Wheeling couple are latest recipients of local citizenship award

  • Wheeling residents and award-winning volunteers Kathy and Mike Burns.

    Wheeling residents and award-winning volunteers Kathy and Mike Burns. Courtesy of village of Wheeling

 
 
Posted1/19/2021 5:00 AM

A Wheeling couple with a history of local volunteer work are the latest recipients of the village's George Hieber Citizenship Award.

Mike and Kathy Burns were honored during Monday night's village board meeting, which was held remotely because of the COVID-19 crisis. Village Clerk Elaine Simpson read aloud a resolution listing just a few of the couple's good deeds.

 

Mike Burns is vice president of the Wheeling Park District board. He's also a retired Wheeling firefighter, a former member of Wheeling's plan commission and a volunteer with the Wheeling Helping Hands nonprofit group, among other roles.

As a pair, the Burnses have wrapped Christmas presents during the Shop with the Cops event, portrayed Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus in the annual Lights Around Wheeling holiday celebration and performed other community tasks.

"We are grateful to Mike and Kathy for their good citizenship and for their commitment to making Wheeling a better place," Village President Pat Horcher said. "Thank you so much for your contributions."

The Burnses, who participated in the ceremony remotely, will receive a plaque as part of the honor. Their names already have been added to a large, marble marker inside village hall.

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Mike Burns said he and his wife were "surprised and humbled" to be nominated for the prize.

"We're just very honored," Burns said.

Created in 2016, the Hieber Award bears the name of its first recipient, a longtime resident and community volunteer who died that year. It recognizes residents who contribute to the community.

Last year's winners were Darlene and Marshall Kaplan. The previous honorees were Pam Dorband, Marilyn Chromy and Kathy Pico.

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