The First National Bank of Arenzville has announced the winner of the “Blue Diamond Community Service Award” for 2016. This is the third year of the award, created to recognize outstanding volunteers in the First National Bank service area and the work they’ve done throughout the past calendar year.
The announcement was made by First National Bank President Kai Schnitker, “we are pleased to announce that Kevin Eckhoff of Jacksonville is the recipient of the Blue Diamond Community Service Award for 2016.” According to Schnitker, Mr. Eckhoff is an active volunteer with Salem Lutheran Church and several local boards. He has worked as a volunteer audio engineer for the church for more than 30 years. Eckhoff sits on the board of directors for the Jacksonville Public Library, Pathway Services Unlimited and Presbyterian Daycare. He has served on the Public Library board for more than 20 years. Eckhoff has acted as race director for the Passavant-Gatorade 5/10K Race for the past 24 years. More recently, Eckhoff took on co-chair duties with the South Jacksonville Celebration and Concert in the Cornfield. He has been co-chair of the event the past two years. Eckhoff also volunteers for local high school cross country meets and he assists with food distribution when the Central Illinois Food Bank holds distribution days in Jacksonville. Eckhoff is employed at Passavant Area Hospital where he works as the Communications Coordinator.
According to First National Bank Vice President and Branch Manager Kevin Heitz, “this is our third year for this award, and this year we generated the most nominations for it yet. We’re excited to see community support growing for this recognition. We received nominations for some very deserving volunteers this year and final selections were difficult. Once our votes were tallied, Mr. Eckhoff’s contributions really seemed to stand out.”
Schnitker explains the origins of the award, “Blue Diamond Service is about being the best…it’s about doing more than what is expected and delivering a truly outstanding level of service. We felt there are people working in churches and charities who deserve some recognition for going above and beyond. That’s why we created the Blue Diamond Community Service Award.”
Nominations for the award were open to anyone within the First National Bank Service Area. Nominees could be serving in a volunteer position or they might be delivering an outstanding level of service as a professional aid worker or caregiver. Virtually anyone doing their best to provide Blue Diamond Service to the community was eligible for the award.
As recipient of the 2016 Blue Diamond Community Service Award, Mr. Eckhoff was recently presented with a commemorative award statuette and his name will be placed on an annually updated plaque displayed at the First National Bank of Arenzville.
Schnitker says he hopes to see the excitement about this recognition continue to grow. “We know that no one who is doing volunteer work is actively seeking an award. That’s what makes this so enjoyable…we get to shine a spotlight on great service and the people getting this recognition are sometimes almost surprised to be noticed. We look forward to celebrating volunteers and the work they are doing throughout our area for many years to come.”