2011 Hall of Fame Inductees
The inductees are:
- Community Service: Allen Blessman, Mason City
- Education: Roberta Wilson, Chicago
- Labor Force: Imogene Drawve, Beardstown
- Performance & Graphic Arts: Edward C. Cook, Batavia
Community Service - Allen Blessman
Blessman has made many contributions including his donation of two downtown buildings to the United Methodist Church, to open a second campus for its outreach ministry. He established the Allen A.H. and Ellen M. Blessman Foundation which provides funds for scholarships; he donated and participated in the planning of the Mason City Public Library; he participated in founding of the Mason City Area Nursing Home; and he participated in founding the First State Bank of Mason City. Blessman is a true leader and philanthropist.
Education - Roberta Wilson
Wilson worked in Chicago Public Schools, for 36 years, as a grade school and high school teachers' assistant. After retiring, she began to volunteer in schools. She also volunteers at food pantries and homeless shelters. She serves on Illinois Congressmen Danny Davis' Education Committee and meets with principals, parents and staff to figure out ways to solve any problems they might be having. Active in many outreach committees, leagues and movements, including the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, Wilson has not let up since. At age 84, she still serves as the chairperson of the Third Unitarian Church scholarship program. She is a true humanitarian.
Labor Force - Imogene Drawve
Drawve operated a nursery school for 35 years. She's been a member of the Cass County Board for 13 years, and served on the Cass County Council on Aging for the past ten years. As a lifelong member of St. Alexius Church, she was instrumental in convincing Catholic Charities to build the St. Anne Residence in Beardstown as an affordable, safe and comfortable apartment complex for independent older adults. And she worked with a group of people from Cass and Schuyler counties to bring public transportation to these counties. Drawve is considered an advocate and tireless public servant.
Performance & Graphic Arts - Edward C. Cook
For 30 years, Cook has painted intricately detailed miniature paintings – considered rare masterpieces. During that time, he also educated the public on this unique art form. His paintings have been recognized for merit in international miniature competitions, and by the Miniature Artists of America and Whisky Painters of America - two organizations dedicated to promoting miniature art and honoring outstanding artists of miniatures. In 1995, Cook was one of 38 miniaturists invited to London to participate in the 100th Anniversary of the Royal Miniature Society under the patronage of Queen Elizabeth.
For more information on the Senior Illinois Hall of Fame, contact the Illinois Department on Aging Senior HelpLine.