Do Something Great Awards

Seven area residents, two organizations and one family have been named recipients of the 2022 Do Something Great awards. This annual awards program honors amazing individuals and organizations who have made a significant positive impact on Macon County through giving of their time, talent and/or treasure. The Community Foundation of Macon County (CFMC) has sponsored this program for the past 18 years. This year, awardees were honored in seven different categories. The 2022 recipients are listed beginning on the next page.

“This year’s Do Something Great honorees represent some of our community’s most generous individuals and organizations,” says CFMC President, Natalie Beck. “They are the trailblazers who go above and beyond for our community and have brought about real possibility, change and hope for Macon County. They regularly step up to meet community needs and exemplify the common bonds that connect us.”

All awardees and their guests will be honored at a presentation luncheon held Tuesday, Aug. 16. Media are encouraged to attend the awards ceremony.

For more information about the Do Something Great awards program, call Rachel Moran at 217.429.3000 or send an email to rmoran@maconcountygives.org. To view a list of past recipients, visit www.maconcountygives.org/award-recipients.

The 2022 Do Something Great Awards

Award of Excellence in Inclusion
Award honors a nonprofit organization/or individual at the frontier of advancing inclusion and working toward an equitable Macon County community. The nomination should include evidence demonstrating an ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion, to advancing diversity awareness within Macon County, and to serving as an advocate for the interests of underrepresented populations.

Julie Pangrac, nominated by Richland Community College
A true community champion, Julie Pangrac works tirelessly to create a more equitable community. Julie is a major advocate in that everyone deserves to have an education, regardless of their socioeconomic status. Through Project Read Plus, Julie has helped change thousands of lives through the improvement of their literacy skills, so more people can thrive in our community.

Outstanding Young Philanthropist
Award recognizes service by an individual or organization of individuals under age 40 who demonstrates outstanding commitment to the community through direct financial support, development of charitable programs, volunteerism and leadership in philanthropy.

Millikin University Big Blue Backpacks, nominated by The Community Foundation of Macon County
Big Blue Backpacks, facilitated by Millikin University Professor Mary Garrison and led by the students, is an organization within Millikin University that addresses food insecurity by providing meals for over 160 youth in the community throughout the year. Since its inception in 2016, the organization has doubled its impact thanks largely impart to the fundraising efforts of the students.

Outstanding Volunteer/Board Member
Award presented to an individual who has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills, devoted great time and effort to charitable causes, and shown a deep commitment of voluntary action to address community needs.

John West, nominated by The Good Samaritan Inn
Niki Fenderson, nominated by The Decatur Family YMCA


John West has demonstrated his commitment to our community by offering his financial expertise and knowledge to the multiple nonprofit boards he serves on. John’s financial guidance was especially instrumental during the COVID-19 pandemic when nonprofits were struggling to keep their doors open.

Niki Fenderson, current chair of The Decatur Family YMCA board, was instrumental in ensuring the stability of the Y during the COVID-19 pandemic and leading the search to onboard a new CEO. She also offered her expertise in the re-launching a drowning prevention program and guiding the board to 100% giving.

Outstanding Professional Partner
Award presented to a business/professional partner that has demonstrated outstanding commitment to philanthropy by aiding nonprofit organizations in our community. The nomination should include evidence of direct financial contributions to and/or support of the community, impact of financial support or projects in the community, and specific achievements launched through the corporation’s philanthropic efforts.

We Are One Community, nominated by The Decatur Family YMCA and Webster Cantrell Youth Advocacy (WCYA)
Al and Melanie Schelling State Farm, nominated by Block by Block
A fund established by local union members, We Are One Community uses collective donations from its members to make financial contributions to nonprofit organizations, like the Decatur Family YMCA and WCYA. Since their inception in 2011, We Are One Community has donated over $156,000 to local nonprofits. In addition to their financial support, We Are One Community members donate countless hours of volunteer service to several nonprofits in the community.

Al and Melanie Schelling, local independent State Farm Insurance Agents, have been strong community supporters for years through direct financial contributions and countless volunteer hours to multiple nonprofits in the community, including Block by Block. They are regarded for not only their contributions but their willingness to always step in where needed and encourage others to do the same.

Outstanding Philanthropic Support to the Arts
Award honors creators, conceivers, radical thinking and risk-takers providing philanthropic support to the arts in Macon County.

Mary Lundin, nominated by Decatur Area Arts Council (DAAC)
Mary Lundin is a true lover and appreciator of the arts. Over the course of a year, Mary took the time to shop, price and purchase a high quality used piano for the DAAC to be used in the gallery after attending a musical event where she noticed the current piano left much to be desired.

The Ray Batman Nonprofit Professional of the Year
Award presented to an individual paid professional who has demonstrated outstanding commitment, dedication and talent toward helping society. This may include (but is not limited to) executive directors, directors of development, program directors and support staff. Additional criteria could include description of achievements specific to providing community assistance during the pandemic. In 2021, this annual award was renamed in memory of the late Ray Batman, longtime executive director of Dove, Inc. Batman was well known throughout the local area as a servant-leader, mentor and community hero whose actions made a positive difference in our community in numerous ways. He died unexpectedly in June 2021.

Jerry Johnson, nominated by Marilyn Davis, President of the DAAC Board of Directors
For more than ten years, Jerry Johnson, Executive Director of the DAAC, has been a steadfast champion of arts and the community, and the community is brighter and better because of his efforts. Jerry has been instrumental in bringing more accessible arts for all through the Public Mural Art Project and Christmas Card Lane, while also advocating for and promoting all arts in the community, not just DAAC activities.

Robert and Bev Ketenbrink Community Commitment Award
Award presented to an individual, a couple or a family with a record of exceptional generosity, demonstrated outstanding civic or charitable responsibility, and leadership that has encouraged and motivated others toward roles in philanthropy. This award includes a $1,000 grant to the recipient's charity of choice.

The Dale and Rita Colee Family, nominated by The Salvation Army
The Dale and Rita Colee Family is an exceptional example of what it means to be generous. For years, the Colee’s have demonstrated their commitment to our community through giving of their time, talent and treasure to multiple organizations. Dale and Rita are strong supporters of the Salvation Army, where they most recently served as the 2021 Christmas Campaign co-chairs, Richland Community College, where both served as trustees, and the Wounded Warriors Project. In addition to these efforts, the Colee’s offered vaccination incentives during the COVID-19 pandemic and use their educational radio show, Pharmacy Facts with Friends, to promote good things happening in our community. The Colee’s also founded Stone Thrown Forward, a nonprofit that has provided hundreds of free heart screenings to high school athletes, to honor their late son, Kyle Stone.