Innovative Project Award
Strasburg Community Action Network (SCAN)
After finishing the MAPPING the Future Program Strasburg wanted to create a visual symbol that would portray the community and differentiate the community form their neighbors. Due to the german heritage a garden gnome was selected as their town mascot. Garden gnomes began springing up in yards all over town. The gnome fever didn’t stop there and a local potter began making gnome themed items and a local vineyard even offers a gnome nectar. The monthly newsletter for the group is even called the “Gnome News”. This fun tactic paid off in the 2010 as the United States Census was being taken across the nation the village of Strasburg conducted their own Gnome Census going door to door counting garden gnomes. The story of the gnome census was so appealing it was picked up by larger and larger news outlets until it eventually went international when the BBC picked up the story.
Community Champion Award
Jim Carroll (Stewardson)
Jim Carroll was instrumental in bringing the MAPPING the Future program to Stewardson and in the development of COWS (Community Organization Working for Stewardson). He is a tireless community advocate who has lead the way in developing programming, fundraising, and volunteer recruitment and retention. Jim served as the first president of COWS and gave the fledgling organization as strong base for the future.
Professional Partnership Award
Elmwood Disaster Recovery Team
In June 2010 a tornado hit the small town of Elmwood doing extreme damage to the downtown. Thirty three buildings in the downtown were damaged and 5 had to be demolished. Approximately 50 residences were also damaged during the storm. Out of this devastating event came an opportunity for Elmwood to come back better and stronger. Many local, regional and state groups worked closely to help Elmwood recover including: Peoria County, The Economic Development Council for Central Illinois, The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, Elmwood Business Association, The City of Elmwood, Farmers State Bank, Elmwood Community Bank, and state and federal legislators. Due to the teamwork of multiple professional partners Elmwood has cleaned up, renovated and welcomed numerous new businesses.
Community Teamwork Award
Nauvoo Area Senior Citizens Organization
During the 2009 MAPPING the Future program participants identified the needs of Seniors as one of their primary goal areas. The action team identified a range of needs including education/outreach, entertainment and social needs, as well health and wellness needs. The group reached out to the Nauvoo Inter-Faith Partnership and together they formed the Nauvoo Area Senior Citizen Organization. The fledgling organization began holding monthly lunches (paid for by free will offering) for seniors that would offer both an educational and informational component as well as a good meal and the opportunity for social interaction. The meetings were successful from the start with an average attendance of 60 people.