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Applications accepted for 30th annual Governor’s Hometown Awards

CHICAGO – The Illinois Department Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is encouraging Illinois communities large and small to submit their entries for the 2012 Governor’s Hometown Awards (GHTA) competition.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the annual event which recognizes those volunteers whose hard work and dedication greatly improve their communities. The deadline to submit applications for consideration is July 16.

“The people in communities throughout the state are what make Illinois great,” Gov. Pat Quinn said. “These awards recognize people who are giving back to their communities and helping us build a stronger Illinois for future generations.”

Awards are given based on population in six project categories: Services and mentorship, beautification and sustainability, parks and recreation, memorials and monuments, history and historic preservation, and general projects. Previous award winners include a school fair that provided haircuts, tennis shoes, immunizations and school supplies to needy students; creation of an urban farm and apiary on a hospital parking lot rooftop; establishment of a public access landing on the Pecatonica River; a memorial to 111 coal miners killed in an explosion that resulted in new mine safety laws; restoration of a town founder’s home; providing conversational English lessons to Chinese immigrants; and a number of other noteworthy volunteer-driven projects.

“We encourage communities throughout Illinois to submit applications for this year’s Governor’s Hometown Awards to help us recognize the people who are working hard to make Illinois a better place to live and work,” DCEO Acting Director David Vaught said.

Applications for awards may be submitted by a variety of community representatives such as local governments, schools, community organizations, chambers of commerce, community action agencies, area agencies on aging, or local job training organizations.

A team of impartial volunteer judges will evaluate the applications on need, use of resources and impact. Information will be gathered from two sources: The application and a project presentation to be given in Springfield. The judges will select the category winners and also nominate one project from each population division to receive the coveted Governor’s Cup, a traveling silver trophy which signifies the project deemed most representative of the spirit of Illinois volunteerism. The 2011 Governor’s Cup Winner was Mascoutah for the establishment of the Little Indians Youth Football Program.

For more information on the Governor’s Hometown Awards, including application details, visit www.ildceo.net/HometownAwards. All Governor’s Hometown Awards winners will be recognized at a reception at the Governor’s Mansion this fall.

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