Governor's Hometown Awards

​​​​​​HomeTown Awards LogoSince 1983, the Governor’s Hometown Award​s (GHTA) program gives formal recognition to those who contributed to projects that improved their community’s quality of life. These projects are sponsored by local units of government t​​hat had strong volunteer support, met a need, and made a definitive impact, thereby generating a positive outcome in the community and by extension, the state. The program is administered by the Serve Illinois ​Commission, the Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service. 

Serve Illinois, the Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service, is excited to be able to tie GHTA to its mission to improve Illinois communities by enhancing volunteerism and instilling an ethic of service throughout the State. In order to nominate your community, please complete the application below. 

Governor's Hometown Award 2022 Announcement 

 The Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service in partnership with the Governor's Office announces the Governor's Hometown Awards (GHTA), has officially opened and is now accepting Letters of intent (LOI), from communities, programs, and local units of government interested in competing for the Governor's Cup. The GHTA gives formal recognition to those who contributed to projects that improved their community's quality of life. Prospective projects, in collaboration with local units of government, should have had strong volunteer support, met a need, and made a definitive impact, thereby generating a positive outcome in the community, and by extension, the state. Only projects completed between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021, will be considered.


To submit an LOI, please select one the following methods. Please note the Google Form is the preferred method of submission. 

A. Google Form

B. Email LOI as an attachment to

C. Regular Mail:

Serve Illinois Commission
Illinois Department of Humans Services 
100 S Grand Ave East
Springfield, IL 62701 

Name of the Community:
Community Address:
Zip Code:
Person Completing Form:
Affiliation/Association with Community:
Contact Phone:
Email Address:

           Please answer the questions below. Letters of intent should be no more than two pages:

  • Please provide a 2-3 sentence description of your volunteer project or service?
  • What category(s) does your volunteer service or project correspond to? Please explain?
  • How long has your community/organization performed this service? (Note: Service had to be offered in 2021 for three months or more.) If you are nominating a project when did the project start and end? (Note: The end date cannot be earlier than March 31, 2021.)
  • How did this address a community problem or challenge for your community? What impact has your project or service had on the community?
  • Describe how your project partnered with a governmental body or agency. Include the name of the partner (governmental body). Do you have the ability to get a support letter from this partner? If the applicant is the government body, please indicate this in your answer? (1-2 paragraphs)
  • How were community residents and/or stakeholders involved? (1-2 paragraphs)
  • Please share with us anything else you would like to share about this volunteer project/service.

Congratulations to the 2020 GHTA winner, Young Leaders in Action (Decatur)! 

Hometown Award ​​​Winners

2020 (Click Here for Descriptions of Each Project)

Click here to view the Hometown Awards event! 

Governor's Cup Winner:

  • Decatur- "Young Leaders in Action!"
  • Village of Barrington- "The Barrington Dreamway"
  • Flossmor- "MLK Day of Service"
  • Albion- "The Hope Center"
Project Winners:
  • Trout Valley- "COVID Help Team"
  • Mount Caroll- "Arbor Day Palooza"
  • Lewistown- "Music in the Park"
  • Tower Lakes- "Raingardens and Bioswales Project"
  • Shumway- "5 & 2 Soup Kitchen"
  • Tiskilwa- "American Leigon Hall"
  • Robinson- "Kiwanis Harmony Park"
  • University Park- "Town Center Revitalization" 
  • Carlinville- "Make Carlinville Beautiful"
  • Hawthorn Woods- "Brierwoods Preserve Restoration Project"
  • Lasalle- "Celebration of Lights"
  • West Dundee- "The Wall that Heals"
  • Macomb- "Genesis Garden: Sharing Food in Response to COVID-19"
  • Godfrey-"LaVista Park Disc Golf Course"
  • Lake Zurich- "Kuechmann Arboretum"
  • Bensenville- "Green in Bensenville"
  • Marion- "Marion Seniors Center"
  • Chicago- "Chicago Connected"
  • Moline- "Mercado on Fifth"
  • Rockford- "Building New Possibilities"
  • Moline- "Quad Cities Marathon"
  • Elk Grove Village- "VFW Hall Elevator"

2019 (Click Here for Descriptions of Each Project)

Click here to watch the award ceremony highlights.

 ​   Governor's Cup Winner:
  • Williamsfield - “Playground Barn-Raising Project”
  • Elk Grove Village - “Elk Grove Village Cares”
  • Harrisburg - “Summer Food Service Program”
  • Will County - “MicroPantries; Take What You Need Leave What You Can”
      ​Project Winners:​
  • Aurora - “National Night Out 2018”
  • Carlyle - “Go Green”
  • Channahon - “Living Learning Garden”
  • Colfax - “Colfax Restoration Project”
  • East St. Louis - "Parents for Change-School Transportation Safety
  • Glendale Heights - “Glendale Heights Mayor's Center for Senior Citizens Volunteer Initiative Program”
  • Joliet - “Old Joliet Prison Tourism & Restoration Initiative”
  • Lake Barrington - “Veterans of Lake Barrinton Shores BraveHearts Program”
  • Mattoon - “Fit-2-Serve: Community Bridges”
  • Park Forest - “Veterans Closet & Resource Center”
  • Roselle - “Flags for Roselle”
  • Schaumburg - “Monarch Butterfly Initiative”
  • St. Clair County - “Summer of STEM”
​       ​Project Honorable Mentions:​
  • Maryville - “Maryville Farmers Market”
  • Mascoutah - “Helping Mascoutah Weekend Meals Program”​
  • Urbana - “Urbana Park District Advisory Committee”
  • Vermilion County - “Step Up Vermilion County”​

