2003 Governor's Home Town Awards
Country Club Hills for the Emergency Service & Disaster Agency
Click here for additional photos from the Governor’s Home Town Awards Banquet, 2003.
CATEGORY I (Population 0 - 3,000)
Altamont - Youth Sports Commission – The community came together to develop and build an indoor baseball/softball training facility to promote fun, safe activities for kids.
Catlin - Recreation Complex All Weather Track – Over 160 volunteers donated time, money and resources leading to development of the track that will host several events.
Divernon - Community Activities Committee – The need to provide constructive activities for children out of school for summer led to a variety of family activities held at a village owned facility.
Jerome - Neighborhood Watch Association – The Jerome Police Department organized Kids Care Day for parents and children to learn what to do in emergency situations.
Lena - Field of Honor Veterans Memorial – Members of the local American Legion Post set the wheels in motion to create a lasting memorial for war veterans.
Richview – The community came together to remodel and repair a deteriorating old school and turn it into a thriving community center.
Trenton - Trenton Emergency Management Service – Members of the community organized the volunteer EMS to assist in a variety of emergency situations.
Waddams Township – McConnell Area Historical Museum – The Township worked with the McConnell Area Historical Society to create the museum which serves as a local tourism attraction.
CATEGORY II (Population 3,001 to 7,000)
Bartonville - Summer of Safety – An educational safety program for children has helped reduce the number of accidents and injuries to children in the community.
Fairfield - The Clothes Line, Inc. – One person’s dream to collect used clothing for the needy resulted in the opening of a not-for-profit retail store where individuals may receive free clothing.
Greenville - Trompe L’oiel Art Murals – To help beautify the community, the Greenville Women’s Club and Greenville Business and Professional Association finance various artistic projects that have helped increase tourism.
Marshall - Main Street Program – 545 volunteers united to revive the Chautauqua experience which brings history alive for small towns at a minimal cost via entertainment.
Mount Morris - Dillehay Park – A committee of over 100 joined together to modernize and redesign the park to expand its usage and improve safety.
Oglesby - Our Home Town – The citizens of Oglesby collaborated on a book about the history of Oglesby to celebrate the town’s centennial.
Vandalia - Little Community Garden – A community garden was created which yielded 1,600 pounds of food that was given to the local pantry and senior citizen complexes.
Willow Springs - Historical Society Museum and Research Center – A municipal building was donated for use as the new home to showcase the community’s history.
CATEGORY III (Population 7,001 to 15,000)
Lagrange Park - Party in the Park – A three-day annual festival, that started as a one-day event to celebrate the town’s centennial, raises money to help purchase safety equipment.
LaSalle - Historic District Signage – In an effort to stimulate tourism, city leaders designated a downtown historical district and provided plaques for several historic sites.
Paris - Holiday in the Park – This festive display of holiday lights is the result of the collective efforts of 3,000 volunteers and attracted 12,000 visitors last year.
Pontiac - AdventureCARE – The center was developed in response to the lack of a licensed day care facility and serves a wide variety of children’s needs.
Pulaski County - Villa Ridge Park – Nineteen volunteers rallied the community to beautify the park which had been left unattended, becoming dangerous and an eyesore.
Shorewood - Soccer League – What started as the goal of creating a healthy activity for kids by a group of 18 parents has grown into an organization with over 900 participants.
Streator - Y-Alive – Aimed at deterring youth violence, Y-Alive has kids lining up outside the local YMCA to participate with their friends in a variety of activities.
Taylorville - Meals on Wheels – This program allows volunteers to meet and interact with senior citizens and the homebound.
CATEGORY IV (Population 15,001 to 18,000)
Bridgeview - 9-11 Remembrance – Volunteers placed American flags throughout neighborhoods to commemorate the first anniversary of the September 11th tragedies.
Country Club Hills - City Beautification Program – Volunteers built “Welcome Planters” that hold flowers planted each year welcoming drivers into town.
Country Club Hills - Emergency Service & Disaster Agency – The volunteers for ESDA have grown fourfold since September 11, 2001 in serving as extra ‘eyes and ears’ for the community and having been trained in the latest security measures.
Palos Hills - Concerts in the Park – A series of summer musical concerts provided free, cultural entertainment for city residents.
Palos Hills - Santa Stockings – Members of the Palos Hills’ 39’ers senior group made and delivered “Santa Stockings” to residents of an extended care center.
Palos Hills - Town Square Park – Residents raised money to build a new community center that houses a Veteran’s Memorial, waterfall, walking trail, gazebo and child’s play area.
