SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Pat Quinn marked National Volunteer Week April 27 by encouraging communities to submit entries for the 31st annual Governor’s Hometown Awards, a program that recognizes volunteer efforts to improve Illinois communities. The awards are part of Quinn’s commitment to honor volunteer service and community improvement across the state. The application deadline is July 15, and communities of any size may submit nominations.
Applications for Hometown Awards may be submitted by local governments, schools, youth groups, community organizations, chambers of commerce, community action agencies, job training organizations, or other local entities. 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.
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity oversees the award program. Details and application forms are available at www.ildceo.net/HometownAwards. All winners will be recognized at a reception at the Governor's Mansion this fall.
A team of volunteer judges will evaluate the applications. The judges will select the category winners and also nominate one project from each population division to receive the Governor's Cup, a traveling silver trophy which signifies the project deemed most representative of the spirit of Illinois volunteerism.