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Help us Honor Excellence: Submit a Nomination!

Each of us knows a person whose life is a testament to their belief in service above self, who gives back in extraordinary ways and devotes significant personal time, energy, and talent to improving our communities. Similarly, there are countless organizations whose work carrying out their mission has made a lasting, tangible impact on the people and places of Northern Illinois. We all know a community champion.

Beginning in 2023, the annual Excalibur and Excelsior Event will include six awards:

  • Four Community Champion Awards, recognizing effort and impact by an individual, organization, or group/project/initiative in each of the four counties of our region (Boone, Ogle, Stephenson, and Winnebago);

  • One Excalibur Award, recognizing an individual who exemplifies excellence in community service,

  • One Excelsior Award, recognizing an organization or group/project/initiative that exemplifies excellence in community service.

Recipients for all six awards will be selected from the same pool of nominees. Learn more about the eligibility, criteria, and selection process below.

Awards made to individuals include a cash prize to be donated to the organization of their choice, and awards made to organizations/initiatives include a cash prize that may be used to support their ongoing good work.

The 2023 nomination form closed October 2.
It's never too early to think about who to nominate in 2024!

2023 Award Process Timeline

Nomination Closed for 2023

Nomination Eligibility


The individual or organization/ group/project being nominated must be located in Northern Illinois, specifically Boone, Ogle, Stephenson, or Winnebago County.


The nominee's impact may be broad (reaching a large number of people or extending throughout the region) or deep (significant impact on a smaller population or geography), but it should be significant. 

Not a Past Winner

Past nominees and finalists may be re-nominated, but past winners are ineligible. View a list of past winners HERE.

Selection Criteria

Reviewers will review and score nomination applications with an eye for nominees who:

  • Work to promote unity, self-empowerment, and self-sufficiency for all;

  • Give back and work selflessly to make our region the best it can be; and

  • Make a measurable difference within the community. Specifically:

    • Excalibur recognizes life-time achievement or significant impact in an outstanding effort.​

    • Excelsior recognizes significant effort to fill a community need without thought to awards or public recognition.

Selection Committee

An independent selection committee, comprised of Northern Illinois residents from across the region and representing diverse communities and perspectives, will review the applications and select finalists (four Excalibur and four Excelsior) and recipients (four Community Champions and the Excalibur and Excelsior winners). Learn more about the 2023 Selection Committee members by clicking on their pictures!

Nomination & Selection Process Partners

There are many partners who are assisting in getting the word out about the nomination and award process. We would like to give a special thanks to our partners in Boone, Ogle, and Stephenson Counties for helping spread the word to their respective constituents and communities!

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