10 Outstanding Citizens Win Elgin Image Awards

10 Outstanding Citizens Win Elgin Image Awards

Elgin’s Image Advisory Commission has announced the winners for the prestigious Image Awards for 2017. The annual awards recognize individuals, businesses and organizations that have had a positive impact on Elgin. The ceremony was held at the Heritage Ballroom at the Centre of Elgin on March 15, 2018.

The commission received 36 nominations. Ten winners were selected:

Individual/Professional Category

George Rawlinson – has authored and published books highlighting people and places in Elgin. He was nominated for a Pultizer Prize for his book Fox Valley Veterans. He is the founder and co-producer of the annual “Tribute to the Troops” Veteran radio program, which has aired on WRMN station for the past 10 years and has been impetus for the “Veteran of the Month” program in the city of Elgin.

Individual/Volunteer Category

Chuck Keysor – every two weeks for more than a decade, he has beautified properties bordering the downtown in order to give scenic views to residents and visitors. He is a founding member of Elgin’s Near West Neighborhood Association. Under his leadership, the association has cleaned up the railroad property along Crystal Avenue and repainted the bridge over Chicago Street.

Bill Mathews – for more than 12 years, he has devoted his personal time to keep the city cleaned by collecting and properly disposing trash and debris along Duncan Avenue and the area in and around Trout Park. He also participates in organized group clean-ups along route 31 as a member of Admirers of Beautiful Old Dwellings of Elgin.

Business Category

Blue Box Cafe – by hosting events like Pokemon Go Fest, Doctor Who and Comic Con hundreds of new visitors experience downtown and assist in making the City a place where everyone wants to bring their family. The business has also given back to the community by contributing food to charities, schools, local churches and the Community Crisis Center.

Elgin New Citizenship Recognition Committee – since 1999, has conducted an annual program welcoming new American citizens to Elgin. The committee volunteers include residents and members representing organizations including Elgin Community College, Centro de Informacion, The Literacy Connection, and Gail Borden Public Library.

Food for Greater Elgin – was founded in 2010, when a team of business, religious and human services leaders came together to address how to unify hunger efforts in Elgin. In 2017, the business distributed nearly three million pounds of food to 15,698 families. In doing so, they logged 20,670 volunteer hours and provided nutrition security and stability for the segment of the community’s population most in need.

Habitat for Humanity of Northern Fox Valley – over the course of 26 years, more than 100 homes have been restored or built resulting in aesthetically pleasing properties positively impacting the community. A recent example is the home located at 655 S. Oak Street, which was unoccupied and in deplorable condition for several years and is now home to a hard-working family lives there.

Organization Category

(CREDIT: School District U-46)

Elgin High School Band – for almost a century and a half, has performed at various community events including the Veterans Day Ceremony, the Memorial Day Ceremony, the Fourth of July parade, the Elgin Fringe Festival’s first blimp raising and Nightmare on Chicago Street. As the band members stand with respect while playing the national anthem, they also stand tall with pride and dignity representing Elgin High School, School District U-46 and the city of Elgin.

Elgin Sports Hall of Fame – Over the years, the Hall of Fame has supported the advancement in education of Elgin area student athletes with scholarships totaling over $490,000. Currently, the Hall of Fame is composed of 153 inductees, showcasing a variety of talents represented by Elgin’s youth.

Historic Elgin House Tour – Since 1981, over 50,000 people have participated in touring Elgin’s unique historical architecture and heritage during this event. Gifford Park Association has helped open the doors to 229 homes and 33 commercial buildings and several houses of worship across 10 Elgin neighborhoods.

The Image Advisory Commission appreciates the work of the nominees and those who took the time to nominate these deserving individuals and organizations that have contributed to the city’s image through their great efforts. Nomination forms will be announced for next year’s award in the fall of 2018.

For more information, contact Barb Keselica, special events and community engagement manager, at 847-531-7056 or by email at keselica_b@cityofelgin.org.

SOURCE: city of Elgin news release