In honor of National Volunteer Week (April 19-25), the University of Illinois at Springfield and the Junior League of Springfield hosted the Springfield Good as Gold Ceremony, a recognition event to acknowledge community members and organizations for their volunteer efforts.
The ceremony took place on Thursday evening, April 23, in the lobby of the Public Affairs Center on the UIS campus. More than 50 people were recognized during the event for their achievements and efforts.
UIS honored one staff member and one student who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to service and volunteerism with the UIS Star Staff and UIS Star Student awards. Craig Pelka, a senior at UIS, was the recipient of the UIS Star Student Award. Mary Caroline Mitchell, associate director of the UIS Alumni Office, received the UIS Star Staff Award.
UIS students were also recognized for their involvement in many volunteer projects over the past year, including involvement in the Americorps program and mentoring at Jefferson Middle School and Harvard Park Elementary School. The students were honored with Outstanding Community Service Awards.
The Junior League recognized Allie Beams, a local junior high school student, with their Outstanding Community Service Award.
Jack Flesner, a second-grader at Our Savior’s Lutheran, was the recipient of the Youth Volunteer Award.
The Graham Elementary School Lunch Bunch Mentoring Group was honored with the Organization Agent of Service Award. Members of the group include Daniel Cadigan, Darrell Clark, Andre Jordan, Leroy Jordan, Melvin Jordan, Jonathan Lackland and Edward Pinn.
Five nominees for the Distinguished Volunteer Award were acknowledged during the event with a short presentation. The nominees included Jennifer Allender, Richard Corkery, Kenneth Page, Shana Stine and John Woods.
The winner of the Distinguished Volunteer Award was John Woods, for his work with Camp Care-a-Lot, a summer camp for children ages six to 10.
Forty-four local volunteers were also honored with the Heart of Gold Award. Recipients included:
Randi Alexander, Thomas Armstead, Eloise Baird, Elizabeth Bishop, Floyd and Bobbi Blackard, Mervin Brennan, Jodie Brubaker, Lisa Brunson, Daniel Cadigan, Latosha Caldwell, Dennis and Sharon Chrans, Laura Coffey, Karen Finney, Samuel Finney, Lynn Handy, Jeanne Harris, Jeanne Harvill, Helen Healy, Gloria Henkle, Michael and Barbara Hickey, Michelle Higginbotham, Linda Hinds, Alia Hollenbeck, Tricia Hopkins-Price, Jennifer Isringhausen, Howard Kang, Mary Lawrick, Dannyl Madura, Coleton Meseke, Jill Meseke, Sister Josine Mondloch, Bailie Parfitt, Helen Peters, Joseph Richiusa, Amanda Roberts, Therese Romanelli, Diamond Ross, Steve Roth, Donna Schechter, Noel Scott, Chad Underwood, Debbie Waters, Patricia Wilken and Patricia Wright.