My turn

South Holland to honor 3 for service to community

2013-02-11T00:00:00Z South Holland to honor 3 for service to communityMary Ann Thornton Times Columnist nwitimes.com
February 11, 2013 12:00 am  • 

The heart to serve — how many of us can say we genuinely have a heart to serve?

I believe when residents participate in community life through service, it makes us stronger. When we’re engaged in our village, we demonstrate a vested interest and care for the vitality of the place where we live, work, shop, and gather with family and friends.

On Tuesday, during the biennial Volunteer Appreciation Dinner, village officials will honor three South Holland residents who demonstrate their genuine heart to serve. Dan Swets, Prince Reed and Vickie Perkins are the recipients of the 2013 Mayor’s Leadership Awards in Faith, Family and Future.

Swets, the recipient of the Faith Leadership award, will be recognized for his work with Chicagoland Prison Outreach. As the executive director of the organization since 1994, Swets has demonstrated faith and dedication to changing the lives of prisoners through his teachings of biblical principles and life learning skills. He visits individuals who are incarcerated and during the Christmas holiday season, Swets visits the families of prisoners bearing gifts donated by South Holland churches.

Swets is an active member of the South Holland Ministerial Association, an elder at First Reformed Church in South Holland, and a recipient of the Gutenberg award, presented by the Chicago Bible Society.

Reed is the recipient of the Family Leadership award. He is being honored for his commitment and passion for enhancing the lives of youth. Reed serves as the director of Youth Services at Christ Community Church in South Holland. He actively leads and works side by side with a team of volunteers to develop and implement programs that guide youth to enhance their spiritual experiences and the personal relationships with peers, as well as encourage academic success.

Reed is very active in the community, serving on the Economic Development Commission for many years. He is also one of the most active members of the South Holland Youth Commission, and often lends his voice when called to sing the national anthem at community events.

Perkins, chairwoman of the South Holland Youth Commission, is the recipient of the Future Leadership award. She has served on the commission for more than four years, and was previously a member of the Communications Commission. As the chair of the Youth Commission, Perkins is very passionate about the commission’s work to identify, develop and execute programs and activities that engage our youth in positive ways. Under her leadership, the commission has further developed spring and winter break programs that expose South Holland kids to new cultural and social experiences, such as ballroom dance lessons at the South Suburban Creative Arts Center and classic musicals at the Goodman Theatre. As the commission chair, Perkins schedules her personal vacations around the spring and winter break programs to ensure she is available to help meet the needs of the volunteer team and youth.

Congratulations Dan, Prince and Vickie. Your heart to serve is genuine.

The opinions are solely those of the writer. Mary Ann Thornton is communications manager for the village of South Holland. She can be reached at mat39@comcast.net.

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