Sugar Grove Library Director Beverly Holmes Hughes was named Sugar Grove's Citizen of the Year Friday night.
But she didn't receive the award until a Saturday afternoon ceremony during the village's Corn Boil festivities.
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That's because about the time Friday Hughes was to be surprised with the award at the main stage, thunderstorms had started rolling through Kane County. Organizers decided to shut the festival down and postpone the rest of the ceremony.
"She has done so much for the community," Village President Sean Michels said Friday. "She does so much behind the scenes."
Hughes celebrated her 20th anniversary as library director in May. She shepherded the library through the construction of, and move in to, a new building on Municipal Drive in 2009.
Hughes also is secretary of the Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce, and serves on its Corn Boil committee.
Hughes lives in North Aurora with her husband, Chuck; her sister, Janet; and six nieces and nephews. She belongs to the Sugar Grove Historical Society, the Kaneland Women Insight Network Service nonprofit organization, the Sugar Grove Garden Club and Kaneland Junior Achievement. She has worked with the Illinois Reading Council, and is a member of the American Library Association.
She has a master's degree in library science from Rosary College.
The Citizen of the Year is chosen by the Chamber of Commerce and the village government. Residents submit nominations and letters of support.
"Beverly has enriched life in our village with her selfless and creative involvement in many areas that truly enhance Sugar Grove's cultural opportunities," said the chamber's executive director, Shari Baum, in a prepared statement. "Beverly has a generosity of spirit that embodies the idea that the community must be inclusive for all. As she works toward helping our community she shows us that volunteerism can enrich all our lives. She is inspired, and then she inspires."
Baum said Hughes exemplifies the "pioneer spirit" Sugar Grove residents are known for and has helped the village grow and prosper.
Previous winners of the award are Jim Wilhelm (2009), Karen McCannon (2008), Joe Wolf (2007), Pat Graceffa (2006), Karen Pritchard (2005), Arnie and Beryl Liefheit (2004), David Seraphin (2003), Kevin Tindall (2002), Delmar and Ruth Krieghbaum (2001), Stan Anderson (2000), Chris Dayvolt (1999) and Terry Siebert (1998).
Meanwhile, Saturday afternoon, the festival was in full swing in bright sunshine.
Dave Burroughs, chief corn cook, was overseeing four gas-fired boilers, each capable of cooking 48 ears of corn in 10 minutes. He ordered 11,000 ears of corn for this year's festival. It was shucked by volunteers, including a Boy Scout troop from Elgin and a crew from Sugar Grove United Methodist Church, then stored in cold water in a shallow pool-like structure near the boilers.
Even with Friday's bad weather, corn sales were on target, he said.
The festival continues from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.