CAMPTON HILLS – Chris Brauer loves helping her hometown in any way she can.
That includes helping in the preservation of the 1852 Whitney Schoolhouse – the second oldest one-room schoolhouse in northeastern Illinois – as well as helping with the development of Campton Hills' dark skies ordinance and countless other efforts.
For her efforts, the Campton Hills Community Relations Commission presented Brauer with the village's Outstanding Citizen Award during the Campton Hills Village Board meeting on Jan. 21. This is the third year the award has been presented.
"What we liked about her was the high volume of activities that she's involved in around the community," said Norm Turner, who started the recognition program to honor those people who make outstanding contributions to the community. "She's a huge lover of Campton Hills."
The 70-year-old Brauer was shocked but honored to receive the award. She is a 5th generation Wasco resident and grew up on a farm in the area.
Wasco is a former unincorporated community that became part of Campton Hills when it incorporated in 2007.
"My family came here in like 1836," she said. "I just have always loved Wasco and Campton Hills."
Many of her efforts revolve around historic preservation. Along with her efforts to preserve the 1852 Whitney Schoolhouse, Brauer also is involved an effort to preserve the history of the Whitney Cemetery.
She worked on a book soon to be published that documents everyone who is buried at the cemetery. The cemetery is thought to date back to 1823.
Brauer said the small-town atmosphere that existed when she grew up in Wasco still exists today, to a degree.
"As a little kid, I could get on my bike and not even tell my parents where I was going and be gone for six hours," she said. "That's just the way it was at that time. Everybody looked out for everybody and I think there are good traces of that even here now. It's a pretty safe community. It's still a great place to raise kids."
Also at the meeting, Campton Hills Police Chief Steve Millar presented the Chief's Special Recognition award to Angela Felton, Joanie Jett and Rusty Jett for their help in assisting needy area families during the Christmas season.
In addition, Campton Hills police officer James Levand received the Officer of the Year award. Levand was a driving force in developing the village's first K-9 program as well as leading a fundraising campaign for the program that resulted in the department acquiring and outfitting Koda.