Winners named for 2021 Governor's Volunteer Service Awards

  • Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service

    Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service Courtesy of Serve Illinois Commission

Updated 11/26/2021 8:17 PM

The Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service presented Illinoisans the Governor's Volunteer Service Award during an in-person live event on Nov. 10 in Springfield. The award recognizes volunteers that have made a difference in Illinois, and highlights the importance of volunteerism and community service. A full list of the winners, including category and service regions listed below.

Over the last year, many have had to lean on the efforts and help of volunteers more than ever before, with hardships compounded by new and unforeseen challenges brought about by the pandemic. Executive Director N. Ayoka Samuels (referred to as Ayoka) states, "The individuals that have stepped up to help others deserve recognition and appreciation for dedicating their time, energy and resources, and we are thrilled we were able to do so in person this year. We are grateful to all who have helped others in their communities, and we hope these awards for volunteerism inspire others to give back when they can, as every effort makes a difference."


The categories had a winner selected in each of the Commission's five service regions across the state (Northeast, Northwest, East Central, West Central and Southern Illinois) resulting in a total of 40 awards. The awards categories offered include Adult, AmeriCorps Member, Business, Senior, AmeriCorps Seniors Member, Youth, and COVID-19 Medical Volunteer.

Details on each of the categories can be found on the Serve Illinois website. A panel of judges of Governor-appointed Commissioners, former awardees and Illinois leaders selected the award recipients.

Further details, including a list of the winners, can be found on the Serve Illinois website, as well as information regarding Governor's Volunteer Service Awards and the nomination process.

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

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Winners of the Governor's Service Award are:

• Steve Koch (Sangamon County);

• Rita Kitchell (Brown County);

• Barbara Casady/Shoe Carnival (Adams County);

• Ed Rexroad (Macon County);

• David Farrell (Sangamon County);

• Mackenzie Bonham (Champaign County);

• Dirk Schlueter (Winnebago County);

• Kathleen Crisci (DeKalb County);

• Willa Lucas (Peoria County);

• JaeJun Park (McLean County);

• Robert Bushey (Kankakee County);

• Nate Curtis (Will County);

• Lamarr Springs (Cook County);

• Marilyn Hermann (Cook County);

• Jeanne Wagner Newton (McHenry County);


• Eman Tadros (Will County);

• Carol Bauer (DuPage County);

• Dan Hostetler (DuPage County);

• Henry Xie (DuPage County);

• Maya Joshi (Cook County);

• Ravi & Rohan Mahajan (DuPage County);

• Avi Rubin (Lake County);

• Denise Arendell (Madison County);

• Steve Eddington (St. Clair County);

• Norma Buch (Randolph County);

• Carol Dreith/Fairfield Memorial Hospital (Wayne County);

• Kristi Ward (St. Clair County);

• Nancy Orrill (Madison County)

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