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News Release - April 13, 2018

News Release – Friday, April 13, 2018

9th Annual Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards​

30 Illinoisans and businesses receive Governor’s Volunteer Service Award

SPRINGFIELD – The Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service (Commission) is presenting 25 Illinoisans and five businesses with the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award during a special reception at the Old State Capitol.

The award recognizes volunteers and volunteer programs that have made a difference in Illinois and highlights the importance of volunteerism and community service. This event will take place April 18, 2018 at 1 p.m. It is part of the National Volunteer Week festivities and also a signature event of the Illinois Bicentennial Commission.

“Illinois is a state that was truly born, built, and grown with the spirit of volunteerism and community service,” said Governor Bruce Rauner. “The individuals and businesses we’re recognizing have impacted millions of lives. We’re honored to highlight their service.”

“These individuals and businesses embody the true spirit of volunteering and are making a difference in their communities through a variety of activities such as helping the homeless, youth education, and assisting veterans,” said Commission Executive Director Scott McFarland. “We are proud to have them serving in Illinois.”

The Commission received more than 130 nominations in six categories (adult, AmeriCorps, business, senior, Senior Corps, and youth) from the Commission’s five service regions across the state (East Central, Northeast, Northwest, Southern, and West Central). Commissioners reviewed the applications and selected 30 award winners.

The following are the 2018 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award recipients. More information about the recipients is on the Serve Illinois website at

East Central Award Recipients:

  • Adult: Priyanka Bahel – Naperville
    For service to: Carle Foundation Hospital
  • AmeriCorps: Brian Frapolly – McHenry
    For service to: Illinois Justice Corps/McLean County Law and Justice Center
  • Business: Land of Lincoln Credit Union - Decatur
    For service to: Webst​er Cantrell Hall and other organizations
  • Senior: Alfred Hampton - Springfield
    For service to: Central Illinois Foodbank
  • Senior Corps: Alice Bray - Decatur
    For service to: Dove’s Children’s Clothing Room
  • Youth: Gage Ford – Springfield
    For service to: Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Illinois Capital Region

Northeast Recipients:

  • Adult: Anna Stargardt – Chicago
    For service to: Advocate Lutheran General Hospital
  • AmeriCorps: Brandi France - Grayslake
    For service to: Waukegan to College
  • Business: Northwestern Medicine-Team NM - Winfield
    For service to: DuPage County Health Department Initiatives-Impact DuPage and FORWARD DuPage
  • Senior: Ann McAveeney – Lake Forest
    For service to: Fill A Heart 4 Kids
  • Senior Corps: Arthur "Nick" Cordell- Yorkville
    For service to: Senior Services Associates
  • Youth: Nolan Rahm – Evergreen Park
    For service to: Tinley Park Paws

Northwest Recipients:

  • Adult: Melissa Ryan Bergstrom – Sterling
    For service to: Team Jess
  • AmeriCorps: Christopher Black – East Moline
    For service to: WQPT-Quad Cities PBS
  • Business: Culver’s - Dixon
    For service to: Sauk Valley Community College
  • Senior: Juanita Martin - Rockford
    For service to: Northwest Community Center
  • Senior Corps: Char Polis - Rockford
    For service to: Retired and Senior Volunteer Program Winnebago County
  • Youth: Sarina Goldie - Freeport
    For service to: Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois

Southern Recipients:

  • Adult: Marleen Shepherd – Carbondale
    For service to: Sparrow Coalition
  • AmeriCorps: Zach Brookman – Opdyke
    For service to: Opdyke-Belle Rive CCSD #5
  • Business: Luxury Looks Barber & Beauty Salon – Fairview Heights
    For service to: Men of East St. Louis
  • Senior: Alice McGowen – Jerseyville
    For service to: Humanity Road, Inc.
  • Senior Corps: Ron Simpson- Carterville
    For service to: Gum Drops NFP
  • Youth: Kaitlyn Barnett – Troy
    For service to: Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois

West Central Member:

  • Adult: Jenny Lee - Mackinaw
    For service to: TCRC and RSVP of Peoria and Tazewell Counties
  • AmeriCorps: Justin Krohn - Macomb
    For service to: Western Illinois Regional Council
  • Business: Kassing Lumber Company – Mt. Sterling
    For service to: Adams, Brown, and Pike Counties RSVP
  • Senior: William Durall - Pittsfield
    For service to: JWCC Southeast Education Center
  • Senior Corps: Joseph Urbanc - Peoria
    For service to: RSVP of Peoria and Tazewell Counties
  • Youth: Beckham Oldenettel - Jacksonville
    For service to: New Directions Warming and Cooling Shelter and other organizations

The Serve Illinois Commission is a 40-member (25 voting and 15 non-voting), bipartisan board appointed by the Governor and administered by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). Its mission is to improve Illinois communities by enhancing volunteerism and instilling an ethic of service throughout the State.