2012 Governor's Engaging Aging Award
Nominated by Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging.
Guidi has a passion for helping people with disabilities that originated in his own family. His younger brother died as a result of severe developmental disabilities; his grandfather spent the last 15 years of his life in a wheelchair due to a mining accident; and his daughter also faces challenges with disabilities. All inspired Guidi to buy a track of land to develop into an accessible camp and fishing site. Camp Big Sky now has a cabin, picnic areas, dock and wheelchair trails.
Network of Rural Public Transit Providers
Nominated by East Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging.
The agency recognizes the collaborative efforts of citizen planners, local elected officials, transportation professionals, rural mass transit districts, and community transportation providers for developing and sustaining rural public transportation in all 16 counties in East Central Illinois. The network includes:
Central Illinois Public Transit
CRIS Public Transit
East Central Illinois Mass Transit District
Rides Mass Transit District
Transit Reservation Information Program
Emily Dobson, leader of the Macon County Transit Partnership Group
City of Rushville Housing Committee
Nominated by West Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging.
Rushville started a housing committee in 2007 and partnered with Western Illinois University's Rural Affairs Institute to assess the housing needs of the 3300 person populated city. The committee urged the city to donate land to develop a 15-unit housing complex for low income elderly. The property, made possible by a HUD grant, opened last month.
King's Daughters Organization
Nominated by the Area Agency on Aging for Lincolnland.
King's Daughters Organization (KDO), previously known as the International Order of King's Daughters, has a long history of service in Springfield. It was founded in 1886 as a home for aging women, until it closed in 2007. However, KDO continued its mission to help the elderly by establishing an endowment fund to make annual grants. Members also volunteer with Meals on Wheels, the American Red Cross, food pantries, and more. Kendra Rakers of Millstadt Township, nominated by the Area Agency on Aging of Southwestern Illinois. Rakers is a high school student who, along with her classmates, became inspired to develop a senior fitness park after seeing one during a trip to Germany. She worked with city officials and Millstadt Township Senior Services, modeled the park, and raised funds to make her vision happen. Thanks to Rakers, Millstadt's senior fitness park is doing wonders for all who use it.
Nominated by the Williamson County Programs on Aging.
Provo is an outreach worker providing assistance and care for the seniors of Williamson County. She visits with hospice patients and residents in nursing homes. She assists seniors by picking up their prescriptions, doing their grocery shopping, and making sure they eat properly. She is a wonderful volunteer and advocate.
Health and Disability Advocates
Nominated by AgeOptions.
Barbara Otto, CEO of Health and Disability Advocates, and her staff work on initiatives such as the Make Medicare Work Coalitions, long term care policy, and help seniors with pharmaceutical assistance. H & D provides legal assistance to people with disabilities, and advocates for cost-effective and fair healthcare and benefit programs.