HandsOn Suburban Chicago and the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program hosted the 2013 Impact Awards & Volunteer Recognition Awards April 11 at the Metropolis Ballroom in Arlington Heights.
The program commenced with then-Arlington Heights Mayor Arlene J. Mulder delivering a Mayoral Proclamation for National Service Recognition Day, which was formally held April 9. The proclamation identified Arlington Heights as a community that encourages residents to recognize the positive impact of national service and to find ways to give back to their communities. In Illinois, 28 other mayors gave the same proclamation.
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More than 200 people attended this annual recognition event that presented awards to volunteers in six categories. Candidates were nominated by local nonprofit organizations for their outstanding volunteer service.
• This year's Emerging Leader Award, recognizing an exceptional youth volunteer, went to Michael LaRue, an after school mentor through the CHIL Program at London Middle School in Wheeling.
• The Community Champion Award, recognizing an outstanding volunteer or volunteer group, was presented to the volunteer drivers of Escorted Transportation Service NW.
• The Lead with Experience Award, recognizing a volunteer over the age of 55, was awarded to Pat D'Avolio, a volunteer with Elite Stars Athletics.
• The Military Service Award, given to a current or former member of the U.S. Military, went to Mike Mahoney, who volunteers with Honor Flight Chicago and is part of the Honor Guard at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery.
Two award categories were selected by HOSC Staff.
• The Business 2 Community Award, recognizing a local business or corporation that has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to employee volunteerism, was presented to Motorola Solutions.
• The Volunteer Program of the Year Award, recognizing an innovative nonprofit for their outstanding volunteer program, was awarded to Women in Need Growing Stronger.
A special recognition was also given to retiring Elk Grove Township supervisor Nanci Vanderweel, who brought much guidance and support to the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Northern DuPage and Northern Cook Counties.
Sully Sullivan, a volunteer driver for Escorted Transportation Service NW, who received the Community Champion Award said, "I've been volunteering since 2006, and it's been a very rewarding experience." The ETS award recognized the entire pool of 81 drivers, all of whom were invited to attend the recognition event.
The Impact Awards were presented just a week prior to National Volunteer Week, April 21-27, which celebrates taking action and encouraging individuals and their respective communities to be at the center of social change, discover and actively demonstrate their collective power to foster positive transformation.
The event was made possible by donations from the Corporation for National and Community Service, Altria, Baxter, Safeguard and in-kind donations from The Irving Press, the Metropolis Ballroom of Arlington Heights and the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre.