Volunteers who provided more than 134,000 hours of service to veterans were recently honored for their effort by the Veterans Assistance Commission of Lake County.
Lovell Federal Health Care Center is the biggest recipient with more than 58,000 hours of volunteer time.
The top five veterans service organizations in Lake County receiving the Johnnie Allen Volunteer Award were: the Mundelein American Legion Post 967 with 9,715 hours; Marine Corps League Detachment 801 with 8,298 hours; Winthrop Harbor VFW Post 7448 with 8,240 hours; Zion-Benton American Legion Post 865 with 3,374 hours; and Lake Zurich American Legion Post 964 with 3,110 hours.
Sixteen members of the VAC were presented with the Presidential Service Award, which includes a certificate, gold pin and a letter from President Obama.
VAC delegates being recognized are Al Zelent, Bob Cloud, Bob Sittler, Harry Fontana, John Patterson, John Shebenik, Ken Parrish, Lisabeth Risley, Louis Rodriquez, Michael Kozar, Nick Konz, Norm Arnswald, Richard Moy, Stan Villarreal, Tom Marciciak and Wally Frasier. They represent 12,359 hours of service.
The VAC, as a member of the Illinois Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, also presented four Department of Defense Seven Seas Awards. Honorees were: Dr. Raymond Moy, a dentist in Vernon Hills who assisted with dental exams during the 2012 stand down; Tom Zengeler of Zengeler Cleaners, who provided clothing for distribution during this year's stand down; Two Men and a Truck of Lake County, which provided assistance for the moving of donated electric wheel chairs and furniture for veterans; and, Rosalind Franklin University Health System, which provided health care screening during the 2012 stand down, which assists at-risk veterans.
A special Eagle Award was presented to Deputy Chief Jon Petrillo, Vernon Hills Police Department, who organized an eight school coat drive during rivalry football games that netted more than 400 coats for veterans. Petrillo has been working with the VAC for six years and through his efforts this has been the fourth year that Vernon Hills police have contributed to the VAC stand down.
VAC Superintendent Michael Peck presented his 2012 Governors Report, which shows an $11 million increase in compensation for the disabled veterans of Lake County.
Currently, the county receives $70 million and Peck expects a jump of at least $5 million with more than 1,500 claims pending decision. Processing time for new claims is expected to shorten as the VAC is submitting more than half of its claims as being fully developed at the county level.