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posted: 1/16/2013 6:45 PM

Mount Prospect honoring its 'Shining Stars'

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  • Mount Prospect Mayor Irvana Wilks, right, meets with resident Mike Jensen and his family during last year's Celestial Celebration banquet. This year's event, highlighted by the awarding of 'Shining Star' honors, takes place Feb. 1.

      Mount Prospect Mayor Irvana Wilks, right, meets with resident Mike Jensen and his family during last year's Celestial Celebration banquet. This year's event, highlighted by the awarding of 'Shining Star' honors, takes place Feb. 1.
    Bob Chwedyk/Daily Herald file photo

 
 

Mount Prospect's annual Celestial Celebration banquet is just a couple of weeks away, which means 12 people and organizations are that close to being honored as the community's Shining Stars.

The Shining Star award program is the centerpiece of the event, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The awards recognize those who have made significant contributions to the community that go above and beyond what is expected.

Each of the awards will recognize a unique type of contribution -- volunteerism, commitment to young people, neighborliness and more. The Celestial Celebration will be held Friday, Feb. 1.

"I was totally surprised," said Carol Tortorello, who will receive the Volunteer's Volunteer Award at the banquet. "I don't volunteer to get recognized. It's something I truly enjoy."

Tortorello, a resident for more than 50 years, can be seen volunteering in a number of ways during any given week. She helps run the village's blood drive, which takes place on the first Thursday of every month. She's an usher at St. Raymond de Penafort Church on Sunday mornings. She's a member of the village's Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), a group of residents that provides various forms of assistance to police and firefighters. And that just scratches the surface.

"I think I started getting involved around 1990," Tortorello said. "And things just seemed to snowball. I think it's so fun -- I get to meet lots of interesting people, and I give back a little bit to the community."

Rainbow Hospice will receive the Beautify Mount Prospect Award in recognition of the public art project it launched over the summer that saw dozens of painted butterfly statues stationed in Mount Prospect, Des Plaines and Park Ridge.

"We're so honored to have been chosen for this honor," Rainbow Hospice spokesman Jeff Okazaki said. "And we're grateful for the way the village embraced this project."

The rest of the 2013 Shining Star winners include:

• Good-Better-Best Neighbor Award -- Roger Kruse

• Unsung Hero Award -- Betty Barten

• Best Business Partner Award -- Mount Prospect Child Care

• Home Town Award -- Tom Zouramas

• There Ought to be More People Like This Award -- Karen Enzenbacher

• Champion For Youth Award -- Tina Kozil

• Rising Star Award -- Carolyn Fujara

• Youth Service Award -- Jill Galyon

• Open Arms Award -- Stephanie Johanson and Jodi Bechtold

• Star Spangled Award -- Bob Fey

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