Press release submitted by city of Rock Island|
2014 Citizen of the Year – Category Winners
Every year, people in the Rock Island community are nominated by their peers for what they do
for the community. The City of Rock Island is pleased to announce the 2014 Citizens of the
Year in eight categories. A reception will be held at 6:15 pm prior to the City Council meeting on
August 25th to honor these recipients. During the August 25th City Council meeting, the overall
2014 Rock Island "Citizen of the Year" will be announced and serve as Grand Marshal of the
Labor Day Parade on Monday, September 1, 2014.
Business Category – Mississippi Truck & Trailer
A family business, owned & operated by Kurt Clark and his son, Eric, Mississippi Truck & Trailer
is a diesel and big truck body shop with 30 employees. They also service small trucks and cars.
Since purchasing the business 5 years ago, they have been committed to changing the face of
the commercial area where they are located, at 5th Street and 30th Avenue, by purchasing and
beautifying neighboring buildings. They support local charities, food pantries and fundraisers in
the community and are "regulars" in the Rock Island Labor Day Parade.
Professional Category – Dr. Christopher Whitt
Dr. Whitt is a professor of Political Science at Augustana College who came to Rock Island from
Baltimore MD. He actively participates in Rock Island community events, the Chamber of
Commerce Young Professionals Network and encourages his students to take an active role in
the community during their studies at Augustana College.
Education Category – Charles Butler
Mr. Butler was nominated in three different categories by three different people in the
community. He has made YOUTH his passion in life. He is a pastor of Olivet Baptist Church and
currently is Youth Pastor. Mr. Butler works at Rock Island High School, volunteers with the
senior picnic and senior school trip, variety show and school dances. He organizes
Thanksgiving dinners for members of the community. He recently won the PAY IT FORWARD
Award from WQAD. Mr. Butler says "Every day that I walk into that High School I feel that I am
Organization Category – Rock Island County Area Project
The Rock Island County Area Project, or RICAP, is a non-profit organization established by the
Illinois Commission on Delinquency Prevention. RICAP collaborates with Rock Island Schools,
Parks & Recreation, Martin Luther King Center and other community groups to provide
volunteers and funding for programs that help children both academically and socially. They
work to reduce crime and delinquency by working directly with families. They host space for a
community garden for neighborhood families, send 50 students to summer camp, provide
discounted swimming passes and for 19 years, they have partnered with an area church to
provide a Drop in Center for Youth.
Individual Category – Louis Alongi
Mr. Alongi is a very active Rock Island community volunteer. Prior to his retirement from KJWW
Engineering, he chaired their Blood Drive, served as United Way Key Person and was First Day
Fund Chair. He is President of the Italian American Society, raising money for scholarships. In
1980, he co-founded the annual Pro-Life Breakfast at St. Pius Parish. Mr. Alongi served as
Chair of the Knights of Columbus annual Tootsie Roll Drive and the Community Civic Awards.
He is a 15-Gallon blood donor and program volunteer. Mr. Alongi is an 8 year volunteer at Skipa-
Long, reading to children and going on field trips. He is a 12 year volunteer in the Knights of
Columbus Befriender Program, visiting nursing home residents. In addition, Mr. Alongi is a 10
year member of the Vietnam Veterans Association. He has also served as Boy Scout Cubmaster
and in his spare time, he serves as South Rock Island Township Trustee.
City Employee Category – Fred Bain
Mr. Bain is a City of Rock Island employee with 32 years in the Public Works Department as
Street Maintenance Supervisor. Described as the first to arrive at work and the last to leave, he
is proud of his work serving the citizens of Rock Island. He is the supervisor that makes sure the
trash is picked up, potholes are patched, the flood wall is secure and that Rock Island has
efficient snow removal. Active in the Community, Mr. Bain describes himself as a "behind the
scenes" volunteer. A die-hard Rock Island School supporter, Mr. Bain continues to volunteer 10
years after his children have graduated. He is a regular volunteer at Rock Island High School
Football games, working behind the scenes in the concession stand, manning the grill at every
game cooking brats and pork sandwiches.
Youth Category – Alicia Freiburg
Alicia has been a very active volunteer at Rock Island High School: President of the
Environmental Action Club, Student Representative to Keep Rock Island Beautiful, participates
in the high school recycling program before school, X-stream Clean up, Garlic Mustard Pull,
Bald Eagle Days, Wapsi Environmental Center, and the Regional Envirothon Competition.
Alicia is also a member of the RIHS Marching Band, the National Honor Society, Swimming,
and served as Jr. Board member for the QC River Action.
Honorary Category (does not live in RI) – Alan Egly
Rev. Egly is Executive Director of the Doris & Victor Day Foundation and Trustee for the Rauch
Family Foundation, which awards grants to local organizations that serve the Rock Island
community. He was nominated because of his commitment to not only provide the monetary
gifts to these organizations but his counsel and vision on how to use the monies and further
their programs. Rev. Alan Egly has been a significant participant in many Rock Island
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