Four awards presented at Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce annual meeting

Small Business Of The Year – Under 25 Employees

The Source

The Source Newspaper, owned by Jacksonville Newspapers Inc., was established in October 2008. It is a weekly newspaper for the Central Illinois area delivered every Thursday to homes in addition to high traffic distribution points throughout Morgan, Scott, Cass, Sangamon and Greene counties. The Source staff is dedicated to spreading positive local news coverage throughout the communities in which they live.

The staff of The Source is extremely involved in the community working with various civic and not-for-profit organizations. They recently organized the Chamber Business After Hours for the West State Street business community. The Source and its staff support many events and charities throughout the year with news coverage, advertising and volunteerism.

Business Of The Year – 25 Or More Employees

McDonald’s

In December of 1988, Joe and Revella Kasprzyk and their three sons Dave, Nick and Mike moved to Jacksonville, IL to acquire their first McDonald’s restaurant. The Jacksonville McDonald’s had opened on November 2, 1970 and was in need of a dining room remodeling and heating and cooling upgrade. Continuous improvements occurred over the next twenty years. Modifications were made to the facility as well as the addition of special menus and menu boards for the hearing and visually impaired customers. In 2009, the current McDonald’s restaurant was built with a large indoor play place and state of the art equipment.

McDonald’s has provided thousands of jobs, both part-time and full-time and career opportunities. Most of the management team started as crew members, and worked their way up the ranks to become managers and supervisors for the organization. Many employees remain with McDonald’s and the Kasprzyks after 29 years of ownership and 13 restaurants in the family.

McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc’s philosophy “to give back to the communities that you do business in” resonated with the family. Many area organizations, schools and not-for-profits have been assisted by the Kasprzyk family and McDonald’s. Food products, gift certificates, sponsorships and monetary donations have totaled approximately $1,000,000 in the past 29 years.

NOT-FOR-PROFIT BUSINESS OF THE YEAR

Midwest Youth Services

Midwest Youth Services strives to divert youth from the juvenile justice and child welfare systems while strengthening families. In operation for 39 years, they serve youth aged nine through seventeen in Morgan, Cass, Scott, Schuyler and Brown counties. They provide prevention and crisis intervention services by mediating and supporting families through times of hardship. Free and confidential services are provided to youth and their families. Midwest Youth Services strives to support youth in reaching their goals.

Midwest Youth Services also offers MYPLAN (Positive Leaders Affecting Neighborhoods) Team, a youth advisory committee for youth ages 12-18. They offer volunteer and service opportunities to area youth while developing leadership skills and providing educational and social activities. This year they also introduced jacksonvilleonestop.org, a comprehensive website offering information for youth on local services including housing, medical needs, jobs and activities.

Circle Of Excellence

Jack Lukeman

This year’s Circle of Excellence recipient is Jack Lukeman. Mr. Lukeman has served the Jacksonville community since his return to the family business in 1973. Lukeman Clothing Co. was a fixture of the Jacksonville community for over 100 years. Mr, Lukeman also ventured into other businesses including West Side Stories, Merrigan’s Old Place and Jack’s Car Museum, to name a few.

Jack Lukeman served as Chamber Chairman in 1987 and was an active Contact Club member for 30 years serving multiple terms as Chairman and achieving one million point status several times. He also served the City and Downtown Jacksonville on many committees, including service as police and fire commissioner for thirty years. Although retired, he remains active in the business community, the Chamber and other organizations.

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