2018 (Click Here for Descriptions of Each Project)

 ​    Governor's Cup Winner:
  • LaSalle County - “Vietnam Moving Wall”
 ​    F​inalists:
  • Aviston - “Vintage Hall Renovation”
  • Lemont - “Haunted Central”
  • Oak Lawn - “Oak Lawn Community Garden”
      ​Project Winners:​
  • Aurora - “Lighting Up Our Neighborhoods”
  • Cicero - “Keep Cicero Clean Day”
  • East St. Louis Township - “East St. Louis Community Tennis Association-40 Days of NonViolence Initiative”
  • Edwarsville - “Growing with the Garden”
  • Edwardsville Township - “Kelan's Wheelchair Accessible Swing”
  • Hanover Park - “Greenbrook Tanglewood Neighborhood Revitalization”
  • Limestone Township - “Moms Who Care: Limestone Community High School”
  • Madison County - “Beautification of Triad Middle School Student Courtyard”
  • Morrison - “Loft 112”
  • Mundelein - “Veterans Appreciation Dinner”
  • Oak Brook - “9/11 Memorial Healing Field”
  • Royalton - “Royalton Community Garden”
  • Urbana - “Friendship Grove Nature Playscape”
  • Waterloo - “Share the Feast”
​       ​Project Honorable Mentions:​
  • Beckemeyer - “Train Depot Restoration”
  • Harrisburg - “Free Summer Lunch Program”​
  • Marion - “Girl Scout Silver Award Carnival for Lighthouse Shelter”
  • O’Fallon - “Nomenclature for Nature”​
  • Stockton - “Fall Into Stockton Event”

2017 Winners 2017 (Click Here for Descriptions of Each Project)

 ​    Governor's Cup Winner:
  • ​Macon County - “WSOY Community Food Drive”
 ​    F​inalists:
  • Ea​st St. Louis - “Join Hands Advo​cacy Project”
  • Kewanee - “Step Ladder Tutoring Program”
  • Waterloo - “Monroe County House of Neighborly Service”
      ​Project Winners:​
  • Charleston - “Lake Charleston Trail System”
  • Collinsville - “Hometown Heroes”
  • Fairfield - “FNB Field”
  • Fulton County - “Canton Gas Explosion”
  • Galesburg - “Galesburg Heart & Soul”
  • Godfrey - “Beverly Farm Foundation”
  • Lanark - “Workation 2016”
  • LaSalle County - “LaSalle County Naloxone Program”​
  • Rock Island - “Kids engaged in Natural Growth (KING)”
  • Round Lake Beach (Project Runner Up); “Mobile Eye-VIPS”
​The following are previous​ Governor's Cup Winners:
  • ​2014 - Township of Edwardsville; Boundless Playground
  • 2013 - Mount Vernon; Lifeboat Alliance
  • 2012 - East St. Louis; F.R.E.S.H. Community Teaching Garden
  • 2011 - Mascoutah; Little Indians Youth Football Program
  • 2010 - Camp Point, Clayton, Golden & Coatsburg; School Fair
  • 2009 - Whiteside County; Sauk Valley Food Bank
  • 2008 - Mundelein; After School Coalition
  • 2007 - McLeansboro; Kid's Kingdom
  • 2006 - Champaign County; Women In Transition
  • 2005 - Adams County; Camp Callahan
  • 2004 - Kankakee County; Garden of Prayer Youth Center
  • 2003 - Country Club Hills; Emergency Services & Disaster Agency
  • 2002 - Champaign County; Crisis Nursery
  • 2001 - Effingham County; Ballard Nature Center
  • 2000 - Newton; Newton Public Library and Museum
  • 1999 - Whiteside County; Agape Care Center
  • 1998 - Ullin; River-to-River Residential Facilities
  • 1997 - Fairbury; Downtown Revitalization
  • 1996 - Woodford County; Heart House
  • 1995 - Tamms; Economic Development Attraction Activities
  • 1994 - Hinsdale; Wellness House
  • 1993 - Hoffman Estates; Children's Advocacy Center
  • 1992 - Joliet; Drug Free Youth In Touch
  • 1991 - Quincy; Good News
  • 1990 - Peoria; Easter Seal Rehabilitation Center
  • 1989 - Mason City; Nursing Home
  • 1988 - Brown County; Economic Development Attraction Activities
  • 1987 - Evanston; Council of Elders
  • 1986 - Royal; Community Building
  • 1985 - Decatur; Decatur Advantage
  • 1984 - Barry; Community Swimming Pool
  • 1983 - Wilsonville; Environmental Cleanup Advocacy​​