fulfill the need of seniors in the community with limited ability to leave home. The residents who utilize Carry-out Caravan live on fixed incomes and can’t afford to pay for a delivery service. Clients call in their orders to the RSVP office and volunteers fill and deliver orders.

Harrison Hy-Vee employees, Tammy Newton and Rose Clements, assist the Carry-out Caravan volunteers. They help the volunteers locate items on their shopping lists and operate a cash register lane that is open only for volunteers filling Carry-out Caravan Orders.

Hy-Vee has further supported this program by hosting an annual “sit down” Holiday Luncheon for everyone involved in the program. RSVP staffs, Carry-out- Caravan volunteers, and clients are invited. Harrison Hy-Vee has been supportive of the RSVP fund-raising efforts by donating a $100 gift card each year for the annual RSVP fundraiser raffle.

For their service to Adams County RSVP, Hy-Vee received a Business Service Governor’s Volunteer Service Award on April 18th, 2013.

Northeast Illinois Award Recipients

Sarah Dynia

Sarah Dynia

Sarah Dynia is a lifelong resident of Oak Lawn, IL and lives with her parents, Mark and Laura. She is a sophomore at Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School in Chicago, Illinois.

In 8th grade Sarah decided to create a non-profit organization called Stuffed Love to benefit others. Her plan was to create hand-stitched stuffed items and give them to those who need to know they are not forgotten. She never uses sewing machines, because she feels that each person deserves the personal attention of a hand-stitched pillow. Stuffed Love’s ability serves, but is not limited to the intellectually disabled, pediatric heart patients, veterans, seniors, economically disadvantaged, the homeless, and the sick.

Sarah came to Park Lawn in 2011 as a volunteer offering her services through Stuffed Love to give individuals with intellectual disabilities a chance to create projects for themselves. With the help of her creative nature, Park Lawn program participants have created items that enhance their environment. She also encourages others to participate in Park Lawn Fun Days event where she interacts directly with Park Lawn’s participants through activities including dancing, bingo and more. Stuffed Love also donates items to give away as prizes.

Sarah teamed with Mended Little Hearts of Chicago and their Care Bag Program to create hand-stitched Stuffed Love Hearts for pediatric heart patients have something to hold after heart surgery. Sarah has sewn over 1,000 pillows for the care bag program and the Angel Heart Memory Box program, which is for parents who are grieving the loss of a child due to Congenital Heart Defect.

Sarah provides services to other organizations such as: generationOn; Interact Club of Oak Lawn; Interfaith House; Mended Little Hearts of Chicago; Oak Lawn Children’s Museum; White Sox Volunteer Corps; and Worth Township Youth Service Bureau.

She is also a very active student, and a Catherine McAuley Honors Scholar. She is a member of Action/Reaction, EcoMacs, Junior Classical League, Math Club, Math Macs, Primary Colors, Science Club, Science Bowl Club, Student Ambassador’, W.I.S.E. and is a goalie on the lacrosse team.

For her service to Park Lawn and Activity Center, Sarah received a Youth Service Governor’s Volunteer Service Award on April 18th, 2013.

Daniel Sylvester

Daniel Sylvester

Dan Sylvester graduated from Georgetown University in 1988, where he attended on a 4-year Army ROTC Scholarship. He then went on to serve over 10 years as an Army Officer, receiving multiple awards, to include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and the Meritorious Service Medal. He is married to Patricia Richardson, also an Army Veteran. Dan is currently a candidate for his Juris Doctor from the DePaul College of Law, and a Master of Public Administration from the University of North Dakota and will graduate from both programs this year.

Dan founded the Veterans' Assistance Service Organization (VASO) at DePaul to get law students involved in the local veteran community. VASO has raised money to donate clothes to Chicago's Winter Standdown and craft items to the Jesse Brown VA Hospital. Additionally, it has sponsored an annual Veteran's Week program to educate law students on issue facing today's veterans. Finally, he is working with the DePaul administration to develop a Veterans' Legal Clinic at DePaul that will focus on different legal issues veterans face on a day-to-day basis.

For his service to Veterans’ Assistance Service Organization, Daniel received an Adult Service Governor’s Volunteer Service Award on April 18th, 2013.

James Adams

James Adams

James “Major” Adams was born in 1922 and raised on the Westside of Chicago. He graduated from Crane High School in 1939 and is the school’s oldest living alumni.

