Crusader honors ‘Spirit of Caring’ winners

Crusader Community Health announced the winners of the 20th annual “Spirit of Caring” awards at its 39th anniversary event, “Fall in Love with Caring,” Oct. 21 at Giovanni’s. The event also featured an autumn-themed dinner, live and silent auction items, and a raffle.

The “Spirit of Caring” awards were initiated in 1992 to honor special individuals and organizations in our community who have demonstrated outstanding efforts in caring for others. This year, 10 individuals and 12 organizations were nominated for the award by family and friends in recognition of their care and concern for others. Honorees are as follows:

John Mink has given decades of service to many organizations through his support of fund development, board leadership, significant donations and the ability to inspire a high standard of giving from numerous donors. Highlighted service includes 35 years with Rosecrance Health Network, more than 20 years at Rock Valley College Foundation, 39 years with Rock Valley Kiwanis and six years with Wesley Willows Retirement Community. He has received the Rosecrance Castle Award and the Association of Fund-raising Professionals Award for Outstanding Community Service.

William C. Roop is president and CEO of Alpine Bank, which through his leadership and guidance has become the largest local community bank serving Winnebago and Boone counties. Roop has given of himself to local organizations including as chairman of the Rockford Area Economic Development Council, first vice chairman of SwedishAmerican Health System Board of Directors, chairman of the Rockford Boys and Girls Club and chairman of the Rockford Area Crime Stoppers. In 2006, he received the Rockford Association of Fund-raising Professionals’ Philanthropy Day Award for Outstanding Fund-raising Volunteer.

Through 35 years and hundreds of individuals served, the Rock River Valley Pantry has grown to be the largest community food pantry in northern Illinois. More than 60 volunteers per week provided 650,000 meals last year alone. The pantry has also become a leader in advocacy and education in its mission to not see one person go hungry in our community through its founding of the Greater Rockford Pantry Coalition, partnering with the University of Illinois Winnebago County Extension office and its involvement with the Master Gardeners in creating the Plant-a-Row for the Hungry, which inspires gardeners to donate their excess produce, which equaled more than 13 tons of fresh produce for the pantry last year.

For more information, call (815) 490-1620 or visit

From the Nov. 2-8, 2011, issue

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