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2020 Hall of Fame Inductees

The inductees are:

  • Community Service: Evelyn Brandt Thomas, Hon. DHL, 97, Springfield

  • Education: Patricia Long, 80, Gillespie 

  • Labor Force: Vivian Mitchel, 84, Morton Grove

  • Performance / Graphic Arts: Shirley Webb, 83, East Alton

Community Service - Evelyn Brandt Thomas

Evelyn has consistently been an advocate for communities in central Illinois through her support of agriculture, education, and numerous other causes. Beginning with co-founding BRANDT Consolidated (formerly known as Brandt Fertilizer) with her younger brother Glen, Evelyn made a commitment to assisting Illinois farmers adopt new and profitable technologies for their operations. In 2014, Evelyn established The Educational Center for the Visually Impaired (ECVI) in Springfield, to improve the quality of life for individuals who are blind or visually impaired - providing education, training and development opportunities through innovative services and programs. Her humble dedication to empowering her community has led her to receive an incredible number of awards through the years, however even today, Evelyn continues to provide monetary and voluntary support to countless charities, scholarships, and non-profit organizations.

Education - Patricia Long

Former high school English teacher at Staunton Community Unit School District #6, Patricia spent over 52 years of her career motivating young adults in academic excellence. Patricia exemplified a love for learning in the classroom that was inspirational and instrumental in preparing all her students to achieve their goals and dreams upon graduation from high school. She had an incredible ability to draw out the best of every student that came her way, and instilled a drive and passion in her students, by ensuring her lessons were enjoyable and energizing. Beyond her passion for teaching, Patricia has a love for animals and has volunteered countless hours working at the local Benld Adopt-a-Pet no-kill animal shelter.

Labor Force - Vivian Mitchel

Vivian has been an energetic worker and supportive community builder for the entirety of her adult life. Serving in various professional roles, she spent many years working at Oakton Community College, where she founded the Emeritus Program; an umbrella for multiple senior programs and services with the motto "Older people are healthier when they have a purpose". Later in her career, Vivian worked tirelessly at the North Shore Senior Center planning and executing memorable day trips, play acting classes, entertainment luncheons, and the Super Senior Day. Her commitment to value and excellence helped ensure that her programs and activities were enjoyable, meaningful, and successfully promoted fellowship among those individuals most in need.

Performance / Graphic Arts - Shirley Webb

Shirley joined Club Fitness in 2014 because of physical activity limitations that began affecting her daily routines. In just a year's time, Shirley went from having difficulty climbing stairs on her own, to becoming a member of USA Power Lifting, and transforming into an international professional weight lifting competitor. She has become an inspiration to many, motivating peers at the gym, older adults in her community, and individuals across the globe on the benefits of staying active and healthy. Shirley is an advocate for exercise and encourages others to recognize the importance of having a regular fitness regimen at any stage of life.