Palos Hills - Youth Turnabout Day – The program provides 50 junior high and high school students the opportunity to serve in a business or political capacity for a day.
Riverdale - Save Our Streets/Stay in School – A youth rally led to a school attendance competition as a way of positively acknowledging youth.
CATEGORY V (Population 18,001 to 24,000)
Bellwood - Arts, Athletics and Education Project – In response to an increase in juvenile crime, a variety of evening programs were instituted targeting at-risk youth which resulted in a drop in juvenile delinquency and crime.
East Peoria - Youth Council Christmas Food Basket Program – Food baskets are put together for low-income families and those receiving Social Security benefits.
Franklin Park - B-12 Tower Historic Site – The B-12 Tower and a caboose were donated by Metra as part of turning an empty lot into a beautifully landscaped park.
Libertyville - Lightning Warning System – The Village and volunteers raised funds to install an early warning lightning detection system at six key park locations.
Lisle - Birdhouses of Lisle Project – Over 400 volunteers took part in decorating birdhouses as part of a public art project.
Mattoon Area - Public Action to Deliver Shelter (PADS) – Robert Beall led the effort of over 100 volunteers to raise funds, acquire and remodel a shelter site for the homeless.
Ottawa - Lincoln-Douglas Debate Memorial Plaza – Over 300 volunteers created a memorial plaza in Washington Square to commemorate the debate at which Lincoln introduced the slavery issue to the nation.
Union County - Pets are Worth Saving (PAWS) – This not-for-profit organization seeks to find homes for unwanted animals as a way of preventing the destruction of the animals while at the same time helping to control the pet population.
CATEGORY VI (Population 24,001 to 48,000)
Alton - Girl Scout Window Design – Ten local Girl Scout troops decorated windows at 22 local businesses.
Elk Grove Village - Character Counts Foot Rally – The Rally teaches children about the six pillars of character through a fun, educational activity.
Mundelein – Holiday Help Program – The program is comprised of seven tiers of events between Thanksgiving and Christmas to assist local residents with economic hardships.
Quincy – Baldwin Health Fair – The fair is targeted towards fifth graders in Adams County teaching physical, emotional and environmental health and safety.
Sterling and Rock Falls – Let’s Feed Our Children – An increase in demand on Whiteside County food pantries led to creation of the program that fed, on average, over 400 children during the Summer of 2002.
St. Charles Township – St. Charles High Schools Drill Team Kick-a-Thon 2002 – A community kick line helps raise funds for cancer research.
Westmont – Westmont Citizens Police Academy Alumni Nursing Home Bingo – Academy alumni volunteer for bingo at a local convalescent center.
Westmont – Westmont Fire Department Citizens Volunteer Program – Three volunteer programs were created to assist the fire department in improving services to the public.
CATEGORY VII (Population 48,001 to 100,000)
Adams County – Premier Community Service Website – Quincy.net is a Web site that serves as a clearinghouse of information, especially for community services.
Cicero – Cicero Youth Commission – The Commission was formed to offset the effects of gangs in the area and has resulted in a 29% drop in youth crimes since its inception.
Des Plaines – Des Plaines Healthy Community Project – The Project is comprised of four different task forces to help bring youth and seniors together.
Des Plaines – Meals on Wheels – Despite the randomness of the number of people served on a weekly basis, this program continues to be vital after 25 years of service.
Downers Grove – Bone Marrow Drive – A local grandfather sparked the drive in an effort to find a matching bone marrow donor for his ailing grandson.
Hoffman Estates – Bridging Community Diversity – A Cultural Awareness Commission was created to bridge the gap between various cultures in the community and resulted in a quilt show reflecting the importance of quilting on the efforts of the Underground Railroad.
Rich Township – Rich Township Pantry – The pantry was able to provide nutritional meals to over 2,000 local residents.
Whiteside County – The Clothes Closet – Volunteers assist in collecting, cleaning, hanging and delivering donated clothes items which are given free to those in need.
CATEGORY VIII (Population over 100,000)
Aurora Township – Annual Christmas Dinner for seniors – Volunteers prepare the meal, wrap presents, and provide transportation for nearly 400 seniors who might otherwise be lonely during the holiday season.
Champaign County – Pen Pal Program – This program fosters friendships between young students and seniors while educating the children about writing letters.
Joliet – Girl Scouts of Trailways Council Brownie Troop #146 Children’s Book Drive – The girls held a book drive to assist other children who did not own or have access to books. Nearly 2,000 books were collected.