The ‘Step Up Vermilion County’ program is one of 21 recipients statewide of the 2019 Governor’s Hometown Awards. It has won the ‘Governor’s Choice Award.’ The awards program gives formal recognition to those who contributed to their community’s quality of life through projects that had strong volunteer support, met a need, and made a definitive impact.
‘Step Up Vermilion County’ was a idea which grew out of a lot of negative things that were being said about the community says Deana Witzel, one of the ‘Step-Up’ organizers. ‘’There are so many positive things about Vermilion County but we just weren’t talking about them,’’ said Witzel.
‘’Step-Up Vermilion County’ was presented at the Global Leadership Summit that was held at Danville’s 2nd Church of Christ in the summer of 2017. It has brought together citizens from around the county to address local issues. Witzel notes three groups were formed – one on Substance Abuse, one on Parenting and Families, and one on Mental Health.
Witzel notes there are a lot of key players in ‘Step-Up’ – including OSF Healthcare System. OSF agreed to open a Step-One Detox program at the OSF Sacred Heart Medical Center in Danville. It is the only hospital in the OSF System which has such a center.
Witzel says anyone can get involved if they want to make a difference in their community. She invited anyone who would like to join ‘Step-Up Vermilion County’ to attend their next meeting at the Second Church of Christ in Danville on November 15th, starting at 8:00 a.m.
Representatives from the local Step-Up program will be traveling to Springfield on November 14th to pick-up their award.