Elgin Image Award Winners Announced

elginlogo-3colorFrom the City of Elgin – Elgin’s Image Advisory Commission is proud to announce the winners for the  prestigious Image Awards for 2012. The annual award recognizes individuals, businesses and organizations that have had a positive impact on Elgin. The ceremony took place at the Heritage Ballroom at The Centre of Elgin.

The commission received 35 nominations. Twelve winners, including two lifetime achievement recipients, were selected:

In the Individual/Professional category

Donna Askins – (The Elgin Community Garden Network) From one community garden in 2006, Elgin Community Garden Network (ECGN) has grown to 26 community gardens in 2012 with all excess fresh produce being donated to our local food pantries. Under the leadership of Donna, ECGN is dedicated to increasing the growing of fresh local produce, getting people outdoors and moving, and building neighborhood relationships.

Lucy Elliot – Lucy has not only worked as Museum Educator at the Elgin History Museum for the past 6 years but has been a force for positive change in the Elgin area for the past 30 years.  She has committed herself to creating pride in Elgin for everyone, but especially for newcomers to the area and for children. 

Toya Randall – Toya has shown a repeated commitment to education in our City.  As a United Way of Elgin Board Member, Toya chaired a year-long effort to develop one of the most comprehensive strategic plans in UWE history.  Toya’s passion and tireless efforts have not only enhanced Elgin’s image, but have also built a stronger community, immeasurably improving the lives of its residents.

In the Individual/Volunteer category

Albert Guevara – (The Literacy Connection) Albert has been a Basic Reading and English as a Second Language (ESL) volunteer tutor for The Literacy Connection since June 2004.  At age of 75, this dedicated man has helped 38 low-literate and non-English speaking adults.

In the Project category:

Gail Borden Library’s “Summer Reading Program” – “It takes a village to raise a child”.  This philosophy has been perfectly exemplified by the many partner organizations working to make the Gail Borden Summer Reading Program a success.  Because of this program the 3,768 children who completed the Summer Reading Program in 2012 – our future citizens – have felt the collective support of their families, teachers, principals, neighbors and organizations.

Salvation Army’s Golden Diners Sr. Nutrition Program – The Salvation Army Golden Diners has had an enormous positive impact on the community in Kane and McHenry County since 1974.  Their aim is that “no senior should be malnourished” and they deliver hot meals every day.  

YWCA of Elgin’s Teen Reach Program – For the past 11 years the Elgin Teen REACH Program (Responsibility, Education, Achievement, Caring, Hope) has been making a difference to our 12-17 year olds the to the wider community. The program serves 45 youths every day and is able to see those young people staying in school, maintaining good grades, setting and keeping personal goals and becoming successful citizens in our home town and beyond.

In the Organizations/Businesses category:

Coalition of Elgin’s Religious Leaders – Founded in the 1950’s the Coalition of Elgin’s Religious Leaders (CERL) meets monthly and gathers lay and ordained leaders (Ministers, Priests, Rabbis and Imams) from 77 different congregations.  The group focuses on ways they can improve the Elgin community through their service, conversation and action.

Domani Café – Domani Café is a pocket sized coffee sensation owned and operated by Leo Urdaneta since 2009. In a world growing more detached through our increased dependence on technology, the Domani Café is one of those rare, true Neighborhood gathering places.

Elgin Community College Alliance for College Readiness – Elgin Community College’s (ECC’s) Alliance of College Readiness connects college faculty with educators from middle and high schools.  The goal of the program is “to ensure that all District 509 young people are ready for college-level courses and can experience success after High School”.

In the Citizenship/Lifetime Achievement category:

Ernie Broadnax  – A life-long Elgin resident, Mr. Broadnax has experienced Elgin at its worst in terms of race relations and at its best.  Ernie has been a very prominent figure in this community working to improve race relations and make Elgin a great city to live in for all its residents.

Sue and Tom Rakow  – Tom and Sue have both worked tirelessly to make Elgin a better place to live.  One of their most notable contributions as a couple has been their incredible support of the Gail Borden Library (Rakow Branch) when the family contributed the funds to purchase reading materials for the library.  They are role models for civic-minded residents looking to make a difference and to improve the quality of life in their community.

The Image Commission appreciates the work of the nominees and those who took the time to nominate these deserving people and organizations who 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 2013.

For complete information on each award recipient, Image Awards or the Image Commission please contact Barb Keselica, Special Events and Community Engagement Coordinator, at 847-531-7056 or by email at Keselica_b@cityofelgin.org.