CAMPTON HILLS – Neal Anderson, a lifelong resident of the area now known as Campton Hills, received the village’s first Outstanding Citizen Award at the Village Board meeting on Jan. 16.
“He is an active volunteer with Boy Scouts, Kane County Fair Chicken Department and Garfield and Corron farms,” Norm Turner, a member of the Community Relations Committee which created the award, said.
Anderson participated in restoring the steel roofs at both Corron Farm and Grey Willow Farm, hosts and volunteers at churches’ special occasions and contributes to village events. He is said to be a strong listener, a strong proponent of open space in the village and a volunteer in the village. He expanded his Luau Coffee Shop last year and hosts local church activities there, Turner said.
The criteria for the award included being a resident or business that directly supports Campton Hills, possessing a continuing history of voluntary service to the community and being someone who has made a significant, positive difference in the village’s quality of life, as well as making a commitment of personal time that directly benefits the village, officials said.
“I’m very surprised,” Anderson said. “Very surprised, very happy, very thankful that people believe in me.”
Campton Hills’ first village president, Patsy Smith, and Dave Corron were also nominated, Turner said.
Smith was nominated for her advocacy to form the village – which was incorporated in 2007 – and her leadership as president of Preserve Campton.
Corron was nominated for his support for local business, for his care of open spaces and parks and for being the “go-to guy” for event help, Turner said.
Anderson also credited his wife, Tracy, and his parents, Dolores and the late Robert Anderson, when he accepted the award.
“Thanks to Patsy and Dave – you’ve done a wonderful job, too, for the village,” Anderson said. “It’s really hard for all of us not being up here enjoying the award, but I appreciate that you singled me out, very much. I couldn’t do these things without, two great parents – my mother and father – and my wife.”
Village President Harry Blecker credited the Community Relations Committee’s work in putting the award program together.
Blecker recognized co-chairwomen Jayne Holley and Sue Windland, committee members Turner, Silvana King and Phillis Nowicki.
Blecker also recognized ad hoc Citizen of the Year Review Committee members of Turner, trustee Mike Millette and Laura Garda.
Blecker said they “did all the really hard work on this, gathered all the applications and sorted through them and finally came up with a really hard choice.”
Windland said she chose a sign that states, “Amazing people just don’t happen” as a kind of byword for recognizing Anderson and for future award recipients who give back to the community.
“You can take that many, many ways,” Windland said. “And it’s true. … We know our community is blessed with amazing people.”
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