Annual Event Will be Held Virtually on September 16th
SPRINGFIELD – The Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service (Commission) will present 27 Illinoisans and businesses with the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award during a special virtual event on September 16, 2020 at 2 p.m.
The award recognizes volunteers and volunteer programs that have made a difference in Illinois and highlights the importance of volunteerism and community service.
“These past few months have shown us once again that volunteers are the beating heart of Illinois,” said Commission Executive Director Scott McFarland. “We are honored to be able to highlight just a few of the nearly 3 million people in Illinois who give back.”
The Commission received more than 215 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 28 award winners.
Deserie Gibson of Belleville, the Southern Award recipient for Senior Corps, began her volunteer service in the Senior Companion Program in 2006. She has provided more than 20,000 hours of service during the past 14 years, and doesn’t show signs of slowing down. For the past eight years, Deserie visits her client, who has dementia, assisting with daily tasks and keeping her from harm. This client would have gone into memory care long ago if she didn’t have special attention from her Senior Companion.
Deserie feels “called” to help others. She spends her free time visiting others in a nursing home with their church ministry. She said, “Going where I can go, to help where I can help, is my mission.”
The impact that a Senior Companion can make in the life of one individual, keeping them from a nursing home for just one year, saves upwards of $75,000.
The following are the 2020 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award recipients. More information about the recipients is on the Serve Illinois website at www.Serve.Illinois.gov.
East Central Award Recipients
Adult: Teresa Bachtold – Forrest
For service to Harvest Call
AmeriCorps: Jalen Butler – Springfield
For service to Springfield Urban League
Senior: Shannon Nosbisch – Dieterich
For service to Effingham Public Library
Senior Corps: Valerie Beguin – Towanda
For service to Fostering Dignity
Youth: Aja Capel – Urbana
For service to 4-H
Northeast Award Recipients
Adult: Scott Milliman – Chicago
For service to Literacy Volunteers of Illinois at Illinois Youth Center Chicago
AmeriCorps: Kiamara Rodriguez – Chicago
For service to Center for Disability and Elder Law
Business: Abbott Laboratories Legal Department – Abbott Park
For service to Ascend Justice
Senior: Donna Adam – Des Plaines
For service to Clean Up Give Back
Senior Corps: Shirley Cassens – Harvard
For service to Senior Services Associates, Inc.
Youth: Kiran Mohan – Buffalo Grove
For service to Crescendo for a Cause
Northwest Award Recipients
Adult: Dan Portz – Fulton
For service to River Bend CUSD 2-Fulton High School Robotics Program
AmeriCorps: Linda Bolls – Kewanee
For service to Abilities Plus
Senior: Ted Brolund – Rockford
For service to Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity
Senior Corps: Marjorie “Midge” Murphy – Rock Falls
For service to Dillon Elementary School
Youth: Lucy Kuelper – Rio
For service to #MoveOver Project
Southern Award Recipients
Adult: Michael Moyers – Herrin
For service to Christopher Elementary School
Business: PNC Bank – Fairview Heights
For service to East St. Louis School District #189
Senior: Melody Shimada – Carbondale
For service to Carbondale Public Library
Senior Corps: Deserie Gibson – Belleville
For service to SWIC Programs and Services for Older Persons
Youth: Elijah Gunter – Scheller
For service to Sesser Jr. Football
West Central Award Recipients
Adult: Daniel Luthi – Washington
For service to American Red Cross
AmeriCorps: Deja Jenkins – Galesburg
For service to Illinois Justice Corps/Knox County Courthouse
Business: JIMAX Group – Peoria
For service to Tireless Project
Senior: Joel Estes – Knoxville
For service to Blessings in a Backpack
Senior Corps: Lloyd Lawber – Griggsville
For service to Pike County All Wars Museum
Youth: Abigail Oakley – Quincy
For service to Quincy Art Center
Later this fall, nomination forms will be made available for the Commission’s companion awards program, the Governor’s Hometown Awards. The Governor’s Hometown Awards program gives formal recognition to communities that contributed to their community’s quality of life via projects that had strong volunteer support, met a need, and made a definitive impact.
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.