Glenn Allison of Sherman said he was overwhelmed Wednesday when he received the 2014 Distinguished Volunteer Award during the annual Good as Gold Ceremony.Allison, 84, volunteers a minimum of 15 hours a week at Memorial Medical Center and 10 hours weekly at the Illinois State Military Museum. He said the work “keeps him off the couch.”
“I’m humbled. I’m deeply honored,” Allison said after the ceremony. “I didn’t believe I’d get this honor. On the way over, my daughter asked if I had anything put together to say if I got the award. I said, no, because I wasn’t going to get it.”
Wednesday evening’s ceremony in the Sangamon Auditorium lobby at the University of Illinois Springfield was sponsored by the University of Illinois Civic Engagement Center and the Junior League of Springfield. This marked the seventh year of the ceremony, which was started to recognize volunteers who improve the quality of life in Springfield.
Mark Dochterman, director of the volunteer and civic engagement center, said the event started as a way to recognize volunteers from some of the smaller organizations in town that might not have a way to acknowledge people on a larger scale.
“It’s something where we take a moment every year and recognize the amazing work of a few volunteers. It’s not everybody, but it’s a few people who have done great work,” Dochterman said.
Allison, an Army veteran, served in Japan during the Korean War. He retired from Memorial Medical Center in 1992 as director of purchasing.
He’s volunteered at the hospital for 21 years.
“They call us Red Coats. We run errands, and we push people in wheelchairs,” Allison said. “It also gives me an opportunity to see people I’ve known and worked with for many years.”
Allison has volunteered at the military museum for 12 years. Currently, he’s doing an inventory of artifacts.
Previously, Allison served on several boards and committees for the village of Sherman, St. John Vianney Roman Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus, Kiwanis Club and other professional organizations.
“Volunteering and helping the Springfield community has been part of his life for a long time,” Dochterman said. “The amount of hours he does each week at multiple places is kind of amazing.”
Finalists for the Distinguished Volunteer Award included A. Edward Hohenstein from Habitat for Humanity of Sangamon County, Mark Puczynski from Springfield Public Schools, Thomas Tomlinson from the Lincoln Home National Historic Site and Mary Yokem from the Foster Grandparent Program.
Other winners included:
* UIS student Mallory Beck of Springfield was awarded the Star Student Award for her volunteer efforts. As vice president of the UIS Student-Athletic Advisory committee, she helped organize clothing and food drives, trips to nursing homes and a “Kids Night Out” fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.