Governor Quinn honors volunteers for working to improve their communities

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

           October 26, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today recognized 28 outstanding volunteer groups from throughout Illinois with Governor’s Home Town Awards (GHTA). The GHTA recognizes volunteers for their work to improve their communities. The city of Mascoutah’s Little Indians Youth Football Program was honored this year with the coveted Governor’s Cup.

            “The volunteers we are recognizing today truly exemplify the best Illinois has to offer by going above and beyond to make their communities better places to live,” Governor Quinn said. “By investing their time and talent, these individuals are not only supporting their neighbors, but also uplifting the entire state.”

            The Governor’s Home Town Awards recipients were chosen by a group of volunteer judges who reviewed and ranked applications based on community need, use of resources and results. The judges then selected one project from each population category to compete for the Governor’s Cup. The cup is a traveling silver trophy presented to the community whose efforts were deemed most representative of Illinois’ spirit of volunteerism.

            The Mascoutah Little Indians Youth Football Program was the 2011 Governor’s Cup winner. Mascoutah is a community of about 7,500 located near Scott Air Force Base. The city is home to a number of retired and active duty military families. Recognizing the need for more youth programs, community members started the Little Indians Football Program. At the end of the 2010 season, more than 300 youths were involved with the program as football or cheerleading participants.

            Projects were judged within their population category as well as within an assigned project category such as services and mentorship, memorials and monuments, parks and recreation, beautification and sustainability, and history and historic preservation. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) administers the Governor’s Home Town Awards Program.

            Each of the award-winning communities receives a road sign and plaque recognizing its efforts. The Governor’s Cup winner receives the traveling trophy and a unique road sign that proclaims its status as the overall winner.

The 28 projects recognized represent the work of more than 4,300 volunteers who devoted nearly 78,000 hours of their time, which equates to more than $1.7 million in value. Nearly $1.3 million in private funds and materials were raised for these projects.