The City of Harvard was recognized as a 2012 Governor’s Hometown Award winner in Springfield on November 29.

Governor Patrick Quinn and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) honored the Harvard community for its service and mentorship role in bringing the Harvard Community Center and Food Pantry project to reality in late 2011.

More than 500 volunteers participated in the project, donating 4,560 man hours and nearly $70,000 in donated materials and services. Organizers raised more than $186,000 in private donations to fund the balance of the project, including one $50,000 anonymous donation.

“The indirect benefits of this project are impossible to measure,” noted the DCEO release announcing Harvard’s award. “All those involved are now stakeholders in its success and a spirit of volunteerism has been renewed in the community.”

Harvard won the Service and Mentorship award in its population category (5,000 – 10,000) in the 30th anniversary year of the Governor’s Hometown Award program. The initiative debuted in 1983.

“The Governor’s Home Town Awards honor the efforts of 30 remarkable groups who have selflessly dedicated their time and efforts to making their communities a better place to live,” Governor Quinn said. “We applaud these groups of volunteers for improving the lives of others and truly making a difference in our state.”

The City of Harvard received a plaque and an official award sign to put in front of the project. Additional Governor’s Hometown Award signs will be posted in key areas around the community.

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