Normal Mayor Chris Koos awards Myra Gordon the 2012 Normal Citizen of the Year Award on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012 in the Uptown Station. (Stephanie Pawlowski/WJBC)
By Stephanie Pawlowski
NORMAL - The 2012 Normal Citizen of the Year is Myra Gordon.
In the community, Gordon has served as Director of the Ecology Action Center, Director of the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation, represented the town on the Asahikawa Japan/Bloomington-Normal Sister Cities Committee, was named to the Illinois State University College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Hall of Fame and served on the town’s first long range planning committee.
Gordon also started Operation Recycle in the 1980’s, the predecessor to the Ecology Action Center. Mayor Chris Koos said Gordon was recycling before recycling was cool.
“Growing the part-time, all volunteer Operation Recycle into a full-time program,” Koos said. “Myra recruited volunteers for over 10 years of monthly recycling drives. When Operation Recycle became a full-time program, Myra served as its first paid director, expanding this small organization’s efforts to include the first recycling drop boxes and developing an Earth Schools program that is still in use today.”
Gordon said she’d enjoyed every minute of what she’s done.
“It’s like a dream come true for me, because back in the 80’s, when I was doing Operation Recycle, we talked about some of these things and it was so out of most people’s realm that it was really amazing that now it’s common,” Gordon said.
During her brief comments, Gordon said the award was a total surprise and it means so much to her. She said she has enjoyed every minute of what she has done.
While on the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation, Gordon has helped create the Women to Women Fund, and helped raise more than $175,000 and brought 100 women leaders into the Community Foundation family in the first two years.
Other recipients of the outstanding Citizen of the Year award in Normal include Wendell Hess (2011), Jill Hutchison (2009), Alan Sender (2005), Jeff Fritzen (1999), Dave Anderson (1998), Carol Reitan (1989), and Don Munson (1981).
Stephanie Pawlowski can be reached at Stephanie.Pawlowski@Cumulus.com.