After serving a tour in Europe during WWII and working for various agencies such as Jane Adam’s House, Major moved into Henry Horner Housing Development in 1955. He immediately began to provide gang intervention and prevention programs as a volunteer, then later as an employee of the Henry Horner Boys and Girls Club. Major, along with Horner residents, created a Drill team, which later became the Hornets Drum & Bugle Corps, a nationally renowned paramilitary style band.

Major has worked to develop many community institutions such as Mile Square Health Center and the Henry Horner Boys and Girls Club. His mentoring has influenced many Horner alumnus like Maurice and Verdine White (Earth Wind and Fire), Reginald “Hats” Adams, Sonny Lumpkin, Howard Lathan, and a young community outreach worker named Warner Saunders (News Anchor of NBC 5).

A recipient of numerous awards and accolades, including the 1998 National Jefferson Award, Major continues to actively serve families of the greater Westside through the agency he founded in 1996, the Major Adams Community Committee.

For his service to Major Adams Community Committee, James received a Senior Service Governor’s Volunteer Service Award on April 18th, 2013.

Melissa Rothman

Melissa Rothman

Melissa is originally from Massachusetts, but has lived in the Chicago area for about five years. While studying at Northwestern University, Melissa lived and researched abroad in Spain, Chile, and Argentina. She also volunteered as a Youth Counselor at the Warming House Youth Center in Wilmette, IL. After graduating with a BA in Anthropology and a minor in Psychology, Melissa joined the Chicago Health Corps. CHC is an AmeriCorps program that aims to decrease health disparities in the city of Chicago.

As an AmeriCorps member, Melissa serves at Erie Family Health Center, in the West Town neighborhood of Chicago, in their Health Education and Promotions Department. She is involved in a variety of the health center’s programs, but spends most of her service teaching diabetes education classes, co-facilitating prenatal care groups, and coordinating and teaching nutrition/healthy living classes.

Melissa’s AmeriCorps service term ends in July 2013. She hopes to continue her career in the public health and social work fields.

For her service to Erie Family Health Center, Melissa received an AmeriCorps Service Governor’s Volunteer Service Award on April 18th, 2013.

Artie Walter

Artie Walter

Artie Walter was born in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1926. He lived in Michigan for many years but has called Illinois home for the last 50 years. Mr. Walter is married to Ida Mae Walter and has two adult Daughters and two grandchildren.

Mr. Walter proudly serves Proegler “Head Start” students with over 1250 hours per year as a Foster Grandparent Volunteer. Mr. Walter is the longest serving Foster Grandparent volunteer in Kankakee and Livingston Counties with almost 22 years of dedicated service. Mr. Walter directly impacts two Head Start classes for a total of 32 children. Mr. Walter assists children by reading them stories, talking and encouraging students to participate in classroom activities. Mr. Walter assists with promoting language development through engaging students in conversation, and promotes positive mental health by allowing the children to express their feelings in a way that encourages freedom of expression.

Walter retired from Jewel Food service after 25 years. He enjoys serving as a Deacon at his church, playing the guitar and saxophone for his church and local civic organizations.

For his service to Foster Grandparent Program, Artie received a Senior Corps Service Governor’s Volunteer Service Award on April 18th, 2013.

Exelon Corporation Employee Volunteer Program

Exelon Corporation Employee Volunteer Program

In 2012, Exelon and its operating company’s provided $27.7 million in charitable contributions. Exelon employees raised over $6.5 million for nonprofit organizations through its annual employee giving campaign. Over 3,800 employees volunteered in the communities where they live and the company serves, providing 105,000 hours in community service. Last year, Exelon recognized 694 employees through our volunteer rewards and recognition program and contributed $410,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations on their behalf. Giving back to the community has been an important part of the Exelon’s culture for many years. Exelon Corporation is the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with 2012 revenues of approximately $23.5 billion. Headquartered in Chicago, Exelon has operations and business activities in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. Exelon is one of the largest competitive U.S. power generators, comprising one of the nation’s cleanest and lowest-cost power generation fleets. The company’s Constellation business unit provides energy products and services to approximately 100,000 business and public sector customers and approximately 1 million residential customers.

For their service to Youth Guidance, Exelon received a Business Service Governor’s Volunteer Service Award on April 18th, 2013.

