Longtime volunteer honored in Wheeling

Local volunteer Vivian Smith is the latest winner of Wheeling’s George Hieber Citizenship Award.

A longtime Wheeling resident who has spent decades working for the community in a variety of capacities, Smith was honored by the village board during its meeting Monday night.

Among Smith’s roles was Wheeling Park District board member, a post she held from 2007 to 2009. Smith also has volunteered with Prospect Heights School District 23’s parent teacher organization, the Bison Wrestling Club, the Wheeling Spur Club, Wheeling Helping Hands, and the Wheeling Historical Society, and she is a Greater Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry board member.

Smith’s previous honors include a Distinguished Service Award from Northwest Suburban High School District 214. She’s a member of the Wheeling High School Athletic Hall of Fame as a friend of athletics, too.

“Vivian Smith is constantly willing to help whenever asked, takes much pride in her service and shows a commitment to make Wheeling a better, safer, and kinder place to live,” Village Clerk Kathryn Brady said Monday as she read from a formal resolution describing Smith’s service.

When Brady was done reading, the board and audience gave Smith a standing ovation as she walked to the dais to receive a plaque and a copy of the proclamation from Village President Pat Horcher.

Horcher added to the praise, too.

“Activities like you have participated in really pull a community together,” Horcher said. “Outstanding citizens like you are what is required to make a community significant and vibrant.”

Smith is president of Smith Family Construction, the real estate development firm she founded with her husband, Mark. Mark Smith unsuccessfully challenged Horcher for the village president’s job in 2021.

Created in 2016, the annual Hieber Award bears the name of its first recipient. Last year's winner was community volunteer Rich Rosen.

Smith’s name will be added to a plaque at village hall.

Wheeling resident Vivian Smith, left, receives the George Hieber Citizenship Award from Village President Pat Horcher at Monday's village board meeting. Courtesy of Wheeling
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