2002 Governor's Home Town Awards
View footage from 2002 Governor's Cup Winner - Champaign County-Crisis Nursery
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2002 Governor's Home Town Awards Winners - Category I - VIII
CATEGORY I (Population 0 - 1,300)
Royalton-Royalton Public Library
- Volunteers helped raise funds and donated labor and materials to build a new public library accessible to those with disabilities.
Dieterich-Community Veterans Memorial
- More than 300 people worked to raise funds and build a memorial to the community's veterans, Revolutionary War to the present.
Burritt Township-Township Museum
- Volunteers helped renovate a room at the township hall to house a museum, contributing items to honor the township's past.
Persifer Township-First Responders
- First Responders are volunteers who provide first aid and emergency assistance to residents of Oak Run until an ambulance arrives.
Winslow-Paradise Cove Covered Bridge
- Volunteers converted a flatbed trailer into the only covered bridge in Stephenson County, attracting tourists and building area pride.
Milledgeville-Chadwick/Milledgeville Football Lights and Running Track
- More than 120 volunteers helped raise funds and build Carroll County's only all-weather running track.
Hanover-Ambulance and Building
- Hanover's Ambulance Association bought a new ambulance and built a garage for it, thanks to the fundraising and labor of volunteers.
CATEGORY I Governor's Cup Finalist:
Oakdale-Easter Egg Factory Eggstravaganza
- More than 1,700 people attended the Eggstravaganza in 2001, enjoying volunteer efforts to create an Easter fantasyland.
CATEGORY II (Population 1,301 - 3,800)
- Volunteers raised more than $37,000 to help purchase new playground equipment, then helped install the equipment in Newton's Peterson Park.
- Volunteers helped turn the village's original bank building into a museum that preserves a link to the community's history.
Gibson City-GCMS Booster Club "On Track" Project
- Volunteers helped develop a plan, raise funds and landscape a new all-weather track at the high school.
- Community pride was renewed and visitors have a central place for information thanks to volunteers who raised funds for a new visitors center.
- The Waverly Community Development Committee spearheaded efforts to buy, install and landscape signs welcoming visitors to Waverly.
Bushnell-All-Weather Community Track
- A 29-member committee was key in raising funds and helping to build a new all-weather track replacing a 50-year-old cinder track.
- In 2001, the master plan for Jerome's neighborhood park was completed, thanks to help from volunteers who organized events and raised funds.
CATEGORY II Governor's Cup Finalist:
- SchuyLight Christian Coffee House - Volunteers turned an old supper club into a coffee house where youths can "hang out" and enjoy wholesome activities.
CATEGORY III (Population 3,801 - 11,000)
Edwards County-Dinner Theater
- Dinner Theater, organized by volunteers, draws more than 1,000 people annually and supports music and art programs at the high school.
- Volunteers raised funds to commission a statue and landscape a small park where visitors to Vandalia can relax and enjoy the Old State Capitol view.
Peru-Illinois Valley Peer Jury Program
- Trained youth volunteers serve as "jurors" to hear cases against youthful offenders and assign appropriate sanctions.
Fulton-Dutch Windmill Grinding Stone
- To enhance Fulton's authentic Dutch Windmill, volunteers raised funds to buy a grinding stone. Volunteer millers trained to grind flour.
Frankfort-Earth Day/Arbor Day
- Nearly 100 volunteers participated in the 2001 Earth Day/Arbor Day celebration, picking up trash and planting flowers and trees.
Johnson County-Oral History Project
- Volunteers organized a Storytelling Festival to collect stories from America's war veterans and others. Plans call for an annual event.
- A small grassy area was renovated into a showplace honoring veterans, thanks to fundraising, landscaping and organization by volunteers.
CATEGORY III Governor's Cup Finalist:
Lake Villa-Baseball Park
- Lake Villa offers an impressive four-diamond baseball facility, thanks to efforts by volunteers of the Lake Region Youth Baseball Association.
CATEGORY IV (Population 11,001 - 17,000)
Lemont-Lemont Legends Cruise Nights
- Downtown Lemont is bustling on summer evenings as people enjoy classic cars and store specials during weekly Cruise Nights.
South Elgin-Riverfest Express "A Special Night for Special Kids"
- Nearly 120 volunteers pitched in to help children with disabilities enjoy Riverfest Express.
Washington-Senior Center Meal Program
- More than 450 meals are delivered on weekdays each month by volunteers who also check on the welfare of senior citizens.
Coloma Township-Knowledge Increases Developing Skills for Success
- In 2001, Rock Falls dedicated a new handicapped-accessible library, built with help from volunteers.
Country Club Hills-Police Cadets/Explorers
- Youthful Police Cadets volunteer their services at community events. Many have gone to college to major in criminal justice.
Hazel Crest-Volunteer Task Force
- Six volunteer task forces have been formed to address issues such as economic development, public safety, seniors and youths.
Mt. Vernon-Police Athletic League
- Two retired Marines developed the Police Athletic League to help low-income youths learn self-confidence and develop respect for others.
Bond County-Utlaut Health Services Auxiliary Old Time Christmas
- Nearly 1,000 volunteers work throughout the year to stage a bazaar and raise funds for the hospital.
CATEGORY IV Governor's Cup Finalist:
Piatt County-Faith in Action
- More than 275 volunteer caregivers assisted 327 senior citizens in 2001, helping with yard work, home repair, meals and companionship.
CATEGORY V (Population 17,001 - 24,000)
- Splash is an annual fundraising event spearheaded by volunteers that helps raise money to maintain and operate the community pool.
Lisle-Main Street Pedestrian Tunnel Project
- Volunteers transformed a graffiti-strewn pedestrian tunnel into a work of art by painting murals. It's helped revitalize the area.
Palos Hills-Teen Employment Program
- The program, run by volunteers, helps teens learn how to write resumes, interview, dress for success and successfully find jobs.
Carbondale-Main Street Pig Out
- The annual Main Street Pig Out brings college students and community residents together and showcases the Main Street District.
Macomb-Big Brothers/Big Sisters
- More than 45 volunteers coordinated the first "Bowl for Kids Sake" fundraiser, raising $18,500 for the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization.
Evergreen Park-The Evergreen Parkettes
- Senior volunteers kick up their heels and entertain others through their dance performances. The average age of dancers is 74.
Roselle-Roselle Nature Savers
- Volunteers have been instrumental in undertaking a wetland restoration that attracts wildlife, filters water and reduces flooding in Roselle.
Palos Hills-Halloween Happenings
- Concerns about Halloween safety in the wake of the September 11 tragedies led volunteers to organize fun, safe activities for children.
CATEGORY V Governor's Cup Finalist:
McHenry-McHenry Zone Skate & Bike Park
- Parents and kids volunteered to raise funds to build a skate park and bike ramp worth more than $350,000.
CATEGORY VI (Population 24,001 - 33,000)
St. Charles-Lazarus House
- Lazarus House relies on volunteers to help operate the facility, which provides shelter, meals, laundry and support services to the homeless.
Highland Park-Kid Couriers
- This intergenerational program pairs volunteer students with seniors needing help with shopping. Kids and seniors alike reap satisfaction.
Westmont-Emergency Management Agency
- Trained volunteers assist with emergency management needs. In 2001, they outfitted a trailer into a command post.
Grundy County-Operation St. Nick
- Operation St. Nick volunteers raised nearly $96,000 in 2001 to help needy families at Christmas, Easter and back-to-school time.
St. Charles Township-STC Underground Teen Center, St. Charles Park District
- Volunteers helped create STC Underground -- a drug- and alcohol-free teen center.
Boone County-Council on Aging
- More than 450 volunteers helped raise funds and provide services to build the new Keen Age Center facility for seniors in the county.
Westmont-Citizens Fire Academy/Alumni Association
- The Citizens Fire Academy helps citizens learn about fire safety and the operations of the fire department.
CATEGORY VI Governor's Cup Finalist:
- With help from more than 500 volunteers, the Youth Committee helps develop wholesome community-wide activities for the entire family.
CATEGORY VII (Population 33,001 - 85,000)
Whiteside County-Our Food Pantry
- Funded entirely through donations and grants, volunteers operated a food pantry that fed more than 1,900 people in 2001.
Adams County-Quincy Area Partnership for Unmet Needs
- The Partnership relies on volunteers to complement the social service system by assisting with emergency needs.
Bolingbrook-Jonas E. Salk Playground
- Volunteers raised funds and paired with other volunteers from CNA Insurance to build a new playground at Jonas E. Salk School.
Belleville-Old Town Market
- Volunteers help operate and raise funds to improve the Old Town Market -- a summertime "farmers' market" that brings people downtown.
Danville-AMBUCS Playground for Everyone
- AMBUCS members coordinated fundraising and construction of a playground accessible to children of all abilities.
CATEGORY VII Governor's Cup Finalist:
Skokie-Peace and Harmony Committee
- Committee volunteers organize activities to demonstrate community diversity and harmony; over 4,000 volunteers are involved.
CATEGORY VIII (Population 85,001 and above)
- Employees at OSF SFMC "adopt" families to fill needs at Christmas. In 2001, over 1,000 needy employees and patients received assistance.
- Police Explorers are young volunteers who take a course in police training. They help provide security and traffic control at various area events.
Bloom Township-Emergency Food Outreach Program
- Some 1,123 volunteers helped ensure that the food pantry delivers food to the disabled, seniors and those in need.
- Seniors may access many free services and a bus service, helping them remain in their homes. Volunteers assist with coordinating the efforts.
Will County-Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
- CASA has more than 50 trained volunteer advocates who represent abused and neglected children in court.
CATEGORY VIII Governor's Cup Finalist:
Champaign County-Crisis Nursery
- Volunteers are the lifeblood of Crisis Nursery, a safe place for young children in times of family crisis. The nursery expanded in 2001.