DNA Awards Gala Finalists

The Downtown Neighborhood Association (DNA) of Elgin announced the finalists in the categories of Individual as well as Business, Organization or Group awards for its 2012 Prom Time Awards Gala at Grand Victoria Casino on Thursday, October 11.

The DNA accepted nominations from the community throughout the month of September. From the nearly twenty nominations received, the DNA Awards Gala committee voted and selected five finalists from each award category.

The finalists for the Individual Award category are:

Jeff Allison – Chairman of the DNA’s 4th of July Parade Committee for 7 years. Provided steering leadership to the Elgin International Festival’s inaugural parade. Volunteers at Provena Saint Joseph Hospital and helps organize their yearly golf outing.

Representative Keith Farnham – Instrumental in securing the release of funding from the State’s Capital Fund to begin the Riverside Drive Promenade project as well as helping secure state funding for the Elgin Artspace Lofts.

Tonya Hudson – Tonya’s track record of success as the former Director of DNA included working with the City to provide uniform parking signage & enforcement standards and modification of zoning ordinances to allow for second story residential units in downtown Elgin.

Dave Metzger – Local artist whose creative vision helped shape last year’s Nightmare on Chicago Street viral video campaign. This year he helped launch the new Monster Mash-Up event at the Haight Building and is responsible for the brand new Miss Zombie Pageant held in conjunction with Nightmare on Chicago Street 2012.

Pietro Verone – Hosts weekly Elgin Non-Profit of the Week events at Villa Verone to help raise money and awareness for area non-profit organizations.

The finalists for the Business, Organization or Group Award category are:

Elgin International Festival Committee – Lead by Danise Habun of the City’s Human Relations Commission, iFest combined the resources of dozens of Elgin’s ethnic organizations and hundreds of volunteers to collaborate on this unique celebration of Elgin’s diverse cultures, flavors and talents on Labor Day weekend in Festival Park.

Grand Victoria Foundation – A vital community resource and an instrumental cog in downtown Elgin’s revitalization, Grand Victoria Foundation was a valued partner in last year’s Elgin Home for the Holidays program – which brought over 20 Elgin area non-profits together in the spirit of collaboration in promoting our City as a destination for holiday tourism.

Love Elgin Day – Founded by Pastor Jeorge Holmes, hosted by the local downtown churches and undergirded by the business, professional, government and social services community, Love Elgin Day is an outreach to service Elgin families and individuals in need of physical resources and spiritual encouragement. Both 2012 events were very well attended.

Nightmare on Chicago Street Committee – A group of creative community visionaries, lead by Barb Keselica and Heather Williams from the City of Elgin’s Special Events department, who invested thousands of hours into developing a groundbreaking, impactful special event that has served to cement Elgin as the Zombie Capital of the world.

YWCA Elgin – Located in downtown Elgin for the last 111 years, the YW continues to evolve by building stronger neighborhoods through programs such as School Age Child Care, Teen REACH and Adult Education & Family Literacy. This past January, they were honored with a Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast Award.

The DNA Prom Time Awards Gala takes place on Thursday, October 11 at the Fox River Room inside Grand Victoria Casino. Cocktail hour featuring dancing and prom photos begins at 6PM followed by dinner at 7PM. The Awards Ceremony begins shortly before 8PM with the crowning of the best dressed DNA Prom King and Queen as chosen by the audience immediately following the ceremony. The Gala closes with more dancing followed by Prom After Parties into the night at Martini Room, 161 E. Chicago Street; Prairie Rock Bar & Grill, 127 S. Grove Avenue; and Villa Verone, 13 Douglas Avenue.

For more information about the DNA Prom Time Awards Gala, the Downtown Neighborhood Association or downtown Elgin, visit www.DowntownElgin.com.