Sugar Grove Citizen of the Year

By on July 16, 2009

Annual award recognizes village’s hard-working residents
Created in 1998, the Citizen of the Year award is presented each year at the Sugar Grove Corn Boil to the nominee who best demonstrates the qualities of “true dedication, innovation and pioneering spirit” that continue to help Sugar Grove grow and develop.

Nominees for the Citizen of the Year are typically involved in numerous groups and organizations committed to the improvement of the Sugar Grove community. According to the Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce website, citizens who demonstrate leadership, seek to improve education and parks in Sugar Grove through relentless organizing of activities and fundraisers are worthy of a Citizen of the Year nomination.

The first recipient of the Citizen of the Year award was Terry Siebert in 1998. Since then, the award has gone to residents such as Kevin Tindall in 2002, Karen Pritchard in 2005, Pat Graceffa in 2006, Joseph Wolf in 2007 and Karen McCannon in 2008.

This year’s award will be presented on the opening night of the Sugar Grove Corn Boil, Friday, July 24, at Volunteer Park. The winner receives an engraved plaque and various gifts provided by local businesses.

Previous winners
1998: Terry Siebert
From the July 30, 1998
edition of the Elburn Herald
• Arranged for transfer of dirt to new school site at no cost to Kaneland School District
• Donated floor space for indoor baseball/softball batting cage use to Sugar Grove Park District
• Donated labor and hauling of limestone for the construction of a walkway at Volunteer Park
• After the demolition of the Sugar Grove Historical Society’s former home at the old school, helped haul and store Society artifacts

1999: Chris Dayvolt
From the July 29, 1999
edition of the Elburn Herald
• The center of community news and a generous participant in all local events
• President of Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce from 1995-96
• Member of Jaycees
• Helped organize business booths at Corn Boil

2000: Stan Anderson
From the Aug. 3, 2000
edition of the Elburn Herald
• Village Board trustee for 10 years, from 1968 to 1978
• Plan Commissioner for 28 years, from 1970 to 1998
• Represented village on Aurora Airport Board from 1992-2000
• Organized tree planting in cloverleaf at Routes 30 and 47 in 1976 to celebrate nation’s Bicentennial (gained approval from highway department, obtained trees from state and organized local Scout troops to plant them)

2001: Delmar, Ruth Krieghbaum
From the Aug. 2, 2001
edition of the Elburn Herald
• Sugar Grove residents for more than 60 years
• Krieghbaums share a long history of community service
• Del became charter member of the volunteer Fire Department in 1946
• Served on active duty for 50 years
• For 33 of those years, from 1962 to 1996 served as fire chief
• Ruth manned phones for Fire Department
• Served as volunteer firefighter for 20 years

2002: Kevin Tindall
From the Aug. 1, 2002
edition of the Elburn Herald
• Born and raised in Sugar Grove
• Graduated Kaneland High School in 1983
• Worked for Sugar Grove Fire Protection District for more than 20 years
• Became a certified paramedic
• Employed as a detective for the bomb/arson unit with Kane County Sheriff’s Office for almost 20 years

2003: David Seraphin
From the July 31, 2003
edition of the Elburn Herald
• Sugar Grove Boy Scout Troop 41 Scout Master
• Sugar Grove United Methodist Church Sunday school teacher
• Vietnam veteran and American Legion member
“He goes that extra mile,” UMC pastor Steven Good said. “He reaches down deep into the young people and wants them to reach their fullest potential …. He creates a safe atmosphere in which the kids are more apt to be themselves, and share their real thoughts.”

2004: Arnie, Byrel Leifheit
From the July 29, 2004
edition of the Elburn Herald
• Most of their contribution to the community has been behind the scenes. Arnie was instrumental in moving the American Legion building to its current location on 1st Street
• Organized and worked at the weekly fish fry for many years
• Coached Little League and Pony League baseball teams and an American Legion team for the “older boys”
• Byrel has also been active in the American Legion, and is a lifetime member of the Women’s Auxiliary
• Well-known in Sugar Grove for her work as caretaker of the Community House

2005: Karen Pritchard
From the Aug. 4, 2005
edition of the Elburn Herald
• Created the Friends of the Parks, a group of citizens who support the Park District in a number of ways
• Helped turn the Sugar Grove Park District into the successful venture it is today
• Trustee on the Park District Board
• Volunteered for the district; eventually became its first employee at $3 an hour

2006: Pat Graceffa
From the Aug. 3, 2006
edition of the Elburn Herald
“If you’ve been to any community event throughout the village, you’ve probably seen her handiwork,” said Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels.
• Active member of Sugar Grove Library Friends
• Member of Friends of the Park
• Village’s 50th anniversary celebration committee
• Subdivision’s homeowner’s association
• Active volunteer for the Sugar Grove Farmer’s Market
• Helps to organize the village’s open house, the Fourth of July Parade, the Easter egg run and Halloweenfest

2007: Joe Wolf
From the Aug. 3, 2007
edition of the Elburn Herald
• Served his community since he and wife, Barb, moved to Sugar Grove about 50 years ago
• Began with reading village water meters and as a member of the Public Utility Rates Committee
• Sugar Grove Village Board trustee for four years
• Continues to serve on Airport Advisory Committee and Kane County Paratransit Coordination Council
• Kaneland School Board member for more than 14 years

2008: Karen McCannon
From the July 31, 2008
edition of the Elburn Herald
• Husband’s family has a long history of contributing to the community
• Helped build the Sugar Grove Pavilion, now the Prairie Building, in Volunteer Park
• Volunteered in a variety of school activities, including as room mother and helping with Fun Fair
• Den mother
• Coached girl’s baseball and high school softball
• Serves in clown ministry as Jo-Jo the Clown at Farmer’s Market and other venues
• Revived 4th of July parade and Jo-Jo leads the children every year