Innovative Project Award
The Governor’s Home Town Award winning ‘Haunted Barn and Trail’ started as a suggestion at a MAPPING session for a fundraiser. At first it seemed that interest was tepid but soon e-mails were flying and enthusiasm and creativity exploded. Within days they had a location, a plan, volunteers and were set to go! Stewardson, a town of 700, managed to attract over 900 people to their haunted barn and trail and in their very first attempt raised $4,000! They have continued the fundraiser with success. The project won the community a Governor’s Home Town Award for town’s their size.
Community Champion Award
Rodney Conner (Dwight)
Rodney Conner is a believer in Dwight. He advocated bringing the MAPPING the Future program to Dwight and became the first president of the newly formed IMPACT (Involve Many People And A Community Thrives) Dwight. In this leadership role he created a partnership with the Grundy County Community Foundation and helped raise more than $50,000 that first year. They also helped the police department utilize the foundation to purchase a drug sniffing police dog for the town. Rodney is a leader and a model for rural citizens taking ownership of the future of their communities.
Professional Partnership Award
Terry Svob (Havana)
Terry Svob was the first full time Economic Development Coordinator for the City of Havana. Terry was a big fan of the work that the MAPPING group was doing and quickly began to help. Terry stepped in to take a failing façade renovation program with a grant award from USDA into a success by streamlining processes and working with contractors to make deals that worked for both parties. In total more than 50 awards were given and a million dollars worth of investment put into downtown Havana. Terry has also been instrumental in the development of a business park for Havana as well as Illinois River related economic development and nature based recreation and tourism development.
Community Teamwork Award
The Dieterch Community Development Corporation was formed in 1986 by concerned citizens. The founders wanted to prevent Dieterich from falling into decline. DCDC is still going strong working to provide jobs, opportunities and a better quality of life for the next generation. DCDC has spearheaded a number of projects including obtaining a medical clinic, and establishing 2 TIF districts. The town has experienced industrial and residential development, and increased school enrollment due in a large part to the work of DCDC.