Northwest Illinois Award Recipients

Blake Matson

Blake Matson

Blake Matson is a junior at Orion High School. When he was released from the pediatric inpatient unit at University of Iowa City Hospital, after being treated for chronic lung infections, Blake began campaigning for donations of video games, movies, and books to donate to the hospital inpatient units and a homeless shelter in Iowa City. It was then that he started his organization: Child Life Charities, which is a children’s based organization that benefits sick and under privileged persons in the quad city area and Iowa City. Child Life Charities benefits programs like Child Life Specialists. These specialists treat patients at hospitals not medically, but emotionally and mentally.

Due to the great response of the Quad City Area, Child Life Charities has moved forward, helping not only pediatric inpatient units, but also homeless shelters and crisis centers.

Looking forward, Child Life Charities wants to meet as many needs as possible. Blake hopes to begin to set up a scholarship fund for college bound students that have been affected by illness or disease. Child Life Charities is also in the process of applying for 501c3 status, making it an official non for profit organization. Blake hopes that with this status, Child Life Charities can continue to grow and “Lend a Helping Hand to those who hold Our Children’s.”

For his service to Child Life Charities, Blake received a Youth Service Governor’s Volunteer Service Award on April 18th, 2013.

Greg Noe

Greg Noe

Greg Noe was born in Rock Island, Illinois, attended Alleman High School and the University of Notre Dame before graduating from law school at the University of Loyola of Chicago in 1991. After practicing law in Bloomington Illinois for a few years, he moved back to the Quad Cities and began working as in-house counsel for Deere & Company at the company’s world headquarters in Moline, IL. Greg has held a number of positions at Deere, including working in the company’s European headquarters in Mannheim Germany and at John Deere Construction & Forestry Company as manager of Far East Operations. Greg is currently the Corporate Secretary & Associate General Counsel of Deere & Company. Greg and wife Roberta have been married for 23 years and have a son, Douglas, who is a sophomore at the University of Notre Dame.

Greg has engaged in volunteer and pro bono legal services throughout his career. Currently, he is leader of a Scouting Explorers Post for local high school students interested in the legal field, is on the Board of Directors of the Two Rivers YMCA in Moline, and is Chairman of Renew Moline, Inc. Renew Moline is a non-profit organization focused on economic development and community betterment. This public-private partnership organization has helped facilitate the redevelopment of the downtown Moline riverfront including construction of the community civic center, John Deere Commons visitors center and plaza, Radisson hotel, Stoney Creek hotel, Kone Building (opened 2012), and several other adjacent properties. Renew Moline has also assisted in development of the new Western Illinois University campus in the Quad Cities, located on the banks of the Mississippi River in Moline and is currently working on development of a downtown Multi-Modal Train Station with passenger rail service between Moline and Chicago.

For his service to Renew Moline, Greg received an Adult Service Governor’s Volunteer Service Award on April 18th, 2013.

Judy DeBoever

Judy DeBoever

Judy DeBoever and her husband, Bob, have farmed for 45 years on the farm they live on in Geneseo. They have two daughters along with their husbands and 2 grandsons, and have both been very involved with veterans’ activities. Judy’s proudest service has been her over 30 years of volunteering with the “Aisle of Flags”, A Geneseo Tradition for the Memory of our Veterans which was started 32 years ago by 3 VFW auxiliary ladies. This tradition honors deceased members from the area by lining the city park with veteran’s casket flags. The first “Aisle of Flags” was on Memorial Day in 1981 with 50 flags, and this Memorial Day they will have almost 700 flying in the city park. These flags fly three times a year: Memorial Day, July 4, and Veterans Day, and people travel from all over just to see the city park covered in flags. One of Judy’s duties for the “Aisle of Flags” is to keep records of the deceased veterans in the area for the Memorial Day program. In addition to her service with “Aisle of Flags”, Judy also has the honor of being a guardian on the “Honor Flight”.

For her service to Aisle of Flags, Inc., Judy received a Senior Service Governor’s Volunteer Service Award on April 18th, 2013.

Jackie Whitworth

Jackie Whitworth

Jackie Whitworth was born and raised in Rockford, Illinois. After graduating high school she spent a year at Reed College in Portland, OR before transferring to the University of Chicago, where she majored in History and Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies. During college she enjoyed playing music and participating in social justice organizations, and she tutored elementary school children through the University’s Neighborhood Schools Program.

