Residents, businesses earn Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards

Chronicle Media

The Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service has presented 25 residents and five businesses with the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award.

The award recognizes volunteers and volunteer programs that have made a difference in Illinois and highlights the importance of volunteerism and community service.

A ceremony took place April 18 as part of the National Volunteer Week festivities.

“Illinois is a state that was truly born, built, and grown with the spirit of volunteerism and community service,” said Gov. Bruce Rauner.  “The individuals and businesses we’re recognizing have impacted millions of lives. We’re honored to highlight their service.”

“These individuals and businesses embody the true spirit of volunteering and are making a difference in their communities through a variety of activities such as helping the homeless, youth education, and assisting veterans,” said Commission Executive Director Scott McFarland.  “We are proud to have them serving in Illinois.”

The Commission received more than 130 nominations in six categories (adult, AmeriCorps, business, senior, Senior Corps, and youth) from the Commission’s five service regions across the state (East Central, Northeast, Northwest, Southern, and West Central).  Commissioners reviewed the applications and selected 30 award winners.

The following are the 2018 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award recipients.  More information about the recipients is on the Serve Illinois website at

East Central Award Recipients

Adult: Priyanka Bahel – Naperville
For service to: Carle Foundation Hospital

AmeriCorps: Brian Frapolly – McHenry
For service to: Illinois Justice Corps/McLean County Law and Justice Center

Business: Land of Lincoln Credit Union – Decatur
For service to: Webster Cantrell Hall and other organizations

Senior: Alfred Hampton – Springfield
For service to: Central Illinois Foodbank

Senior Corps: Alice Bray – Decatur
For service to: Dove’s Children’s Clothing Room

Youth: Gage Ford – Springfield
For service to: Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Illinois Capital Region

Northeast Award Recipients

Adult: Anna Stargardt – Chicago
For service to: Advocate Lutheran General Hospital

AmeriCorps: Brandi France – Grayslake
For service to: Waukegan to College

Business: Northwestern Medicine-Team NM – Winfield
For service to: DuPage County Health Department Initiatives-Impact DuPage and FORWARD DuPage

Senior:  Ann McAveeney – Lake Forest
For service to: Fill A Heart 4 Kids

Senior Corps: Arthur “Nick” Cordell- Yorkville
For service to: Senior Services Associates

Youth: Nolan Rahm – Evergreen Park
For service to: Tinley Park Paws

Northwest Award Recipients

Adult: Melissa Ryan Bergstrom – Sterling
For service to: Team Jess

AmeriCorps: Christopher Black – East Moline
For service to: WQPT-Quad Cities PBS

Business:  Culver’s – Dixon
For service to: Sauk Valley Community College

Senior: Juanita Martin – Rockford
For service to: Northwest Community Center

Senior Corps: Char Polis – Rockford
For service to: Retired and Senior Volunteer Program Winnebago County

Youth: Sarina Goldie – Freeport
For service to: Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois

Southern Award Recipients

Adult: Marleen Shepherd – Carbondale
For service to: Sparrow Coalition

AmeriCorps: Zach Brookman – Opdyke
For service to: Opdyke-Belle Rive CCSD #5

Business: Luxury Looks Barber & Beauty Salon – Fairview Heights
For service to: Men of East St. Louis

Senior: Alice McGowen – Jerseyville
For service to: Humanity Road, Inc.

Senior Corps: Ron Simpson- Carterville
For service to: Gum Drops NFP

Youth: Kaitlyn Barnett – Troy
For service to: Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois

West Central Award Recipients

Adult: Jenny Lee – Mackinaw
For service to: TCRC and RSVP of Peoria and Tazewell Counties

AmeriCorps: Justin Krohn – Macomb
For service to: Western Illinois Regional Council

Business: Kassing Lumber Company – Mt. Sterling
For service to: Adams, Brown, and Pike Counties RSVP

Senior: William Durall – Pittsfield
For service to: JWCC Southeast Education Center

Senior Corps: Joseph Urbanc – Peoria
For service to: RSVP of Peoria and Tazewell Counties

Youth: Beckham Oldenettel – Jacksonville
For service to: New Directions Warming and Cooling Shelter and other organizations

The Serve Illinois Commission is a 40-member (25 voting and 15 non-voting), bipartisan board appointed by the Governor and administered by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). Its mission is to improve Illinois communities by enhancing volunteerism and instilling an ethic of service throughout the State.