'Model citizens' honored for their service to Cape

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Creating a positive image of Cape Girardeau and selling the community to prospective residents, businesses and tourists has been the work of countless volunteers through the Vision 2020 advisory board and Community Relations Council.

Without their work, Cape Girardeau wouldn't be the city it is today, said Mayor Jay Knudtson during a recognition breakfast held Tuesday morning at St. Francis Medical Center.

Ten residents were honored by the Vision 2020 council during the breakfast. The award recipients were chosen for their dedication to promoting Cape Girardeau, volunteerism and spirit of commitment to the community. "These are role model citizens," said Tim Arbeiter, chairman of the Vision 2020 board. "We have a great hope for the future if we just follow in their footsteps."

Winners were:

Ilena Aslin, nominated for donating more than 3,000 hours as a volunteer for Southeast Missouri Hospital. Aslin also was the recipient of the AARP's most prestigious volunteer award in 2003.

Doug Austin, known for his messages of good will. Austin moved to Cape Girardeau after his retirement and serves on the Vision 2020 board and Community Relations Council for the city.

Dr. Jean and Nona Chapman, recognized for their dedication to the arts. The Chapmans helped start the Visual Arts Cooperative and continue to encourage new cultural programs in the city.

Bill Cheeseman, recognized for 15 years of volunteerism with Habitat for Humanity. Cheeseman has served as a board member for the local chapter for 12 years.

B.W. Harrison, who was honored for his philanthropy. A gift from Harrison helped Southeast Missouri State University buy the former St. Vincent's Seminary which is being developed as a joint project of the city and university.

Jane Jackson, chosen for her contribution to the history of the city through the Lewis and Clark bicentennial celebration.

Fred Pennington, selected for his volunteer efforts with youths and children through the Cape Girardeau Boys and Girls Club, Weed and Seed, and as a sports coach.

Dr. Jan Ruopp was honored for her involvement with Habitat for Humanity. She serves as a board member and is a past treasurer of the organization.

Steve Strom was selected for his dedication to rebuilding the Red House as part of the Lewis and Clark bicentennial events.

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