Lori, Max, Laura ED 2016 Hutchcroft Award

Lori, Max, Laura ED 2016 Hutchcroft Award

ROCKFORDKeep Northern Illinois Beautiful presented environmental awards to a Kirkland student and a Rockford business at its Earth Day Awards Luncheon April 7.

Earth Day Award winners have shown substantial support for recycling, reusing and renewing resources, or have been advocates of these principles.

Max Freund, a 14­year­old home­schooled student from Kirkland, was presented with the 2016 Hutchcroft Youth Award for Environmental Excellence.

This honor is bestowed upon a single student or group of young people exhibiting a commitment to improving the environment.

It is named for the late former Board President Alan Hutchcroft, who was Professor of Chemistry at Rockford College and supported Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful’s mission from the outset as an active volunteer.

Freund is a young sustainability philanthropist who founded R­E­S­C­U­E­S, a recycling program which stands for Reaching Every Student by Collecting Used Education Supplies.

For the last five years he has collected and distributed used school supplies in reusable condition, including uniforms, backpacks, notebooks, crayons and more, to local organizations such as MELD, Rosie’s Birthday Club, Rockford Youth Services Network and Rock House Kids After School Program.

In a letter of support, Kimberlee Carlson from Rockford Unitarian­UniversalistChurch said, “[Max’s] simple idea, “Let’s take the good leftovers and make them useful,” is just brilliant.  [This] straightforward idea from a child’s mind is smart and successful.”

Past award winners have gone on to promote recycling at their colleges or, in the case of senior Erik Dingus, enhanced Rockford Park District with his recycling bag collection invention, installed at Alpine Park as his Eagle Scout project.

The 2016Outstanding Corporate Friend of the Environment Award was presented to Heyl Royster, Voelker& Allen, P.C.  Rockford office members Mark McClenathan and Leah Ticknor accepted the award on behalf of the law practice.

The six Illinois Heyl Royster offices have developed a Green initiative to promote environmental sustainability. They used a “Green Score Card,” with more than 35 action items, to ensure and measure the success of the program.

As a result, each location has enhanced recycling, discontinued use of Styrofoam cups, replaced bottled water with filtered water, and reduced waste in their printing processes. Several offices have also held clothing drives to support local shelters.

United Technologies Aerospace—Rockford Green Team was named Outstanding Corporate Friend of the Environment in 2015; Specialty Screw in 2014.

Other past honorees:  the City of Rockford, Winnebago County, the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, Rockford Park District Commissioner Jack L. Armstrong, Rock Valley College Professor Joe Haverly, Chrysler Belvidere Assembly Plant, J.L. Clark, Forest City Gear, and the Rockford Park District.

“It’s inspiring to see young people and businesses in our region practicing sustainability and preserving our environment,” said Executive Director Lori Gummow.

The awards, made from recycled glass, were presented on behalf of the Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful Board of Directors by Dave Smith.

For more information about Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful, an award­winning, model Keep America Beautiful affiliate and its 11 environmental programs, visit

www.knib.org, call (815) 637­1343 or send an email to info@knib.org.

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