Rock Island names 2013 Citizen of the Year finalists

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Outstanding Rock Island residents have been chosen for the 2013 Citizen of the Year in eight categories.

Each year residents in the community are nominated for what they do for the area. At the end of August a reception will be held to honor the category winners.

The category winners –

Business Category – Unley Marine LLC

Unley Marine works hard to meet all of the needs of the boating community. The Unley’s offer repair and maintenance service and serve as an off-season storage site. Unley Marine is growing. Plans include adding an 80′ X 175′ building to increase inside winter storage capabilities. The Unley family generously supports charitable efforts and has a particular passion for causes that work to address the health concerns of our youth.

Professional Category – Daniel Moore

Daniel is a registered nurse in Radiation Therapy at Unity Point Health-Trinity where he works with cancer patients. His service to the community goes way beyond his normal work day. Daniel volunteers as Parish Nurse for the First Church of the Nazarene and makes house calls when needed. Daniel and his wife have been foster parents, and two of their children came to them via this route.

Education Category – Nancy Wolber

Nancy has been teaching science at Rock Island High School for 15 years and thrives when working with classes of English Language Learners. Last year, she worked with students with eight different native languages. This past June found Nancy and 11 of her students traveling to Costa Rica for work with a turtle research project. Three of Nancy’s English Language Learners were able to make the trip. Consider the fund-raising work when the cost per participant was $2300! Nancy serves as the driving force behind recycling efforts at Rocky.

Organization Category – Church of Peace

The Church of Peace has been an active congregation in Rock Island for over 100 years and is firmly committed to serving its immediate neighborhood. Community Caring Conference has its home at the church and helps the congregation fulfill its mission. Church of Peace does a great deal that receives little recognition. Over 27,000 meals were prepared in the kitchen this summer so that children would have a nutritious lunch during the break from school. The church also serves as a meeting place for a family literacy program so that the immigrant population can become more comfortable in its new community.

Individual Category – Moses Robinson

Moses is a computer technician at the Rock Island Arsenal and is a United States Marine Corps veteran. Moses is currently the director of the Metro Youth Program. Numbers are growing and parental involvement is increasing. Moses coaches basketball, and this season will find him on the bench at Rocky as the freshmen girls coach. Moses currently serves as a member of the Rock Island Park Board and continues to look for ways to help others.

City Employee Category – Bill Nelson

Bill has been the Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Rock Island for 15 years. So much has happened under his leadership. RIFAC has been expanded twice, both golf courses have seen major upgrades, and parks that did not exist 15 years ago are being enjoyed by the entire Quad City community. Whitewater Junction and Schwiebert Riverfront Park are great venues that enhance Rock Island. Is it any surprise that “train buff” Bill has been instrumental in bringing four train festivals to the city?

Youth Category – Abbey Johnson

Abbey is a 2013 graduate of Alleman High School. Academic excellence is not a given with every student. It has been for Abbey, maintaining a high grade point average while taking advantage of the most difficult course offerings. Abbey shines outside of the classroom as well. She served for four years on Alleman’s student council. What impressed the faculty moderator was her ability to effectively delegate tasks to others so that they could reach their full potential. The Children’s Advocacy Center is important to Abbey, and last year she spearheaded a drive that resulted in over 3,000 items with a value of over $1,100 being collected.

Honorary Category (does not live in RI) – Virginia Jarrett

Virginia is the Community Service Coordinator for the Rock Island-Milan School District. Virginia’s job is much more than 8 to 4, Monday through Friday. She is involved with over 20 community organizations including the First Day Project, Activate Rock Island, NAACP and Coats for Kids. She has been with the school district for 10 years but her history of working for and with people goes back much longer. For some families, Virginia has served as an inspiration for three generations.

One overall Citizen of the Year, who will serve as the Grand Marshall of the Labor Day Parade, will be announced at a later date.