For the past 35 years, the Naperville Jaycees has honored more than 300 men and women who’ve shown dedication and service to the community with the Distinguished Service Award.
“A lot of times it’s the volunteers that aren’t really out in the limelight and are more of the unsung heroes involved in Naperville so that’s why it’s a very special opportunity for us to be able to do this,” said Shoshana Frank, Vice Chair for the Naperville Jaycee’s 35th Anniversary Distinguished Service Awards.
This year, eight additional individuals will receive that award, including attorney Brien Nagle for the business professional category. He was selected for providing free legal support to a number of area not-for-profits.
The overall Business Award winner is owner of Roseland Draperies and Interiors Mary Ann Junkroski.
“I was very humbled by it,” said Junkroski. “I was taken aback by it. I understand the award and have nominated people myself for it. I think it’s a great honor.”
At the city level, the Jaycee’s picked Finance Director Karen DeAngelis as the top public employee for her work balancing the Naperville Public Library’s budget and improving its relationship with city officials.
Naperville resident Tom Carroll has also contributed to a number of boards, including those for NCTV17, the YMCA, and the Naperville Area Humane Society, earning him the Community Leader Award.
Meanwhile the Educator Award will be presented to Sally Pentecost. After retiring as principal of Madison Jr. High, she continued consulting with other school districts to help them improve.
The youngest 2013 recipient, Austin Hansen, already has himself a resume of service experience, from student government at the school, to mentoring younger students at Mill Street, to the Downtown Advisory Commission to volunteering at the Last Fling.
For his efforts, the junior at Naperville North High School earned the Student Volunteer Award.
“It’s really all about helping other people out. The community has given me so many opportunities,” said Hansen. It’s really my way of giving back.”
In the not-for-profit category, Peggy Frank has earned the award shortly after retiring as the President and CEO of the Naperville Heritage Society and Naper Settlement.
“I think recognition of this type like from the Jaycees helps underscore the importance of The Naperville Heritage Society, not only at Naper Settlement, but throughout the city at large,” she said.
And last the Charles Bueche Lifetime Achievement Award. The namesake was a 1952 graduate of North Central College and lifetime volunteer who died in 2010. Every year, the Jaycees honor someone who exemplifies similar service and this year, it was Mayor George Pradel.
“I can’t believe it’s already been 18 years in being the mayor. It seems like just yesterday,” said Pradel. “I just love coming to work every day and meeting new people and welcoming them into Naperville.”
This year, the Jaycee’s picked this group of award recipients out of close to 40 nominees.
The Jaycees will present the awards to these eight individuals at a ceremony, next Friday, April 5th.
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