Governor Quinn Honors Volunteers with Hometown Awards. 30th Annual Ceremony Recognizes Countryside Association as Services and Mentorship Winner

Countryside Association for People with Disabilities, Palatine, receives Governor Quinn’s Hometown Award for being an outstanding volunteer group


PALATINE, IL — January 8, 2013. The 30th annual Governor’s Hometown Awards were given to 30 outstanding volunteer groups from across the state during a ceremony at the Executive Mansion in Springfield on November 29, 2012. Countryside Association, Palatine, Ill., was the Project Winner for Division V (Communities with a Population of 25,001 – 70,000) for Services and Mentorship, Mobilizing Countryside Volunteers in the Village of Palatine.


“The Governor’s Home Town Awards honor the efforts of 30 remarkable groups who have selflessly dedicated their time and efforts to making their communities a better place to live,” Governor Quinn said. “We applaud these groups of volunteers for improving the lives of others and truly making a difference in our state.”


The Governor’s Home Town Award recipients are selected by volunteer judges who review and rank applications based on a variety of factors, including local need, volunteer participation, use of resources and the results achieved. The projects are judged within their population categories as well as within their assigned project categories.  The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) administers the Governor’s Home Town Awards Program. Each winning group receives a road sign for its community and plaque recognizing its efforts.


Countryside’s winning project supports people with disabilities who often struggle to maintain an active and recognized role in society. Countryside Association for People with Disabilities recognizes this challenge and in response created Mobile Work Crews. The person with the disability has the opportunity to volunteer, learn new skills and fill a need that otherwise may go unfilled. The organizations learn more about the individuals volunteering and benefit from their hard work.


The staff polls the clients for suggestions that help determine where they volunteer. Sites that have a mission focused on serving people with disabilities or those in need are preferential. In 2011, this included Camp Read Leaf, Equestrian Connection, Palatine Food Pantry, Wings Resale Shop and Falcon Park. An outgrowth of the client’s volunteer experiences resulted in the implementation of an onsite recycling program. The Mobile Work Crew collects aluminum cans, paper, electronics, used shoes, books, and crayons. Countryside volunteers take great pride in all they do and help to create a joyful experience for everyone!


Outcomes include: total number of volunteers: 68; total volunteer hours: 1,566; total people impacted: 1,335; and private funds raised: $1,500.


About Countryside Association for People with Disabilities


Countryside Association for People with Disabilities was founded in 1954. Our mission is to advocate on behalf of persons with disabilities and their families and support them in their efforts to live and work successfully in their chosen community.  We envision a community where all people can reach their goals of independence, employment and full participation in community life. Services are offered with the goal of supporting the full development of each individual’s potential and achievement of his/her life goals. Additionally, services are directed at making available supports required for each family to care for their loved one with disabilities. Our services decrease the number of individuals with disabilities who are unnecessarily institutionalized and increase their autonomy, access to independence, paid employment opportunities and participation in their community. To find out more about Countryside, visit www.countrysideassn.org.

For additional information, contact Marla Gamze-Pendergrast at (847) 540-3701 or  mpendergrast@countrysideassn.org.


Pictured (left to right):  Adam Pollet, Acting Director, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity; Wayne Kulick, Executive Director, Countryside Association; Kris Harder, client,  Countryside Association; Bill Basgall, client, Countryside Association; and DJ Newport, Site Administrator, Countryside Association.


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