Exceptional Elmhurst Volunteers Recognized at 14th Service Awards Program
The Elmhurst City Council, Commission on Youth, Senior Citizens Commission, and Character Counts in Elmhurst recently co-sponsored the 14th annual City of Elmhurst Character Counts Service Awards for Youth and Adults.
On Tuesday evening, March 21, 23 individual youth volunteers, 20 adult volunteers and six groups were recognized for demonstrating the following criteria through volunteer service: exemplary commitment; providing for the health and well being of the community at large; and promoting the spirit of volunteerism.
Eight youth and five adults were honored with Exemplary Volunteer awards. They were:
Youth – Megan Bogolia, Jennifer Clementi, Miranda Deane, Julia Levin, Molly McCann, Daniel Possley, Kellyanne Remy and Megan Sutton
Adults – Jane Ahrens, Kristine DeGrace, Jacky Merrill, Dena Seidenfuss and Anne Sullivan
Also honored with certificates were:
Youth – Melanie Biegler, Abigail Betke, Scott Blair, Kristen Borel, Patrick Krastin, Sara Krissinger, Wesley Krissinger, Mikayla McIntryre, Matt Schmidt, Samantha Slocum, Margaret Stotzer, Tyler Strezo, Amanda Tumbarello, Kendal Wolff and Nick Wheeler
Adults – Terry Clarke, Marie Hosteland, Paul Krohn, Sheri Lambert, Mike LaSpisa, James Manning, Patricia Moll, Karen Nishimura, Genevieve Scaro, Vivien Sparacino, Larry Studer, Tom and Evelyn Tran, David P. Tufte and Mark Weeden
Additionally, the following groups were honored –
The Phi Mu Sorority of Elmhurst College: Executive Officers – Julie Cuba, Megan Wajda, Jennifer Kruml, Michelle Cyphert, Marisa Ciaccia, Katie Gaspari, Roxanne (Roxy) Gajewski, Erin Ochoa and Gianna Giuffre; Advisory Council – Megan Shoemaker, Cathy Bajkowski, Kathleen Pine, Bailey Nunley, Jesssica Sweet, Cari Kauffman, Jan Vanek and Marikate Langan.
York High School All Youth Relay for Life Team: Senior chairs – Annie Hart, Caroline Hogan, Kayla Spencer and Julia Sulkin; Junior chairs – Ryan D’Angelo, Mike Shannon and Tommy Sullivan, Frank Arnone, Shannon Funk, Eric Glaubke, Sarah Hayes, Natalie Heinle, Jack Libert, Kristina Mellone, Kelly Nikitas, Sean O’Keeffe, Christina Ordonez, Paige Perto and Della Weiner
York High School Key Club Board: Ellen Barry, Julia Carlson, Laura Krance, Shari Lund, Abby Mazzocco, Blaire Porter, Kelly Premo and Emma Stuefen
Soles for Africa: Kelsey Mills and Anna Talamo
LEAD Volunteers of Elmhurst Walk-In Ministry: Carol Achtien, Jean Alvarez, Sue Barr, Mary Jo Corbett, Judy Everson, Pat Ferrarini, Mary Goebel, Clare Klock, Berandette Lowum, Joann Spaeth, Rosalie Ward and Joan Witt
Meals for Veterans: Jan and Rich Edgley, Barbara and Rog Bonaccorci, Nancy Brook, Catherine and Stan Janusz, Kim Mehta, Pam and Dan Murphy, Ione Piche, Jan and Ted Soltys, Jan Vanek, Rosalie and Keith Ward
Nominees had to have provided service that was voluntary and unpaid. This award is focused on individual achievement; however, individuals who performed community service as part of a group were also eligible for nomination. Serving as judges this year were District 205 Youth Officer Len Kolpak; Diane McGinnis, Manager of Community and Government Relations for Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare; and Dr. Alzada Tipton, Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs, Elmhurst College. Selection of exemplary volunteers took place through a blind review process.
Award winners were congratulated by Elmhurst Mayor Pete DiCianni during a ceremony and reception held in the Frick Center on the campus of Elmhurst College. The reception was underwritten by the Elmhurst Commission on Youth, Elmhurst Senior Citizen Commission, Character Counts in Elmhurst and Elmhurst College.
Ken Bartels, Senior Vice President and Director of the Community Bank of Elmhurst – as well as an active community volunteer himself, served as Master of Ceremonies for the evening. He was introduced by Desiree Chen, Elmhurst College’s Managing Director of Public Affairs. Two-time student volunteer award winner Laurel Miner, a York High School junior, gave an address on the merits of volunteering.
The program was taped for airing on the local government cable channels (AT&T U-Verse Channel 99; Comcast Channel 6). Check out Elmhurst Our Kind of Town #1177 Saturdays at 3 PM and Sundays at 5 PM during April. To view pictures from the event, please visit www.charactercountsinelmhurst.org.
Serving as commissioners for the Elmhurst Commission on Youth, which annually organizes the Exemplary Services Awards program, are: Erica Brady (Commission Chair), Kathleen Gusloff, Susan Chansey, Hosi Mehta, Darin Evans, Melea Smith, Patti Palmer, Scott LaMorte, Joan Drummond Olson, and Ex Officio members Elmhurst Police Youth Officers Frank Visconti and Len Kolpak.
Under the auspices of the City of Elmhurst, the Commission on Youth was first established in 1995, with a mission of advocating for positive opportunities which promote the health and well-being of Elmhurst youth. Over the past 15-plus years, the Commission has: published a Directory of Youth Services, been involved in supporting Operation Snowball/Snowflake programs, laid the groundwork for the Elmhurst School District 205 mentoring program and promoted various youth-oriented activities, including the annual Character Counts Service Awards for Youth and Adults.