Excellence in Edwardsville

Mayor Art Risavy wishes to recognize residents whose generous efforts, contributions and achievements foster and enhance civic pride and responsibility, promote appreciation, and embody the spirit of our City to encourage public service through selflessness.  He is asking City employees and the community to nominate those who are selflessly acting for the betterment of our community and/or neighbors through acts of kindness.

In order to nominate someone, you will need to obtain the name(s) of the resident(s) and contact information, and describe the contribution, achievement, act or deed, including the date and location along with a photo or video if available.  As nominations are received, a resident or residents will be recognized at a meeting of the City Council and will be presented with a token of appreciation for contributions to the City of Edwardsville.

To nominate someone click here.


Recipients will be recognized at a meeting of the City Council and will be presented with a token of appreciation for their contribution to the City of Edwardsville.


The City of Edwardsville Coin will be presented to the award recipient at a City Council meeting or at a separate time if the recipient is unable to attend the City Council meeting. 

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Chris Azar was recognized for Excellence in Edwardsville in September 2022. He is the president of Rebuilding Together-Southwest Illinois, an all-volunteer group in Madison County that helps repair and renovate homes, particularly for low-income senior citizens, veterans, people with disabilities and families in need. In 2021, the group completed three dozen projects. So far in 2022, they’ve repaired roofs, added wheelchair ramps, replaced flooring, showers and toilets, rebuilt a deck and poured new sidewalks.

Mary Grose was recognized for Excellence in Edwardsville for years of contributions to the City. She has been active in community initiatives on environmental issues along with efforts to educate residents about the ways they can play a role in those. Among the projects she’s helped lead are the Bring Your Own Glen/Ed effort to reduce plastic bag usage, the Edwardsville Community Housing Alliance, the Good Dirt Composting Collective and, most recently, the Good Dirt Community Gardens.

Hayley Hipp received the Excellence in Edwardsville recognition at the City Council meeting on July 5, 2022, for her outstanding community involvement.  She is a health coach for those looking for a healthier lifestyle, started a group that picks up trash in local parks and high traffic public places in the City, and launched a hiking group that makes natural animal feeders that are placed throughout places they hike. Additionally, she reaches out to various groups in the community, thanking them and making them feel special with cards and small tokens of appreciation.

Michelle Babb earned this award through her collaborative resourcing for needs in the community. She has consistently worked with the Glen Ed Pantry, Faith Coalition, Restore Décor and Project 618, coordinating supplies with the Public Library, facilitating service through the Salvation Army, Red Cross, Faith in Action, several groups serving the area’s homeless, and helping to provide donated furniture and medical supplies to groups and people in need.

Elijah Manuel and Kenny Howard were happy to help a visitor to Edwardsville. Tracy Baer's tire popped and these two young men did not hesitate to remove her popped tire and replace it with her spare tire. She stated that they were kind and respectful and she appreciated the great experience that she had in Edwardsville.

Sandy Deal is a school crossing guard for Columbus Elementary School, and has been dedicated to the safety of children for over 40 years. She is out rain or shine with her stop sign to protect the children. Sandy is truly devoted to the youth of this community, and encourages them to continue their education and never stop learning.

Glynda Lavelle started GlenEd Do Good, which has 2,383 members. This group is a place to find out about supporting, serving and helping in our community. The group is about how we can make everyday differences and support those groups making this a great place to live. Local charities, churches and schools will post about upcoming events and volunteer needs. This effort exemplifies and embodies the true meaning of the Excellence in Edwardsville award.  

Denise Arendell and Sarah Rankin are the co-directors of 100+ Women Who Care from the 618. These Edwardsville residents joined forces in the summer of 2019 to bring to our community a simple concept with a huge impact. They gathered like-minded women to meet and donate quarterly to collectively give to local nonprofits. To date, the members of the organization have donated over $350,000. These women, their steering committee, and the dedicated members have truly redesigned giving in our community. All of the members are so deserving of this recognition. 

Kristen Webber and her daughter, Nora, were spotted by a Community Service Officer picking up trash. They had noticed litter when they were at the Goshen Market and decided to do something about it. This mother-daughter duo acted selflessly for the betterment of our community and were saluted by the Edwardsville Police Department for making Edwardsville a better place for everyone. Kristen and Nora exemplify what the Excellence in Edwardsville award is all about.

Keyona Harris was nominated by Gregg Signorotti, who wrote a detailed, heartfelt and sincere description of Keyona Harris’s professional and compassionate actions during a medical emergency to which the Edwardsville Fire Department was dispatched earlier this year. Ms Harris is a compassionate and empathetic caregiver who does everything in her power to ensure that her patients receive the best care possible. Mr. Signorotti said that she is the definition of excellent patient care that should be emulated by all caregivers at all levels.

The first Excellence in Edwardsville Award recipients, Harry and Erica Parker, owners of Gulf Shores Restaurant and Grill, were recognized at the City Council meeting on November 16, 2021. Their business raised over $12,000 for the family of fallen Pontoon Beach Officer Tyler Timmins.

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