Campton Hills' first 'Outstanding Citizen' has village in his heart

Village gives its first Outstanding Citizen of the Year award to former township leader

 
 
Updated 3/21/2018 12:17 AM
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  • Campton Hills' first Outstanding Citizen award recipient, Neal Anderson, center, greets community members Tuesday night.

      Campton Hills' first Outstanding Citizen award recipient, Neal Anderson, center, greets community members Tuesday night. Harry Hitzeman | Staff Photographer

  • Campton Hills Village President Harry Blecker, left, presents Neal Anderson, center, with the Outstanding Citizen award Tuesday night, along with Norm Turner of the village's Community Relations Committee.

      Campton Hills Village President Harry Blecker, left, presents Neal Anderson, center, with the Outstanding Citizen award Tuesday night, along with Norm Turner of the village's Community Relations Committee. Harry Hitzeman | Staff Photographer

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct Dave Corron's name.

Neal Anderson served eight years as a Campton Township trustee, then another eight as township supervisor, and helped initiate and implement the township's open space program.

He was supportive of the effort 11 years ago to incorporate into the village of Campton Hills, volunteered at Corron Farm and with the Boy Scouts, and is a presence at Grace Lutheran Church in Lily Lake.

And to top it all off, he's a strong listener.

Tuesday night, Anderson achieved something no one in the village had done before: He was named the first Outstanding Citizen of the Year for Campton Hills.

"I couldn't do it alone," said Anderson after receiving his plaque from the village. "I'm very blessed, very happy and very thankful people believe in me."

Anderson thanked his wife, Tracy, and his parents, Delores and the late Robert Anderson.

Anderson was chosen from a field of three finalists that also included Dave Corron of the Corron Farm and one of the first families to settle the area and Patsy Smith, regarded as one of the founders of the village who served two terms as village president before losing a bid for a third in 2015.

"(Anderson) was very supportive of incorporation," Smith said. "Neal knew the importance of governing ourselves."

Anderson praised the other finalists and recalled that the open space program was a big step for the township and surrounding community.

"(The finalists) are all pretty equal. We all have Campton in our hearts. We're all here to help," he said.

"(The open space program) was a big deal for everybody. It was so exciting. It was nice to see the community come together."

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