Jackie served as a tutor and mentor to high school freshmen in 2011-2012 as an AmeriCorps volunteer with City Year Chicago, where she learned that she had a passion for service and education. As an AmeriCorps VISTA in Freeport, she has had the opportunity to return to Northwest Illinois to serve another year. Since July 2012 she has been helping to build the capacity of the Freeport Area Church Cooperative to provide resources and opportunities to low income residents and youth. Jackie has created opportunities for resident involvement and leadership by organizing and a community group called Neighbors United. She also developed an after-school writing program for youth with the support of the Illinois Arts Council, the Freeport Art Museum, and partnerships with local artists.

Following her year of service, in the fall Jackie will begin working to earn a Master of Arts in Teaching through the University of Chicago’s Urban Teacher Education Program.

For her service to Freeport Church Cooperative, Jackie received an AmeriCorps Service Governor’s Volunteer Service Award on April 18th, 2013.

Patricia Umland

Patricia Umland

Pat Umland has been married to Les for 57 years , and was a stay-at-home mother while her children were young giving up her dream of becoming a nurse. While at home she was active in many areas volunteering in the PTA, community activities like boy and girl scouts, coaching athletics, and the children's various lessons.

After her children were grown and upon the encouragement of Les, she pursued her nursing career graduating from Black Hawk College in Moline, Illinois. After graduation Pat was employed at Illini Hospital in the ICU. She was CPR instructor and coordinator of the Rock Island County Stroke support group. She was able to follow up with her patients there and she took much joy in this role.

Pat is still active at Illini Hospital, which is now Genesis, Illini Campus. She volunteers in the social service department, teaching education on Advance Directives and Living Wills. She also knits for Genesis Hospice and teaches students from a local high school to knit prayer shawls as well. She became involved in the QC (Quad Cities) Heartbeats support group after Les had a cardiac event. She has been the president of the support group as well as secretary/treasurer.

Pat continues to be involved with the annual heart walk for the American Heart Association and the Go Red for Women luncheons and fundraisers. She is a champion for the cause of heart disease. After retiring Pat became involved with the RSVP volunteer group in Illinois. Pat does various volunteer activities with this group most recently as a coach with the Matter of Balance program. She leads an active healthy lifestyle and is an encouragement to those around her.

For her service to QC Heartbeats Genesis Illini Campus and WI Area on Aging, Patricia received a Senior Corps Service Governor’s Volunteer Service Award on April 18th, 2013.

Finnegan’s RV Center

Finnegan’s RV Center

John and Mark Finnegan are co-owners of Finnegans’ RV Center in South Beloit. Business was started in 1969 by their parents, Barbara and Cy.

Finnegan’s has always been involved in dozens of local charities and volunteer whenever possible for civic functions. Annually, since the 1970s, Finnegans’ RV Center takes a caravan of motor homes to local senior centers, senior living and lower income facilities, to provide a Christmas light tour via motor homes through area neighborhoods. They also contribute scholarships to local high schools.

Most recently, the Finnegan family has made headlines and been recognized by many organizations for their non-profit called VetsRoll. Started in February of 2010, in honor of their father and the Greatest Generation, the organization was influenced by the Honor Flight Network, but saw a need to offer WWII Era Veterans the opportunity to take a slower paced tour of the Washington, DC memorials.

The inaugural 4-day trip, provided at no charge to the Veterans, included 118 WWII Veterans plus 7 ‘Rosie-the-Riveters’ (and nurses), 69 volunteers who pay their own way to go on the trips. The 2010 trip included nine motor homes, three 56-passenger charter coaches and a support van.

For VetsRoll 2 and 3, the program expanded to include Korean Era Veterans for a total of 200 Veterans and ‘Rosies’ and 100 trip assistants onboard an impressive caravan of ten 56-passenger Badger Coaches, plus a media coach and a wheel-chair lift support van. VetsRoll also provides more than 30 medical personnel, wheelchairs, walkers, oxygen and concentrators, nebulizers and virtually any item the Veterans may need.

VetsRoll 4 is scheduled for May 19-22. This year’s trip includes a stop at the Wright-Patterson AFB National Flight Museum in Dayton, OH. The guests are treated like royalty as a ‘Thank You’ for our freedom. The trip includes a ‘Mail Call’ event where Uncle Sam greets the 200 heroes and gives them thousands of letters from loved ones, school kids, senior citizens and supporters! The return trip includes a State Police escort from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin, culminating with thousands of cheering fans and a fabulous fireworks display.

For their service to Vets Roll, Finnegan’s RV Center received a Business Service Governor’s Volunteer Service Award on April 18th, 2013.

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