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About the Awards

Celebrating Outstanding Contributions to the Communities of Northern Illinois since 1971

Since 1971, the Excalibur Award has been given to an individual who exemplifies excellence in community service. Joined in 1979 by the Excelsior Award, which recognizes an organization of the same merit, these annual tributes to service above self have uplifted countless stories of not just greatness but goodness.

An award created and an event hosted by the Rockford Register Star for four decades, the torch has been passed to the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois (CFNIL) in collaboration with the Northern Illinois Center for Nonprofit Excellence (NICNE). The Rockford Register Star is an ongoing partner and will continue to publish the stories of these exceptional individuals and organizations. Thanks to this new partnership, the recognition and celebration will continue!

Meet the 2023 Finalists!

Click each picture to learn more about each finalist.

Past Recipients

The recipients of the Excalibur Award are individuals who have given back to our communities in extraordinary ways. They come from many backgrounds and professional ambitions, but each has devoted a significant portion of their time and talent (and yes, sometimes their treasure as well!) to serving others. 


The Excelsior Award recipients are organizations or initiatives that strive to strengthen the people of our region and the places they call home. They, too, are represent a diverse range of sectors: arts and culture, health, human services, education, economic development, recreation, volunteerism, and more. Over the years their names may have changed but the vast majority are still working hard to create healthier, more resilient, and more vibrant Northern Illinois.

The names of each recipient and the years of their awards are listed below. When available, the names of Excelsior recipients are linked to their organization's website. View videos and photos of past recipients and award ceremonies here.

Excalibur Recipients

2022: Event Not Held

2021: Gary Anderson

2020: Linda Zuba

2019: Mike Broski

2018: Rosemary Collins

2018 Posthumous Award: Ruthie Fairchild

2017: Peter Provenzano

2016: The Rev. David E. Beauvais

2015: Kathy Velasco

2014: Roger Reithmeier

2013: Rudy Valdez

2012: Paul Logli

2011: Jim and Pam Keeling

2010: Kent Mallquist

2009: Richard Rundquist

2008: Dick Kunnert

2007: Richard Nordlof

2006: Dan Loescher

2005: David Rydell

2004: Chuck Uram

2003: Dr. David and Christine McCarty

2002: Terry Ingrassia

2001: Harry Ritter

2000: Webbs Norman

1999: C. Gordon and Mary Ann Smith

1998: Margaret Mary Kennedy

1997: Arthur Anderson

1996: Lawrence Gloyd

1995: Jack Packard

1994: Gwen Robinson

1993: Carl Dargene

1992: Dr. John McHugh

1991: Dan Nicholas

1990: Harry Stonecipher

1989: Mary Allen

1988: Howard Bell

1987: Bill Downey

1986: Chet Kobel

1985: Irene Marshall

1984: Ray Wood

1983: Dr. Mildred Berry

1982: John Holmstrom Jr.

1981: Roland Olson

1980: Dr. LeBaron Johnson

1979: Jeannine Wortmann

1978: Richard Olson

1977: Margie Sturgis

1976: Benjamin Behr

1975: Eugene Abegg

1974: Seth B. Atwood

1973: Burt Way

1972: Johanna Lund

1971: Bill O’Donnell

Excelsior Recipients

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