The Allen Award

Tags: Awards, devotion, direct action, impact, singular, repeated events


 The Reverend James E. Allen Award for Service to the Community holds a design that fills a need in our Mission.  We designed a quarterly award appropriately under the namesake of our founder, Rev. James E. Allen, a man passionate about service to the community and a champion of recognizing those who make our neighborhoods better places to live.

The first Allen Award debuted at our November 12, 2014 Honors and Recognition Banquet. Rev. Allen was present. 



  • Selfless devotion of community by direct action
  • Live or perform work in Joliet or the greater Joliet area 
  • Performed action above and beyond the usual call of duty
  • Action has community-wide impact or significantly improved the life or well-being of individuals
  • Action noted promotes Project Acclaim Mission
  • Action enhanced the best interests of the community
  • Actions observed can be singular or repeated events, not necessarily associated with a long term activity or career                                                                                                                                

To nominate someone click here.


2022 Awards

First Quarter: Tycee Bell, consultant, for her dedication to issue advocacy, equity and transformation, and neighborhood relations. 

Second Quarter: The Art Movement, for dedication to promoting arts and culture.

Third Quarter: Erick D. Dorris, for his dedication to promoting arts, culture and eduction. 

2021 Awards


First Quarter: Edna Brass, retired JTHS administrator and teacher, for sustained community involvement and mentorship.

Second Quarter: Kelly Rohder-Tonelli, executive director of marketing and communications at Joliet Junion College, for her sustained community involvement and mentorship.

Third Quarter: Candace Johnson Wheeler and Sara Stovall for their sustained neighborhood leadership and community actions.

Fourth Quarter: National Hook Up of Black Women, Inc. Joliet Chapter for programs and intitiatives that significantly improve the life or well-being of individuals and that have a community-wide impact.

2020 Awards


First Quarter: Teena Mackey and Terri King, retired volunteers, for founding the Will-Grundy National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) 


Second Quarter: Jim Teiber, City of Joliet Arborist, for transformative beautification efforts that enhanced downtown Joliet


Third Quarter: Brian Bessler, realtor and small business owner, for starting the influential Joliet Area Bar and Restaurant Guide on Facebook


Fourth Quarter: Tim Placher, Drauden Pointe Middle School music teacher, for his commitment to and passion for promoting our local music scene

2019 Award


Old Joliet Prison Preservation Coalition for their volunteer effort to clean, promote and revitalize the Old Joliet Prison

2018 Awards

First Quarter: Gerry Morales, Spanish Community Center Youth Baseball Program for boys and girls

Second Quarter: Joe and Donna Marshall, Founders of Crest Hill Pony Baseball program 39 years ago

Third Quarter:  Matt Jordan, Lincolnway East HS Sponsor of the Key Club for last 11 years

Fourth Quarter: Richard L. Chavez, retired teacher, donor of $100K to Kiwanis Scholarships for JTHS Students

2017 Awards

First Quarter: Margie Woods, President of Healthy Communities Commission, Silver Cross Hospital

Second Quarter: Scott Slocum of WJOL radio

Third Quarter: Darlene Bull of Joliet

Fourth Quarter: Terry Kunze of Joliet

2016 Awards

  2016 Virgil Kemp, founder of Helpers of Mother Earth

   2016 Dick Schuster, President, Joliet Community Television (JCTV)

2015 Award

  2015 Jan Nahorski, Joliet Grafitti Abatement Officer    

2014 Award

   2014 Bill Doolin, Harrah's Casino