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Illinois Legislature

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner participates in the Governor's Volunteer Service Awards ceremonies in 2016 at the Old State Capitol in Springfield.


The Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service is presenting five individuals and one business with the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award for service provided in Southern Illinois.

The commission announced in a news release that the awards will be presented at a special reception at 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Old State Capitol. The event is part of the National Volunteer Week festivities.

“Illinois is a state that was truly born, built, and grown with the spirit of volunteerism and community service,” said Gov. Bruce Rauner in the release. “The individuals and businesses we’re recognizing have impacted millions of lives. We’re honored to highlight their service.”

“These individuals and businesses embody the true spirit of volunteering and are making a difference in their communities through a variety of activities such as helping the homeless, youth education, and assisting veterans,” said Commission Executive Director Scott McFarland in the release. “We are proud to have them serving in Illinois.”

More than 130 people were nominated for awards in six categories: adult, AmeriCorps, business, senior, Senior Corps and youth.

Awards will be presented to the following recipients in the commission’s southern service region:

Adult: Marleen Shepherd, of Carbondale, for service to Sparrow Coalition.

AmeriCorps: Zach Brookman, of Opdyke, for service to Opdyke-Belle Rive CCSD 5.

Business: Luxury Looks Barber & Beauty Salon in Fairview Heights, for service to men of East St. Louis.

Senior: Alice McGowen, of Jerseyville, for service to Humanity Road, Inc.

Senior Corps: Ron Simpson, of Carterville, for service to Gum Drops NFP.

Youth: Kaitlyn Barnett, of Troy, for service to Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois.



Janis Esch is a reporter covering higher education.

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