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Apply for the Governor's Hometown Award, applications are being accepted now

The Governor’s Hometown Awards program, now in its fourth year, recognizes individuals and organizations that make an impact on the quality of life in their community. The award is given to projects that met a need with substantial volunteer support and made a significant impact in the nominee's town or village.

The Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service is accepting applications for this year's Governor’s Hometown Awards (GHTA) program now through February 19. The Governor’s Hometown Award promotes the Commission’s mission to improve Illinois communities "by enhancing volunteerism and instilling an ethic of service throughout the state." The GHTA recognizes projects that, with the help of local government, enlisted sizeable community support and volunteerism resulting in beneficial outcome not only for recipients of the effort but the for the overall community.

The competition is open to townships, villages, cities, and counties for projects during the period of January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2020.

Past recipients include Edwardsville's Growing with the Garden which was recognized in 2018. Working with the Edwardsville YMCA Early Childhood Development Center to design and develop three raised gardens in the facility’s children’s playground, an Edwardsville High School senior taught kids at the center the importance of vegetables in the diet, helped them plant, cultivate and harvest vegetables from the new gardens.

With more than 35,000 veterans in Lake County, an educational program that demonstrated the benefits that equine-assisted therapy provides service men and women and veterans who face challenges such as PTSD was the result of a collaboration between BraveHearts, a therapeutic riding and educational center, and the Veterans of Lake Barrington Shores in 2018. The joint cooperation created an interactive event for Lake Barrington and its surrounding communities that resulted in GHTA recognition the following year in 2019.

Locally, in 2018, Urbana was honored as a project winner for their "Friendship Grove Nature Playscape" project. A year later, Urbana received an Honorable Mention for their "Urbana Park District Advisory Committee" work and Vermilion County also received and HM nod with their "Step Up Vermilion County" project.

For additional information regarding program and the application process, please visit www.Serve.Illinois.gov. This year's application can be downloaded from this link: 2020 GHTA Application.

The Serve Illinois Commission is made up of a bipartisan group of 40 members board appointed by the Governor JB Pritzker and is administered by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

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